Lori Ferguson had taken her father's betrayal of her mother and their subsequent separation hard, but she was trying to come to grips with it now; her toddler twins needed their mother to recuperate quickly.
Her first reaction, as a wife, had been to worry whether any such thing could ever happen to her and Harvey. The very idea filled her heart with fear and devastation.
"You know, my love, if you ever cheated on me like that I'd have to murder you," she told him impulsively one night as they relaxed in their bedroom, she was only half-joking , "I mean as in kill you dead...painfully."
"I realize that, and I never would hurt you that way. I take our vows to each other seriously and I have no desire for anyone but you," he paused then and gave her a crooked grin, "But I give you permission to perform whatever homicidal act you think best should I ever become that suicidally stupid--no offense to your father."
Harvey could only be serious so long before the temptation for wry humor became to much.
"Yes, well, thank you for that. However; my father adored my mother all these years--everyone knew that--evidently up until the minute that he decided to repeatedly pork this other woman, whoever she is."
"Well?" she shrugged, "Might as well be honest. I have always adored my father; he was my hero, but I'm so ashamed of him right now and so angry that I don't know what to do. He's a liar and what is worse; he is a hypocrite. Don't you remember how he was dancing with Mom so romantically at David and Barbara's wedding? He was all over her."
"Yeah I remember, but I thought your Mom told you since then that he claimed he had already broken up with the woman at that time."
"I don't know if I believe that, but I guess I have no way to be sure," she said bitterly, "I'm not even sure if I'm pleased they seem to be trying to put things back together now that they're going to counseling."
Harvey pulled her close,
"Listen, brat, we're happy aren't we? I love you, you know that. We have two beautiful children. Your parents' problems are going to affect us, but they shouldn't rule us. Give yourself some time; give them some time."
He cuddled her and Lori began to relax. For the millionth time she wondered what she would do without Harvey's level-headed support. She hoped she'd never have to find out. Meanwhile she was smiling once again now that his arms were around her.
The twins were continuing to grow quickly and they were so eager to learn that it was all Lori could do to keep up with them. In her opinion Harvey was a wonderful father and helped out as much as he could. He was kept busy at the gym five days a week--the place was open Saturdays, too, but Harvey had a assistant manager who worked that day for him. Whenever he was home he was happy to be with Gray and Valrae.
The big house they'd bought when they first were married seemed to be getting a little cramped to the couple. Actually, if things went on as they were now there was enough room, but if they decided to add to their family, or wanted to have a man-cave again for Harvey space would become a problem. Their backyard was fairly small, yet they had been loathe to take out the pool for more room. They discussed it often, but had come to no answer and then, right across the street from them, a new house was being constructed.
It was huge and Harvey and Lori wondered if it was being build for a family who already owned the lot, or built by a contractor who planned to sell it. They began to covet this house, even without seeing the inside. Although it was right on the street in full view, there was some privacy afforded by the woods on each side and behind the house.
"I'm going to find out if it's available--and I'm going to find out about the property surrounding the lot, too," Harvey told Lori one day as they ate supper, "If we bought it I'd really like to buy up some of the land around it. The privacy would be worth the expense."
"Good," she agreed, "I'm ready to move if it turns out to be a good thing."
Actually, their side yard was not too bad with the children small, but as they got older Harvey and Lori knew they'd want to add swings, maybe even a basketball court. Meanwhile on the weekends the little family spent a good deal of their time outdoors. Harvey still loved to fish but with the pond right there in the yard he didn't have to feel guilty about spending time away from home.
Back when she was crafting toys, before the twins were born, Lori had made a couple of "Spin and Wobble" rides and the twins loved playing on them. Of course, if they rode them too long they got dizzy and threw up. So she monitored them closely.
Gray was quite taken with his little tricycle and racing it all around that part of the yard with Harvey trailing him. His parents watched him closely around the pond, of course. The twins were taking swim lessons for toddlers at the community center, still, riding the trike into the pond was definitely a no-no.
Indoors they were both getting quite skilled at drawing--no surprise with parents who loved arts and crafts. They'd begun to sleep in what they called their "big boy and big girl beds".
Another favorite past-time was playing with their blocks. When the weather was inclement or they just needed to get out of the sun for a while, the family was usually in the living room with the parents reading and talking and the twins playing at their play-station.
Lori had dreamed of this day when she was in college; Harvey by her side in their own home while they watched their children at play and gave them special attention.
Now she couldn't wait to hear what Harvey would find out about the house across the street. The twins' birthday was looming and she had mixed feelings about it. She was excited for them and happy, but her little toddlers were so adorable--if exhausting. She would miss the sound of their tiny footsteps. But then, she reasoned, there was so much to look forward as they grew into active children; school pageants and projects, Harvey teaching them to play sports, Lori hoped at least one of them would love music or art, maybe both.
And then Harvey told her he'd learned that the contractor owned the house and would be taking bids. They needed to go over to see the inside as soon as possible. When they did finally get there they fell in love with it. So they tendered a bid and won the house.
Work on it was moving swiftly, but there was no way that they could be in it before the celebration for the twins. Since Lori still felt strange about inviting her father to their home and since her mother and he were getting close again, Lori decided she would keep the birthday party to just the twins and Harvey and her. Harvey's parents, Shep and Madeleine, were currently on a long dreamed of trip to England so they would be unable to attend anyway. It felt like everything was posed for things to happen and the feeling in the air was hopeful but tense, too.
Next blog update: Harvey and Lori Ferguson Ch. 17 Last Days at the Old House