Summary: Gary's parents arrrive in Chicago for a visit and tell
him some news about them.
Disclaimer: This is not assiocated in anyway with Early Edition, TriStar, and Fox Family.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Gary's Unexpected News
by Lori Anderson
Saturday morning came, and as usual, Gary got the paper at 6:30 after
hearing the cat
meow and the thump of the paper outside on his frontdoor step of his house. "Sorry pal.
You can't come inside. My wife would sneeze her head off if I let you in," he told the cat.
After getting the paper, Gary shut the door before the cat could sneak in, and went to the
kitchen. Toni was there fixing breakfast for her and him, and their children were still
asleep in their bedrooms.
"Good morning sweetheart! Pancakes okay for breakfast today?," she
asked kissing him
on the check.
Gary nodded. "Sounds good to me. My parents are coming sometime today," he replied.
"I know, and their room is already for them. The kids are looking
forward to seeing
"Yeah. It's because my parents spoil them too much at times.
Let's see what the paper
Gary saw the headline on the front page showing him who he had to save that day.
"Listen to this Toni: "10 year old girl hurt in bicycle accident on bike
path. Lindsey Smith
was riding her bike on the bike path with her friends when she got lost and tried to catch
up to them by riding fast and fell when she tired to take the corner too fast. She fell off
her bike and landed in the dirt scratching her knees on the rocks." The paper says that it
happened around ten oclock. That gives me enough time to get there, find the bike path,
and stop her from falling off her bike", he told her after he had read the article.
Toni set his cup of coffee in front of him. "They should do something
about those rocks
on that path. Someone could really get hurt. I'd hate to have it to be a child like ours."
At that monment, Rose came into the kitchen having just gotten up from
her bed feeling
"Morning Mommy. Morning Daddy," she said looking at her parents .
"Good morning Rose. Sit down at the table and I'll get your cereral
ready," Toni told her
"Grandma and Grandpa will be here sometime today," Gary said smiling at her.
"Goody! I like playing with them. Especailly grandpa. He tells such fuuny stories."
Toni set her daughter's cereal bowl in front of her and a glass of orange juice.
"There you are. Is your brother coming ?"
"He's still snoring in his bedroom."
"Rose! That's not nice to say. Don't let me ever hear you say that again."
"Yes mommy. I'm sorry." Rose started to eat her cereal.
Five minutes later, Jeff still in his baseball pajamas, came into the kitchen rubbing his eyes.
"Good morning son. How did you sleep?," Gary asked.
"I slept good Daddy. I'm hungry," Jeff replied taking his place at the table.
"Here's your orange juice and you can fix what cereal you want.
Be careful with the
milk," Toni told him.
Jeff poured his cereal into his bowl and carefully poured just the right
amount of milk in
Toni took the milk back to the refrigator, and flipped Gary's pancakes over.
"You alset to have fun with grandma and grandpa this weekend Jeff?," Gary asked his son.
"Yep. When will they be here Daddy?"
"Sometime before noon I think. They'll be here when they get here."
Jeff smiled as he started to eat his breakfast.
After eating his breakfast, Gary played a little with his children, and
then put on his leather
jacket. "I'll be home for lunch. I want to be here when my parents arrive," he told Toni
kissing her. "Okay. I'll see you when you get back. Let me know how your errand went,"
Toni said. "I will. Bye kids. I'll be back in a while. Be good for mom." Gary went out the
door and checked his watch. The time was about eight o clock. Two hours to get to the
park, find the bike path , and prevent Lindsey from falling. He got inside the van, buckled
himself in, and turned the key to start the engine.
Meanwhile, Berine and Lois Hobson were driving to Chicago from Indiana
with the Gray
Ghost behind. "Berine, how do you think Gary'll take the news when we tell him that we
plan to sell the Gray Ghost for that camper trailer that you saw at the RV show and
want?," Lois asked her husband.
"He'll understand. We've talked about this Lois. This is a
dream that we've had for a long
time, and we're going to do it. Now that I'm retired, we can finally do all the traveling
we've been wanting to do," Bernie replied.
"I know he'll be shocked at first. You have to expect his reaction when we tell him."
"I know Lois. Don't worry. Gary'll be happy for us after he understands the reason why."
"I hope so. I'm going to miss the old trailer when we sell it."
"I 'll miss it too, but we both agreed it was time to buy a new one."
Back in Chicago, Gary had arrived at the park and parked his van in a parking spot.
He got out and checked his watch. The time was 8:30, and Gary knew
he had time to find
Putting the keys in his pocket, he checked the paper again. The story was still there.
Gary started walking looking around for the bicycle path, and found it at nine oclock.
He heard voices not too long after, and looked to see if Lindsey were
on the path with her
She was behind three other girls trying hard to keep up with them on her bike.
Gary knew he had to prevent her from falling off and hurting herself,
and so he
approached the group.
"Excuse me girls. You might want to keep an even pace. Lindsey
is having a hard time
trying to keep up with you, and if she should take a corner too fast or something, she
might fall off her bike and hurt herself," he told them smiling at the girls.
The leader of the group turned to look see Lindsey coming to a stop behind the others.
"Gee mister. Thanks for telling us. We don't want her to hurt
herself. Okay. We'll ride at
even pace so she can keep up with us," she said smiling back at Gary.
"You're welcome. Just be careful on this path. I don't want anyone to get hurt."
"We will. Let's go girls, and ride so that Lindsey can keep up with us."
Gary watched the girls ride away at even pace and checked his paper again.
The story was gone. He has prevented a nasty fall and accident from happening.
Gary turned and walked back to where his van was parked humming to himself.
He decided to go to his bar and work for a little while before going home for lunch.
"Morning Marissa. Chuck. Crumb," Gary said as he went towards his friends.
"Morning buddy. You ready for your parents today?," Chuck asked.
"Yep. Their room's already for them. I have a feeling that something's up with them."
"Hobson, just because your parents are coming for a visit doesn't mean
going on. They just could be here for a nice visit with you and your family," Crumb told
Gary rubbed his hand through his hair when he was nervous about something or someone.
"You could be right Crumb, but I have this feeling that they have something
they want to
"Oh Gary. They're here for a visit, and that's it. Stop asking for trouble," Marissa said.
"You know what happened the last time they were here. I hope this time it is only a visit."
"Here Gar. Have a cup of coffee. So, how was your morning so far?"
Gary took a sip of his coffee. "Just fine. I saved a girl
from falling off her bike and
getting hurt at the bike path at the park a while ago. How is Jewel doing?"
Chuck smiled. "She's just fine so far. Haven't gotten any
strange cravings yet, but I'm
ready when she does."
"Don't tell me you've got a whole bunch of pickles and ice cream in the
waitng for when she has a craving. I can't picture you having those pal."
"Better safe than sorry Gar. Didn't Tony ever have any cravings
when she was pregrant
with the twins?"
Gary nodded. "Yeah she did. Pizza and chocolate chip ice cream.
