Catherine Ch. 17

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Bed Hair Sunday

I guess what ever I was watching must have worked because the sound of the alarm on my watch waking, what’s been for me, sleep. Which means I’m usually awake two, three times a night from one thing or another; many times bad. Except when recently wakening wrapped up with…, Catherine?

The alarm on the watch is my back up to the bed side alarm clock at home; 5 AM. But most importantly is the timer on my coffee pot, which is set for 4:50 AM. So by the time I’m up from the bedside alarm and returning from the bathroom, the coffee’s ready when I get to the kitchen — I love a system when it comes together!

It doesn’t take me all that long to get a shower, leaving the restart to my, ‘In Look, For Men My Age,’ away from the electric razor except for my neck. Remembering how that cracked-me-up when hearing Catherine telling me that.

So with my uniform and other already to go, it’s just a matter of getting dressed, final checks, then out the door to the reception desk to check out. Then me and everything else is in the truck, where I’m on my way back to Alice’s, making a mental note to myself; I need to get a gift for Alice — which I always do, where she always fusses at me for doing it!

But she’s a great lady, a real old fashion type with the personality of a, ‘Genteel,’ Virginia Lady of the, “Old South.” I just love her!

Alice loves flowers; roses, I know. But where can I find a florist open this time on a Sunday morning? But I won’t be leaving till after dinner, she would be highly insulted if I didn’t stay for that! But I have to go to the library so, I’ll get some flowers while I’m out with Erin doing that.

Pulling up next to Sally’s car, Erin is already out the back door waiting for the drivers side door to open. Where it’s getting out to her beautiful smile and, “Hi daddy!” Waiting for a hug. Holding my hand now, she leads me back into the house, already filled with the smell of ham, bacon, coffee, hot biscuits, Alice at the stove, “It’s about time you got here Bob Swaggart!” She scolds me.

Giving Alice a kiss on the cheek gets me, “Oh STOP THAT!” She fusses. Then a look into the dining room to see the table is already set with juice glasses filled with orange juice, two jars of home made jam and Sally coming into the dining room dressed casually in a plain shirt, dark skirt and more suitable shoes then she had on last night. Dawning on me now, why those clog sandals as cold as it was last night? But I won’t ask.

But after last nights phone call I expected a subdued reception. But no, as she walks over to me smiling, “I hope you’re hungry, Alice has done it again,” she says. Moving in closer quietly saying, “Because you’re here!” Sally tells me.

Replying in the same, ” I keep telling her Sally, she doesn’t have to do this!”

“Yes Bob…, I’ve told her the same thing. But still, she insist on doing it. She tells me it’s her way of saying thank you for all the things you’ve done for her around here. Plus Bob, she loves you! It’s her, “I love a man in uniform thing too; I think!”

Laughing at that. “Yeah, she’s has a very big place in my heart too; Sally.”

“Bob can I talk to you a minute…, in the hall way,” She ask.

“Sure Sally, whats up?”

Waiting till we’re in the hallway where she stops. “Bob, I want to apologize for last night, what I asked you. It’s really none of my business what you do now. It’s…, well…, it surprised me. And I’m sorry,” she’s telling me.

“Sally, there’s no need to apologize. I said more that I should have…, which, as you know, my bad habit of doing — that, ‘TMI,’ before brain’s in gear thing of mine.”

“Okay! I hope things work out for you,” she says.

“Oh and this too Bob…,” Her stopping just as she was about leave. “Thank you again for the great fuck! It was just a good as it always was!”

Not giving me a chance to respond to that she walks back into the dining room to her calling out, “Need any help Alice?”

Breakfast, as usual is delicious and very filling! And the talk around the table is light, with stories about times here over the years. This was always a place for Sally’s family to gather, not just on holidays and special occasions; it was a second home! But now Erin comes into the room, “The toilet in the back bath room was running again when I went in,” she says, to no one in particular.

“Erin, does that happen a lot?” With me asking her.

“Yes,” she says. “Almost every time you have to wait an jiggle the handle to make sure it stops.”

“Okay, it’s most likely the flapper valve not seating well closing off the water tank outlet.” Where I get up to Alice’s, “Bob, you don’t need to do anything.”

“Alice, I don’t mind, plus you’re wasting water!”

“It’s my water to waist, I have a well,” she reminds me.

“Yes you do, but you’re also putting excess water into your leach field which isn’t good either. And, when was the last time that septic tank was checked and cleaned; asking her.

“Every three months the honey dipper takes care of that. beşiktaş escort So everything is fine,” she comes back at me.

