"No, no no no! Please leave me alone! .....Okay, I'll ask her again..."
My mom is talking to her ghosts again, it sounds like. She says they want something from me, but she has never been clear on what exactly they want.
"Livie! Come quick! Grandpa Max won't leave me alone!"
"What is is mom?" I sighed.
"Oh, Livie! Grandpa Max keeps following me. I'm trying to ignore him,but every time I turn around, there he is. He was even waiting for me in my bedroom this morning. You have to do something!"
"But mom, we've been over this so many times. What do you want me to do?"
I would have been happy to do whatever she asked, if only I knew what that something might be.
This time my mom actually had a plan.
"They want you to clean up your old workroom in the basement."
I frowned. If there is one thing I hate it's cleaning.
"Can't we just hire someone?"
Mom insisted that 'they' wanted me to do it personally. Whoever 'they' are. At least I got Lane to help. There is quite the rock slide in here. Hopefully 'they' will be satisfied once these rock piles are cleared.
It took forever, and I was exhausted when we were done. Strange, usually I have tons of energy.
"Look, Livie! This wall is unstable. I think there's something behind here!"
He pulled away a few more rocks, and the whole wall caved in. There was an open space behind.
We cautiously stepped through, and found ourselves standing in a tiny cave that was half filled with rubble.
"Think we should clear this out too?" I looked questioningly at Lane. "Wait a sec... hold that thought."
I was suddenly overcome with waves of nausea, and all thoughts of rubble clearing flew out of my head while I ran to the bathroom. For weeks I was way to sick to even think of that cleaning project, and fortunately mom didn't raise the subject again.
Meanwhile, Lance and Darla had graduated, and Darla at some point had stopped pretending that she didn't live here, and actually moved in.
They spent most of their time out by the pond, as they both loved to fish.
But one day I entered the study, to find both of them with their noses buried in books. I don't think I've seen Lance with a book since he graduated.
"What are you guys reading?"
They both looked up at me with huge grins on their faces.
"Baby books!" They declared in unison. "We're having a baby!"
Mom was totally on board with grandbaby number four.
And soon after, I was happy to announce that Lane and I were expecting again as well.
It was fun having someone else around to talk babies with. Darla and I soon became best friends.
It was so exciting to watch each other's tummies grow.
Darla is getting so close to her due date! I can't wait!
"Do you know if it's a boy or girl?"
"Nope, I hope it's a girl, though."
"I can't wait for you to bring her home here!"
"Livie, uh... I have to tell you som....."
Just then Lance interrupted us for his daily chat with Darla's tummy.
"Did you tell Livie our big news yet, Dar?"
"I was just about to..."
I glanced from one of them to the other, questioningly.
"Well, Dar and I want to have a big family, like mom.."
"And so we decided to find a big place of our own, for all our little munchkins-to-be," Darla chimed in.
"We're moving tomorrow!"
I was sad that Darla wouldn't be my live-in buddy any more, but they both looked so thrilled, I just had to be happy for them.
Darla and Lance did have their baby girl, who they named Myra, and our baby is getting so close. I think it might come tonight, so I'm heading to bed early.
"Goodnight little guy! I'll come to bed as soon as I help your big brother with his homework!"
Talk about prescience... I had just crawled into bed, and Lane and Ren were still in the middle of homework, when I felt the first contraction.
I had figured by this time, Lane would have so many fire fighting emergencies under his belt this whole labor thing would be old hat, but no.
This time he insisted we take the fire engine to the hospital, siren blaring away and all. How embarrassing. But I was in no condition to complain, and we did get there in record time.
Lane got his wish, and Ren has a new little brother. We decided to continue on with Grandpa Gustave's grape theme, and named him Meloire. Mel for short.
Mel definitely has his daddy's complexion, and so far seems to just love everyone he meets. Lane seems to have an amazing connection with kids, and Mel is no different. Like Ren, he has a special attachment to his daddy.