Not in that order,
"Well, when Jade starts craving for ice cream, it'll be easier for me
to get it from the
icebox than to go to the nearest store in the middle of the night."
Gary left the bar to go home for lunch as he had promised Toni that morning
before he left
the house. On the way home, he still couldn't shake the feeling that his parents might be up
to something with this visit somehow. He hoped Crumb was right that it was just a visit,
but knowing his parents like he did, Gary knew better. I'll find out what's going on when I
get home, he told himself. When he got home, there was the truck with the Gray Ghost
attached behind as usual, but there was something in the window that wasn't there before
when he had seen the trailer, and Gary took a closer look. When he saw the For Sale sign,
Gary knew something was up, and went inside his house to find out what. "Toni! I'm
home," he called as he entered his house, hanging up his leather jacket in the closet.
"There's my boy! Hello Gar!," Berine said coming to meet his son upon hearing his voice.
"Hello Dad. I meant to be here when you and Mom arrived, but couldn't
leave the bar
until I got some paperwork finished. Why is there a For Sale sign in the window of the
Gray Ghost?," Gary told his dad.
"I figured you'd ask that question when you saw that sign. Your
mother and I will explain
everything after dinner. Go on in and say hello to your mother. She's in the kitchen with
Toni helping with lunch."
Gary walked towards the kitchen to talk to his mother and say hello to his wife.
"HI Mom. Hello sweetheart," he said kissing both women on the check.
"Hello Gary. I offered to help Toni fix lunch while I was waiting
for you to come home,"
"Hello husband. How did your save go this morning?," Toni asked Gary smiling.
"It went alright. Did you notice that there's a For Sale sign on
the window of the Gray
Lois knew that question would come once Gary saw the sign that Berine
had put in the
"There's a good reason for that sign being there, and I'll tell you after
lunch. Go in the
living room and relax."
Gary went to the living room and sat down in his favorite chair hoping
explaination his parents gave him after lunch would be good enough for having a For Sale
in the window of their tralier.
"Daddy! Grandpa's been telling us funny stories," Rose said going over to her father.
"He has? Well, I'd love to hear some of them that doesn't include
my childhood," Gary
told her as he lifted her up on his lap, and looked over at his father.
"My grandson sure is getting stronger each time I see him, you know that Gar?"
"Don't change the subject Dad. I'm real anxious to know why you
want to sell your trailer
Berine sighed. "I know, and we'll tell you like I said after lunch."
Jeff came towards his father proudly showing Gary the baseball cards that
"Look at what Grandpa gave me! What neat baseball cards," he said smiling.
"Let's see them son," Gary told Jeff holding out his hand.
Jeff put the cards in his father's hands, and Gary looked at each one of them.
"Aren't you a little young to start a baseball card collection right now?"
"Oh come on Gar, what harm can there be in him having those three cards?"
"Dad, Jeff's only three years old right now. As I remember, I
didn't start collecting
baseball cards until I was about six or seven years old. He can have the cards, but he
won't get anymore until he's old enough to understand what they mean and how valuable
they are, okay."
Lois came out of the kitchen carrying a bowl of salad that she had made
herself. and put in
on the table.
"The hambugers will be ready soon. Toni's getting them ready right
now. What does
everyone want to drink?," she said looking at her husband, son, and grandchildren.
"I want lemonade please grandma," Rose said stiil sitting on her father's lap.
"Okay. Jeff, do you want the same, or do you want something else to drink?"
"Lemonade's fine with me grandma," Jeff replied.
"I have two lemonades. Bernie? Gary?"
"Coffee will be alright with me Mom," Gary replied.
"Make that two Lois," Berine said smiling.
Lois nodded. "Two coffees and and two lemonades. Toni and I will have the same too."
She turned and went back inside the ktichen to fix the drinks, starting
with the children
After lunch, Gary decided to ask him dad what was going on with him and
the Gray Ghost
parked outside. "I don't understand why you want to sell the Gray Ghost for dad. You
love that trailer. You saved every penny you could to buy it, and I remember the day that
you brought it home. You were so proud that you finally had it, and even had Mom and I
stand in front of it so you could take a picture of it and us. Now, you're telling me you're
selling it. My question is: why? Is there something going on between you and Mom?," he
Berine sighed. "Gar, there is nothing going on with your mother
and I. I'm glad that you
remember the day I brought it home, and how I saved to get it, but after a while, you
decide it's time to get something new. As you know, I'm retired, and have been doing
nothing but building your mother china cabinents in the garage back in Hickory. I decided
that it was time that your mother and I do some traveling while we had the chance. No,
we are not selling the house if that's what you're worried about. You remember those RV
shows your mother told you I've been going to? Well, at the last one I was at, I saw the
perfect camper for your mother and I to travel the country in. The price is right, and the
money I get from selling the Gray Ghost and whatever else I've managed to save will go to
buy it. When I get it, we'll come back and show you. Now, do you understand why we're
selling the Gray Ghost?," he replied sipping his beer.
Gary sighed. "I guess so. I just didn't picture you giving it up just like that."
"Neither did I to tell you the truth. It's been a good tralier,
but the new one will be even
better. I was thinking of the grandkids when I looking at the RV at the show. They might
want to go camping with us sometime."
Gary ran his hand over his hair when he was nervous about something, and
making him a little nervous. "Promise me that you won't leave the new one in storage like
you've done with the Gray Ghost."
"I promise Gar. I hate to admit it, but I'm going to miss the old
trailer in a way. So, how's
Gary smiled at the mention of his friend. "He's married and going to be a father soon."
"Chucko's married? I can't believe it! Who's the lucky lady ?".
"Her name's Jade Dad. It's a long story how they met."
"I'd like to go see him and Marissa while I'm here."
"Sure Dad. I have to go back to bar to do some more work anyway."
He and Berine went into the kitchen to tell their wives where they were going.
"Just be back before dark," Toni told Gary giving his a kiss on the check.
"We will sweetheart. See you later Mom," Gary said kissing his wife back.
"Did you explain to Gary about we discussed on the way here Berine?,"
Lois asked her
"Yep, and he understands. See you later Lois," Berine replied.
He and Gary went to McGinty's in the van leaving the Gray Ghost parked at the house.
"Hello Chucko! I hear you're a married man now. Congrulations!,"
Berine said shaking
"Thanks Berine. You'll have to meet her sometime," Chuck replied.
"Hello Marissa," Berine said giving Marissa a hug.
"Hello Berine," Marissa told Bernie smiling at him.
"My father just gave me some very big news that I didn't expect," Gary told his friends.
Chuck looked at Bernie knowing with him it could be anything.
"Oh. What did he say Gar?," he asked.
"He and Mom are selling the Gray Ghost and buying a new RV to go traveling
"Really? I thought you loved that trailer Bernie."
"I do Chucko, but I decided it was time to move to something new."
"Well, that is big news. Good luck with whatever you decide to buy."
