Good Morning Ted and Jody:
I drove out to the west edge of the country on the Columbia River yesterday to see if the osprey were nesting yet. I was greatly disappointed to find all traces of past nests on navigation markers were gone. I suspect the Army Corps of Engineers was the agency for removal. I will go back later and see if any osprey come back despite their eviction while they were in their summer quarters. Meanwhile, on my back porch, the hummingbirds are feeding regularly as are six or eight other species on the fence line where I hang suet and seed dispensers
I’m guessing that Nancy will be flying out on Thursday morning to end up in Cincinnati for a wedding on the First of April, for she asked me to drive down to Costco and pick up her glasses tomorrow while she his teaching the end of the purse class.
Democratize Money came in at 58 pages. I did check a couple of places local for printing. Online remains the best option. Funny how that works with shipping being what it is, the online folks can still beat the local prices by close to half. I’ll wait a day or two before I do the next read though—out loud of it.
I did a walk around the back yard yesterday afternoon. Even using pots sitting on cedar chips, it is in dire need of attention. However, it will have to wait until I have the green light to bend over (theoretically after April 7th).
Stay healthy, happy, warm and watch out the Army Corps of Engineers doesn’t put you out of home like they did the osprey on the Columbia.
Warmest regards, Ed
44 Watching Jessica Ann
Fiction in 930 words by Thursday. Edward Westen, 2017
Benny knocked on Judge Hendersonville chambers door. He heard the Judge say “Enter.”
Opening the door, Benny said, “Your Honor, I put Mr. Beaverton in room 3B like you said. I saw that Special Agent fellow talking to a woman. I guess it is Ms. Beaverton as they were outside room 7A. I know Mr. Thompson is ready with Jessica Ann. That man is really good with children.”
“Thank you, Benny. Please see that the courtroom is set up for a viewing,” said Judge Henderson. Turning to Edith Gunderson, he said, “That will only take a minute. Shall we resume court?”
Edith Gunderson smiled. “My but things move faster now than they do in my time. Getting enough everything set up for these two observations would take the better part of a morning.”
When they entered the courtroom, the wall facing the Judge’s bench was transformed into a giant split screen, from Edith’s perspective, a television set. On the left screen, Walter Beaverton sat at a table and fiddled with his fingers. He looked around the room and fidgeted. On the left screen, Alice Beaverton sat reading from a deluxe reader. Judge Henderson asked, “Which portent do you recommend we send Jessica Ann into see first?”
Edith pointed to the left screen and said, “Her father, she hasn’t seen him in well over 24 hours at this point.” Edith looked puzzled and said, “Don’t you have to gavel court in session or something?”
“Ah a purist,” said Judge Henderson. He picked up the gavel and hit his desk, “Court is not ins session.” Then he laughed, “Actually, Benny is supposed to do that, but just for you, Milady.” Turning to Benny, have Frank take her to see her father first.”
Benny nodded and said “Yes your Honor,” as he left the room.
Meanwhile, Edith Gunderson blushed.
The left screen expanded to cover the entire wall. Edith could hear the sounds of Walter Beaverton drumming his fingers on the table. “You have very realistic sound,” she said to the Judge. “How do you control it?”
The Judge held up and twirled his right index finger which bore a thin ring. “Is all in the mind and wrist,” he said. “We used to . . . “
Edith Gunderson held up her hand to stop him as the door to room 3B opened, and Edith could see the top of Jessica Ann’s head as she entered the room. “I want to hear this.”
“Hey kid, what’s up?” asked Walter Beaverton without getting up or moving.
“Hi, Daddy. You been working?” asked Jessica Ann as she sat down across the table from him.
“Yup, work, work, work. Margie been taking good care of you?” Walter Beaverton asked his daughter.
“Nancy has been playing games and reading to me,” replied Jessica Ann.
“Who is Nancy?” asked Walter Beaverton.
“I told you. She has been playing with me. She reads to me like Mommy does” responded Jessica Ann
“That bitch,” said an instantly angry Walter Beaverton. You only saw her the one time. You can’t trust her.”
“Get her out of there,” said Edith.
Immediately the door to room 3B opened, and Frank Thompson entered and said to Walter, “We need to take Jessica in for an examination now.” Without waiting for a response, Frank scooped Jessica Ann up and said to her “Let’s go find your picnic basket, OK?”
At the mention of her picnic basket, Jessica Ann smiled and shook her head, ‘yes.’
As the door to room 3B closed behind Frank and Jessica Ann, Edith could hear Walter Beaverton ask, “What about me?”
Edith responded, “Yes, what about you.” Turning to the Judge, Edith said, “I suggest you give the young lady ten minutes playing with Nancy again before we observe her interact with her mother.”
Before Judge Henderson could respond, Nancy entered the court holding Jessica Ann’s deluxe reader. The looked hesitant, and the Judge asked, “Yes, Nancy, what is it?
“I was reading a story to Jessica Ann when Frank came to get her,” Nancy said. “The story disappeared from the reader.”
The Judge reached out and took the deluxe reader from Nancy, looked it over, opened it and said, “There seem to be lots of stories here. You could just read another on to her.”
Edith Gunderson said, “I think your Honor, that the disappearance of the story from a reader is partly what Special Agent Fleishman was investigating.” She looked thoughtful for a moment and added, “He suspected that Alice Beaverton was plagiarizing stories from now in the past.”
Judge Henderson looked a bit perplexed and said, “Could you run that by me again. I don’t think I quite understand.”
Edith looked around and then said, “Special Agent Fleishman could explain it better. Where is he?”
Nancy said, “He was with me when the story disappeared and said he needed to check on something and would be right back.”
Edith Gunderson said, “I think you can send Jessica Ann in to see her mother while we wait for Special Agent Fleishman to get back.”
When Jessica Ann entered the room, she saw her mother and screamed in delight, “Mommy!” And she ran toward her mother.
Alice heard her daughter, swept the reader off the table as she vaulted from her chair, The two met in the middle of the room and hugged each other so tightly that Edith Gunderson judged nothing could have pulled them apart.
Edith said, “That, is not a relationship based on one, six-hour visitation. Those two have a much longer, loving and trusting relationship.