(this is for Father’s Day. I couldn’t choose between Dennis and Harwood, and it’d be too much of a hassle to do both, so I did something different)
-Sometime in early 2016-
Appaloosa Plains looked as rustic and charming as ever. He had been proud to call it home for decades.
He never grew tired of the place, and it in fact made an ideal retirement spot for him and his wife.
Yet he couldn’t stop thinking about his other loved ones.
Claude was still a bit thunderstruck over the news he’d gotten from his eldest daughter the other day. He actually asked her to repeat herself when she told him over the phone.
He was so taken by surprise, he’d actually forgotten to tell his wife. Not that he was going to forget much longer.
Apparently, Claude was so caught up in his thoughts that he didn’t notice his wife come out on the patio.
“Ya still in dreamland, Claude?!” Myrna said in her usual powerful voice. “I’ve been telling ya over and over that lunch is ready! Don’t tell me ya lost yer hearing!”
“No, no dear,” Claude answered her as he stood up and cracked his back. “I was just thinking ’bout some news I received recently from one of the kids.”
Myrna let out an amused snort. “Well, why don’t ya tell me the news over PB&Js? Somethin’ tells me ya might be able to tell me with a full belly.”
“Yes, dear. Of course, dear.”
The inside of the house was practically bathed in a mint green glow. Neither of them wanted to change it because of the soothing atmosphere.
That, and old age probably wouldn’t allow them to paint it over.
“I still can’t believe them damned poppies haven’t wilted yet,” Claude said when he looked over at the flower vase on the table. “Now I’m curious as to what magic ya performed on them.”
Again, Myrna snorted. “It’s a special magic trick known as ‘sugar and vodka’.”
“Is that why I’ve been finding empty mini bottles of vodka in the trashcan? Well, thank goodness I don’t have to set up an intervention, then!”
“Oh hush now, and eat yer sandwich. Flowers soaked in booze mean nothing unless ya intend to eat them too.
“Now then,” she went on as the both of them were about to consume their sandwiches. “what were ya going on about? Something about news from one of the kids?”
Claude seemed ready to burst from this prompting. “Oh, ya won’t believe what’s happened!”
“Let me guess; Nina paid her own bail?”
“Oh, if only! No, I’m talking about Belinda! I got a call from her saying she’s getting married!”
Hearing this almost made Myrna choke on her sandwich. “Yer kiddin’!”
“I kid ya not, my dear! Girl’s marrying! She says he’s a nice fellow, a man named Dennis. She can’t stop talking about him. Him and his boy.”
“A girl marrying a single daddy? Well, now don’t that sound familiar.”
After washing up, the two went back out on the patio, and made themselves comfortable on the bench.
“Ya think she’s gonna come and visit, and bring that beau of hers?”
“Oh, it’s quite likely, Myrna! She actually put Dennis and his boy on the phone when she called. Good men, those two are. The boy even called me Grandpa!”
“Well, it’s good to hear that Belinda ain’t the only one excited about all this.”
He then wrapped his arm around her shoulders, and pulled her close.
“Ya know, Claude,” she said to him, “Ya sure did raise a fine daughter there.”
“Well, I couldn’t have done it without ya, my dear.”
The two then sat back, and gazed upon the mountain range in the distance.