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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

IT DON’T MATTER chapter 10 Back to Business at Hand

Bessie said, "Hi Da Da
courtesy photobucket.

I saw Nan a couple more times before I left for home.  We didn’t get into the heave petting as we did before that one time.  

There were a few kisses but not with the fervor of the one moment.  We sat near each other and holding each without speaking.  I thought afterward sometimes you don’t have to do a lot of talking.  In fact it can spoil the moment when things unsaid speaks volumes.  

It was unexpected but when I went to the station to board the train and return home; the Lesters, Nan and her babies were there to see me off.

As I said my goodbyes to Dr. Lester and Maxi, I noticed she had an enlarged stomach.
As I was gawking at it she laughed and said yes, its due in four months, I just wrote ma and told her.  Up unto now the clothes she wore kept it hidden but finally she was wearing clothes announcing that she was an expectant mother.

I picked up two year old Bessie and held her snuggly and as I was holding she said, “Da Da,” and I almost dropped her.

Nan said, “I didn’t tell her to say that I promise.  She must have heard it somewhere from other children she is often around and wanted to say it to someone, to you.”

I hugged the baby and Nan while holding Bessie the two year old.  The conductor gave his “Board” cry and I knew I had to get on the train.  Still holding Nan and Bessie I couldn’t help feeling of how natural this felt.

Even though we were surrounded by people I kissed her very passionately and then the babies.  

Maxi said the train is beginning to move and for a second I wanted to stay, but business was calling me home.  As I boarded, Maxi walked along the train as it began to move and said, “You are going to be in big trouble with Ma when I tell her what you have been doing.”

For the next hour, I tried to figure out what she meant by that.  

Being gone for three months I had a lot of business to catch up with.  But then ever so often a feeling of loneliness would sweep over me and the picture of Nan and the babies would come to mind and Bessie saying Da Da.

As the wheels of the train made their rhythmic sound of clickiti clack, clickiti clack, goin' down the tracks;  The thoughts, “Another man’s wife, another man’s children, what am I doing, I must turn back” was in harmony with the sound of the wheels.

Then it was, “What will Pa say, what will Ma think, I’ve lost my mind, I’m on the brink.”

I had to find someone to talk to, “Hey conductor, how fast do you reckon err... how fast do you think we are traveling.”

He looked at me strangely and said, “Do you have a watch?”

I said, “Yes I have a Hamilton railroad watch.”

He said, “I assume you can count?”

I said, “Absolutely.”

He said, “Count the number of poles we pass in a minute and multiply by two and you will know the speed of the train.  Another method is to count the number of wheel clicks in a minute but this calculation requires more education that you probably have.”

I should have been insulted but I said, “I think I will stick to the poles.”

I spent quite a bit of my time figuring out the speed we were going.  It would slow when we were on a grade and speed up going down hill.  It was a waste of time and effort but it got my mind off of my Nan and my baby’s thing.

When the word Nan entered my mind the whole cycle would start all over again and the pictures imaged into my mind of the little faces of the kids was captivating.

I lowered the window and stuck my head out of the window hoping the cold air would free me from my obsessive thoughts.  

Then to top it off I said, “I wish I never had met her.”

I held that thought for less than two seconds and replaced it with, “It was the greatest thing that ever happened to me.”

I didn’t have a headache but I took an aspirin hoping it would put me to sleep.  Just thirty more minutes and I would be off this train and be free from my captivity.  

Clayton met me at the train and took me to dinner.  He said he didn’t want to talk about business for he knew I would be tired.  I told him I wanted to get right to the business hoping that would redirect my thoughts.  In my absence he had to oversee all our enterprises (enterprises; a word I learned while being tutored.)

I told him I was back and would relieve him from everything that he wanted me to.  He said, “You can have it all, for it is more than I can handle along with the feed store.”

It looked like it was going to take me a week to go over the paper work and go around and inspect each and every property.  After visiting Ma and pa for the day and night I prepared to visit the cattle ranch if you can call it a ranch.

I decided that since I was there I would inspect the home place.  Every thing looked good except I could see where we could add some more chicken houses and double the number of chickens we had.

I stopped at the lumber mill and discussed about harvesting some more trees for lumber.  The owner said that we had cut almost a third of the trees and if we kept building we would do them all.

I told him, “If that happened we would all be rich.”  

He didn’t see the humor in that and just said, “That would be nice.”  

At the ranch I found we were over grazing the one sixty and need to sell some stock or acquire more land.

I told them in few days the logs would be cut and hauled to the mill and after that they could turn the cattle into where the grass is growing between the stumps.  The land is super rich and never been sown before but adding seed it would increase the amount of pasture we have.

Everyone thought that was genius but I pointed out it was obvious and sometimes the obvious is where money is to be made.

Clayton said he had been working on that for this last month without success.  The feed store had slowly increased the kinds of goods we carried until it was close to being a general.  Clayton gets most of the credit for that because he did the hands on work.  It is one thing to talk about something and another to actually doing it.

There was one real problem that we had to deal with.  On the one hand it was good while on the other some drastic action was required.  It all revolved around the need for more land.  

The bulls visited the cows about seven months ago and in two months there would be a lot of calves dropped.  I got together with Sammie, and the three cow hands.  We either had to sell off part of our herd or get more pasture.

There was two hundred acres next to our place but the owner didn’t want to sell.  He had gotten too old to farm it and it had gone to pasture. Young saplings were beginning to sprout up and within a few years it would revert back into a wooded area.

I had too many things on my agenda to deal with this as it should be done.  

I had a plan but I needed Jake to carry it out.  He could be so persuading when he wanted to.  I laid out my plan to him and said get it done in your usual style.  This kinda puffed him up and he had it done in a couple of days later.

My idea was to impress the owner with the fact he was losing his land to the scrub trees that was growing and it would cost a lot of time and effort to restore if it was allowed to naturally continue.  

Since we didn’t have the money to buy the land and he didn’t want to sell the best thing to do was to lease it and have an income from it.  Jake laid it on about us clearing the scrub trees before they got any bigger.  And him having money for taxes ect.

In the end we got a long term lease and plenty of pasture for the new born calves. Thanks to Jake another problem was solved.

It was a little frustrating having all my big ideas but not the wherewithal to accomplish them.  We just had to stay the course and time would provide.

I was racking my brain trying to figure out some small deals we could handle until we had the money for bigger things.  At present, we had all the money the family needed but we were building for the future generations.

I had learned there were two important things to be successful in this world. One was land and the other was money.  Most everything is the product of the land at one stage or another.  Money is the power to make things happen.

As I see it the next few years will define whether the family will solidify and last for many generations or fade away like so many have.

Perhaps “It don’t matter” but then on the other hand, It really does matter.

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