Scarlet woke early she made coffee and and decided to make breakfast. She managed to find some ham and eggs and a few things she could pull some omelettes together. She made toast and found some apple butter in the refrigerator. Lucas woke up and came to the kitchen. “ Mommy are you making us breakfast?”
“ Yes I am sweet boy.” Scarlet replied.
“ I like breakfast Mommy. Is that man gonna eat with us?” Lucas asked.
“I hope so, and his name is Mr. Range. “ Scarlet tousled his hair.
Range could smell breakfast cooking, something he hadn’t smelled is a long time. Coffee was being made too. He quickly showered and dressed. “ Good morning.” He walked to pour him some coffee.
“You got up just in time Mr. Range. Mommy is making breakfast for us!” Lucas seemed excited.
“It smells pretty good too Lucas.” Range said back with a smile.
“ After breakfast maybe we can get some of that tree off my truck. The insurance company should be here pretty early. “ Range said.
“Looks like sunshine is on your side.” Scarlet nodded towards the window.
“ Thank the good Lord for that. Starting to worry about the crops.” Range said.
“ You have crops?” Scarlet asked.
“ Yes, my farm hand takes care of my crew and does all my planting and up keep. “ Range informed her. I have 2000 acres of farm land plus cattle. I do have some horses. “ I stopped working when my wife fell sick and my crew keeps things well ran.”
Scarlet was amazed at this man. He was wealthy but he didn’t act like it. His home though was homey but large, the windows were amazing. Farmhouse style in every part of the home made it warm. The furniture was a light tan, you could tell she had no children. Pictures of Range and his wife were staged randomly through the house. Scarlet felt like an intruder.
She sat and omelette with toast in front of Range and Lucas then herself.
“ Could you say Grace?” Scarlet asked Range.
He nodded, “ Lord please bless this food and the hands that prepared it. Thank you for your protection in the storm last night. In Jesus name. Amen” Range ended the prayer and everyone began to eat.
“ This is very good Scarlet.” Range said.
“ Thank you.” She almost blushed.
“ Mommy, it’s been so long since we had breakfast!” Lucas exclaimed.
“ Yes Lucas. So eat up.” She avoided Range’s eyes.
Range stood for more coffee when a knock came at the door.
Range answered the door it was his insurance guy.
“ Give me a minute for my boots.” Range had him come in.
The mans name was Seth. Seth spoke to Range, “ I have taken some pictures already but I’ll need your statement then we can see what we need to do. “
“Sounds good. Scarlet I’ll be back as soon as I can to help clean up. Please be careful since I will be outside. Send Lucas if you need me. “ he nodded when he put on his hat.
Scarlet smiled at his attempts at being nice. Scarlet got up and cleared the table and did up the dishes. She showered and bathed Lucas she looked the tote and found a pair of jeans and a blouse. She put her tennis shoes on. They were awful but it was all she had. She put all her and Lucas’ clothes in the washer and started them. Her socks and under garments were included. She had a tank top on under her shirt and no one would ever know a thing. She headed to the barn and retrieved her and Lucas’ bag. One bag. She could drag anything else around she had tried 2 bags but it was too much with Lucas. She had 2 outfits a piece and 5 sets of under garment for the both of them plus 5 pair of socks a piece. She reduced her shoes from 1 pair of sandals and 1 pair of tennis shoes to just the tennis shoes. Shampoo and deodorant was the limit of toiletries. She had to get a job. She needed on her feet.
She got the bag and cleaned up the apartment. Then went back to the house. Lucas had sat on the porch watching Range. “Hey buddy.” Scarlet said.
“ Mom can we go see the truck?” Lucas asked.
“ Sure.” Scarlet dropped the bag and took his hand and walked towards the truck. The adjuster was taking pictures and said to them.
“ You guys are lucky. One more 1/2 inch and this tree would have crushed all of you. But you would have been electrocuted. “ He pointed at the near miss of the tree hitting the wires.
“God had his hand on us.” Scarlet said.
“He is always looking out for us. “ Range said. “So, what ya think here?” Rage asked pointing at the truck.
