Car Issues

      When was the last time you went car shopping determined to get the car of your teen ager dreams…

The gate intercom buzzed startling Carla, as she was deep in the closet; she looked out and saw Tim’s truck. “Well hello Tim, what brings you over today?” Carla asked.

“Just wanted to let you know we’re bringing in the brick to finish the garage, the weather’s put us behind schedule by a week. I thought you might want to move your car.”

“Ok thanks let me get my keys” she let Tim through the gate. Carla dialed Craig’s cell, “Craig can you talk now?”

“Sure honey what’s up?”

Carla tensed up and said, “I want to go to International Motors.”

“Why, what’s wrong?” Craig asked, hearing her take a deep breath.

“The BMW and I’m ok, just let me know when you’re on your way home.”

“Ok.” Craig scrolled to I-Motors on his phone.

“Bob Rida, here” Craig smiled.

“Hi Bob, Craig Jones I am bringing in my wife. I’m not sure what’s up, but I think she wants something sporty. I want the best whatever she picks. We should be there before 5.”

Bob said, “I’ll check out the inventory and be waiting Craig.” Bob starting searching his inventory, he remembered that Carla had been looking at a few sporty convertibles, when she was in for the oil change last month.

“What’s up Craig, you look a little bewildered?” Howard asked.

“Carla wants me to take her to International Motors, and won’t give me a

“Want an opinion, Craig” Howard asked.

“Yes boss I do the past couple weeks she’s been . . .”

Howard stopped Craig. “Don’t tell me any more ok, if I was a betting man I would go with that clock thing.”

Craig looked at Howard with a furrowed brow. “What? Oh you’re thinking about the fact that once she’s a Mom, she won’t be able to play like she can now,” Craig agreed.

“Sort of,” Howard said shrugging his shoulders.

“Ok, but I’m still having the birthday party!” Craig hit the intercom as he pulled onto the drive, “It’s me Carla,” beeping the horn as he pulled up to the front door. He opened the
door for her and said. “Well Mrs. Jones slight change in our plans for the night, Steak N Shake or Mickey D’s.” Craig explained as they started down the road he asked. “Please tell me why you want another car Carla?”

“It’s simple Craig, I love the Beemer and all the class, but I want to have something I can just run into town for a spool of thread or the bank without standing out.” Carla stated as she sighed, “Mrs. S is treating me different. I love everything about my new life just want something I can play in. Besides I have the cash to buy it, I want a Miata convertible. I’ve
always wanted one.”

“Ok, if Bob’s got one you get it!”

“Love you,” she said.

Craig thought her pouty look, telling me you are in trouble now, will see about that and
just said. “We’ll see who’s in trouble.”

“What Craig?”

“Oh nothing.” Pulling onto the car lot, Bob Rida came out, greeting them. Bob stood
about 5’10 muscular build, bald, and smiling, very personable, of course he was a Marine.

“Mrs. Jones I have picked out 4 different vehicles that match your husband’s criteria, right this way.”

Carla looked over each of the models and drove two, Craig waited in the lounge.
Craig walked out when they came back in the Miata, he just listened standing back.

“I want that one Bob,” Carla said pointing to the used Silver Gray 2001 Mazda Miata convertible with tan interior and top, and luggage rack.

“Are you sure Carla, can I see it” Craig asked.

“Sure Craig, I really want this one, I love the color.”

Craig looked over the engine and inside, “Got some miles already, and not much room for golf clubs.”

Bob cleared his throat, “Actually you can get 2 sets in there Craig, if you’re not using the pro bags. And this is very low miles and a one owner.”

This must be a macho thing Carla thought shaking her head.

Solemn Day

The funeral was solemn and kept very low key. Carla and Craig went right after he finished working. They only wanted to talk with Mark’s parents. Neither of them really knew Paula’s family.

Howard made an appearance, acknowledging Mark’s parents. Craig and Carla ran into him as they were leaving, Howard nodded as they past. They did not want to stick around for any discussions or socializing.

As they were walking out, they ran into Blackie and Amy, “We need to talk a minute Craig.” Blackie looked around and said, “Follow me. Have either of you heard from Samuel?” He asked Craig.

“No, I released him from my employ, why” Craig replying with a questionable look at Blackie.

Carla answered as well. “Blackie I haven’t heard from him either.”

Blackie had his police face on. “Samuel didn’t show up for the court date either, he was listed as the Smith’s attorney. I’m just giving you two a heads up, Craig.”

“There are items that we found while searching their home. Mrs. Smith
may be bringing them to you Carla, just want you to be aware.” Amy said
taking Carla’s hand, “Call if you need to talk any time.”

“Thanks Amy, you too Blackie” Craig said as he took Carla’s hand and
headed to the BMW.

