(2018-10-05) Relating to Relatives
Katherine runs into Joseph downtown, they talk about issues with young relatives

A mixed day overhead, partially cloudy but mostly white billowing giants. The air is cool with autumn under way. Even a few trees dropping early colored leaves on the ground. As Joseph walks along, he has his head down at a phone. And he's not really a phone guy. In fact, its pretty new that phone. Like it still has a plastic cover on it. Not the screen protecting kind for finger typing, but just out of the box sort that makes it hard to do anything on that screen. So, he's fumbling with that. And, like someone new to a smart phone, he's clearly not watching where he's going. The scrunch on his face shows he's uncertain or concenred about something on that screen. Yet its unclear, is it something he's received or a grumpy frustration over his inability to use the device at the moment (for those that know him). This leads to the inevitable, a bus bench jumps out and bites him right in the leg. "Damnit," he says, more frustration at himself, too loudly under his breath. He does a sort of hop, one hand drops off holding the phone to rub at that leg, roughly, as if he could punch out a charlie horse; not that its a charlie horse at the moment.

Kate watches this odd phone dance quietly for a few moments before she closes the distance between herself and Joseph. "You know, there was a study about people walking while playing with their phone, ten percent gets whacked by a car." She says, chuckling softly. "Did you give into the TechEase promises to do everything in your phone. Or…whatever they said, it was kind of confusing to me." She peeks at the screen before grinning at Joseph. "How you been? How is Ashlea doing?"

"Damn," responds the mechanic, with a short raise of brow in surprise, followed up with, "I'm one of the lucky 90 percent then." That may be a joke, his mouth twitches just a little. Joseph offers over a nod too, "Yeah, I joined their thing, but I have no clue what it means." The social media organizer part at least, which he did allow access to his contacts. Lowering his hand with the phone, he doesn't quite put it away though, "Yeah, doing good, things are going along smoothly." But his head wobbles a little, "If only I could get my damn nephew to stay in line." He may have an estranged sibling, they don't get along, but seems he's in touch with part of that line.

"Make sure you stay part of that lucky 90 percent then, no use getting flattened because of technology." Kate responds, walking slowly with Joseph while he fiddles with his phone. "I joined too, but I don't use my phone very often, so I have no idea what it does." She folds her hands behind her back, walking slowly with a sway. "Glad to hear is, let her know I'm sending her some chicken pot pie domes this evening, hopefully she'll enjoy it." Raising her eyebrows she blinks at Joseph. "Not staying in line? Oh dear, how old is your nephew?"

He looks again, but nothing has changed with his phone. With that look, he says over to her, "Right, it'll be the death of me I swear, and if its a car, it makes more sense." Less exasperated with trying to keep up that is, with a new literal reason to die by technology. Joseph seems grateful, he harrumphs a chuckle sort of at least. "Yeah, I look at it, it gives me notifications, but I don't know half the people." Or he doesn't know who all he clicked 'like' on with facebook or whatever social media he clicked on and joined. "She's meaning to get you some apples from Union Orchard, we've tried baking some pies; she's convinced yours are better." Said as such that its more he's sure Katherine is better. "Nah, well, school stuff. Other kids you know. He isn't getting along with his parents. Like he wants to run." A slight look over at her again, he tucks the phone away. "I want to say, if you need a place kid, come over. But that's like enabling him to just ditch school or something. He's 14, just started high school this year."

"Try not to die for a while, take a few deep breaths and just kind of…let it go." Kate pulls out her own phone and clicks open her app, frowning down at it. "Yeah, this thing …I.. I have no idea why I agreed to it." She shrugs a shoulder and puts the phone away. "Oh I love making apple pie! I spend some time and make them look like huge roses, it's a lot of fun." She bounces on her feet, clapping her hands together. "If she brings me apples, you'll both get your own pie." She leans against a post, frowning. "You know, kids are cruel." She points out, gesturing idly toward Joseph. "Sometimes a kid needs a mental health day too, I hear about too many children getting pushed and pulled so roughly that they end up killing themselves. It's ..it's very disconcerting." She tilts her head down and sighs. "So yeah, you don't want him to ditch everyday, but …he might need a day every so often."

