Misti’s Adventures Part 70

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The morning came, clear as a bell, without a single cloud in the sky. It was cool, but, not to the point where more than a light jacket was needed.

They had, as usual awoke at 5:30 in the morning, gone up and took their showers that they had failed to take last night. Scrubbed and clean, they went about their early morning routine. Cathy and Robbi started breakfast, and Billy and Rick, after a cup of coffee, had gone out to care for the livestock. They had loaded a round bale of sorghum hay for the horses, and two bales of alfalfa hay for the cattle. They had noticed that the salt blocks were almost gone, and loaded three of them, including one mineral block. They had loaded it all onto a flat wagon to be pulled by the tractor. It only took them a little over an hour to complete their tasks, and they went back to the barn and parked the tractor.

Breakfast was almost ready for them. A large bowl of scrambled eggs, another of gravy, and a platter of hash brown potatoes were on the table. Robbi was putting another platter of sausage and bacon down as they poured another cup of coffee each. The biscuits were still in the oven, and were pulled out to finish the fare. Fresh milk was poured for all.

Robbi reached over on the end of the counter and retrieved a CD in a plain plastic sleeve, handing it to Rick. “Found this in your dress jacket pocket. Thought you might want to see what it was.” Rick looked at it and admitted, “I don’t know what it is. Someone else must have put it there. I’ll look at it later and see if it is anything important.” They ate, without giving it another thought. Cathy and Robbi had, after their showers brushed each others hair until it was shiny and looked, like spun silk. Both ladies looked like angels this morning. Cathy was a little sore this morning, but after last night, she had expected it. They were all still laughing about the reactions they had had from going out naked.

They heard the sound of vehicles stopping in front. Robbi stepped to the window, and pulled the curtain over to look out. She looked over her shoulder to tell the others, “It’s the men plus Carol, and Betty.” Cathy looked up at the clock on the wall. It was just a little till 8:00. The door opened and they came in. They were hugging and kissing each other, Cathy and Robbi asking who had Sarah. She was almost 4 months old. She had brown eyes and coal black hair like her Mommy, but one look at her face told you who her Daddy was. She was a feminine version of Dave. When she heard his voice, her arms and legs were waving and she lit up the room with her smiles, and giggles. She loved all the others, but, she adored her Daddy. She was a bit in the chubby side, as befitted a normal healthy baby. They had made bets as to whether she would be short like her Mom and Grandma, or tall as the rest of the family.

William informed them that they were going to look at the prospective acreage, and would they like to come with them? They didn’t bother to answer such a silly question, and went up to put on some suitable clothes for their trip. All went into the kitchen for coffee. Fifteen minutes later the entourage pulled out and headed for the other farm, with William leading the way. It only took them another 15 minutes to be there. The owner’s wife was out on the front porch, and greeted them, inviting them in. The owner had driven out to one of the barns close to the river to check on some of the stock. They had lost a calf to coyotes the night before last, and he had set traps in hopes of catching one or two.

They talked for a few minutes, and heard a pickup pulling in front. The owner came in and introduced himself as Goodrich. They all introduced themselves, and were asked if they wanted to go and look, or if there was anything in particular they wanted to look at. Betty was acting in her Mom’s behalf, and asked if she might see the house, explaining that this was only about half of the people that would be coming here. Mrs. Goodrich took Betty, Carol, Robbi, and Cathy to look at the house, apologizing, as women will, about the house being such a mess. It was as neat as a pin.

Mr. Goodrich led the men into the dining room and offered cups of coffee, and giving a rundown on what they could expect to see on the place. They talked for a bit, with Pop Campbell explaining that the two older of his daughters were his livestock inspectors. Mr. Goodrich smiled and explained that he had the same thing. His oldest daughter was a County Agent for the state in the next county over. She was one of the best hands with livestock you could find, and had Graduated at the top of her class in Agriculture. She had, just last spring, earned her Doctorate Degree in Biology and Farm Economics. He had 2 sons, and another daughter. Both the sons were teaching Vocational Agriculture, and the “Baby Girl” was working on a Masters Degree in Business Administration. He was hoping to be a Grandpa in a few weeks. The oldest girl was expecting her first. Cathy stepped in in time to hear about his oldest daughter, and asked where she was going to deliver at. Mr. Goodrich told her that she was seeing a local doctor, and Cathy told him she was going to be working in the OB/GYN section of the hospital as a RN. She was starting next week.

The ladies had returned and Dad Breen asked if they could go and look around. They all got in their vehicles and went to look around. He first showed them around the main area. The house was on a small rise, overlooking 2 barns and 3 sheds. The sheds were where he stored tack and equipment. One barn was filled with hay, and the other housed the swather, 2 balers, one for round bales, the other for square bales, and a hay wagon he used for hauling the square bales. It held 150 bales at a time and was automated. There were 3 tractors, and various trailers with the other equipment. There were 2 seed drills, and a manure spreader in another of the sheds.