Getting bored with retirement are you?," Crumb asked knowing how Bernie
"A little. Gary tells me you're retired from the police force yourself
"That's right. I'm doing detective work right now and helping Gary out once in a while."
"Are you alright with what Berine is planning Lois? Somehow, I get
feeling that you think he's doing it for you, and not because he wants to
travel all over the country like he told Gary," Toni said to Lois.
Lois sighed and sipped her coffee. "At first, I thought he was crazy,
when I saw the gleam in his eyes when he told me about the RV he had seen
and wanted to buy, I knew that he was serious and that he wanted to buy it
for the both of us. Now, let me ask you something: Have you ever regretted
giving up your career for Gary and the children? I know you told us that
you had no problem with it, but I was wondering how you feel about
it now," she replied looking at her daughter-in-law who was sitting in
Toni smiled. "No. Sometimes I miss it, but I'm totally happy
being a wife and mother. I wake up in the morning and think how lucky I am to have such a wonderful
family. When Gary told me about the paper, I knew there was something
specail about it that he didn't want anyone else to know about. Twice,
I've seen him with the paper and wondered why he was attached to it when it
was the wrong date. When he finally explained about the cat and the paper,
I told him I understood and would keep his secret. I'm allgeric to that
cat, so Gary makes sure that it doesn't sneak in when he gets the paper."
"He told Berine and I about that when we first met you. I still
believe that Chuck is married."
Toni nodded and sipped her coffee. "He is. The lady he's married
once a jewel theif, but since has been reformed since meeting him. I was at
the wedding. They make a good pair."
Rose came over to her mother just then. "Mommy. Can grandpa
give me a ride
in the tralier later when he and daddy come home from work?," she asked
looking at her mother with her green eyes.
"You''ll have to ask him that when he comes back honey. He's going
a new trailer soon."
"Really? That'll be a lot of fun to ride in."
Jeff was still looking at his baseball cards that Berine had given him
"Grandma, was Daddy really eight when he had his first baseball cards?,"
Lois smiled. "Yes Jeff. He'd save enough of his allowance
so he could get
buy the cards he wanted."
"I wish daddy hadn't said that I was too young to start my own collection."
"Jeff, your father wants you to be able to appriecate how valuable they
and treasure them. Most kids your age are just interested in playing
baseball right now and don't care about collecting the cards until they get
older. He's only thinking of you and what's best," Toni told her son.
"Mommy. What make you fall in love with daddy?"
Toni laughed. "Rose, what a strange question you ask. Let's
see. I guess
it was his charm, and that smile of his. I took one look at him with those
mud-puddle eyes of his and fell in love with him."
"My goodness. Why would want to know that for Rose?," Lois asked.
"Just in case someone should ask me that sometime, I can tell them.
it when he looks like a puppy dog."
"Is someone talking about me?," Gary asked coming inside the door with
Berine behind him.
Toni went over to greet him. "You're home early. Your daughter
me what made me fall in love with you. Says she likes it when you look like
a puppy dog," she replied giving him a hello kiss.
Gary went over and picked up her daughter. "So you like it when
I look like
a puppy dog at times, huh?
Well, you couldn't be asking for a puppy now, are you sweetheart?," he asked
Rose giggled. "Maybe. Can I have one daddy? Please," she replied.
"Having a dog is a big responsibility, Rose. Right now, you're a
young to realize that, but I promise when you get a little older, say like
four or five, you can have a dog."
"Okay. I can wait until then."
"Good. Now go play," and Gary gently put her on the floor.
"I'd like to be a baseball player when I grow up," Jeff said after playing
with his cards.
"We'll talk about that later Jeff. When I told Chuck and Marissa
Dad just told me, Chuck was really surprised at first. He told Dad that he
didn't imagine him selling the Gray Ghost after all this time."
"Yeah. After I told him the reason, Chucko thought it was a good
you know that he has a lot of ice cream and picke jars in his refrigator? I
know women get strange cravings when they're pregnant, but that's going a
little too far in the way of preparation," Berine told Lois and Toni.
"He does? I can understand why. He wants it to be handy when
his wife gets
those cravings and he doesn't
have to run to the nearest store to get what she wants," Lois said.
"That's something I'll never understand if I live to be a hundred," Gary
"Be glad that you don't have to go through it sweetheart," Toni told him.
"Grandpa, can I have a ride in the trailer please?," Rose asked Berine.
Berine smiled. "Sure you can. You and Jeff both can have a
ride in it
later," he replied.
"Grandpa, why do you call uncle Chuck, Chucko for?," Jeff asked.
"It's just a nickname I give him. He likes it."
"Honey, can I have a beer please?," Gary asked his wife.
"Coming right up. Bernie, do you want one too?"
"Not right now. I'll have some coffee instead."
Toni nodded and went to the kitchen to get Gary his beer and pour Berine
cup of coffee.
Lois went into the kitchen to help Toni. "I think you and Gary should
a night out on the town together.
You know, spend some time without the children just the two of you. Which
is another reason we're here."
"I had a feeling that you were up to something Lois. Alright, spill it."
Lois smiled. "You know that mother's day is coming up pretty soon.
Berine and I have decided to watch the kids for you on that night while you
and Gary go out on the town and have a romatic evening."
Toni shut the refrigator door after getting out Gary's beer. "That
nice, but what about the paper?"
"Leave that to us. We've made reservations for you and Gary at the
resturant on Mother's Day."
"When did you do this? Before you arrived here today?"
Lois smiled again. "No. It was after we arrived. Don't
tell Gary until
that night. We want it to be a surprise."
"Don't worry. I won't tell him. Thanks for thinking about us Lois."
Gary watched his children playing on the floor besides his chair and smiled.
He loved to
watch them play. "When grandpa takes you for a ride inside the Gray Ghost, you listen to
him and do what he says. Don't give him any problems. When you get back, maybe we'll
have a little treat," he told them.
"Okay Daddy. I promise to behave for grandpa and grandma inside the trailer," Rose said.
"Me too Daddy. I won't do anything that might upset grandpa," Jeff promised.
"Good. What are you playing anyway?"
"We're just rolling the ball back and forth to each other," Jeff replied.
"Here's your beer honey," Toni said going over to Gary and handing him his beer.
"Thanks sweetheart. Sit down besides me and relax for a while," Gary told her.
Lois handed Berine his coffee and sat down besides him on the sofa.
"Did you tell her about the surprize we planned for her and Gar?," Berine whispered.
Lois nodded as she sipped her ice tea that she had poured for herself in the kitchen.
"Good. They deserve a night to theirselves once in a while."
Gary frowned when he saw his parents whispering to each other.
"What are they whispering about over there?,"
Toni knew, but kept her promise not to tell her husband what Lois had told her earlier.
"I don't know. Don't worry about it. I'm sure it has nothing do with you," she replied.
"What do you mean by that?"
