Now that the wedding was behind us, we spent the next week getting back into our normal routines again.Dad even used some of this time on Monday to talk to the boys and thank them for their wonderful birthday gift, as well as checking out some of the individual files on the flash drive.When we got home from work that evening, he had something to tell us.
“Noah called earlier to let us know he’d arrived on campus.”
“What about Elliot?” Brandon wanted to know.“Didn’t you hear from him?”
“Not yet, but he might be waiting until he’s sure you two are here before he calls.Just because I haven’t heard from him doesn’t mean there’s a problem.”
“I certainly hope not.”
We finished dinner and still hadn’t heard from Elliot, so I was thinking about calling his cell phone.Before I did that, however, my cell phone rang.“It’s about time you called,” I answered since I knew it was him.I also put it on speaker, so Brandon could hear at the same time.
“Sorry about that, but I had some trouble along the way.”
“What sort of trouble?” Brandon nearly screamed.
“I was on I-78 and had just entered New Jersey when I hit some debris in the road.I’m not sure if it had fallen off a truck or there was an accident there earlier, but I didn’t see it in time and ran over it.It punctured my tire, in fact it kind of tore it up a bit, so I pulled off the shoulder and called Triple-A.”
“Couldn’t you have changed it yourself?” I asked.
“I could have, but I pay a yearly fee to be a member so I called them and let them change it.”
“Yes, you were never one to get your hands dirty,” Brandon teased.
“Hey, why should I do it when I already pay for someone else to take care of those things?” he retorted.
“True, but that shouldn’t have taken very long.”
“I had to wait a while for the guy to get there, and then after he changed it I didn’t want to travel very far on that stupid donut.I asked him to suggest a reliable place nearby where I could buy a new tire and have it put on, and he gave me the information I needed.Once he left, I headed there next, but they were pretty busy so it took a while before they got to me.Everything’s fine now and I’m back on campus, so no big deal.”
“I’m glad to hear that and thanks for calling.Now maybe you see why we ask you to call.”
“Yeah, I guess it’s good to know that I have someone checking up and watching out for me.”
After we said goodbye to him, Brandon and I were able to breathe a little easier again.We also went to let Dad know that we’d heard from him as well and explained why he hadn’t called earlier.
Other than that, things were going pretty smoothly, and then on Wednesday Dad told us that Flash had gone over to the door around mid-morning and started barking.He said she was soon joined by Dobby, so he thought maybe someone was outside, but when he went to check no one was there.On a hunch he called for the boys to take them outside, and when they came inside again the boys told him that Flash immediately ran out on the grass and proceeded to poop.Dad asked if Dobby had done anything, and they said he only peed, but they gave them both a treat.
“So Flash and Dobby were letting us know they had to do that?” Tristan asked.
“It appears Flash was,” Dad answered, “but I’m not sure if Dobby was just mimicking her or he knew what he was doing as well.”
“Wow, I can’t wait to tell our dads they did that.”
While I was at work on Friday I got a little surprise.I went to one of the examination rooms to see my next patient and discovered Revin and Becky waiting for me.
“I wanted him to have a physical before school starts next week,” she explained when she saw the startled look on my face.
“Did you take off of work just to do this?”
“Yes, but I also took him to see Brandon before we came here.Revin had his teeth cleaned and Brandon took x-rays before he gave him a thorough examination.”
“I was going to say that you could have just let me know you wanted to do this and I could have examined him at the house, but seeing you also took him to see Brandon then I guess you had to do it this way.”
“And I wouldn’t impose on you at home, seeing you do so much for us already.”
“Oh, that would have been fine, but this is ok too.”
When I asked Revin to get undressed, he looked at his mom and spoke.“You can go back to wait in the other room now.”
She looked hurt for a second before she responded.“I’ve seen it all before.”
“Yeah, when I was a little kid, but I’m a lot older now, so will you please go?”
She looked up at me and a sly grin formed on her lips.“Ok, I guess my little man doesn’t need me any longer.”
“I do, just not when I’m gettin’ undressed.”She was chuckling as she walked out the door.
As soon as the door was closed, he began talking off his clothes, and then he stood there in his birthday suit as he waited for me to begin.I gave him a complete physical and checked his records to see if he needed any vaccinations or booster shots, and after that had been taken care of I walked him out to the waiting room.
“All done and everything’s fine.He’s ready to return to school.”
They thanked me and left, and I went back to taking care of my other patients.When I met up with Brandon and Holly for lunch, we talked about Becky and Revin’s visit and what we’d done for them, and Holly thought it was nice that Becky was using us as Revin’s doctor and dentist.We told her that we’d suggested it and were giving them a discount, and she just smiled before she spoke.
“I should have guessed you guys would do something like that for them.”
