Wednesday was in the mid to upper 90s and yesterday never got out of the 60s. Today is supposed to be warmer in the low 80s and then we're supposed to get another hot day on Saturday before next week of 50s at night and low 80s in the day. I love fall!
I got 3k words written between Monday and Tuesday, and then have only written a little bit last night. But that's what happens sometimes. I was working on other things. Got some blog posts done and the Christmas play edited, copied, and put into folders with each person's parts highlighted. I give them out on Sunday.
This morning we clean house and then my grandpa and aunt are coming down for a visit.
Tomorrow my best friend and I are going to head out to Prairie State Park for their Prairie Jubilee! We used to go there all the time when we were growing up. We learned so much and did so many things. It will be fun to go back there and see the old places and do some prairie things again. Plus the Naturalist who used to teach us back then, said she'd be there working, so that will be even more fun.
I do need to design the cover for this year's Christmas Collection story. I haven't had much time to do much of anything on that yet.
I know this is short, but oh well. Enjoy the last part of this story. I don't know what I'll post next week. I guess you'll have to come back then and see.
“What for? Don’t you have a good home?” Gil asked.
“Yeah, but I want a dog, and Dad said I can’t have one ‘cause I’m not re–respect–” He frowned and shook his head.
“Responsible?” ventured Officer Rockwell.
Jerry nodded, forgetting that he hadn’t wanted to tell the policeman he had run away. “Yeah. But I’d take care of a dog if I had one,” he assured his new friends.
“Rock!” Someone from the kitchen area stuck his head out and shouted. “Got a call.”
Standing up, the officer said, “Be right back. Now don’t you go letting Gil take my plate yet, Jerry.” Then he strode off and disappeared.
Gil leaned closer and spoke confidentially. “It’s got to be either his chief calling to make sure he’s not slacking off, or his wife wanting him to bring home some milk. Happens quite often. Need some more lemonade?”
With a nod, for his mouth was full, Jerry watched Gil take his glass and fill it up. He’d never gotten a refill before.
“I got the kid,” Rockwell assured his chief. “He’s safe and enjoying a good lunch.” He paused and listened a moment. “No, tell them he’s all right and will be home later.” Another pause. “Gil and I are working on him, just give us some more time. . . . Yep. I’ll take him there.” Pulling out a small pad of paper from his pocket, Rockwell scribbled something in it before tucking it back in and buttoning his shirt pocket. “Yes, sir.” He hung up the phone and grinned at one of the cooks. “Just save me a slice of that apple pie.”
“Will do, Rock,” the man replied.
With that, Rockwell left the kitchen and sauntered back to his seat at the counter. “Now, where were we?” he asked before shoveling in a large bite of spaghetti.
Gil answered. “We were talking about Jerry wanting that dog but his folks not thinking he’s responsible enough.”
Rockwell nodded and scratched his ear. “Well, Jerry, the way I see it, you’ve got a couple options here.” He paused and glanced at Jerry, who was shoving the last bite of his sandwich into is mouth. He wondered if the boy would run now that his stomach was full. He hoped not. He didn’t want to take him home by force. “One is to keep on walking toward Washington, but it’s a mighty long way, and someone else might see you and decide to pick you up and take you home.”
“And even if you reached Washington,” Gil put in, “I hear it’s a big city. Not like our town. There’s bound to be a lot of crime and such.”
“Gil’s right about that.” And Rockwell wiped his hands on a paper napkin and pushed back his empty plate. “The other option would be to go back home and show your dad you can be responsible, and maybe earn a dog that way.”
“How?” Jerry’s swinging feet tapped lightly against the counter.
“Well, for one, you could make sure you make your bed each day and keep your room clean. Maybe take out the trash.”
“Take out the trash?”
“Sure,” Rockwell said. “I take out the trash.”
Jerry didn’t say anything.
Gil leaned on the counter again. It seemed to be his favorite attitude for conversation. “And if your mom’s got any chores for you to do, get ‘em done right away, before she can ask, if possible. There’s nothing that spells responsibility like doing things before you’re asked to do them.”
Jerry was silent so long that Rockwell wondered if they’d said too much.
Thoughtfully, Jerry considered the suggestions. “Do you think I’d get a dog if I did that?” Running away wasn’t as fun as he thought it would be.
“I don’t know,” the officer replied. “But it’s worth a try, don’t you think?”
“I suppose so.” Jerry gave a long sigh. “It’s going to be hard though.”
“Taking care of a dog is hard. And so is walking all the way to Washington D.C.”
Jerry looked up at Officer Rockwell. “I guess it would be.” He started to slide off his stool, but a hand placed on his arm stopped him.
“If you’ll have a piece of pie with me, I’ll drive you home in style,” Officer Rockwell offered with a smile. “Gil’s pies might be as good as your mom’s.”
At that Jerry scooted back onto his seat. “Okay. Mom doesn’t make very good pies. Grandma does though. Can I have cherry?”
Rockwell stopped at the door of the diner with one hand on Jerry’s shoulder, and glanced back. “Thanks, Gil,” he called.
Gil gave a friendly wave. “No trouble. Come see me again, Jerry, and bring your parents with you.”
Jerry waved. “Okay.”
The sun was hot and the air heavy with the approaching storm as Rockwell and his young friend walked the few blocks to his patrol car. For once it looked like the weatherman was correct. Rockwell opened the door. “Hop in, Jerry.”
The boy scrambled into the car and rested his bundle and bedroll on his lap. “I’m kind of glad you found me,” he said as the car started rolling along the street. “I don’t like big storms.”
“I’m glad I found you too, Jerry.” Rockwell replied quietly. He was thankful God had caused his path to connect with Jerry’s and that Jerry had decided to go home and learn to be responsible.