Monday, June 11, 2018

Air B&B

 Good Morning everyone, I hope your weekend was fun eventful and most of all relaxing.
   Yes you read my title correctly I am going to be writing about Air B&B today and it aint good.
  I have traveled almost all my life. I have stayed in tents, campers, hotels, motels, hostels, beach houses and B&B's. For the first time, a week ago I tried an Air B&B. It will most likely be the last time as well.
    We had Spring Fling happening last weekend, it was taking place in the Catskills of NY.  Napanoch NY to be exact, absolutely one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. 

One draw back is the lack of hotels, and motels. There really isn't that many around and what is around is unavailable. So I heard about Air B&B and thought I would give it a try. Bill and I have enjoyed B&Bs in the past and I thought we would be getting something similar. No it wasn't similar at all.
  I am not sure if it is normal what we experienced or not, but if it is then Air B&B is not for us.
  Every B&B I have ever been in has room for the guest, you know closet space, drawer space, bathroom space. In fact any part of the house intended for guest use would always be void of any personal belongings of the owner, other then decor and furniture of course. That wasn't the case this time. We rented an entire house, that is what Air B&B does, but it wasn't a house meant for us to use, it was a house in use already with no room for guests.
   The house was as close as I could find to our event. A short 10 minute to 15 minute ride away, so location was good. The house was billed as a Lovely Bungalow in the Catskills. In the amenities it listed WiFi as one of the amenities, it didn't mention TV and I didn't think to ask because well even the campground we stayed in last year had TV, also in the mountains in PA, so it never dawned on me to ask. Well there was no TV, and in my review I mention that the WiFi is spotty at best, The owner replied, I was lucky to get WiFi in the Mountains. Funny when we found other accommodations not only was there WiFi there was a TV too. Not that we watched TV at all while we there, but still it was there if we wanted it.
   The house was not lovely, it has the potential of being lovely once the owner finishes fixing it up. The house was not clean, or welcoming, nor was the owner welcoming, in fact he wasn't there, and the neighbor he said would be there to help if we needed it, felt making us wait around for over 2 hours for him to show up was acceptable and helpful. We had fixed the problem ourselves by then and were already looking for better accommodations. 
  Lets start with how we got in, I had to slide open a window reach around and unlock the screen door to the porch, then find the key in a location the owner told me it would be. The first thing we see as we open the door is a pile of dirty shoes and a counter top just cluttered with stuff. The cabinets for the dishes have no doors, and while that is a cute style it doesn't help keep dust, grime and pollen of the plates and such, which yes when I reached for a plate it was grimy and dust covered. 
    We look around a little and think well it aint great but for a few days it will do. So we start to bring our belongings in and slowly we realize there is no where to put our stuff the entire house is full, all drawers, closets, and counter space is already in use. As well as the fridge is full of food not meant for us.

  I turn on the water and as the owner had warned me might be the case there is no hot water. He had shut the hot water heater off, then remembered we were coming for the weekend and as he told my husband 10 minutes later he turned it back on and didn't bother to re lite the pilot light, because he figured it hadn't gone out in the 10 minutes the heater was turned off. This is the first of many lies the owner will tell. You see to light the pilot light you have to move the dining table off the the wall, take the wall down, then get on your hands and knees and work the lighter and the ignition button. This took us an hour and a half to accomplish. There was nothing simple or easy about lighting the water heater, and I am sorry but no self respecting landlord would leave that chore for his guests to take care of. It is no wonder the neighbor dragged his feet about getting there to light the blasted thing.
  Shortly after getting the hot water heater to work we realize there is no TV, there is some sort of screen and what looked like a projector but we weren't able to figure it out.
  I go into the room that would be Mom's room and the are bedroom slippers at the end of the bed, and cloths laying on the bed. Mom would have been wearing it all before the day was over thinking they were for her. Her closet was so full crap was falling out as we opened the door. The dresser so packed full you could barely close the drawers. Again I have never been to a place that didn't make room for its guests, and if this is the norm for an Air B&B I will never use them again. Our room, well to be honest after looking at Mom's room and the bathroom, I really only looked enough to see that those closets and dressers were also full. 

