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    CLJobe
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The Home - 18. Chapter 18

Christmas dinner was at Mom and Dad’s. Between Christmas and New Years’, the family dropped in. Marlene still asked about Nonna’s jewelry. I saw Mom give her something, and later she said it was one of Nonna’s rings.

The nice part of the holiday was sitting in the living room, a fire in the fireplace, and reminiscing with my Aunt and Uncles about when they lived here. Those that were here for the first time asked about my ring. I showed them the picture, nothing else was said.

New Years’, we drove the carriage through town. The boys had horns that they blew. The kids came, we let them pet the horses, I had candy canes for them. Tom and Brad had a ball. It was good to see a smile on their faces.

When we got back home, while brushing the horses, I had sugar cubes in my pocket. As I brushed them, I had a sugar cube in my hand. I’d brushed the side of their neck, offering a sugar cube. I thought I was being clever, the boys had pieces of apple.

The year was over. As I contemplated the year while lying in bed, it was hard to realize all of the changes I made. Moving into a home I loved, getting the cars operational, the carriage and the horses, the chickens, the barn, the heating system, and the water tank. I wonder what this year would bring.

Falling asleep, I had my usual visitors, Nonna, Pa, and my other great-grandfathers. Nonna kissed me on my cheek. Pa and the others patted me on my shoulders. Their smiles conveyed their love. I knew they were proud of what I had accomplished.

School started, the boys were busy. Once in a while, they would bring up a subject at dinner. We would discuss it until I recommend they look at a reference book at the University’s library. I was getting comfortable with my teaching. Those first-day jitters, are gone. The class seems to be paying attention, only one or two yawns per class. A vast improvement, which I attribute to the subject and not the teacher.

We started to take the carriage out on Sunday afternoons. The horses need exercise, and the boys agreed we should do it at least once a week. It was fun, and the horses seemed to realize that they were being admired. I swear they were strutting and not prancing.

It was March when Dad brought the tiller over. Then the boys became interested in the garden. Over dinner one night, we discussed what we would plant; tomatoes were a given. Dad left the bean poles, so that was a given. By the end of our meal, we decided we would include cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, and potatoes. I insisted we also have peppers, yellow and green, as well as Pa’s hot peppers. Once that was settled, the boys decided if we start with seeds, it would be about six weeks before we could plant them in the garden.

Dad had suggested we let a few potatoes age, that’s what he called it. The boys looked at me, ready to say, ‘What’. “If we let the potatoes age, they will develop seeds.” I took one of the potatoes that started to develop a growth. “You see this, if I cut this potato like this, this part you can plant, and it will produce a potato plant.”

“Tom, did your dad ever plant potatoes?”

“No, I know your dad didn’t. He planted corn and wheat.”

“Okay, so we let a few potatoes go to seed. What about carrots?”

“I think if you cut the tops off, leaving a little of the carrot, you can plant that as well.”

I left the boys thinking about that while I went to the wine cellar. I wanted to taste my wine. I removed the cork closure on the vinegar barrel, and the smell of vinegar was very strong. I’m going to have to bottle this barrel and clean it for wine this fall. The other barrels had my wine in them. I sampled the small barrel. I thought it tasted surprisingly good. I filled two bottles and took them to the kitchen.

“Want to taste my wine?” Their smiles were all I needed. I poured them a glass.

“Tony, this is pretty good.”

I smiled. The true test will be Mom and Dad.

Over the next two weeks, the boys had the garden in shape and started to plant. Some were starters that I bought at a nursery; others were from seeds and the potatoes and carrots as I had shown them. I thought they got carried away with the number of carrots they planted, but they said it was for the horses.

Spring break was just around the corner when I noticed the boys were down a little. “What’s the matter?”

“Spring break, we had planned on going home. Now that isn’t possible anymore.”

“Maybe you should plan on taking a trip. What are your friends doing for spring break?”

“I think that those who aren’t going home were talking about going to the beach or Mexico.”

“Why don’t you see if you could go with them?”

“Maybe, we’ll go by ourselves somewhere.”

“Go to the library at the University and check out the Atlas. That will give you some ideas.”

Copyright © 2021 CLJobe; All Rights Reserved.
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So Brad and Tom can't go home.I take that to mean Tom's parents feel the same way.Is it Brad's entire family  or just the dad? I would hope other family members would reach out.

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1 minute ago, weinerdog said:

So Brad and Tom can't go home.I take that to mean Tom's parents feel the same way.Is it Brad's entire family  or just the dad? I would hope other family members would reach out.

Yes they can't go home unless their dad changes his mind, which I think won't happen. It's hard to bear the animosity of parents when it turns against you. Tony and his family will adopt them, it's a second best situation. There is no way anyone can replace their parents 100 percent but Tony and his parents will try. 

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Sad the boys can't go home and it is a shame you can pick your nose but not your relatives!😉

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An great yet somewhat sad chapter, idiot family members of course is the reason, but they are part of a new family, 

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7 hours ago, drsawzall said:

Sad the boys can't go home and it is a shame you can pick your nose but not your relatives!😉

So true. 

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4 hours ago, mikedup said:

An great yet somewhat sad chapter, idiot family members of course is the reason, but they are part of a new family, 

They have been adopted into a new family but it will always hurt to know your birth family has rejected you.

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1 hour ago, chris191070 said:

Sad the boys can't go home for Spring Break 

Yes, but they are going to have a good time, Tony will see to that.

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When we started out on our married life we used to plant the garden... It was out back and more like a plot than anything but it was a small house (she still lives there). anyway we always planted it with carrots, peas, beans and onions but this one year she had heard about the potatoes going to seed, so she let them and then planted the growths which she called the eyes. Early one morning I couldn't get back to sleep and was sat with a drink looking out at the veggies. Only to see this massive rat from the building merchants behind us digging the spuds up and eating them. We found where he came from as there was a massive boundary wall at the back of us and he had crawled through it. That summer we were able to get rid of them all but it made my skin crawl knowing that they were so close to our house.

I still miss freezing the veg and making the jam, I must admit that was one area the wife was the same as my mum, she could make some mean jam (you call it jelly)... I would love to offer to take the horses out in the carriage one day, but only if they want a week off - of course..

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1 hour ago, Kev said:

When we started out on our married life we used to plant the garden... It was out back and more like a plot than anything but it was a small house (she still lives there). anyway we always planted it with carrots, peas, beans and onions but this one year she had heard about the potatoes going to seed, so she let them and then planted the growths which she called the eyes. Early one morning I couldn't get back to sleep and was sat with a drink looking out at the veggies. Only to see this massive rat from the building merchants behind us digging the spuds up and eating them. We found where he came from as there was a massive boundary wall at the back of us and he had crawled through it. That summer we were able to get rid of them all but it made my skin crawl knowing that they were so close to our house.

I still miss freezing the veg and making the jam, I must admit that was one area the wife was the same as my mum, she could make some mean jam (you call it jelly)... I would love to offer to take the horses out in the carriage one day, but only if they want a week off - of course..

No we have jelly which is clear (made from the juice) and jam which contains the whole fruit. Animals can be a pest, not only rats, rabbits will do a good job on lettuce and other greens. I would have set all kind of traps after that. Mice I can tolerate to an extent, rats-no way

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