Friday, September 18, 2015

Chapter 1, Episode 2, January 1999 - Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace

Life in Oak Springs, the Homeplace
January 1999

This series of posts on each Friday, henceforth, moving forward during 2015 will continue the stories of “The Homeplace Saga” series of family saga, historical fiction families in the area of Oak Springs following the novel “Christmas at the Homeplace,” which ended as 1997 began. Earlier, we have seen the community move from January 1997 through December 1998. We now move into January of 1999, in novel format…

Chapter 1 - Lori and Karen (Point of view) - Episode 2

Last paragraph from Episode 1:
[Lori knew this story well, having heard it many times over the ensuing twelve years. She knew that Beverly had, in deference to her husband and her children, agreed to stay and try to live out her husband’s vision, for the children’s sake. However, she also knew that within weeks, Beverly had freaked out, again, and returned to Jackson. Paul and the children had stayed, and lived up to the family obligations under the will. The Trust, Paul, Beverly and the lawyers worked out a divorce and a settlement wherein Paul and their children stayed, and Beverly remained, divorced, in Jackson. She eventually remarried, a wealthy, older southern gentleman, if fact. Now, that husband had died, and she had returned to Oak Springs.]

The phone rang, breaking Lori out of her memories. As so often happened when Lori and Karen talked about family relationships, it was Erin on the phone. Lori put the call on the speaker phone so they could all talk.

Erin was calling to see, for sure, when Grandma Karen was planning to come down to Austin for her grand-daughter Jessica’s birthday, on February 6th, which was a Saturday. This was to be a very big event for the family down there. There would be a party for Jessica and five of her little friends from daycare that day. Karen replied that, depending on the weather, of course, she was planning to drive down on Wednesday and Thursday and return home on Monday, if that would work for Erin. Erin said that would be great. They would plan on it. The three women continued to talk about Jessica and family matters for a bit, of course. Lori added she hoped the three of them would be able to come up from Austin in the spring, and Erin agreed that they hoped to also, but didn’t know yet just when it would be.

Lori had just hung up from talking with Erin when the phone rang, again. This time it was Trace Watkins, with the Jensen & Watkins Construction company. Trace was calling to set up an appointment with Lori to go over some concept designs they had been working on for the proposed “Homeplace Estates” housing development. Lori had been expecting his call, but didn’t know which day it would be. She was anxious to keep the process moving along. When he asked if she could be available this evening at 6, she had agreed. Trace said that he and Gary would have pizza and drinks for supper, if that was ok with her, and they could talk about the latest work on the designs.

“Homestead Estates” was a concept that had developed in the two plus years since Lori had moved to Oak Springs. Several family members had mentioned a desire to buy or build homes for the families, and, as they talked, Lori shared her experiences with a group in the Los Angeles area that was in residential housing development. That had led to a meeting with the leading local residential building contractor, Jensen & Watkins, which in turn led to a joint agreement to explore, in detail, the concept of a housing development, in the county, on the Homeplace land, near the pool under the mill. The concept would include, in addition to the residential properties, a common clubhouse, tennis courts, perhaps a Par-3 golf course, access to Oak Creek for canoeing/kayaking, tie-in to the trails system being developed as part of the McDonald Conservancy, and direct access, from the east, to the Bevins Stable and Trail Rides.

When Lori had finished, Karen asked, “What’s the latest on your development?”

“He has the third revisions done to the concept design we discussed at that last Bevins Trust meeting. Hopefully, if everything looks good, we will be ready for final approval and we can start moving dirt when the weather allows, in a month or two. “

Nodding her head, Karen replied, “Good to hear. I think this will be a project the entire extended family will be pleased to get under way. Come to think of it, this is even something that Beverly will probably endorse.”

“Thanks, Mom. That would be nice, for sure. I’ll be sure to bring Beverly up to speed on what we are doing.”

“Now,” Karen added, “before that phone rings, again, I need to make a call.”

Karen called her brother, Bart, to share the news about Beverly’s arrival. To Karen, memories of Beverly were merely a nuisance. For Bart, memories of Beverly contained a lot of hurt.

[To be continued - next Friday]

"May everyone have a homeplace, if only in your mind."

Dr. Bill  ;-)

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