West Otter Lake
Copyright© 2013 – Nicholas Hall
West Otter Lake – Chapter Eight – "We are not born as the partridge in the wood, or as the ostrich of the desert, to be scattered everywhere; but we are to be grouped together, and brooded by love, and reared day by day in that first of churches, the family." – H.W. Beecher
There are times when days seem long and nights short, but yesterday and last night seemed uncommonly short when I awakened the next morning. Perhaps if we hadn't played "pony express," riding each other to Dodge City and back, I might've been more rested, but such was not the case. Although I often preferred to bottom, I could give as well as get; the same was true of Leandro, except his giving provided exceptional length and lubrication compared to me and I loved it. He also enjoyed a good blow-job so, this morning, I thought I'd give his tantalizing and now turgid trumpet a wakeup call by humming "Revelry" on his brown bassoon.
I slid my head under the covers preparing to do the deed and entertain him with a bit of an "ah toot," when his hand slipped between my lips and his musical instrument, "Better wait," he cautioned, "I hear little boys."
No sooner did the words leave his mouth and my head popped out from under the covers, when our bedroom door opened slightly and two little brown faced, black haired boys peered in through the opening.
"See," hissed one, "I told you they sleep in one bed."
The other, looking over his brother's shoulder, nodded, and spotting Leandro and me looking at them, giggled, "They're awake," and both boys pounded bare feet across the room and piled onto the bed, one landing on Leandro and the other on me. We wrapped our arms around our assailants and they giggled all the more. Treyvon and Terell squirmed and squealed as we tickled them and wiggling out of our grasps, slipped under the covers, one snugged up to me and the other between us, to Leandro.
Both boys suddenly became quiet, realizing something quite different from what they were accustomed to, their eyes wide and rolling, looking at me and then Leandro. Treyon (I think) finally lifted the covers, peeked under, peered up over my chest to his brother and exclaimed, "They're naked!"
Of course Terell (I think) had to check for himself and lifted the covers, but he looked just a little closer at the nakedness displayed under there and with a discerning eye, stated matter-of-factly, "Ollie has a bigger wienus than you do Conner." He wasn't being critical or demeaning, just making a statement of what he considered a fact of life.
He turned his attention to Leandro, lifted the covers again, inspecting the merchandise under there and remarked, "Wow, big, but not as big as Ollie either, I think."
Treyvon sprawled across my chest, looked for himself, and noticing Leandro staring at him, asked, "Leandro, do you think mine will get that big?"
"Not if you keep waking me up so early in the morning," groaned Leandro.
Both boys raised their heads in alarm, fully realizing the implications of his apparent threat, hesitated a moment, and with a grappling assault, one laughed, "You're so silly, Leandro," and they were all over him again. He laughed and returned the attack, wrestling the little boys, and giving their little, round butts a gentle, forgiving swat. They finally gave in to his hugs and lay on his chest, faces close to his, as if to gain his total attention when they spoke to him.
Treyvon (I think), got closer, placed a small hand on each side of Leandro's face in order to focus him and be certain he was listening, asked "What's for breakfast?"
Through lips puckered by two hands pressing on the side of his face, he blubbered, "Bear poop and blueberries."
Without hesitation, but with another little boy giggle, Terell responded, "That's o.k. as long as we have pancakes too." With that, they bounded off of the bed, announcing they were going to wake Ollie.
Leandro turned to me, commenting, "Perhaps we need to start locking the bedroom door."
I remained silent for a moment, then, "Do you really want to do that?"
"No, not really."
"Then my dear lover, we'll just have to be little more discreet in our conjugal activities, won't we?"
Leandro breathed a deep, deep breath of air, kissed me good morning and muttered he was going to get dressed and go to the kitchen to fix the boys their pancakes. After he dressed, he headed down the stairs. He must've passed the twins in the hall, because they romped in soon after.
"Ollie's awake, "they announced and looking around, Terell asked, "Where's Leandro?"
"Fixing breakfast," I answered.
"Grandma's already doing that," Treyvon announced. "Can you help us get dressed?"
