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Joy's Legacy Chapters 11-12


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Dave turned off the TV, knowing that probably no one was going to want to watch The Late Show. Nobody could believe what they had just seen. And live, too! What was happening to this world? They knew things were bad, but really had no idea what to do.


They talked for a while, going back and forth on their options. Should they bug out? Where to? Was it safe to travel? If they were able to do any more shopping, what should they buy? And how much money should they spend? Would they even be able to go to Duluth for the funeral? So many questions, and it seemed like no one had any answers. Finally, they decided to plan as if though they were going to leave Dave and Joy’s place, and be able to take at least one U-haul, if not two. Then, tomorrow Liz would see if they could camp out at her sister-in-law’s place, and then go from there.


“Well,” Ed said, “I suggest we make lists of things that we would need, what we have, and what would be nice to have.”


Dave and Joy smiled at each other. “Dad,” Joy said, “We’ve already done that. Now the lists that we have made are probably not complete, but not knowing for how many or for how long or for where, leaves a big question mark.”


“Well, let’s see them!” Liz said.


Joy went into her room and got the lists. Liz read over them approvingly. “Just one thing. You are assuming that we won’t have power. Have you heard anything else?”


Dave shook his head. “No, we just assumed that we wouldn’t, and thought it would be bonus if we did.”


Juan asked to look at the list and then shook his head. “This is too long term,” he said in a definite voice. “I can see all the camping stuff and food as we will probably be having to stay somewhere outside of a house for a while. But you are assuming a lot of things, here. You are assuming that there is no electricity, and that it’s going to be way past winter. In fact, it looks like you think America is going to end!” he said laughing.


Marco took the list from Juan. After he looked at it, he agreed with Juan. Joy was surprised, as she thought Marco was a smart man. I mean really, she thought, the guy is getting his doctorate in engineering!


Liz shook her head. “Well, I think it’s a good assumption to make. Nothing good can come of so many countries boycotting the US. Even if we do have electricity, that may still leave us in a bad place. What if they boycott the oil that the US imports? Then gas would be super expensive, and food would also become very expensive then. If we can feed ourselves, then at least we can curve that.”


“Well, maybe by then we may be able to go back home,” Juan argued.


“Why don’t we take a vote?” Dave offered.


Juan shrugged his shoulders. “Look, you can take a vote if you want, but I’m not spending my money on something that may not happen. I know that my family is going to need supplies now. So I don’t know about you, but I will be spending our money on that. I can see the news as well as you do, and the States always comes out ahead.”


Dave shook his head and looked down. He argued about the wisdom of putting up for a longer time. They argued back and forth for a while, until finally Ed put his hand up.


“Look, why don’t we all keep our own money, and prepare for each of our families the best that we know how?” He said.


“But dad, we could get more things if we pulled our money together!” Joy argued.


“Well, do you want to spend for now? Or do you want to invest in things for later?” Ed countered.


“Well, both!” Joy answered indignantly.


“Ok, then. Do you have any other ideas?” Ed asked.


Everyone shook their head. So it was agreed that each family would buy for themselves, that Roger and Marie would be considered a family even though they weren’t married and Marco would be considered part of Juan and Ann’s family. They would all stick together, but each would do their own preparations.


They talked for a while more about what to do, and then decided that Marie and Roger would stay with Victoria and sleep. Allen, who was half asleep already, was going to stay with them for “looks”. Every one else was going to go to a 24 hr. Wal-Mart, and buy stuff that they thought would be useful. Anything from more camping equipment to needles, clothes, and blankets. Joy knew that none of them would be buying too much as her parents didn’t believe on putting anything on the credit card that they knew they couldn’t pay for, and Dave and Joy were going to max out the credit cards soon. Then some of them would split off and go to the grocery store to buy more food.


Also, they decided that Roger and Marie would stay up as late as they could and pack what they thought they would all need from Joy’s place, starting with the kitchen.


Just before leaving, Joy pulled Marie aside. “Marie? I have a really odd request to make. Really odd, and you are probably going to think I’m dumb. But do you see that wooden chest over there? It’s empty. Can you put my china and goblets and gold silverware in there? If we can, I’d like to take it with us. I know it’s stupid,”


Marie shook her head. “No, it’s not. I know what you are feeling. I go through this every time I have to go back to Africa or come back to the States. Do you take all the stuff that you need, and later miss the stuff that you wanted? Or do you take some of your wants and later on find out that you really should have taken what you needed?” She smiled and shook her head again. “I’ll pack them up for you, Baby sister. Once everything is in the vehicles, we’ll see what we have room for.”


Joy gave Marie a quick hug, “Thank you for understanding! Also, make sure you take the molcahete and the tortilla press. And don’t forget the knives, and of course, plates and silverware.” Joy knew that the molcahete and the tortilla press would be very good to have. If they were going to be without electricity, then they would be able to use the molcahete to make sauces, and of course, they’d be able to make tortillas with the tortilla press.


Marie pushed Joy out the door. “Don’t worry Joy. If you see something that we haven’t packed when you get back, then you can pack it then, ok?”


“Ok, thanks! Oh, and thanks for staying with Victoria!” Joy waved goodbye, and they all took off.


Dave agreed that she should drive to the store, as on the way home, she would probably be too tired. Dave, Joy, Leslie and Marco all rode in one minivan, while Ed, Liz, Juan and Ann rode in another.


Once there they spilt up to go looking for what each wanted with the money they had. Joy wanted seeds, so Dave, Marco and Leslie went to get some ironware, and Joy found Ann and asked her if she would go with her to look for some seeds. When they found them, Joy started looking at what to buy.


“Have you ever even gardened, Joy?” Ann asked skeptically.