"Relax Gary. I meant that they could be talking about something
that might not concern
Gary took a sip of his beer thinking about what she had just said.
Berine drank his coffee and put the cup down. "Would you two like
to go for that ride
now?," he asked Rose and Jeff standing up, and smiling at them.
"Sure!," they both replied at once.
"Good. Grab your jackets and meet me by the door. I have to
tell your dad something,
and then, we'll go for that ride like I promised."
Both kids went to get their jackets, and Berine went over to Gary.
"Lois and I will take them for a ride around town, and be back by dinnertime.
you and Toni a little time to yourselves for a while," he said.
"What are you up to Dad??," Gary asked suspicous.
"Nothing. I'm just keeping my promise to take the grandkids for
a ride in the Gray Ghost
Lois went over to the door to get the children outside and into the trailer.
"Okay you two. Follow me. We're going inside the trailer,
and your grandfather will be
doing the driving," she told them, and opened the door. They folliowed her outside and
over to the parked trailer.
A few minutes later, Berine joined them, and opened the trailer door for
them to get
"Okay. Everyone inside. We're going for a ride around town,
and be back by dinnertime,"
The twins went inside first and then Lois followed them closing the door behind her.
Berine went around to the driver's side of the truck, got inside, and started the engine.
Gary and Toni watched from the living room window as the trailer pulled
away from the
"This isn't like my dad to do this just out of the blue. Did you
tell my mother that we
might want to have some time alone for a while when you were in the kitchen?," Gary
"No. This was a surprize to me too. I think it's nice though.
Let's go back and sit down
on the sofa," she replied taking his arm and leading him back to the sofa.
"Okay. What is going on around here? First, my parents are
whispering about something,
and then, they tell us that they're taking the kids for a ride in the Gray Ghost so that we
can be alone for a while. I like it, but I can't help feeling like they're up to something, and
that you know what it is."
"I can't tell you just yet. It's a surprize, and I don't want to spoil it."
"I see. Tell me this then: does it have something to do with us?"
"Yes, and that's all I'm going to say, so don't ask me anything more."
Gary smiled and put his arm around his wife, and she leaned closer to him.
"I really needed this break. We should do this more often.
Tell me more about your save
"I got to the bike path a little before ten, and saw the girls coming
towards me with
Lindsey behind them. I stopped them, and told them they should slow down a little. Give
Lindsey time to catch up, and keep up with them. I told them that if she tried to speed up
to catch up that she'd take a nasty fall off her bike and hurt herself. The leader said that
she didn't want that to happen, and promised to ride at even place so that Lindsey could
keep up. She thanked me for telling her that. I said she was welcome, and left the park."
"Good for you sweetheart. Someday, our daughter will be riding her
bike, and I don't
want her to have a nasty fall. You're going to be the one who's going to help her ."
"Her and Jeff when the time is right for them to be riding their bikes around here."
"This is fun grandma! Thank you and grandpa for taking us," Rose said smiling at Lois.
"You're welcome Rose. Your grandpa and I have something to tell
you and Jeff that you
have to promise not t tell your father when we get home, okay," Lois replied smiling back.
"Okay. I promise not to tell Daddy what you're going to tell us when we get home."
"You know Mother's Day is coming up, and your grandpa and I thought it'd
be nice if
your daddy and mommy could spend that night alone just the two of them on the town.
We discussed it on the way here, and we made the reseverations at their favorite resturant
for that night. So, while they're enjoying theirselves, you and Jeff will be with your
grandpa and I the whole entire night until they come home. This is our little secret. Don't
tell your father, or you'll spoil the surprise for him."
"I won't say anything to Daddy grandma. I think it's neat of you
and grandpa to do that
for him and Mom," Jeff said smiling at the thought of his parents sitting alone in a
"We have special plans for you both that night. We're going to order
pizza, and watch
some videos that you like. Have our own little party. Doesn't that sound like fun?"
"Uh huh. Daddy's going to be shocked and happy when he find outs," Rose said.
"That's the idea Rose. Your parents deserve to spend some time alone once in a while."
Back inside their house, Gary and Toni were listening to the radio playing
"Your mother asked me a strange question today honey," Toni said looking at him.
"She did? What did she ask you sweetheart?," Gary asked looking in her blue eyes.
"She asked me if I still regrett giving up my career for you and the kids.
I said that I miss it
at times, but I'm happy and content being your wife and mother of our children."
"Why would make my mother ask that when she already knew that you did
when you first
meet her? Sometimes, I don't understand my mother. I told her that we had discussed it,
and that you had no problem with making the hard choice of giving up your career for me
and the kids."
Toni nodded. "I think she knew it, but was curious to see how I felt
about it now. I
asked her if she was happy about selling the Gray Ghost. The reason I asked her that was
that I got the feeling that she was doing it for Berine and not because they were planning
to travel around the country. She replied that at first that she thought he was crazy, but
then, she saw in his eyes that he was serious, and that made her happy. How do you feel
about what your father is doing?"
Gary sipped his beer again. "I guess I'm okay with it. He
hardly ever uses the Gray Ghost
except when he goes on his fishing trips, and he and Mom goes on little trips by
theirselves. Any other time, it's in storage."
"I've heard about those fishing trips your father goes on. Has he ever caught any fish?"
Gary laughed. "Sometimes he does. Mostly thought, he just
likes to fish for the fun of it.
I really think it's a good idea for him and Mom to go traveling around the country in their
new RV. Mom said that she was getting tired of hearing how Dad doesn't like being
retired. This will give him something to do, and keep him from moping around the house
trying to think of something to do."
"Being retired takes a while for some people to get used to honey.
Your dad's just one of
those people who will get used to it in time. It's worse for policemen and policewomen
when they retire, except for Crumb."
"Crumb's one of the good ones. He's gotten me out of a few scrapes."
"Yeah, like the time you were held hostage by that ex-con along with the
in her house. Spolier information(The Quality of Mercy). To think of you being in that
kind of danger gives me the chills. Don't ever get into something like that again. I don't
think I could take it."
Gary held her close and kissed her on her forehead. "You have my
solem promise that I
won't ever do something like that ever again. You and the kids mean too much to me."
"Good. What would your parents like for dinner tonight?"
"I'm sure whatever you fix will be alright with them. Just don't
fix what my dad likes to
"Happy Mother's Day Mommy!," Rose said handing Toni a card at the breakfast
Toni smiled and kissed her daughter on the check. "Thank you Rose.
Let's see what it
says," she replied. She opened the card, took it out, and read it. "How nice! Did Daddy
help you pick it out?"
Rose nodded. "Yes. He said that you would love it when you saw it."
Toni looked over at Gary who was trying not to show his embrassment as
he sipped his
coffee. "I do love it , and I'll put it on the mantel later. We'll have go to get Daddy one for
his specail day."
"Uh, Jeff, it's time you gave your mom the card you have," Gary told his son.
Jeff went over and handed Toni his card. "Happy Mother's Day Mommy," he said smiling.