  After inspecting Mom's room, I started looking for a new place to stay. It took more then several hours but I finally found us a cleaner more accommodating place for us to stay. Nothing fancy mind you, but at least I didn't have to worry about Mom putting on someone elses clothes.
  I think the dirty moldy dish rags, on the sink and the dirty tea cup in the sink with a moldy tea bag in was the straw that broke the camels back so to speak. I was absolutely grossed out over that.

 I had spoken on the phone to the owner something like 4 times upon our arrival and he knew I wasn't happy. He wasn't all that concerned after all he was 100 miles away in his home and he already had my money. So he wasn't to surprised when I texted that we weren't going to stay in his Lovely Bungalow and that I would be seeking a refund. In fact he texted back " No Problem, make sure you lock up when you leave, and I knew this wasn't going to work out." 
  The owners first action after that text was not to find out why we weren't happy, but to put a bad review on my profile. I at least waited for the weekend to be over before I did my review, and started seeking a refund. 
   This is where AirB&B failed as far as I am concerned. They should have looked at the pictures and gotten involved from the get go. That is not their policy first you have to deal with the owner and then if your not satisfied,  72 hours later Air B&B will step in, or so they say. I've been home 1 full week now and Air B&B hasn't stepped up yet. I have a partial refund, but not as much as I think I should get. I understand if the owner keeps one nights rent, but not two nights which is what he has done.  To get the little refund I did get I had to put up with rude, disrespectful comments from the owner. He out and out lied in his reply to my review, he accused me of staging the photos, and stopped short of accusing me of lying.  Here is a sample of the owners communications with me.
This is crazy. I dont know if shots are set or what. she left our home at 8pm that night without any warning or discussions on issue. Please review my history. most people, in fact all the people, who have staid at my home have hand positive experiences. This is a simple case of Expectations higher than realities of this property. [PS. the 100 bucks is a concession to having left a tea cup in the sink.]

a week ago
  My expectations weren't all that high, clean ,uncluttered, ready for my family and I to use. Not a whole lot to expect from a B&B don't you think.
 Still  Air B&B did not intervene. Now when I was renting the place back in Feb, Air B&B only wanted you to use their service to communicate with the landlord. 
   I have sent a new request to Air B&B this morning trying to get the rest of my money back. So now I will wait and see if this request gets answered. I just found the "involve AirB&B" button, so maybe they didn't see my earlier emails.
 Here is my review of the house and the owners response to me.
My husband and I chose not to stay at Adam's place after arriving to find the hot water heater turned off, it took an hour to get it started and by Adam's own admission he turned the hot water heater off, knew we were coming in on the weekend and did not return to his place to turn it back on. There was dirty dishrags on the sink and dirty dishes in the sink. In the bathroom all the owners toiletries were left out on the counters and sink, including the used toothbrushes. In the fridge was open and used food, and it wasn't really clean, no space for guest to use. In the bedrooms the closets were full of the owners stuff as well as the dressers leaving no room for guest to use. There is no TV, the internet is spotty, and the neighboring homes were empty and run down. It felt like instead of renting a house to use, we rented a house in use. It was as if Adam and his family left just hours before we got there. We won't be back.

Yikes. You know. My record speaks for itself [I think i have like a 4.9/5 rating?] and like my mamma taught me 'you can't please everyone'. a few facts: I did not turn the darn heater off knowing you were coming. In fact, what i told your husband was i turned the car around and drove back to the house to turn it back on. What happened was the HW heater used all the propane in the system. You also failed to mention that minutes after you called me I arranged for my neighbor to get it turned on! Anyway your further complaints..don't know what to say, other than you can not please everyone. My son did apologize to me for leaving his tea cup in the sink once we had headed out the door. [PS. no TV was ever promised ] 'the internet is spotty'.. Joan. this is the country. I am thrilled to have ANY internet. The 'neighboring homes were empty and run down' Its my community, this is our home and according to most of my reviewers.. they think otherwise and enjoy the laid back 'tude that we promote. The top 2 drawers of the bureaus are where you put your stuff! And when you texted me at 8pm to say you weren't coming back.. what shall I do? no warning whatsoever and no communication to me in any manner. Anyway. Best on your future rentals. ps. you didnt mention the fact that you asked if i left the state park passes for you and I said.. well no, but.. take them as a courtesy. [i hope you had left them for us.]