“What ever you say Alice. But I’m still going to look at that toilet!”

On my way to check that toilet issue, first stopping by Alice’s chair to give her kiss on the top of her head “Oh gone on!” She tells me. Now it’s Erin’s, “Daddy can I help,” she ask.

“Sure pumpkin, do you know where a flash light is?”

“Yes,” she says. “It’s in a kitchen drawer…, I’ll get it for you.” Where she’s right to the kitchen.

Lifting the seat of Alice’s water wasting toilet, I see some water movement indicating some water is flowing into the bowl, then the “wosh” of the fill valve as it tops off the tank. So taking the tank top off to see inside, operating the handle, while watching the action going on inside the tank as it empties, then begins to refill. The flush valve looks okay, but the flapper valve looks pretty old, most likely not seating all that well. Okay, while I’m out at the library, I’ll stop by the home center and pick up a toilet repair kit.

“Is it broken daddy?” Erin’s asking.

“It’s not to bad pumpkin, but while we’re out we’ll stop by the home center and pick up some new parts; how’s that?”

“Good, can I help?” Her sounding excited about the prospect of doing it.

“Of course you can! Now lets get your coat, then tell your mom and Alice we’re leaving.

Seeing Sally in the kitchen, so while Erin is getting her coat, i’s telling Sally what Erin and I are doing. Plus asking if there is anything she, or Alice needs while we’re out?

“No…, I don’t think so,” Sally replies.”I’m going to drop Alice off at her church group, then I’m going to visit that friend for a couple of hours.”

“Okay…, your Sunday go to meet friend with benefits?”

“Yes.” she says, that look she’s giving me means exactly what she said last night.

With that, Erin is back, so we’re ready to go. But as I’m about to follow Erin out the back door, it’s stopping, turning back to Sally, “Have fun!”

An just as I’m at the door, it’s Sally behind me with a sultry sound in her voice I know so well, “THAT…, I’m very certain of!” She’s saying to my back.

A quick look back to her, “Does he use old neck ties when he ties you up like you sometimes like to be?” Where I’m out the door never giving Sally a chance to reply.

Erin, waiting by my truck its helping her in, seat belts buckled, we back down the driveway on our way to the library. But not to far down the road is when Erin ask, ” Did mommy want anything?”

“No honey, she’s taking Alice to her church group, then going to see a friend for a couple of hours, she told me.”

“Oh…, Logan I guess.” Erin saying it like maybe she doesn’t care for, ‘Logan.’

Surprised at that! “So who’s Logan?”

“He’s a man.,” Erin telling me. “A friend of mommy’s. They go out to dinner, or the movies,” she says now. “Mommy usually stays out late when they do.”

“Okay. It’s nice that your mom has friends. She has a lot of responsibilities now, so she needs to get out, have some fun when she can,” telling Erin.

“Yeah.., I guess so,” Erin’s unsure reply.

“No guess so honey! Grown ups need time to themselves, or with other grown ups. So don’t be to negative if mommy wants to see someone…, Okay,” Waiting for Erin’s reply. “Okay,” Asking her again.

“Yes…, I guess so.” Erin, at last, but without conviction.

“Also Erin, a friend of mine…, she plays the piano too, wanted to wish you good luck with your recital. I know I should have told you that yesterday, but her wish was there all the same.”

“Is she a friend like mommy has,” Erin asking me.

“If you mean like, Logan is to your mom?” Asking her.

“I guess so,” Erin’s reply.

“Then yes Pumpkin, she’s a very nice friend of mine!”

Guessing Erin was satisfied with that answer, because she doesn’t ask for anything more. But it’s the question in the back of my mind about Friday, or last night’s date? But if there’s anything thing I’ve learned about Catherine; I’m sure I’ll be told about it.

The library is open from ten till two on Sunday’s, an with Erin and I pulling into the parking lot its ten after ten.

But before getting out of the truck, “You do have your library card with you?” Asking Erin. “Yes, it’s in my wallet,” she replies, which she opens showing me her card.

“Okay then…, lets go see if they have that book I’m looking for.”

Walking up to the counter where a lady behind a desk seeing us approaching is asking, “May I help you?”

“Yes please…, my name is Bob Swaggart and this is my daughter Erin. We’re both looking for this book.” Where I glance down at Erin, where the expression on her face as if, ‘what,’ I’m not looking for a book!

“I wonder if you might have it in your collection…, it’s kind of old though,” telling her.

“Daddy, I don’t need the book, it’s you,” she’s telling me.

‘”Yes I know honey, but beylikdüzü escort it’s your card that’s going to get dinged if I don’t return it.”

