Sunday, January 23, 2005

Pecaw' Gift / Chapter Two

Chapter Two Love at Home

(As I am finding out, there were "embedded" commands laced within the text and they are causing havoc when I imported this old document into "new wine casks". Please just ignore the :interesting paragraph format.)

The evening dinner was taking too much time; like having to do the dishes before
he could play baseball. As a kid he had lived to play the game. He had average ability
but had above average imagination that made him stand as high as any major leaguer.
When he was in the back yard practicing diving catches at short stop; each toss of the
ball, each bad hop would be replayed and announced by his favorite, Mel Allen, “Voice
of the New York Yankees”.
“What a play!, Sports fans...”, as he snagged a hot smash in the webbing. The
more than well used baseball had been resurrected with black electrician’s tape. It was a
little sticky and harder to see, but it was better than none at all. A well placed left foot,
he wheels and throws to catch the speedy Mota by half a step at first.
“What a Play!, Recapping the inning; no runs, no hits, no errors and nobody left
on thanks to three fine fielding gems by that young new super star Sinclair Dosilmeyer”,
the echo of the loud speakers at the stadium pierced the microphone.
“And now Sports Fans a word from our sponsor. . . How about a cold Ballantine
Ale?”. Sinclair spent his afternoons, for that matter, most of his youth fantasizing about
baseball. When it came time for a real game there was nothing that would get in his
way. The years had flown by and he no longer believed that his name would be blasted
across the stadium speakers. He still played softball on Saturdays with the church team.
His coach would get on him for closing his eyes or turning his head on ground balls,
but he still managed to catch most of them. He threw side arm curve balls to the first
baseman and ran out of wind on his way to second base. He never missed a game and
even showed up when it rained, just in case. Baseball was a part of his life and always
would be. The Astros game was coming on and dinner was taking too long.
A few hurried swallow of noodles and stroganoff and he could pardon himself
from the table. He nodded, only half listening to Bonnie as she talked about her science
project for school. She had been growing plants under different colors of light and
filters to see how it would affect their growth. There were plants in boxes all over the
kitchen table and in the garage on the work bench. Some had red cellophane over them
while others were under fluorescent lights; they were just about everywhere. He had
helped her get started with it and was aware of its importance to her. Jenny had gotten up
from the table to get a picture that she had done after school. She had to fight to get her
chance to be with Dad. Having three kids was a handful that made him wonder if it was
worth it sometimes, but he loved each of them and wanted them to find their greatest
potential in life. He exited the table like a cowboy getting off a horse, his leg kicked
high over the back of the metal folding chair. He tossed his wadded up napkin at the
waste basket; it missed and fell next to the sewing cabinet.
“And just what are we teaching the children?”, Bev scolded him. He shrugged as
he walked over and picked it up, placed it neatly in the basket and acknowledged the
error. After having cleared his place from the table he disappeared into the back of
the house. He went straight to the book shelf where the photo albums were and started
going through the pages. He found an old black and white picture of his grandfather; he
had called him “Pecaw” as a very young boy and the name had stuck. Sinclair got out
his journal and wrote down the days events and some of his thoughts. His progress was
slowed as he contemplated the picture of Pecaw in front of him.
A voice from the kitchen, “Hun, are you Ok back there?”, broke his silence. Bev
had no idea what Sinclair was working on. She knew better than to interrupt him, but it
was all right to show concern for his well being.
“Yea, I'm fine; just doing my journal entry for today. I'll be out in a while.”
He had learned that if he answered with more than just a, “Yea, I'm fine”, that she would
leave him alone. He put the stereo headphones on and closed his eyes to listen to the
ball game. Sitting in the recliner, he thought about his boyhood trips to New York City
and his times with Pecaw. The pencil dropped from his hand to the floor when he fell
Bev took a throw blanket from the cedar chest and gently placed it over her
visionary sleeper. He would only have another hour before it would be time to get ready
for work. His eyelids jerked as he followed the fantasies of his slumber. She wondered
what had made him smile so sweetly. She picked up the photo album that was on the
table and put it back on the shelf while looking once more at the peaceful expression that
lingered on Sinclair's face. “Probably one of his flying dreams”, she thought,
“He loves to free style with his arms stretched out in those kind of dreams”.
Bev went back to the kitchen where she had been preparing index cards for a
cooking lesson that she was to give at Relief Society. Canning fruits and vegetables was
one way to provide a measure of preparedness and she had become quite proficient.
The garage had boxes of neatly labeled cans; blackberry jelly, stewed tomatoes, relish,
applesauce, beef stew, chili and even peanut butter. There was no sense canning stuff
that nobody liked. Sinclair was a peanut butter and jelly junkie. He could eat it open
faced, toasted on fresh bread or just a plain sandwich. He especially loved it on fresh
whole grain wheat bread. Bev had gone in with some woman at church and purchased a
truck load of wheat. The price was good so there were plastic containers of the stuff
stacked high in William's room. They made great forts for him to play army. He could
make castles and dream away the rainy days behind them. Sinclair had put together a
couple of old fashioned pulley wheels and V belts which were driven by an electric
motor. The grinder had a small bowl for a funnel which fed the wheat berries in between
the stones. It took an hour to grind up enough wheat flour for sixteen small loaves.
William loved to watch. He would drop a peanut or two into the bowl just to see them
disappear in the small whirlpool of berries. The contraption would scrape and vibrate its
hypnotic spell over the two of them and made for a special time together. The bread that
Bev made had a solid texture, not like the store bought stuff that was more air than
bread. The aroma would fill the house and she never once had to wrap the first loaf.
Sinclair wished she would bake it more often. It was nearly time to wake him, but
Bev let him sleep just an extra ten minutes longer. He was sleeping so well it would
be a shame to wake him now.
“Nine fifty Hon, time to jump in the shower.”, as she reached down and softly
rubbed his shoulders. “D’you sleep Ok dear? You must have been having a pretty good
dream”, she waited for a reply but he just sat there in the recliner rubbing his eyes.
“I’ve saved you some ice cream. Its Blue Bell, Natural Vanilla Bean, Your favorite.”,
tempting him past any chance of a negative response. She dished him out a small bowl
and put it on the table as he escaped the chair's grip. The chocolate on top was perfect
and he tipped the bowl to get the last sweetness on the spoon.

