For Old Time’s Sake

It was an ordinary afternoon. The weather was chilly. It had been raining for two days in a row, the kids were restless and the ranch needed all hands to make sure the stock got fed.  Now that we are a cattle ranch as well as a horse ranch, there’s even more to do when we have inclement weather.

Lex tugged on her boots and waterproof duster. Then she put her gloves and black cowboy hat on.  Have I ever mentioned how incredibly sexy she looks in her black cowboy hat?  Can you imagine how my hormones went crazy the first time my eyes focused on her after she pulled me out of my Mustang when the covered bridge collapsed?  I was a goner as soon as I saw those beautiful blue eyes shining out from underneath that weather beaten black cowboy hat.

I’m still a goner. So, right after she went into the hay barn, I put on my warmest jeans, the shirt that she gave me years ago that used to be her younger brother’s and my boots and followed her to the barn. When I could tell Lex was absorbed in thought while she loaded up the truck with bales of hay, I climbed as silently as possible into the loft.  Once there, a creaking floor board gave me away.

Lex looked up to see me standing at the edge of the loft.  “Amanda?” She had the cutest expression on her face. She was obviously puzzled. What was I doing up there? I decided to see how quickly I could jog her memory.

“Can I help?” I carefully got as close to the edge of the loft as possible. Naturally, Lex moved closer, just in case I lost my footing, which I naturally did.

I let myself go and she promptly moved under me to catch me in her arms. “Feel familiar?”

“Amanda, what are you—Oh. Yeah. This seems a bit familiar.” She kissed me and the years melted away.

As she nuzzled my neck, she spoke softly to me, “Do you know what is different about this time?” Then she sucked on my earlobe and I  forgot what we were talking about.

“This time,” she said, “it’s a dozen years later. And my back just locked up. And I have no earthly idea how to put you down without screaming in pain.”

“Oh, Lex! I’m so sorry. Let me—”

“No! Don’t move.  Let me think.” Lex turned around in a small circle and finally figured out that if she got me close enough to the tailgate on the truck, she could put me down there and lie down next to me without it hurting too much.

It worked. There was a lot of wincing, and the sound of wind being sucked in through teeth, but I finally stopped doing that when she was in a comfortable position and I could make myself stop with the sound effects.

I put a small pile of hay under her head and lay down beside her. Then I ran soothing fingers under her shirt to relax her enough to drive the truck to the house and get her inside.

That was the thought, anyway. But Lex had other ideas. My soothing fingers led to her probing fingers and suddenly the thought of back spasms was all gone.

For old time’s sake.

I love you, Lex.

Amanda.

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The Giggle Twins Cafe

Lex and the girls came bursting through the door.  Their faces were red and they were all laughing.

“Sounds like you’ve had a good time.”  I helped them off with their coats and patted each one on the face. “Brr, you’re cold.”

“We’re fine, honl” Lex picked up Eddie who had toddled over to her and held his arms up. “C’mere little guy. How’s your cold?”

“He’s feeling much better. The meds Rodney prescribed are doing the trick.”

“That’s good, little man. I don’t like it when you’re not feeling well.” Lex kissed him on the cheek and he reciprocated with a wide open-mouthed slobbery kiss to her nose.

“You have to come with us next time we go to that café, Mom,” Lorrie led us all in the kitchen and pulled out the milk from the refrigerator while Mel retrieved a sauce pan from the cabinet. Lex opened the cabinet door with the hand that wasn’t holding our son and got the can of cocoa powder out.

I watched them like a well-orchestrated dance as they went about making hot cocoa.  Once the milk was heating, Lex put Eddie down so she could pour the heated milk into the mugs that Melanie had brought over to the stove. Meanwhile, Lorrie went to the pantry for Graham crackers and a can of chocolate frosting.

I sat down at the table after putting Eddie in his high chair and pulling it closer to me. This was domesticity at its best. To see your loved ones who you’ve poured you heart and soul into working together to make a Saturday afternoon treat that we all enjoy, and letting me sit back and watch.  My family is amazing.

Once we were all stuffing our faces with the chocolate frosted Graham crackers and washing them down with our hot cocoa, I asked them about lunch.

“Oh, Mommy, they’re the best!” Mel piped up.

