Rain and Storms

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Chapter 7

Range rowed the boat back to the cabin and Scarlet grabbed the sandwiches and drinks she gave Lucas the rag to wash his hands. They said Grace then had a lovely picnic. When they were done Range showed them the cabin. It was a small room with a small kitchen and a loft behind the loft stairs was a cot with a quilt. It took Scarlet back to old tv shows.
“ So tell me about this.” Scarlet asked Range. Lucas had already got to the loft.
“ This is so cool!” Lucas shouted from the loft.
“ Caroline used this as a getaway. Sometimes she would just need to break away from everything and she would come stay. She help a lot of people and this was her helping herself. She would also help some of the ladies from the community by allowing them to stay just to collect their minds. She was wise when it came to women about to lose it.” Range explained. “ It has a refrigerator and a stove, microwave is hidden but here. No tv, no phone. We built a bathroom and installed an outdoor shower later but this is the part I’m glad she added. Come see. “ Range smiled.
He took her through the door thinking it was to the outside of the house but instead it was a room with a hot tub the ceiling was glass. The room was all windows that was camouflaged by out door foliage. It was like being outside with the comfort of being indoors.
“ I would love seeing this at night. I bet it is amazing!” Scarlet admired the room. “ I can see this is your favorite. “ she smiled.
“ Before Caroline got sick we came here for our anniversary. December 15th, she had watch the news like a hawk about the weather and packed enough to last us about 3 days. We came up and snow had fallen about a foot or so, we got in this hot tub as the snow fell and it was the most peaceful time. She talked about that until she was unable to speak. “ Range grew quiet as he remembered his sweet wife.
“ I’m so glad that you have such happy memories with her. It’s a blessing .” Scarlet said with sincerity .
Range changed the subject quickly due to what Scarlet just had encountered.
“Hey let’s ride back to the house and get ice cream!” Range said.
“ Let’s go!” Lucas exclaimed.
“ Scarlet laughed. They all got on the horses and headed back to the house.
Range and Scarlet put the horses back in the barn then they went in.
Range pulled out the ice cream and he grabbed some bananas and chocolate.
“Sundaes are so yummy” Lucas said.
“ You are right about that! Range said.
Lucas finished and started playing with is toys in the living room. Scarlet and Range went to do his laundry and Scarlet went to the guest room. She had folded all of The new clothes Range bought for Lucas, they were on a chair in the room. The tote that Range had given to her she went through and picked out only the things that fit. She took the tote and sat it back in the hall by Range’s room. She went back and counted the items she had to choose from, she hoped to get a job so she could get on her feet. Scarlet let her mind drift to when she had dreams of a herb business and pumpkins and growing mums. If she had the money she would own her own greenhouse. She could feel the touch of flowers growing in the warmth of the green house and to have arrangements for funerals. She closed her eyes and allowed herself to dream. She was 42! This all would just need to stay a dream. But she did need to talk to range about what they were going to do.
When Range was done he stopped by Scarlet and asked,” would you like to set on the porch?”
“Yes that would be nice.” She went to get Lucas.
“Let’s take your toys outside to the porch.”
“Ok, Let me get my tractor too. Lucas said.
Lucas began playing where he left off. Range handed Scarlet a cup of coffee and she sat on the swing.
“Thanks Range.” She always enjoyed coffee outside.
Range noticed how scarlet always used two hands to hold her coffee when she drank it. She seem to intensely enjoy it. He really enjoyed the company.

“So, I realize we need to make some decisions about me and Lucas. Do you have any thoughts. I can move out to the apartment now that I’m better. I can work for you to pay for things too. “ Scarlet offered.

“ Well, that’s fine. We can work tomorrow getting it set up for you two. We can go to the store and grab you groceries. What I was thinking is having you do cleaning and cooking for your pay. “ Range offered.

“ Range that’s not enough..” Scarlet started to say and Range held up his hand.

“ Caroline would roll over in her grave if I tried to charge you to stay in our barn. I’ll not have her haunting me!” He said. I’ll Pay you $100 a week to cook and clean and any other chores I need done. I’m sure that the barn stalls could use some extra care.

“ Do you ever put out a garden?” Scarlet asked.

“No that was never something Caroline was interested in, I was always too busy.” Range answered.

Scarlet sighed.

“ NowI have a patch over on the east side of the barn that would make a great garden. The soil there is great. You interested in putting one out?” Range asked.

Scarlets eyes lit up,”oh yes! I ha e had prize winning tomato’s before! Not to mention how I live to cook with garden veggies. “

“ Come on I’ll show you.” Range said.

