Summer vacation in California Montecito by Ann Wood part 5The next day, they awake to a thunderstorm blowing outside. It was eight in the morning when lightning flashed from the sky; the children were frightened by thunder and began to cry. They all went down to the bunker on the ground floor of the house. It was cozy and warm there; Marcus had lit the fireplaces in the house because it was cold outside for the season. In the bunker, there was a kitchen with a dining room and a large living room, a bathroom and a toilet, and three more relaxation rooms, a library, and a playroom. The house was built between the First and Second World Wars but was modeled in 2000 with new kitchen equipment and furniture; the bathrooms were renovated, and the rooms in the bunker. The house had a huge garden and yard, a tennis court, a golf course, basketball hoops, and a football field, a swimming pool, and the lake and the forests around it. Marcus' parents bequeathed it to him as a wedding present. The house itself has three above-ground floors and two underground floors; on the second ground floor, there are cellars with wine and food supplies, a generator if the electricity stops, and a cinema. They use the house by the lake for rest and as a guest house.
The storm lasted a whole week, and they stayed at home. They came out of the bunker only to take provisions from the house. The men had to go to the forest and gather firewood for the fireplaces and buy milk for the children from the nearby farm. The farmer gave them products for the children to have a variety of food until the storm passed and pampers for the baby. On their way back, they passed through the village where the village doctor lived and asked him to give them cough syrup for the twins who were coughing for the second day with a dry cough. He prescribed them syrup and lozenges. When they reached the house by the lake, the storm intensified. They unloaded the cars and went inside to change into dry clothes. They put wood on the fire and sat down to eat oatmeal with maple syrup for breakfast. After breakfast, Melanie gave the twins cough syrup and put them to sleep. Then they went to sort the food and cook something for lunch. The men chopped the wood and put it dry in the basement. Lizzie was not feeling well this morning. Annabelle was peeling onions, potatoes, and carrots for the soup. Melanie was slicing two chickens from which they would make soup and chicken with rice and vegetables and mushrooms in the oven. Meghan took care of Archie and Michelle while baby Lily slept in the living room. They lined up Lego and talked quietly. The men played billiards and discussed plans for the evening. They had decided to have a barbecue for dinner and watch some movies and maybe play poker. They had lunch at one and then played monopoly and listened to music and the rumble of the rain from outside. They lit the barbecue and put meat to bake for dinner at six o'clock, and the women made salads and french fries. Michelle painted a portrait of the twins, Archie and baby Lily. Everyone liked him very much, and she promised to make three more for each family. They had dinner at eight and enjoyed their food and company. They were watching Yesterday's Children, and Meghan made popcorn. After the film, they played monopolies and told each other stories from their childhood. They stayed up late at night listening to music, dancing, and having fun. When they went to bed, one passed through the night.
When they woke up the next morning, the storm was still swirling outside. They had breakfast and decided to clean the house, wash the sheets and tablecloths, and then the clothes gathered for washing. The men cleared the fallen branches and let them dry so they could use them to light fires. They fixed the fence of the yard, which was broken by the storm. They fed the dogs and went inside to keep warm. Lizzie was resting again, not feeling well, and they called the doctor in the village. He promised to come and examine her this afternoon. Annabelle washed the bathrooms, Melanie dusted and vacuumed everywhere, Meghan took care of the children, and Michelle folded the drying laundry. Today they will not cook because there is leftover from the barbecue and the chicken with rice, mushrooms, and vegetables from the previous day and also from the soup. Today they will make salads and have lunch for anyone who wants to eat. When they finished cleaning, Meghan made tea and coffee for everyone, took out cookies, and everyone sat down to drink their morning tea. It was still raining outside, and the storm was swirling. They watched TV when Annabelle's phone rang; she was a mother and was calling to hear her and Michelle. They talked for a long time, and they had not heard from each other for several days. Annabelle looked a little sad when they finished talking. Michelle asked her if everything was okay at home with her parents? Annabelle said yes, but I'm a little sad; today is the anniversary of the death of my aunt Virginia, my mother's sister. Michelle hugged her and kissed her on the cheek, do not grieve, my dear Annabelle; she is in a better place and feels no pain. At twelve, they had lunch and talked quietly about the weather and the men about sports and politics. The doctor came for three examinations of Lizzie and the twins.
He examined them and prescribed an antibiotic for the twins, and Lizzie had migraine and anti-vomiting and nausea pills. Marcus went to the village to buy medicine, it was still raining outside, and the storm had not abated. Melanie paid the doctor for the home visit and sent him to the door. When she returned to the kitchen, she made tea for everyone and served it in the living room, where the others were sitting and talking. An hour later, Marcus returned from the village, had taken his medicine, and bought groceries for dinner. Today they had decided to make a bolognese pasta with salad and garlic bread. In the village, there was a small Italian bakery where they make divine bread. Marcus had bought bread with Italian herbs and olives, as well as garlic cakes. For the children, he had taken croissants with berry jam.