I started to crawl out from under the covers and when my feet hit the floor and I began to stand, one remarked adamantly, "You better put some pants on; Grandma will scold you if you run around with your wienus uncovered."
Evidently the boys had experienced her wrath concerning their little stubby sometime in the past, so I reminded them, "I've got to find my pants before I can put them on, you silly goose."
"They're on the chair," Terell answered as he retrieved them for me.
Holding my britches in my hands, I was suddenly confronted by Treyvon who asked, almost incredulously, "Aren't you going to wear any underwear?"
I guess I didn't realize, until that moment, how many questions precocious little boys can ask. "Yes," I responded, "but I have to get them from my dresser first."
Once clothed, including underwear, much to the twins delight, I held out my hands and each boy grabbed one; out the door and around the vestibule to their room. I was pleased to notice the bed was already made. Mrs. Thompson certainly instilled some great habits in her grandsons, I thought. The dresser produced boxer underwear, t-shirts, socks, and jeans. Turning around to present them to the boys, I was greeted by two little, round, brown butts as the twins leaned over the bed to tuck their pajamas under the pillows. Hearing me, they turned around, their little uncut penises wiggling and jiggling as they scooted toward me. I held out the clothes with instructions to put them on. "Grandma Mae wouldn't be very happy with you if you ran around with your `weinuses' hanging out in the breeze."
The boys giggled as they sat on the floor pulling on boxers, socks, and jeans before standing to put on their t-shirts. I rummaged around and found sweatshirts for them to wear and while doing so, I noted the sizes and how worn the clothes were. Luis was correct they did need new clothes and warmer ones for living this far north.
Dressed, they again each secured a hand, and we started down stairs. As we neared Ollie's room, the door opened, he grinned at me, then the boys, ruffed their heads, and joined us. I rapped on Luis' door as we went by, announcing breakfast would be served in about fifteen minutes or so.
"I think he's awake," offered Ollie. "I heard him in the bathroom as I was getting dressed."
Nearing the kitchen door, I could hear Leandro and Mae laughing and visiting. We were greeted first by the aroma of fresh pancakes and cooked bacon wafting across the room and secondly by both Leandro and Mae. Mae was standing at the kitchen range and Leandro was sitting at the table drinking a cup of coffee.
Mae poured me a cup of coffee while instructing the boys to set the table for breakfast. "Pour some orange juice for each of you, while you're at it," she added as the three of them busied themselves with the task at hand. It took them a moment or two to locate flatware, plates and glasses, but once found everything was placed appropriately on the table.
Looking at me, she said apologetically, "I hope you don't mind, but I found some juice in the freezer and mixed it up. The boys like orange juice in the morning and it's good for them."
Leandro shrugged his shoulders, smiled at me, and slid his chair back. "Mae loves to cook as much as I do," he offered proudly, "and that's fine with me since I think I'll be busy once the cabins and camping season begins, but until then, we'll share the kitchen. She has some great recipes and offered to help me with them."
Mae smiled, clearly in her element. The juice poured, Ollie and the twins trotted around the table and gave their grandmother a good morning hug. As they did, Luis wandered in the kitchen door from upstairs and started to sit down, but Mae stopped him by opening her arms, clearly an invitation she expected a hug from him also. A sheepish smile broke out on his face as he walked around the table and gave her the hug she'd invited.
All seated, we tucked into the light, fluffy, and delicious pancakes. The bacon, oven fried on a flat tray, was crisp and succulent to the taste. We ate and ate, but in between bites, Mae noted quite casually, "Leandro says you'll need someone to take care of the store and the bar during the season."
I nodded, my mouth too full to answer without sounding totally stupid and rude, "So," she continued, "why don't I apply for a bartender's license and I'll do that for you. If we open both in the afternoons, I can help with the office in the mornings and the cabins on Saturdays."
It was obvious Leandro and Mae discussed more than just recipes and for that I was pleased. He and I discussed this previously and Leandro wasn't bashful about sharing our decisions with Mae and she accepted them readily.