Joy shook her head. “No, not like this. I’ve planted flowers at my in-laws before, but never vegetables, or fruits. Have you?”


Ann shook her head, exasperated. “Then why are we buying seeds? We could be buying food with the money instead! I don’t know the first thing about gardening, and I don’t think any of the rest does either. We’re going to feel awfully stupid when our food runs out but we have a bunch of seeds!”


“Well, maybe,” Joy answered, “but what about when the food does run out? Then what are we going to do? Plead the ground to give something up that we haven’t put in it?”


Ann shook her head and frowned. “I just think it’s a waste of money. We won’t be able to use them until next spring anyway, maybe not even until summer and by then, things will have probably gotten back to normal. I’ll be back in Mexico, you in your apartment, and we might have some days of hunger because we spent money on seeds instead of real food.”


Joy rolled her eyes. “Ann, what if this lasts until next spring? Or next summer? Or the winter after that? Then what?”


“What is there to last? So there have been a few riots. Big deal! There are riots all over the world every day and the world hasn’t come to an end yet! If they’ve been able to make it, then so can we. But we can’t become paranoid!”


“Ann, maybe we have survived those riots on the other side of the world, but the people there sure didn’t! Look, what’s the deal here?” Joy asked Ann, frustrated. Even though Ann was eight years older than Joy, sometimes Joy thought that Ann was pretty immature. She was sure Ann thought the same about her.


“I just think that we should spend the money on more immediate needs. Look, you buy whatever seeds you want with your money, and I’ll buy the food that I want with mine, ok?” Ann said, her voice rising. “If we are still in this mess in the winter when it’s cold, you can send Victoria over to my tent and I will feed her. Then I’ll come over to your tent and ask how your seeds taste, ok?”


Joy took a deep breath. She was really trying to not get into an argument with her sister. They hadn’t even been together for a whole day! Joy nodded in resignation.


“Fine, Ann. I’ll buy the seeds, you buy the food.”


“Ok, then. I’m going to see if there is anything else to buy here. Otherwise I’m getting tired, and we still have one more place to go to, right?” Ann said, her voice strained.


Ann took off with her cart, and Joy stayed and got as many seeds as she could. She bought the non-hybrid kind, knowing that they would want to be able to get seeds from what they did grow. She bought even for vegetables that she didn’t care for, too, knowing that they could either trade them, or she would just eat what she didn’t like and give thanks. Next to the seeds there were several books on gardening. Not knowing which ones were good and which ones weren’t, she picked up one of each.


Next, Joy headed to the isle that had all the gardening supplies. She put several of what she thought she would need into her cart, and looked at the tillers that they had for sale. She had no idea how to use one, but had read a SHTF on-line novel once, where the characters seemed to think it was very important to have them. So, she figured she’d learn if it really got that bad. Secretly she was hoping that Ann was right. That she would be kicking her self for buying seeds, when she could have been buying food instead. That they’d all be kicking themselves for buying anything at all! She really hoped that nothing was going to happen, but knew that the way things were headed; it really didn’t show much promise. As it was, things were already happening!


Dave found her and she related what had happen to him. He just shook his head. “I almost wish he hadn’t come,” Dave said, referring to Juan. “But I know that it would be worse if he hadn’t, then Ann would want to go back to Mexico, and who knows what would have happened then.”


Joy nodded. “Have you ever used a tiller before?” she asked, changing the subject.


“No, but my grandma did.” Dave answered, referring to his grandma that had been raised on a farm and then married a farmer.


“Well, I thought we should buy one just in case, and then we’ll learn how to use them later.” She said, picking up a book to see if there was anything in it about tillers.


Dave frowned as he looked at the tillers. “I don’t know, Joy. It is pretty pricey, not to mention the size of it, and there is other stuff that we do know how to use that we can buy. I agree about buying the seeds. I just don’t know that we need a tiller.”


“But, Dave, what if we really do need it? Then what? Are we going to do everything by hand?” Joy said, whining a little.


Dave shook his head. “No, you have shovels and rakes and stuff like that here. That should help a lot.”


Joy frowned and shook her head. “Well, I think we should buy it.”


“Ok. I respect your opinion, and I hope you know I really do value it, but we aren’t buying one,” he said firmly. “We are already close on maxing out our credit cards, and we have used up most of the money in the bank. Until the money from your Uncle comes through, if it makes it in time, stuff like tillers are just going to have to stay on the shelf.” Dave said, shaking his head. “Look, we shouldn’t be arguing about all this, ok? We need to focus on the important stuff.” He said, looking back at her.


“I know. I just,” Joy wasn’t able to finish as Ann, Marco and Leslie showed up. Apparently Marco had had a change in heart as it looked to Joy that he had picked up some things that were long term, but not many.


“Are you all ready?” Dave asked.


Everyone nodded. “Yeah. Juan, and Mom and Dad are going to be heading back. I’ll go with you guys to the grocery store.” Ann said.


“Ok, then, let’s go.” Joy said, leading the way to the cash registers.


Once at the registers, they paid for what they had gotten, each family for their own, as they had agreed.


Dave and Joy were the last ones. Joy noticed that Dave had bought some tools and more iron cookware. She looked at him quizzically, wondering why he had bought so much more, but he just shook his head. He also had metal plates and cups, enough for all of them.


“Hi, how are you tonight?” The cashier asked. She was one of the only cashiers working, that night, and Joy thought it was strange as she was an older woman.


“Good, thank you, and you?” Joy answered.


“Well, I’d rather be home, to tell you the truth. With all that’s going on, I’d rather not be here. I see you folks are being smart and buying stuff now. I can guarantee you that tomorrow it isn’t going to be fun. People are going to panic with what they heard on the news, and it’s going to be H-E-double toothpicks if you know what I mean.”


