Wednesday, April 24, 2019

INTO SUMMER... a busy time (Part 173c)

INTO SUMMER… a busy time (Part 173c)

Elle, the kids and I had gotten our hamburgers and hot dogs and had settled into the lawn chairs to eat when I saw my mother emerge from the house. She didn’t look all that good and after surveying the situation and seeing Patrick and Joy being ‘lovey dovey’ on the lawn called Elle over to the porch. I couldn’t hear the conversation but when Elle returned to where I was she told me that we were “free to go”. Elle said my mother was embarrassed and apologized for not calling the night before to warn us of the situation. While the kids finished up eating I collected all the beach materials and, as deftly as I could, loaded them into the station wagon. I signaled Elle that I was finished and with Patrick and Joy still nestled together she sent the kids down the path to the station wagon. They wanted to know why we were leaving and I couldn’t come up with an answer that I thought they’d understand. She let me know she’d apprised my father what was happening as I backed out of the driveway. I might’ve even breathed a sigh of relief.

The kids were upset about having to leave the beach and Elle suggested that we go to the sailing club. I knew it was open because of the holiday but with the public beach right next to it was concerned about how crowded it might be. Under normal weekend conditions it was tolerable and members of the club were there to prevent non members from using the facilities. But, as far as I knew there hadn’t been anyone assigned that duty for the 4th of July. I pictured myself being ‘roped’ into the job so told her I’d set up the sprinkler in the back yard for the kids. They weren’t all that happy about it until, when pulling up to the garage, Elle told them she'd go invite the neighbor kids to join them. That was a partial appeasement and it was only Kaye who was truly happy because she’d become good friends with the girl who was her age.

Elle, still in her bathing suit and cover-up, went next door with the kids. As she ducked through the opening in the hedge I could see the leg elastics from her panties sticking out from under her bathing suit. We’d been gone for almost two hours and I knew Elle had not visited a bathroom while at my parents house. I also knew she hadn’t gotten wet when on the beach so wondered if, when and where she’d relieved herself. As I put the beach things away and got the hose and sprinkler out I contemplated that. When she returned I sidled up to her and slipped one hand under the cover up and patted her backside. It was wet and it was warm. Almost an instant hard on! She slapped my arm turning quickly to look behind her. The kids had not accompanied her when she returned so I asked what that was all about. She relaxed and explained that Martha’s husband, Junior, would be bringing over a volleyball net. They didn’t have two trees close enough together to string it up. She said she thought he might be right behind her. I had to ask where she was when she pee’d and that brought forth a laugh. She had a sheepish look on her face as she described squatting down, pretending to look at a weed in the lawn, and peeing while she was down there. Still laughing, she said all three of them, Martha, Junior and Mattie were there. I didn’t ‘push’ the issue but quickly envisioned Elle squatting in front of the three adults and peeing into the lawn in front of them.

It took a while to figure out how to rig up the volleyball net. Junior took over supervising the game while the rest of us sat on the lawn watching. I tried my best to position myself to get a panty peek from either of the two women, up the leg openings of their shorts but close doesn’t count. Since none of the kids had ever played volleyball it didn’t take long for them to get bored in spite of Junior’s best efforts to teach them the rudiments of the game. It was one of our kids who asked about the sprinkler and if I was going to set it up. It didn’t take long and our kids were soon running in and out of it, laughing and having a ball. The three neighbor kids just stood there watching. I remember the older girl pleading with Mattie to let her join in . It was Junior who took up her ‘cause’ telling Mattie that it was only water and it wasn’t going to hurt their clothes by getting wet. The next thing I knew there were six kids running around, yelling and screaming. I could see Mattie had sort of bought into the idea but sat there with a sour look on her face. All of a sudden Junior got up, grabbed the sprinkler and came running back to where his sister and wife were sitting pointing it at them. With both of them sitting on the ground they had to scramble a bit to stand up and to try and escape so they got drenched. Actually, so did Elle and I, but not as bad. The two women ran after him and he had to drop the sprinkler when he ran out of hose.

The kids thought this was great, that the adults got sprayed and soaking wet. I know Anne did because I remember her yelling at Junior to spray her mother. When all was said and done there were five adults who were dripping wet and giving me a bit of a voyeuristic chance at seeing something of interest. As I’ve written, Mattie was a little ‘chunky’ which meant some of her clothes were ‘snug’, especially as they encased her butt. On this day she was wearing a pair of what I wrote down as twill shorts. They were tan and, try I as had to discern a VPL, I’d not been what, in my eyes, would be called, successful. That was partially because the crotch of her panties was small but the color just didn’t help. But… when they were wet it was a different story. The shorts just clung to her body highlighting the leg elastics and even a bit of the crotch line. For Martha it was even better. Her shorts were a much lighter weight cotton. The description I wrote in the Day Timer was they were thin like a bedsheet. So, once they were wet they REALLY clung to her body. One thing that stands out in my memory of the event was watching her try to pull the wet material off her body and then watching it go right back to fully clinging to it. I could see she was wearing flowered panties with each and every flower showing through. Like Matties’s panties, the crotch was small so I only got a little look at it. Martha had one other thing to make me remember the incident and that was her blouse. It was similar to the shorts and clung to her breasts. Looking at them I could clearly see her bra but what I didn’t understand why it seemed like ‘ripples’ underneath the blouse material. Of course I couldn’t go over close to her to ‘inspect’ so, when Mattie decided she’d had enough that ended it. I turned the water off as the two women gathered their three kids together and headed for the opening in the hedge. I got one last look as they all ducked through the opening. Junior was the last and I called out to him. I’d thought about asking all of them if they were interested in going to the fireworks display but hadn’t done so. When Junior stopped I asked and he said he’d get back to me. By then it was around 4pm and I had to get changed, eat and leave for the fireworks event by 5pm. I hoped he’d have an answer before it was time to leave.

