Softness of Snow Short story
Softness of snow Chapter 1
The holidays in Northern Michigan are the essence of all the images you see in commercials, on Christmas cards, the snows soft quiet angelic peace fills the air. There are some who still do sleigh rides, while others take to the slopes; and still some cross country ski, snowmobile for the zoom zoom crowd.
My family loves sledding, hot chocolate, and a good fire in the wood stove. Family gatherings are a mixture of the outdoor types, and those who love being near the fire with holiday music playing. Either way there is laughter, catching up, presents, games and these days techie toys, laptops, smart phones, tablets. No matter we are together and in hollering distance if your needed someone in any particular conversation.
What I want to tell you about was the Christmas of the year 2014, which was last year, so many changes happen in families, love lost, family passing, beloved pets. Family gatherings are for healing, and can be good for the soul as long as we all remember that each of us grieve in different ways and at different speeds. Grief is not a destination as life is not a destination it is a process and a journey.
That Christmas my daughter Sophie age 14, just shy of 15 had been gone since summer, a hot June day disappeared or ran away no one new for certain, it is the uncertainty that is the hardest. The mood was somber, we gathered, yet did not have the same exuberant chatter going on. Don't get me wrong we still laughed but it was not the same energy filling the air.
My oldest son and his wife, Lauren and Lori their first child on the way, my youngest son Mark his wife Jessup all decided to take time off and stay the entire week between Christmas and New Years.
Weather was seasonable with the highs in the 30's lows in the 20's snow was predicted each day.
Lauren and Lori brought their dog Foster, Mark and Jessup brought their dog Kirby, it was fun watching those two Labs run through the snow, Kirby nearly sledded down the hill on his face he was trying to keep up with Foster.
Christmas Eve we exchanged gifts, we promise to keep the limit at 30 dollars, no more, my wife Mona is incredibly creative she makes clothes, paints, you name it. Each year you can tell on everyone's faces they cannot wait to open up one of Mona's creations.
Christmas day was very quiet, I think we were all in our own way remembering how Sophie would be so excited about Christmas morning, we never did tell her Santa did not exist, but I am sad to say she figured it out when the man took her, never to return her, some of her friends have told the police she wasn't taken she went with the man, I call him a man because he is 18.
December 26th I believe is when something started to transpire in the heavenly's, it just seemed as if things were aligning to give us all a nudge forward in our lives so we could heal.
Lori was the first one up, she put the cinnamon rolls in the oven, you could smell the cinnamon fill the house slowly, each person was pulled from their warm beds as if the aroma were fingers under your chin, ever so gently pulling you towards is sweet sensual taste.
By 7 am we were at the table with hot coffee and fresh cinnamon rolls, some with sleep still in their eyes.
Mark was the first one out the door, with his second cinnamon roll in his hand and a cup of hot coffee, walking the dogs, or should I say the dogs were walking him. There is no need for a leash here, we have 20 acres, wide open space for the dogs to run. Kirby was the first one to bark, then Foster ran up barked, whined, ran back to Mark, ran towards where Kirby seemed to be standing guard.
Lauren heard the commotion and Mark called out for him to come out the dogs found something. We all ran to the window. Me with my third cinnamon roll, since Mona my wife was not looking. Mona turned to me and said “Ray don't think I did not notice that is your third cinnamon roll, you bugger!”
I laughed and pop nearly half the damn thing in my mouth before she could protest more, at that Lori and Jessup started to laugh Jessup laughingly said “Your sons are just like you Ray, just as incorrigible.”
I remember thinking how the atmosphere had lightened nearly at the moment the dogs found something. I looked at Mona, we have been married for 30 years, we are in tuned with each other, she felt it also. I wonder what the quiet nights slumber brought us.
Mark and Lauren were at either end of a large plastic tub, carrying it to the house. What ever could it be?
Softness of the snow Chapter 2
They brought the large plastic tub up to the house with much fanfare from Kirby and Foster who were both beside themselves with excitement.
Mark was the first to speak “You will not believe what they found.”
Lauren added “Mom this is right up your ally your gonna love what the snow angel brought you.”
Mona lovingly scolded 'Will you hurry up and cannot stand the suspense.”
I went slowly and quietly or so I thought back towards the table for another cinnamon roll, Mona calls out “Ray I know what you are up too, you better leave some for Mark and Lauren they just worked up a hunger for a warm cinnamon roll, don't be selfish you old goat!”