A nod, slowly, Joseph agrees about living a while it seems. "Yea, this is the time for taking deep breaths." By that, he implies the season in general, fall. He gives a glance towards her phone, not to see the screen, but to share his misunderstanding via a nod that is probably unnoticed if she's looking at the screen. "Rose shaped, I'm lucky to get a pre-made crust on the thing and cooked long enough for the apples to not be completely hard." Honesty by ford man. "We'll have to rush some over now, long weekend coming up. Maybe have the kid over," he agrees a little, slower nod to conjoin with kids being cruel. "You're right, I may offer it here. He's in school, I don't know how he's even sending me messages, but if I say yes, he might just leave today." Though he reaches for the phone again, as if he might offer. "Just a day." A push, his screen lights up, he opens a messager and slowly types. Thus, his next comment is said in a slow fashion with pauses, "How .. is things … up there .. more guests .. lately?" Up there where her B&B is, his garage is down, near the river by comparison once could surmise.

"This is my favorite time of the year. You can open your windows, lay a fire in, eat cupcakes and just enjoy the lack of humidity." Kate laughs with delight and she clasps her hands behind her back. "I make my own crust, and I have a special recipe for my spices. I love apple pie, and I also make a decent sweet potato and pumpkin." She waggles her eyebrows and grins. "Parents don't understand so much. They hear things, they understand that it can be hard, but they don't want to bend because kids take advantage of that." She tilts her head toward Joseph and smiles. "Better that he takes a few hours to decompress than just continue to get stressed out." She shakes her head, glancing up toward Oak Ridge. "It's been quiet, but tourist season starts soon, so I'll be completely overrun."

"You know, I think the orchard has just fire pits for the season," says Joseph, meaning not the extra trappings of spooky barns and such, "We should get a little fire one of these nights out there." Caught in his own thought, he pauses, "I know they get wine sometimes, wonder if they'd let me bring some beer." Then the man shakes his head, Joseph lets go of the personal thought on the issue, leaving the offer to still stand. "I think the whole town will be after those pies soon enough, I should order the pumpkin for turkey day before you're too swamped." Still walking along with her, he slows his steps a moment, looking up along Route 10 towards the east. "I should invite him over one of these weekends, let him meet Ashlea too." His pocket buzzes, a text arrived, he doesn't think to look though. "Oh I bet, I couldn't imagine. I get a few extras during the season, the ones that find me, realizing they weren't ready for the snow when the drive out here to go skiing or whatever. I should," he says again, his phone texting again, "Sheesh, its like it doesn't stop." Forgetting to finisht he first point.

"That doesn't sound like a bad idea. A nice fire at the orchard, bring some cider, beer and wine. I can bring some fun finger foods." A brilliant smile lights up Kate's face. "We should absolutely put that together." She points at Joseph and nods. "Yes, and if you want a turkey dinner, order that too. I do a bit of a throw together, and it's not terribly expensive. You don't get all the leftovers that you'd get if you made the whole shebang and do it up big, but it's still a good meal." She nods in agreement, grinning toward Joseph. "You should, I'm sure Ashlea would like that as well. All it takes sometimes is just a change of scenery to make things better for a kid. Lynn is doing better, she's been going to this weekend camp with her counselor so she doesn't have time to get in trouble." She turns an excited grin on Joseph, eyes lighting up. "Stephen helped me get the garage room together. It's got a small kitchenette, a bathroom, bedroom and a living room. It's like an in-law suite. I'll offer that to someone as well."

His eyes roll up, not rolling in disbelief, more that Joseph is giving consideration to the plan forming. It concludes, that eye rolling, with a head nod. "I'm in, we should. I'll have to see how soon Ashlea is good, but most nights are good for me." Gladly accepting the point his way, of her finger. "I may do that, just a regular turkey. I try to smoke one over a beer can every year, but was thinking about deep frying one. My luck, I'll blow something up." Yet, the mechanic is savvy enough to understand frozen water and hot oil are the thing to watch out for and yet, who knows. "We'll throw in for the throw together that way you get more leftovers yourself. Hard to pass up, who doesn't like cold turkey leftover sandwiches the week after." Said with less grump and a hint of love for these sandwiches in his voice. "Weekend camp, that sounds good actually. That just something local, or they do that all over, like near Denver too?" He reaches for his phone as it buzzes a third time down there, but doesn't look. "That sounds good, I should convert the small attic space in my garage to a little room. It'd be enough for a nephew needing a day or two away from my sister." Then he p-shaw's, or pfffts in disbelief, "Its the kid, he ditched out of school and doesn't want to go home."

