Jennifer looked so nice in her cap and gown, blue, when she graduated at Wathena High School. I couldn't believe so many years had gone by since she rode Terre to the neighbor's house to get a phone number so she could start kindergarten. She had a new baby and was getting married in June!
I made the arrangements with city hall in St Joe so she be married at Krug Park in northend. The roses were starting to bloom in the rose garden where the gazebo stood overlooking the lagoon. On the weekends people would come to feed the big carp and goldfish, turtles and the ducks. When she was 2 years old we took her to the park to feed the ducks. A big muskovy grabbed her little belly and pinched her hard with his beak. She was trying to feed him bread and that was the thanks she got! It left a dark blue bruise on her fat little 2 year old self. I thought the ducks would be tamer than that.
Everyone started arriving, chairs were set around the path of the roses. We had bought Jennifer a beautiful white lacy gown for her 8th grade graduation in Highland. I thought she looked so perfect in that dress. We had bought it at the Paris at East Hills Mall. When the graduation was over I told her that dress would be perfect for a wedding dress! I didn't realize that day would come so soon. Her future mother-in-law was a seamtress and sewed costumes for the Sweet Adelines a singing group she sang for around town and Missouri theater etc.. She said she thought the dress was perfect too and added some beads and other material to make it look more "wedding-like". She added see through lacy sleeves that came to a point over the top of her hands. We bought her a veil and her mother-in-law to be, fixed her hair and added pearls to her hair which she wore up in a bun with long curls trailing the sides of her face. They did a little dance when she shook her head. She was the prettiest bride! I wore a pink dress and my long hair down. Charles dressed in a grey suit and tie. Chuck also had on a suit and tie, he was 11 years old. Everyone came down the sidewalk leading to the gazebo where they were married under the decorations and ribbons we had placed there beforehand.
Three months later we learned how mean and cruel Lance was in his words toward others and his actions. He had been seeing other girls while Jennifer was pregnant with Brandy and had another little girl the same age. They went to court for custody of Brandy. Lance's mother worked for the Power and Light company and Jenny worked for Pizza Hut. Long story short the grandmother got custody and Jennifer had to pay child support! Lance didn't get custody but he lived with his mother. Lance had a criminal record. Jenny had a new boyfriend Neal. We didn't have any money for a lawyer but Jenny had one. They had two.
They worked out a visitation agreement before the divorce was finalized. When he had her and it was time for Jennifer to pick her up, they would conveniently not be home so Jenny couldn't get her back . She'd always take her there on time, then at 6'oclock on Sunday evening she would go to to the house to pick her up, they wouldn't be home. No matter what time she came back they would not answer the door even though the car would be right there in the driveway. She told her lawyer about it and he would do something but they ignored everything. When she finally did get her back one weekend she refused to let them have her and kept her hidden for awhile until one Christmas eve she started feeling sentimental and took her to see her father who promptly took the child and slammed the door in her face and vowed she would never see her again.
Clyde moved onto the property that year and lived in the small trailor. It was barely livable but Clyde was used to living by the seat of his pants and made it comfortable enough. He was a good renter and Charles liked having a friend around he could talk "guy" stuff with. Clyde had several rifles, something I would never let Charles have because I loved all animals and hated to see them eaten by lions on the Discovery Channel or hunted down in cold blood by people that could get their meals elsewhere and hunted for sport.
I had several cats on the farm. They kept the mice out of the feed. We had a pig and some goats. Charles even bought me a lamb for my birthday. One day I was hanging clothes out on the line as I still didn't have a dryer that worked anymore, I noticed that old Sam wasn't there to grab at the clothes or play with the clothes pins at my feet. I started asking questions and Charles just guiltily avoided them. I started asking those same questions of Clyde since he and Charles were so buddy buddy all of a sudden. He just laughed and said he and Charles had used all the outside cats as target practice and all the cats were dead. I thought he was joking at first but the more questions I asked Charles about it the more guilty he looked and sounded. I was shocked and horrified that he could do something like that to my pets. They weren't hurting anybody. They ran looseon the farm and only came up to the house to be petted and of course to see if there were any scraps from yesterday's dinner. I wasn't allowed to feed them,you see, only the one that stayed in the house which we didn't have anymore. Old Sam, who really wasn't that old, was really the only one that stayed close to the house. I would throw him some scraps if I had any, and he would reward me by playing with the clothes pins and tormenting me while I tried to hang up clothes.
I was sitting at the pool's edge one day thinking and decided I would tell Charles I wanted a divorce.
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