"On one proviso," I cautioned, "we will close the bar and the store Sunday afternoons and evenings. We all need a little time off every now and then. Besides, there's no reason to have the bar open on Sundays. It'll give us some down time to enjoy the Great Room and each other's company."
With everyone gathered at the table full of pancakes, I outlined what running the resort was like in the summer and how each of us would have certain jobs to do, although we'd all be expected to help each other and wherever we were needed. Luis, Ollie, and the twins were excited, but a little apprehensive with the prospects of working and earning some tip money and wages from the resort. Of course, the twins really couldn't be paid a "wage" but would receive an "allowance" for helping out. I thought they might not be as excited toward the end of the summers end, but I hoped otherwise. There were times, growing up and working here, I grew weary toward the end of the season, but never really tired of it. In fact, I really enjoyed it. It didn't seem like work most times, Grandpa and Grandma made me feel important to the functioning of the resort, essential to the operation and I hoped to do that for Luis, Ollie, Treyvon, and Terell.
"After breakfast," I announced, "we need to go to Parsonville to buy warm clothes for you, Ollie, and you too, Treyvon and Terell. So, after the table is cleared and dishes in the dishwasher, get your coats on and join Grandma Mae and me for a shopping trip."
"I think I'll stay here," spoke Mae softly, "Luis promised to show me how the reservation system works and the layout of the office. Besides, it'll be good for you to shop and spend some time with your brothers," and patted me on the back.
Ollie sat in the "shotgun" seat and the twins occupied the jump seats in the crew cab. Treyvon and Terell chattered about everything they saw on the trip to Parsonville; the snow, the pine trees, a deer they saw alongside the road, anything and everything. I noticed, as they talked, they'd interrupt each other; well not really interrupt, but take over the sentence the other started and some point the first would take it up and conclude it. It was happening with regularity and I came to understand they didn't realize they were doing it. Ollie, on the other hand, just rode quietly, adding little to the conversation but not withdrawing from it. He could be an active part without saying much, leading me to conclude he was just naturally quiet, very much like the grandfather he never knew.
We spent the morning buying jeans, shirts, sweatshirts, underwear, socks, and new tennis shoes for Ollie for physical education class, along with uniform shirt, shorts, and a jock strap. Ollie was able to try on his clothes by himself, but the twins needed one or the other us to help them. They giggled and laughed, so tickled to be getting new clothes! When I added long underwear to the mix, they all groaned, dismayed they might have to wear them school. I assured them they wouldn't have to, but working around the resort and playing outside they'd need them, there was still plenty of winter left. The boxes and bags of clothes were loaded into the back of the pickup, sheltered by the topper.
Our next to the last stop was the St. Vincent de Paul's store for used snowmobile bib overalls, boots, coats, and mitts. The very last stop was at the electronics store where I'd purchased Luis' laptop computer and bought one for Ollie. He and Luis might be able to share, but I really felt it was better for each to have his own. Ollie carried the box containing the laptop to the truck and, instead of putting it in the back with the rest of our purchases, placed it in the cab, between the twins and climbed in the front seat.
He was extra-ordinarily quiet after I started on the road to home. Turning toward me, tears streaming down his face, all he could say was, "Thank you!"
I simply replied, "You're welcome, brother," reaching over and squeezing his shoulder. "I hope you don't mind sharing the cellphone with Luis until we figure out if you each need one."
Ollie was alright with that, he reasoned he'd not had one before, so what was there to miss?
After burgers, fries, and shakes at MacDonald's®, the warmth of the truck cab and droning tires on the pavement, put the little boys to sleep. I don't think Ollie said more than twenty words on the way home, but he was a pleasant traveling companion. He woke the twins when we arrived at the Resort and, amidst much excited chatter they unloaded their new clothes to show their grandmother. Mae `oohed' and "aahed" appropriately and when Ollie showed her the laptop, tears welled in her eyes also. She was about to comment and surmising what she was about to say, I said, "Yes, I should've. He needs it for school."
Mae helped the boys put their clothes away and Luis sat in Ollie's room, chatting while he put his things away. I think, even in the short time they'd known each other, they missed each other's company. Luis did most of the talking, while Ollie would just smile in response or say something softly in way of encouragement or clarification.
