Dee walked through the dark
house while flashes of lightening lit up the rooms. Even with a booming
of thunder and the cracking of lightening there was still quietness all
about. The noise wasn't what woke her though. There was something
unsettling bothering her. She couldn't put her finger on anything, just a
vague uneasiness about something intangible.
She and Jimbo had been
friends since they were kids. Someone, some time or other had informed
them they were cousins, and was it third, fourth, or maybe fifteenth? It
didn't matter. In the Indian culture, once a cousin, always a cousin and
related. Jimbo was half of his tribe and half of a strong Scot
background and this gave them a bond also.
When they were in school,
he was a gentle giant and quietly stepped to her side when she needed
him. As a police officer when they were adults there were times when she
found him to be a source of comfort. During extended family crisis he was
the one to shoulder the heaviness of her father's death while her own
husband was working in Dallas.
Jimbo was married to a
lovely lady who was never jealous or envious of their friendship. Now,
as they were both growing older, it was his coming once a week that helped
her with the bare uncarpeted floors in her house. He was still a big man.
He walked through with ease what it would have taken her a whole day to
The bright sunlit morning
belied the fact the night before had been one of dark storms. When Jimbo
knocked at the front door, as usual, Dee was thankful to see him there.
“Hey Guy! Come on in this
house. You are a sight for sore eyes.” Dee kidded him, but she meant it.
Over the years they always
took a few minutes to visit over a cup of coffee while she outlined the
day's chores. He never complained or questioned what she wanted done. It
was a little more taxing to accomplish their full stride attack on the
house because of the little ones. Sam tried to keep them from under foot
but any project is fascinating to children. They followed Jimbo around
asking him questions as he worked.
“I've got a new tractor.”
“Well now! Is it a John
Deere.” Jimbo was accustomed to having a conversation with his own
grandson who was Randy's age of four.
“Shore is. See here. It is
green, and there's the name, right on the side.”
“Let me see that? You know
you are right. There it is.
J o h n D e e r e.”
Jimbo spelled the name out.
Amidst all the activities
going on in the house, together they stripped floors, cleaned closets,
and used Jimbo's height to go over ceilings with a brush and a clear
He had discovered an
invasion of ants under the drapes in one corner of a room. With the
discovery she and Sam had battled the tiny insect and thought they had
them beat but Jimbo discovered their tracks again.
“We put out ant control. I
wonder why it hasn't worked?” Dee complained.
“The rain has probably
washed it away. You will just have to do it again.”
“Oh drat!” Dee muttered.
Jimbo was a wealth of
knowledge for the up keep on a home. His days of being raised on a ranch
by grandparents gave him an extra amount of acumen for management. There
was hardly ever a situation for dealing with a problem he did not know
something about or was able to point a person in the direction to find the
“Jimbo, I need this floor
jam repaired. Do you have any idea who can do this?”
“There's a retired man over
at Newkirk who loves to keep busy. He doesn't charge much and he does a
“Oh fantastic. Do you have
his phone number?” Dee was unbelieving to find someone this easily.
“I have it at home and I'll
call you when I get there.” Jimbo told Dee.
The snake in paradise
reared its ugly head and by way of the grapevine Dee was made aware there
was quite a bit of gossip going around as to her relationship with Jimbo.
“You have got to be
kidding?” Dee was flabbergasted to hear the complaint. “At our age? For
crying in the sink. I cannot believe it.”
Dee was quickly thinking
through the matter. “Poor Jimbo's wife. Oh blast, blast, blast. It is
absolutely absurd. Sheesh! Don't people have anything else to do?”
This was that something to
have been bothering her mind. Of course, she must have been unconsciously
aware of the talk and that was what was causing her sleeplessness. There
was nothing abnormal as to having a sixth sense. She was just so
acquainted with the ways of a small town, a large extended family, and any
other complexities dealing with the changed values during the era in
which she now lived. Gone were the days of the Gentleman rancher,
cowpoke, gardener, repairman. These few older men who were of that genre
were themselves almost icons.
“I guess we will have to
burn the ideals of our generation in effigy.”
“Don't bother.” Sam shook
his head. “Too much going on now. No one would notice.”