After we got home that evening, Holly called her mother to say goodbye again, because she was leaving in the morning to live with her mother’s friend while she was attending college.We told her we’d help pack her car when we got home from work and she would still be able to get to her destination before it got dark, seeing she had a much shorter drive to get to campus than either Noah or Elliot.
While we were eating dinner, Holly told us that she was excited about starting college and couldn’t wait to get there.We told her to study hard, but to have some fun too, because it was a once in a lifetime experience.She thanked us for the advice, along with the things we’d given her for her birthday, and then she said she’d call us once a week, the same as she’d promised her mom.In return, I told her we would drive there on Labor Day weekend to see how she was doing, even though she would only have been there a week by then.However, it was a long weekend and it would give us a chance to meet her mom’s friend, as well as allowing her to show us around the campus.
“Are you going to bring my brothers with you?” she asked.
“We’ll probably bring all of the boys.”
“Ok, because I want to show them around too,” she replied, and then she paused briefly.“If you all come to see me, then when will you take my brothers to visit our mom?”
“We’ll drive to see you on Saturday after we get out of work, and then we’ll stay overnight at a local motel.In fact, I’ll call and make the reservation after you leave tomorrow, and then we’ll return home late Sunday afternoon.I’ll take the boys to visit your mom on Monday, and we’ll explain this to her when we see her this Sunday.”
“Ok, I just didn’t want her to be alone all that time.”
During dinner, the boys told us about what Flash and Dobby had done.“Grandpa Josh said that Flash and Dobby went to the door and barked to go outside,” Tristan announced.
“He said Flash barked first and that Dobby just barked cuz she did,” Hunter added.
“It’s still good that he did it as well, because it will help him get the idea that it’s what he needs to do when he has to go potty,” Brandon replied.
“And I think they’ve been staying in our room all night too, cuz they’re still in the doggy bed when we wake up in the morning,” Hayden offered.
“Yes, they stay in your room all night long,” I agreed.“I know, because I drop by and check on them after you boys fall asleep.”
“When can they start staying in my room?” Tristan asked.
“Now that they’ve gotten used to staying in the twins’ room all night, we’ll move their bed over to your room for a week and show Flash and Dobby what we’ve done.I’ll check to make sure they stay there as well, and if this works out then we’ll buy another doggy bed so they can choose which room they want to be in.”
“Do you think they’ll switch back and forth?” Hayden followed.
“Either that or they may split up on their own so one of them will be sleeping in each room.They might do it so they’ll have more room in the doggy bed, now that they’re getting bigger.”
“Yeah, that would be even better,” Hunter announced, bringing smiles to all of their faces.
Later, when the boys went upstairs to get ready for bed, the puppies followed them.After we read to the boys, I took the doggy bed over to Tristan’s room and then I showed Dobby and Flash where it was.They ran back to the twin’s room and looked around first, and then they went to Tristan’s room and laid down on it.
“See, they’ve figured it out already,” I told each of them before Brandon and I said goodnight and made our rounds.
When we got down to Holly’s room I had something to tell her.“I heard Ryan tell you earlier that he’d help you pack your car in the morning.Seeing it will only take you an hour or two to get to Johnstown, would you mind waiting to leave until we get home from work so we can have lunch with you?”
“No, I wouldn’t mind at all.”
“Thank you, because we’d like to be here so we can say goodbye,” Brandon added.
“I’d like that too.”
After we left her room and were walking away, Brandon made an observation.“It isn’t taking as long to do this, now that Noah and Elliot aren’t here,”
“And tomorrow night it will take even less time, because Holly will be gone as well.”
“It may make it faster to do this, but I’m going to miss each of them,” he responded.
“Me too,” I agreed as we headed to our bedroom.We fell asleep thinking about how our lives were changing.
When we got home from work on Saturday, Dad told us that Holly and Ryan had both awakened earlier than usual, and after they ate breakfast Ryan helped Holly carry her things out to the car.They loaded them into her trunk, but it didn’t all fit so they had to put the rest in the backseat, but she was ready to go by the time we arrived home from work.When I saw the expression on Ryan’s face, I got the impression that he was beginning to miss her already.
We all sat down at the table to eat, but we also talked about many different things at the same time.Holly reminded us that she would call once a week to let us know how she was doing and I gave her a few warnings about the route she would be taking to get there.I had traveled it several times before and knew some of the issues she might have to deal with, so I gave her a little heads up to prevent problems.
“And if you need anything, just let us know as soon as possible,” Brandon added.“We’re all here for you no matter what.”
As soon as we finished eating, we followed her outside and she gave each of us a hug and a kiss before she got in the car.Hayden and Hunter looked a little sad that she was leaving, but not nearly as sad as Ryan.I was hoping he wouldn’t mope around for the rest of the day as we watched her back out of the driveway, and we waved as she started to drive away.The nest was gradually thinning out as our little birdies started flying away.
