Hunter's Lodge on the Osage

by Nicholas Hall

Chapter 15

"Love must shun the path where many rove; one heart to be his only one, are adequate enough for love!" – (Moore)

There were a few minor snow storms between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but not severe enough to cause us problems. Between the two of us, one on the ATV using the blade and the other on the garden tractor using the snow thrower blowing snow, we kept the yard, the lane to the county road and "upper" garage, and paths to the outdoor furnace, woodshed, and the "lower garage" open. The solar panels had to be cleared of snow each time so they'd operate more efficiently. We hoped Grandpa would be wrong and we'd have a mild winter with only moderate snow!

The venison was ready before Christmas as the processor promised and a quick call to Grandpa solved the distribution question. Wedge and I had plenty in the freezer from the smaller deer I shot, but we did want some of the summer sausage, smoked kielbasa, ground venison, and breakfast sausage. It didn't take much of each to provide plenty for us. Grandpa wanted some to go to Wedge's mom and grandmother, some to share with my aunt and her family and my uncle and his family, who would be visiting the same time Wedge and I'd be there, as well as some for Grandma and him.

Since Thanksgiving, when both sides of our family wanted us to visit for Christmas, Wedge and I had agonized what we should get them for gifts. If it was to be something personal such as a homemade item, Wedge could do well by baking cakes, pies, or candies, but what could I bring? The only talents I had was hunting and fishing and working at a supermarket! Clearly, I felt I had nothing to add to the mix! We finally decided on something the two of us could give; I made an appointment with a portrait studio in Willow Run and we had our picture taken together, as a couple.

When I looked at the final choices among the many proofs we had to choose from, I thought how lucky I was! Seated next to me in the portrait, his right arm casually around me with his hand resting lightly, but possessively, over my shoulder, eyes sparkling, smile wide and loving, was the most handsome, light-browned man on earth! His love for me seemed to exude from his very depth in the expression on his face!

I was reminded of that love whenever I cuddled up to him on the couch at home, or snugged myself tight, skin against bare skin in bed at night. Running my hands lightly down his smooth back or down his hairless front until I encountered his public bush, feeling the warmth of him, his stomach flexing as my fingers tickled their way in and out of that soft mound until I wrapped by hands around those parts of him that made him male. I was so thankful Winston J. De Lacy entered my life that late spring day!

We had eight by ten framed pictures prepared for our grandparents, one for Wedge's mom, and one for us. Five by seven pictures, with frames, were wrapped for aunts and uncles on both sides of our family and we had sufficient wallet sized pictures prepared for distribution as well. On the way to Racine, to visit Grandmother Loretta and the rest of Wedge's family, we dropped off the venison in Green Bay to Grandma and Grandpa Hunter, but not the pictures; those we'd save until we returned to visit them.

I was concerned how Wedge's relatives would accept me, a white boy, living with a black man! Wedge's concern centered, not so much around the interracial issue although it did give him some concern, but more around the issue of two gay men living together. He didn't know if everyone in his family knew he was gay. At this point in time, he really didn't care I think and neither did I. They could either accept us or not; we still had each other and that's what was going to count as far as I was concerned.

Our reception from Grandmother Loretta and Mother Meredith was warm and loving, Wedge's aunts and uncles were a little more distant; accepting or tolerant I'm not certain, but not unwelcoming. It was an entirely different story with his cousins; they could give a shit either way! The portraits were the perfect gift! All in all, I did have a great time and so did Wedge. He hadn't seen some of his relatives since his grandfather died so this was a great reunion.

The trip to Green Bay wasn't all that dissimilar! Grandma and Grandpa Hunter were just as loving as ever and although I suspected they prepared my aunt and uncle in advance, there was still that touch of "distance;" whether it was the interracial relationship or the same sex issue, I don't have a clue! Again, my cousins were just happy to see us and didn't see color or two gay men together. Grandma and Grandpa were more than happy with the pictures! My aunt said little, but my uncle was cordial in accepting it. Their spouses said little as well. Overall, I thought Wedge's family more accepting than mine, but I also reasoned only time would tell. Mom's marriage to Harvey hadn't set well with the family so there was some estrangement yet from that. People can be damned odd sometimes, I thought!

We arrived back at the Lodge the day before New Year's Eve Day. Grandpa sent home a couple of bottles of red wine, two of white, and two five liter boxes of red wine. He knew Wedge and I both enjoyed the wine at Thanksgiving and thought we should have some in the house, in case we wanted to celebrate New Year's with a glass.