“What!” Coming back from Erin.” To my laughing at her surprise.

When the lady reaches the counter I hand her the sticky note with the book title written on it. With her looking at the note a moment, then typing into a computer. “It seems…, we…, should…, have it,” she’s telling me. Then proceeds to give me directions to it’s location. With a thank you, Erin and I find the area, aisle, and shelf and surprising enough, it’s there. Taking it from the shelf to leaf through it I get that old musty book smell from years of languishing in this remote section of this building.

“Is that it daddy,” Erin’s asking.

“Looks like it is pumpkin and…, I think…, it will be a great help with my next paper I’ll be doing soon.”

“You write a lot of papers, don’t you?” She says.

“Yes I do honey! You learn a lot about history by reading about it, then writing about it, hoping to make clearer the events. There’s the expression, twenty-twenty hind site. Because you can’t go back and re-live the events with the how and why they happened for real,” telling her,

“Yeah,” she replies. “But that would be neat, huh?”

“You’re right, that might be kind of cool, like science fiction time travel.” Laughing at the thought.

“So lets get this checked out, then over to the home center to get those parts…, Okay?

“Yeah, I like going there,” she says. “But I only get to go there when you’re here; mommy doesn’t like to.”

“Erin, don’t be hard on your mom. She spent a lot of time in those places with me, before and after you came along.”

Back to check out the book it’s with the lady asking, “Can I have your card please?” With that Erin hands her card over to the woman behind the counter who looks at the card, then back to Erin, then to me, then back to Erin. “This is some pretty heavy reading for a young lady your age,” she’s saying to Erin.

“I know, but I need it to help my daddy with his college history class.”

With that it’s the woman and I looking at each other laughing.

Now it’s the lady with her, “Good for you! But you know it has be returned by two weeks from today, or stop in and renew the take out; okay?”

“Yes mam,” Erin’s reply. “But it will be my daddy’s fault if it’s not!”

Again it’s laughing along with the woman behind the counter.

“That won’t be a problem. It will be back in time, I promise pumpkin!”

“Okay.” Erin’s trusting reply.

Then we’re out of the library and on our way to the home center to get the parts; letting Erin’s help finding their location. It’s a good lesson for her, reading the different department signs, locating the items for the reason we’re here.

Now to kill a some time, we walk around to see what’s new. But while doing that I see they have bouquets of fresh roses. So with Erin’s help we pick out a nice bouquet of yellow roses for Alice.

Then its back in the truck to my, “It’s a little early for ice cream Pumpkin, so how about a lite lunch first?”

“Sure, where to,” She replies.

“Oh, I don’t know, you pick.”

“How about Mickey D’s,” she comes back with.

“Erin! You know…, your mother doesn’t like you eating that stuff!

To her disappointing, “Yeah, I, know.”

“But…, how about we share some chicken nuggets, a small fries, and diet soda? I don’t think your mother will fuss to much about that.., you think?

“All right, I guess so,” sounds not to convincing.

“You don’t sound to enthusiastic about it?”

“I’m still a little full from Alice’s blueberry pan cakes any way,” she says.

“They are good aren’t they?” To Erin’s big smile. “Yes they are!” Her reply. “Oh, and don’t forget ice cream too,” she says.

“I haven’t forgotten Pumpkin.”

But after our lite lunch is when we stop by the ice cream store.

“Why don’t we get enough ice cream to take back to share with you’re mom and Alice? You know your mom likes chocolate and I think that’s Alice’s favorite too. Plus we can get more than just chocolate too. We’ll put it in the freezer for dessert after dinner.”

“That sounds like a good plan dad!” Laughing with, ‘good plan,’ huh? You are something lady!”

From the Micky D’s, to the ice cream store and from there it’s back to the house as quick as we can so the ice cream won’t melt in the warm cab of the truck. Going up the drive way to the house to see that Sally’s car is gone.

But it’s in the house, the ice cream to the freezer, with Erin locating something to put the roses in. Her finding a plain glass vase, we fill with water then set in the middle of the dining room table; it looks pretty good there, my thought. Not bad for a guy and his twelve year old daughter.

“Okay Erin, why don’t you find us a old dish pan or something to catch any water that leaks, plus some old towels too. I’ll get a pair of water pump pliers from the beyoğlu escort tool box then meet you in the bathroom with the repair parts..”

“Okay daddy, Alice has some old towels in the laundry room,” Erin tells me.

Taking my time showing and explaining to Erin everything I’m doing to fix Alice’s water wasting toilet it’s time to verify our fixes are working.