“Who’s the best, Mel?”  I looked around the table at the smiles that were breaking out on their faces.

The two ladies that own “Giggle Twins Café.”

“Ah, I see. You went to Parkdale for lunch?” Three heads nodded, their mouths too stuffed to speak.

Finally Lex said, ‘Amanda, you have to come with us next time. These two women, younger than Martha, own the café. Remember when we saw it when we were coming back from Ellie’s?”

“I remember. The place looked cheerful from the outside and when that guy opened their door while we were waiting for the light to change, the smells of their food made my mouth water.”

“Mine too. So I thought I’d take the girls there today and check it out. Oh my god, Amanda. Their food is better than SMPH!” I’d quickly clamped my hand over my wife’s mouth to keep her from teaching the children any new phrases I’d end up having to explain.

“Did you ask them why they called the café, ‘Giggle Twins’?”

“Didn’t have to.  From the moment they met us at the door to the time we paid the bill and left, they laughed non-stop about one thing or another.”

“That’s right, Mommy.”

“You know how Ms. Francine is at the café in town?” Lorrie asked. “She’s all like, ‘order it, eat it, pay for it, and get out’.”

Melanie agreed. “Remember when she told me to eat faster cause she’s been on her feet all day and didn’t want wait around to go home and put her feet up.”

“These women are nothing like that, Amanda. Velda, the one who greeted us, kept us entertained by telling us all the crazy things they’ve gone through as they learned the restaurant business. And the other one, Jane, kept sticking her head out of the kitchen and asking, “Are you sure they don’t want their food well done? Then the food would come out and you’d know they’d been kidding. The food is fabulous, and their coconut cream pie is to die for. You’d love it.”

“You had coconut cream pie and didn’t bring me any?” I glared at my lovely family and crossed my arms to let them know I didn’t appreciate not having any pie.

“We couldn’t bring you any, Mommy, cause Momma ate the whole thing.  I just got to lick her plate.”

I could tell that Lex was thinking quickly.

“Um…they said, next time I should bring my lovely wife.” Lex wiggled her eyes and looked at me, hopeful that she would weasel her way out of trouble.

I picked Eddie up out of his chair and handed him off to Lex.  She looked at me, puzzled, until I stood up and grabbed the keys.  C’mon, girls, let’s see what they have for dinner.”

“But…but…”Lex stammered.

“Don’t forget to give Eddie his meds.”

About two hours later, the sound of giggling filled the air. I leaned back in my chair and wondered if anyone would notice if I unbuttoned my jeans a little to make room for my overstuffed tummy. Lex was right; the food was to die for.  And the Giggle Twins had brought out another coconut cream pie, to our delight.

“Poor Momma,” Mel said right before she stuffed a forkful of pie into her mouth.

“Yeah, right,” Lorrie added. “Poor Momma is going to miss both the coconut cream pie, and the apple cobbler.”

The girls had explained to the one called Velda that her momma had gotten in trouble for not sharing her pie. Of course, Velda giggled. Then she went to the kitchen and brought back two more pies.”

“Here ya go! We make ‘em fresh every day, and it’s near closing time.” I tried to pay for the pies, but the Giggle Twins just laughed and said it was their treat, seeing as how they’d fed our family twice in the same day.

“Besides,” Jane said, “Your lovely Missus said that you’d be back to pick up the pies she’d ordered earlier today.”

A Gift That Keeps On Giving

Jeannie and I were talking about how motherhood has changed us both and how hard it is to keep our priorities in order when it comes to our mates.  Poor Lex has been nearly consumed with the cattle business, supplying aged meat to some of Austin and Houston’s finest restaurants.

Keeping up with the kids and managing the house have been more challenging as each year has gone by and the kids get older.  Good old-fashioned romantic evenings are few and far between.  Our spirits and libidos are willing but our flesh keeps saying, “What, are you nuts?”

Jeannie said she and her husband made a trip to Austin and did a little shopping. She handed me two packages and gave me a wink.  “I think you’ll enjoy your romantic evening.”  She told me to wait until Lex and I were getting ready for bed to open the presents and not to open them in the same room. “After all, part of the fun is the surprise.”