"Thank you Jeff. Let's see what yours says shall we?,"
Toni opened the card, read it, and laughed. "What a funny card son!
Thank you. Who
helped you pick it out?"
"Grandpa did. He said that you might like it."
"Well, I do , and thank you both. Now, go eat your cereral.
Anyone else have something
Gary smiled and walked over to his wife with a small box and a card in his hands.
"Happy Mother's Day sweetheart," he told her kissing her on the lips.
Toni kissed him back, and opened the small box. "Oh Gary!
It's beautiful! Thank you,"
"You're welcome. I remember your mother telling me how much you
like necklaces, and I
wanted to get you a specail one. I'm glad you like it."
Lois and Bernie each smiled at each other knowing it was time to spring
"She can wear it when you both go out tonight," Lois said.
"That's right Gar. As your mother and mine special mother's day
gift to Toni, we've made
reservations for you and her at the Tropic resturant for seven tonight. We'll babysit the
kids while you two have fun," Berine told his son, and almost laughed when he saw the
shocked look on Gary's face.
"No wonder you two were whispering the other day. I suppose my wife
was part of this
too," Gary said.
"They told me about it, but I didn't have anything to do with making the
honey," Toni replied.
"What about the paper? There's that to consider."
Lois put her hand on her son's shoulder. "Already got that covered
honey. Your father
and I will handle the paper for you while you and Toni enjoy your specail evening."
"I, I don't know what to say except thank you both very much."
"You're welcome son. Just have fun tonight."
Later, that evening, Gary and Toni were getting ready to go out on their
specail night on
"Here honey. Let me put the necklace on you," he said taking her
necklace, and putting it
"Thank you. Now, let me see how you look," Toni replied turning to face him.
She smiled when she saw how handsome he looked in his tuxedo and tie.
"You look very handsome in that sweetheart," Toni told him.
"You look beautiful in your dress yourself. That necklace makes
you even more
"Shall we be going Mr. Hobson?"
"Of course Mrs. Hobson. Allow me."
Gary took his wife's arm and together they walked out of their bedroom
and down the
"Oh how nice you both look! Berine, quick! Take their picture," Lois told her husband.
Berine took out his camera and got both of them in focus to take the picture.
"Okay you two. Smile for the camera!," he said.
Gary and Toni smiled their best smiles, and Berine snapped their picture.
"One more before you head out the door."
Gary and Toni smiled again, and Berine snapped their picture again.
"I want a copy of the pictures when you get them developed Berine," Toni told him.
"You got it Toni."
"Kids, come and say goodbye to your parents please," Lois called to Rose and Jeff.
The twins came into the living room and smiled when they saw how nice
"Wow! Daddy and Mommy sure look nice dressed up," Jeff said.
"Thank you Jeff. Be good for grandpa and grandma. Do what
they tell you to, and we'll
see you later," Toni told her children as Gary put her sweater on her.
"We will Mommy," Rose promised.
"You have the resturant's number if you need us for anything," Gary said
putting his jacket
"Don't worry. We'll have a good time. Go and enjoy yourselves,"
Lois told Gary and
Saying goodbye to their kids, Gary and Toni went out the door and walked
Gary opened the door for Toni to get in, and waited until she was inside
and fastened to
close the door.
He went around to the driver's side, unlocked the door, got in, and fastened
He started the engine, and drove away from the house heading for town.
"This is nice just the two of us having an evening out without worrying
about the paper,"
"I think that was their idea when they did this. We couldn't ask
for a more perfect night
for this special night. I'm going to enjoy myself a whole lot tonight," Toni told him smiling
"Be prepared to dance the night away my love."
"I will, and maybe I'll teach you a few steps that you don't know."
The next morning, Berine got the paper being careful not let the cat sneak
in because Toni
was still alerigic to it. "Sorry kitty. You can't come in. Go catch a mouse or something,"
he told the cat shutting the door. He turned around, and saw Gary standing in the kitchen
pouring himself a cup of coffee in his robe. "Morning Dad. May I have the paper please?
Thank you for getting it for me," Gary said.
"I thought you wanted to sleep in this morning because of the good time
you and Toni had
last night," Berine told his son handing him the Sun Times smiling as he did.
"I did a little, but I know you. You'd tell my wife to shut off
the alarm to let me sleep in
"Would I do that to you Gar?"
Gary sipped his coffee and nodded. "Remember when you first visited
me a long time
ago? Both times, you shut off the alarm so I couldn't get up in time to get the paper."
"I guess I forgot about that. The grandkids were good last night
while you two were
Gary sat down on at the table, and opened the paper. "Just what
did you and Mom do
while Toni and I was at the resturant last night? We saw the empty pizza boxes in the
trash can when we came home."
"We ordered pizza, had some ice cream, watched some videos, and ate some popcorn."
"It's a wonder they aren't sick this morning after all that," Toni said
coming into the
"Good morning honey," Gary told her smiling at his wife.
"Good morning my love. Last night was really wonderful."
Lois came into the kitchen just then. "I don't know who is worse
in the snoring
department, Gary or Bernie," she said yawning as she sat down besides her son at the
table while Toni poured her a cup of coffee.
"I don't snore Mom," Gary said, and Toni frowned at that remark.
"Oh yes you do. You just don't hear yourself is all."
Gary decided to quit while he was ahead, and scanned the paper to see
what saves he had
"Nothing much today. I have to stop two eldery ladies from
hitting each other with their
purses at the shopping mall over a necklace that they both want. It says that the store
detective was called to break up the fight, and both ladies were asked not to come back to
the mall by the manager."
Toni had to smile as she handed Lois her coffee mug. "Some of those
old ladies' purses
feel like they've got bricks inside. I remember when I was a marshall once, I stopped a
mugger who was trying to steal a lady's purse, and he begged me to take him in. Turns
out the she was hitting him with her purse trying to make him let go of her arm. I don't
know what she had in it, but he thought she had bricks in it by the way it bruised him. I
asked the woman what she had in her purse, and she showed me what she had inside.
There were no bricks or anything that heavy in it, and the men at the police station had a
good laugh when I told them what happened when I arrested that would be purse
Gary laughed. " I can just see that guy getting hit by that woman
with her purse. I have
to be at the shopping mall before ten. The fight takes place in the jewerly store section."
"Good luck honey," Lois said sipping her coffee.
"Thanks mom. I've got time to eat breakfast and play with kids before I leave."
Gary was just finishing his breakfast when he saw his daughter and son
come into the
kitchen still in their pajamas. "Good morning sleepyheads. I heard that you had a good
time with your grandparents last night while Mommy and I were out," he told them, and
both of them smiled.
"Did you and mommy have a good time last night Daddy?," Rose asked her father.
"Yes we did Rose. We ate in the resturant, and went dancing at a
local club. I hope you
didn't get sick from eating too much ice cream and pizza."