“Okay Erin, crunch time, do you want to see how everything works when I turn the water on,” asking her.

“No…, I’ll just stand over here,” she says.

“Don’t trust me, huh?”

“I trust you dad, I just don’t want to get wet,” she says.

“Good move, trust but cover you butt; right?”

“I’ve got long pants on dad,” she tells me.

“Its just a figure of speech honey.”

“Any way Pumpkin, here it goes!” Reaching down, turning the valve on, jumping back, “WATCH OUT ERIN, ITS A GUSHER!”

Looking to see Erin’s reaction, but all I see is hands on her hips. “Not FUNNY dad!” She tells me.

“Oh well, I tried.”

But she’s laughing anyway as she comes over to watch the water fill the tank. But I’m ready to turn off the water valve just in case the fill valve doesn’t stop the filling of the tank. But the valve does its job and the filling stops.

“Erin it looks like the water level stops a little to soon for this old tank. This new valve is what they call a water saver or low flow valve. I can adjust it so it allows more water into the tank. So I’ll pinch this little clip and move…, it, which will allow the float to rise further before shutting off the water into the tank. Okay…, now we’ll flush it again and see what happens.”

Well Pumpkin…, that’s about it. I don’t see any leaks and the flapper valve has sealed so that should fix the leaking into the bowl, so Alice won’t be wasting ‘HER’ water. Now lets clean every thing up and throw away those old parts. Then for you, its piano practice.”

“Oh Dad! Do I?” Erin complains.

“Well do you have any home work?”

“Some…, just a little,” she says.

“Okay then, why don’t you get that and meet me at the dining room table, you can do your home work, while I look through that book we brought home,” how’s that, asking her.

“Okay.., that’s fair.., I guess.”

“Good, than piano practice after dinner!”

“Yeah.., right!” She replies. My silent laughing at her mothers attitude I know so well.

With Erin and me at the table, her doing her home work; math. Me, leafing through the library book, reading a passage here, making a note on a piece of note book paper from Erin’s lose-leaf notebook for later. Or writing down page reference notes on that same piece of Erin’s notebook paper. Only realizing how much time has gone by when we hear the kitchen door open to Alice’s, “Hello, I’m home,” she’s calling to us.

Getting up to help her in, where she fusses at me for wanting to help, “Bob Swaggart, I’m fine, just got my cane caught in the door.”

“Alice…, I wasn’t worried about you getting in, I was more concerned about the door and your cane.”

“Don’t you get smart with me Bob Swaggart!” She scolds me.

But before closing the door I see Sally’s car wasn’t parked in the driveway. “Sally didn’t pick you up and bring you home Alice,” asking her.

“No, she told me yesterday she would be visiting a friend today, and If I needed a ride home to call you!”

“Okay, so why didn’t you call me?”

“Because I made arrangements with one of the girls who gave me a lift home.”

“Girls…, Alice?”

Alice, a very stern look on her face. “Yes! And don’t you get smart with me! Marine or not, I’m still spry enough whoop your butt with this cane!” Her threatening me.

It’s hearing Erin’s, ” Yeah, do it Alice.”

“Hey you!” Turning back to her. “Put your nose back in that book before I give you a whoop!” Has all three of us laughing.

“Would you like a cup of tea Alice?” Asking her at the same time helping with getting her coat off.

“Yes and thank you Bob. It’s a bit chilly out.”

An with Alice admiring and thanking us for the flowers, its her sitting at the table sipping her tea until she ask, “Bob, what time are you leaving for home?”

“I think around five or six, that way I should be home by eleven or so.” Telling her.

“Well then, I should get things ready for dinner,” she says. “The beef stew in the crock pot should be ready by now.”

“Yes, the smell of it simmering has been making Erin and me hungry.”

“Good, then you can help me set the kitchen table while I warm up the corn bread. And you, Miss Erin, if you’re through with your home work, you can put that away, wash your hands, then help your father set the table.”

“Yes mam.” As Erin gathers up her things to put them back in her room.

“Yes mam?” Looking at Alice. “That’s the second time I’ve heard her say that today.”

“Yes, Alice says. “You have a very bright, talented, and respectful daughter Bob Swaggart.”

“I guess she got all that from her mother.” Telling Alice.

“Not all Bob Swaggart. My great grand daughter loves you and misses you terribly! It broke my heart about you and Sally!”

“Alice, please…, we’ve been over that!’ As I get up to help her out of her chair.

Where she’s into the kitchen to turn on the oven, before retrieving a pan of covered corn bread and place in the oven to warm.

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