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    CLJobe
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The Home - 45. Chapter 45

Several years have passed, and my family has gotten older, which means I am also getting older. I noticed a few whites among the black this morning. Brad and Tom are enjoying teaching and continuing to handle the farm chores. Only this time they have help, Vic and Frank have taken an interest in the farm. Brad and Tom now leave a list of farm chores for the boys when they come home from school. However, that will change as the boys start college this fall. It seemed like it was only yesterday when Vic began kindergarten, and now he and Frank will be freshmen at the University.

The girls are in high school, and Amalia worries about them. Vic isn’t around to make sure no one takes advantage of them. Although I heard Maria complain that a boy she likes told her needed her brother’s permission before he could take her to the school dance. I guess word gets around.

Charlie isn’t doing well, and I expect we will be losing him soon. Brad said he hardly goes out of his room, and he and Tom have been bringing food to his room. I contacted a doctor from the medical school at the University and had him come over to the house to give Charlie a check-up. He said Charlie was fine except for the rigors of old age. When I went to tell Charlie what the doctor had said, he wanted to talk about his last days.

“Tony, I want to be buried next to my father and mother. The boys know where.”

“If that is what you want when the time comes, I’ll speak to the boys. The doctor said you have many more years before a decision like this has to be made.”

Charlie just smiled as if he knew a secret.

I told Brad and Tom what Charlie said, and they said they would handle it.

Sitting in my office, I began to realize that we all were getting old. Mom and Dad have retired and are thinking about selling the farm and moving closer to me. I thought about that land where Frank’s house was on. It was relatively flat, and a cottage could be built there. As far as I knew, the land was still not sold.

When I went to pay my taxes, I asked the county clerk about that land. She looked it up and said that it was still available and thought I could buy it for taxes, which hadn’t been paid for a few years. On Sunday, when Mom and Dad were over for dinner, I mentioned buying some land and thinking of putting a cottage on it. I saw Mom’s eyes perk up.

“If I built a cottage on that land, would you be interested in living there? You would be closer to me than you are now. You are selling your farm, and Dad, there is enough land for a small vegetable garden. Think about it and let me know.”

I planted the seed. I bought that land for taxes owed, and I also purchased the land around it. I knew those woods were special to Frank, and he may want to live there someday.

I had an architect draw up a three-bedroom cottage that I liked. Mom wanted a bigger kitchen and didn’t see the need for the extra bedrooms. I told her I’ll enlarge the kitchen, but the bedrooms stay. The clincher, “Mom, when the children visit you and dad and want to stay overnight, they will need a bedroom.”

Yes, enlarge the kitchen and the extra bedrooms were okay. I called the architect and told him to proceed with Plan B. Plan B was the same as Plan A, except the kitchen was larger. Before the house could be built, Mom and Dad sold the farm to Luis. It looked like the farm was going to stay in the family.

Mom and Dad stayed with us while the home was being built. I paid the architect and builders extra to put the construction on a fast track. I asked Dad if he wanted a garage or carport, he opted for a carport. I did have a tool shed built on one end. Mom hadn’t seen the lot, but I took Dad there while they were building the cottage. He was pleased with the house and pleased that he could have his garden.

When the house was finished, we had a move-in party. The total family descended on the house, and it didn’t take long before they had the barbecue going. I had several bottles of my wine and several strings of sausage. Mom was queen for the day. The women congratulated her on having a modern kitchen with all of the latest appliances.

On the way back home, “Tony, that was nice what you did for Mom and Dad.”

“You know there is enough land there we could build a place like that for your mom and dad. What do you think?”

“I don’t know. They have that house. If we built one next to Mom and Dad, what would they do with their house ?”

“They could sell it and use the money to visit Italy.”

Two months later, I bought additional land and started to build a house for Amalia’s parents. I made sure there was enough distance between the houses so that visiting was possible, but interference wasn’t.

School started, and two new freshmen were in my class. The boys would try and get me to laugh, but I was wise to all of the tricks. After the first six weeks, the boys got serious, and we had dinner discussions. Brad and Tom joined right in.

