“That’s a relief, for a minute I envisioned spending the entire day in the kitchen on dish detail.  Woot, we lucked in.” Paul couldn’t help but appreciate her honesty.

“Great, come on Brandon, help me stack the dishes in the dishwasher.”

“What time should we be back?  When do you want to leave?’

“Before you answer, Eilea, and pardon the interruption, but I was thinking about your situation this morning.  “I’d like to invite you all to stay for another day or so, barbecue in the back yard, wander the mall or plan something else.”

“Mom, I wouldn’t mind if we stayed another day.  What do you think?”

“It’s very thoughtful of you, Paul, but I wouldn’t want to outstay our welcome.  After all…”

“I wouldn’t have offered if I didn’t like the idea, scouts honour.”

“I’m game,” Cliff said, the other’s nodded in agreement. “I’m looking forward to hanging at the beach.”

“It seems we have a unanimous verdict.”

“Good.”  Paul sounded pleased.  “Now, who wants to ride?”

“We all would, actually,”  Christina said.

“Ok, does anyone know how to saddle a horse?”

“Not really.  Any time I’ve gone riding, it was bareback or the horse was saddled for me.  What about you, Andrew?”

“Same here.”

“Ok, come with me and I’ll show you what to do.  When you’re finished, I’d appreciate it if you wiped the horses down, put them back in the barn and give them some fresh hay.”

“I can’t brush the horse down, but I can saddle feed and water them.”

“Thanks, Christina.”

Brandon and Cliff offered to wipe the animals down while Theresa volunteered to help feed the animals.

“Alright.  I’ll be back in a few minutes.  Perhaps you and I can take a tour ourselves,” Paul suggested.

“That sounds wonderful,” Eilea agreed.

“Ready?”  Paul asked.  The kids nodded in unison then turned heading for the barn. Eilea went to the girl’s room to make sure everything was in order, found their beds made and the room straightened.  She was pleased to find Andrew had done the same.

Pouring herself another cup of coffee, she stood at the kitchen window watching.  Theresa and Cliff were sitting atop a huge black stallion while Brandon and Christina shared a dark brown horse.  Andrew sat on loveable old Britches all were listening attentively to Paul.  They headed out the gate toward the beach.  Moments later, Paul rejoined her in the kitchen.

Pointing Paul explained, “Theresa and Cliff are riding Checkers.  He has two square patches on his right front leg, and the way they match, it creates a baby checkerboard pattern.  Christina and Brandon are riding Showgirl.”

“How did you come up with a name like Showgirl?”

Laughing he remarked, “She likes to show off.”

“Ready to take a drive?”

“Where are we going?”

“Along the beach and down to the store so I can buy some steaks for dinner and show you the countryside.”

“Ok, let me get my purse.”

Page 30                                                                                        Page 28

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