Well she had a point, so instead I grabbed a couple of cookies , hey what could it hurt right?
Finally Lauren and Mark put the tub down on the tile in the mud room, Foster and Kirby were sniffing and wagging their tails, that is when we heard a squeal, or was it two. The lid was lifted and there were three pups in the tub, they were each huddled together, seemed to be about 8 weeks old, our neighbor is a retired Vet, Mona got on the phone right away, Gordon said he would be right over. The girls just cooed and hugged the three pups. Mark went and got some dog food, put some water in each bowl, to wet the food hoping it would be easier for the pups to eat.
Those three little sisters scarfed that food down in no time, by the time they were finished Gordon was at the door, with his bag of Vet supplies. He also had his Nephew Steve in tow, as it turns out is a veterinary assistant and going for his degree in animal husbandry.
They surmised the pups seemed in good health considering being left in the cold, did not seem to have any frost bite, they kept each other warm, not knowing if the pups had their shot or not blood was drawn and was being sent in for a titer test, also since they were pups they wormed them, checked for fleas, thus far as I said they were in good health. When titer test comes back it should show if they had their puppy shots, more than likely not, but better be safe than sorry.
You can imagine how much fun we had that day, and night playing with these pups, the joy was back in the atmosphere, riotous laughter seems to come with puppies I guess.
By 8 pm the pups were exhausted as were Kirby and Foster, the pawless adults were settled in for the night each having their night caps, softly talking, just the Christmas lights twinkling in the house. Mona looked out our North window and exclaimed, “Oh Ray look at the large snowflakes it is just beautiful.”
Morning of the 27th, actually it seemed as if it was in the middle of the night, the pups decided it was time for someone to get up. Mona volunteered, she is thrilled at the prospect of training these 3 girls, who's name will be Zelda, Wilma and Karma. Gordon says he believes they are Rottweiler Lab mix, they are gonna be big girls, but sweet fun girls we are all very sure.
We were all surprised there was no mess in the box, the girls went out with a furry flight behind Kirby and Foster, into the snow, yapping, nipping then as suddenly as the ruckus started it stopped they each stopped for the moment to do their business. By this time the whole house was up, a bit groggily since it was 5 am, yet each of us had a stupid grin on our faces, you cannot help it with pups in the house.
I am amazed how Mona had already bonded with the pups, they are taking cues from Mona and it seems also from Kirby and Foster. They sat or tried to sit and wait for their breakfast, there was so much drool you could have squeegeed it into a bucket and washed a car. Once given the command they dug into their breakfast with as much relish and scarfing noise as I do when there is bacon.
Coffee in hand we each sat down and watched the antics of these five new friends, playing. All except for me, it was my turn to make breakfast, you put a man in charge of breakfast there will be platters full of meat, eggs, potatoes. Mona always adds some fruit to any combination I put out she says it balances their digestion.
We were sitting around the table enjoying this carnivorous feast when Lauren started to laugh uncontrollably, we all turned to see what he was looking at and joined him in laughing. There was a line up of dogs staring at us eating this feast drooling. Mona gave the command “No kitchen, settle” Kirby and Foster knowing the command went to their pillows, Mona had left 3 folded towels setting next to each other on the floor for Zelda, Wilma and Karma, very gently and patiently Mona got from the table taking each pup placing them on their towels and said “No kitchen, settle, lay down,” By the end of the day they got as far as their towels but stood, till they were too tired, then they curled up and slept. During the day Mike and Lauren went to town got each pup a large cage, each with their own fluffy pillows, we have a large room I used to use as an office which is practically taken over by the cages, from here on when the girls are told to settle we will slowly put them in their cages. I am enlisted as Mona's assistant trainer it should go a bit faster.
Softness of Snow Chapter 3
First thing the morning of the 28th Lauren set up Mon's Ham Radio, Lauren wanting to teach Lori how to use it; hoping to get her hooked. Weather reports were predicting a snow storm with snow thunder. We relish these they usually are fun and sometimes exhausting, helping the stranded, neighbor what ever is needed. Each of us has a snow mobile I keep in the barn, they are lined up like a used car lot.
Late that afternoon, the snow had measured 2 ft. visibility was nil, people were getting stuck, snow plows could not put a dent in it, they were garaged till the snow let up. Snowmobilers were out in force, shovels, salt, thermos's filled with hot coffee, some with hot chocolate, anything that could comfort someone stranded.