Thanksgiving brought sadness, Charlie joined his ancestors, and for the first time, I missed Thanksgiving dinner at Mom and Dad’s. Brad, Tom, Amalia, and I took Charlie home. It was a sad farewell. Only Brad, Tom Amalia, and I were at the grave as Charlie was laid to rest next to his mother’s grave. It was strange as there was no one else there. Brad said he had a lot of friends here, but no one showed up. That bothered me. Charlie lived here for a long time. Surely during that time, he had made friends. And yet, no one came to say goodbye to Charlie. Before leaving, I made arrangements for a stone to be placed on his grave. “Good-bye Charlie, you’ll never be forgotten.”: The stone carver said he would see that was done. I asked for a photo in remembrance of Charlie.

Four weeks later, a photo of Charlie’s grave with the stone arrived. I noticed that someone had planted flowers on the grave.

In the following days, I missed Charlie. When I was making salami and sausage, the boys and I would reminisce about when Charlie helped. I think in some way, Charlie will always be with us. He had made his mark on this farm and our hearts.

We were sitting in the living room waiting for our daughters to come home from their first date without Vic and Frank shadowing them. “Our girls are growing up. We are getting old?”

“Speaking about that, I was thinking of retiring after this school term.”

“Why, the girls are old enough to take care of themselves. The boys will make sure they are safe. I thought you liked teaching .”

“The girls are growing up, and I think they need their mother.”

“If you want to retire, I have no problem with that. All I want is for you to be happy.”

I never regretted marrying Amalia, she’s my angel. We heard the car, and soon the girls came into the living room. They started to tell Amalia all about their night. I excused myself and went to bed.

Sunday after Mass, walking to Frank’s mother’s resting place, the boys told me about the girls’ date. It seems they followed them, and when the girls went to the ladies’ room, they told the boys if they tried anything, they would see them the next day, and they will need a doctor.

I smiled but understood where they were coming from. I think Frank may have another reason.

Copyright © 2021 CLJobe; All Rights Reserved.
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7 hours ago, chris191070 said:

Everyone was blessed to have known Charlie.

I'm sure you have met people where comments about them run along the line, "he was a good old soul." or she was.  Charlie was the type of man who was appreciative of what Tony offered and he accepted the boys. He accepted people as they related to him, as friends.

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Condolences for Charlie, but such is life, there is but one guarantee about life is that there is definitely an end  or use by date, some of us just don't realise that, the brothers are serious it seems about protecting their sisters

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3 hours ago, mikedup said:

Condolences for Charlie, but such is life, there is but one guarantee about life is that there is definitely an end  or use by date, some of us just don't realise that, the brothers are serious it seems about protecting their sisters

We accept the 'use by date' for merchandise but we find it hard to live our life as if there is an end point and maybe that is a good thing. Yes Vic and Frank are serious about protecting the girls 

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2 hours ago, drsawzall said:

RIP Charlie!

Yes, he will be missed not only by Brad an Tom but also Tony.

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An old adage, 'When you enter this world you're crying and everyone around you is smiling. Live your life such that when you die everyone around you is crying while you are smiling.' I believe Charlie was smiling the day he went to meet his ancestors. 

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13 minutes ago, Chris L said:

An old adage, 'When you enter this world you're crying and everyone around you is smiling. Live your life such that when you die everyone around you is crying while you are smiling.' I believe Charlie was smiling the day he went to meet his ancestors. 

I like that saying and I think it is true. There is another saying, leave this world a little better than when you came into this world. Charlie left his mark on several people 

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13 hours ago, CLJobe said:

I like that saying and I think it is true. There is another saying, leave this world a little better than when you came into this world. Charlie left his mark on several people 

Yes, my father taught me to give, every day, more back to the world than it gives you. 

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15 minutes ago, Chris L said:

Yes, my father taught me to give, every day, more back to the world than it gives you. 

You put your foot print on this earth. 

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