We went shopping, the boys wanted scarfs to match their kilts. They had to have hats as well. Shoes, socks and a new kilt for those that had grown since last year. Pass me downs, definitely on these.
We stayed around the pub, the boys were playing soccer, Shawn was teaching them with Callum’s help. The older boys said they played at school, so they had fun. When some of the village lads saw them, they joined in. By lunch time, I told them to get a shower, they stink. The boys laughed and they wanted hugs.
We had lunch at the pub, the boys were joined with some of the village lads, so the noise level rose dramatically. Steve went and helped in the kitchen, he soon came out and called Scott. I wasn’t sure if they were cooking or learning.
A couple of the boys had been practicing on Shawn’s pipes, so Shawn, Callum and I went to see the man who made Shawn’s and Callum ’s pipes. He was glad to see us, and of course the boys had to perform for him which ended up being the whole village. Some of the boys and girls began to dance.We ended up buying three pipes, Shawn and Callum agreed on them. Saying our goodbyes, we headed back to the pub. Shawn handed out the pipes and made the boys play them. It wasn’t bad but they would need more practice. They didn’t realize it but that evening, they would get a lot of practice.
After dinner, out came the pipes, the boys ran off and got their outfits on, then the music started, in truth it was hard for me to compare that music with what I’d call music. The kids loved it, the villagers loved it and the village boys and girls loved it as they joined right in. Those who could play the pipes, played the pipes, those who could dance, danced. Alban was smiling as he pulled pints of beer.
Our four weeks soon came to a close. I did check and we’d have one more going home.We essentially traced our steps back. We did fish for cod and caught some, not enough to fill the hold, but enough to fill therefrigerated chests. Charles was happy to have the entails for his shrimp. We froze them as we had room in the freezer now.
When we docked in Norfolk, the Navy ship was gone but there was another one. The boys are a bunch of hams. They saw one of the Naval officers and asked him if they would like to be entertained by a Scottish jig. He looked at them, Callum started to play his pipes, the officer smiled and said he’d get back to them. While we topped off our tanks, the boys began to play and dance on the dock. That drew the attention of the sailors on the ship as well as the local people. The officer they spoke to looked over the hand rail and waved them on board. The boys took off and changed into their dancing clothes. The pipers had their pipes and piped the boys onto the deck. Again they stayed for over an hour entertaining the sailors.
They didn’t get hats but they got their pictures taken and addresses. The sailors wanted to stay in touch. I noticed Scott checking out a few. While the boys danced, Glen and I went and did some shopping. I think the grocer thought we were crazy when we bought ten dozen cartons of eggs and ten pounds of sausage. We also picked up several boxes of frozen bread. We got back just as the boys were finishing. There were smiles all around. I saw one of them give Scott a piece of paper which I’m sure was his address.
As we were leaving, several sailors waved goodbye. Our next stop would be Miami and then the Panama Canal. In Miami, Scott, Steve and Glen went shopping. I stayed to have the tanks filled and the waste tank emptied.
Charles and I looked over the charts. “Charles, do you think you could find your way back without the charts?”
“I think I can but I’m afraid to do it. I wasn’t on the bridge the whole time we were on the sea. I know once we get through the Canal, we head north.”
“I think if we make this trip a few more times, you could very easily pilot the boat without the charts.” I got my smile. I watched the boys coming back, I felt sorry for Glen he was carrying a crate of oranges.
Going through the Panama Canal was old hat now, we already went through once. We stopped at the Mexico City marina, filled up with fuel and water. The boys took Glen and went to find the market. Scott wanted to see if avocados were in season and they were. They found the little old lady who remembered them. She smiled, and they did buy the whole lot. Scott was happy, he had twice the amount from last year.
When we stopped in California, Scott stocked up on fresh fruit and vegetables and fresh baked bread.As we got closer to home, we stopped and fished. We used the entails of the cod we caught for the stern nets.
Theboys were glad to get back in form, this signal that vacation was over and school was just around the corner. This year Sammy will be going to school with the boys. He had caught up by studying very hard, the tests he took at the end of the school term indicated he’d be put in his age appropriate class.
One hour out, Nicky blew the horn. I’m sure we surprised everyone. The cannery people where heading to the dock, I saw Uncle walking down to sell fish and Barney was in front of the Wharf as we docked. Glen and Nicky left to get the truck and van, the boys began to unload the chests. Steve went and got pans from Mary, Johnny helped to unload the shrimp and lobster holding tanks. Johnny made a package of shrimp and lobster for the cannery men, I think they have come to expect it.
It felt good to take a good shower, the boys all took they time. Dressed in our sweats and boat t-shirts, we went to deliver our fish. I was glad that the boys froze the filets of cod so we could enjoy them.
I thought we would never get Charles away from Marie, but eventually we left. I promised him he could comeback with his pictures and show them to her.
Mom and Dad were glad to see us but no barbecue, “We didn’t know you were coming back today. I thought you would’ve let us know.”
“No problem, we’re going to eat at the Wharf as soon as we deliver all of the fish.”