Charlie 2 miles up the road is a Ham operator, Lauren had already been on the radio with him when Charlie received a call out, there was a couple at the corner of our street stuck, seems they tried to make the turn, slid out of the rut made by others. Lauren handed the radio over to Mona; Mike, Lauren and I climbed aboard the snowmobiles, we were going to bring the couple back here, Charlie said his place was full up. Charlie has a very large tractor which could pull the truck off the road, and onto his property.
When we arrived there was a young couple; Jason and Mary. I grabbed their Luggage, Jason climbed behind Lauren, Mary behind Mike and we brought them to the house. From there we could find out where they were going and could tag team with neighbors to get them to their destination.
Once in the warmth of the house, Jessup asked if they were hungry, both said famished, Jessup set up the table and started heating up leftovers. Lori took their coats, got them comfortable by the fire till their meal was ready. Mona came in after talking with other neighbors, she left the radio on in case there were any other call outs.
Once the meal was eaten we had the conversation that I will never forget:
Mona: “So kids where are you off too?”
They both looked at each other, Mary spoke first: “We came to see you and Mr. Burton.”
Everything stopped, the only sound were the dogs playing, the chaos seemed out of place with the shock we all humans felt at that very moment.
I asked: “Us, darlin do I know you or your family?”
Jason answered “No sir, we know Sophie.”
I went directly to Mona who was standing near the table, grabbed her set her into a chair, tears were already welling up in her eyes, Lori and Jessup were already seated, Mike and Lauren came to the table and sat.
Lauren spoke: “Do you know where Sophie is, is she alright?”
Mary: “Yes, Lauren she is fine, she is pregnant, 8 months, same as her sister in law Lori.”
No one said a word just stared blankly at the couple, so Mary continued:
“I told her she should at least call to let you know she was alright, it's Christmas I said to her, you should call your parents. She said she figured you would be so angry with her that you would hang up the phone and she could not take the silence after the click of the phone. I told her you would want to know how she was, and that she should call, it is wrong not to call. She said it was wrong that I left not trusting them to do the right thing, but she was afraid you would have Will, her boyfriend put in jail, so she lied about her age and they got Married, Will worked construction in North Carolina with his Uncle Mark. 4 months after they were married Will was on a site building an office complex, he was on the roof when he lost his footing, fell, did not survive the fall. Will had real good insurance, life, and insurance paid by the Construction company his Uncle Mark owned. Sophie is not in need of money but I know she could use family, she is really missing you but may be a bit to proud and scared mixed to call.”
Once this all sunk in, Jessup set the couple up in Sophie's room, Mona handed me the phone, I dialed the number Mary gave me.
Sophie answered “Hello?”
I said with a throat so tight I felt as if I was strangling “Sophie come home.”
I put the phone on speaker
Everyone in the room called her name, all of us started to blubber for what seemed like eternity before we could gain control of our emotions, Mona was the first one.
Mona: “Sophie we love you come home, you belong with your family.”
Sophie was still whimpering a bit when she said “I am so sorry Mama, Daddy, I am so very sorry, I loved Will and miss him terribly.”
Lauren: “Sophie all that does not matter any more, you come home.”
Sophie: “ I am on my way, made as far as Frankenmuth Michigan when the roads were closed, I am stuck in traffic jam that keeps moving by inches, but I will get there as soon as I can, So glad I filled up back in Detroit, almost didn't it is a scary place these days.”
Just then the phone went dead. We weren't sure till we all exhausted our selves calling her name.
Softness of Snow chapter 4
Mona began to cry again, the rest of us sat in stunned silence, Lori was the first to speak: “Lauren do you think you could get on the radio and find a trucker in the approximate vicinity as Sophie?”
That woke Mona out of her slump, give that woman something to do in a time of chaos and she is militant in her attempts, sometimes heroic.
Mona: “We need to know the make and year of her truck, color, it would be nice to know the license number as well.”
Mike: “Mom, in this snow I doubt you would see the license plate it would be plastered solid with snow, the make, year, color.”
We did not notice Jason walk into the room he said: “It is a Black 2014 dual cab Ford F150, short bed.”