“Leave the bowl and get in the shower. I've already gotten a shirt ready for you.” The light blue long sleeve shirt was hanging from the knob of his closet. The
“PD's”, name plate, badge and sharpshooter’s medal had all been neatly arranged in
their respective positions. Bev had been putting his shirts “together” each night for
the past 14 years. She didn't think of it as a chore, but more like a chance to do
something nice for him. She would sew on his patches and seniority stripes with
each new issue of shirts and hem the trousers to proper length. The slightly larger
uniform still looked good on Sinclair. She pictured him standing in his first set of blues
on the night he graduated from the academy. Back then the shirts were a darker slate
colored blue wool and had silver clip on buttons; all part of the daily ritual of getting her
man off to work. He finished shaving and toweled off, letting the steam drift across
the bathroom mirror.
“You could stay home tonight and get some more back therapy. The kids are
asleep.”, a glimmer in her eyes let him know what was on her mind.
“Sounds great, but its Friday and there just aren’t enough officers.", as he winked
back at her. She knew that he really did love her. He slipped on the uniform and carried
his boots into the den to catch the last of the news; he had slept through the ball game.
He sat on the edge of the chair and tugged on the boot straps, pointing his toes into the
tight black Wellingtons. The Astros had lost to the Dodgers; a game they should have
“ ‘ be great if they made it to the series this year. Why don't we take in a game;
you can get your Dad to come along”. He walked over to the small wall vault and took
out the blue steel revolver and holstered it. The horror stories about kids and guns
were many. It was still early spring and yet five had already been killed while “playing”
with guns. He didn’t ever want to come home to that. It was time to leave as he gave
Bev a kiss, “See you in the morning.”
“Don't talk to strangers”, she joked back as they walked to the truck. It was a
family tradition that his parents had started and Bev had picked up on it as a fun way of
letting him know that every now and then he might meet a rotten apple. The cool
night air and the damp ground convinced her that it was time to dart back into the house.