“Boys are all for it, Andy how about you, want to go?”
“Dad, say yes.”
“Barney, we need to find way for you to go.”
“He can go, I’ll cover the bar, won’t be the first time nor the last.”
“Alright, Nicky, get the boat right and then the boys can go home and change, we can sleep on the boat tonight.”
“Kevin, you know you have to figure out how we women can come as well.”
“I’m thinking about that. When we go into dry dock, I’m going to have locks put on the cabin doors. That will prevent you women from bothering my men, your sons.”
“Andy, did you bring shorts? If not I might have some.”
“No, I was hoping for another run at it. So I brought mine.”
I walked outside with my phone, “Bob, want to go out fishing tomorrow?Boys are sleeping on the boat tonight.”
“Hey John, get your shorts and come on over, The boys are sleeping on the boat tonight. We are going out in the morning. Yes, of course, good, see you tonight or early tomorrow morning. Six am would be fine.”
“Bob can’t make it but John will be coming. Frankie, stay here with Gram and Gramma. we’ll be back soon.”
The boys, Glen and I headed home to change into our uniforms.“Kevin, should we take a set of clothes for Frankie?”
Before I could answer I heard,”Yes, he’s one of us. I’ll take an extra set.”
“I guess that answered that question. Should I take this?”
“No, we have waited this long a few more days won’t make much of a difference. You know I love you.” Glen smiled, I think he was as nervous as I was to complete our union. “Let’s go guys, question for all of you, should we spend the night in dock or on the sea?”
On the sea, was the residing cry. I laughed, “That will depend on John.”
“He’s coming and I think he might want to spend the night home. I told him he had to be here at six in the morning.”
Walking back to the boat, Peter was leading us, skipping along with Adam. Then Adam stopped and looking back at us, he came smiling, I knew what he wanted. I picked him up and sat him on Glen’s shoulders. Peter looked at Glen and then me. He was easy to read, I hunched down and he was on my shoulders as we walked, he kept messing up my hair.
We had to duck going into the Wharf. The boys dismounted from their horses. I called Scott and Travis over, gave them a list of what to order at Chicken Shack. I left Andy in charge of the boys while Glen and I went shopping at the local supermarket. David, Johnathan and Joseph came with us.
“Okay boys this is how we’ll do it. Johnathan take a cart and Joseph you take a cart. We will go up and down the aisles, if you see something we should buy, hold it up, I’ll nod yes or no. Okay?” That is what we did, I wonder how long it would take for them to play the game. The first aisle was produce. They would hold up lettuce, I would nod and put two fingers up, then they decided to be funny, they held up tomatoes, the small cherry tomatoes, I said yes, they laughed and put them back. Then they held up a package of four tomatoes, yes and thefingers indicating how many.Bread, milk, fruit and pancake mix, we had to have that, meat, same procedure. On the way out we passed through the cookie and chips aisle, we played the game again. Checking out, we had to solicited one of the stock boys to help carry everything back to the boat.
I saw Scott and Travis walking back, loaded. I sent Joseph and Johnathan to help. David stayed and helped me to put the groceries away. The refrigerator was full, the freezer had room, so we had to select what food to put into the freezer to make room in the refrigerator.
“Dad, we don’t have to put that bread in the fridge. We could put some of this with the beer.”
“I didn’t think of that David, but you are right it’s cool enough there. Okay lets move some of this from the fridge to the hold locker.” That is what we called it. Scott and the boys arrived, we now had room in the fridge.
“Dad, we need to get our books and painting supplies, at least our sketch pads.”
“Glen, check with the boys and see what they want to take, maybe another trip to the house is in order. Ask Frankie what he would like to read.”
While Glen led the boys back home, I checked the cabins. Those beds that didn’t have sheets or pillow cases, I made them. I took a measurement of the space between the head part of the bunk and the wall. I could put another bed in that space. It would be a standard bunk bed size but if we ever wanted to take a large group out we could sleep five to a cabin. Going back to the Captains cabin for paper and pen, I needed to start putting together a list of projects for when the boat goes to dry dock. Making myself a cup of coffee, I began to make my list.