We all cheered, Mona was already doing a call out, thus far she found Truckers North of us, none south as of yet, one particular call out gave us some hope he said he had a friend who was scheduled to do this route he would call him on his cell phone since he does not do the CB radio unless he needs help.
While we waited the only thing I could think of to do is turn on Christmas music and say a silent prayer, we were so involved we forgot about the pups, Jessup was cleaning up after one of them. I felt bad they all looked guilty, so I took them out and played with them till I thought they were tired enough to sleep. I need to turn the flood lights on the barn, it was dark now around 7 pm, when I turned the lights off, Mike was letting the dogs in to give them their dinner, the snow had stopped the clouds cleared, stars were out, they somehow seemed closer, comforting, I stood in silence, one by one everyone except Mona came out stood in silence with me for a few moments.
When we walked back into the house, hung our coats up I heard Mona's voice she was excited, saying “Ok you think you see her?”
We nearly ran each other over to get to the room hoping to hear something positive only to find out once we got there it was a black Chevy single cab.
The wind let out of all of us audibly with a moan, my throat was closing up again I needed a drink, good old Jack Daniels is the only thing that would do, right about now.
When Mike seen me turn to leave the room he said: “If you are getting Jack, bring me one.” I heard a chores of “Me too” One “Wish I could.” Lori is a gem.
Lori came into the kitchen to make herself a hot chocolate and help me carry Jack to everyone else.
Once everyone was served I sat down heavily into a chair, said cheers, let that golden liquid slide it's warmth down my throat to soothe the fear and strengthen my hope. Then I started to talk out loud to no one in particular:
“My daughter is on her way home (sigh) not a baby, not a woman, needing love and understanding. Can't say I can be angry with her, would have hoped she'd have come to us. In all honesty I might have taken a couple of swings at Will, but in the end I could not judge him. On account it was not much different than how Mona and I started out, she was just shy of 14 I was just shy of 15, we knew we were doing wrong and dancing with the devil, hormones are like that, but I would not change a thing, Lauren you were the beginning of our marriage, our parents ranted and raved, blamed each other and the other. Once the dust settled we became a united force in making sure this marriage survived our youth. Not everyone is as lucky.”
Mona came over sat on my lap, kissed me and said “Ray, I still love and lust after you now as I did thirty five years ago, and I would not change a thing neither.”
The radio crackled Lauren jumped in the seat, Mona just leaned back and we quietly took another sip of Jack. It was a call out from a trucker just North of Wilder road, he seen the truck matching our description, inching along with the rest of them. The trucker apologized for not having his radio on, he was busy on the phone with his kids and wife letting them know he was alright when the call out came. The truckers name was Wilbur, he said he would find away to signal the truck with the girl in it to see if it is Sophie.
We all sat in silence once again, this time with hopeful anticipation. General murmurs of “wonder what is taking him so long?”
The radio crackled and Wilbur's voice came back, it's Sophie her phone battery went dead, she is recharging it will call as soon as it is 100 % charged so she can talk longer.
Cheers and tears filled the room, calling out thanks Wilbur, Wilbur laughed and yelled “Hey you all, I will make sure she gets home if I have to push her there! I am going to sign off so I can call the wife back and tell her I am going to be late. I will come back on if I do not see your Sophie on the phone again.”
Softness of Snow Chapter 5
Finally 45 minutes after we last talked to Wilbur the radio came back with Wilbur's voice, he said: “I need you all to listen, Sophie was fling her hands around, I deduced she was in trouble, I used my fingers to give her my phone number, she called me I am still on the line with her, I will be on occasion talking to her and you so just listen 'Sophie no matter what do not take your foot off the gas, I will get someone there to drive for you, I am on the radio with your Mom and dad, I need to tell them what is going on' Sophie is feeling some bad cramps, if she stops she will get stuck, the way I figure it, I can get someone's attention next to me see if they would be willing to get into Sophie's truck and drive for her so now I need to talk to the people next to me I have waved at them they are lowering their window, “Hey look the truck in front of me there is a young girl 8 months pregnant having cramps, she is on her way home to her parents house who she has not seen in those 8 months cuz she ran away, could one of you drive for her? Yes sir I know I have her on the phone told her not to stop, sorry to hear that. 'The boy in the seat next to his dad who I was talking to is old enough to drive but is in a cast, he would not be able to maneuver well enough in this snow to get to her, hold on someone is walking along my truck, The girl up there is pregnant, having cramps she is on her way to see her parents, she needs someone to take over the driving, awesome, whats your name young man Jeff Jessup thanks Jeff. Jeff give me a minute to pull my Cab up close to her truck I will try to keep it moving when she takes her foot off, make sure you have a solid footing, or this could go south quickly and I would not be able to live with myself.' Back to you guys Jeff said that he is just back from Afghanistan , he is a Marine, so I am thinking as long as I can give her a slight push along we can do this, He is talking to Sophie through the window, she is nodding her head, he just opened the door Sophie must still have her foot on the gas, and looks like she slid as far as the shift, Jeff has one cheek and one foot in,one foot out, the truck is slowing I am giving it a little push, Jeff just gave the wave off and thumbs up, we are up and rolling.”