To be continued…

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

INTO SUMMER... a busy time (Part 173b)

INTO SUMMER… a busy time (Part173b)

It was too early in her recovery to even think about having ‘extra curricular’ fun but I knew it wouldn’t be too long. I also knew we would have to be extra careful moving forward. Without drawing out the subject we’d both come to the conclusion that the family that we already had would be enough. One thing I remember about that night was that, in bed, we snuggled for quite a while. Sometimes, silence say it all.

There are no notes in the day timer about my day at work. I have no idea why. I did go to the garage that night as Dick had called asking for a ride. It’s somewhat funny that when he’d call and ask for a ride Elle didn’t have much to say. At the shop we got an update from Cliffy that the motor ran well with the proper oil pressure. That confirmed that the new bearings had been spun in correctly. If they hadn’t there would’ve been a drop in the pressure and we’d have to do it all over again. There wasn’t anything to do to get the car ready so we left and I was home around 9pm, making Elle happy. She’d talked with my mother about out arrival time the next day and they’d settled on 11am. In passing, Elle told me that the son of one of my mother's best girl friends from high school would be there with his girl friend. Without mentioning names I immediately knew who it was. His mother was a successful children’s book author and the father was the illustrator. But the son was ‘different’, and always had been. I hadn’t seen him for probably over 15 years. One memory I had of him was when visiting them when I was in fifth grade. His father was concerned that Patrick wasn’t showing interest in things that most boys his age were. Just before we came to their house the father had bought boxing gloves and was pushing him to be more aggressive. He wanted me to box his son and I wanted no part of it as Patrick had been taking lessons. The reason I remember it so vividly was that after but a few minutes he was crying and ran out of the garage looking for his mother. It was the only time in my life I had on boxing gloves. So, with that as my main memory of him and some passing comments by my mother about him being “different” I was more than a little concerned. I had no idea of what her definition of different was and really wasn’t looking forward to finding out.

That little surprise had Elle a bit concerned about what to wear. We’d told my mother we’d only be staying until mid afternoon as I had to go to the fireworks display as the bank’s representative. She didn’t pick up on it like I thought she might and suggest Elle and the kids stay later. However, with guests at their house and Elle’s incontinence I suggested she just wear a bathing suit and a beach cover up. That way an occasional visit into the bay would serve to ‘cover’ the incontinence. She bought it but, as usual, she still wore a pair of panties under the suit.

It took but a few seconds to see which kind of ‘different’ Patrick was… a hippie… as was his girlfriend. Our area had escaped the trend, at least the ‘locals’ had, and our exposure to it was mostly TV news coverage, pictures in newspapers and magazines... and an occasional tourist. Well, Patrick fit that description, for sure. I’m not sure how long it’d been since he’d had a haircut and shave. His girlfriend, Joy (not her real name as she’d changed it to fit her new lifestyle) had hair down to her waist and was braless. That was easy to see as her blouse/top was nothing more than multi colored gauze wrapped over her shoulders much like a shawl. On the lower part, around her hip, it appeared to be a mini skirt made of something like burlap. They were helping my father set up his charcoal grill with my mother nowhere in sight. I remember getting out of the car and looking at the faces on my girls as they stared at them. I could only imagine what my mother thaught when she saw them the first time.

I remember walking up to Patrick and putting out my hand to shake his but he didn’t respond. Joy just stood there with her nipples showing through the gauze. I didn’t know what to say or do after being somewhat rebuffed by Patrick. I turned around looking for Elle but she was still getting beach things from the back of the station wagon. When she finally started in our direction I was looking at her face and it was a classic in disbelief. From that point on I didn’t know what to expect. As it turned out, my mother had had a bit of an ‘episode’ after greeting the two of them. They came on the 6pm train the night before and my father had picked them up at the station. Upon arriving at the house my mother was waiting on the porch and when she saw the two of them ran back in the house and poured herself a drink… and then had quite a few more. Now it was after 11am and she still hadn’t come down from her bedroom.