Kate beams a smile in Joseph's direction. "Excellent, I'll invite a few people to go in on things with us. I'll ask Ethan if he's interested in joining us. I'm cooking him dinner in the next few days, sort of a date thing." Her cheeks bloom with a blush, and she ducks her head to hide it. "I make my own bread for my own stuffing, it's a pretty amazing cornbread." She winces at the mention of deep fried turkey. "I heard that it's good, but I heard you have to thaw it out really good and wash it out so it doesn't get explody." She takes a deep breath before she nods slowly. "They do it all over, they have them near Denver. It's for kids at risk. Risk of drug use, depression, all sorts of things. I thought my sister was going to hate me forever, but it just turns out she needs some time away from me. Away from here so she can process everything." She grins and folds her arms over her chest. "Yeah, teenagers don't really need a lot. Just a bed, and someplace to plug in all the electronics that they use every day."

"Oh Ethan," says Joseph with a nod, "I ran into him setting up for Oktoberfest, well not me, it was for Hildago." To clarify that his garage didn't have a vendor booth, nothing from a mechanic related to good food and beer/wine/spirits. "That would be good, us four and a few friends. Just casual." Which is way better than big crowds for Joseph, and echoed int he way he says it now to her. "Keep our fingers crossed, that or you'll hear about the grease fire gone wrong down in the Willows." More joking, he's sure he can get it cooked. A slow nod, he starts to thumb a response. "We could all use a little get away like that, clear our thoguhts. I don't know if I'd need the plug in, more plugged out." Then he pauses, does a quick response, 'Hey kid, you can come down if you need to, check with your mom.' He doesn't hide the screen. "Its probably the drugs." For his nephew, he tucks the phone away, "Its working for her then, you get to see her still, but just less time while she's doing this therapy stuff in the woods?"

"Yeah, Ethan. The man who never says what is going on in his head." Kate aims a look at Joseph, blowing out a breath that puffs her cheeks for a moment. "It's a bit terrifying and amusing all at the same time." She nods her agreement. "Yeah, keep it small, that way we won't have to buy or bring a lot of stuff and we'll actually be able to get to know each other more." She snorts out a laugh and aims a look at Joseph. "Don't you even joke about that. Ethan took me out for pizza the other night and a few teenagers almost torched Pietro's, and my lovely date blamed it on me asking if he likes pineapple on pizza." She shakes her head and goes still for a moment, nodding at Joseph. "It has been working, and it was drugs with Lynn too. I found some Oxy in her room, the label scratched off. I just don't know how this stuff even happens. I keep an eye on her as much as I can. I try to listen when she needs to talk, but it never seems to work out. I always seem to mess it up. I'm still afraid she might be taken away from me these next two years, if they don't think I can keep her focused and safe."

As she talks, Joseph does regard her and that corner of his mouth does itch up. As if he just might say something, even as she's telling him not too. "Maybe the four of us then?" To keep it small, and he doesn't joke about it, but a small burst of air like a chuckle comes out at pineapple pizza. "It is unnatural, meat, maybe some veggies, anything else doens't belong on a pizza." He says, whether that concurs with the sentimeent that cursed the pizza joint to catch fire or not is anyone's guess. "I hope its not drugs like that," as if some are acceptable in his book, "You're doing right, you find the therapy, its helping. That's more effor that most. I just, I remember as a kid I didn't want to talk much." He doesn't now, outside of a few friends, "I figure he's like that too, but I just want to be there if he does want to talk, but not like demanding answers. Hell, could be whatever he wants to talk about, his forth nites or robotblocks or whatever."

Kate grins at Joseph and nods briefly. "I'd like that. I think he would too, an evening away from the Boardroom and good company." She clears her throat and sneaks a glance at Joseph. "I don't like pineapple on my pizza, it was more me making sure he wasn't a freak." She gets an innocent look on her face. "He bought me cupcakes the next day, so obviously the curse is on the pizza place and not on our dates. Thank goodness." She looks lost for a moment, her brow furrowing. "I hope it isn't drugs like that either. I wish to god I found pot in her room, because even my parents thought it was …well kind of okay. They were hippies." She drags her fingers through her hair and scowls. "Parents demand answers, and I can't even manage to do that when it comes to my sister. I ask, I plead, and I do whatever I can just to get her to talk to me. She often decides that she'd rather not."