Dave and Joy nodded. They were careful not to ask anymore questions, wanting to get out of there as fast as they could themselves.


Once they had loaded up the minivan, they took off for the grocery store, the one near Joy’s home. This would also be a place where Joy and Ann would argue. Ann argued that they should buy food that would be good for camping, like stews and other canned goods, and bread. Joy thought that they should buy stuff like rice and beans, oils, and stuff that they wouldn’t be able to grow themselves. Ann finally agreed that it would be cheaper to buy it and make the food from scratch, and Joy agreed that it would be good to buy some canned goods to make sure that they lasted through the winter.


Ann smiled at Joy. “Well, I guess we are both right, then, huh?”


Joy smiled in return. “Yeah, I guess. Come on, let’s go.”


They went home and found that Ed, Liz and Juan were already there. Juan and Ed had gone to bed in the apartments that had been loaned to them, as had Marie and Roger, but Liz was still up. She had taken over the packing, and it looked like she was making a good headway.


“Where did you get all the boxes?” Joy asked.


Liz smiled. “At Wal-Mart. They had a bunch of them that they were getting rid of, so I asked if I could have them, and they said yes! I have all your kitchen stuff in these two big ones. I bought some stuff at Wal-Mart for us, and Juan actually bought some for them too. I guess he figured that they would have to eat off of something! I bought a bunch of material and thread, and patterns too.”


“Patterns?” Joy asked “What kind?”


“Oh, all kinds. For a bunch of different ages. All the winter patterns were on clearance, so I bought at least one of each of those. I figured that I could always take them back to Mexico and use them there as I teach the ladies in the villages how to sew. I never told you this, did I?” Liz asked.


“Told me what?” Joy asked back.


“About the stuff we brought you!” Liz seemed pretty happy with herself.


Joy shook her head. “Well,” Liz continued, “I brought you my old

sewing machine. Someone donated one to me, so I thought I’d give you

mine. Ann has two already and didn’t have space for mine. The good

part is, is that it was transformed to electric, but it wasn’t

originally an electric one. And it’s easy to put it back. Also, I

brought you some of that tuna in oil that you like so much. And the

washboards, molcahetes and tortilla presses too. Why did you want

all that stuff for anyway?”


Joy smiled. “To sell, remember? There were some people at church

that were asking for them, so I told them I’d see if you could bring

me some. How many did you bring?”


“Well, we put them into packages, one of each. I think we brought

two, maybe three. Each package has a molcahete, a tortilla press,

one of those Mexican grills and a washboard, with some of that Zote

soap you like so much. I found some of that soap at the store, too,

so I bought some of that.” Liz said.


“Wow, that’s great, Mom! At this point, since I didn’t promise

anything, I think we should be able to keep them. And Mom, thanks

for the sewing machine. I know it was Grandma’s, and you know how

much I like antiques!” Joy gave her Mom a hug.


They talked for just a while more, and then Liz went to the

corporate apartment where she and Ed were staying. Dave and everyone

else had already gone to bed, so Joy made a quick round to see what

had been packed, and what they still needed to take. How were they

going to get all this to where they were going? The minivans were

already packed full, and she was sure the U-haul was going to be

soon, too. Maybe they could rent another U-haul, and then it

wouldn’t matter.


Joy went to bed that night, and the last hour she saw on the clock

was 3:07 a.m. She fell into a deep sleep and didn’t wake up until

Dave’s watch alarm went off at 8:00a.m. Dave picked it up and turned

it off. Joy sat up in bed and rubbed her eyes as she yawned.


“Man, I’m tired,” Dave said as he turned over to go back to sleep.


“Are we going to go to church?” Joy asked sleepily.


“Huh?” Dave turned to look at her, “Oh, yeah, I suppose we should.

Your parents haven’t been there yet, have they?” He said as he got



Joy shook her head and got up herself. They were going to have to

hurry if they were going to make it there in time. She put a robe

on, not knowing when her family would come back in. She went in to

the bathroom and turned the light on, but the light didn’t come on.

She tried again, but to no avail.


“Dave?” Joy called out softly, hoping that Victoria wouldn’t wake



Dave came to the bathroom and looked at Joy with concern in her

eyes. “No lights?”


Joy shook her head. “How did you know?” she asked.


Dave led the way back to the bedroom, where he pointed at their

alarm clock. It was blank. “The alarm never went off. I had set it

for 7:30am, and obviously, it’s off. Let me get the radio.” He went

to the living room and got their radio. They had bought some more

the day before, but this was one that they were familiar with. He

turned it on and a newscaster came on.


“-from east of St. Paul to the west of Chaska, and from north of

Maple Grove and South of Bloomington, all the power is off. We are

not sure what has caused this yet, and officials are looking into

what may have caused it. The police departments in St. Paul and

Minneapolis, as well as neighboring suburbs is asking people to be

very careful in their driving. All stoplights are out, and there

have been several accidents reported already. Highway 100 is closed

due to construction, so this is adding even more pressure to Highway

169 and Highway 35W. This message will now repeat itself again.

There are several areas across the 48 contiguous states that have

been affected by a major power outage. In Minnesota, only the Twin

Cities and the metro area have been affected. Local, State and

National authorities are doing the best they can to determine why

the power is out. They are not ruling out terrorism as an option at

this time. The areas in the Twin Cities that have been affected are

from east of St. Paul to the west of Chaska, and from north of Maple

Grove and South of Bloomington, all the power is off.”


Dave turned the radio off. “Ok, this is not good. Not good at all.

Let’s get dressed and then go get your parents. We can finish off

the milk in the fridge by all of us having cereal. But let’s try to

keep the fridge closed just in case.”