New Year's Eve Day we woke to a grey, overcast, snowy looking morning. The weather forecasters, via the local channels in Duluth and Marquette on satellite, predicted snow and a lot of it! A low pressure system was going to move just south of us, putting us in the heaviest snow band, and would put down eight to ten inches before exiting the area. This was to be followed by strong northwest wind, cranking up the snow machine as it blew across the open waters of the big lake, depositing another twenty-four to thirty-six inches before the wind diminished sometime New Year's Day night. We'd been lucky so far, but we scurried around to make certain we were ready for a real "dumper!"

I gassed up the garden tractor, checked out the snow thrower on it; checked the gas and oil in the ATV, and started up the snowmobile (called a snow machine in some areas) in case we'd need it. We weren't worried about power failure because of high winds and heavy snow, but we'd have to keep the solar panels cleaned off so they'd operate more efficiently. If it was cloudy for too long and not sufficient power produced by them, the big generator would kick in and we'd be fine. We had no place really to go, so we decided just to hunker down and let the snow storm do what it must!

Around ten in the morning, the snow started; big, heavy, wet, transitioning to smaller flakes, falling rapidly, thickly onto the earth. The snow was falling two inches plus per hour by the time we sat down to eat our lunch. Aunt Lou called after lunch checking to see if we needed anything before we were snowed in and, I'm certain, just to make certain we were fine and ready for the storm. This was Wedge's and my first major snowstorm; although it was beautiful, there was still the frightening aspect of it. For example, in case of emergency, such as fire, it'd be most difficult for help to get to us under these conditions.

The storm was fascinating for us to watch, peering from various windows in the Lodge, as it tumbled, swirled, and fell. Wedge took out a couple of ducks for dinner on New Year's Day and I helped him prepare a small summer sausage/cheese tray for us later on in the evening.

Darkness came early, hastened by the overcast skies and snow, so I decided I'd better stoke up the furnace before it was too dark and snowy to do so. I bundled up, picked up a nine volt spotlight and prepared to go out. Wedge stood on the porch with a big light as well so I could find my way back. The hundred and fifty feet to the furnace seemed a long way! I stoked up the furnace and plowed my way through to the garage. Hanging on pegs above the work benches were four coils of half-inch rope. I gathered them up and set out for the Lodge. I tied one end of one rope to the garage entrance door and uncoiled it until I came to the woodshed next to the furnace. I gave a couple of turns of the rope around a support holding the roof up, and continued toward the Lodge.

Following my tracks, which were quickly filling in, I soon saw Wedge's light. I knotted another coil of rope to the end of my first and uncoiled the second until I reached the porch. I gave him a big snowy hug and was prepared to get out of my wet clothes, when Wedge said,

"Don't get in a hurry, the satellite signal just went out. I'd bet the dish is full of snow."

I tied another coil of rope to the porch step risers and set out for the satellite dish. I tied the end of the rope to the upright support holding the dish, cleaned out the dish, and, holding on to the rope, trudged my way back to the porch. This time I did strip out of the wet winter coat and my wet pants, leaving me only in my socks, sweatshirt, and underwear. Wedge just couldn't resist a little rub and fondle of my crotch as I went to our bedroom for dry pants and my shoes!

The rest of the evening was quietly spent enjoying the warm interior of the Lodge. It may have been a howling storm on the outside, but the well-insulated and well-provisioned Lodge was comfortable and secure. Shortly after midnight, snacks consumed, each of us consuming a glass of wine in celebration, we went to bed.

I crawled in after Wedge, turned quickly, burrowed under the covers until I encountered his warm, barely flaccid cock, and sucked it into my mouth. I took my time, taking him to the edge several times, and finally, feeling his balls begin to tighten and the head of his cock swell, I let him climax! His butt lifted slightly as he fired his load, spewing it into my mouth, where I savored it and finally swallowed. All of this in the midst of him moaning "Shit, shit, shit" several times until he finally drained!

I pulled my head back, turned facing him, wrapped my arms around him, kissed him, and said,

"Happy New Year!"

The storm continued unabated New Year's Day. The weather people had predicted the lake effect snow would begin falling heavily after the wind switched to the northwest, churning across the big lake. Snow would continue to accumulate in greater quantities, but should be all through sometime the next day. Confined to the Lodge, except for stoking the furnace and cleaning out the satellite dish, was no problem for us. The roast duck and vegetables, along with an apple pie Wedge baked made it a perfect day to stay inside; as well as the two times Wedge and I made love that afternoon, filling me with his baby-makers to overflowing each time. Our shared shower before bed, brought the total of times being stuffed to three for the day. I knew I'd be a little sore in the morning, but so what- my lover and I were happy and well-satisfied!

Wedge was first to wake the next morning, leaned over to me, gave me a quick kiss, saying, "Stay put; I'll tend to the furnace!" and got up.