“It’s a total. I have a program where you can buy the total back at auction cost. We pay out the worth minus the deductible then offer the auction cost. “ Seth explained. So in your case this is an older truck kept in great condition. Looking at my numbers the truck is worth about $10,000 -$500 make it $9500. A truck in this condition would sell for about $700 so we could sell it back to you for that amount. So then I would print you a check today for $8800. “ Seth tried to explain everything.
“Let’s just total it. Thank you. “ Range told him.
“ Okay let me print your paperwork. “ Seth set back in his car and worked on everything. He also called the tow company to come pick up the vehicle. He printed the check and collected his papers then stepped back out of the car. “ ok here is your paperwork, I need a signature right here and a copy is included for you and here is your check. Thank you sir.” Seth shook Ranges hand. “A tow truck will be here in a few hours do you have a way to cut the tree off of it?” Seth asked.
“Yes, I’ll have it ready.” Range assured him.
Seth got back in his car and left. Range started walking towards the barn he needed the chain saw. Lucas followed him. Scarlet waited at the truck.
Range came out with a chainsaw and some trimmers.
“How good you feel?” Range asked Scarlet.
“ Great! what can I do? Scarlet asked eagerly.
“ Can you start by the windshield and cut the small branches. Like this.” Range shows Scarlet how to maneuver the trimmers. Lucan do you want to help?”
“ Yes Sir!” Lucas was excited.
“ When your mom cuts a branch I need it carried over here.” Range walked over to a spot along the drive that he could put the tree until later.
“ Yes I can cause I’m strong.” In his best 4 year old voice.
“ Yes you are buddy!” Scarlet said.
They got to work and Range had started cutting small pieces of wood while Scarlet trimmed around the windows. Before long, the truck was visible, now it was Range’s turn to cut the large part of it.
Scarlet and Lucas moved the pieces of wood into a neat pile for Range. When all the pieces had been moved Range stopped and wiped his forehead With his hanky. He leaned against the truck.
“ I’m gonna run to the house for drinks.” She said and he nodded.
Lucas went and leaned against the truck and wiped his forehead like Range. Range watched him out of the corner of his eye. This boy was in need of a mans attention. He was too old for the job but Scarlet may find her a man in town. He thought that but something inside made him want to kick himself for thinking it. He pushed it to the back of his mind when scarlet brought 3 Sodas out. They each drank up and Scarlet asked if she could empty the cab for him.
“ Yes that would be great. Lucas want to help me get the plates off?” Range asked.
“ Yes Sir! He again was overly excited. Range chuckled. He got two screwdrivers from the tool box in his truck and gave one to Lucas. He loose the screw to the plate then let Lucas finish. He told him how to remember which way to turn. Lucas was very happy when the plate came off for him. “ I got it! I got it!!” Lucas squealed. They went to the rear and took the other one off and handed them to Scarlet. She added to the pile of papers and items she retract from the dash box. Range got all his tools out and the truck was now empty.
“ Caroline tried for years to get me to buy a new truck.” Range admitted.
“ To everything there is a season.” She laughed. “ Maybe she would be glad you didn’t now.” Scarlet said.
“ Oh she would have had a fit.” He smiled. “ I’m gonna move the truck out of the way. So we can go to town. Lucas you want to drive? “
“Are you for real? Yes!!!!” He was jumping up and down. “ Mommy you move out of the way I’m gonna drive. “ Lucas said.
“ oh ok I will.” She laughed and moved in an exaggerated move.
Range and Lucas moved the truck to the side of the drive and left his key in it. He and Scarlet and Lucas went in the house and she left all his thing on his counter. Range came in the room,” Let’s go grab some lunch.”
Scarlet gave Range an “ I need to tell you something look” and he told Lucas to go to the restroom before they left.
“Range, I don’t have the extra money to eat out. Me and Lucas can stay in the apartment. It not a problems” she tried not to be embarrassed.
“ Well you were invited so that means it’s on me.” He told her.
She smiled a quick smile. Inside she was mortified. One day, I’ll be able to take care Lucas all alone.
“ I’m ready.” Lucas said.
They all went to the car that was formerly Caroline’s. Scarlet watched as he shifted the seat back and adjusted the mirror slowly. He wiped his hand over the steering wheel. He backed out of the drive and headed to town.
Lucas had talked more today than ever, Scarlet knew he trusted Range. How could this ever end good? Her thoughts were interrupted by Lucas.” Mommy? Mommy?”
“ Yes son?” She answered.