He showed her all the area she could put one in.
“You got a tiller?” Scarlet asked.
“ I do in the barn but it hasn’t been started for a while. Let’s go see.” Range said.
Lucas followed along with a tractor and truck in his hands.
Range pulled the tiller out of the barn and checked to see if there was gas in it. Then pulled the cord. Nothing happened, he pulled a second time and a weak noise could be heard. He hit the primer a couple times and it tried to starts then he pulled again and it fired right up.

“ Grab those Stakes right there and we can get this done possibly tonight. “ Range roles the tiller to the garden spot. He tilled a row and looked at Scarlet she gave him a thumbs up. He did row after row. Scarlet couldn’t wait to get her hands in the dirt!

He stopped and turned the tiller off. “ do you need more room? “

“ Actually can I have a patch separated over here and then a small patch right here? “ she showed him where.

“ Sure thing. “ he started the tiller and got her patches for her and he took the tiller back to the barn.

Scarlet was walking through the dirt barefoot with Lucas in tow. Both had their shoes off tramping in the dirt.

Range laughed.

“ Onions and tomatoes and peppers and cucumbers and peas and beans and potatoes. Ughgh I can’t wait.”

Range spoke up from his smiling. “ Let’s get dinner and plan all this out.”

Scarlet turned and hugged Range so hard. “ Thank you so much!”

Range was a little shaken but said ,” your welcome” he said quietly.

“Let’s do grilled cheese and soup.” Scarlet said.

“I love grilled cheese!” Lucas said.

“ Me too buddy!” Range said

Scarlet made some soup and grilled cheese and they cleaned up the mess then went for baths. Scarlet couldn’t wait for tomorrow.

“Scarlet?” Range called.

“ Yeah?” She answered. She met him in the hallway.
“ Do you have everything you need for a drivers license?” Range asked.
“ Everything except a piece of mail. “ Scarlet said.
“ Tomorrow we will send you a piece of mail. Because when harvest comes I won’t be around much and you will need a way around.
“Thank you again.” Scarlet caught his eye. He had the softest eyes.
“ See you in the morning.” He cleared his throat and walked up the hall.

Range knew he had to collect his thoughts. He went in his room and shut the door. He laid on his bed.

“What am I thinking? I just buried my wife less than a month ago. I’m just lonely, that’s all. I’m playing house. Range knew even at 55 he was in great shape and he had good hair, he had soft blue eyes. He had many women hit on him but he didn’t look at anyone but his Caroline. And now his mind drifted down the hall to a super skinny dark haired greeneyed girl that ironically his wife would approve of. “ his thought frustrated him.
“ oh Caroline, I can’t replace you. It’s too soon. I can’t have feelings for Scarlet, but is it because I’m so lonely?”
He fell asleep restless, but in his dreams his sweet Caroline was there on the pond , she rowed the boat he thought she was rowing towards him and the more he anticipated her to join him on the bank. He waited and waited but the boat was rowing farther away he was frantic no! Don’t go! Please! She looked at him once more and simply said “ love again “ and she and the boat faded away. No! Don’t go! He ran around the pond hoping for one last glimpse. She was gone.
“Range, Range. It’s me , Scarlet. Are you ok?”
Range woke to Scarlet setting on the side of his bed. “ It was a dream. He grabbed Scarlet, “ she’s gone, she’s gone forever.” He sobbed.
Scarlet choked on her own tears and just held him. “ I know, I know.”
He held on and cried for a while. Then sat back. Put his face in his hands. “Scarlet, I’m so sorry.”
“It’s okay, sometimes you just need a shoulder. “ she whispered. Her hand had rested on his leg. “ Please talk about her as often as you want. “
“ I have grieved so much over the last 2 years. The last 6 months she went down so quickly. I rarely have spoken to anyone because I’ve been here with her. Now with you and Lucas my life feels normal again. I don’t want to betray her by moving on. “ He was clearly wrought.
“ Well Caroline, from what I hear of her was smart, caring, wise, and I don’t think you being unhappy or miserable would be what she wanted. I would be happy to carry on any of her traditions. “ Scarlet reasoned.
He reached over and picked up her hand. He gently kissed it, which sent sparks all over Scarlet, “ Thank you.”
“ She tried to swallow through dry mouth and somehow said. “ Anytime.”
She got up and left his room.
When she got back to her room she was giddy. He had kissed her, well her hand but he had kissed her!
Now who couldn’t sleep? She kept feeling her hand in his. She felt safe. She hadn’t felt that in forever.
Scarlet wondered about the house. How big was this house anyway. She had only been on the one side. And she knew there was an upstairs. She finally wondered back to sleep.

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