"I only ate two pieces of pizza, and two scoops of chocolate ice cream Daddy."
"That's good honey. I'll help you in your chair."
Gary gently lifted his daughter and put her in her chair by the table,
and Lois did the same
Toni put two glasses of orange juice on the table, one by each of her childrens' place.
"Did you sleep well last night you two?," she asked.
"Yes mommy," Jeff replied sipping his orange juice.
"Good. I'll get your bowls out for you for your cereal."
"There's something we forgot to tell you the other day Gary," Lois said looking at her son.
"Lois, don't tell him," Berine warned, but Lois knew that their son had the right to know.
"What is it Mom? Is there something wrong with Dad?," Gary asked.
Lois nodded. "He went to the doctor for his local checkup the other
day, and was told
that if he didn't quit smoking his cigars, that he'd get cancer someday. When I found that
out, I demanded he quit on the spot, and threw all his cigars out in the trash. He's been
trying to sneak some past me, and I've caught him at it."
Gary looked at his father. "Is this true Dad?"
Berine nodded. "Yes Gar, it is. It's hard on me right now,
but I promised your mother
that I would quit."
"Why didn't you call me and tell me this when you found out?"
Lois put her hand on her son's shoulder and looked into his mud puddle green eyes.
"Because we felt that we should tell you in person about this. That's
another reason we
Toni could see that this was affecting Gary in a hard way, and she went
over and put her
hands on him.
"Honey, at least they told you about it, and didn't try to hide it from
you. Don't let it worry
you too much."
Gary took her hands in his and smiled at her. "I'm glad I have you
to help me understand
"I'm here for you. I'll always be here for you sweetheart. I'm your wife after all."
Gary checked his watch. "I'd better get going if I'm going to get to the mall in time."
"You have a save this morning son? Need any help?," Berine asked.
"No thanks Dad. I can handle it. I'll see you later."
He kissed his mom on the check, gave Toni a kiss on the mouth, and kissed
"Daddy will see you both later for dinner. Be good today," Gary told them.
"We will Daddy," Jeff promised.
Gary went to put his jacket on and went out the door to get in his van.
The news about his father was still on his mind, but he pushed it out
of the way for the
He had to stop the ladies from fighting and didn't need anything to distract him.
He got to the mall around nine thirty, and looked for a parking place closeby.
Finding a spot, Gary parked the van, turned off the motor, put the key
in his pocket, and
He entered the mall and headed for the jewerly store where the two ladies
The clerk was getting ready for the customers inside, and Gary got a idea.
"Excuse me sir. You're going to have a problem pretty soon.
Don't ask me how I know,
but there's going to be two ladies fighting over the same necklace in the display case at
ten. I'm not telling you how to do your job, but wouldn't it be better if you put the
necklace out of sight so that they won't fight over it? I don't think you'd want to lose two
customers over a necklace," he told the clerk smiling.
"That would be bad for the store and business if that happened.
I'd better put the necklace
in another place where they won't see it. Thanks for warning me mister. I wouldn't want
my boss to find out that there was a fight over a silly necklace. What's your name
anyway?," the clerk said.
"Hobson. Gary Hobson. You're welcome. Show them something
better that they'll like
"I will Mr. Hobson, and thanks again."
Gary smiled and left the jewerly shop heading for the exit taking his
paper out to check to
see if the story was still there. It wasn't, and he was relieved to know that his quick
thinking had prevented the fight.
Gary went to his bar and parked his van in the usual parking space beforfe
he went inside.
"Morning Marissa. Crumb. Chuck," he said to each of his friends as he entered the bar.
"Hello Hobson," Crumb replied smiling at Gary from behind the bar.
"Morning Gar. Is something wrong? I can tell that something's
bothering you," Chuck
"Nothing's wrong with me Chuck. Everything's fine."
"Uh huh. I know you better than that Gary. I can sense when
something's wrong. Tell us
what it is and we can help you whatever it is," Marissa said knowing her friend and partner
Gary sighed. He knew that Marissa was right. "Okay.
My mother just told me that my
dad has his annual checkup in Hickory the other day, and the doctor told him that if he
didn't quit smoking, he'd get cancer. I asked why they didn't call me with the news, and
they told me that they felt it was better to tell me in person."
"Knowing your father like I do Hobson, I'd say that he's got a hard road
to take ahead,"
"I know my dad can do it, but it won't easy for my mom during this time.
caught him trying to sneak a smoke on her when he promised to quit after seeing the
"Berine is a strong enough person to handle the withdrawls Gar.
Did I tell you about the
time he saved one of the Caprthians from jumping to his death?," Chuck asked.
"As I recall, he and that man ended up falling off that roof as
Dad tried to stop him with
you helplessly watching. I almost lost my dad that day. Why didn't you take the paper and
save the jumper Chuck?"
"I wanted to Gar, but the paper wouldn't come to me. It went to
Berine and your mother
after your father ended up in jail. I tell you I never seen your mother as angry as I did that
"I've been on the reciving end of her anger at times too."
At that monment, Emmit Brown came into the bar to see his wife Marissa.
"Good morning everyone. I just came over to see my wife for a few
minutes," he told
"I thought you had a meeting Emmit," Marissa said smiling at her husband.
"I did. We just got done a few minutes ago, and I thought I'd come
here and see if you
wanted to have lunch with me. We can eat here if you want to."
"Sure. You know how good the food is here. I wouldn't eat
anyplace else except at home
when we're alone."
Gary smiled at the compliement about his cooks' reputation. "Won
any cases lately
Emmit?," he asked.
"Not yet. Nothing's come up yet, but I've got a feeling that one
will sometime. Do you
remember that nice old man we helped a while back? (Spolier Information: The Pitch
Hitters.) Well, I got a call from him the other day, and he said that he'd like to come here
to see all of you. Said he has some big news for you,"
"Is that the guy who tried to stop the bulldozer from tearing down the
old movie house?,"
"Yep. That's the man Crumb. You've been proud of how Emmit
handled the case," Gary
"Really? I'd like to hear how you helped the old man Emmit."
Emmit smiled. "All I did was make the court aware that he
was a man who had lost
almost everything that was dear to him. The thearte was the only place left besides his
apartment that held memories of him and his wife when she was alive. Most of his friends
were gone, and he wanted to keep something that he loved from being taken away from
him again. The judge thanked me for reminding her and the court about how important
somethings are to people, and how their feelings should be respected. She dismissed the
case against him."
Chuck smiled. "I remember hearing about it when I came back that
time. You did a good
job of being a lawyer Emmit. There are somethings that should be sacred to people even
though some people think otherwise."
Gary frowned. "I can't believe I'm hearing this from the same guy
who was always trying
to use my paper for his own gain which at one time, almost cost him his freedom."
"I learned my lesson that day the hard way. I never did anything like that again."
"True, but you almost got Gary to go in with you about that show you were
going to do
in LA," Marissa said.
