When Darrell came home with two men he said," I'd like for you to meet my family, at least part of my family, our oldest son and daughter aren't here with their families. This is my wife, Rita, my two sons still living at home, Adam and Brody, my son Haden lives next door. Family, this is Noah Brockway and Stan Jackson. Haden's husband should be joining us soon."
"Husband?" Stan asked in anger. "Noah, let's get to hell out of here. I'm not doing business with a fag lover."
"Stan, you can go if you like," Noah said. "His son isn't the one we're doing business with, but even if we were it wouldn't matter to me."
"Well, you can count me out on this project then," Stan said.
"That's fine with me, Stan," Noah said. "I'll go it on my own."
"You'll not get financing without me on the contract," Stan countered.
"Noah, my daughter's father-in-law is a banker and I'm sure if I talked to him he'd finance you. In fact I had very little money when I bought the lumber company and he financed me."
"I'll bid against you on the land we plan to develop," Stan said.
"Well, the banker I mentioned owns that property," Darrell said.
"I'm out of here," Stan said as he headed for the door. He then stopped and said,"I need a ride to the hotel."
"Call a cab," Darrell said. "I suggest you wait inside. If you go anywhere near a vehicle the dogs will rip you apart."
"The dogs wouldn't bother them if they came from inside the house," Brody quietly said to Haden.
"Dad knows that," Haden said. "I think he's afraid Stan will vandalize a vehicle if he isn't watched."
"That's probably right," Adam agreed.
"I don't know how I'm going to do this alone," Noah said after Stan left.
"Why not?" Darrell asked.
"Well, I just don't think I can get a loan with what money I can put up," Noah said.
"Do you own property?" Darrell asked.
"Yeah, I have 200 acres north of Covington," Noah said.
"If you're willing to put it up for collateral I'm sure Paul will loan what you need," Darrell.
"Dinner's ready," Rita announced. "We can eat as soon as Kyle gets here."
"I called him and he's on his way," Haden said.
"Let's eat and then I'll give Paul a call," Darrell said after introducing Noah to Kyle.
"This is a delicious dinner," Noah said as he ate.
"Thank you, Haden made the chicken and I did the rest," Rita said.
Paul was more than happy to loan the money for Noah's project. However, rather than sell the property to Noah it was agreed upon that he would retain ownership of the property and sell the lots himself. In this arrangement it wasn't necessary for Noah to put up collateral. The bank would simply make a construction loan for each house. This arrangement benefited not only Noah, but Paul and Darrell. Paul made a nice profit on the sale of land and Darrell made money on the sale of building material.
Stan started his own construction business but went bankrupt. It appeared that Noah was the brains in the original operation.
The summer had been a busy one for the boys. They volunteered at the food pantry, donated their excess garden vegetables, and froze what was needed for the family. They managed several horseback rides along with campouts. They were even allowed campouts without adult supervision.
Having completed several hours of credit toward her Ph.D. Amy joined the faculty in the nursing program. The university gave her a lighter schedule to allow her more time to work toward her Ph.D.
Perry was offered a head coach position in a nearby high school, but decided to stay at Rock Creek. A new high school was being built and he was offered the head football coach position.
As the end of summer vacation came near, the boys decided on another campout. Several of the young ladies asked to go camping too, but the parents nixed that idea. "Ask your parents to chaperon," Adam suggested.
Harley and Leah agreed to chaperon since they enjoyed camping and horseback riding. Rita and Darrell also agreed to chaperon, Grant and Betty also agreed. The numbers grew as the plans were being made. As usual Ray delivered the tents and camping gear.
"This is lovely," Leah said when she saw the camping area. "Oh, and you even have toilets."
"Mom, we have summer showers now," Brody pointed out.
"Who did those?" Rita asked.
"Jon, Justin, Brody, Chad and I did," Adam explained. "The water is solar heated."
"You boys really did this yourselves?" Debbie asked.
"We googled to get the plans," Adam explained.
"Then we don't have to take cold showers?" Betty asked.
"No, we have a solar water heater," Justin said. "Uncle Ray found the solar panel for us and we pooled our money to buy it."
"Still, that's a lot of money," Betty said.
"Dad got it for just $75," Jon said.
"Will there be enough hot water for this size group?" Rita asked.
"It will as long as the showers are quick and we turn the water off as soon as we soap up and then back on to rinse off," Ray explained.
"Had I known I'd have brought towels," Rita said.
"Mom, we wanted to surprise you so we brought towels, soap, and shampoo," Brody said.
"Well it's certainly a nice surprise," Rita said. "What are those black containers up there?"
"Those are water containers and are black to help keep the water hot," Adam explained. "If you notice there are two of them. We have both a ladies and gentlemen shower or when it's just guys we can use both."
"Doesn't it take a lot of water for everyone to shower?" Harley asked.
"Yes, but we camp here because there's a spring here," Ray said. "Come and I'll show everyone what we have."
"You even have concrete floors," Leah said when she saw the showers and toilets.
"We had the concrete delivered for the toilets, but the boys and I mixed it here for the showers," Ray explained.
"How do we get the water from the spring up to those tanks?" Rita asked.
"Brody came up with the idea of converting an old bicycle into a pump," Ray said. "Brody, why don't you show us how it works?"
