That's Okay

By E Walk

(Copyrighted by the Author)

Edited by Radio Rancher

Chapter 17 - The Manipulation of the Century

When we arrived at the apartments where Kent lived he very timidly lead us into the ground level apartment, "Mommy, I'm home and have some visitors with me. They would like to talk to you. They brought us some food."

A young woman in a wheelchair entered the entry area, "Kent, I told you not to ask for help."

Kent was beside himself, "Mommy, I didn't ask for help. Darrin's family just gave these things to us. I told them you would be upset. That's why Father Archer and his mother, Dr. Jacobs and Darrin's Daddy came with me. They wanted to see how they could help us."

Mom Archer stepped forward and stuck out her hand, "I'm Barbara Archer. What Kent said was true. Mr. Phillips' four sons decided what should happen. We brought some left over casseroles from Mr. Phillips' wife's funeral, because we can never eat all of the food we received. Do you have a name other than Kent's mother?"

The young woman was taken back by the aggressiveness of Mother Archer. She held out her hand and shook Mom's hand, "I'm Shay Dillon."

Mother Archer looked at Kent and asked, "Does that mean your name is Kent Dillon?"

Kent giggled, "Yes, Grandmother Archer, that's me."

Mom Archer was on a roll, "Kent Dillon, you take these three old men to get the things from the car while I talk to your Mother."

Kent, Dr. Jacobs, Bill and I went to bring the rest of the food from the van and helped Kent put the food away. When we finished putting the food away, Kent hugged the three of us with tears in his eyes, "Thank you for everything, Sirs. Now we won't have to worry about getting food for a week. Please tell Darrin and his brothers how much we appreciate their help."

We walked into the living room where Mom Archer was talking to Mrs. Dillon, "Look, Shay, you need to learn to accept help gracefully. I'm going to contact the Ladies' Guild at the church tomorrow and make arrangements to have one of the members call on you and check and see if you need anything. You don't have a vote in this. We need to think about what is best for you and Kent. When you get back on your feet again, you can pass it on. In the meantime, please accept any help that is offered."

I stopped the conversation, "Mother Archer, we need to be going. I need to check on my four sons."

Kent walked us to the door and hugged us again. He didn't say anything, but he had tears streaming down his face.

When we got to the house, Bill and I went to check on the boys. The twins, Denny and Danny, were already sawing logs when we checked on them. We knocked on Darrin and David's door and they were sitting on the floor by David's bed looking at a magazine. When I saw that, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach.

David looked up, "Hey Dads, we were looking at this nutrition magazine trying to figure out what would be a good meal to serve at the Good Will Mission the first time. What do you think of serving chili con carne with rice? It's called Texas skillet and would be easy to make. The patrons could add saltines and cheese if the wanted. We could also have a tossed salad with only one kind of dressing and then maybe have pineapple upside down cake for dessert."

Bill and I started to laugh and Bill suggested, "Guys, you need to go to bed. Check with your committee. I, personally, think it sounds like a great idea. Why don't you stop by the church and talk to Mr. Gillespie, who will be typing the church bulletin and newsletter on Tuesday and Wednesday, and you can ask members of the congregation to provide some of the supplies that you will need in order to save the money that the Madsen's are providing for the perishable items. Now go to sleep or you won't want to get up in the morning."

We hugged and kissed the boys as they went to their beds and turned out the lights.

Bill and I made sure the house was secure and went to our bedroom. We took a shower together and Bill asked, "I guess we shouldn't sleep nude, should we?"

I pulled him as close as our two bodies would permit and whispered, "We'll lock the door. It's going to be Monday soon. Maybe I can have my way with you."

We got ready for bed and I locked the bedroom door. I started to kiss my way down his body and when I reached the target of my search mission, Bill pushed me away and maneuvered his body so he could pay homage to my life giving appendage at the same time. Neither of us lasted long and we were both exhausted after our wrestling match.

We were awakened the next morning by someone knocking on the door. I put on a bathrobe and went to answer. The boys were standing there in there school clothes. Darrin looked at us, "Dads, we're going to walk to school. It's a nice day. We already have had our breakfast. We'll see you tonight."

Bill sat up, "Guys, what time is it?"

David pointed to the alarm clock, "Daddy Bill, your alarm clock says it's 7:50. Maybe, you two old men should get up and go to work so you can afford to feed us. We'll see you tonight."