"Okay, okay. Let's not go over the past please. I'm a married
man about to become a
Gary sat in his office trying to concentrate on the paper work he had
to do, but his mind
on the news about his father that he heard earlier. He wondered if this was most of the
reason that Berine was selling the trailer. "I still can't believe it," he said to Marissa who
was coming inside after having lunch with her husband.
"Gary, it's a good thing that they told you when they did. You can
help your father now
that you know what he has to do. I know it's hard to take right now, but you'll manage.
Chuck and I will be here for support. How's the paper work coming along?," Marissa told
him trying to change the subject.
"I'm almost done with some of them. What a day this has been so
far! Things can go only
get better from here on. How was your lunch with Emmit?"
Marissa smiled. "It was good. He even sent a compliement to
the chief that he enjoyed
"We hire only the best. That's why the public likes to come here
so much. I saved a poor
clerk from being caught in the middle of fight between two ladies earlier. It seems that
they wanted the same necklace, and I suggested that he hide it, and show each of them
"Good for you Gary. "
The phone rang, and Gary answered it. "Mc Gintys. Oh hello honey. What's up?"
"Your dad is trying to show Jeff how to do that thing he likes to do so
well. I don't want
our son to hurt himself, and I told Berine to please keep that thing in his trailer. I'd wish
you tell him to leave that thing in there. He won't listen to me, and Lois is outside right
now trying to make him put it away," Toni replied from her kitchen phone as she looked
out the window at the people standing beside the trailer.
Gary sighed. "Okay. Tell him I want to talk to him. Put him on the phone."
Toni called out the window for Berine to talk to Gary on the phone.
"Gary wants to talk to you Berine," she said handing him the phone.
"Hi Gar," Berine said once he had the phone.
"Dad, I don't want Jeff or Rose messing with that thing of yours that
you like to play with,
understand? They'll get hurt, and I don't want that. Think of something else to show them,
"Ah Gar. What's the harm in showing them how to curl?"
"The harm is that they'll want to try it, and they're still too little
to handle that big thing.
Why don't you come here and spend some time with Chuck and Marissa? I'll even buy
you a beer."
"Okay. I get the message. I won't show them how to curl, and
I'll be right there. Bye
Gary smiled in relief as he hung up his office phone and looked at Marissa.
"My dad was going to show my son how to curl, and I talked him out of
it. He's coming
here for a while."
"I bet Toni will like that. Probably needs a break from him."
"Like I said before, how my mom puts up with him is beyond me."
Chuck came into the office just then. "I got to go home and see
how Jade is doing Gar.
I'll be back," he said.
"Is she having any pains Chuck?," Marissa asked.
"No. She called my cell phone number, and asked me to come home for a few minutes."
Gary nodded. "Sure. Go and see how she's doing Chuck," Gary told his friend.
"Thanks Gar. I'll be back in a while."
Chuck left the office and headed for the door.
"Chucko! Where are you going?," Bernie asked Chuck as the two met outside.
"Home to check on my wife Bernie. I'll be back in a while," Chuck replied.
"Tell her that I said hello."
Bernie entered the bar and walked towards the offiice where Gary and Marissa
"Okay Gar. I'm here. Where's my beer?," he asked smiling at his son.
"I'll go get it right now Dad. I want to talk to you anyhow," Gary replied.
He went over to the bar and told Crumb to get his dad and himself some beer.
"Let's go where we can talk in private Dad," Gary said leading the way
to a booth in the
The two men sat down at the booth with their beers.
"Okay Dad. What's the story? What made you suddenly decide
to sell the Gray Ghost
when you have always told me that you'd never part with it? I can tell that there's
something that you're not telling me," Gary said.
Bernie took a sip of his beer and sighed. He knew Gary too well
not to keep anything
"This isn't easy to say Gar. I feel that since I've been retired,
that I can't do anything,
except make those cabinets and shelves for your mother's china in the garage. I'm getting
tired of doing it . I hate being retired. Makes me feel like I should be put out to pasture or
something," he replied.
"That would never happen Dad. There's a lot of things you can do
that you haven't even
thought of yet."
"Your mother and I have this one fear: That one of our kids will
put us in a nurshing
home and sell the family house to strangers. That is why we are thinking of leaving it to
you in our will."
Gary almost dropped his beer bottle. "Dad, you have my word that
I would never put you
and mom in a nurshing home unless you wanted to go there. I know how much that house
means to you."
"I know you do, and we love you for it. The money we make selling
the Gray Ghost will
go towards our account in the bank there in Hickory. We decided, your mother and I,
that we'lldo all the traveling that we've been talking about for a long time. I had to see the
doctor for my checkup, and that's when he told me the news that we told you." Bernie
took another sip of his beer before he continued. "We even considered selling the house
ourselves, and permantly moving to Florida. We decided against it because it means a lot
to you as well. We want to be where we can see our grandkids where we don't have to
travel so far."
Gary couldn't believe what he had just heard his father tell him.
That he and his mother
had been thinking about selling his childhood home and move away permantly to Flordia.
Thank goodness that they had nixed it, he thought to himself as he took a sip of his own
Berine could tell by the look in his son's eyes just how much what he
had said affected
him. "You can realx Gar. The house means too much to us too for us to sell. Anyway,
now you know the whole story of why I'm selling the Gray Ghost. Since this is supposed
to be my golden years as they say, I'm going to enjoy them as much as I can with your
mother. You never knew that she was a cheerleader," he said.
"Mom was a cheerleader in high school? She never told me that," Gary said.
Berine nodded. "Yep! She was one of the prettiest cheerleaders I've
ever seen. It took a
lot of courage on my part to go and ask her to go out with me. When she did, I was a
very happy guy. I can see the same thing in your eyes when you look at Toni. I bet you
were nervous the first time you asked her out."
Gary smiled. "Nope. I wasn't nervous at all when I asked Toni to go with me. "
"You weren't huh? I'll tell you something, she's a lot a better
for you than the other one
"I agree with you there Dad. She came in here one afternoon before
Toni and I were
married, and tried to tell me that she never meant to hurt me, or use me. I couldn't believe
the lies I was hearing from her. I told her just exactly how I felt about what everything
that she had done to me, and that I was marrying Toni. Toni came in to see me during her
lunch hour that day, heard what my ex-said, and came around the bar to stand besides me.
You should have heard Toni tell Marsha off. She told her that I was hers, and that if she
ever tried to hurt me, she'd have to answer to Toni. I told Marsha to leave the bar and not
"Good for you Gar! Do you feel better about what I just told you?"
"Yeah. I feel better and I understand your reason for selling it
now. How much longer
are you and mom staying here in Chicago? Not that I'm trying to get rid of you, it's just I
would like to know."
"We're leaving day after tomorrow. I've got a curling pratice back
home at the Y to go
"You really like doing that, don't you Dad."
"Helps to me keep young Gar. Plus, it's good exercise."
"That thing's heavy. How do you ever lift it without hurting yourself?"