 I did leave the passes, which if they weren't meant for guest use, they should not have been out in the open. Here is a photo of the dresser I was suppose to use.
 And the passes I left them right where I found them.

 I think 4 phone calls to the owner is communication, and since I wasn't happy on any of those calls, nor was Bill, I think Adam knew we weren't going to stay. In fact the text he sent me said as much. Had he been present I would have told him we were leaving in person and why I was not happy, but since he was some 100 miles away a text was the next best thing. 
  The question just begs to be asked. Would you stay in a strangers house and pay for it with all their clutter just sitting around? Would you be comfortable putting your toothbrushes next to theirs, or your other personal hygiene products next to theirs? Would you pay to have to live out of your suitcase when there are drawers in the room? Well for me we know the answer, absolutely not.
   We didn't let this little set back ruin our time in the Catskills, in fact we gave it little thought until we came home and started trying to get a refund. Our time in the Mountains is the only vacation we will get this year and we made sure we got to enjoy it all. 
 This is not the best photo I have ever taken, but for the memory it brings it will do just fine. I need a 600mm lens for shots like this to be good. A favorite spot for me in the Catskills.

 Look close and you can see Mom and Dad Eagle taking an afternoon rest.
 And this is my favorite shot of the trip. A 600mm lens would have been nice for this one too, but I did okay using 300mm. It is clear and sharp, just not as close up as I would have like to have gotten.

 Have a wonderful day!


Monday, May 21, 2018

Chapter 9

  With bed roll and saddle bags neatly tied to his  back, Joe sets out on foot at a quick pace heading towards what he hopes is a town. His plan is to get himself 2 fast horses, and slid into the camp in the night and take Lily out the back of her lodge while everyone was sleeping including hopefully her guard. It wasn't the best plan he'd ever come up with, but it was the best he could think of, and something told him to keep it simple." Hell " Joe thought I might just get lucky, by the time I get the horses and a few supplies and get back to the camp the Indians may have relaxed and removed the guards from Lily Mea and her lodging.  His only other concern was if the tribe would break camp and begin to move on to their winter lodging. Tracking a tribe that size that isn't doing anything to cover their tracks wouldn't be hard, but getting Lily Mea and the baby out would be some what trickier. It hardly mattered to Joe, because he's  determined to get Lily Mea back safe and sound no matter what it takes.
   For a few days Lily keeps up asking her questions and lazily checking to see if her doodles were still there. Then Lily Mea notices that as fast as the guards appear they disappeared, and Lily Mea was once again free to roam in all her favorite places. She was disappointed that Joe had left but happy all the same he was safe. Somewhere deep inside Lily was sure Joe would return. Now that she knew he was alive, she knew there was a chance she would be released from this strange new life she was living. No one  had hurt her or did anything bad, but this isn't the life she had been dreaming of when she set out on the trail those so many months ago. If any of her captors noticed the little smile on Lily Mea's face they didn't mention it or think anything of it, but for the first time in what seemed like forever Lily Mea had hope. Just a small spark,but hope just the same.
   Joe walked all day and most of the night before he found a town.  Worn out from walking all that way with  saddle bags and bed roll on his back, Joe finds the one and only lodging house in town and gets himself a room, he's a sleep before the door closes and his head hits the pillow. Joe slept just about as long as he had walked, when he woke up he was rested and more then ready to get moving. Wasting no more time Joe gathers everything he needs, and  heads back towards Lily Mea and her captors. 
   When Joe gets back to the camp, the first thing he notices is Lily moving freely around the camp without a guard. Next Joe notices that the camp is in the fray of getting ready for their big move . This is all good news for Joe, the more distracted Roe and his warriors were and the lack of guards for Lily Mea, surely meant it would be easier  to get Lily Mea, Bonnie and himself out of there, alive.

