Breakfast was on the table when the group came down. Carol and Elsie thanked us for putting a wand in their bathroom. I started to say something but didn’t.
They had not been gone thirty minutes when Linda came back on the Gator asking to use the satellite network again.
”No problem, take whatever time you need,” I said.
I went to the garden and picked the rest of the cucumbers I needed for today’s pickles. Then I prepared everything; cleaning, cutting and cooking. The dill pickles were in the jars cooling off at noon. Two days from now there would be another batch that I would can as bread and butter pickles.
James was off with Dad after they finished caring for the livestock and then were going to check all the bean fields we had planted. The beans should be sprouting and breaking the ground. They were concerned about the last two hundred acres we had planted with our own beans, they said they would not be back until late in the afternoon.
With the canned jars cooling I was done until time to fix supper. Supper was going to be meatloaf sandwiches with a couple veggies of some kind.
I made a small sandwich for myself and a sandwich for Linda. I carried hers in and placed on the desk with a glass of ice tea and left. She was still in heavy discussion with someone on Zoom.
While wearing shorts and a tee shirt, I cleaned the pool and checked chemicals. Then I spread the blanket and placed the towels and a glass of lemonade on the chair. I stripped and dove into the pool naked and swam laps for thirty minutes.
I dried off and applied lotion and worked on my tan. I had just started on my second thirty minute front tanning when I heard the storm door open.
Linda was carrying two glasses of lemonade while walking towards me. No need for a kneejerk response now.
”I hope you don’t mind if I join you for a bit. I have to go back online with the bosses at 4:30,” she said as she was looking me over and handed me the drink.
”Thanks for the drink,” I said.
”You could use some sun too. City life has you looking a little pale. The sun is warm and good for you, feel free to join me,” I said as I handed her the bottle of tanning lotion. I moved so I was only taking half the blanket. Then I laid back down and closed my eyes and continued to talk.
”Sounds like you run the business when the bosses can’t even give you a few days off without pestering you,” I said.
”We are working on some big projects that need a lot of input from a lot of people. I thought the people under me could step up to the plate but they are either coming up short or they don’t want to step on toes,” she said.
I heard rustling of clothes and knew she was removing some.
”If you don’t mind, I may need to use your system for a while every day. If you want I will pay part of the bill. Just give me a number,” she said.
”It will get very little use until school starts so use it as much as you like and don’t worry about paying. It’s good to have female company,” I said.
A while later my phone alarm went off. ”Time for me to turn,” I said.
”I should too,” she said.
”I will put lotion on your back side for you. I think I have enough on me,” I said as I reached for the bottle.
”That would be nice! I can’t get my back very well and may burn in a spot or two,” she said.
I started at her neck and applied lotion. I made sure I covered every inch, her arms, the soles of her feet and I even did the cheeks and inside of her legs all the way to the crotch. When I tapped the inside of her legs she spread them to give me room. I noticed she was trimmed close but not shaved.
I set the timer and lay on my front. We continued talking about a lot of things, including Amos and his treatments that were to begin day after tomorrow. I did ask if she was ready to say good bye to the city life and move back to the country.
”I wish I could. It was nice when we first moved there but not so much anymore. If we both could find reasonable jobs here and could sell our house, it might be worth it. I would like to get back and be closer to Dad and Mom,” she said.
”I forgot just how relaxed living in the country was. When I went to college I was excited to see the city and experience the changes and also get away from the hick country. All that is gone now. The city tension and stress I was carrying is gone. I’m glad to be home,” Linda said.
We tanned while turning two more times before she had to go back to the office. I stayed in the sun turning every half hour. Linda came out and joined me again for another hour. This time she was more talkative. I learned she was a design engineer specializing in cost comparisons for manufacturing processes.
I knew why she would have problems finding a job in the area if she were looking. There were no firms in the area that required that kind of specialty. The design engineer part might be useful to several firms in town. It was just a thought to be checked out later.