"It took a lot of pratice when I first started."
A few minutes later, Chuck returned with a big smile on his face.
"Jade says to tell you hello. She's feeling a little better.
I made sure she managed to eat
something before I came back to work. I've got a feeling that she's going to have a crazy
craving tonight," he told them.
"What makes you think Jade will have one of her cravings Chuck?," Gary asked smiling.
"Because she kept looking at the pickle jar inside the refrigator Gar.
Then, she asked me if
we could have some ice cream later. I said yes, but without the pickles, and she gave me a
Gary laughed. "Sounds like she thought you read her mind pal."
"Yeah, but I'm going to be ready just in case."
Meanwhile, back at the house, Toni and Lois were watching the twins play
on the floor as
they were sitting in their chairs drinking coffee.
"Look at them playing so nice. How did you ever get them to play
nice Toni?," Lois
Toni smiled. "I just told them that I'd give them something special
at dinner tonight if they
played nice. I also said that Daddy doesn't need to come home and hear his children
agruing over something that could be handled in a nice way. Are you sure you're alright
with selling your trailer you've had for so long?," she replied.
Lois sipped her coffee and nodded. "Yes. I think it's time
for a change, and he's been
wanting a new one for a while now. That's why he's been going to all those RV shows. I
could see it coming."
"I think the children enjoyed the ride you took them in the trailer the other day."
"They had the time of their lives inside the Gray Ghost that day.
They wanted to sleep
inside it, but we said no. We promised them they could sleep inside the new one when we
got it and came for a visit. Did I ever tell you about the time Gary slept inside it?"
"No. Please tell me about when he had to sleep inside the Gray Ghost."
"Believe it or not, Berine is a worse snorer that Gary is. Having
both of them in the same
room at times can get on your nerves if they both snore. Anyway, we were here visiting
him one other time, and Berine snored so loud that Gary couldn't sleep. He finally had to
go downstairs and sleep in the Gray Ghost. My poor son ended up being taken to the
impound yard inside the trailer by the police because the trailer was parked in a no parking
zone. We didn't find out until he called us from the trailer and the station. He had to
explain to the policeman in charge why he was inside the trailer and I think the man
believed him. We got down there to bail him out, and Berine got told by the sargent that
he should've been the one to sleep inside the trailer since he was the one who snored the
worst. I got Gary out before anything more happened, and apologised for him having to
go out to the trailer in the first place that night. I made my mind up there and then to get
something to help Berine from snoring so it wouldn't happen again."
Toni smiled. "I know how bad my husband snores at times. He
denies it of course, but I
told him he does anyway. I also told him that if he ever snored again, I'd hit him with my
pillow to make him stop."
"Did it work?"
"So far, I haven't had to do it, but he knows I will if he snores again.
He doesn't think I'll
do it, but he doesn't want to push his luck. Everynight when we got to bed, he always
check to see that my pillows are where they should be, and I know he's thinking about
what I told him I'd do."
Gary went home a little earlier than usual, his mind still reeling on
what his father had told
him earlier. This has been a strange day, and I hope the evening goes by without any more
surprizes, he thought to himself as he pulled the van into the driveway of his house
looking forward to relaxing and playing with his children. "Toni! I'm home," he called as
he entered his house after opening the door, and stepping inside.
"Daddy!," Rose cried running over to her father her arms held wide open.
Gary smiled, bent down, and picked up his daughter. "How's my sweetheart
you have a good day today with grandma while I was at work?," he asked carrying her
into the living room.
"Yes Daddy. Jeff and I had a very nice time with grandma today."
Toni came out of the kitchen just then. "I thought I heard the sound
of my husband's
voice. Hi honey," she said coming over towards him, and kissing him hello on the check.
"Hello sweetheart. Nice apron you have on there," Gary told her kissing her back.
"Your mother's idea, not mine. She wanted me to wear it while we fixed dinner tonight."
"Speaking of my mother, where is she? I'd like to talk to her."
"She's in the kitchen washing the potatoes and peeling them. I'll
tell her that you want to
talk to her."
Lois came out of the kitchen wiping her hands on her apron when she heard Gary's voice.
"No need to Toni. Hello Gary. Did you have a good day at work?," she asked him.
Gary gently put his daughter down on the floor. "Mom, we need to talk. In private."
"Rose, why don't you help Mommy in the kitchen please? Your daddy
and grandma have
Rose followed her mother into the kitchen so that Gary and Lois could talk in private.
"Okay, what's the story mother? I just found out from Dad that you
were thinking of
selling the house and moving to Florida permantly. I think there's something else here that
you're not telling me."
Lois sighed. "Gary, what your father told you earlier is the truth.
Yes, we are selling the
Gray Ghost and buying a new motorhome, and no, we are not selling the house and
moving to Florida. It was discussed, but we decided not to sell it. We have friends back
in Hickory that we'd miss if we moved away for good. Did he tell you that we're leaving
the day after tomorrow?"
Gary nodded. "Yes, he told me. I still can't believe he's
serious about selling the Gray
Ghost after all these years. He also told me that he felt like he can't do much of anything
anymore since he's retired."
"That old argument again. He said that before when we were here,
and I found out about
the paper. There is so much for him out there now, and all he has to do is reach out and
grab it. We finally got all of what he was feeling out in the open outside your loft door
that night after you were saved. How did it feel being the one that was saved instead of
the one who does the saving?"
Gary smiled. "It felt kind of strange to tell you the truth.
Where did you find those guys
"Believe it or not, they're people that your father and I saved that day.
I was the one who
got them together to find out where you were and to get to you down before that thing
fell. They're very big now. They've been on talk shows and asked to do their act for the
audience. The one that got you down safe."
"They were very good I have to admit. I was scared a little when
I was sliding onto that
one guy's shoulder."
"You made it though. Anyway, now you know everything, and it's big
a relief off my
mind. I was worried how you were going to handle the news once we told you."
"As long as you're happy that's all I care about Mom."
Lois hugged her son and he hugged her back. "That's all I wanted to hear you say son."
Berine came into the room just then with Jeff right behind.
"Hey Gar. Your son is quiet a thrower. He tossed his ball
to me pretty good a few
times," he said.
"Jeff, you know you're not to throw your ball inside the house.
I hope you didn't break
anything," Gary said.
"I didn't Daddy. I was careful. Rose and I played nice together," Jeff replied.
Gary raised an eyebrow. "You did? That's good. You should do it all the time."
"Uh, there's a reason why they played nice Gar."
"There is? What is the reason why you played nice with your sister Jeff?"
Jeff didn't want to tell his father the reason, but knew that he had to.
"Mom said that if we played nice, she'd give us something nice at dinner.
She also said that
you didn't want to come home to hear us arguing and fighting over a toy or something."
Gary looked towards the kitchen and knew that his wife would tell his
"Mommy was right Jeff. Remember that, okay. Go wash up for
Continued in Installment 2
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