Monday, May 14, 2018

My Diet

 Good Monday morning to everyone. I hope the weekend and Mothers day were everything you wanted it to be.
  Today no chapter 9,  Lily Mea and Joe are cooling their heels waiting for me to write their futures.
     Today is about my diet results. I was planning to write this last Wed. and didn't have the pictures I needed, so I had Bill take the pictures and on Fri. when I planned to write this I got busy working on a quilt and forgot, I am back to blogging for the fun of it. And today I am finally getting to it.
   I think part of my not publishing last week is I am dragging my feet, I am not as pleased as I want to be with the results so far. Today is day 28 and I am not even close to my goal. My body shape has changed and my belly feels better, but the weight is all most the same as when I started. after week 1 I had dropped to 153, by the end of week 2 I was at 155, where I stayed until this morning, I cried and I do mean I cried when I got off the scale this morning. I weigh more now then I did when I started 28 days ago. 160. 
   I cheated a few times with some rice crispies and chocolate syrup, but that was in the second week. Yesterday was another cheat day, being Mothers day and we were at the ball park, where no healthy food exists. Oh and during the last week, there may or may not have been a mid-night raid on the the chocolate syrup bottle with a spoon, a night or two, but only a small spoon or 2. Hopefully tomorrow the results of to much salt, to much fried food, and sugar will wear off and that 160 will go away.
   Pretty much for the last 28 days we have followed this diet as it is meant to be. No bread, white rice, pasta, no milk, very little butter, and a lot of veggies made the no list too. Much to my surprise, potatoes made the yes list, along with turnips and parsnips. There is as much food on the yes list as there is on the no list of foods. 

      We already didn't eat processed food, or junk foods like chips, or tasty cakes, but we did enjoy our pasta, rice and beans, and breaded fried foods. I haven't cooked with salt in years and sugar wasn't a big ingredient in our house, so this diet hasn't been hard to follow, not really. 
   I wonder if my lack of results in the weight area is because other then a few adjustments that made my belly less bloated and much more comfortable , we really didn't change our eating habits. I have been careful to keep my meals at 300 calories  give or take, and it has been a battle to get me to eat 3 meals and a snack each day but I have been doing it. Before I started this diet I most generally only ate dinner.  Eating more through out the day is one of the reason my tummy feels better I know, but I don't think I really reduced my calorie intake all that much with this diet.
 As I said earlier my body shape has changed, my energy level is way up there, my skin even feels healthier. So this diet has had some positive results and I am going to stick with it. Both Bill and I feel better, so even though we miss things like onions and garlic, for now we will continue to follow the Tummy diet, with a few changes for me. I need to jump start the weight loss, so I am going to reduce my calorie intake just a little, nothing drastic just enough to wake my body up so to speak.
  I walk daily, have 12 different exercises that I split into 2 days, and at least once a week Jill and I hike or walk for 2 hours or more. In September she and I hope to take a hike in the Pinelands from Atsion to Basto along the Mullica river, that is a 4 or 5 hour hike, so we are in training as well as my trying to lose weight. As much as I hate it I think I am going to have to add at least an hour a week at the gym burning calories. Lucky for me our community has a small gym for our use, and it is just up the road, close enough to walk to. I just really don't like gym workouts. I use to love the kickboxing class I did long, long ago, now just thinking of kicking and boxing makes me tired, even with my increased energy level.
   Just to refresh your memory, heres what I looked like on April 16.

  This is week 2 there is a subtle change, but not much of a difference, except in how I felt. Walking has now become easy, even fun.

  This is May 8th, the changes aren't so subtle anymore, and even I can see I look much better, not only do I feel healthier I look it.

   These were taken May 10th. I see the changes, I feel them too, but the weight and a flat tummy haven't changed as much as I was hoping for. 

June is 2 weeks away, and while I am realistic enough to know I am not going to reach my goal by then, I am not stopping or giving up, if it takes longer then I wanted to reach my goal, I guess thats okay because, well at least I reached my goal, and thats what counts.
   Often when I walk I carry my camera. I may walk a little slower and stop often when I have my camera, but I am also squatting, bending, climbing, and kneeling to get my shot. I consider that to be a good work out, sometimes even better then just walking. Heres a few of those shots.