Joy decided to take a quick shower in the dark. She wanted to be

sure that she was going to be clean, regardless of what was going to

happen. After her shower, she quickly dried off and pulled on a pair

of jean shorts and a t-shirt. She went into the bathroom and tried

to do her best to get ready in the dark.


“Oh, I forgot to tell you,” Dave said when she joined him in the

living room. “My sister will be coming over today. She is pretty

shook up, and since Mom and Dad are gone on vacation until next

Sunday, she wants to come and spend the day here with us. She pretty

much invited herself over, and now with the lights out, I know

she’ll be here for sure.” Dave’s sister, Bethany, and Dave had

hardly ever gotten along. She was five years older than he was and

seemed to always think she was not only right, but was entitled to

be treated as if she was.


Joy nodded as she looked around their messy apartment. “Does she

know what we are doing?”


“Yeah. And she’s probably done some shopping of her own.” He rolled

his eyes. “I’m just not sure I want her here, you know? With

everything that’s going on, the last thing I need is someone telling

me what to do.”


“I know, Babe,” Joy said as there was a knock on the front door, the

phone rang and Victoria woke up, all at the same time.


“I’ll get the phone, you get the door, and then one of us can get

Victoria,” Dave shook his head smiling.


Joy walked over to the door and opened it to reveal a pitch-dark

hallway. “Hi Mom, I’m home!” Bethany said, holding up a tiny

flashlight. Joy smiled and backed away from the door to let her in.


“How did you get in?” Joy asked. Their building was a secure

building, and residents weren’t supposed to let other people in.


“Oh, the door is wide open!” Bethany responded, “There was a lady

standing there, letting a bunch of people in. It’s no big deal,

really. It was nice, because I wasn’t sure how else I was going to

let you know I was here.”


“Do you have your cell phone on you?” Joy asked as she went into

Victoria’s room and Bethany followed.


“Duh! I could have used that! Wait. I’m not sure it even works. Let

me check.” Bethany responded.


Joy went and gave Victoria a hug.


“Good morning, honey! How did you sleep?” Joy asked Victoria.


Joy helped Victoria get dressed for the day, and had her go to the

bathroom in the dark. She noticed that Dave had closed the door to

their room, but wasn’t talking on the phone.


Someone at the door was knocking again, so Joy went to see who it

was. This time it was her family. They all exchanged greetings and

decided to eat breakfast right away.


“I need to go open the garage doors,” Dave said as he came into the

living room. “Ah! Paper cups for cereal, smart!” He said as he saw

what everyone was eating from. Joy had opened her stash of paper

cups and plastic wear, not wanting to have to worry about dishes.


“Hey, Bethany,” Dave greeted her. “How’d you get in?”


“Hey! There was a lady there letting people in.” She said, and then

continued to eat.


“A lady?” Dave frowned.


“You don’t have a problem with that, do you?” Bethany asked between



Dave nodded. “Well, sure I do! Especially now, with all that is

going on.” He turned to look at Joy. “Well, I’ll check on it while

I’m down there opening the garage doors. Man! It’s like I can’t stop

working here!” Dave went to the closet by the entry and grabbed his

big flashlight. The rest of the closet had been picked clean, most

of his tools were gone, as well as the toilet paper and paper

towels. Joy guessed that they were in the boxes, somewhere. “I’ll

have my cell phone on, in case the power comes back on.” Dave told

Joy as he started to leave. “Good thing we charged them before going

to bed!”


Just then, the lights came back on. Joy could here the chorus of

cheers from inside her apartment, and was very glad herself about

having power again. She looked at Dave, wondering if he was still

going to go out.


He answered her question before she was able to ask. “I think I’ll

still go check around,” he said “and I’ll take this with me just in

case.” He said holding the flashlight up.


“Ok,” Joy said, and gave him a quick kiss.


“Bye Daddy!” Victoria yelled from the living room.


Dave looked back into the apartment and waved. “Bye honey, love



Dave took off and Joy closed the door behind him. “Did you park

outside, Bethany?”


“Yeah, I brought the U-haul, too. Well, I drove the U-haul and towed

the car.”


Joy looked at her confused. “What U-haul? Where are you going?”


“Where am I going? I don’t know! Wherever you are, I guess! By the

way, there is still plenty of room in the U-haul for a lot of this

stuff. I went to Mom and Dad’s last night and got some stuff out

that I thought we’d want in case we can’t go back.” Bethany replied.



Joy was confused. Why did Bethany have a U-haul? She would later

find out that Bethany had talked to Dave earlier the day before and

had liked his idea, so had done it herself. Then that same night,

they had agreed that Bethany would join them. Bethany had talked to

her parents in Pennsylvania, and they had decided to stay there

until things settled down, instead of trying to get back, and

getting caught in between.


“Hey, Joy?” Liz called. They had turned the TV on and were watching



“Yeah?” Joy answered as she joined them in the living room again.


“I talked to Aunt Linda early this morning. And it ain’t pretty.”

She said, trying to not talk too loud. “Can we go to your room?” She

asked, not waiting for an answer and leading the way.


Once in the room, Joy closed the door behind her. “You talked to

her? How?”


“Well, the furnished apartment that we stayed in has a good old

fashioned phone.” She replied.


“Oh. What did she say?” Joy asked.


“She says that we need to get over to Grand Rapids as soon as we

can. To forget Duluth for now, and just get over to where they are.

Apparently they have a place that we can all stay at. I didn’t know

that Bethany was going to come too, but it shouldn’t be a problem.”

Liz said as she helped Joy make her bed.


“Did they loose power too?” Joy asked.