As I was doing my chores, I noticed that Ryan was looking more than a little depressed, so I went over to speak with him about it.“Feeling lonely?” I asked.
“Yeah, everyone I’ve been hanging out with all summer is gone now.First it was Elliot and Noah, and now Holly.I know Noah and I didn’t get along sometimes, but I miss him too.”
“You and Noah foolishly let Holly come between you, even though she hadn’t done anything to encourage either of you that she was romantically interested.The important thing for you to remember now is that you and Noah are brothers.Over the next few years you’ll experience more crushes and will fall in love many times, but family lasts forever, that is as long as you don’t do anything to ruin the bonds between you.”
“I know,” he said as he looked down at his feet knowing I was right.
“Then maybe for the time being you should stop thinking about this so much.Instead, you could spend some of the time considering what you want to do differently for the Haunted House this year.We always add one or two new attractions every year to replace the ones that have been around for a while, so you might want to start thinking about it now.”
“Yeah, that’s a good idea, and then maybe I will have some ideas to tell my friends about when I see them at school on Monday.”
“Terrific and I’ll be down here if you want to run something by me, but just don’t do it in front of any of the other boys.I want them to be surprised when they go through it this year.”
I was glad I’d thought of telling him to do this, because it kept him from thinking about Holly and feeling sorry for himself for the rest of the day.In fact, it was a couple of hours before I saw him again, and then he disappeared for another hour.When I saw him next, he came up to me and began to speak in a whisper.
“There’s a bunch of stuff I’d like to show you, so is there someplace we can go?”
“Sure, let’s go up to my bedroom.”
“Ok, but I’ve got to run up to my room to get my laptop first.”
“My laptop is in my bedroom, so you can just use that.”
“No, I’ve bookmarked the things I want to show you and that will be faster than searching for them again.”
“Ok, I’ll meet you there.”
When we were back together again, I closed and locked the bedroom door so we wouldn’t be interrupted.“Ok, what did you want to show me?”
“I was looking online and found some really neat stuff.The first was a bunch of very realistic masks that would be great for the Haunted House.”
“How many are we talking about?”
“I don’t know, maybe ten.”
“Damn, that’s a lot, but let me see them.”
He then showed me the photos of the masks he was talking about.“Ok, they look great in the photos, but I’d actually like to see one in person before I make up my mind, so why don’t we order one of them so we can check it out.”
“Ok and they have some neat animated devices too,” he stated, and then he showed me a few of those.
“Ok, pick out the mask you like the best and the least expensive animated device and then I’ll use my credit card to order them.”
“But aren’t we wasting time doing it that way?”
“We’ve got a little over two months before Halloween, so we’ve got plenty of time to check them out first.If we like what we see, then we can always order some of the others later.”
“Ok, cuz I’d like to get a bunch of them.You can use them over and over again, so it’s not like you’ll be spending the money just for this Halloween.”
“I know, and we can probably switch them out so we’re not using the same ones every year.”
“Yeah, that’s what I was thinking too.”
Less than an hour later he was telling me which two items he wanted to order, so I sat down with him, filled out the form, and put everything on my credit card.I had the package shipped to me, because I was afraid if I had it sent to him that the boys might bug him to see what he got.They wouldn’t do that if it was addressed to me, and I warned Ryan not to open it either.I’d do that when I got home and then I’d show it to him later, or maybe we’d just open the package together.
When I was going downstairs again, I noticed the boys were just coming inside with Dobby and Flash.“They both went to the door and started barking, so we took them out,” Hunter explained when he saw me.
“Did they go potty?”
“Yep, they both did,” Tristan answered.
“That’s really good.I’m impressed.”
Things appeared to be going well.Dobby and Flash were letting the boys know when they had to go outside, and Ryan was totally absorbed in preparing for the Haunted House, so he was no longer moping around.If only everything worked out this well.
Just before dinner, I got a phone call from Holly.“I just wanted to let you know that I got here and Mom’s friend is really nice.I’ve got a nice room, but it’s not as nice as my room there, and she drove me over to the campus so I could see it and would know how to get there on my own.”
“That was very nice of her and we can’t wait to meet her when we come to visit.”
“I think she’s looking forward to meeting you too, cuz I’ve told her a lot about you.”
“Only the good stuff, I hope.”
“Of course, because I don’t have anything bad to say about you guys.”
“I’m glad, and we’ll see you next weekend.Love you.”
“I love you too.”
I then told Brandon about our conversation, and he was really pleased.“I’m glad she is getting along with her mom’s friend and this is working out great.”
“Yes, I’m pleased this is working out so well too.”