Goose bumps went through me as we all cheered, Mona was nonplussed, she was smiling ear to ear when she said “Wouldn't it be nice if she married a Marine.” We all laughed, Lori said “Gawd no Mom, they all act like they have a wild hair up their asses!”
Her brother being a Marine she should know but the atmosphere once again lighhtened, not that we were not still worried about the cramping but at least she has someone in the truck with her, at this point we need to just stay positive.
Mona asked Wilbur “Have you made much head way as to getting closer to home?”
Wilbur: “May be a mile or two tops, at this rate we will not be near you guys till day break, and that is if prayers get answered tonight. Your daughter looks like she is getting comfortable in her seat she should be calling you, I will sign off unless I get another distress call.”
Once again we all thanked him profusely, and I spoke “Wilbur I know our prayers are being answered, she is coming home, you are there, Jeff is in the truck, yes sir our prayers are being answered, thank you again.”
Wilbur: “No problem, I was complaining what a sucky Christmas this has been, now I am glad to be apart of it.”
I know we all let out a sigh of relief, when the phone rang:
Sophie “You got it on speaker again Daddy?”
Mona: “I do honey, this is Mama.”
Sophie: “Hey Mama, I know Wilbur was telling you about what was going on because I was on the phone, I am so glad Jeff is here, He had some hot tea with him said for me to drink it, the cramping may be because I am tired and dehydrated, after about 15 minutes I was feeling better and the cramping went away, it sure scared me Mama.”
Mona: “It scared us too Sophie, it scared us too, we won't keep you on the phone, see if you can close your eyes and get some rest, call us back in an hour or two, we will try to rest as well ok baby girl?”
Sophie “Ok Mama, love you guys, love you Daddy!”
We all chanted our I love you back to her and she hung up.
The silence was deafening, I wanted to call her back my head knew the wisdom in letting her rest.
We just want her home where we can look after her, all of us were thinking it no one was gonna put it into words. 'Hope she does not have a miscarriage in that truck, there would be no way of helping her.'
Softness of Snow Chapter 6
After one drink and it already being after midnight, Lauren took the dogs out, we all said we would just nap for an hour or so. Mona and I kept the phone with us, There is a fold out sofa in the room with the radio, Lauren and Lori pulled it out while Jessup got them pillows and blankets, Mike and Jessup went to bed, said to promise and wake them if anything more happens.
Mona woke up first exclaiming “Oh My God it's 9 am!”
I jumped out of bed, coming up behind Mona as she entered the room where Lauren and Lori were still asleep, Mike heard the commotion, Lauren woke with a start, Lori rolled over stretched then it slowly dawned on her, she asked “Has something happened?”
No one really knew what to say, it had been nearly 9 hours since we had heard anything at all. Mona grabbed the phone and dialed Sophie groggily answered: “Hello?”
Mona: “Sophie? It's Mom, where are you how are you?”
Sophie: “Not sure, I have to ask Jeff.”
Hearing Jeff in the back ground he said: “We are off the expressway on county road 100, since the snow let up seems the County trucks at least made a single pass, no ruts, but it is freezing over, still going about 10 miles an hour, told Wilbur to go home, my buddy and I have this, my buddy is still close behind us Mr. and Mrs Burton, we should be to your place, but I would like your permission to take her to the clinic have her checked.”
Mona and I looked at each other and I spoke: “If you are on County road 100, where a bouts exactly?”
Sophie handed Jeff the phone he said “We just passed Center road, I have family in the area, if I remember correctly there is a clinic at Center and Creek road.”
Mona said “Yes that is our clinic see if the nurse practitioner Jessica is working, it will go quicker and she is good at what she does.”