As soon as the door was closed I shed my robe and climbed on top of Bill, "I guess we will need to curtail our playtime activities at night."

Bill was laughing, "It will probably be easier to set the alarm clock before we start the playtime activities from now on. Now let's go take a shower together to save time."

When we got downstairs Mom Archer was sitting reading the paper. She didn't even look up, "It's about time. I was getting ready to call the rescue squad. Your breakfasts are in the oven. Bill, what's your schedule today. I want to talk to the President of the Ladies' Guild and then I want to go check on Shay. I don't like the idea of her being home alone all day by herself."

Bill shook his head, "Mom, I'll call you after I get to the office. I want to talk to Father Roberts about giving Kent and his Mother some of the discretionary funds that we have at our disposal. We usually try to limit the use of the discretionary funds to church members, but in circumstances like the Dillon's, I think they are being used to best serve God's purpose."

As Bill and I were going out the door, he yelled back, "Mom, I'll call you later."

As soon as we had closed the door leading to the garage, Bill pulled me into a tight hug and made sure my teeth were clean with his tongue. He finished by kissing me lightly and whispering, "Les, I love you."

I leaned against him, "Bill, if only we didn't need to go to work."

We finally pulled apart and went our separate ways. When I got to the office, Linda brought me a cup of coffee and the schedule for the day. It looked relatively simple. It was going to be busy, but better that way than sitting around twiddling my thumbs.

I didn't leave my desk except to go to the bathroom a couple of times all day. At four o'clock, I decided to leave to and go spend some time with the guys. As I was leaving, I looked at my secretary, "Linda, I want to change my work hours to be from eight to four so I can spend more quality time with my sons while they're still young. Please schedule my last appointment of the day for three thirty unless it is an emergency from now on."

Linda laughed, "Yeah, I bet you and that bothersome Father Archer are going to go play games. How come he didn't call today? Did you two have a lover's quarrel?"

I laughed, "Linda, I'm just beginning to realize that there are going to be days when I won't see Bill at all. Between counseling and meetings, he almost doesn't have time to go to the bathroom some days. The four boys have already accepted him so that is not a problem and Bill's Mother has been a godsend. It sure has made the transition much easier and the boys are blossoming. I'll need to bring them by for you to see. I think you'll be surprised."

"Les, I am aware of how busy pastors are. My pastor lives next door to us and I swear that he is gone at least four nights a week for meetings. And of course people don't just turn on and off getting sick and needing to be hospitalized. Just be there to support Father Archer when he comes home after a difficult day."

I stuck my tongue out at Linda, "Yes, Mother Superior Linda. I'm out of here."

When I got to the house, no one was there. I went to the kitchen and smelled food. The crock pot was steaming so I knew that something was cooking. Whatever it was, smelled really good.

I went to put on some Bermuda shorts since it was a rather warm day. I was walking down the stairs when I heard Darrin and Mom Archer come in. I heard Darrin call out, "Thanks for driving us Mrs. Madsen. Mike, I'll talk to you tomorrow. Have a good evening."

When Darrin saw me, he looked at me, "Daddy, are you sick? You're never home this early."

"No, I'm not ill and where are your brothers?"

Darrin looked at me, "Dad, we told you last night that we were going to mow Grandma Hattie's lawn today. Mike and Mrs. Madsen came over and we decided to go talk to Mr. Gillespie at the church and place announcements in the bulletin and the newsletter advising the members of the congregation what we were doing and how they could help us. Tomorrow we're going to talk to some of the local merchants and see if they will give us a discount on food. David decided to stay here and mow Grandma Hattie's yard and Kent is filling in for me. I'll go check on the guys."

Mother Archer was laughing as Darrin left, "How's that for a concise explanation as to what has happened since your sons came home from school. Bill and I will tell you the rest of the story over dinner. You had better be prepared to go shopping after dinner."

We were interrupted by Danny, "Hey Daddy, you're home early. Grandma, we may be a little late for dinner because Mr. Keller wants us to mow his lawn before it rains tomorrow. Please call Kent's Mother and tell her that Kent might be a little late for dinner. Dad, Kent is even worse than Darrin."

Danny disappeared as fast as he had appeared. I thought to myself, `We need to make these young boys stop and smell the roses.'

Bill came in and looked around, "Les, where are the boys?"