I couldn’t think of anything to start a conversation with so turned to Elle and suggested that we go out to the beach even without introducing her to the two of them. It was just plain bizarre. Patrick was almost mute even when my father asked him to help with the charcoal. Joy just stood there with her head cocked to one side like she taking in some thrilling event. Elle took the kids out to the beach and I followed. I helped her set up the beach towels and put the beach umbrella up just wishing that I wasn’t there. The older girls had been to sailing lessons for the previous two day and were somewhat used to the cold bay water but Kaye wanted no part of it. Elle made it out to mid calf and that was as far as she wanted to go. By then Patrick and Joy had made their way to the stairs down to the beach. I watched as Joy came down the five steps to the beach with Patrick holding on to the stair rail like he’d fall over if he let go of it. Elle asked Joy if she’d like to sit on one of the beach towels and she nodded affirmatively. I watched as she lowered herself down to it, sitting yoga style. At that point in my life I’d not heard the term “going commando” but as I stood there there was nothing covering her ‘privates’. You probably won’t believe this but I didn’t find it sexy at all. I was concerned that my girls would see what I could see and wanted to make sure they didn’t… and I didn’t know how. Elle was sitting with Kaye snuggled up to her. That was her shyness showing through. But it also took care of one of the girls. I walked out into the water to try and keep their attention from Joy. I have no recollection of how long I was standing there but I remember beginning to lose feeling in my toes. I kept turning around to see if anything had changed with Joy’s position. Finally, I heard Patrick calling her and watched as she stood up and then climb the steps. My toes actually hurt when I was walking back up the beach to Elle. We were both shaking our heads when I heard my father calling asking what we all wanted for lunch… hot dogs or hamburgers. What I wanted to say was that we wanted to go home. When we were walking up the steps I told Elle what I’d observed about Joy. She didn’t believe me… but I know what I saw!

To be continued…

Saturday, April 20, 2019

INTO SUMMER... a busy time (Part 173a)

INTO SUMMER… busy time (Part 173a)

The book “Perfect Storm” hadn’t been written yet nor the movie made so the term wasn’t in daily use. But, in thinking back on this part of my life, especially as the Summer of 1969 began, it would have been the perfect description. About the only thing working in my favor was that the banking committees I served on were recessed for July and August. I’d just brought Elle home to recover and was faced with the ‘busy period’ at work and the fourth of July coming up. Annually, the Chamber of Commerce held a fireworks display at the town public beach and as the bank’s representative I was expected to be there. The sailing club was now open and sailing lessons started that week with formal racing to begin on Sunday. Then, there was the race car with races Saturday night. I, as a vestryman of our church, was expected to be there for both services on that Sunday. We were expecting a rare visit from the Bishop. On the following weekend was the annual Rotary Club/Chamber of Commerce barbecue picnic that I and the other officers of the bank had to work at. And, with all that to handle I still had to keep up with both the lawn at church and my own. It didn’t leave much time for Elle and the kids.

Now, I glossed over the situation where my mother had come to visit Elle in the hospital and had gotten her upset with the comments/questions she asked about the miscarriage. That night I called her and said some pretty harsh things. I’d told her that we were both trying to move on from the loss and that our focus was on getting Elle healthy again and not looking back. I’d closed by saying that in the future when she talked to/with Elle there was to be no mention of the miscarriage. Just to prove how clueless she was she ended up asking me if we were going to “try again”. Upon hearing that I slammed the receiver down. The reason I bring that up here is that she was trying to ‘mend fences’ and had called to invite us to the house on the fourth of July. We’d done that any number of times since I’d given up racing horses and moving back to the area. It had been kind of fun seeing some of the people from the neighborhood once again. But, I didn’t trust my mother so told her we’d get back to her. It was now Wednesday and before I left for work Elle asked me what she should say/do when my mother called. I knew we couldn’t avoid her for the whole Summer and told her to say we’d come but only for a while. I was still monitoring Elle’s recovery and even though she seemed to be at 75% I didn’t want her to overdo. I knew that later in the morning she was taking the kids to the sailing club for lessons and it was to be her first time driving. So, when leaving I had a few more things on my mind.

Even though it was a Wednesday and a mortgage committee meeting with Trustees, I managed to avoid having to deal with any of them and the day went well for me. I made a point to leave at 5pm even though it meant leaving some letters still to be written. I’d checked with Elle before leaving and she asked for me to stop and get some more sanitary pads for her. It was a reminder for me to keep following up on how she was doing in that regard. We both hoped that, at worst, she’d return to where she’d been prior to getting pregnant. Elle, for the reason that it severely restricted her activity and increased the chances of embarrassment. For me, it was wanting her to be happy plus the fact that the pads were costing me three times as much a week as I spent on gas.

Elle told me about her day and how she’d just left the older girls off at the sailing club and not gotten out to talk with the other mothers. I’d suggested that she do that to avoid being asked about the loss of the baby. Back at home she'd busied herself for a bit out in the garden and had a nice visit from Mattie and Martha from next door. She told me that when they left she got to thinking she needed something to give them for being so nice and so helpful to her… and looked at me to come up with an idea. One of the things that I’d left undone when leaving work was to confirm that I’d be part of the ‘parking lot gang’ at the Rotary Club/Chamber of Commerce picnic the following weekend. Volunteers got two free tickets and since the bank was a sponsor, all the employees got tickets as well. In the past we’d invited various friends and neighbors to join us and her asking right at that time seemed to fit right in. They’d have to pay for their kids tickets but they were more than reasonable so that became the ‘plan’. As soon as we finished supper Elle went over to make the offer. I couldn’t wait to hear that they’d accepted thinking of the potential for panty peeks of various and sundry types.

