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    Bill W
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The Castaway Hotel: Next Generation Book 4 - 39. Chapter 39 – Belated Birthdays and Helping a Friend

On Friday, those who weren’t headed back home already met up at the house and participated in the Annual Currie Family Touch Football Game. Dad and Pop chose to referee the game instead of playing, and I kept score, but it was a fun endeavor for everyone who participated.

The younger boys didn’t take part in the football game and chose a team to root for instead. Once the game ended, Joshie, Benny, Ryan, Noah, Holly, Elliot, and Ian all agreed to join the younger group in a kickball game. The younger boys were thrilled that the older group was going to do this with them, although they were worried they wouldn’t do very well against the older players.

When choosing up sides, the older and younger players divided up evenly between the two teams, but the younger boys really didn’t have to worry. The older players didn’t do very well when the younger boys were up and they dropped the ball, made errant throws, and slipped and fell on their butts, so the younger boys did fairly well. It was extremely fun to watch.

Once both games had ended, those who’d played came inside to wash up, and shortly after that, we sat down to eat. Noah and Ryan had been allowed to choose what we’d be having for dinner tonight, since we were belatedly celebrating their birthdays. They conferred and agreed on BBQ chicken breasts with French fries and corn on the cob. I believe they were hoping this would allow them to cling to summer a little longer, although we were definitely well into autumn.

After we finished the meal, Danny and Brandon carried in the sheet cake for the combined celebration. Danny had slipped out earlier and drove to the bakery to pick it up so Dad wouldn’t have to make more cakes. It was divided in half, with one side saying Happy Birthday Ryan and having a large ‘1’ and ‘8’ sticking up above the writing. The other side read Happy Birthday Noah, with a large ‘2’ and ‘0’ above the writing on that side of the cake.

Danny and Brandon called both boys to join them, and then they lit the candles before we started singing Happy Birthday to them. When we finished our somewhat off-key rendition, they made their wishes and blew out the candles, one at a time. Once that was handled, Brandon passed each of them a knife and allowed them to cut their side of the cake. Danny and Brandon passed out the slices as Noah and Ryan ate their piece, and then both boys were allowed to open their gifts. After thanking everyone for their presents, Ryan spoke up.

“Hey, Noah got a lot more stuff than I did.”

“Oh, that’s right. You’ve haven’t received all of your gifts yet, but if you’ll follow me outside, I’ll give you your last present,” Danny told him.

Ryan looked confused as we all followed Danny outside. Ryan was anxiously looking around to see what his dad was talking about, but he didn’t notice anything special.

“Where is it?” he whined.

“Its right there,” Danny said as he pointed at something.

“Isn’t that Grandpa Josh and Grandpa Jake’s old car?” asked Ryan.

“It was, but now it’s your car.”

“Really? I’m getting a car?” he asked excitedly as he began hopping around.

“Yes. Your grandfathers decided to give it to you for your birthday, and Brandon and I paid Cole to go through it and fix it up so it’s as good as new. Happy Birthday!”

Danny then handed him the key and Ryan began jumping up and down as he thanked both of his dads and both of his grandfathers. After thanking each of them multiple times, he then raced over to the car and hopped in the driver’s seat.

“Does this mean I get to drive myself back to school?” he asked after rolling down the window.

“Yes, you’ll just have to go to the security office when you get back to campus and pick up your parking sticker. We already filled out and signed the forms, but you’ll need to sign the agreement too, and then they’ll give you your parking sticker and explain which lot it’s for.”

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” he said as he climbed out of the car again and began hugging his dads. “I didn’t think you were going to give me a car.”

“We weren’t at first, but when your grandfathers told us they were willing to give you the car, we changed our minds. You have to know something, though: this not only counts as one of your birthday presents, but it counts as one of your Christmas gifts as well, because this present cost so much. The same is true for your grandfathers as well.”

“I don’t care! I’m just happy to have a car!” he screamed as he began dancing around again. “I want to thank all of you for doing this for me.”

Now that Ryan was satisfied that he hadn’t been cheated on the presents he’d received, some of us went back inside the house, while Ryan showed off his car to anyone who wanted to see it. While he was doing that, Dad, Brandon, Danny, and I started cleaning up the kitchen and dining room, while Dion took care of TJ. We were soon assisted in the cleanup by Aunt Mary, Aunt Sally, and Becky, but it got a little crowded in the kitchen, so we merely asked them to clear off the tables for us. With so many helping, the cleanup went quickly, and then we went into the living room to chat.