There is a slow agreeing nod from him, then a real chuckle this time, not a short burst, but a light chuckle. "Good, sounds like he passed the test too. Sounds like it was exciting, a little heated but otherwise safe." Fires in pizza joints, but no harm no foul? "Sounds like the thing to do, cupcakes. A good fellow this one." No smile, but his eyes lighter, less furrowing brows that is. "Its okay, and now its officially okay. Like underage drinking, its natural to smoke a little." His thoughts at least, "Just all this crap out there, powder, pills, weird mixes. No telling what the kids are getting." Then again, that was true when he was that age, but its different as an adult, its the kids having rougher times or someting. "Maybe don't ask or demand. Maybe just go out with her sometime? Like, I don't know what kids are doing, but you know, go play mini-golf or come down to the races?" Easier to give advice to someone else, not even considering his nephew who, for all he knows, could be getting a bus to Calaveras right now.

"I like him, but to be fair I don't know him that well." Kate admits, wrinkling her nose as she strolls with Joseph. "Any man who steers me towards cupcakes, and doesn't make a face when I get a dozen deserves at least one gold star. Just ..one." She glances at Joseph and when she sighs, her face goes solemn. "Being a kid these days is rough. First there is bullying, which is just awful. Then there are drugs, and they're so easy to get, even around a relatively decent place like Calavaras. Then there is the leadership of our country, pretty much telling kids that some things are okay - when they're not." She glances down a side street before she goes on. "It's hard for me to see her, honestly. She goes to school, comes home, shuts herself up in her room. I ask her to eat with me, and she yells. I ask her to go shopping with me, and she doesn't even want to do that. I think anything that reminds her of our parents is something she doesn't want to face." She tilts her chin up to keep tears from escaping. "I feel like when she hits eighteen, she's going to be just like Sarah and take off out of here. College or whatever, just to get away."

"That's they way it should be," says Joseph as if that answers all of it, but confirms more directly, "Gold stars need to be earned, that whole getting to know each other thing." Even he is pursing lips in thought, sounds old fashioned, but the older one gets maybe the more thoughts go that way. "More serious, better to know either way up front before diving into something too crazy." Then he pauses, as if he should have done that currently, but seems to be working out either way. He'll save reckless for himself then. "Yeah, who knows with kids. Even the City Council seems want to do something. More shootings, more gun control. Hard with this crowd, especially with hunting season coming up. I'm looking forward to some roast pheasant to be honest." He doesn't hunt much but … he does hunt too it seems. "Maybe that's it. I don't mean the running away thing, just choices. She wants to make some choices? Independence and all. You should go up to Denver or Boulder to look at school or whatever, its a few hours." Or more, "But closer than half way across the country or something." Then again, he doesn't know her sister and that may be what the kid wants after all.

"Yeah. This guy who was staying at the B&B for a while, he just seemed to want to jump right in. It scared me, because I've had bad boyfriends in the past." Kate lets out a slightly nervous laugh, hugging her arms, her hands grasping her biceps. "I like this slow and steady with Ethan. He is busy enough that he doesn't crowd me, but interested enough not to scare me off." Her expression darkens at the mention of the city council. "They'll go overboard, and think they've only touched the surface. I hope they put a lot of thought into anything that they come up with. The city is mostly safe. Hell, there is crime here, but it's mostly contained and usually not quite so …scary." She nods at Joseph, a wry smile on her features. "I'll let her make some choices, and then we'll figure out what is what. Sarah chose Pitt, and now I never see her. I try to get her to come home for the holidays, but she always has this friend or that who is hosting her. I hate to push."

"That's it," says Joseph, "Casual but." Then a shrug, not sure how to put it into words. Progressive, something without trying to guide it, just, "THe casual part, you know, you both do you, then figure out where you meet in the middle, slow is good. Glad he isn't scary there." Or who knows, Joseph might have to come up and visit more. "That's government, overboard and extreme one way or the other. They'll do someting, it'll effect the wrong people instead of addressing any real problem." A shrug, but agreement in his feature,s the city could be way worse. His phone buzzes again, "I should call this kid, help him figure it out, he never wants to talk this much." He reaches for phone yet again, "Hey, good luck with your sister here, and the one in Pitt, don't wait for her, go give a visit, see if she'll see you but .. Good to see you Katherine, I'll let you get back to what you were doing." Said as he turns to start dialing the number to call his nephew, "Take care."

Kate nods and she starts to move off towards the B&B, waving back towards Joseph. "Have a good afternoon with your nephew, and take care!" She calls out, power walking towards the hill.

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