The went out to the far end of the property, and found that he had built levees along the river to control high water, He credited his sons for building them after the water got up and flooded their land 10 or 12 years ago.It had taken them nearly 6 months to build.

He showed them where he cultivated for the hay, and several areas with some very good looking and well cared for cattle. Then had taken them and showed them a rather large herd of horses. Most were prime stock, according to Betty and Carol, but too many were gelded. The did see several stallions. Pop Campbell explained that both of his girls had a thing about gelded horses. They both much preferred stallions and mares. Betty had walked out in the pasture with the horses. Mr. Goodrich tried to warn her that only one of the stallions was broke. She smiled at him. “Let ME be the judge of that. She had walked right up to a big dapple grey stallion, and put her arm around his neck. She patted him and spoke to him a little bit, and walked to a big bay stallion and did the same with him. She started back to the fence where Mr. Goodrich was holding one wire up, with his foot on another for her to climb through. Both horses followed her to the fence, nuzzling at her back. Mr. Goodrich was standing with his mouth agape in surprise. “If anybody told me about what I just saw, I would have called them a bald-faced liar.” he said. “I never saw anybody touch those two horses, before.” Betty just looked at him and smiled. “I love horses, and they seem to sense that, and like me back.” Dad Campbell, turned to him. “She trains horses when she ain’t pregnant. They don’t try to buck or fight her, and when she gets through with ’em, ANYBODY can ride ’em. I growed up around horses, and never seen the like. Carol’s almost as good with horses as Betty. She is a better judge, though. Betty looks at all of ’em as pets. She’d have ’em in the house if it was big enough. She used to cry when I sold one of the horses or mules. I had to explain that that was how we made our living.” Mr Goodrich went over and hugged Betty. “We feel just about the same. I geld ’em to keep the fightin’ down. Some have to be gelded for one reason or another, but I don’t like it.”

Mr. Goodrich turned around as asked, “Is there anything else you want to see? Dave just told him that it was him and a friend that had been flying over the other day, taking pictures. Mr. Goodrich nodded. I knowed the helichopper, and figured that that was what it was. I saw him in town a day or two ago, and he said you was a builder. You was lookin’ for building sites. Did you find ’em? One place, over by the levees, would really be nice if you knowed what you was doin’. You might have to build extra levees around the house, but that would take care of it. Go upstream a bit and you’ll see two of ’em built like that. Real nice places, too. If there’s nothing else we might as well head for the house. Mama will want to tell you “Bye.” She was hopin’ you’d bring the wives out with you. Mama likes to meet new people. Maybe you can bring ’em out to visit, if you’re not too busy. She’ll treat ya so many ways, you’ll have to like some of ’em.” They had all heard that same line all their lives.

They went back to the house, visited a bit more, and bid each other farewell. William promised to get in touch as soon as he knew something. They shook hands and William gave them another business card. They talked about what they had seen on the way to Billy and Cathy’s house. There were more cars out front. Jerry and Mary, and Mike and Misti, were waiting for them. All the others had ridden out with them, so the whole gang was there.

Jerry went out and opened the back of Mary’s station wagon, and called the others to give him a hand. There were many covered platters and bowls to be carried in. Mike snickered. “I got some stuff, too. We just got to carry it in.” A caravan was formed, and the food carried into the house. The entire stove and all the counters were covered in dishes. They had brought enough food to feed a hungry army. It was almost 2 in the afternoon. The 2 Fathers, Tod, Dave, and William, were in the living room. They had agreed that it was even better than they had thought it would be. William asked them, “Do you want to make a counter-offer, or agree to the original asking price?” Pop Campbell looked over at his soon to be son-in-law. “What do YOU think we should do, Son?” I think it sounds real good as it stands.”

It was William’s turn to duck his head to hide his emotion. “I think you are getting a bargain as it is. That’s my professional opinion, but it’s up to you.” “Then call Mr. Goodrich and tell him he’s got a deal. While you got him on the phone, ask him if he and the missus would come over and eat with us. We can visit some more and they can meet the better halves.”

William took out his phone and punched in some numbers. He spoke and the first thing they heard was “You’ve got a deal. Yes. The money will be deposited first thing Monday morning. We’ll be expecting you. Bye bye. They’ll be here in about an hour.”

Dad Campbell looked up at the clock. “Who wants to run to the liquor store. I think this calls for a few jugs of champagne to celebrate with.” William and Dave went and were back with several cases of the same champagne that had been served at Billy and Cathy’s wedding. It was carried in and placed in the fridge, and ice put in buckets. They still had two cases of the glasses used at the wedding stored downstairs.

This was going to be a new homecoming celebration.