“ Did you see me drive Mr. Range’s truck? He needed the attention.
“ yes I did and what a fine job you did!” She tried to make sure he knew how proud she was.
Range turned into the Restaurant he realized how hungry he had become. It was nearly 2:00 and none of them had stopped for lunch. He felt bad as he hadn’t thought of the boy needing to eat. Scarlet was so thin he worried about her.
Once inside they ordered drinks and rolls were brought to the table. Grace was said but even then Lucas never reached for a roll he waited and let his Mom serve him. Range thought about how well behaved he was. Scarlet had done a great job.
When dinner was over he told Scarlet he want to go look at a truck.
He pulled into the dealership and drove to a black Chevy Colorado. He was surprised to see Walt come up to him. “ Man I thought you would be closed.”
“ This is our last Saturday of the month so we stay til 5:00pm.” Walt explained.
“ What kind of deal can you get me on this truck.” Range asked.
They bantered back and forth for a while. “I tell you what, get me to 18,500 and I’ll pay cash. Call me Monday after you run the numbers. “ Range shook his hand.
“ Will do Range.” Walt said.
Range got back in the car and said ,” We are going to the department store for a few things. “
“ Sure.” Scarlet said.
“ You feeling ok? “ Range asked.
“ Yes, there is some pain but not lots.” Scarlet replied.
They all walked in and Range went to the boot section. “ What size you wear son?” He asked Lucas.
Lucas looked at his mom for an answer. “12” Scarlet whispered to Lucas.
“ I wear a size 12 sir.” Lucas said as manly as he could. “ Sir we ain’t got money for new boots.” Lucas half whispered to Range.
Range tapped the shoe bench for him to hop up. Lucas did. “Well the way I look at this is, you worked very hard today right?” Range asked.
“ Yes I did. Lucas answered.
“Would I be a good boss if I didn’t pay my farm hands?” Range asked.
“I suppose not.” Lucas replied.
“ So I need my farmhands to have good boots if they are gonna be good helpers. Right?? Do you already have boots? Range asked.
“ThAts true. No I only have these shoes. “ Lucas shook his feet. .
Ok Mom will you help with size ?” Range asked.
Scarlet took a pair of boots and tried them on him. They finally found a boot they were satisfied with and put it in the cart. “A farmhand needs good socks too. “ Range went and had Scarlet get him some socks. “ Would you look at this?” Range said. It was a shirt like his. Lucas didn’t say anything but his eyes said all. “ what about a farmhand shirt?”Range asked Lucas.
“ I’d sure like it a lot.” He said with a grin.
Scarlet watch as the cart got fuller with pjs, and underwear, tee shirts and pants. She was so Thankful.
Then Range went to the toys. Lucas would barely look at the toys. “ Do 4 year olds like toys?”
“Yes they do.” Lucas said.
“What do they like? Range asked.
“ Mostly tractors, and trucks , and horses, and cows. Bikes don’t forget bikes. “ Lucas said.
“ Why don’t you pick something out tonight?” Range offered.
Lucas looked up at his mom. “ It’s ok , need help?” Scarlet offered.
“ Nope. “ He went to a farm set with the works . “ I like this one.” He said with excitement.
“ Well that’s a good choice!” Range told him and tousled his hair.
“ Thanks for allowing me to do this. I’ve never.., shopped for a boy.” Range new Scarlet would be worried about the purchase and paying him back. He enjoyed this. He and Caroline had no children so this was a pleasure for him.
Scarlet was so thankful she had to leave lol their things behind and toys were not a necessity. Lucas had a toy truck but lost it along the way. He was so sad but she knew food was more important.
They got to the checkout lane and Lucas help get all his things out of the cart. He was so excited but wouldn’t act up in any way. He walked out with bags on his arm so proud. Scarlet made it a point not to see his total. She knew it was significant.
“ I say we need ice cream!” Range announced.
Lucas shot his eyes to the front. He smiled so big.
They stopped and had some ice cream that the three of them enjoyed. Lucas told Range how hard he would work for him. He would look for approval for his mom. “ You are a great farmhand Buddy!” Scarlet and Range talked about the town and his past a bit. Once ice cream was gone they headed back to the house. Lucas was tired but fought the need for sleep. Scarlet knew he wanted that toy.