“Josh and Jake, it was really nice of you to do that for Ryan, and Danny and Brandon it was nice of you to have Cole fix it up,” said Aunt Mary.

“We’d given Noah a car when he graduated from high school, but Ryan asked for other things that were quite expensive, so we decided we couldn’t give him a car too,” responded Danny. “We knew he still wanted a car, so when Dad and Pop suggested they were willing to do this, we thought it was the best way to give Ryan what he wanted. It would also save us from making multiple round-trips to his campus to drop him off and pick him up.”

“You pulled it off very nicely,” agreed Uncle Steve.

As we were chatting, Ryan came rushing into the house. “Can I take the others for a ride in my car?”

“Yes, but you can’t take more than four at a time – one in the front passenger seat and three in back.”

“Ok, but I’ll have to make a couple of trips.”

“That’s fine. You have a full tank of gas, but just drive carefully.”

“Yeah, I don’t wanna wreck my new car!”

“Or any of the others either,” chimed in Brandon.

“Yeah, I don’t want any of them to get hurt either.”

“We’re glad to hear that.”

Ryan then left to give the others a ride in his new car, even though most of them had ridden in it with Dad or Pop. It seemed as if they all were willing to go with Ryan and looked at this as a totally different vehicle, or possibly they just wanted to see how well Ryan drove. No matter their reasoning, Ryan ended up making three short trips before they all came back inside.

When he returned, Ryan thanked everyone for their gifts again, and then Aunt Sally, Aunt Mary, Uncle Steve, and Richard announced it was time for them to leave. We said we’d see them again tomorrow, when they came to Revin’s party, and then we walked out with them as they got in their cars and drove off.

Shortly after we came back inside, Becky announced that she was going home as well. “It’s time for me to leave as well, because I have a lot to finish up before tomorrow, but Revin wants to spend the night again. Do you mind?”

“No, not at all,” Brandon answered.

“I packed an overnight bag for him, in case you agreed, so he just has to come out with me to get it.”

“We’re all going to walk out with you anyway, so it’s not a problem,” commented Dad.

We then followed her outside, and after she gave the overnight bag to Revin, we said goodnight to her and waved as she drove off. Then, we went inside again.

“Ok, it’s getting late and we have a big day ahead of us tomorrow, so I want you boys to start getting ready for bed,” announced Brandon.

The boys didn’t hesitate or argue and raced upstairs, and we went up to tuck them in after we heard them getting out of the shower. To our mild surprise, Wyatt was sleeping with Xander again, but this time in Xander’s bedroom, while the twins were in their bedroom, and Revin was in with Tristan. It only made sense, though, since Wyatt was closer in age to Xander, than he was with the twins. Xander and Wyatt were also the only two at the elementary school, while the twins, Revin, and Tristan all attended the middle school.

When the boys came downstairs for breakfast the following morning, Revin was super hyper. “You’ve got to calm down or you won’t last until your party,” Dion warned him.

“Yeah, I know, but I’m just excited about everything.”

“We understand, but we don’t want you to pass out from excitement before any of that happens.”

He seemed to calm down a bit as he ate, and when they finished, the boys took Dobby and Flash outside so they could play with them. They played in the leaves again, but this time the boys tried to cover the pups with the leaves instead, but Dobby and Flash weren’t having any of that. They would snap at the leaves and then try to run away from them, so the boys eventually gave up. Instead, they had Dobby and Flash chase them as they raced around the yard.

When they came inside again, we told them to go shower and change, since they’d been sweating and gotten dirty playing outside. When they finished, we called them downstairs for lunch, and shortly after they finished eating, we got ready to head to the bowling alley.

Becky was there when we arrived, and Danny went to the counter to find out what lanes they’d been assigned. We helped the boys get their bowling shoes and find a bowling ball. When Revin’s two friends showed up, they handed Revin the presents they’d brought for him, and Revin handed the gifts to his mother. Danny and Brandon then helped the new boys with the same things they’d helped the others with previously.

Once they were all ready, Revin, Tristan, and Revin’s two friends bowled on one lane, and Brandon and Becky helped them, in case they were having trouble, while Danny kept score. The rest of the boys bowled on the other lane, and Dion helped them while I kept score.

We let the boys bowl two games, and they seemed to do a little better this time, than at Tristan’s party. Revin’s friends struggled a bit, though, but overall, the boys had a good time.

