Josh is out of the hospital but on sick leave until he is fit for duty which may be another six weeks or so. He might be able to go in for desk duty at some point if needed but right now it looks like it will be at least that long before the doctors release him to drive.
I didn’t know it but Josh has been sending money to his mother to help with expenses. She wouldn’t accept it at first but he said that he managed to convince her based on him paying back some money she gave him to go to college with. He’s worried he won’t be able to continue doing it but his step-dad says that with his brother and wife moving in with them to save expenses it won’t hurt if he can’t.
Dorrie told me, “Josh says his mom is going to hate it because she doesn’t get along with her daughter in law because she’s like this uber liberal eco-freak kind of person. She prays to crystals – or maybe meditates with them or something like that – and won’t spank her kids and gets really bent out of shape if someone tries to stifle their personal expression.”
I snorted. “Like the comedian said, ‘Is that your kid up there in the clock tower with the rifle expressing himself?’ Sounds like a charming woman.”
Dorrie giggled, “You are so bad.”
“You mean have I stopped spazzing about Josh?”
I shrugged. “If you want to put it that way.”
“Yeah,” she said then paused. “I’m still … something, I don’t know what … but I’m working on it. Seeing that he needs me in a way helps. Him seeing that I’m not going to treat him like a baby helps him … I think. At least that is what Gerald says; he says that men need that respect, they don’t want to be seen as helpless.”
“Mmm,” I said noncommittally. “Real men. I’ve met a few that would rather be babied than anything else.”
Later Cal and I were talking while we made plans for the upcoming week. “So you think Dorrie is ok with the cop thing.”
“Yeah. Or at least ninety plus percent OK with it.”
Cynically he said, “It’s that last ten percent that can be the killer.”
I told him, “Stop thinking about Lily’s call. She was just picking at you because What’s-his-name won some kind of doofus productivity award. All that means is that he shuffles paperwork faster than the next guy, that he’s a super desk jockey instead of just a plain ol’ desk jockey. When he actually wins an award for solving cases – which is supposed to be his job – then she can brag and people will listen to her.”
He shook his head trying hard not to smile. “Anyone ever tell you that you can be mean?”
“Can be? Anyone that bothers my family will find out that I will be. Now eat your vegetables before they get cold. You’re going to need the vitamins tomorrow when we start planting the sugar cane.”
He shook his head. “You’re gonna draw more snakes to this place and we’ve got enough as it is.”
“Just more protein for us. And stop making with the sour face, you liked it just fine until you saw the fresh skin and figured out what it was.”
“Hmphf,” was all he said to that.
In addition to the sugar cane Cal is going to enlarge the garden for me by taking up the last of the tarps and tilling in some lime and a few other things to sweeten the soil a bit. I honestly hated to ask him because he has been working so much but the old rotary tiller that was Papa’s just beats me up and tries to run away with me rather than staying in the ground like it is supposed to; it is like trying to hold onto a bucking horse.
He is also going to go with me over to Pinellas to pick up some tropicals that I ordered from this place in St. Petersburg. I’m going to try to grow persimmons as well as some herbs and spices and other things that I haven’t tried to grow before. Most of them are in three-gallon pots so we are taking his truck and the trailer.
I’m glad he is coming with me and not just because he’ll help move the heavy stuff. I ordered the plants a couple of months ago and they are just now in. I’ll lose the money if I don’t go pick them up but … you know … downtown St. Pete is what it is; not exactly the safest place for a lone woman with a kid to be these days. Matter of fact some of it is starting to bleed over the Sunshine Skyway into our side of the Bay. Sigh. Seems you can’t go anyplace these days without personal protection of one form or another.
There haven’t been any more incidents with direct hostilities towards cops. People talk of course. The world would collapse in on itself if people didn’t hold it up with all their hot air. But at least there hasn’t been much more than a little bit of spitting and a few slashed tires. Pinellas has had a few rock and bottle throwing incidences from young kids but no more than they had to deal with back when things used to be normal. Still doesn’t say good things about how people feel. Cops are human too, they just have a higher level of accountability because of their job. That doesn’t mean someone is going to push one or more of them too far one of these days. It will be terrible then, for all of us.