While we were eating dinner, we decided to mention a few things to the boys.“School starts on Monday, so we’re going to take you all shopping tomorrow.We’ll let each of you pick out some new clothes and we’ll buy your school supplies at the same time.I think we have a good idea about what you’ll need.”
“Have you enrolled Hunter and Hayden yet?” Ryan asked.
“No, we’ll do that Monday morning.We told our staffs not to schedule the first couple of appointments for the day so we’d have time to do it.”
“So you’re going with us the first day?” Hunter followed.
“Yes, because we have to fill out the paperwork so you can go there.”
“Oh, ok.I didn’t know that.”
After we finished eating, we went to watch TV with the boys, and that’s when we discovered the first of the Hobbit movies was on.When we finished watching it, I decided to ask the boys a question.“How would you boys like us to read The Hobbit to you next, after we finish the last of the Fudge books?”
“Yeah,” they screamed in response.
“Ok, we’ll plan on doing that then, but I have to ask you something first.The chapters of The Hobbit are a lot longer, so we can either read half a chapter each night, or you can get ready for bed an hour earlier so we’ll have time to read the entire chapter.What do you think?”
They put their heads together and talked it over quickly, and then Tristan turned back to us and spoke.“We’ll get ready for bed an hour earlier, cuz we want you to read the whole chapter to us.”
“Ok, we’ll do that then.”
The boys then headed upstairs to get ready for bed, and we went up to read to them about twenty minutes later.When we finished that chapter, Wyatt made a suggestion as we were saying goodnight.
“Can you pick up the doggy bed when you go shopping tomorrow?”
“Yes, we can, and you’ll be shopping too.Your dads are going to take you and Joshie at the same time and we’re all going to do it together.”
After leaving their room, we only had Benny, Joshie, and Ryan to say goodnight to.Tristan was staying with Revin, and the others were all at college, so when we finished Brandon and I merely looked at each other.
“It feels like we should be doing something else,” Brandon stated.
“I know.It’s like we’re forgetting something,” I agreed.
We knew that wasn’t the case and it was just that we were missing the rest of our family, so rather than dwell on it we got ready for bed as well.
After we woke the boys the next morning and had them get ready for church, we drove down to pick up Becky, Revin, and Tristan.After we arrived at the church, I spoke to Becky as we were walking to our Sunday school class.
“Once we finish eating brunch we’re going to take the boys shopping for school clothes and supplies.Would you like to go with us?”
“Absolutely, because I need to do that as well.”
“Great, then we’ll make this a family event, because Dion and Trey will be going as well.”
As soon as Sunday school and the church service ended, we went over to the diner for brunch.Dad and Pop already knew we were going to go shopping after we finished here, so we just had to decide who was going to ride with Dion and Trey, and who was going to ride with us.In the end it was agreed that Becky, Ryan, Tristan, and Revin would ride with us, and Benny, Joshie, Hunter, Hayden, and Wyatt would go with Dion and Trey.
We started out shopping for clothes first, and the boys would point out the things they’d like to get.If we agreed with their choice we would take the item with us, and if not we’d have them look for something else.There was one particular item that both Tristan and Revin wanted, but Becky told Revin he already had enough.We knew she probably didn’t have the money for any more clothing, so we offered to buy it for him.
“You don’t have to do that,” Becky chided us.
“I know we DON’T have to, but we want to, because it seems important to Tristan and your son.”
She merely made a face and shook her head slightly, but she allowed us to do it, so we were now ready to go look at the school supplies.On the way there, the boys made us stop to get the doggy bed first, because they were afraid we’d forget it.Once we had it, we finished up our little shopping excursion.
On the way home, we dropped Becky and Revin off at their place.“Thank you for letting us go with you,” Becky said before getting out of the SUV.
“And thanks for buyin’ that stuff for me,” Revin added.
“You’re both very welcome and we’ll see you again next week.”
We then returned to the house and helped the boys put everything away, and then we had them choose the outfit they wanted to wear the first day.They also made sure I placed the new doggy bed in the twins’ bedroom next, and they were eager to see which one Dobby and Flash would sleep in later.
This is not a post just to stroke my ego, but I want to know how many people truly want me to write another book in this series.I know I’ve had a few people mention they would like for me to do this, but I want to get a feeling for how many readers want me to continue the series.Just jot down a brief response to my post “CHNG4 ?” in the “Signature/Classic Authors Discussion Forum”.
All you need to say is that you’d like to see this series continue so I can get an overall idea as to whether there is enough support to devote the time and energy to write another book.If you’d like, you may also jot down any specific things you’d like to see in it, if I do eventually write another book.This will give me an idea about the types of story lines I will include in such a venture.
Thank you for your kind assistance with this matter.