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Paddle Your Own Canoe
Chapter 30

“Chelsea called.”  Sam informed his wife, Dee.

“Oh?  I'll bet it is to tell us she can't come out.  I'd better return her call.”

Dee could see Chelsea in her mind as she answered her phone. Her friend was a divorcee of probably, more than 25 years. She had raised her two daughters alone and contributed many hours to raising her three granddaughters as well.  The granddaughters were now almost all young women. She had always kept a job,  except for the short time the grand children were very young.  There was very little support from any direction for the woman except from her mother and that family.

The job she had for a number of years was unbelievable  as to its duties. Dee could only shake her head at times and say, “I would have lasted three days on your job.”  Nothing seemed to bother Chelsea  as she dutifully went through every imaginable situation in dealing with the tenants of the apartment complex, she managed.

“Hey!”  Chelsea knew it was Dee returning her call.

“You can't come out?”  Dee knew the message.

“Oh no.  I'm sorry.  I just can't leave here on a holiday. The pool is open, you know.”

“Oh yes.”   Dee knew the worry to go along with that since her friend had been through that every summer.

“Children aren't supposed to be in here without supervision.  The minutes I leave all the rules go out the pool gate. Just don't think I better take the chance.  This  pool will be overflowing.  And, speak of overflowing, the maintenance men left the water running into it last night and it is all the way to the top.  I need to go see if I can find one of them to turn the water off.”

There were no complaints other than on this small matter.  The deep ingrained history of the woman's make-up gave her the will to keep a tight reign even on weekends.  Dee knew of all the situations to come up on the sizeable apartment complex. And, even though, Chelsea screened her tenants completely there was just no way to stop the many involvements to arise with this many people living so close in proximity. Really, as many as in a small town.

“Sometimes, they are like children.”  This was Chelsea's only comment.

Dee wanted her and her family to feel welcome.  “Well, you know. Kerry's family is coming over. They always bring all the food and cook it too.   Sam has both grills  working. In addition I used your smoker to cook a brisket I had.  There will be plenty food.  People of that family  are  wonderful guests. They absolutely treat me like royalty. I never have to do any cleaning up or anything. It is wonderful.  It is the whole family.  We always have fun. Bringing the children right with them is their custom and I love it.  Everyone always has a great time.”

“Oh, I know.  I'd better stay here though. You understand.”

“For certain, I, of all people do understand.”

The evening with the very happy large family was like a wonderful promise of something yet unseen. The children were beautiful and wide eyed as they enjoyed being treated like special guests. Dee had managed to purchase a new table for the kitchen area which was set just for them. She followed her own upbringing as to letting the children have their own arrangements.  Someone asked her if this was not excluding them from the big table.  “Not at all,” was her ready comment as she remembered the great meals she had shared with cousins, brothers, and sisters.  They, rather than feeling left out, felt so grown-up in that they had their own table.  Their behavior was always impeccable because it was a new status they were given to have the privilege of managing their own life, just for this short time at the dinner table.

This family had recently just endured a terrible car wreck which could have killed them all had not their own driver swerved his car toward rough road sides avoiding a total head on collision as the drunk driver careened around a curve.  He was actually racing from another collision.

Dee felt her heart touched as the youngest of the sisters gave her account of the awful wreck.  She was partially conscious crying for her two-year-old. The ambulance men were desperately looking for a child not knowing the girl did not have the baby with her. By some wondrous turn of events she had left the little one with her sister and didn't have it with her. The mothers' instinct and that part of her brain was just crying out in fear for her baby.

For the healing time they had together during this short evening Dee was thankful. “Maybe, in some small way this pleasant association will help this little family to move on past the terrors of that gruesome car wreck.”  Dee and Sam were in agreement on this.

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