It’s been an exciting time at the
old Sturgess Capra house. Or should I say the Walker house as I’ve been told that Gramps’ name was Andrew Walker? And really, Gramps lived here longer than any Sturgess ever did.
Sorry, I digress… I know I didn’t tell you a whole lot about recent happenings in my last entry, but I really wanted to tape in all of the pictures of our progress on the remodel.
Well, and I guess I needed time to really process what I’d just found out.
I’ll just get the first thing out of the way off the bat. No sense beating around the bush. When Liev spoke with his mother on the phone on Friday, she said they had to delay their plans to visit for a while because her husband, Liev’s step-father, had some type of business he had to conduct. Liev didn’t really seem interested in explaining what exactly his step-father does; he only shrugged when I asked. So, at the top of my list is to find out more about his family.
Now that I think about it, all I really know is that Liev’s parents, Thom and Phyllis got divorced when he was still a toddler. He didn’t provide very many details about that either other than to say it was “mostly” amicable and that he never saw them arguing in front of him. I have a hard time believing that. Maybe he’s just blocking it out because it’s too unpleasant.
Anyway, when Liev was around the age of five, Phyllis married Val Lutz. Liev told me he gets along just fine with Val and that he had a good relationship with all of his parents. He even calls Val “dad.”
I wish I’d met Liev’s biological father, Thom. The way Liev tells it, he was an extraordinary person. Right up there with Gramps; who, by the way, I learned was Phyllis’ father. Confused yet? I kind of am.
Before I get into the nitty gritty of what’s going on around here, I’ll tell you some of the uninteresting things. Not boring to me, but not as cool as what I’m going to tell you in a minute.
Since we’d worked ourselves to death on the remodel of the inside of the house, it felt like high time I got outdoors to till the garden and start planting. One thing I’ve learned is they don’t call this farm country for nothing. The soil is really rich and dark. It feels absolutely velvety when I squeeze it between my fingers. I know it sounds weird, but I like the earthy smell of it. Every time it rains, I can smell that earthiness in the air.
The weather here is so different than what I’m accustomed to. Back in Sunlit Tides, it’s humid and warm all the time. There is very little change in the weather. Sometimes the sun even shines while it’s raining. The smell of salt clings to the air and the humidity hangs like a blanket over everything. Liev mentioned once that it was hard to breathe sometimes through that heaviness, but I liked it; it was home to me and all I ever knew until coming here.
In Storybrook, it gets hot but it’s a different kind of heat. There is humidity but it’s really mild compared to what I’m used to. One thing I really like is the breeze that rolls in every once in a while. The house is situated on a hilly spot and when the wind kicks up just right it blows through the entire house in refreshing waves.
All right, on to the awesome news. So, I came in from the garden and I decided to take a shower when I walked in on this… Yes, Keniesha was puking her guts out. I awkwardly tried to help her but she told me to get lost. I can’t say I blame her. I don’t like anyone around when I’m sick either.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I’m a few peas short of a casserole, so I honestly thought she had the flu.
But she set me straight real fast.
“I’m going to have a baby!”
What? But…. but I’m the one that wants a baby! That’s why I nearly killed myself trying to fix up the house.
I’m so glad I don’t say everything I think out loud. I had to remind myself that this wasn’t about me. But it sure was hard.
“I’m so happy for you!”
Then it dawned on me for real. I’m going to be an aunt! This is beyond exciting!
“Have you told Mango?”
“Oh, yes. I told him last night.”
“How did he react?” I asked, settling in for a good story.
She was all too eager to oblige and I was not disappointed. “So, I told him… I said, ‘Mango, you’re gonna be a dad!’ And he was like, ‘Huh?'”
I giggled. That totally sounded like a Mango response.
“I swear,” she continued, “it took him a good five minutes to realize what I said.”
“Then he gave me the sweetest, goofiest smile I ever saw.”
That would have had to have been a doozy. Mango looked pretty goofy most of the time, in my opinion. “So is he happy?”
She grinned from ear to ear. “Yeah. He’s hoping to get promoted soon. Everything is kind of falling into place for once.”
“Just do me one favor.”
“Anything,” she said, still grinning.
“Don’t let him name this child! I don’t think I can bear a Harry Mango, Junior or anything else he might come up with.”
She laughed. “I don’t want to think about the possibilities.”
Suddenly, she got serious. “We appreciate so much that we’ve been able to stay here.”
I wasn’t liking the sound of this. “Of course.”
“I just wanted to give you a head’s up that if this promotion goes through, we’ll finally have enough cash saved up for our own place. On top of it, Mango will get a sizable bonus.”
I think my throat was beginning to close up… or maybe that was a lump I was trying to swallow around. You know, the kind of lump that decides to take residence in your esophagus when you’re trying really hard not to cry. Either way, I suddenly felt very miserable. I knew Mango and Keniesha would eventually move out; that had been the plan all along. But I guess I had been trying not to think about it.
Forcing a smile, I took her hands in mine to try to prove to her that I was sincere. “I’m really so happy for you guys. And I’ll help you with your new house, just like you helped me with mine.”
After my shower, I decided to try my hand at canning. I didn’t have freshly grown vegetables yet, but tomatoes were on sale at the grocery this week. Who doesn’t love ketchup? Homemade ketchup at that. I was determined that using the canning station would be the first step on the road to becoming a domestic goddess.
On my way to the kitchen, I heard Liev playing his guitar. I swear that man should have been a professional musician. I entered the back parlor and watched him play. Whenever he played guitar or piano, he looked so happy. Maybe his mood would rub off on me if I stuck around for a few minutes.
It didn’t take him long to realize I was there. He put the instrument down and took my hand. “What’s wrong, honey?”
“I’m sorry I disturbed you. I really like listening to you play.”
“Well, you may like hearing me play, but you look like you just lost your last friend.”
I smiled despite my sorrowful demeanor. He always did that to me.
“I’m all right. There’s good news, actually. Keniesha’s pregnant.”
“That’s great!” He enthused. Then he regarded my gloominess more cautiously and added, “Isn’t it?”
“Yes, of course, it’s great. I’m just being dumb. Now that they’re starting a family, they’re talking about moving out.”
He shrugged a little, clearly not understanding the problem. “Well, I just don’t get it. Normal people don’t get married, have kids and start their own lives. What could they be thinking?”
“Okay, okay. I always knew they were going to move out eventually. I was just trying not to think about it.”
“Look, Memphis, what you’re feeling seems pretty normal to me. You and Keniesha experienced a huge loss when your parents died and it’s bound to be a little nerve-wracking to think of her moving on with her life and going in a different direction than you. You two have really stuck together like good sisters. That doesn’t mean you’ll never see her.”
“I know. It sounds really logical when you say it. And I am really happy for her.”
“I know you are.”
He rewarded me with one of his great kisses and I really did feel better. I’m so glad he’s in my life. I left him to his music, praying I wasn’t too nerved up to do the tomatoes justice.
And guess what? After a few hours of work (or should I say trial and error?), I made my first three jars of homemade ketchup! I tasted it so often that it got the point where I couldn’t tell if it was too sweet or too sour. I reckon my family will tell me when they have some!
I can’t believe I got some decent looking results! Check it out!
My first contributions to our pantry. I’m going to fill these shelves until there isn’t any room to put anything more! This girl is going to get down to business and run this house the way it should be!