 Have a wonderful day, and thank you for visiting.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Chapter 8

 Lily Mea wakes with an idea, not the best she is sure, but better then not trying at all. Lily Mea decided she could talk loudly to her guards as if she were asking questions  about why she now was restricted and had a guard, hoping  Joe hears the conversation, she could do the same with the young women she  shared a shelter with. If she conversed loudly with both the guard and her Lodge mate there was a chance Joe would be near and hear. Lily Mea also decided she could write a warning in the dirt if she made it look like a simple boredom doodle. She had never seen anyone write a single english letter, only crude drawings and lines, if she was careful to avoid those drawings and lines, she just might be able to warn Joe in writing as well as word.
   Taking advantaged of a warrior that was bored and uninterested in standing guard over a harmless white women and an ugly little baby, Lily Mea spent the day scribbling out " Not Safe " in the dirt for Joe to see. She did her best to make it look picture like and still be readable.  
 As Joe  looks down from his high perch he Smiles to himself  thinking Lily Mea is a pretty smart girl. He got her message loud and clear.
    By staying high in the trees until he was positive he could move without being spotted, Joe got himself away. He traveled as fast and as quietly as he could, and he didn't stop until he was sure he was not being followed or tracked.When he felt it was safe to stop Joe made up a small camp.  Without a fire he sat there eating jerky and drinking godawful cold coffee, in a moment of disgust Joe throws the coffee into the night and gets the bottle of whiskey he had salvaged from the carnage that once was a wagon train, out of his saddle bag. Sitting back starring at the stars he wonders aloud " just how in tarnashion am I going to get to that women the  baby and get us all out alive? " A warm glow began inside of him as the whiskey took affect and Joe slid into a comfortable sleep under the stars for first time since the wagon train was attacked and Lily taken. WhenJoe wakes the next morning he has a fuzzy head and a clear idea of how to save Lily and hopefully keep them a alive.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Chapter 7

 Chapter VII
Once Lily Mea got back to the camp site she began to notice subtle changes in just about everything. She noticed her freedom to move around as she pleased was now being restricted somewhat. She was walking with Baby Bonnie cooing and singing to the happy baby, heading for the edge of the lake to sit on it's edge and enjoy the sunset; when one of the braves stepped in her path shaking his head no and pointing for her to turn back into the camp. Shrugging her shoulders Lily Mea did as she was bid and gave it little thought. As evening turned into night and Bonnie was down for a good long sleep; Lily Mea once again found herself and her freedom restricted. Walking quietly by herself along the edge of the forrest is Lily Mea's favorite past time, and on this night for the first time since arriving at this spot Lily Mea was not allowed to walk alone. Following quietly behind Lily Mea was Reo. Returning back to her lodging after an unsettling walk in the fresh night air Lily Mea was disturbed to see that her hut now had a guard. It didn't take Lily Mea long to figure out she wasn't the only one to see Joe.
    Joe had no way of knowing that things had changed for Lily Mea, as he watched from his perch up in a tree not to far from the camp. He assumed what he was watching was  normal. 
   Lily Mea wasn't aware that Joe was close enough to observe the camp and its habits, but she did know she needed to find a way to warn him that he wasn't safe, that she wasn't the only person to see him. How, that was her big question, a question she had no answer for. Whatever the answer was Lily Mea knew she needed to find it and find it fast for Joe's safety.  As Lily Mea settled into her furs for the night her mind was spinning with ideas, but none of them seemed good enough to help warn Joe.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Chapter 6

