The next morning, walking into the kitchen, I was surprised, there were David and Jon, cooking, Harry and Mathew were setting the dining room table, Paul was getting orange juice ready for the boys to place on the table. Maria was directing all of the activities, beside pouring my coffee. Stepan and Marat came into the kitchen and were assigned making toast. I smiled when I saw how smooth everything was running. Alex came in and sat beside me. Maria got him a cup of coffee.
“How did you sleep?”
“Very well. I slept like I was in a brick house.”
I laughed, “I’m going to need to think up more stories. I may have started something last night.” That was when Yury sat Vasily in my lap. I gave him a hug and a kiss, “Are you hungry?”
He shook his head yes as he looked around. Maria took a small slice of bread, buttered it, added some peanut butter, and handed it to Vasily, who smiled back. Paul set a glass of orange juice for Vasily in front of me.
“Carleton, I think you’re going to need a larger table.”
“Yes, now the boys split up between the dining room table, the kitchen breakfast table, and the breakfast bar. I haven’t found a table big enough. If I can find two tables large enough and would make sure they would fit in the room, then I could do that.”
“Didn’t the architect have carpenters working on the expansion? Maybe one of them knows a carpenter that could make you a table. You would need to make sure that it will accommodate a few extras, like me.”
“Don’t worry. There will always be a place for you at my table.” Knowing about Alex, I felt more respect for him. I liked him from the first time I met him. Now, I feel honored to be his friend.”
Peter walked in for his breakfast. He sat down at the bar with us. “Peter, after breakfast this morning, we have a few errands to run. I want to look at some bunk beds.” One of the boys heard me and wanted to know what a bunk bed was.
“Good morning, Anton. A bunk bed is when one bed is on top of the other bed. Then two boys could be in the same room and still have their own bed. You’ll see when we bring one home.”
One would think breakfast was a wild affair, but it wasn’t. Plates were made, the boys took their plate, found a place to sit to eat. When they were done, they took their empty plates, glasses, and silverware to the kitchen to be washed. One of the boys manned the dishwasher. They took a piece of fruit and went outside.
After finishing, Peter, Alex and I left to go shopping. The first stop was the truck dealer where, after looking over their selection, I offered to take one from their lot for 300 dollars over the dealer’s price in cash. They hemmed hawed about it and countered the offer for 400 dollars. I accepted. Peter drove the limo home. I drove the truck, picked up Peter at home, and headed to buy bunk beds.
Pulling into the shopping center, “Let’s check out Penny’s and see what they have.”
Alex found one he thought would be nice. It was made of redwood, had a railing to prevent the person sleeping on top from rolling out. The mattresses would need to be replaced. They weren’t soft enough to meet my criteria. We found some that where as soft as the mattresses we have now.
We needed sheets, pillows, and blankets. “What are you going to do with the beds you now have?”
I’m sure we’ll find a use for them.
The manager saw me; he smiled as if I was an old friend. We bought what we needed and headed home. I knew who would be the first boys to have the same room, the twins.
Arriving back home, I had David and Jon clear one of the twin’s room. I told them to put the extra bed in my room. Peter and Alex carried the bunk bed to the empty room. Until the new sheets were washed, we used the old sheets. We just tucked them under the mattresses. They also used their own pillows and blankets. The twins had a big smile on their faces. Now the other boys knew what bunk beds were.
“You know Carleton. If you equipped all of these rooms with bunks, you could increase the number of boys.” I had a funny feeling that might come true.
I saw the architect coming up to the third floor to check out the finishing touches on the last room to be finished. “I’m glad to see you. I have another project.”
He looked at me and then Alex, they knew each other. “I want to build a one-two room school on the property close enough to the main house. I think architecturally, it must agree with the house.”
“I’ll make some sketched for you to look at.”
“I’m going to need the current schoolroom turned into two guest rooms. Can you look at that as well.”
“Yes, I have those dimensions. It wouldn’t be a big project.”
“One other issue, I need a cabinet maker, any ideas?”
Before he could answer, one of the workmen overheard me, “Sir, I know of a young man who makes very sturdy cabinets.”
“Well, what I need is a new table for the dining room and conversion of the existing single beds into bunk beds. Can he do that?”
“How about I send him around? You can talk to him
We agreed that the young man would come around tomorrow morning at 10.
“Peter, we need to go shopping. I have the name and address of several wholesale places. We’ll need the truck.”
“Maybe we should ask Maria to go with us.”
“That’s a good idea, let’s do it now.”
Maria did want to go, David and Jon were left in charge. Alex went with us, so the four of us went to the closest wholesaler.
Walking in, we took a large flatbed. Peter pushed as we went up and down the aisles. Maria began to indicate what cases of products we needed. One thing I laughed at was the three cases of toilet paper. When we had exhausted the canned and boxed goods aisle, we checked that load out. Peter and Alex loaded the truck. I took the cart, and we went through the frozen goods and the cold storage area.
We bought several boxes of frozen vegetables. Before we left, Alex came and caught up with us as he put two boxes of cheesecake on the chart. Then we went to the refrigerator section. There we picked up fresh vegetables, cheese, meat, and fish.
Another loaded cart.
“No ice cream?”
“No, it’ll melt by the time we get home. I’ll get it at the local ice cream parlor.”
Arriving at home, we had no problem unloading the truck. Maria stayed in the kitchen and directed the boys as they brought in the food. There were smiles everywhere.
Lunch was sandwiches with potato chips and fruit. The boys could eat all they wanted with one condition. What they took, they must eat. I saw a few boys cut their second sandwich in half and sharing the half. Alex enjoyed the open end of eating as much as he wanted. Even when he stopped, I got the feeling he could eat more but was embarrassed.
The rest of the afternoon I spent with the boys at the conservatory. I had to see every flower, every tree, and every herb they planted. I commend them on doing a great job. I took the time to explain the next project. “Boys, I’d like to plant some fruit trees, like apples, cherries, and pears. We are too cold for bananas and oranges.”
They immediately began planning where they would put the trees. I let them go, “Peter, take the boys over to the garden shop and get some fruit trees. Tell them we’d need their help.”
I had one surprise up my sleeve that I didn’t tell them. Once I see where the schoolhouse was going to go, I would talk to the architect about installing a swimming pool. I think I was getting into this whole program that Alex started me on.