We dropped off the boys with their fish. Their families were anxious to see them and to hear all about their trip. I could just imagine the excitement at their homes. The boys went to get Uncle, Captain Jim and Robby’s mother. We all walked to the Wharf, Robby telling his mother all about the trip. Our boys added some, as kids are won’t to do.
Entering the Wharf, it started all over as Mary and Barney asked about the trip. After the excitement died down a little, Steve and Scott went to help Mary. They came out after five minutes, grabbed Travis and pulled him into the kitchen.
Dinner was a lot of fun, Mom and Dad came to join us. The boys were talking so much it took us three times as long to finish our meals.Once we were home, it took an additional two hours for the boys to settle down.
School started, I went back to work, Nicky and Jamie started their sophomore year, Scott and Travis started their freshman year. Diane came back with Tony and they started to place the pictures around the galley. They had a grand opening. The head of the art department from the University came. He told Scott and Travis he looked forward to working with them during their time at the University.
Tony did stay, per Diane’s suggestion, to run the galley. He took the extra bed in Terry’s apartment. I think Diane paid him because the galley didn’t make that much money.
Our life seemed to become a circle, each week was the same, work, school, the week-ends fishing. I was concerned about The Peter Charles, so I put it in dry dock a month early. I wanted Tony to go over it with a fine tooth comb.
Theboys wanted to know what we were going to do over the Christmas holidays. Glen made the suggestion maybe we should go to South America and tour the ruins in Peru and Chile. He dropped that on the boys, they took on the task of planning the trip.
Glen and I thought the summer was a complete success. The boys had a great time, we had a great time, and everyone came home in good shape. We now had five pipers. We watched Adam dance to the pipes, he was cute, a very serious face, Shawn kept telling him to smile. No dice, he was serious, until I went and grabbed him. “Pappy, I’m dancing.”
I was so glad that I had the family I had. I hadn’t forgotten about getting Adam’s history.I called Grace and asked her if I might review what she had in his files. She said she would bring it to me at my office. That Friday she stopped at my office, I looked over the file. I told her what my concern was. She said that isn’t unusual for a child who was taken from his mother at an early age. She didn’t know why he was taken, just that he was taken when he was three. After she left I called Stewart to find out what I could . He said he’d put one of his investigators on it and get back to me.
Routine brings with it normality, Monday though Friday, work out, shower, dress, coffee, driving to work, breakfast at Marge’s, lunch at Stella’s and then home again. You could almost set your watch by the consistency of our routine.
The one inconsistency in our routine was the boys. You never knew what to expect when you got home. We missed Scott’s and Travis’s cooking, we missed them as well. Steve made up for it but this is his last year before he goes off to college. Our boys are growing up, and to be honest, I don’t like it. In some ways it was fun to see the boys grow up, Charles started to show signs of puberty and wouldn’t be long before his voice would change. He was getting a very light mustache and he was proud of it. Steve was teasing him about shaving, he said Marie liked it. That meant if she liked it, no one could touch it.
Stewart got back to us about Adam. His mother was very young when she had him, his father was none existent. He spent the first three years living with his grandparents, who didn’t want the child. He craved the affection he missed as a baby. Adam was a cute little boy. I was concerned about his ability to develop relationships when he got older. He seemed to get along with the boys and they with him. It’s just if I’m sitting down or Glen is sitting down, he’s on our lap. He needs those cuddles, and they were freely given. David seemed to be the one who he was the closest with, I think this developed at the orphanage.
Now knowing a little about his background, Glen and I freely gave our attention to Adam. I watched Glen many times as he’d go to sit down, he’d grab Adam and put him in his lap. The smile on Adam’s face when he did this brought smiles to my face.
Sharing a room with Peter was a good idea. Peter was second to David but I think in a few years Peter will replace David in Adam’s eye as his best friend.
It seemed we were always taking the kids to the city shopping for birthdays, or holidays or just for haircuts and new clothes. We had to see Scott and Travis at least every other week. The boys missed them and so did Glen and I.
Someone said routine brings stabilization. They forgot that routine also brings monotony. Visits to the city, barbecues at Mom and Dads and dinner at the Wharf brought some diversions, but we missed fishing.
Thanksgiving was going to be at our house this year we added Gus’s mother to the list as well as Robby’s mother, she didn’t have to work. Mary suggested we have dinner at the Wharf, Glen and I talked about it and decide with the crowd gettinglarger and larger, we should take her up on it. We’d take the van and pick everyone up rather than have them drive to the Wharf. It made sense except Nicky had to drive and that meant Scott, Travis and Jamie had to drive as well. It was colorful display of Smart cars at the Wharf.
We were surprised when Andy and his parents showed up for Thanksgiving. Glen and I just watched the interactions taking place, the adults were talking, The cooks were in the kitchen, Mary was sitting with us and Barney was pouring drinks. I told Barney keep track and I’d settle the bill.Having Thanksgiving at the Wharf was a great idea and I think we’ll continue to have Thanksgiving at the Wharf.