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The Jacksons

From the Sept. 18, 2014 issue of the Manitoba Co-operator

How did this happen?” Rose Jackson stood at the window staring out into the yard. Andrew looked up from his newspaper.

“How did what happen?” he asked.

“It’s September the 14th,” said Rose. “I could have sworn that just yesterday it was June. And now it’s halfway through September and Calgary is buried under six feet of snow.”

“Look on the bright side,” said Andrew.

“What bright side?” said Rose.

“Calgary is buried under six feet of snow,” said Andrew.

Rose turned away from the window and sat down at the table. “It’s true that couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of people,” said Rose, “but still it seems awfully sudden.”

Andrew nodded sympathetically. “I know it’s hard to adjust,” said Andrew, “but it’s not like it’s never happened before.”

Rose was undeterred. “It seems like it was just a few weeks ago we were at the lake complaining that it was too hot to sleep at night,” she said.

“That was just a few weeks ago,” said Andrew. He paused and folded up the paper. “You’re right though,” he agreed, “this is too sudden.” He stared at the window for a moment. “It seems to me there was something we were going to do this summer that we didn’t get done. I can’t think what it was.”

“We were going to move,” said Rose. “But we didn’t get around to it, and now here it is halfway through September, and Calgary is buried under six feet of snow.”

“You already said that,” said Andrew.

“I know,” said Rose, “but it cheers me up a bit when I say it again.”

“We were going to move,” said Andrew. “That’s right. Why didn’t we, again?”

“Because we were going to move in summer,” said Rose, “but summer only lasted a day and a half.”

“Right,” said Andrew. “And it wasn’t the day and a half we were expecting.”

There was a moment of silence while they both stared at the window.

“Seriously though,” said Rose, “I feel like the summer just completely got away from us. I kept thinking, Jennifer’s going to university in September, and then I’d think that’s so far way. And now she’s gone.”

“Look on the bright side,” said Andrew again.

“What bright side?” said Rose.

“Now she’s gone,” said Andrew.

“That’s not funny,” said Rose, and then paused. “Well actually it is, kind of.”

“So,” said Andrew, “now that summer is over and happiness is a thing of the past anyway, we might as well figure out the moving thing. We need to make a plan.”

“We need to have an official meeting of the Jackson Agricultural Consortium,” said Rose. “To figure out which things everybody wants to move and which things can just stay where they are.”

“Maybe everything can stay where it is,” said Andrew. “Maybe one morning we’ll all co-ordinate our watches and at exactly 10 o’clock everyone will get in their cars and then we’ll drive to Brady and Amanda’s house and Brady and Amanda will drive to Randy and Jackie’s house and Randy and Jackie will drive to our house and… And then we’ll all just stay there. It’ll be the simplest move in history.”

Rose pondered that for a moment. “That would certainly be an upgrade to my wardrobe,” she said.

“I would also get a much better TV,” said Andrew. “Can you imagine? We’ll have a colour TV! And no rabbit ears!”

Rose laughed. “We will also have a Playstation and a Nintendo and an Xcube,” she said.

“I think it’s called an Xbox,” said Andrew.

“Whatever,” said Rose. “We don’t need an Xbox. We already have lots of boxes.”

“That’s true,” said Andrew. “Plus, if we suddenly have an Xbox and Brady and Amanda don’t, then they’ll be at our house all the time. Which would be fine if they didn’t just play Xbox all the time.”

“That’s why we need to have a planning meeting,” said Rose. “Because I think we should just leave our furniture here for Randy and Jackie, which means they can leave theirs for Brady and Amanda. But only if everybody thinks that’s a good idea. If somebody has a favourite armchair or something they should be able to take it with them.”

“I don’t have a favourite armchair,” said Andrew, “but I intend to get one after we move.”

“Oh do you now?” said Rose.

“I do,” said Andrew. “I intend to get an electrically powered La-Z-Boy recliner. The kind that I can drive to the fridge to get a beer and that tilts forward and helps me stand up when it’s time to go to the bed.”

“Will it also drive you over to my new hot tub and dump you in?” said Rose.

“Of course,” said Andrew.

“We’ll have to get two then,” said Rose.

Andrew grinned. “I’ll order them tomorrow,” he said.



By Rollin Penner

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