Liz shook her head. “No, but the hospital that your cousin Keith

works at was blown up.”


Joy stopped what she was doing and looked at her mom. “He wasn’t

there, was he?” she asked, shocked.


Liz shook her head. “Fortunately not. But Rebecca had been there

with a neighbor, and had left just minutes before.” She said, relief

in her voice.


“Wow. So they made it out ok?” Joy asked.


“Yes, but barely. The neighbor had just lost his wife, and is now

left with a little boy and two babies to take care of,” Liz

continued. “Linda asked if we would be willing to help him with the

kids once we got there.”


Joy looked at Liz. “And what did you say?”


“Well, what was I going to say? Of course we’ll help him!” Liz



Joy nodded. “So when are you and Dad thinking we should leave?” she

asked her.


“Well, we were thinking right away. There is a medical supply store

that Marie and Roger want to stop by, but if the power is out, then

of course we can’t do that. But it should be open, even on Sunday,

if it stays on.” Liz said.


“Ok. Well, Bethany said that we could put stuff in her U-haul, so

maybe now that the power is back on, we can get the guys to take the

boxes down. I’ll take a quick look around and see if there is

anything left that we should take with.” Joy said as they headed

back into the living room.


“So what’s happening?” Joy asked once in there, only to be shushed.


“There are several reports of power coming back on,” the lady on the

TV screen said, “but hundreds of thousands of homes across the

States are still without it. The White House has issued a statement

saying that the threat level has now been raised to red for the

whole country. They said that there is a real possibility that

terrorists are attacking some of the power grids. There have been

reports of the power returning at some places, only to be taken away



Just after the newscaster said that, Joy reached for the remote and

paused it. She raised her voice above the groans “Now, wait. Look,

if the power is going to be going off again, then we’d better get

these boxes down the elevator and into Bethany’s truck. Or if you

want, we can drag them down the pitch-dark hallways and all the way

down stairs. It’s up to you!”


Everyone got up still complaining. “I’ll leave it paused so we can

watch it later if you want.” Joy said.


Ed nodded his head. “Yeah, I think that would be good. Besides,

won’t there be some travel restrictions now that the level has been

raised to red? We better get going before it’s too late!”


They all worked together, clearing out as much as they could out of

the apartment, including Victoria’s bed. There was no space for Dave

and Joy’s, but they figured that at least a single bed would come in

handy somewhere. Soon they had the last heavy load on the elevator,

ready to be taken downstairs. Joy rode the elevator down with Ed,

Bethany and Allen.


Joy heard two beeps, signaling that they had gone down to the main

floor, and then the power went out again.


Joy sighed and leaned back against the wall as she heard Bethany






Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, and His love endures



Edited by Cat (08/31/05 10:06 AM)


Post Extras:


Sunshine Princess




Reged: 10/02/02

Posts: 3384

Loc: MN, USA

Re: Joy's Legacy, compiled

#59975 - 08/01/05 06:52 PM ( Edit

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Jack woke up early Sunday morning, his body stiff and his head

spinning. Where was he? He looked around and saw Luke sleeping next

to him, and a bunch of bags filled with baby stuff sitting in the

corner. It all hit him like a ton of bricks as he laid his head back

down on the pillow.


After Rebecca and Jack had left the hospital with the kids, they had

heard a loud explosion. As the twins and Luke cried, they found out

that the only hospital in Grand Rapids had been attacked and had

exploded in several parts, including the ER. Jack wondered if his

wife’s body had been moved, or if it had been buried in the blast.

He shook his head and rubbed his eyes as he struggled to keep the

tears from coming again.


“Papa?” It was Luke.


Jack turned to pick up Luke and laid him on his chest. Jack put his

big arms around him, and held the boy close.


“Papa? Where’s Mother? Is she ok?”


Jack closed his eyes and bit his lower lip. He sat up in bed and

looked at Luke straight in the eyes. “Luke, listen to me,” he said,

holding his son’s chin in his hand.


“Do you remember the fire at our house last night when we got home?”

Jack asked him.


Luke nodded, his eyes beginning to tear. “Well, Mother fell asleep

in it, Luke,” Jack continued. “And, Luke, she didn’t wake up.” A

single tear fell down Jack’s cheek.


Luke just stared at him, trying to understand. “Well, can’t you wake

her up?” he asked innocently.


Jack shook his head. “No, son. I can’t. I wish I could though. See,

your mother is dead now. She’s gone. She’ll never be able to be with

us again, or us with her, until we get to Heaven that is.”


Luke shook his little head and frowned. “But I want her here. I

don’t want her to die!” Tears started flowing and his voice was

getting louder in protest. Jack held his son and let him cry. He did

some more crying of his own, too. Luke clung to Jack like he had

never done before. Finally, there were no more tears. Luke laid in

Jack’s arms, his little body shaking from the emotional turmoil that

he had just gone through. Jack put his head against the wall and

stroked Luke’s hair. What’s going to become of us? He wondered. How

are we going to survive in this new world, especially with two new



“Luke?” He whispered softly.


Luke sat up and looked at his father. “Luke, you do have a new

brother and a new sister. Would you like to see them?”


A look of anger crossed Luke’s face as he shook his head. He lunged

towards Jack and hugged him tight.


“Whoa! It’s ok, buddy! I’m not going anywhere!” Jack said as he held

his son again. “Are you sure you don’t want to see them? They are

really small!”


Luke only held on to Jack tighter and buried his head into Jack’s



“Ok, Luke, it’s ok. We can just hang out here for a little while,

ok?” Jack asked softly.


Luke nodded his head. They sat there for what seemed like hours,

just comforting each other. Neither of them spoke another word. Jack

prayed for Luke, that this would not destroy his spirit. Luke just

sat there, holding on to Jack for dear life.