Elsie and Carol came quietly out of the house carrying another blanket. The contractors had run out of materials and finished early today. They had cleaned up and finished early and were going to take advantage of the afternoon sun.
They spread out the blanket, stripped, oiled up and lay beside Linda. I was waiting for something to be said and it was, ”I wondered if it if you two had a total tan. Now I know for sure. I brings back memories of living on the farm. I had a total tan as soon as it was warm enough to lay out. Mom fussed a little but she didn’t strictly forbid it, so I did it.”
”Is Bob’s tan a total one too – and I guess I should add James into the mix?” she asked.
”They work on it from time to time but their farmers tan will always be dominate,” I said.
”Lots of things have changed in fifteen years. I would have never thought about shaving down there. I just kept it clipped close,” Linda said. Then as an afterthought, ”I wonder how Robert would feel about smooth.”
I couldn’t comment on what I thought Robert Sr. would think but I bet he would like it if she tried it.
”Are you canning tomorrow? I’m thinking about going to the school tomorrow afternoon. I would like you to go with me. The following day is Dad’s treatment and we are all going with him,” Linda said.
”No, no canning tomorrow. It takes two days of pickings to get enough to can, so I can go with you tomorrow,” I said.
”Next week will be a lot of canning and freezing. The first lot of string beans and limas will be ready. Did Grandma plant a garden this year? I don’t remember seeing one and haven’t heard any talk of one,” I said.
”No, they didn’t. Grandma was wishing she had planted one if she had known the kids were coming,” Linda said.
”Before you go home we’ll get a basket and you can take some things for Grandma. There are cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes ready now. Next week limas, string beans and peas,” I said.
”Later on there will be sweet corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, squash and pumpkin. Grandma can get all she wants,” I added.
”Let me ask you this. Would you teach the girls how to can? I remember helping my mother and Grandma can things from the garden years ago. I still think about helping grandma. They may never use it but at least they would know how and what’s involved. I may even come over and help to refresh my memory,” Linda said.
”Mom and Dad’s house is just torn up too much to try anything like that now,” Linda added.
”You can come help anytime you like. I would be tickled to have them help and learn,” I said.
”Maybe we can learn to bake cookies, cakes and pies. Grandma says from time to time she wishes she had a slice of homemade pie or cake for dessert,” Elsie said.
I knew how to bake pies that were delicious and I could do OK with cakes.
”OK, we can work on the pies tomorrow after we get back from the trip to school. We can stop by the big box and pick up all the ingredients we need,” I said.
I didn’t say anything but I was going to try my hand at making home spaghetti sauce this year and possibly pizza sauce. The tomatoes were producing baskets full already.
We tanned for two more hours before the sun started down. The men came home making more racket as we were dressing. Linda and the kids left. They were coming back in an hour.
Dad, James and Bob had bought another load of hay today from a farmer on the other side of town. It would be needed during the winter for the cattle. The hay barn needed to be filled before winter. It was close; one or two more loads would finish it.
Supper was easy. I sliced the meat loaf and warmed it while I was mashing potatoes. A can of peas and a can of string beans in the microwave finished out the meal. We all liked meat loaf; it was a regular on our list of foods that I made. I had made a list of the foods we liked for the last few years. There was no need to make things that no one liked. It just made things simpler for me.
I had one of Mom’s cookbooks – actually several of them – plus the card index she kept. It was time to start experimenting with the cookbook and index cards. Besides, for a while I had two eager food tasters who were gullible.
When the girls came back they were excited as usual. They had talked with Linda more about home schooling with us and were more than ready to go to the school after lunch.
The evening was quiet although Carol was letting us know she still had not lost interest in the male species yet and it was still fun to play with them.
Dad and I had fun while we listened to Carol. We tried to imagine what was happening to her while we were involved in each other. I wondered if I should suggest that she try a three-some with one in her mouth to quiet her down every once and a while.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.