Things at the ranch seemed to be settling down…. Or were they? Using the methods she and Arf had learned at the research hospital, Katie was able to stand up…Only she didn’t want to tell anyone, yet. Jamie had found Brad’s brother, Tom…and she didn’t want to tell anyone, yet. With all this secrecy going on, to most in the household, things seemed to be up in the air, Which prompted Miss Bessie to stir things up a little.
“Does it seem strange to you that everyone but Jamie, who is still family to us of course, now live at the ranch?” Grandma Helen asked as she and Miss Bessie were having their usual early morning coffee in the kitchen.
“I like it,” Miss B. said. “I especially love that Dina is here and it appears she plans to stay. It must be wonderful for you to have your daughter close by.”
“I must be honest. I really don’t know how I feel about Dina. Are we all supposed to forgive her just like that? She has said very little to anyone but Steve and Katie and I don’t think either of them are that sure of her motives,” Helen said as she got up to pour another cup of coffee.
“You’re having three cups of coffee this morning, Helen? You’ll be a bundle of nerves by noon, and you’ll be cranky, too. You know how cranky you get.”
“I remember how cranky she gets when she has too much coffee,” Dina said as she walked into the kitchen. “Do you ladies mind if I join you?”
Though she really hated to leave, Miss Bessie decided it would be the right thing to do to let Helen and her daughter have some time alone.
“I believe I’ll take my leave and let you two visit,” she said. “I’m going to take my sketching pad and go out on the porch this morning and try to catch the morning dew sparkle as the sun rises over the hill.”
“I’ll join you in a bit,” Grandma Helen said. “I’ll catch the sun and the garden flowers in all of their glory. Like they look after the sun sunrises.”
Dina, suppressing a grin, poured herself a cup of coffee and joined Grandma Helen at the table. The two ladies continued their lightly veiled squabble a bit before Miss Bessie finally left.
“I tell you,” Helen said. “That old woman drives me to distraction sometimes. How are you settling in Dina and if I may be blunt, how long do you plan to stay?”
“Those are two very different questions,” Dina answered. “I feel my being here makes all of you feel uncomfortable and I can certainly understand that, but I also realize everyone needs time. It doesn’t matter anyway because my relationship with Katie is all that matters. I hope she will learn to accept that I am her mother and I’m not going anywhere. I’ve given my notice at my job and because I have so much vacation time, I won’t be going back. I’ve also put my little house on the market. I’m going to ask Brad if he will allow me to continue to stay at the ranch. I’ll insist on paying rent, of course. Do you have any other questions, Mother? I would be happy to answer them.”
“Just one,” Helen said as she got up to leave. “I thought we were close, Dina. I thought we had the kind of relationship that you want to build with Katie. Why couldn’t you tell me you were so sick and why didn’t I sense it? I guess that’s two questions isn’t it?”
“Yes,” Dina answered. “And again, they require two very different answers.”
Brad was saddling up his horse when he saw Jamie’s Jeep coming up the drive. For some reason, seeing her brought a smile to his face. When she got out of the Jeep and started walking over to him, he noticed she was smiling, too. She was someone very special he thought. She was easy to be around and had the kind of integrity many people don’t posses. she wasn’t the kind to keep secrets and Brad liked that in a person.
“What brings you here this morning?” He asked. Have you been able to find anything out about Tom’s whereabouts?”
“I’m on my way to the clinic and I just had the urge to stop by and say hello…and no, I haven’t been able to locate him, yet. I’m sure something will turn up soon.”
***Jamie was holding a brand new frisbee and I wanted to run and get it from her so bad. I was down to my last good frisbee. I didn’t want to interrupt. I liked seeing Brad and Jamie smiling at each other, so I forced myself to stay put.
“Arf, here’s a new frisbee for you. I was able to find your favorite color,” Jamie said as she knelt down to ruffle the hair on Arf’s head. “If it’s okay with Brad, you can come to the clinic with me this morning. Annie will be there so it’s up to you if you want to bring your brand new frisbee. I know you work with Katie every day so I’ll have you back by noon.”