A change is in the air; a dark cloud has drifted onto our horizon and cast a shadow over our otherwise sunny existence. Although Barry and I have denied it and tried to hide it, the problem can no longer be kept in the closet. A scourge has crept into the Twin Rocks trading post, with all its implications and complications. For years, we have looked the other way, turned the other cheek, and now the reality of our neglect has crashed full force upon our shores. It is a calamity of monumental proportions, with no remedy in sight.
Steve & Barry's Carving by Marvin Jim & Grace Begay
Age, more appropriately middle age, has come to the Twin Rocks trading post, and it is frankly not a pretty picture. The most common refrains around the store these days are, “Where are my reading glasses,” and “I wonder why my clothes are so tight.” Excuses like, “I had them here just a moment ago, someone must have moved them,” and “I told my wife to stop washing my pants in hot water” abound. No mention is made of chocolate doughnuts, milkshakes, candies or cookies.
Kira and Grange have begun to avoid the Twin Rocks trading post when possible, because they are universally blamed when something goes missing. My favorite saying has become, “Those darn kids must have gotten into my stuff again.” Although that excuse worked for a while, Barry and Priscilla now view me as the Boy Who Cried Wolf.
Buffy the Wonder Dog has started her training as a seeing eye dog. Although I know there is a more contemporary, more appropriate, term for such animals, I just cannot remember what it is. We are planning for the time when the magnifiers we have scattered about the Twin Rocks trading post can no longer be found and we can’t even remember what they look like to describe them to someone who might assist in the search.
The other day, Barry wandered into work about three hours late, looking a little bewildered. When I inquired where he had been, he informed me he had mislaid his watch and therefore overslept. He then discovered that Laurie had once again laundered his trousers in extremely hot water.
After a lot of stretching, and lying on the bed to button his fly, he was able to get dressed and start out the door on his way to Bluff. The problem was that someone had apparently moved his keys and he could not get his mini-van started. When he finally realized the key ring was already in his pocket, he could not extract it because his pants were too tight, so he had to go back into the house and disrobe to retrieve them; thereby making him late. Since he was already overdue, he decided it wouldn’t hurt to stop for a latte’ and sugar bun.
Being the understanding type, I only gave him a written warning, rather than a pink slip. Later that afternoon, I was outside guiding Buffy along her new career path, when I heard Barry talking to two young children. “Don’t mention this to that old guy on the porch,” I heard him say to the youths. His comments provoked my interest, so I sneaked up to one of the windows and peeked inside, making sure Barry didn’t notice me.
Kira & Grange Simpson @ Twin Rocks Trading Post.
As I looked on, Barry reached into the cash register and extracted two one dollar bills. “Help me find my reading glasses, and don’t tell that man outside,” he said to the two redheaded children; waving a single at each of them. The children laughed heartily and began turning the Twin Rocks trading post upside down, looking in every nook and cranny for the much desired spectacles.
Barry seemed amazed that their parents did not appear, and how well the children knew the ins and outs of the store. At one point I even heard him comment to the boy and girl that he was especially fond of redheaded kids, because his niece and nephew both had red hair.
At some point the younger child decided he needed visit the water closet and went into the restroom, whereupon the glasses were discovered setting atop an AARP publication on the back of the commode. Barry snatched up the readers, rewarded the children for their good work and turned to go into his office. The kids ran out the front door and, upon stumbling over Buffy and me, said, “Hey dad, look what Uncle Barry gave us.”
With warm regards,
Steve, Barry and the Team.