After they finished the second game, we had them return their bowling balls to the racks, put on their athletic shoes, and return their bowling shoes to the counter. We then split into two groups before getting in the SUVs so we could head back to the house, while Becky took the presents out to her car and made a trip to the bakery to pick up the cake.

When we got to the house, Dad and Pop had the dining room set up for us. The dishes and silverware were on the table, but the boys didn’t notice that, because Dobby and Flash began greeting them as they came through the door.

“I didn’t know you had dogs,” stated one of Revin’s friends.

“I don’t. This is Tristan’s house and these are his family’s dogs.”

“They’re really cute and very friendly,” said Revin’s other friend.

While they were playing with the pups, Becky showed up and carried the cake and presents to the kitchen, and after taking the cake out of the box, she placed all of the items on the dining room table. She then put a large ‘1’ and ‘2’ on the cake, and a short time later she called the boys to the dining room.

After everyone was there, Becky called Revin to join her at the head of the table, and then she lit the candles, and we sang Happy Birthday to him. After he made a wish and blew out the candles, Becky helped Revin cut the cake while Brandon went out to get the ice cream. Revin got his piece of cake and ice cream first, and he ate it while the rest were getting theirs. As soon as he finished, Becky let him open his gifts.

Tristan and the other boys had brought down the presents they had their fathers help them buy for him earlier, so they went to get them now and gave them to Revin. He opened the presents from the boys, but the rest of us were holding onto our gifts until the family party.

Revin opened the presents one at a time and thanked the person or persons who gave it to him. Once he’d opened the last of the gifts, the boys decided on what they wanted to do next.

“Can we take the dogs outside and play with them?” Revin’s friends wanted to know. Revin looked at Danny and Brandon for an answer.

“Sure you can,” stated Danny.

“Can they play fetch?” one of the boys asked.

“They’ll chase after the ball, but then they just play with it,” answered Tristan. “They won’t bring it back to you.”

“That’s too bad,” the boy responded.

“But they like to chase us around,” suggested Revin.

“Ok, what if we do that then?”

“Yeah, that would be good,” Revin agreed.

The boys had Dobby and Flash chase them around the yard for a half hour, and then the boys decided to play hide-and-go-seek. The only problem with this idea was that the puppies often gave away where the boys were hiding when they tried to get to them. This meant the boys had the choice between putting the puppies in the house or to stop playing the game. In the end, they chose to do something else, because they knew that putting the puppies in the house would be mean. Instead, they took Revin’s friends out to the backyard so they could show them the tree house.

“Whoa, this is really neat,” one of the boys said. “Can the puppies go up there too?”

“Yeah, there’s a pulley system we use to get them up there and Dobby and Flash have learned not to jump out of it while we’re pullin’ them up,” Revin answered.

“Can we go up there and check it out?”

“Sure,” the other boys agreed.

They played in the tree house for another half hour, and then Becky had to call them in so Revin’s friends could phone their parents to pick them up. Both of the boys were sad that they had to go, since they’d obviously had a good time.

“Thanks for invitin’ me to your party,” they both told Revin. “It was a lot of fun.”

“And thanks for the presents,” Revin replied, “and thanks for comin’.”

A short time later, the boys’ parents picked them up and they went home. As soon as they left, we had the boys wash up and change again, because the others would be arriving shortly for the family party.

Revin had originally said that he wanted to have spaghetti and meatballs for his birthday dinner, but Dad talked him into having lasagna instead. Dad did this because it would also be the last meal we’d be sharing with the college group before they returned to their campus, and he wanted it to be one they would remember.

Once Revin consented to Dad’s suggestion, he also agreed to have a green salad and garlic bread with it. Dad would also have plates with sliced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, and baby carrots to add to the salads. There would also be a number of bowls filled with black olives, chopped peppers, bacon bits, feta cheese, shredded cheese, and croutons so everyone could add what they wanted to their salad. There would also be an assortment of dressings for them to choose from.

Once Aunt Mary, Uncle Steve, Aunt Sally and Richard arrived, they wished Revin a Happy Birthday and handed him their gifts, and then we chatted for a while until Dad called everyone out to eat. Brandon and I had helped Dad with preparing the meal and now we helped to carry everything out to the table. We then sat down to eat.

“This lasagna is excellent!” noted Aunt Mary.

“Yes, I don’t think I’ve ever had lasagna that tasted this good before,” added Aunt Sally.

“I used my wife’s recipe, and both sides of her family were Italian,” replied Dad.

“Then this is obviously the real thing,” commented Uncle Steve.

“I’ve had it before, when I lived here with them,” added Richard, “but it’s even better than I remembered.”