A Short Story Chapter VI

 As Lily Mea took a tentative step towards the flap of her make shift shelter the old woman did nothing to stop her, she just smiled that crazy smile and followed behind Lily Mea. What Lily Mea saw as she stepped through the threshold in to the day brought her to a complete halt. Looking around in complete amazement Lily Mea could not believe her eyes. The camp and her small band of captors had grown. To Lily Mea it looked as if the whole world  had set up camp in her front yard. Actually there were less then 75 men and women as well as children gathered around the lake and what had been Lily Mea's home for so many weeks. Looking back at the old lady with questions in her eyes, all Lily Mea got for an answer was that crazy smile and a pointing finger. Following the finger Lily Mea could see that Little Bonnie was being well cared for as a young mother nestled the sweet little baby to her breast. Sure that for now at least Little Bonnie was okay, Lily Mea began to walk around taking in the strange sites, and smells, and even stranger the language. While they all seemed to understand one another Lily Mea was sure more then one language was being spoken. It really didn't matter she didn't understand a single bit of it anyway. The smells coming from the cooking fires were enough to make a person dizzy and so very different than anything Lily Mea had smelled before. As Lily Mea slowly made her way through the new world in front of her she stumbled onto a group of young women giggling and pointing at her. Lily Mea self consciously raised a hand to her hair and looked down at the torn dirty rag of a dress she was wearing. " I must look a fright thought Lily Mea" she couldn't remember the last time she had combed her hair, or even looked at her reflection in the water for that matter. 
    Holding her head high Lily Mea made her way straight to the lake and walked neck deep into the clear blue and now cold water. Using sand from the bottom of the lake Lily Mea scrubbed her face, arms, and anywhere  else the dress would let her get to. Shivering Lily Mea sat on the shore and let the sun dry her and her dress, she ran her fingers through all that beautiful yellow hair to smooth it out the best she could.  As cold as she was Lily Mea couldn't help thinking how good it was to feel clean. Between Little Bonnie and her daily chores Lily Mea hadn't thought much about how she looked or smelled for that matter.Lily Mea couldn't help laugh a little as she thought " Thats why them savages kept their distance."  Still musing about in her own thoughts Lily Mea was surprised when she noticed the young women sitting next to her in the sand. " Now where did you come from, how long you been sitting there? " Lily Mea didn't expect an answer she was just so startled because she never even heard the young woman approach. With a shy smile the young Indian maiden offered Lily Mea what looked like a pile of soft brown leather and on top of the pile was what looked like a brush fashioned out of wood and reeds or twigs. The young maiden picked up the brush and mimicked brushing her hair with it, handing the brush back to Lily Mea with a smile the maiden pantomimed that Lily Mea should use the brush on her own hair. Lily happily complied, after months of nothing but her fingers to pull the knots and tangles out of her hair even a make shift brush felt good. Lily Mea could feel her pride and joy begin to shine again with every stroke of the brush. Lily tried to thank the young woman but didn't know how, she didn't speak the language and didn't know what to call this young woman so she did the only thing she could think of. Pointing to herself, she said slowly and clearly L i l y M e a, smiling and continuing to point Lily Mea said her name again. The young woman nodded and pointed to her self saying A m i t o l a, smiling she repeated it. Giggling at the strangeness of the names on each others tongues the two young ladies became friends. Reaching out and touching the edge of Lily Mea's torn and ragged dress Amitola looked at her new friend in wonder. " I know it aint noting to look at now but once this was a fine dress, yes a real fine dress. Now its just a pile of rags. Well it will have to do for now cause I aint walking around in my unmentionables." For the first time since her capture Lily Mea felt tears rolling down her cheeks. She couldn't help but think of Joe when she talked about her unmentionables. A sadness settled over her and being clean wasn't going to make it better. Amitola sensing the sadness quietly slipped away leaving Lily Mea alone to heal her own pain. The sun had moved far to the west when Lily Mea finally lifted her head and looked around. Laying next to her in the sand was a dress made of white leather and the most intricate bead work Lily Mea had ever seen. " Now that is one very fine dress." Picking up the dress Lily Mea was happy for the most thoughtful and beautiful gift she had ever gotten. Her happiness grew ten fold when she saw that underneath the dress was a pair of soft leather slipper like shoes and the soft pile of leather that Amitola had given her earlier was another dress ,this one not as fancy but just as beautiful in brown leather and fringe all around it. Walking as quickly as she could Lily Mea headed back to her shelter. Once inside, the rag that once was so fancy and regal became nothing more then a memory. Donning the plainer of the 2 dresses and replacing her broken and hole filled shoes with the soft slippers, Lily Mea didn't even look back as she tossed the pile of rags upon the fire.