Jeff responded: “Will do, Sophie will call you when we leave the clinic.”
I said: “ I could come get her, so you can leave and see your family.”
Jeff said: “No sir stay put the roads are not up to par yet, and if you promise my buddy and I a home cooked meal, warm place to sleep the night, we will pick up some beer and join you all if you do not mind.”
I said: “You are more than welcome, we have plenty of beer, Jack Daniels, Jim Bean, and a few other delicacies you just bring my girl home safely.”
Jeff: “Will do sir.”
I said: “You can call me Ray, my wife you call Mona, you have now been adopted as family.”
Jeff: “Thank you Ray it is an honor to help, good bye and we will call when we leave.”
Mona said “Bye Jeff thank you so much hey what is your buddies name?”
Jeff answered “Tom Phillips, Mona.”
Mona said: “Then you inform him he is also adopted and you stay as long as you want.”
Jeff answered: “Will do, we just pulled in the parking lot, there are a lot of cars, this may take a while gotta good bye.”
At that he hung up. We busied ourselves, the girls preparing the turkey we saved for new years eve, it was thawed and ready so why not have it early, myself and my boys busied ourselves in our walk out basement, there are two rooms down there, Lauren tended the wood stove in the basement, Mike the one upstairs then he joined me in making beds, clearing away things we threw down there instead of putting it away, general sweeping dusting. When we were done we went up stairs the girls threw together a brunch. I started feeling bad for the pups, they have been ignored since this started, Jessup had taken them out, fed them sat on the floor hugging and playing with them, I made a promise out loud to them that I will not sit and worry till Sophie got here I will take them out and play with them.
After brunch us guys left the girls with the clean up, we bundled up, and took the dogs out for play, also get the young pups used to being around the tractor, I needed to clear the driveway, with all the snow it took me a good 2 hours to clear it.
I had also forgotten totally about Jason and Mary, they had blended into the woodwork while all this was going on, pitching in when needed, not saying much just letting us all freak out as a family.
When I went back inside, I saw Mary in the kitchen with the girls, I walked up to her put my arms around her and hugged her for a long time and said “Thank you so very very much.”
With tears in her eyes she said “Your so very welcome Ray, I have no family I reminded Sophie of that, she was lucky to have family.”
Mona, Lori, Jessup came over, joined in the hug and said “You have family now.”
While this was going on Lauren and Mike were with Jason letting him know he too was adopted into the Burton family and warmed him that one day he may regret it.
Everyone laughed, at this point it had been 3 hours since we had heard from Jeff and Sophie.
Softness of Snow Chapter 7
Everyone was wondering if it would be rude to call and see what was happening, we resisted the urge. I know I sure wanted to hear Sophie's voice again. At hour 3 the call came they are on their way, the streets were 85% better in spots so they should arrive within 15 minutes and hoped the dinner was not dried out.
Mona told them now she put it on low knowing we did not have a true time line.
Sophie hung up without telling us anything more, gawd that girl will drive me to drink, himm that sounds like a good idea, I turned to go, I hear a chorus of “Me Too!” and One “Damn”
The truck pulled in the drive way 15 minutes later, with a large black SUV close behind, I grabbed a jacket and directed Jeff and Tom over to a space I cleared, everyone including the dogs came out to greet Sophie.
Once the Truck stopped, I was at the door, opened it and Sophie slid into my arms, another group hug with lots of weeping, we stayed that way till even I got cold.
We all talked at once, Sophie finally got a word in edge wise, the nurse practitioner Mona suggested said Sophie was dehydrated, so she set her up with an IV did an ultra sound which she pulled a copy out of her purse, that is when I got my first look at you, my grandson, Alex Jessup, so your new daddy Jeff is a great sort, loves you as his own, you listen to him, don't get any girl pregnant till you marry her, and make sure the family is involved please do that for your Grandpa. There is your bedtime story that was suppose to put you to sleep, but obviously it was to stimulating because your grinning wide at me not a bit ready to sleep.
“Who is that coming Alex.”
Jeff said “Me dad, so that is what you call a bedtime story?”
Me: “Well hell Jeff I heard yours stories of the guys blowing up things, I think this was a bit more subdued.”
“Now lookie here Alex here's your Mama, think she can tell you a boring story and put you to sleep.”
Jeff and I both laughed, I handed Alex off and went to bed.