It seemed like forever for Elle to return but when she did she had good news in two ways. The answer was a "yes" but only if Elle would accept half of an angel food cake in return. She had it in her hands as she walked in the door. Of all the cakes out there in the world, angel food cake was my all time favorite. I was lucky in that none of the three girls liked it and Elle was not a fan of it either so turned it over to me. I devoured most of it sitting on the screened in porch watching the kids ride their bikes in the driveway. It gave me the opportunity to talk to Elle about keeping some sort of tally on her incontinence so that we could see if there was any improvement as the days passed. She admitted that as long as she was home and was outside she was foregoing wearing even a partial package. I found that to be somewhat interesting but since I wasn’t home during the day there was no way for me to take advantage of it. I did ask what she had on right at that moment and she hiked up the hem of her sun dress to show a partial ‘package’ (ribbed cotton Spanky Pants along with a sanitary pad and a pair of sanitary panties with the plastic crotch). I asked if she was dry and she had to put a few fingers inside the leg elastic to be able to answer as she’d become somewhat insensitive to the wetness. As I tried to persuade her to take the sanitary panties off and the pad out she made a ‘face’ but did stand up and slide the panties down. As she stepped out of the panties she did two things… she looked towards where the girls were playing to remind me to ‘behave’ and said that was all I was going to get. I started to complain and she just shook her head, lightly, from side to side. However, as she sat back down in the wicker chair she pulled the hem of the dress up to expose the crotch of her panties. It had been a while since she was even willing to give me that little bit of a tease. Things were definitely starting to look up.

We sat and talked about a number of things not the least of which was that even though it was near the end of the day she said she felt good. We focused on how we would handle going to my parents on Friday. As we discussed it I noticed something sparkling in the setting sun right under the rocking chair. I had a smile on my face almost immediately… and as I looked at her face saw she also had a smile. I started to get up but she shook her head and pointed her finger right at me as she did. I got the message and wasn’t unhappy as I knew it wouldn’t be long before everything would be back to normal.

To be continued…

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

MAKING PROGRESS... of sorts (Part 172jj)

MAKING PROGRESS… of sorts (Part 172jj)

If you want to be a popular dad, show up with pizza! I was able to ‘escape’ work soon after 5pm and in spite of driving home in traffic I arrived, with the pizza, just a few minutes after 6pm. Elle seemed to be in good spirits and while eating, told me of her day. Her ‘highlight’ was in meeting Geemaw when at lunch next door. Elle had a bit of a smile on her face as she told me about her experience with her indicating that she felt pretty much the same as I did about Geemaw… eccentric but harmless. The one real thing she left Elle with was in her not wanting to be out in the sun. The lunch went well and Martha volunteered to come over and watch the kids so Elle could take a nap. That explained why Elle was “bright eyed and bushy tailed” when I got home. There was one more bit of news. Beth, Cliffy’s wife and Ra, Dick’s wife stopped by late in the afternoon. They were close friends and with Ra living just a quarter mile down the road they walked on over. I got the impression that Elle was impressed by that. But it didn’t end there. As I was picking up the remnants of supper she ever so casually asked what time I was leaving for the garage. I remember stopping what I was doing and looking at Elle not believing what I’d just heard. She said it in such a calm voice I almost didn’t believe it was Elle that was speaking. Usually, there was a bit of sneer when she’d ask or… if I’d just announce I was leaving I’d get the ‘silent treatment’ along with ‘the look’. It took me with such surprise that I don’t think I answered until she prodded me again. I don’t know what I did say when I answered but it was probably to say 7:30pm, the usual time we’d meet. But, then it came to me… I hadn’t said anything about the race car or going to the garage… so I asked. Somehow, Beth and Ra had mentioned that there was a problem with the new motor and that they were hoping the problem could be remedied. Elle said that after hearing that she just expected that I’d be going to work on it. Believe me, I didn’t question it and changed into work clothes to confirm I’d be going. I didn’t run off right away, taking time to make sure the kids would do what Elle said… and when she said it… as far as getting ready and then into bed. With their promise and Elle’s assurance that she was up to it I headed for the garage.

I expected to see the big main door open but it was still down. The building itself had three parts. Two faced the road and the one to the left as you approached the building was called the “bus stop”. It was about 1/3 the size of the main area and was used to work on school buses that the garage maintained for the school district. With school out for the Summer the area was all but vacated… that is except for the Pontiac motor Cliffy had blow up on him back in early May. The door to that area was open and I recognized Cliffy’s father, on his knees, in front of it with Alan and Dick crouched over him. Believe me, it was a strange sight.

Backing up a bit… When the crew drained the oil from the race car motor through a fine mesh screen they saw “shiny stuff” and knew something wasn’t right. So, they, without removing the motor from the car, dropped the oil pan to find a lot more “shiny stuff”. They were sure it was from the connecting rod bearings and proceeded to drop a couple of the caps from the connecting rods to inspect them. What they discovered wasn’t good… but not a disaster. For some reason the bearings weren’t wearing evenly. Cliffy’s father lived right next door to the shop so they went and got him. His diagnosis was that the crankshaft “was out of true”. At that point they all decided to go home. During the day Cliffy made some calls to other racers to see if they’d experienced the same thing. What he gleaned from the calls was that anytime you buy a stock crankshaft off the shelf you should take it to a machine shop and have them “true it up”. No one had mentioned this to Cliffy or any of us for that matter which was a bit disturbing. Cliffy called the guy who built CJ’s motor and asked what he should do. He, of course, wanted to see what he bearings looked like so Cliffy, with his father’s permission, headed West to meet he guy. That was the reason Cliffy wasn’t here when I arrived. He’d called his father and told him it wasn’t all that bad and that we had two choices. One, the most logical, was to take the motor apart and get the crankshaft fixed. That would entail days of work but also more money. The other was that we could “spin” the bearings out and replace them after each night of racing. And that was what I was witnessing with Cliffy’s father showing Alan and Dick how to do it on the old and somewhat destroyed motor.

