Connections Jan 2015 - Page 67

great grandchildren in mind when he’d selected the sturdy redwood boards to build her childhood sanctuary. Well, his wish had finally come true. Jeremy was having a blast filling the place with all his boy stuff. He’d already announce that no girls were allowed. Little did he know, not so long ago, a similar decree had gone out against all the boys in the land. Melissa pulled out another nail and pried the rotted board from the back porch. She had to make the backyard kid proof. Jeremy was going to spend countless hours back here and she didn’t want to worry about his safety. The front yard and the roof were going to have to wait. Maybe longer than she originally thought if the leak she’d discovered this morning was as bad as she feared. Hiring a plumber to fix the ancient pipes in this house was going to be expensive. Probably more than she could afford at the moment. Melissa stood and brushed off her jeans. It was time to head into town. She hated to do it. Weekends at the lumber yard were always packed. At least Sunday was better than Saturday. “Come on Jer.” She called. “We need to head into town and get some new wood for the back porch before the store closes. I have to get this project done today. Tomorrow is Monday. I start work and you start school.” Jeremy jumped from the ladder and ran to the car. “Can we get ice cream?” He asked. “I’m hungry and dinners not for hours. I don’t think I can make it.” Melissa laughed. He was probably right. The kid had been going a mile a minute since they’d walked out the door. “Why don’t we stop at the grocery store and buy some. That way we can get bananas and caramel and have banana splits.” “Can we have whipped cream, too?” He asked with the hope of a child. “Absolutely.” Melissa said, backing out of the driveway. “And a cherry on top. What’s a banana split without whip cream and a big old red cherry?” “Yay!” Jeremy said, pumping his arms in the air. “I like it here, mom. I’m glad we moved.” For the first time since Melissa had decided to sell their house in Denver, she felt confident she’d made the right decision. Things would be better here, she would make sure of it. For Jeremy’s sake, they had to be. Now if she just knew what to do about Shane Chandler. The closer they got to the lumber store, the more nervous Melissa became. If she was lucky she wouldn’t run into anyone she knew. But what were the chances she’d have the same luck at the grocery store? About a million to one, she supposed. “Okay Carpenter Joe.” Melissa said as they climbed from the car. “You ready to help me pick out the best lumber in the joint?” Jeremy smiled. He liked that his mom let him help with stuff. It made him feel like the man of the house. The way his dad had taught him. He remembered the man to man talk he'd had with his dad just after he’d turned six. Mitch told Jeremy that his job was dangerous and if anything ever happened to him, it was Jeremy’s job to take care of his mother. And Jeremy had tried to take care of her. Mom had been so sad when dad died. Jeremy had spent almost an hour selecting just the right flowers to try to cheer her up the way dad had done when mom seemed sad. But it hadn’t helped, no matter how many times he tried. Nothing he did in Denver ever helped. But things were different now. Hidden Lakes was a new start for them. And mom already seemed happier. The house needed work, but Jer could take care of it. He was the man of the house now, just like dad said. And he was going to pick out the best wood in the store. Melissa tied a small red cloth to the end of the wood sticking out her back window. She was going to have to leave Jeremy in the car with the supplies since they couldn’t lock up. As they pulled onto the road and headed two blocks south to the grocery store she glanced at her son. “We can’t leave the stuff in the car unattended. Do you think you can stand guard while I grab the groceries we need at the store?” She asked. “Okay.” Jeremy said, playing with the radio. “Can you leave the keys so I can listen to music while you’re gone?” “I don’t think that’s a good idea.” She said, used to living with the dangers of the big city. She knew this was a small town, but she’d been gone too long. Until she was more comfortable with the people, she wouldn’t