Overhaul the engines.
Vents in doors
Extra bed in cabins
Locks on Cabin doors
Nets for the holds
Maybe a larger refrigerator or one in the captain’s cabin, I could do that any time. Need to check with Tony as to what is available. I walked back to the Wharf, “Barney, you look ready where’s Andy?”
“Mary, give the Captains a drink on me.”
I heard the boys before I saw them. Frankie was all smiles, “How are you feeling? Any pain or soreness?”
“No, I feel fine.”
I knew that wasn’t true. I could read his eyes, he had some pain. “Here take these.”I gave him two pain tables that Don had given me in case he was hurting. He took the tablets and soon I could see the pain easing. It’s interesting what you can tell by looking in a person’s eyes.
“Dad, can we board?”
“Sure, Glen, help me with Frankie.” Glenon one side, I on the other, we picked Frankie up, chair and all and carried him to the boat. Andy, helped to dress Frankie in the uniform of The Peter Charles.“Frankie, I think you should lay down for a while. You have been sitting for a long time, so a rest in bed willhelp you.”
Glen and I carried Frankie down to the cabins. Andy yelled down, Cabin 3. We took him to Cabin 3 and laid him on the lower bunk. “Are you comfortable?” He nodded yes.
Andy came down with three books. “I thought Frankie may need some company.”
Glen and I smiled as we left. “The boys look out for each other. I think there’s a line of experience that threads through all of our boys. They either have experienced it or know of someone who has.”
I introduced Barney to John. Then we heard the conch horn. John looked as if to say what is that. “That’s the conch horn calling the mermaids. We need fishing coordinates.” The men started to laugh, but the boys didn’t, they had a serious look on their face.
Then we heard Nicky, “Charles, anchor up, Johnny, stern lines, Jamie, bow lines” Then, “Anchor up, bow line in, stern line in. All go.” When Nicky starts the engines the boat rocks a little. For me, the greatest feeling in the world
I went to the bridge, “Take her out slowly, we aren’t in a hurry.” It wasn’t long before Nicky was in the galley, John looked surprised.
“Who is steering the boat?”
“Johnny is steering the boat. I got to see this.” John goes to the bridge to watch his son.
“How’s he doing?”
“He’s doing okay. I showed him how to plot our coordinates. With Johnny, you have Jamie, Andy, and Scott, if you get him away from cooking. Sammy is learning and maybe I’ll let him bring us in, part way. Eventually, I want all of the boys to learn.”
“Have you done anything with Charles?”
“He can plot the map, he’s real good in math. I let him steer a little, once we are close to the site. I think after Sammy, I’ll concentrate on Charles.”
(Johnny’s father) I couldn’t believe it, I had to see for myself. He explained everything he was doing. His mother will not believe this. “Kev, you remember me telling you he has changed? Now I know why, he has confidence in himself because you and Glen have confidence in him. I would have never allowed him to pilot my boat, even if he’s my son. I think we’re responsible for his lack of confidence, his mom and I.We were afraid he’d makemistake and get hurt or hurt others. You have shown confidence in him and it has rubbed off. His mother isn't going to believe this.”
Laughing, “John, if you need help, we’ll sign an affidavit.”
Coffee all around, we sat and chatted. We talked about the mermaids, we talked about the wedding and we talked about the boys adoption. “I had spoken to Grace but there was so much to be done, training a replacement for the next three weeks, getting ready for the wedding, I thought I’d proceed with the adoption after the wedding. That was agreat surprise for me.”
“He’s my Pappy.”We laughed, I kissed him on his head.
Peter came and took him, “I’m going to finish reading him his story.”
“Peter has taken to him like an older brother.”
“In reality, he’s an older brother. I think Peter understands what being without parents mean and as such he’s mimicking Charles.”
“You’re right. He knows what Adam has lost, and they're on the same wave length. You and Glen are his back up.”
“Dad, we’re getting hungry.”
“Where is Scott and Travis?”
“We’re here. We’ll fix the chicken.”
And so a relaxing trip to fish after the wedding and reception, or maybe not