The only reason they parted was because of a soft knock on the door.

“Come in,” Jack said softly. They were at Rebecca’s place, in one of

the kid’s room, or so Jack guessed.


The door opened slowly with a creek, and Seth pocked his head

through the opening. “Good mornin’,” he said as cheerful as he

could. “Are you boys hungry? Rebecca has some eggs and pancakes

cooking in kitchen if you’d like to join us.”


Jack looked at Luke, and was surprised when he nodded his little

head. Jack shrugged. “I guess so! Thanks. We’ll be down in a



“Okey-dokey.” Seth said as he closed the door behind him.


Jack and Luke got up and put their pants back on. The night before

was a blur to Jack, but he did remember falling fast asleep as soon

as he hit the pillow, as had Luke. Must have been God’s grace, Jack



They made their way downstairs to the kitchen, and found that it was

almost noon. Jack found out that Seth had gone out to be with the

rest of the family, as they were out helping with the cabins for

Rebecca’s family, and Rebecca had stayed behind with the twins. As

Luke ate, Jack took the opportunity to go see his new babies.


“You two are so lovely,” he whispered as he held Victor close.

Little Grace was asleep, and Jack was glad that he didn’t have to

decide which baby to hold. Victor stared at Jack with large blue

eyes as Jack touched his little cheek.


“Jack,” Rebecca said softly as she came in the room, “please know

that you are more than welcome to stay here as long as you want, or

need. My Mom is coming over, and she will be a great help with the



Jack started shaking his head, but Rebecca stopped him. “Stop it,

Jack. You need the help and you know it. Now stop being so proud and

take it. There will be a time when we need you, and we know that we

can count on you, too.” She said in her best motherly voice.


Jack nodded and smiled. “Ok, Rebecca. I will. But don’t think I’ll

ever forget it!”


Rebecca laughed softly. “Oh, I know you won’t. Now listen, Jack.

Luke is still not interested in seeing the babies. I don’t think he

is ready yet. Why don’t you take him with you and go buy some



“Supplies? For what?” Jack asked putting Victor down and picking up

Grace, who had just woken up.


“Supplies for you, Jack. Things aren’t going well at all. I think

they may hold together for a little while longer, but I’m not sure

how much.” Rebecca replied.


Jack looked at Grace as he spoke. “Well, Luke and I went shopping to

Duluth yesterday. We did get quite a few things, if I know what you



“I know. I saw your truck and trailer. But Jack, you’ve got to

realize that you just lost your home, and most everything in it. You

are going to have to start to rebuild, and you are going to need

supplies for that.”


Jack shook his head. “But I used up all of the money that we had

yesterday. I have a lot of different stuff that I don’t need that

maybe I can trade for. We won’t need much for a while. Assuming that

everything else outside of the house is ok, we should fair just

fine.” He kissed Grace gently on her head.


“The cows,” Jack said, his voice filled with panic. “I didn’t milk

the cows!”


“Shh,” Rebecca said, not wanting to stir the babies. “The cows are

fine. Seth milked them last night, and the kids milked them this

morning. Look, Jack, we have something for you. It isn’t much, but,”


“Oh, no you don’t,” Jack interrupted her. “No way, no how. You are

doing more than enough, just by helping me with the twins. Do you

think I don’t know how busy you are? And now with your family

coming, you are going to be even more. No. Please. Just, just please

keep what ever it is, ok?”


“You don’t even know what it is!” Rebecca protested.


“Yeah, well, you taking care of the twins and the animals was a gift

enough. Just, just let me be proud this time, ok?” Jack asked, his

eyes pleading for mercy.


Rebecca nodded. “Ok. But I still think you need to do something with

Luke. Go to the Reservation, something. He needs to have a little

distraction. My Mom talked to my aunt today, and they should be

arriving sometime today. Maybe then he can play with my cousin’s

little girl. She is pretty much a city girl, so Luke will have to

teach her the ropes around here.”


Jack nodded. A little friend for Luke would be good. “Are the cabins

done?” he asked Rebecca.


Rebecca shook her head. “No. They will have to camp out for a while,

until they can move in. I’m pleasantly surprised at my cousin from

the cities. She and her husband went out yesterday and rented a

U-haul.” Rebecca paused to pick up Victor and give him his bottle

after handing one over to Jack for Grace.


“A U-haul? What for?” Jack asked.


“Well, they figured out that something was going to be happening

soon, just by what was shown on the news. I’m not sure what all they

bought, but I know that they went on a shopping spree. Maybe you can

exchange some things with them. The U-haul is for all the stuff that

they are going to bring. They have faith, I tell ya. They don’t even

know that there is a place for them here yet. But they knew that

they would be safer closer to here than in the Cities.” Rebecca told



Jack nodded. “That is good. I’m sure that you are glad to have them



“Yeah, sort of. I mean I wish nothing of this were happening. But it

is. So I’m glad they are coming. They are going to have to learn a

lot, but I’m sure there will be a lot to learn from them. And Jack,

my Mom said that they would also be willing to help you with Luke

and the twins,” she said, watching Jack closely. “Only while you

rebuild, of course.” She ended quickly.


Jack nodded thoughtfully. “I would really appreciate it if they

did,” he said quietly. “It would make it easier on you, and I could

always repay them by teaching them something, or maybe even giving

them milk.”


“Well, then it’s settled.” Rebecca said as she burped Victor.


Jack watched Rebecca closely and then did the same with Grace. Boy,

it’s sure been a while! He thought.


He saw something moving out of the corner of his eye, and turned to

see Luke standing there quietly. “Luke! Do you want to see the

babies?” Jack asked him.