With the motor on its side each of us took a turn in doing the procedure. It wasn’t hard. The key was in taking the time to do it right. Cliffy was bringing back some special rod bearings that were supposed to outlast the stock Chevy bearings we were using and the plan was to “spin” out the old bearings and replace them with the new, special ones. I know I wasn’t comfortable with the idea but then again, I was probably the most conservative one of the bunch. There was nothing we could do to our motor until Cliffy got back. His father was cleaning himself up when I walked up and asked if I could try spinning a couple more on the old Pontiac motor. He was surprised that it was me who asked and he readily agreed to watch me. However, when I did it he handed me a couple of the bearings that I’d spun out and told me to spin them back in as replacements. I was a bit nervous wanting to impress the man. Even though it took some time I managed to get them in successfully.

It was starting to get dark when Cliffy showed up with Davo and his girlfriend right behind him. He’d stopped to get a couple of slices of Pizza at Traveler’s Rest and had found Davo and Leigh there. Davo was a big Ford man and was disappointed when we decided to go Chevy. He hadn’t been to the garage the whole time we were assembling the parts for the new motor. But, curiosity had gotten to him and he wanted to see what we were doing. As I’ve written on a number of occasions, Leigh was basically a ’two beer drunk’ and, watching her follow both Cliffy and Davo,  the signs were she was well past that. In my opinion, Davo didn’t treat her all that well but seemed to encourage her drinking and sometimes drunkeness. So, I was surprised that he was carrying a folding chair for her to sit in. He put it down on the apron of the main entryway and told her to stay there as he walked in to survey our ‘project’.

Cliffy’s father had retreated to his house by then so it was Cliffy who was going to tackle replacing the bearings. I know it sounds funny but, secretly, I wished that it was me who was going to do it. Cliffy lay on his back on the ‘creeper’ making sure he kept the caps he was taking off facing in the right direction to be put back on. It took less and less time as he got into a bit of a rhythm and by the time 10pm arrived the “bottom” of the motor was “buttoned up” and the oil pan back in place. I won’t say we were happy about the situation but were trying to look on the positive side. We all wanted to see the engine running and to check the oil pressure but we knew that wasn’t going to happen. We also knew that Cliffy would start it up as soon as he got there in the morning. Since there wasn’t much left to do to make the car ready for Saturday night we decided to head for home. Walking out the door I saw Leigh asleep in the chair… and a puddle underneath her. I didn’t wait to see how Davo reacted to the situation but I knew it wouldn’t be pretty.

To be continued…

Monday, April 15, 2019

MAKING PROGRESS... of sorts (Part 172ii)

MAKING PROGRESS… of sorts (Part 172ii)

By the time I arrived home Elle’s mother had gone. I saw three people sitting in the screened in porch and it took a walk in that direction for me to recognize both Mattie and Martha. Once I did I turned back towards the playhouse and saw five kids playing in and around it. It was hard to tell Elle’s feelings about my lateness with visitors present. The two woman made ready to leave but I sort of pleaded with them to stay saying I had to get changed. When I did Elle piped up that my dinner was in the oven so I took that as a positive sign. I chose to eat alone leaving the three of them to continue their talk. It was Mattie that came inside to fetch me and told me she could see Elle was getting tired. I found out from her that Elle’s mother had stayed to cook supper and then had sent one of the girls over to see if someone could come over to stay with Elle until I got home. I thanked her for being a good neighbor and as she turned to go back out to the porch I took a look at her backside. As I’ve written, Mattie was a bit overweight and that added weight made the shorts she was wearing a bit tight… and made the VPL noticeable as she walked away. It, again, reminded me that there was two months more of Summer and, hopefully, many more chances for peeks and views.

With the women gone meant I was alone with Elle. My observation was the same as Mattie’s, that Elle was getting tired. Surprisingly, she didn’t comment on my lateness. She had me call the girls in and then asked for me to help her up the stairs to get ready for bed. She was wearing a housecoat which conveniently hid her “package”. It was too early for the girls to go to bed so I had them get some games to play out on the porch as I guided Elle up the stairs. We hadn’t had an opportunity to talk about her incontinence since she’d been home but as I helped her change her ‘package” I asked if she’d seen any difference over the past few days. As her pregnancy advanced so had her incontinence. We talked about it a bit and I remembered Elle saying that her friend, Ginger, had experienced the same sort of thing. After the baby was born, her’s had gone back to where it had been prior to the pregnancy. Elle was hoping for the same thing. She accepted the level that she was experiencing prior to the pregnancy but wearing a ‘package’ all the time was getting to her. Her answer to me was to shake her head from side to side. I tried to offset that by saying it was really too early to tell and that her whole ’system’ was readjusting. Before leaving her we went over what was to happen the next day. She said she wanted to take “baby steps” getting back into a normal routine. She did say she wanted to attempt to make breakfast which I took as a positive. Mattie and Martha had invited her and the kids over for lunch so that was taken care of. I suggested pizza for dinner and that made her smile.

