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Thursday, January 16, 2014

IT DON’T MATTER Chapter 11 A Surprise Visitor

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Time was passing quickly and about three and a half months passed since I returned from my studies.  I must say it hasn’t been dull.  

I have had some ideas that could make us rich but I have wavered because of the risk involved.  So far I have resisted the urge to press forward with my ideas.  For it is hard to risk everything when you don’t need the money.

Dr. Lester and Maxi are coming to see Ma and to have the baby here where Maxi was born.  I was going to have Clayton meet them but they wanted me to be there when they came in.  I supposed that they wanted me to get them a room at the hotel but wasn’t sure.  

I alerted the hotel clerk that I might need some rooms but I wasn’t sure how many. The old steam engine came rolling in with steam escaping the relief valves.  I was just a minute or two late and when I saw Maxi she had swelled up like she had a pumpkin under her dress.  

Dr. Lester had a carry on and was holding a small child.  That really confused me. I wondered whose child he would be holding.  Then I thought it must belong to someone with several children which wouldn’t be unusual in these parts.  

Then there was someone else with a baby who got off and I recognized her, actually both of them.  I was stunned.  

Standing before me was Nan, Bessie and little Matt.  I just stood there paralyzed till Maxi said, “You may say Hello now.”  

I took Bessie from Dr. Lester and kissed her on the cheek.  Then she leaned toward me and kissed me on the mouth.  

Strange as it was after she did that my first thought was I’m glad she didn’t have a runny nose.  Then I proceeded to kiss her several more times.  
I stepped forward and embraced Nan who looked tired but she turned her lips upward and I enjoyed the first kiss since I left her.  We just stood there the four of us, Bessie looked me in the face and said, hello daddy.

I had to smile at that and said, “Now don’t tell me she picked that on her own.”

Nan said, “No I got tired of her saying Da Da and taught her how to say daddy and when she kept asking me where we were going it just came out, “We’re going to see daddy and she remembered it.”

The feelings I experienced before came flooding back.  I said, “I have some rooms reserved at the hotel but I think we will need some more.  We will spend the night in town and tomorrow we will go home and see Ma and Pa.”

Clayton’s wife Ada came to the hotel and took charge of the children and told Nan to get a couple hours sleep and afterward we would have supper at her place.  Nan was so tired that she didn’t object after I said it would be okay for I would be with them. Little Matt was walking and it was fun watching him fall and then get right up.

All Bessie wanted to do was to sit in my lap and jabber to me.  Ada said her mother can probably understand her though I can only get a word here and there.  

After some time Maxi brought Nan over to Ada’s and shortly, Dr. Lester and Clayton joined us.  

When Matt saw his mother he started to cry until Nan comforted him and Bessie said, “He’s hungry.”  

Ada said, “I have some food for him but I thought you might want to feed him yourself to make sure the food was alright for him.”

Nan looked at what Ada had prepared for Matt and said, “This is great.”  

After supper Ada took Nan and the kids into the front room and then said, “Tell me everything and I mean everything.”

She had question after question and the way she put them; it made Nan want to answer them and add more to it.

Then Ada asked, “Just how far have you gone… has he?  

Nan blushed and said, “No; no we’ve only hugged and kissed.”

Ada said, “Now let me get this straight; you were married at sixteen and a widow at eighteen with two kids.”  She went on and said, “What’s going on with my brother-in- law, are you… where do you stand with him?”

Nan said, “That’s what I want to find out and is the reason I am here.”

After an hour and Ada finding out more about Nan than I knew, I told Ada it was my time so she could leave now.

She gave me a few unkind words a smile and was gone.

I asked Nan, “Why she was here?”

She said, “I was hoping to find that out when I saw you.”  

I said, “What do you want?”

She said, “I’m not sure but I think I might want you.”

“When will you know?”

She answered quietly, “I will know when you say you want me and the kids.”

I sat back in my chair and said with as little emotion as I could muster, “I want you and the kids.  I say this without any reservations.  I say this knowing that there a lot of women who would be proud to be my wife.  Most of all I say this because I love all three of you and putting it plainly will you marry me.”

She said, “Yes but I expected a little more passion from you.”

I smiled and said, “Words now, passion later, a whole lot of passion later.  

I had to control myself or I would have wanted to have all of you right now.”

She said, “All I can say to that is, “WOW.”

I told her, “We can tell those who are here now but I want to let Ma get to know you before we tell her.”