I shrugged my shoulders, "Billy Bob, the boys are still mowing and trimming a yard. They don't follow instructions very well. I thought I made it clear that they were to do only one yard a day. So what are they doing? They doing a second yard and Kent is helping them."

Bill put his arm around me, "Mom and I found out some interesting things about Kent and Shay today. The guys are fine. Let's go see if we can help them."

We started to Mr. Keller's house, but the boys were coming toward us with their equipment as we got to the sidewalk.

David apologized, "Dad, I know that you said we should only do one lawn a day, but Mr. Keller says it is to rain for the next two days and asked us if we could possibly do his lawn and flower beds today. Please don't be upset with us."

I almost started to cry, "Guys, the only reason I don't want you to be working all the time is that you are still young and need to have some fun. We need to get you involved in some activities so you can make some new friends."

Darrin looked at me, "Dad, we are involved in activities. We are concerned about the homeless."

I shook my head no, "Guys, you need to get involved in activities with people of your own age. Maybe Daddy Bill can help with some church activities. We can look about getting you involved in some sports activities that you might be interested in. Now get your little bottoms ready for dinner while I help Kent home. I think Grandmother Archer has something for him to take home."

The guys put the lawn equipment away and we went into the kitchen and Mother Archer handed Kent a warm apple pie, "Kent, honey, this should be enough to be the dessert for your Mommy and you and even enough to fill you up at breakfast. You don' t need to bring the pan back."

Kent was standing there like he was a zombie saying, "But ... but ... but ..."

He was finally able to get out, "But, you have already done too much."

Both Bill and Darrin went and put their arms around Kent and Darrin started, "Look man, we're just getting started. You are going to become a member of the team that is going to feed the poor people of this community so lighten up."

Bill laughed, "Come on son, we need to get you home so your Mother doesn't worry about you. Mr. Phillips, Darrin and I will be picking you up after dinner. We have something that we need you to help us do."

Both Darrin and I looked at Bill with a questioning look and he just shook his head so we both knew we shouldn't ask anymore questions.

Darrin and I took Kent home and Mrs. Dillon was visibly upset. "Kent, why are you so late?"

Kent showed her the warm pie and $10.00, "Mommy, I'm so sorry but we mowed two yards and I made $10.00. Please don't be upset with me. I just want to help."

Darrin went and put his arm around Mrs. Dillon, "Ma'am, please don't be upset with Kent. David accepted a second mowing job, and Kent was filling in for me while I was making plans to feed the homeless next weekend."

Kent's mother looked at us, "I'm not upset with Kent. I just wish he would have let me know where he was at and that he was okay. If Mrs. Archer hadn't called me, I would have been even more worried. He's all I have in this world. Darrin, you and your family must be special because, Kent hasn't brought anyone else home in a long time. I'm sorry I blurted out like I did. We need to eat before Father Bill and you pick him up to go shopping."

Darrin and I left the Dillon's apartment. Darrin looked at me, "Dad, why are we picking Kent up to go shopping?"

We were walking hand in hand toward the house, "Son, I have no idea what is happening. Maybe Father Bill and Grandma Archer will explain over dinner. We'd better get a move on or there won't be anything left by the time we get there."

When we got to the house Dr. Jacobs was there and it was evident that everyone was ready to eat. Darrin and I quickly got ready for dinner. As we were eating our corned beef and cabbage dinner, the conversation was lively. The four young guys gave us a recap of their days and as we were finishing our dinner Darrin looked at us, "Look people, I know you want to talk about some things, but why are Daddy Bill, Dad and I going to take Kent shopping?"

Bill answered, "Darrin, Mrs. Dillon asked that we take the money I was able to get for her to buy Kent the things he needed, like new shoes and whatever else he needs. You are going to need to assist us there. Kent and his Mother are very proud people and as Kent said, `They don't understand charity.' When we get to their apartment, you need to suggest Kent change clothes. You should follow him to his room and snoop around and find out what clothes he needs. His mother said that they hadn't been able to buy anything new for some time."

Darrin started to giggle, "I get it. You want me to act like a spy. Won't I need one of them long coats and a hat to hide my face?"

Everyone was laughing at Darrin's antics.

"Come on Dads; let's get this show on the road. Guys, I'll do the dishes tomorrow night."