Even though my focus was on Elle I didn’t let thoughts of the bank get put aside. I‘d gotten to know the night desk sergeant at the police station a bit so gave him a call. He told me both cops had called in at 9pm and there was no activity at all. I asked if I was bothering him by calling in and he laughed saying he’d happily take any call that wasn’t an emergency. The rest of the evening was quiet for me and I took advantage of it. I called the garage to see how things were going with the race car. I wasn’t expecting to hear Dick tell me that the motor was f____d up. My quiet evening was no longer. Short story… we always changed the oil after each race night. In doing it Cliffy wanted it to drain it through one of the filters used to strain the paint they use on cars. When they did they saw all kinds of “shiny stuff”. I knew that wasn’t good and asked what they were doing. He told me that Cliffy and Alan were dropping the oil pan to check both the rod and main bearings. I asked him to call me after they got into taking some of the bearing caps off and he said he would. When I hung up I was on edge thinking the worst. He called around 11pm. I remember as the news was just coming on the TV. The early prognosis was there was no permanent damage to the crankshaft. The “shiny stuff” was from the bearings but none that they’d seen had worn enough of it away to cause any harm. He said they were about to leave the shop and would tackle the problem the next night. Another somewhat sleepless night.

There had been no problem at the bank. The vault people were there when I arrived and were putting the mechanisms back in place. The head guy said it was a spring clip that had broken and a piece of it had gotten jammed in a small set of gears. He told me they’d replaced all the clips so that shouldn’t be a problem in the future. That was good news and I hoped it was a positive omen for the day. Lobby traffic had dropped off some which gave all of us a chance to breathe. I called Elle to see how she was doing and I could hear some cheeriness in her voice. I reminded her to take it easy and her vow to take “baby steps”. As soon as I said the words I got worried… I'd mentioned the word "baby" and immediately wanted to kick myself. However, I didn’t hear a reaction in her voice. She seemed anxious to go over to the neighbors for lunch. She’d not been in the house since it was sold and hadn’t seen the changes. I told her I’d call before leaving that afternoon and would pick up the pizza. So, that call was the second piece of good news. Since both good and bad news comes in threes (most times) I was looking for a positive sign in the afternoon. It came in the form of a call from Stan over at the stock brokerage office. The cash was in my account for the stock I’d recently sold and he wanted to know if I had any plans for it. I hated the thought of the money just sitting there not earning any interest. I told him I didn’t have time to do any reading about potential purchases and told him I’d run over and get a check. I’d only taken a few minutes to wolf down a sandwich from the luncheonette so with little lobby traffic I headed for their office.

Lynda’s space was just inside the front door and immediately to the right. As always, after entering, my eyes went in that direction. Lynda and Ruthe technically shared the same space but they had low, two drawer file cabinets put in place to separate them. Lynda much preferred to wheel herself from place to place in her chair rather than to get up. As I turned my head to look for her I got my third positive thing of the day. To propel herself and the chair she would use her feet to push herself in the direction she desired to go and at that very minute she was moving towards the cabinets with her back to them but with her head turned towards them… and her legs splayed apart. Closing my eyes as I write this I can still see the image clearly. There had to be a spread of 12 to 15 inches between her knees and, for me, a perfect crotch view. It only lasted for a few seconds, maybe three or four, but it was perfect. I stopped and watched as she reached the cabinets and turned the chair to face them. I was relieved that she hadn’t seen me but, based upon some of the ‘free shows’ she’d given me in the past I’m not sure why. When she finally saw me she smiled and wheeled herself back to her desk and gave me an envelope with my check. I’d gotten my three positive things for the day.

To be continued…

Saturday, April 13, 2019

MAKING PRIGRESS... of sorts (Part 172hh)

MAKING PROGRESS… of sorts (Part 172hh)

As we left the track the plan for the upcoming week was to go over everything in and about the motor. Everybody else said they’d be at the shop by 7:30pm Monday night but I told them I couldn’t as I’d be bringing Elle home. Cliffy grumbled a bit but that was all. He said he’d try to find someone to loan us a bigger carburetor as CJ had told him that when they’d changed from their Ford motor they had to change to one with a larger cfm (cubic feet per minute of air going into the carburetor). It was something about how the Chevy intake manifold spread the gas and air to the cylinders. When it came to that stuff, it was beyond me. All in all, it was a good night. We learned a little and had no damage to the car.

The official season opening event at the sailing club was also on that same night. There were races scheduled for Sunday but there was no way I could do that with Elle in the hospital. However, I did want to make an appearance. It was a mistake as most of the time I was there was telling people about Elle and the loss of the baby. Actually, since most of the people were “Summer people”, they didn’t even know Elle was pregnant so most of my time was spent explaining. Even though Rex, the property manager, had been injured at work he still managed to get everything done on time. The only ’news’ I was able to glean was registration for sailing lessons would be Tuesday and Wednesday. Not knowing how mobile Elle would be during the week I managed to make sure the older girls would get registered for their lessons even if she didn’t get there. That was some good news to bring to Elle when I came to visit.