The next day I pulled the buggy around to the hotel front and carefully loaded Maxi into her seat.  We went very slow not to shake her and the baby up too much.  

When we arrived Pa was the first one I saw.  Before anyone said anything I just came out and told him I was going to marry Nan.  He came over and shook hands with her and said welcome to the family.  Then he asked, “Whose kids are these?”

I said they are Nan’s children.”  

Pa smiled and said, “That will save you a lot of trouble won’t it?” as he walked away.

We helped Maxi down from the buggy when about that time Ma came out with her eyes only focused on Maxi.  It was like she didn’t see any of us except her.  She took Maxi’s arm and they went into the house.

We all looked at each other and I said, “So far so good.”

Clayton laughed and said, “This is going to be fun.”

No one in the family ever crossed Ma so they all thought she was going to act up and raise Cain.

I said, Well c’mon in and make yourself to home.”

We had a cool drink of water and waited.  Ada said it is almost supper time so I’m going to start the fire in the stove and see what Ma had planned for supper.

Having satisfied herself as to the condition of Maxi, Ma wanted to meet Nan for she was the only she didn’t know.  “This kids yours?” she said to Nan.

“They are mine and my new husband to be,” Nan said.

“Where is he at?” said Ma?

“He’s around somewhere.” Nan came back with.

Ma said, “You cook?”

Nan said, “Yes."

“Then go in the kitchen and help Ada.”  Ma took the little boy from Nan as she prepared to help Ada fix supper.
Grandma and Babies
Ma said, “Where is the other one?”  Bessie came out from behind an overstuffed chair and Ma picked her up along with the baby and just stared at them.

By the time supper was ready Ma had them both laughing or smiling.  

I came in and kissed Ma and took Bessie from her.  Ma was looking at Matt and said this is a fine boy and I ought to know since I raised four fine boys.

Her next words were the ones I was dreading, “Are you planning on marrying that girl”?

The only thing that came out was, “Yep.”

“Kids and all?”  

“Yep, kids and all.”

Ma said, “I see Alice coming, have her help Ada, and I want to talk to that girl, what’s her name?”

I said, “C’mon Ma you know her name, it’s Nan.”

“I want to talk to her alone if you please.”

Nan went into the living room with Ma and they closed the door.  They stayed in the room until Ada opened then door and said, “Suppers ready so come on and don’t keep everybody waiting.”

Ma and Nan grinned at each other and came to the table.  I had Matt and I gave him to Nan for she said he could have a little plate and she would feed him while she ate.  She said, “As soon as I get him a chair he can feed himself and I will decide which is worse, feeding him or cleaning up the mess he makes.”

Ma said, “If he makes a mess here we will call the dog in and he will take care of most of it.”  After a word of thanks we all dug in for we were hungry.  

After supper Nan and I went out and sat on the porch swing to talk.  Bessie found us and wanted to sit between us as we swung back and forth she began to close her eyes so I took her in my arms and held her.  
I asked Nan how she made out with Ma and she said, “Fine.”

After a moment of silence I said, “Fine, that’s it?”

She replied, “What else do you want me to say?”

“Well I want to know what you talked about.”

Nan said, “We talked about you.”

“You’re telling me that you spent over an hour talking about me?”

She said, “Yes.”

“Now quit fooling around and tell me what was said for I was getting a little irritated.”

“Well first of she wanted to know about me and the marriage.  That only took about five minutes and the rest of the time she spent telling me all about you.”  

I said, “One more time what did she say about me?”

“She told me what she was about to tell me must remain between me and her but there was one thing she said I will tell you.”

“Well let’s have it.”

“She said that she trusts your judgment and she was sure that marrying me was the right thing to do.”

I said, “Are you sure she said that?”

“Go and ask if you don’t believe me and now there are other things to talk about.  Oh there is one other thing she told me and that was I might as well start calling her Ma and Pa, cause I am already part of the family as far as she is concerned.”  

The next morning Ma asked us, “How bad do you want to get married for if you are in a hurry for some reason we could speed it up.”  

I started to act like it didn’t matter when it was, but then I said how’s tomorrow.  

Nan whispered something to Ma and then Ma said it will be a week from today.  I didn’t understand that, but since most of the preparation depended on the women I didn’t object.  

The women took to Nan and the kids right off.  The brothers were a little slow to catch up, but as they got to know her she was just one of the family.

Once again the waiting a week before we married, it seemed a waste of time but I reckoned  “It don’t matter” or do it?"

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