Mae returned down stairs after getting the twins' clothes put in dressers and the closet and joined me on the couch where I sat enjoying a cocktail. I offered her one, but she declined, saying, "I never acquired the taste, although my husband, before he died, enjoyed a beer after work."
Hesitant to inquire concerning him, I none-the-less broached the subject concerning his occupation. She explained he worked as a city bus driver but died before Ollie was born. Her husband was knifed one night while driving bus and a punk kid thought he'd rob him. When her husband explained he didn't have any money and the bus used tokens or passes, the punk angered and stuck him. Mae received a small pension from the CTA and used it to raise her family and grandchildren. Along with county assistance and food stamps, in conjunction with the pension, she made do.
"I often wonder how things might've been different if he'd lived," she reminisced sadly, "maybe my children would still be alive, but he's not and they didn't survive either. All I have left are those three boys and that's why I'm here. I thought we could live here away from the dangers of the city, pay rent and I'd work, not sponge off of your generosity."
She sighed, a deep, deep sigh; one of thanks, yet one of helplessness and sat with her hands on her lap, staring at them, unwilling or unable to say more.
Breaking the silence, I looked at her, a gentle, loving grandmother, who saw nothing in life now but the welfare of her grandchildren, and said, "Mae, Ollie, Treyvon, and Terell are my brothers and you are their grandmother; can I do any less?"
"But," she complained, "you spent so much on them; even a laptop computer for Ollie. Can you really afford that"
I had to admit to her it might be a little tight for a bit, but I'd run the numbers and felt comfortable with the expenditures.
"What do you mean – run the numbers?" she inquired suspiciously, "You're not into gambling stuff are you?"
Shaking my head, "No, Mae; I'm an accountant, a CPA and I ended up here after a lover betrayed me. Additionally, I was needed at home and I've not looked back. I've had a good life here at home and so will we all. The Resort generally does well and should provide adequately for all of us."
I heard a loud "yes!" from Ollie's room and raised my eyebrows in question.
Mae smiled, noticing my questioning glance. "Luis and Ollie are setting up his new laptop and doing all that computer stuff you're supposed to do to make it work. I don't understand it, but they do. Those boys are pretty bright, I think."
Changing the subject and returning the conversation back to the purchases I'd made for the boys, I acknowledged I'd made no purchases for her, but would take her shopping to get what she wanted and needed on the morrow after we registered the boys for school
"No need," she answered, "I have plenty of get by so don't worry."
Well, I did, so I offered her the opportunity to go through the boxes and storage closets holding my grandmother's clothes, including winter coats and garments, and help herself.
"Mae, I'd be proud to have you wear any that you so desire. What you don't use, I'm taking to St. Vincent de Paul's or Goodwill.
Leandro and Mae prepared a hearty beef stew with a side of baking powdered biscuits for supper and we all collapsed afterwards in front of the fireplace. As the fire in it leaped and glowed, casting its light and warmth out into the room, I pondered the fact that none of them asked to watch television. Either they were so busy in their new home and hadn't thought of it or, like Luis, just didn't watch that much television, active in other ways.
It wasn't long until eyes started to droop and it was time for the twins to go to bed. Mae trundled them up the stairs, after they each gave me a hug and a "thanks," and put them to bed. She decided to hit the sack also. Ollie and Luis followed shortly thereafter.
The lodge was quiet once everyone, except Leandro and I, went to bed. He sat in an easy chair trying to read the Sunday paper but was having a difficult time doing so since he was equally as tired. Finally, he succumbed and muttered he was going to lock up and go to bed.
"I'll be up in a minute," I added, but as I stood, stretching, I saw Ollie emerge from the stairs and walk toward me, "right after I see what Ollie wants."
To be continued
Thank you for reading "West Otter Lake – Chapter Eight - "We are not born as the partridge in the wood, or as the ostrich of the desert, to be scattered everywhere; but we are to be grouped together, and brooded by love, and reared day by day in that first of churches, the family." – H.W. Beecher
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