When I arrived I was hoping to find Elle looking better than the day before and also hoping to see her in a positive state of mind. It wasn’t to be. I’d had a premonition about my mother’s visit and it wasn’t a positive one. As Elle explained it, all she wanted to do was “sooth” Elle about the loss of the baby… and that left her feeling sad again. I sat there listening and wanting to kick myself for not staying and being there to shut my mother up. Soooo… I had a job to do to turn Elle’s thinking around and get her back thinking about her health. She did admit that she was feeling a bit stronger. The nurses had had her up and walking twice before I got there and the good news was that she wasn’t complaining about being tired. About mid afternoon her doctor showed up. She allowed me to stay when she talked with Elle and I was glad she did as I learned a lot about what the thyroid gland did. The increase in her medication was key in the improvement in her energy level but she was told that she’d have to have her blood checked at least once a week. Too much of it was not good for her and they would have to find a proper level. I asked if she would have any limits on activity and the doctor said she should be able to do pretty much of anything she wanted to do… after a about a week of taking it easy. Then she said she’d be able to go home in the morning. When the doctor left we talked about it and I got her to think about some of the things she’d be able to do… things that the pregnancy would have caused her to give up. By the time visiting hours were over Elle seemed to be close to where she was when I’d left the previous afternoon.  When I left I headed to Elle’s mother’s to visit with the kids and to give them the good news about Elle coming home… and to, hopefully, get invited to dinner. I did and while I was there got a call from Elle. She had no clothes to wear and wanted me to stop at home and pick some out for her. When I was doing it I also realized she’d need a ’package’ so gathered up some of her Carter’s Spanky Pants, sanitary napkins and a pair of plastic panties. I knew she’d not like my choice of clothes but she had no choice.

By the time I left the hospital that night I’d been given Elle’s discharged time, 11:30 am. With the bank in the ‘busy period’ and it being a Monday I made the decision to go in to work for the opening. To be at the hospital by 11:30am I had to leave the bank by 10:30am. Even though I’d only be there an hour and a half I felt it was worth the effort. It turned out to be a good thing that I did as there was problem opening the vault. With a lobby full of people and the tellers without cash it made for a potential publicity nightmare. Bret’s father was the manager of one of the regional commercial banks and we had established an emergency plan for just such a situation. I had the job of placating the customers while Bret and Mike (the messenger/custodian) went to get the cash. It took about 20 minutes with just a little ‘muttering’ from the customers who actually wanted cash. The company who serviced the vault showed up just as I was leaving to get Elle. I’d almost talked myself into staying home but on my way to the hospital knew I’d done the right thing by going in.

Elle was ready and waiting for me and she looked the best I’d seen her in quite a while. She had color in her cheeks and her eyes had a sparkle to them that had been missing. However, she’d thought that I’d bring the girls. I’d never given it a thought but told her that they’d be waiting at home for her and that her mother had made up one of her favorite lunches. That seem to  satisfy her. It was when she was being helped into the car by the nurse that I wondered what she thought of her ‘package’. What triggered the thought was that as the nurse was bending over to help get Elle’s legs in the car I not only saw a VPL but, unless my eyes were deceiving me, thought there were two crotch lines. The view lasted for about 10 seconds so I was pretty sure I was right.

I reminded Elle that the bank was in the busy period and that after eating lunch with her and the kids I’d be off and back to work. She made a bit of a ‘face’ but didn’t say anything. I seldom ate a big lunch but when Elle’s mother made her potato salad, it was to die for. I got to work a little after 2pm only to find the locking mechanism for the vault door all over the floor and two men working on it. Bret brought me up to speed but with some potential bad news. We’d be able to close the vault door but wouldn’t be able to lock it. We’d had a somewhat similar situation when the big brass front door went off it’s rails and couldn’t lock it. At that time we got the police department to assign a patrolman to monitor the door so I knew what I had to do… go across the street to visit the police station and, hopefully meet with the Chief of police. He wasn’t there so all I could do was tell the desk sergeant about my problem. He couldn’t make a commitment but said if he couldn’t get in touch with the Chief he thought he could get a couple of off duty cops to do it. I wasn’t too happy with that idea but it was better than nothing. About the last thing I wanted to do was to call home and say I’d be late… but I did. Elle’s mother had already volunteered to cook supper so it wasn’t like I’d abandoned Elle. I made a call to the Police station at 5pm but they still hadn’t contacted the Chief. I had talked with Hobie and Bert (the president) about the off duty cops taking on the monitoring duties. They agreed but they would have to do it from outside the bank. By 6:30pm I’d met with them and agreed on an hourly fee. They would do their surveillance from their cars and once every half hour would get out and take a look through the windows inside the building. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust them but, as the security officer, I wasn’t comfortable… but had no choice. I’d been looking forward to being home with Elle and focusing all my attention on her. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.