When we got to the apartment, Darrin started his Academy Award winning performance. "Kent, your jeans are dirty from crawling around on the ground today. Why don't we go get you some clean clothes so we can bust out of this place?"

Shay was giggling, "Oh to be nine and be so innocent. Guys, I really appreciate you doing this. I took the job here because I thought I would be able to provide Kent with some of the things that he needed."

The conversation was interrupted by the two giggling boys. Darrin looked at us, "Let's put the pedal to the metal. We need to get everything and we don't have all night. Dads, let's go to the new J. C. Penney's. They'll have everything we need."

Darrin pointed to Kent, "Kent, kiss your Mother and see if she wants us to get anything for her."

Kent did as he was told and Mrs. Dillon shook her head, "Hon, I don't need anything. Make sure you are good for Father Archer and Mr. Phillips."

I had never been to the new Penney's store, but Bill knew where it was. As we entered, Darrin grabbed two push carts. He gave one to Kent to push and started for the young boys' department. He stopped in front of the shoes, "Kent, let's get our feet measured and see who has the biggest foot."

Bill leaned over and whispered, "Talk about being manipulated."

The guys sat down and a young man approached us. Darrin looked up, "Hey, Mike, I didn't know you worked here. Would do us a favor please and measure our feet to see which of us has the bigger foot?"

Darrin kicked off his shoes. I watched as Kent reluctantly took off his shoes. He did and it was evident why he had been reluctant because his socks had holes in the toes. Darrin looked at us and put his hand inside his jeans and pointed and nodded yes.

Bill leaned over, "I think Darrin is telling us that Kent's briefs have holes also."

Mike measured the boys' feet and they turned out to be the exact same size and Darrin asked, "Mike, are we wearing the right size shoes?"

Mike checked the guys shoes, "Darrin, yours are the right size but Kent's are a size too small."

Darrin looked at us, and Bill nodded yes and put up two fingers. Darrin looked at Kent, "Why don't we look at the shoes to see what would be neat?"

While the two boys were looking around, Bill explained to Mike what was happening.

Mike smiled, "I surmised that Darrin was doing some manipulating. I'll see how I can assist him, but I think he is doing a good job."

Darrin skillfully led Kent through the Boys' Department after the guys placed one pair of shoes in each cart. Darrin pretended like one cart of clothes was for him and one was for Kent.

When we got to the checkout stand, Bill pulled out a debit card and handed it to the lady, "I'll pay for both sets of clothes."

The explosion came when we took all of the purchases into the Dillon's apartment. Kent started to cry, "You people lied to me. You told me that half of these were for Darrin and half for me."

Darrin held Kent, "We never said that at all. I just made sure we put like amounts in each cart and Daddy Bill said that he was going to pay for both sets of clothes. Now stop crying and fix your Mother and you some dessert. I'll see you in the morning."

Author's Note: If you would like to read more of this story and other interesting stories, you might like to visit

Editor's Notes: I am so proud of the guys, for being so helpful and loving.

It is very refreshing to have young people acting responsible. Actually you would be surprised to realize just how good most young people are. It seems that the ones that cause the trouble get a lot more publicity than the ones that do good things. Oddly, that seems to also hold true with adults. You seldom see news items about good things happening, but instead you see things about disasters or crimes. That is sad isn't it?

I was startled the other day to hear a radio host saying that the problem that the country is facing, involving so many Real Estate foreclosures, was caused by people trying to get mortgages that they knew they couldn't afford. That is pure nonsense. No one in their right mind would do something like that. When they started the process, they most likely had good income and could afford the payments, but recently the prices of food, medicine and heating have gone through the roof, not to mention the cost of Gasoline. Then people started losing jobs right and left. It is no wonder there are so many foreclosures. Banks and savings and loans are in business to make money, and for the most part, the just want their money. The whole thing just got way out of hand, and it snowballed. I get upset when I hear people blaming folks for not having enough money, when circumstances caused the problem and not a lack of planning or self discipline. That is hogwash. I certainly hope something can be done to get things back on track soon, before we find a situation like what happened in 1929 all over again.

Soap Box mode disengaged.

Great chapter and I am ready for more!!!!!!!

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher

Other Notes: Darrin seems to have a very big heart; and it is in the right place. I hope Darrin and his family are able to help out Kent and his family, as they definitely need a helping hand.

Next chapter please.

The Story Lover