I could hear him in the other room as he put on his winter coat, coveralls, and boots and the "click" of the front door when he went out. It seemed to me, he was gone forever! Reaching over in our bed to the spot he ordinarily occupied, running my hand around seeking any warmth he may have left, I suddenly was overcome with a sense of loss, a deep sadness, by his absence. It was at that moment in time, although I'd felt it before but without this intensity, how much I loved him and missed his presence, even for a short time. I was empty as the spot on the bed where he normally slept next to me!

He returned, hung up his clothes in the kitchen, and slipped in beside me, naked and shivering from the cold.

"Still snowing," he lamented, "and colder than a witches tit in Alaska," burrowing deeper under the covers, and allowed me to pull him to me, sharing my body warmth. I scooched up and kissed him, deeply, with a fervency and need I'd really not felt before. As I did, tears swelled in my eyes, trickled down my face, where the slip onto my lover's cheek.

"Hey," Wedge said softly, "what brings these on?" wiping the tears from my face.

Shrugging, all I could say was, "I love you so much, Wedge, and I never want to be parted from you!"

Wedge snuggled me closer to his breast, drooped on leg over my hip, allowing my hips and crotch to rest in between his legs, and responded, "Not to worry, Love; I'm not going to leave you. I'll always come back, no matter what, okay?"

I nodded, rested my head on his breast, and allowed his warmth and strength to put me back to sleep.

We both woke at the same time; a strange noise brought us to an upright position, alert for any threat or unexplained noises. The storm seemed to be weakening, the wind calming, yet the other noise, a motor, muffled, but persistent, came from outside.

I listened intently and giggled, "It's the fucking generator! The panels must be snow covered and with all of the cloudiness the past three days, the batteries must be discharged enough for the generator to kick in and provide the power."

We both fell back onto our pillows, laughing at ourselves and our fears of the unknown.

"Better get up and dressed so we can begin cleanup, if the snow is done," I said, swinging a leg out.

"Not until we've had a decent breakfast," Wedge reminded. He was a stickler for having breakfast before we started any day's activities, other than a good, long, slow, satisfying fucking before we got out of bed- that seemed to be the exception to his rule and that was fine with me!

The snow storm really wound down while we ate. The sun was trying to break through the thin overcast as we finished. By the time we cleaned up the dishes and put on our winter coats and overalls, it was shining brightly. The snow just sparkled like diamonds reflecting all over the ground. It was pretty, but damned deep!

Bundled up against the cold, we waded through the knee deep snow to the garage where shovels and our equipment were stored. In the future I vowed to have a couple of shovels on the porch for easy access to clean up snow in front of the Lodge doors and the garage. A quick check of the solar array confirmed the panels were loaded with snow. Clearing them would be first on our list of things to do so we could start generating power from the sun instead of the generator.

I started up the garden tractor, activated the snow thrower and cleared a path to the panels. While Wedge was sweeping them clear with a push broom, I concentrated on clearing the area in front of the garage so we could get the ATV out. Once Wedge was done with the panels, he could start plowing out the paths to the satellite dish, the wood shed and the furnace, while I cleared the lane to the county road. I started up the lane, staying in the center, pointing the augur chute toward one side, directing the snow off to the side of the lane, and continued to the county road. It took me better than a half-hour to reach the road. The county hadn't been out yet and I didn't think they would be for a while. I cleared a wide area in front of the "upper" garage so we could park up there if we needed to this winter and started back down one side of the lane, continuing to direct the snow to the side.

Wedge was trying to clear the parking area in front of the Lodge with the ATV but after one pass with the blade, the snow would be mounded in a furrow high and deep enough it was almost impossible for him to move with another pass. We decided, once I finished the lane, I'd follow him slightly to the off side where the ATV blade moved the snow and blow it farther away. It worked great and we were able to really clean up around the Lodge.

By the time we finished cleaning up after the storm, with timeout for a sandwich at lunch, it was going on four o'clock. I checked the power room and the sun was doing its job charging the batteries and the generator had stopped. It was nice knowing everything worked the way it was supposed to. I gave George and Lou a quick call to assure them we were well and dug out. George thought the county should come through with their big plows sometime during the night so the roads would be open.

Wedge fixed leftovers for supper and they were more than sufficient. He seems to be able to work miracles with any type of food. After supper, we did a quick check of our pantry and food stocks and, if we saw things correctly, we were well provisioned for winter. Spring wouldn't show up around here until mid-April or first of May. Winters can be long, but we really looked forward to the quietness and beauty of it, even though it meant work! We'd survived our first major storm; but more than that, we knew we were committed to each other, come hell or high water or the storms of winter.

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