Brody retrieved a bicycle that was mounted to a stand and had been stored in a shower. It also had a pump attached with hose for the water. "The only drawback is we have to use manpower to pump the water," he explained. "We wanted to go green."
"You thought of this, Brody," Rita asked.
"He sure did," Haden said, as he and Kyle arrived late. "He designed it and Ray helped him build it."
"Son, I'm proud of you," Darrell said.
"Next year we're building a solar system for electricity to pump the water and electricity for the camp," Brody said.
"I didn't realize you were interested in solar energy," Rita said.
"I got interested in it in Haden's science class," Brody said.
"We should look into solar panels for the house," Darrell said.
"I found some used ones from an old nursing home that closed," Ray said. "They didn't want to sell me just what I needed, so maybe we could buy them together. There would be enough for the camp too."
"I'd be interested in doing that," Darrell said. "I haven't checked, but I believe the electric company has to buy our excess electricity generated."
"I checked all that out and you're correct," Ray said.
"There are Mom and Lana," Alan said as Lois drove up.
"Lois, are you camping out with us?" Linda asked.
"No, we came out to eat with everyone," Lois said. "I'm not into camping."
"I heard the guys say they're grilling steaks," Rita said.
"Yes, I brought them out and some baked potatoes," Lois said.
"I thought about bringing a salad, but I couldn't figure out how to get it here," Rita said.
"Oh, I brought that too," Lois said.
"Lois, you're too good," Betty said. "I see that Tony's here, but I don't see Amy."
"Tony promised the boys he'd go riding sometime, but Amy thinks the kids are too small to camp out," Rita explained. "I think she really wanted to get some school work done. Her Ph.D. work keeps her busy. She did cut back to just two days a week at the hospital and she'll be leaving there entirely when she starts teaching at the university."
"She'll be a great professor," Debbie said. "Tony's so proud of her."
"Mom, are you riding up Sutton Mountain with us tomorrow?" Brody asked.
"I sure am," Rita said. "I've heard so much about the view from up there I want to see it for myself."
"Dustin was disappointed that he couldn't see their house from up there," Haden said.
"Where is he?" Betty asked.
"Perry took him fishing," Haden said. "That's the first thing he wanted to do when we got here. Since we aren't eating fish tonight nobody else wanted to go."
"So, Perry's going to be the head football coach at the new Rock Creek High School," George said.
"Yes, he's excited about it," Rita said.
"It was going to be just the ninth grade the first year," Darrell explained. "They were going to let the upper grades graduate with their current school, but the majority wanted to go to Rock Creek. Most of the kids had Perry as their coach when they attended Rock Creek and wanted to play for him again."
"Hey everybody, I caught a monster fish," Dustin said as he came running ahead of Perry into camp.
"How big was that monster?" Grant asked.
"Grandpa, it was this big," Dustin said extending his arm.
"Now, Dustin it wasn't that big," Perry said. "But it was big. I had to help him reel it in.
"How much do you think it weighed?" Brody asked.
"About 100 pounds," Dustin quickly answered.
"Dustin, it was big but not that big," Perry said. "It probably weighed about 10 pounds or so."
"Well, Dustin that is a big fish," Haden said.
"Yeah, and Dad wouldn't let me keep it," Dustin said. "Dad, show everyone the picture. It was a big catfish."
Everyone agreed that it was indeed a big fish. Dustin made sure all saw the picture on Perry's phone.
"Ray, it must have taken an entire steer for this many steaks," Paul said as he enjoyed his steak.
"Not entirely," Ray said. "He somehow injured his leg and I just went ahead and had him butchered."
After the great meal and cleaning up many took advantage of the new showers while others opted for a morning shower. There were also stories by Walter and some cowboy song too.
"Grandpa, why didn't Grandma come camping?" Brody asked.
"She's like Lois and doesn't like camping," Walter explained.
"I should have called her and invited her to come out here with me," Lois said. "Lana, we should be going home before total darkness. We don't want to run over a cow."
"Thank you for bringing the potatoes and salad out," Debbie said.
"And thanks for the peach cobbler," Adam said. "It was really good."
"It's too bad Jeff isn't here," Adam said the next day as they rode up Sutton Mountain. "He always brings apples and peanut butter for snacks."
"I brought some," Haden said. "Jeff asked me to bring some."
"I wonder why he isn't here," Adam said.
"He and Nicole are expecting the birth of their first baby any day now," Haden said.
"They're excited about being parents," Rita said. "Nicole said Jeff was at first a little disappointed that it was a girl, but now he's happy with it."
"Isn't it amazing how our families have grown," Debbie said.
"It sure is," Betty agreed.
"It's just a beautiful up here as everyone said," Rita remarked when the group arrived at the mountaintop.
"It sure is," Debbie agreed.
"Uncle Haden, I need to pee," Dustin whispered after lunch.
"Okay, just go over there," Haden said.
"I can't go in front of women," Dustin said.
"I'll tell them not to look," Haden offered.
"They'll still know I'm peeing," Dustin said.
"Come with me and I'll show you where to go," Haden said and escorted Dustin to a spot behind a clump of bushes.
After riding back down to the camp the group broke camp and headed home. The next few days would be spent preparing to return to school.