   Lily Mea stepped out of her shelter into the setting sun, and a camp full of stunned people. Lily Mea's hair was something most had never seen before the color, the way it reflected light, even the slight waviness was something new and different to these people. When Lily Mea's hair was matted and dirty it was different and something to be stared at. Now all cleaned and brushed silky smooth and shinny, moving ever so slightly in the breeze as it reflects the setting sun Lily Mea's hair is stunning , Lily Mea is stunning standing tall and proud looking like a fairy tale Indian Princess with yellow hair. Embarrassed by all the attention Lily Mea moves away from her door and goes in search of Little Bonnie who she suddenly realizes she hasn't seen all day. 
   Finding Little Bonnie took a little time with so many camp fires and lodges. It was dark by the time Lily Mea found the baby. Little Bonnie had been well cared for and loved all day it was plain to see, there was a bed made of leather and filled with warm soft furs and what Lily Mea was sure were toys made from wood and corn stocks and leaves. Happily playing in a young woman's lap Little Bonnie laughed and clapped her hands as she smiled and blew little bubbles. Lily Mea was about to walk away and let Little Bonnie be when the baby looked up and saw Lily Mea. Making squealing noises of joy Little Bonnie reached out for Lily Mea begging to be hugged. Wrapping the baby tightly in her arms Lily Mea was amazed at how much she loved this little girl.  While Lily Mea and Little Bonnie played the young woman disappeared only to reappear a few minutes later with all Lily Mea's belongings. Curious but not worried Lily Mea watched as the woman put Lily Mea's meager few things in the exact spot they had been stored only now they were in this lodging. That was just fine with Lily Mea she would be more then happy to move in with this young woman,  this lodge was so much better than the one she had been staying in. When her captors made it clear Lily Mea would have to make her own housing she did the best she could,but her best wasn't that good and her shelter leaked when it rained and was cold at night not to mention so smokey when she lit a fire. Staying here in the water tight, warm and smoke free shelter was a blessing almost greater than a clean dress.
  As the days slowly passed the weather getting cooler and the trees becoming a rainbow of color it was clear to Lily Mea that a big move was about to happen and she was to be included. Her captors were not often in the camp grounds anymore, they were off with the other men hunting, fishing, building canoes, as well as making tools and weapons, preparing for the move and a long hard winter. Lily Mea was not left to be idle, oh no those lazy days of summer were over and the women of the tribe made it clear Lily Mea would work right along with them. That was just fine with Lily Mea who was always taught " idle hands are the devils hands." 
  Through hand signals and pantomime Lily Mea managed to have conversations of sorts with the other women. She learned a lot of useful information in some of those conversations. She learned that she was correct the tribe or rather tribes were planning a big move very soon. The land they had been living on was all farmed out and needed to rest, making it necessary for the entire people to move to a new home and more fertile land. Someday the people may return to the old home but for now it would lay empty and rest. 
 There was much to do before the final leg of the journey began. All the meat and fish that the hunters brought in each day needed to be smoked and or salted to help keep it fresh long into the cold winter days. Lily Mea was fascinated to learn how to make a smoke house just for smoking the meat, and even more fascinated to learn how to smoke and preserve meat. Once the smoke houses are built the smoking almost takes care of itself and the older children can manage the fire and smoke. Freeing up the women to gather all the berries and nuts that are ready to harvest, as well as gathering the herbs and plants needed for all sorts of things. Leather needs tanning and softening to use for clothing, housing ,  blankets, and even tools. Each night Lily Mea was a sleep before her head hit the pile of furs she called a bed. 
   One day out with a group of women gathering flowers and herbs in the forest Lily Mea began to wonder if she were losing her mind. Lily Mea and the other ladies were picking leaves and digging up roots, but mostly they were sitting under the trees enjoying the shade and conversation. Sitting with her back against a tree  Lily Mea was simply enjoying listening the soft sing song sound of the women voices as they chatted and giggled. Not really interested in what was being said and only half paying attention Lily Mea began looking  around  the forrest at all the beautiful tall trees gracefully dropping their colorful leaves onto the floor of ferns still so  green even this far into the fall. It was then she was sure she saw something or someone move behind a tree trunk not to far off to the right of her.Sitting very still Lily Mea kept a careful watch on the tree trunk, doing her best not to be noticed. She hoped whatever it was it would move again giving her a chance to see better. If she was right and Lily Mea saw what she thought she saw, "well it just couldn't be could it?" So she sat as still as she knew how and waited, it wasn't a long wait. There was movement alright and it weren't no critter, not standing that tall. Lily Mea was sure it was a person behind that tree, tensing with fear Lily Mea was just about to shout a warning when the figure moved just slightly from behind the tree, just enough for Lily Mea to see. Lily Mea said only one word as she fainted to the forrest floor.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Chapter 5