“I want to thank each of you for your polite comments,” said Dad.

“They’re not just polite, they are honest too,” corrected Uncle Steve.

There was very little further discussion as the meal continued, since everyone was so busy enjoying the food. When we finished eating, we all agreed to take a little break before having the cake, to give our meals time to settle. During the interim, we chatted and the boys told our guests about the earlier part of their day.

After they’d heard what the boys had to say, Uncle Steve asked Dad a question.

“Are there any more birthdays coming up soon?”

“The first would be our Savior’s birthday, but then we won’t have another one to celebrate until Jake’s birthday at the end of January.”

“That’s good, because then we’ll have a chance to work off some of the pounds we’ve gained eating your delicious dinners.”

“Isn’t that the truth,” agreed his wife.

As soon as we were ready for cake, we headed out to the dining room again. To our surprise, Dad had made two cakes for Revin’s party, and he and Becky carried them into the dining room. Becky carried a chocolate cake with fudge frosting, since Revin had liked it so much at Dion’s party, and the other was a cherry cake with cream cheese icing. I think we all knew who would want a slice of which cake.

Becky had reused the ‘1’ and ‘2’ from the earlier party and place them on the chocolate cake, and after she lit the candles, she called Revin up to join her. We then sang Happy Birthday to him, and after we finished, he made another wish and blew out the candles. While Becky and Dad were cutting the cakes, Revin began opening his presents.

He would thank the person or persons who gave him the gift after he unwrapped it, and when he had opened the last of his presents, he finally took his piece of cake. After he wolfed it down, he and the other boys went off to check out each of the items he’d received in more detail.

Once the boys had taken off, Becky thanked each of us for our help with both of the parties for Revin. “I couldn’t have pulled this off without your help,” she stated.

“You’re family, and we always do things like this to help out other family members,” replied Dad.

“I still want to thank you, and I appreciate that you’ve taken Revin and me in as part of this wonderful family.”

We continued chatting until Becky made an announcement. “I’ve got a lot to do so we’ll be ready for church in the morning, so I’m going to call Revin and head home.”

We helped Revin carry out his presents to his mother’s car, and then we said goodbye to them before they took off. Once they had driven away, we sent the younger boys upstairs to get ready for bed, and then we went up to tuck them in.

In the morning, Dad made sure all of the college students got up and went to church with us as well, because he wanted to make a huge impression on the new minister. He had also called Dustin, Cole, Kevin, Jesse, and Richard while we were at the bowling alley the previous day to make sure they were also going to attend the service. He wanted the new minister to see what part of the congregation was made up by our family, since he thought it would help to add weight to his position when they met.

When we got to the church, Rev. Kirk stopped Dad before he entered the building. “I’ve arranged for you to meet with Rev. Belec at 3:00 this afternoon, because I know you like to go eat with your family after church. Will that give you enough time?”

“Yes, that will be fine. Where are we going to meet?”

“He agreed that the church would be appropriate, so I’m going to let the two of you use my office.”

“Fine, I’ll return later to have a chat with him.”

The family had already headed inside to attend their Sunday school classes, so Dad and Pop headed to theirs. When Sunday school ended, the family all met up so we could sit together for the church service, and we managed to fill up several pews.

When Rev. Kirk made his way to the pulpit, there was another man following behind him. The man appeared to be average height, although stockier than most, and when he turned around, it looked as if he had a pox marked face. I think we all assumed that he’d had an acne problem while going through puberty that had left his face scarred. We were still observing the man when Rev. Kirk began to speak.

“I’d like to introduce to the congregation the man who will become your new minister in the New Year. May I present to you Rev. Roy Belec.”

He received some polite applause in greeting, but it appeared that it would take time before the members of the congregation thoroughly warmed up to him.

“Thank you,” responded Rev. Belec. “I look forward to becoming your next pastor.”

He then took a seat behind Rev. Kirk as he began his sermon, which was based on Matthew 7, verses 1-3. “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged, and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” (KJV)

I don’t think any of us were certain if this was directed at Rev. Belec or the congregation in general, since I believe we all had questions about each other. I felt it was probably aimed directly at both Rev. Belec and Dad before their meeting this afternoon, but it was difficult to determine if it was aimed at just one of them, rather than the other. Even Rev. Kirk’s remarks during the sermon didn’t clear it up, even though we all knew it was Rev. Kirk’s way of telling both parties that they should keep an open mind.

