Double Trails

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Chapter 77

-- RYAN --

"That was a marvelous dinner Tiffany. I can't remember a turkey that was moister!" Will praised.

"Thanks. But you know I'm not half the cook you or Ryan are or Shirley was."

"Stop being modest, it was really a good meal," I put in.

I looked over at Will to find him a bit misty eyed. It had been a rough year on us. Shirley's death over the Labor Day weekend had been the last of a series of unpleasant events. Fortunately, she had died peacefully in her sleep a few weeks after her ninety-seventh birthday.

To bring the family together, Tiffany and Patrick had volunteered to host Thanksgiving and their house was packed to the gills.

The three of us continued to clean up in the kitchen while the rest of the family spread out throughout the house.

"It's a shame Tracer couldn't make it up," Tiffany added.

"He said he's coming up for Christmas," I replied.

"When do the movers arrive?" she asked.

"They come on the first of December to pack and should head south a day later," Will answered.

"I can't believe you two are leaving Double Trails."

"Well, it's been home for a long time," I said. "Hell, I've lived there for sixty-seven years."

"Have you two found a place?" Tiffany asked.

"No," Will answered. "We're going to put most of our stuff in storage and crash with Tracer until we find something."

"Actually, Tracer called yesterday and said there were a couple two bedroom condos that opened up in his community," I added.

"I don't know if I see you two as beach bums. Key Largo is a nice place, but I'm not sure it's right for you two."

"Well, we've enjoyed it all the times we went to visit," Will answered. "I think we'll fit in well. Plus, Tracer needs some company."

It was my turn to get misty-eyed. Dad had passed on back in March, but it was still hard to think about. The funeral had been in Key Largo and then a memorial service held at the farm. After everything was over, Tracer and I had spread Dad's ashes along the trails.

"Well, we will miss you," Tiffany said.

"We expect you to come visit regularly," Will replied. "I know you're not leaving the area Grandma."

"Not a chance I'm going to leave my babies!" she finished.

"Uncle Ryan, you got a minute?" Micah asked, peeking through the door from the dining room to the kitchen.

"Sure!" I walked over and into the dining room, leaving Will and Tiffany to finish the last of the cleanup. "What's up?"

"I wanted to ask you," he started, then paused.

"You want to talk about the sale of the farm?" I finished for him.

"Yes."

"Let's go take a walk outside."

We walked out of the house and into the side yard. I could hear all the kids out in the back yard playing. I turned us towards the front - heading us down the long gravel driveway.

"What's bothering you?" I asked.

"I just wanted to make sure you didn't feel pressured about the sale," Micah answered.

"Look, I'm very happy. You should know after all these years that I don't do what I don't want to do."

"It's just that," he started, and again he paused. I could tell the even the conversation wasn't easy for him.

"It's just that you were concerned Tracer or Will pressured me into selling," I finished. "Not in the least."

I paused for a moment as we continued to stroll down the drive.

"There aren't any more Chamberlains to take over the farm. One disadvantage of Will and I never adopting. But the Klein family has been tied to us since Dad and Tracer got together and the bonds strengthened when I found Will. That farm is aptly named - two trails wind through the woods and two couples running it in partnership since we changed the name."

Micah started to say something.

"Let me finish. Your brother and his wife have been great partners since they bought out Dad and Tracer nearly twenty years ago. Will and I talked it over with them - they agree that having a younger couple partnered with them would be a good thing. And honestly, I can't think of any couple I'd like to own it more than Micah Junior and Thomas. Something very appropriate there. He's my grand-nephew after all! Plus, they've both worked on the farm so, so long… I remember the first time Micah Jr. got on a horse."

"Yeah, he seemed so happy."

"He reminded me of me. The first time Dad put me on a horse, I knew that the farm was gonna be home for a good, long time. And it has. I saw the same thing in your son's eyes when get got on a horse. When he went off to Tech, got his Ag degree and of course met Thomas, so much the better. Hell, we had their wedding at the farm, Micah. Trust me when I say there was no pressure on me to sell. Will and I want to spend time with Tracer, and slow down a good bit."

"Well, I just wanted to make sure," Micah said. "He may be my son, but I don't want any ill will."

"Trust me, I believe Double Trails will be in good hands. With new members of the family to continue the traditions."


Prev The End

Copyright (BndgDawg@gmail.com). Do not reproduce or distribute this story without the author's permission.

This is the end of Double Trails. I hope to start writing a new story soon. You may contact me at: BndgDawg@gmail.com

A huge amount of thanks to Rock who made the story more readable for years.