Luke stood there, not saying anything or moving at all.


“Come here, buddy,” Jack said.


Luke walked to where Jack was seated slowly. He stood in front of

Jack, staring at Grace. Jack turned Grace over so Luke could see



“Luke, this is your little sister, Grace. That over there with Mrs.

Rebecca is Victor, your little brother.” Jack said.


Luke stood there, taking turns staring at each of the twins. “Would

you like to hold one?” Rebecca asked him softly.


Luke shook his head, but he didn’t move either. Jack knew that under

normal circumstances it would take Luke a while to warm up to the

babies. But now? Who knows how long it would take. Hours? Days?


Just then there was a knock on the door as an older lady poked her

head in the house.


“Rebecca? Hello? Anyone home?” Jack figured it was Rebecca’s mom. He

was right.


“Mom!” Rebecca said carefully getting up, still holding Victor. They

embraced, careful not to squish the little one.


“Hi, Becca. How are you? Oh, these must be the twins. And Luke! And

you must be Jack. Hi, I’m Linda. Nice to meet you!” Linda said as

she went to shake Jack’s hand.


“Nice to meet you too, Ma’am,” Jack said.


“Hi, Luke,” Linda said softly. “You know what? My dog had puppies a

few weeks ago, and I had to bring them over to Rebecca’s farm. Would

you help me get them out of the car?” She asked, looking at Jack for

approval. Jack smiled and nodded his head.


“Puppies! Luke, would you like to help Mrs. Linda with the puppies?”

Jack asked.


“Oh, you can call me Aunt Linda if you’d like. Or Grandma L. But

Mrs. Linda sounds like you don’t want to be friends with me. What do

you say? Will you help me?” Linda said holding her hand out towards



Luke looked at his father, who nodded, and then back at Linda. He

shyly held his hand up to hold Linda’s.


“Good,” Linda smiled, “because they are sure a handful. There are

three of them!” Her voice trailed off as they headed outside.


Jack laid Grace down gently as she was falling asleep. To his

surprise, she didn’t cry. He looked at Rebecca still holding on to



“Do you mind if I leave Luke here for a little while and go check on

the house?” He asked Rebecca.


Rebecca shook her head. “No, go right ahead. It looks like the twins

will be sleeping for a little while, anyway, and Luke will be busy

with the puppies. Let me get Seth to go with you, that way you can

bring your truck back when your ready, and he can come back right



Jack nodded. “Thanks, Rebecca. You and Seth have been a Godsend.”


Rebecca smiled and put little Victor down for a nap next to his

sister. He was fast asleep. She went outside to get Seth, as Jack

watched Luke play with the dogs out the window. Luke wasn’t exactly

laughing, but he sure seemed to be enjoying himself.


Seth and Rebecca reappeared, and soon Seth and Jack were on their

way. Jack had stopped to talk to Luke, and Luke had been a little

reluctant to let Jack go. Jack felt bad for having to leave Luke,

but he wanted to see what the extent of the damage was to their

house before allowing Luke to see it.


They rode in silence for a while, Jack lost in deep thoughts, and

Seth allowing him to have some space.


As they approached the road that led to Jack’s house, Seth cleared

his throat. “Uh, Jack? Just wanted to prepare ya, buddy. There ain’t

much left. How they got to Carol before it got this bad I’ll never

know. I just thank the Good Lord they did.”


They turned the corner and Jack gasped as he saw what Seth meant.

The structure of the house was still there, but everything else

seemed to be gone, including the roof. Seth parked and they both got

out of the truck. Jack went and stood in front of his home, his

hands on his hips, wondering what he was going to do now. Where were

he and his children going to live? Could he rebuild before the

winter came? With what?


Jack shook his head and ran his fingers through his hair. He glanced

at Seth and shook his head again.


“It really is a mess, isn’t it?” Jack asked to keep the tears from

forming yet again.


Seth nodded. “Yep. It sure is. Do you want to go in there? I talked

to Ben earlier today and he said that we could go in, but we had to

make it quick. He’s concerned about the house not being structurally

safe. I can go in there with you if want.”


Jack looked down and paused before answering. He finally decided

that it would be better to have company than not, so he nodded his



“I’d appreciate that, Seth. Thank you.” Jack replied.


Seth nodded as he put his hand up to block the sun from his eyes.

“No problem, Bud.”


They approached the house cautiously as if it was going to bite

them. They walked through the front entrance door that had been

destroyed by the firemen, and looked around. The roof was mostly

gone, allowing the sun to shine through and give them light.


Jack looked around and let out a heavy sigh. All the walls were

black, and the furniture was badly burned. He carefully walked

around what used to be the living room-dinning room area. The

kitchen cabinets were completely gone, as was everything in it. Even

the pantry and the food in it was scorched. Jack shook his head.

Maybe he would have to go shopping after all, even if he had to

borrow some money. They had to eat!


Jack made his way towards Luke’s room. To his surprise, the door was

still closed. He opened it, and found that although it had been

sprayed to prevent the fire from growing, a lot of Luke’s clothing

could be saved, as were his toys. He opened the drawers in the chest

of drawers and was relieved to see that those were also intact, just



Seth came into the room and whistled softly. “Wow! This is good!

Say, I have some garbage bags in my truck. Do you want me to get

them? Maybe we can salvage some of Luke’s stuff.”


Jack nodded his head. “That would be great, Seth.”


Seth went back out to see about the bags, and Jack made his way into

his bedroom. He was hesitant at first to go in there, but knew he

had to. The door to this room was opened and Jack could tell the

difference right away. Everything seemed to be charred to a crisp,

including his bed. Nothing seemed to have escaped the fire. Jack

stood there gazing at the place where the bed used to be. Tears

threatened to come again, but this time he was spared once again, as

he heard voices coming from the living room.


