The plan for the day was to drop Jeanne and Marley of at CeeCee’s, where they would wait for Heather to come home with the baby. It was all pre-arranged and the logistics were in place. I would go shooting with Frank, a former co-worker.
We woke early, had breakfast and dropped everyone at CeeCee’s. I headed for the range.
Frank is a very talented and personable young guy I met while working at FOX. In fact, most of the folks on my staff were young, which meant they were under 40. How strange it felt to be working with people young enough to be my kids. Where did the all those years go? I felt like the old, scarred veteran who had seen it all and done it all, and didn’t like any of it. It really was time to step aside. Anyway, back to Frank:
In addition to being a good accountant, Frank understands the fundamentals of accounting systems. Basically, he has a feel for the flow and storage of data. This a quite a talent, since the key to working with modern accounting systems is knowing how to get to the data maintained within. He understands this and is a valuable part of the organization. When an opportunity opened up in my department, I was glad when Frank accepted the challenge and came into the group. We enjoyed a close working relationship.
Like me, most city kids learn about firearms from the news and movies where they are associated with crime and tragedy. Fortunately I broke through the liberal-media propaganda and made the effort to learn about the safe recreational use of firearms. I seldom miss an opportunity to pass the experience on to others and usually when I offer to take someone shooting, they jump at the chance. Frank was no exception and he now enjoys the shooting sports on occasion.
We met at the range and shot his .45 and my .223 for hours. At the end of the day, we left our mark on most of the silhouettes within 400 yards. It was all very satisfying. Afterwards over lunch at Pollo Loco, we talked about work, retirement and future plans. I’m happy to see he is doing well, as are most of the folks at FOX, and that he is optimistic about his future. We parted in the early afternoon and I headed back to CeeCee’s to see Heather and the baby.
When I arrived, there was no Heather and no baby. Without going into a lot of detail, the docs didn’t want to discharge the baby until they knew the digestive system, from mouth-to-diaper, was working as designed. I’ll leave it to you, the reader, to figure out what all this means. So far, the baby had income, but no outgo. So, in a fit of defensive medicine, the docs ordered some x-rays and then cut off communication for six hours. Everyone was worried sick and the disappearing doctor was not to be found. Meanwhile, the baby was eating, sleeping and exhibiting none of the symptoms of an intestinal blockage. I went to the hospital to see what the problem was.
When I arrived, Heather was understandably upset. Ironically, the baby was sleeping and quietly digesting her most recent feeding. I politely, but very persistently, asked the nurses what the situation was. Of course they claimed they couldn’t reach the doctor, but it was eventually clear to them I wasn’t going to leave without an answer. A short time later, The Oracle Speaks! The decision: everything looked o.k. but they wanted to keep the baby under observation until morning. Now what was so f-ing hard about that?? We had an answer but why it took six hours is still a mystery. The anxiety ebbed and everybody was able to make plans for the evening.
It turned out that Marley spent another night with us in the coach. It was late when we arrived and we all went directly to bed. Before falling asleep I though about the events of the day. The baby seemed just fine and undoubtedly would be released sometime tomorrow. Hopefully, everyone could get back on a normal schedule and little Erika could get on with living her life, whatever that would turn out to be.