They drank tea and talked about Annabelle's new book. She briefly told them the story, the plans, and the sequel to the book. Michelle was painting the landscape outside by the window. The children listened to the story of Spider-Man that Meghan was reading to them. The storm was still swirling outside, raining like a bucket. The children could no longer stand being locked in the house all day. As much as they ran down the floors and corridors, they wanted to be outside and playing. Melanie made an omelet for dinner, made sandwiches for the salad, and cut watermelon and melon for dessert. They drank tea from a bouquet of herbs; balm, linden, chamomile, thyme, mint, yarrow, calendula, bearberry, hawthorn, hornbeam, and rose hips. Melanie had a Bulgarian friend whose father was an herbalist and sent herbs to her shop, which is an herbal pharmacy and drugstore. It imported Bulgarian household products, food, honey, cosmetics, and clothes. Melania often markets from it herbs and honey, rose water and oil, and Turkish delight for children. Maria always gave her a discount on prices as a friend and sent chocolates and other delicacies to the children. Everyone really liked the herbal tea. After dinner, they watched the Crown English TV series online. They watched a few episodes and then went to bed.
The next morning they got up late, about ten o'clock. They had a quick breakfast, and the men went out to gather firewood. The women were watching TV because it was still raining outside. The children were playing with a Lego constructor on the ground next to them. Today the men would cook, and the women would rest. They brought the wood to dry in the basement and took the dry ones up for the fire. Today they decided to make fish soup with several types of fish and seafood, potatoes, carrots, onions, peeled tomatoes and tomatoes, potato salad, and fish meatballs, for lunch. In the evening, they would light the barbecue and roast ribs and sausages. Michelle was painting a bowl of fruit and a vase of flowers next to it. Annabelle was working on her book, Lizzie was resting on the couch in front of the fireplace, Meghan and Melanie were watching a movie on Channel Five. Marcus and Bobby cooked lunch in the kitchen and marinated the meat for the barbecue. Harry was reading a book and keeping the fire burning in the fireplace. Baby Lilly slept sweetly in her basket. Archie was playing with the twins, and they were building a Lego house. At one o'clock, lunch was served, and they sat down to lunch. They had lunch in the dining room and listened to music from the system. After lunch was over, Bobbie washed the dishes, and Marcus dried them. In the afternoon they played table tennis and billiards. It was still raining outside, and he was going for a walk. Then they played who wants to be a millionaire party version of the game. At five o'clock, they lit the barbecue and began to cook dinner. Harry made salads, put utensils on the table and plates, put beers and wine to cool, and sliced watermelon and melon for dessert. They had dinner at eight and watched tennis on TV. They ate slowly and enjoyed the delicious food, drank wine, and had homemade lemonade for the children. When they had finished dinner, the men cleared the table and washed the dishes. After dinner, they watched a movie and talked; Bobbie made popcorn and roasted nuts, men drank brandy and women sherry. Michelle put the children to sleep and then went to her room to have a video chat with her parents. He told them about the vacation by the lake and showed them his drawings. Michelle asked them if she could study in the United States this school year, and she liked it so much here. They told him to call Annabelle to talk to her. Michelle went to call Annabelle, and the two returned to the room. Annabelle greeted Michelle's parents and asked how she could help them. Michelle's mother told her what their daughter had asked them if she wanted to study in the United States. Annabelle smiled and said she had apparently heard me talk to my publishers in the states, who offered to publish my book and offered me a one-year contract to work for them. I planned to bring her to Australia before the start of the new school year and then return here. Annabelle, will you hire to take care of Michelle if we allow her to study in the States? Michelle's parents asked? Of course, she is so obedient, and she will be my company while I am here. Then you have to enroll her in school, but please let it be some elite private school; we will send you money for the semesters and visa. As well as buy her a uniform and textbooks and aids and everything you need. You will also need to bring her winter clothes and shoes. Where do you plan to live while you are there? I asked the landlord to extend my house contract for another year, and he agreed, even reduced the rent because he is delighted with how we maintain his house. Michelle was delighted to stay here to study and to be with her best friend. Michelle's parents decided to visit them for Christmas and New Year. Annabelle told them that she would invite her parents to be together for the holidays. They talked a little longer and then said good night and hung up. They went downstairs to tell the news to the others, and everyone was thrilled that they would both stay in the States. Melanie said it would help them enroll Michelle in the private school where she works. Bobby helped them with visas, Harry and Meghan offered to take them to live with them so they wouldn't have to pay for accommodation. Annabelle thanks everyone, but she plans to leave the house they live in now because she and Michelle's parents will be coming for Christmas, and they can't all stay in Harry and Meghan's house. But they will visit them often on weekends. Melanie suggested that everyone come to the house by the lake for Christmas to be together and not be offended. The house is big, and there will be room for everyone. They talked a little longer and then went to sleep in their rooms. Michelle could not sleep for a long time because of the excitement of living in the United States for a year. It was still raining outside, but at least the storm had subsided. A bird's song could be heard somewhere in the distance, and the frogs in the lake were singing to them. The moon was full and big, and the sky here and there shone with an asterisk.