Jack made his way over there, and found Seth and Mr. Bodaway looking

for him.


“Jack, my friend!” Mr. Bodaway said as he walked towards Jack. He

gave Jack a hug and patted him on the back. “Jack, I’m so sorry for

your loss. Words cannot express the deep sorrow I feel for you, dear



“Thank you, Mr. Bodaway,” Jack said quietly, returning his embrace.


“I, uh, I’m going to see about getting some of Luke’s clothes,” Seth

said uncomfortably, as he disappeared into the hall.


“Jack, may I have a word with you? Perhaps outside?” Mr. Bodaway



Jack nodded his head. “Sure Mr. Bodaway,” he answered, leading the



Once outside, Mr. Bodaway turned to look at Jack. “Do you have any

plans, Jack?” he asked.


Jack looked down at his boots and shook his head. “No, not yet, Mr.



Mr. Bodaway nodded his head, lifting his cap up to run his hand

through his hair before putting it back on. “Well, you are more than

welcome to come and live at the Reservation. We have a place that

you can stay at, near your office, and I’m sure you and your family

would be quite comfortable.”


Jack looked at Mr. Bodaway, and then down again. “Thank you, Mr.

Bodaway. You are very generous,” he said, a small smile on his face.

“But I couldn’t, well, I won’t leave this place. But I do appreciate

the offer.”


Mr. Bodaway nodded. “Yeah, I thought you’d say that. Well, then I

have a business proposal for you, Jack. As you know, I am one of

your biggest clients,” he paused as Jack nodded. “Well, what I’m

proposing is this. Over the next few weeks, months or even years, I

will not have money to pay for your services. Even if I did, money

will not be worth much, if anything. Now, you need a house, I need a

vet. I say I give you a cabin in exchange for future services, up to

the amount of the cost of the cabin, of course.”


Jack looked at Mr. Bodaway, trying to read his mind. Jack was a

proud man, not one to take handouts, but he knew that Mr. Bodaway

was one too, and would not be easily deterred.


“You want to sell me one of your cabins? How would I put it up?”

Jack asked.


“Well, that would be included in the cost. I have a kit at the

office now, one that the buyer fell through on. There is nothing

wrong with the cabin, of course. It is taking up too much space, and

I think it would look mighty fine right there.” Mr. Bodaway said,

pointing to the house.


“You’d put it where the house is?” Jack asked.


Mr. Bodaway nodded. “Yes, Jack. We would tear down the existing

house, and put it on the basement. We would have to work on the

basement some, but I don’t think it got hurt as bad. Have you been

down there?”


Jack shook his head. “No, I haven’t. Our room was pretty bad, but

Luke’s seemed to be ok. Of course all of the living room, dinning

room and kitchen are pretty much gone.”


“Yeah, well, I was down there earlier today. I hope you don’t mind,”

Mr. Bodaway continued.


“You went down there? I should see what it’s like,” Jack said,

anxious to get going and get back to his kids.


“Yes, Jack, but there is something else.” Mr. Bodaway said, pulling

an envelope out of his shirt pocket and handing it to Jack.


“What’s this?” Jack asked, taking the envelope.


“Well, John McKeen was here this morning, too. He and I went around

your house, looking at what caused the fire.” Mr. Bodaway said.


“John McKeen? Why was he here? I didn’t have insurance on the

house.” Jack asked, confused. John McKeen was an insurance

representative that Jack had worked with before, as he came with

great recommendations from Mr. Bodaway. They didn’t know each other

very well, but Mr. Bodaway spoke highly of him.


“Well, actually, you did. It’s all wrapped up in your mortgage

payments, so you probably didn’t even know you had it. I thought

that maybe you could use that money towards the log cabin, and then

you wouldn’t have to work for me as long, or I’ll include some

extra’s, like sinks and toilets and such,” Mr. Bodaway paused and

looked at Jack carefully. “Did Carol have any kind of insurance?” he



Jack shook his head. “Not of any that I know of. I don’t know where

she would have gotten the money to afford any. We were barely making

our budget every month, and that was only because of the work she

was doing from home.”


Mr. Bodaway rubbed his chin thoughtfully as he looked at Jack.

“Well, Jack,” he said, a small smile on his face, “looks like she

pulled one over on you, my friend. Look at what’s in the envelope.”


Jack frowned and opened the envelope. In it was a check, made out to

Jack for $5,000. “What’s this for?” Jack asked surprised.


“Well,” Mr. Bodaway said, “John said that when he found out about

the fire, he had to come and look at the house as soon as it was

safe. He was happy to know that you hadn’t been in there, as that

meant you hadn’t tampered with the evidence. Ben Tiller, John and I

looked around the house, and determined that the cause of the fire

was an accident. Now,” he paused as he studied Jack’s face,

“apparently, Carol had some form of life insurance. I’m not sure

where she got the idea to get it, but she did. The check you have

there should be for $5000 to help you with some immediate expenses.

The rest of the $25,000 will come later. The idea was that you would

have some money to help with burial costs. But now with the hospital

gone, and everyone in it with it…”


Jack shook his head. “And she never told me about it? Are you sure

about this?” he asked angrily, not being able to believe what he had

just heard. Why would Carol hold something like this back from him?

Did she not think he was trustworthy?


Mr. Bodaway nodded. “Yup, I sure am. John wanted to make sure that

you had the money right away, as he also sees the things that are

coming. Now, Jack, I suggest you go and replace whatever you need to

replace for your new home. You will need some furniture, like cribs

for your babies. Also, you may want to replace clothing and shoes

for your yourself.”

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