Short Story Chapter V

Lily Mea was right the Indians were not leaving any time soon. They swam, fished and appeared to be playing games. For the most part the Indians left Lily Mea to herself and Bonnie. Once in a while the warrior with the milk pouch would come and stare at the baby and touch Lily Mea’s hair, no other warrior approached her. The Indians quickly learned Lily Mea was no cook. After spitting out the first thing she tried to serve them one of the warriors did the cooking. Lily never did know for sure what those Indian braves were yelling at her that evening but she knew it wasn’t nice and probably included accusations of her trying to kill them. Stifling a laugh Lily Mea thought ” Serves you right you devils you, kidnapping me and little Bonnie.” Lily couldn’t cook but that didn’t mean she didn’t work. Through pantomime and sign language Lily learned what berries to pick and where to get kindling and fire wood as well as how to carry the water. The brave that it appeared was her guide and guard showed Lily Mea how to tie Bonnie like a snug little bug to her back making it easy for Lily Mea to travel around and do her work.Many times as Lily Mea roamed freely from here to there she wondered why the Indians never tied her up or acted like she might run away. Even more she wondered why she didn’t try to escape. In fact she didn’t even think about escaping. Strangely enough now that the fast pace night walking was over Lily Mea felt safe.
 Days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into a month. The seasons were beginning to change. The oppressive heat of the summer began fading into the cooler comfortable days of Autumn. Lily Mea enjoyed watching the as the trees turned the bright shades of yellow, orange, and even red. The Indians and Lily Mea had settled into routine that was slow and easy almost lazy. One day while out in the woods collecting kindling and enjoying the warm rays of sun floating through the brightly colored leaves above her head Lily Mea became of aware of two men dressed in the same style as the Indians she was with approaching her. Lily Mea felt fear and uncertainty when one said something to her.The nearest one spoke to her again, his words slower but a much different cadence of the Paspahegh speech she had grown accustomed to, he stepped toward her when she did not answer. Over come with fear Lily Mea let out a scream that was heard at the very ends of the earth. The closest Indian grabbed Lily Mea by the hair placing a hand over her mouth. Lily Mea was  past fear and running on shear terror. She was trying to scream and now kick her self free of the man restraining her, just as the Indian was about to hit Lily Mea in the face with a closed fist, Lily Mea’s guardian came crashing through the trees brandishing a weapon so fast Lily Mea never saw it as it fell across her attackers head. The blow to the  head wasn’t a killing blow but it left the man laying unconscious on the ground. Turning to deal with the companion of the attacker, Reo stopped in his tracks dropped his weapon and let out what sounded to Lily Mea like a laugh when she turned and looked, the two Indians stood smiling at each other warmly shaking arms. As far as Lily Mea could figure some how the two men were related and part of the same tribe. the man laying on the ground groaning in pain it would appear is also from the same tribe ,and he had less of a sense a humor about being hit in the head then his companion and Reo who were both standing over him laughing. An amazed Lily Mea sat watching the three men in wonder as she rubbed her bruised neck and face.
That night the braves all sat around a large fire eating drinking and laughing, often looking back at Lily Mea were she sat back from the fire feeding Bonnie. Lily Mea couldn’t understand what was being said but she knew she was the main topic of conversation, and she wasn’t liking it one bit. In fact she was a little scared of her captors  for the first time since they started out on the trail so many months ago. ” I don’t know why Bonnie but I got a real bad feeling about those two new fellas” Lily Mea whispered to the baby, Bonnie  answered by snuggling a little closer to Lily Mea in response to the soft spoken words. Once Bonnie was fed Lily Mea took the baby and settled in her shelter. She lay awake most of the night on edge jumping at every little noise she heard.
Lily Mea must of fallen a sleep at some point in the early morning hours because when she a woke with a start the sun was high in the sky and the day was already hot. Lily Mea stifled the panicked scream she was about to let out when she realized she wasn't alone in her tent. Franticly looking around Lily mea couldn't not see Little Bonnie any where. All she could see was a strange looking old women sitting across from her smiling the craziest toothless smile Lily Mea had ever seen.