To be continued…

Thursday, April 11, 2019

MAKING PROGRESS... of sorts (Part 172gg)

MAKING PROGRESS… of sorts (Part 172gg)

Driving up to the garage I could hear the ‘rumble’ of the engine without even stopping the car. I’d really wanted to be there when it cranked over but knowing that it was running would have to do. I was told that Robob had showed up about mid afternoon and Cliffy, anxious to get the motor running, put the headers on and started it up. I couldn’t tell the difference in sound between the Ford and the Chevy engines. All I knew was that it sounded powerful. It had been almost a month since an engine of ours had been running and from the looks on the faces of the others it made them happy. I sure was. Before leaving I heard Cliffy say his plan was to just get some laps on the motor and wasn’t planning on ‘pushing’ it. Since we’d missed three weeks we’d have to start in the back anyway. I thought it was good plan. Cliffy could get an idea of just what he had for power without putting the car at risk. Even with that knowledge I was disappointed that I wasn’t going to be there.

In anticipation for Elle coming home sometime Saturday she’d given me a list of things to get from the grocery store. She’d been told to take it easy when she got there and decided on TV dinners for a few days until she felt stronger. So, Saturday morning I headed for the supermarket. Food shopping was not for me and I struggled. Back at home I called Elle’s mother to see if she couldn’t help out. I was surprised she hadn’t offered but… She did say she’d cook something up for us to eat that night which took a little pressure off me. I told her I’d let her know when I got Elle home. The plan from the night before was that her doctor would stop by in the morning and if everything was in order she’d sign her out. The guess was it would be around 11am or so. On my way I stopped at the garage to wish Cliffy and the guys good luck. They’d already loaded the car and it looked good to see it up on the back of the hauler again. At the hospital I asked if there was anything I had to do like papers to sign for Elle’s release. The person at the desk perused a clipboard and then looked at me and said she wasn’t going anywhere. The shock of hearing that sort of took my breath away. I headed up the stairs, two at a time, arriving in the doorway of her room to see her bed empty. Now I was really concerned. I found the floor nurse who calmed me down telling me she was having some blood work done. Right from the time she’d arrived it seemed like they were always drawing blood. My mind, with no medical background, couldn’t fathom why they were still doing blood work. When she walked into the room she was till connected to the IV bag. It was the first time I’d seen her up since she arrived at the hospital and it was also the first time I’d seen the catheter bag as well. Not an encouraging sight.

She was able to explain her situation in lay terms which certainly helped. Just before our youngest, Kaye, had been born she had a major operation that removed most of her thyroid gland. She’d been put on medication to replace the function of the thyroid and had seemed to be doing OK. However, once she became pregnant, the demands on her thyroid function had increased and the basic cause of her always being tired was that she wasn’t getting enough of the drug that replaced the missing thyroid. Her doctor knew about the missing thyroid but in the four years she’d been treating Elle there hadn’t been a problem. When Elle didn’t recover quickly from the miscarriage, she contacted the doctor who’d operated on her and was a semi-specialist on thyroid problems. He told her to run a couple of tests that hadn’t been run to see if that wasn’t the root cause… and that was where they were at that moment. In the meantime, the other doctor told her to put her on additional thyroid medication and to monitor her for a couple of days. End result… she wasn’t going home.

Elle was, as you can probably imagine, deeply disappointed that she’d have to stay in the hospital until Monday. It was my job to point out the positives to it and I truthfully did with the main one being that if the medication change was the solution she’d be able to be as active as she had been in the past. I’d listened to her complain about being tired right from the time she woke up until she went to bed. The focus on her health and not the loss of the baby made her a lot more positive and I set out to keep it that way. I, of course, made the call to Elle’s mother which gave Elle a chance to talk to the kids. I also called my mother. She’d been after me to find out if she could come to visit Elle. I’d put her off telling her that she spent most of her time asleep but, with Elle’s permission, I encouraged her to come either that afternoon or evening. She chose the evening as she and my father were going out to eat at a restaurant less than 5 minutes from the hospital. It was while this was being ’negotiated’ that it came to me that there was now a possibility for me to go to the races. I’ve mentioned how restrictive the rules for hospital visitations were back in those days. In a semi private room you were only allowed two people at a time and visiting hours were limited to four hours a day… at least at the two hospitals that served our area. When it was agreed that would happen I asked Elle if she would be OK without me being there. When she had no problem with it she asked what I wanted to do. When I hesitated she sort of smiled and told me I better be back there when visiting hours started on Sunday. Without asking she knew where I was headed and her agreeing to it without complaining told me she was well on her way to recovery.

By the time I arrived at the track the practice session was over and the preliminary races for the lower division cars were under way. I caught up with Robob first and asked how the engine performed. He made a sour face which scared me at first but quickly explained that there was a problem with the rod that connected the accelerator pedal to the carburetor. Even though they’d been running the motor at the garage they hadn’t tried to open the throttle all the way until the car went out onto the track. It was too short and a simple problem to fix but it cost Cliffy all our practice time. We knew we’d be starting in the back and he told me we’d start eleventh in a twelve car field of cars. When I caught up to the others I had to explain how I’d managed to get to go to the races. After doing so it was time for the car to go on the track. As explained earlier, Cliffy had no intention to try and qualify through the heat race. He just wanted to log some laps on the motor. He knew he’d get more laps in the non qualifiers race. The results weren’t what he’d hoped for as he felt the Chevy motor didn’t have as much power as the Ford motor we’d been running. When the races were over he spent time talking with some of the other drivers trying to find out what he could do to boost the power. Almost all the answers he got entailed spending more money… not what we wanted to hear.

To be continued…