Michael

by Jobe

Chapter 18

Summer came, at last, and Nohr came home. John was visiting more often which meant I had too sleep with Nohr at his home. I didn't mind but I noticed one day when I was finish milking, John was sitting in the kitchen with a smile on his face. "Stephan, I have a question for you?"

I nodded.

"What do you think if your aunt and I got married?"

"Do you love her?"

"Yes, even though we are older than most people who fall in love and get married, I love your aunt."

John was right about the age. Aunty was younger than my mother by 5 years which would make her about 25 years older than me,I wouldn't call that old. "Aunty has been very good to me and if she'll be happy marrying you, then I'm all for it. But where would you live?"

"We would live here. I'll travel for a few years until I reach retirement age and then I'll retire here."

"I'll have to introduce you to the girls and you'll need to learn to sing." The look on his face just made me laugh. Soon he was laughing as well when aunty entered the kitchen.

"What are you two laughing about?"

"I'll let John tell you." I took my fishing rod and left for the ocean. I was intent on catching enough fish for aunty as well as Nohr's grandparents till I saw him coming with his rod as well.

"I'm glad you are here. I missed you this morning."

"I had chores to do and then I thought I'd fish for us and you. But I'm glad you are here with me." The kiss I got was worth the fish that got away because I was too busy to set the hook.

"Are you going to go to Gymnasium this fall?"

"Yes, I'll have completed 2 years of Secondary School and John thinks it'll be best for me to switch to the Gymnasium. I'll probably go to the same one you went to."

"I'll be going to the university this fall."

"Have you picked the one you want to attend."

"Yes, I have and guess which one."

"I can't guess. I don't know all of them and I don't know the one that would be best for you."

Nohr took my hands, looking into my eyes, "I have been accepted at the university right cross the street from the Gymnasium you'll be attending."

I must have looked like I was in somewhere land. I couldn't believe what Nohr just said. "For sure?"

"Yes, for sure, the university is well known and I'll be close to you."

I was so excited, I forgot about fishing and grabbed Nohr for a hug and kiss. Of course I lost my rod as it was pulled into the ocean. Nohr, quickly jumped in and swam to get the rod. Handing my rod back to me, "You could have gotten hurt doing that. It's only a rod."

I got a smile and a very wet hug. "No, that rod is special, look at all of the kids that now fish and I met you here as well. No, this rod and area is special."

"You are a romantic, but I love you for it."

"Did John tell you he would like to marry my aunt?"

"Yes, he wondered how you would feel about it. Did he mentioned it to you?"

"This morning after I did my chores he was in the kitchen and asked me how I felt. If aunty loves him then I'm all for it. It'll be good for her to have someone in her life."

"I look forward to university and you at the Gymnasium. We'll see each other more. I really missed you when I was there and you were here."

"Hey Jeppe,you ready to fish?"

"Yes, hi Nohr, did you hear about the big fish I caught?"

"Yes, I think everyone in the village heard about it. Grandfather told me they have a picture of you and the fish at the tavern. Maybe I'll go this evening and check it out."

Jeppe smiled, he came and gave me a hug. "You ready to fish?"

He smiled and presented his hook for the bait. I didn't have many small fishes but I figured it wouldn't take long to get more. As soon as a few more boys showed up, the crab kettle was being filled and wood stacked to heat the water. Nohr watched with interest as the boys all pitched in to get the water hot.

When the first fish was caught, I had the job of cleaning it. I didn't mind cleaning fish, particularly since it was Jeppe's fish. Of course this started the boys to begin catching crabs. Nohr just watched, smiling as he saw the boys begin to throw crabs into the pot.

"When did this start?"

"Right after Christmas. Fishing was poor so I began to catch crabs. The boys watched and soon the pot appeared and the wood. Now every time I'm fishing, they start the pot cooking."

"What is going to happen when you are gone?"

"I'm sure there will always be someone here to clean fish and catch crabs."

I caught two nice fish for aunty and John, "Are you going to leave?"

"No, I'll clean these and then help you catch enough for dinner tonight at gramps."

He looked at me when I said gramps. I just smiled as he hugged me. "Jeppe, how many fish do you have?"

He showed me he had three, "Do you want me to show you how to clean them?"

He was all for it, so I spent the next half hour showing him how to clean the fish. He was doing ok and cleaned the third fish all by himself. "Tell your dad to get you a fish knife. But be careful with it because it will be sharp and you could get hurt with it."

We didn't have to worry about the entails, the boys took them to catch more crabs. Anything left over after they had their fill of crabs, was tossed in to the ocean. One of the boys didn't want to do that but to keep for next time. Henrik explained that by feeding them, they will grow bigger and be better to eat. "They will always be more from the fish you catch."

That satisfied the boys, Nohr and I continued to fish until he thought he had enough. Remembering what his grandfather said about fish and chips, I waited till I caught two more. "If we keep catching this amount of fish we'll need something to carry them in."

That evening while I was milking the cows, I remember an old bag in the cooler. After dumping the milk into the cooling tank, washing out the pails, I looked at the bag hanging behind the door. It was big enough but I would need to line it with something or it would start to stink real fast. I couldn't find anything in the barn, taking the bag with me to the kitchen, "Aunty, I would like to use this bag for carrying the fish. It needs a liner that can be washed. Do you have anything that I could use?"

Aunty thought a while, then went into the cellar and brought up a canvas bag. "Use this one, the bag can be washed. I used this one in the garden, but you can use it when you fish. After washing it, I can still use it as well."

I took the old bag back to the barn, using the canvas bag, problem solved.

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