When the service ended and we were making our way outside, I think we all noticed that Rev. Kirk was making sure that Rev. Belec was aware of which members of the congregation were related to Dad. As he introduced each of us, he would make a comment about how we were related to Dad, but I’m not sure how much of an impression it made on Rev. Belec. However, I felt Rev. Kirk thought it would strengthen Dad’s hand when he met with Rev. Belec later.

Copyright 2020 by billwstories

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Chapter Comments

Well Bill, you've written another very interesting chapter.

It's been another busy Autumn for the Currie family with more than a half dozen birthday parties plus Thanksgiving.

As some family members head back to out of town college and university, the family patriarch - Josh - has to deal with a new minister at their church, and the possibility Rev. Belec may have a problem with gay families and gay children.

Never a dull moment for the family, but they're up to the challenge.

Stay safe and well Bill. My usual admonitions apply about Covid - safety, distance and wearing masks. Even with encouraging news about possible vaccines, we've got to get through winter, so hang in there. 

Tony

:thankyou:

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26 minutes ago, Anton_Cloche said:

Well Bill, you've written another very interesting chapter.

It's been another busy Autumn for the Currie family with more than a half dozen birthday parties plus Thanksgiving.

As some family members head back to out of town college and university, the family patriarch - Josh - has to deal with a new minister at their church, and the possibility Rev. Belec may have a problem with gay families and gay children.

Never a dull moment for the family, but they're up to the challenge.

Stay safe and well Bill. My usual admonitions apply about Covid - safety, distance and wearing masks. Even with encouraging news about possible vaccines, we've got to get through winter, so hang in there. 

Tony

:thankyou:

Thanks for the feedback, Tony.  As you mentioned, there's never a dull moment in the Currie household with birthdays, holidays, and other unexpected problems.  They've already helped out Tamara with the problem she was having, got through the issue with Xander being bullied, and have dealt with and still dealing with TJ's issues, but then along comes the new minister.  At first glance he appears to be homophobic, so will they be able to find a happy medium where both sides can walk away with some dignity, or is the problem irreparable?  We shall see.  

I agree that everyone must stay safe, distance, and wear masks.  This looks as if it will be a long, hard winter in the Northern Hemisphere, and a trying summer in the Southern Hemisphere, although they'll have a better chance of staying outdoors while doing those things.  Even though winters in Georgia are shorter and not as snowy as when I lived up north, the cold still gets to me just as badly, now that I'm older.  All of you please take care.  

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So we finally meet the new pastor :)

i hope that we are going to have the discussion between Josh and rev Belec in the next chapter .

excellent chapter 👍

 

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Humm Revin is 12, with him Tristan and the twins in Middle school; the younger boys are growing up fast. Hormones will soon be kicking in if for some it already hasn't started. They likely are aware of that Joshie and Benji are a couple. Woder what their various feelings are about this and their household as they each start to navigate their way through their growing awareness. 

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34 minutes ago, Danilo Syrtis said:

So we finally meet the new pastor :)

i hope that we are going to have the discussion between Josh and rev Belec in the next chapter .

excellent chapter 👍

 

It will be happening soon, you don't have to worry about that. 

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14 minutes ago, Jrm1 said:

Humm Revin is 12, with him Tristan and the twins in Middle school; the younger boys are growing up fast. Hormones will soon be kicking in if for some it already hasn't started. They likely are aware of that Joshie and Benji are a couple. Woder what their various feelings are about this and their household as they each start to navigate their way through their growing awareness. 

Jrm, if you remember earlier in this book, Joshie and Bennie told Danny and Brandon that they'd heard Tristan and Revin having oral sex in their bedroom... I guess they were slurping kind of loud.  We haven't brought it up since, but I doubt that they've stopped.   However, I don't think the twins are sexually active yet.  

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Humm Revin is 12, with him Tristan and the twins in Middle school; the younger boys are growing up fast. Hormones will soon be kicking in if for some it already hasn't started. They likely are aware of that Joshie and Benji are a couple. Woder what their various feelings are about this and their household as they each start to navigate their way through their growing awareness. 

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As kids enter puberty, their world views and understanding change. What they know about and do might be the same. Remembering the various challenges that Josh dealt with especially involving Sammy and Andrew. 

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3 hours ago, Jrm1 said:

As kids enter puberty, their world views and understanding change. What they know about and do might be the same. Remembering the various challenges that Josh dealt with especially involving Sammy and Andrew. 

Yes, each kid has his own problem and hang-ups, so we'll have to wait and see how these boys deal with those situtations.  

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