The next morning, the storm had stopped, but it was still raining. They got up and got ready for breakfast. Then Melanie made pancakes with maple syrup, and they had breakfast in the dining room. After breakfast, Bobby washed the plates, made coffee and hot chocolate, and carried the tray to the living room, where the others watched the news. The children were playing in front of the fireplace, and Michelle was painting next to them. Later, they would go to town to shop for school and enroll. They had also received the documents from her Australian fax school. Bobby called his friend at the passport and visa office, and he told him to bring their passports when Michelle was enrolled in school, and Annabelle signed her contract to work with the Journalists' Foundation. At about ten, they got ready for the trip, took all their documents, their passports, and money, and set off in Annabelle's car. Bobby, Marcus, and Harry went with them, and Melanie and Meghan drove Melanie's car. Lizzie and the children stayed in the house to watch the Beauty and the Beast animated version. They drove slowly because it was still raining hard outside, and they did not have good visibility. They arrived in town at one in the afternoon and went straight to the school to enroll Michelle. The headmistress personally greeted them and invited them to her office. Annabelle handed her the documents, and they waited for Mrs. Smith to examine them and make a fillet for Michelle. Mrs. Smith was impressed by Michelle's success, and she had finished last year with great success. When she filled out the film, she gave them a sheet of textbooks and supplies to buy and where to get Michele uniforms, two summer and two winters, and two summer and winter physical teams. Shoes and sneakers, a bag with the school logo, and a bag for physical education classes. Mrs. Smith then took them around the school and introduced Michelle to her teachers. On her way out, she gave them the program for the first and second semesters, and Annabelle paid the fees for the entire school year. After saying goodbye, they got back in their cars and went to the bank where Bobby worked to open Annabelle and Michelle's bank accounts. From there, they went to the Journalists' Foundation, and Annabelle signed her contract with them. When they finished, they went to the passport and visa office to submit the visa documents. They paid at the counter, and the compiler told them to wait while she moved the documents. Meanwhile, Bobby was on the phone with the head of the visa department, who told him that the visas would be ready in an hour. Michelle and Annabelle had a short interview with him, and then he gave them the visas. They thanked him and left. They went shopping, but before that, they had lunch at a restaurant near the passport office. They ordered burgers, fries, and a salad, and lemonade. They had a quick lunch and headed for the nearby mall. They bought uniforms, jackets, and winter clothes for shoes, winter hats, gloves, and scarves. From there, they went to buy textbooks and aids, notebooks, and everything needed for school. When they finally finished the market, they headed back to the lake. It was still raining outside; they were home by eight, Lizzie was waiting for them, and she had made dinner. The children had dined early, and Lizzie had put them to bed. They unloaded their luggage and washed for dinner, Lizzie making lasagna and salad and garlic bread. They had dinner and talked quietly. After dinner, Marcus washed the dishes and made tea. They sat in the library drinking tea and brandy, and the men played chess. The women talked and made plans for the next day. The vacation would end soon, and they would return to the city, but they planned to come to the lake every Friday for the weekend. They went to bed at twelve and wished each other good night. Annabelle wrote emails to Michelle's parents and her parents informing them of what they had done today and giving them the bank account numbers. When she went to bed, one passed by, and she had answered several emails before going to bed. Michelle had been asleep for a long time, very tired from the long day outside. During the night, the rain had subsided, and in the morning, when they got up, the sun had risen outside, and the rain had stopped. They got dressed for the day and went down for breakfast; today, they would eat croissants that Lizzie had baked yesterday afternoon while they were in town. After breakfast, they washed the dishes and went for a walk in the woods. The weather was nice, and they were walking in the woods, listening to the birds singing. They decided to gather herbs and mushrooms and dry them for the winter. They also picked berries to make jam. At noon they returned, and after lunch, they made jam for the winter. When they finish the preparation, they get ready to go out. They went to the village to buy fruits and vegetables, meat, milk, and other foodstuffs in the afternoon. The farmer's wife gave them a few pumpkins, watermelons, melons, and grapes, a crate of apples, and pears to take with them at home. As they had a good harvest this year. She made a prune pie for the children and gave it to them to take home. They thanked her and left the farm. When they got home, they put the products in the refrigerators and made an omelet for dinner with a salad of tomatoes, cucumber, and basil. They eat dinner at seven o'clock and put the jam to cook. After dinner, they clean the table and wash dishes. After that, they go to the living room to watch The Princess of Monaco. When the movie ended, they played monopolies and dominoes. They told each other stories and laughed like little children. They stayed up late, deciding to watch both parts of the Other Wife. Michelle went to bed, was tired at eleven, and wanted to read a book before sleeping. The others stayed downstairs and watched the movie, which was very interesting. Bobby had made popcorn and hot chocolate and opened a packet of nuts and a mix of dried fruit. The men drank brandy and smoked cigars. When the movie was over, they got ready to go to bed and said good night.
Short story by Ann Wood
Read 120 times
Written on 2021-09-02 at 16:45
Save as a bookmark (requires login)
Write a comment (requires login)
Send as email (requires login)