That night, when all three kids were asleep, I handed Lex her package and retrieved mine. “What’s this?” Lex asked.

“Something from Jeannie. We’re supposed to open them separately at bedtime.”

“Jeannie?  Are you sure it’s safe? You know your sister, she loves to torment me.”

“I know, but the package is soft. So I figure it’s safe.” I took my package and went into the bathroom with it. Lex decided to sit on the bed to open hers.

“What the fuck!” Lex laughed out loud and came to the backroom door.  “Amanda? Is your sister even a little bit sane? What in the hell?  What are we supposed to do with these?”

I opened the bathroom door and struck a sexy pose. “Like what you see, Slim?” I sashayed past my wife and turned around and played with the front zipper.  It just screams sexy wife, doesn’t it?”

Lex was speechless.  She fingered the material in her hands and said, “I’m not putting this on.”

I went to her and rubbed against the flannel shirt she was wearing. Static filled the air and tiny sparks of electricity could be seen due to the friction of the materials.  “C’mon, sparky. Give it a chance.”

Grumbling, Lex changed into what could only be described as bunny pajamas. Dr. Denton’s for adults. Complete with the flap on the backside.  Finally, we both stood in front of the mirror on the dresser and took stock of what we looked like.

“Well it is warm,” I offered.

“I thought they were supposed to be romantic,” Lex complained. “I feel like a two year old. I thought it’s supposed to make us sexy.”

“Sure to a herd of rabid bunnies.”

“What do you think, Amanda?”

I played with the flap on the back of Lex’s Forever Lazy Adult One-Piece PJ’s and hummed a little bit.

“What are you thinking?”  I must have had that look on my face that made Lex think, “Danger, Will Robinson!”

“Let’s just see what we have here.”  I played with the zipper with one hand and brushed the other hand over the material starting at the collar and down to Lex’s thighs. Then I turned her around and started rubbing my hands over her back and down to the flap in the back. “This could be useful,” I said as I slipped my hand between the flap and her skin.

Lex shivered and I was inspired.

The next morning, Jeannie called while we were still waking up. We’d shed the pajamas hours ago, but they had served their purpose.

In her most smug voice, Jeannie asked, “So, did you like your presents?”

“Mmm. Did we ever. Thanks!”

Lex took the phone and said, “Great idea, Jeannie. We need to go now.”

I could imagine the shock on Jeannie’s face when she realized her joke had backfired. But that thought quickly dissipated when Lex started nibbling on my collarbone and running her hands down my body. Oh yeah! Great gift, Jeannie.

Like Mother, Like Daughter – Virtual Genetics and Dinner Don’t Mix

“You know, Lorrie, the food is all going to go to the same place.”

“Eyewww, Mom! Not while I’m eating.”

I heard Lex snickering while she wiped Eddie’s face with a washcloth.

“And what’s so funny?”

Lex beamed with pride, “She’s just like I was as a kid.”

“Was?” I pointed to her plate and repeated myself, “Was? When did now get to be was?”

Sure enough, Lex’s plate had the meat to one side, the mashed potatoes on the other, and the steamed vegetables made a perfect triangle of food that absolutely, positively, did not touch each other.

She grinned. “Okay, how about this. I’ll move my veggies right next to the mashed potatoes and they can sit side by side?”

“That’s gross, Momma!”

I stared at both of them while Mel blissfully swirled her broccoli spears through her buttered mashed potatoes before taking a bite. Well, I guess that little talk about table manners bears repeating.

Eddie picked that exact moment to spit up.  No one said a word. They just cleaned him up and sat him back in his highchair.

I had to ask before my brain exploded from the strain of trying to understand my loved ones. “None of you batted an eye when Eddie spilled the contents of his stomach.”

“Why would we?” Lex asked. “All babies spit up. It’s no big deal.”

“But the thought of your meat touching your mashed potatoes disturbs you?”

“That’s just icky, Mom! I mean, we’re not going to eat Eddie’s barf!”

How in the world did Lorrie inherit Lex’s penchant for separating her food on her plate? I was just about to ask that very question when I noticed that poor Mel’s face had gone white the moment her sister had mentioned Eddie’s barf.

“Momma, I don’t feel so….”

Another memorable dinner at the Walters had just come to an end.