“Check the List”…

Years ago, my wonderful sister Kate was up in the wee dark hours of a very snowy morning in that lively ranch on the corner of Chestnut and route 84 in Geneva. It was about 6a.m. , time to start the day, when she with barely opened eyes and the 1st cup of coffee in her hands looked in to wake up her two oldest boys Billy and John for the start of the day. There they lay, huge and sound asleep in their beds. Well, what should Kate spy right next to Johnny’s head but a GIANT crack in the wall. Oh no, she thought…the day will start with their Father killing them. How can we fix this before Frankie wakes up? Then she remembered her Credo, “Check the List”. this was her list of things to do in case of emergency situations like this, the 1st thing on the list being “I must survive”. She whispered agitatedly to the boys through clenched teeth,”get up, get up quietly and quickly and don’t wake your Father!”, she then motioned for them to look at the broken cracked wall, they mouthed their fierce denials knowing their Father WAS going to kill them if he heard and woke up. At this time, Kate recalled another incident of housebreaking from these two stout lads. It seems these two boys (14 and 12 respectively) had gotten into a fistfight or as Kate would say, “Clash of the Titans”. And before she could get them to take it outside, some body’sbutt had met the wall in the closet of their room and left a butt sized dent in the plasterboard. Of course both denied responsibility  (for both for the application of butt to said wall and/or being the aforesaid butt) for the hole in the closet wall. But Kate had her suspicions. Well with a fine bit of forensic work of matching up of butt prints to butts our Kate had that incident solved in a minute, and found Johnny to be the guilty party of that particular incident. At that time they managed to cover it up by putting the boys dresser topped with clothes in the boys closet and averted the immediate other hazard to the boys butts. But now as she stood there and looked at the hole next to John’s bed she realized all the dressers in the world wouldn’t cover this one. She investigated a little further by moving the curtains on the window next to the bed and saw where the crack ran all the way to the Ceiling! Yikes! This was going to be one hell of a tough day.

 At this point she toddled into the living room and peered out the front door window and noticed it had snowed long and hard all night long. There was no way anything would be open that day. No work for her,  or school for the kids,  or Eagles Social Club for our Frankie. God enforced Family Time. Nothing like it to spike the local murder rate. Once again she checked her list, and still holding at #1, ” I must Survive”.

So she was to be stuck in that house all day with her 4 sons and one quiet ticking time-bomb of a husband. Back to the list…the top of the list! As she stood there gazing out over her snowy yard knowing it was already promising to be a day from Hell, she realized she could see tire tracks in the snow…tracks that swirled from one side of the yard to the other almost as if a car had come off the Route 84 and then tried to get back onto the road. As Kate’s eyes followed the tire tracks she felt she was following a Rainbow. One that perhaps held some other person being responsible for this mess and sure enough… to what should her wondering eyes appear; but  a car up to it’s axels, in packed snow and stuck at the side of her house.  It seems this Drunken Speed Racer of a driver had slid off state Route 84 late in the night and plowed into Kate and Franks house. Then tried to scuttle away only to be trapped by the downhill slide of Kate and Franks snowy front yard.  So now the case was cracked, there would be no blaming the boyo’s today and already Kate felt better…she told her firstborn Bill to get out there and see if anyone was still in the car. And there sleeping soundly was their Target for Frankie.  But Frank could be pretty understanding of just about anybody else, he set a pretty high standard for the boys and he turned out to be right these guys are GREAT. Well the guy, who answered Billy rapping on his window had been sound asleep in the car but came inside as invited for some coffee and the use of the phone. And the rest is history, but I just loved Katie’s recounting of the story, “Check the List!”.

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