“Craig this is one nightmare I want it to go away really fast, but it keeps
returning!” Carla said as she started to tear up walking to the car, “I
know Honey. Let’s go home!”

Secret Closet

Surprises that are unexpected, gives me goosebumps and makes me smile. Things we forgot about, what’s your last surprise?

Housework and attic was intermixed daily for the rest of the week. Carla was able to look in all of the hanging bags, trying on the clothes she wanted to keep, being careful to keep out anything that she needed to question Craig about and what she really liked for her
wardrobe. The resale pile grew.

Carla opened the next bag causing her to gasp as she looked at the gown. “Oh how beautiful!” It was a lavishly beaded pale yellow evening gown, her hands trembling as she touched the gown, thinking there has to be a story behind this bag. “Judith, are you here with me today?” Carla whispered remembering the other time she was seeing Judith’s things and the feeling she had.

Inside the next bag was a military uniform with all the medals and swords attached, her heart was fluttering as she thought how interesting, wool this must be CA’s. There were three more bags with different military uniforms. She hung them separately in the other closet. She went to their bedroom closet thinking to herself, where are his dress
blues. There I can see a difference. She left it hanging on the closet door so Craig could see it.

From those first few bags, Carla became more careful as she looked at everything in the bags and boxes. Thinking there is a lot of history here in this closet that I have to talk to Craig about. I also need to research these things, too. She went to get her laptop, making notations and looking up the uniforms. She also started a special list of the clothing
and accessories that she found.

“Oh, the furs” Carla scrolled through her phone numbers and called Carpenter Furriers

“Bonjour, Mrs. Jones. Your furs should be ready by the first week in October. We have had to restitch the coats the thread was very old. As you requested we are embroidering your name on the linings. You have some real treasures here. We have been trying to figure out the nationality of the original furrier, but I assume you know where these actually came from in Europe.”

“Thank you Mr. Burgoyne, I hope to be able to give you a lot of information about those beautiful furs very soon. I will be looking forward to chilly winters this year. Thank you, please call when they are ready to be picked up.”

“Au re voir Mrs. Jones” Carla smiled “Au re voir.”

Helpful Talk

“Well let’s get this cleaned up and get ready for breakfast. How about if we get up a few minutes earlier and go for a morning run. I’ve missed that in the morning.” He said with a smile as he helped clean up the kitchen.

“Ok we can do that,” Carla said.

“Show me this mess you found,” he said turning off the lights and locking the door.

“Hmm, we staying upstairs tonight are we?” Carla said with a giggle.

“Yes Mrs. Jones. We are!”

“All these surprises have made me tired,” Carla said.

“Actually I understand exactly what you are saying. I think it was March when the
first treasure was discovered and it hasn’t stopped.” Craig got his laptop open “Let’s see what’s on the calendar. Ok, my next two weeks are showing free except for work appointments.”

Carla checked her laptop “My schedule is the same except for our appointment tomorrow. How about we do leftovers, hit the attic tomorrow, and work until we finish it Craig. That will give us all weekend.”

“It’s a date” Craig agreed and started to laugh, “Hope no one tries to put anything on my calendar this weekend. They’ll have a heck of a time finding the attic won’t they.”

Carla giggled, grabbing some ice cream bars “Let’s enjoy the sunset before we get started, shall we.”

“What’s your appointment tomorrow Carla,” Craig asked Carla.

“Craig it’s just my scheduled monthly appointment that I have with Dr. M, then tomorrow night we see Vanessa at 6PM.”

“Ok.” Their day was uneventful for a change.
“Carla I’m home, are you ready for our appointment?” Craig said hollered.

“Be right down Craig.” Carla came down the stairs with a smile on her face asking. “So how was your day Craig, get that big account you and Howard went out on?”

Craig held the door open for her, “Yes, you drive honey, don’t know where we’re going, but I’m sure, it’s to a happy place.”

“Craig you’re being silly, but thanks, your Carly needs that right now.” She smiled at
him and landed a kiss on his cheek, then headed out for Centerville.

6 PM on the nose Vanessa opened the door welcoming Carla and Craig. “It’s a pleasure to finally meet you Craig” Vanessa offered her hand, which he shook with a smile on his face.

“You were very upset the other day when you called.” Vanessa motioned to the couch as she took a chair across from them.

“Is this pertaining to the news I’ve been hearing about the bodies at Blackston Lake and a stalking?” Vanessa questioned Craig and Carla.

“Yes, Carla is involved, Vanessa and we’re worried because she’s not sleeping well and it has affected both of us.” Craig stated. Vanessa listened intently as they talked, agreeing to have another few sessions in the next month after the funeral.

Life Goes On

“Oh Carla, I almost forgot, the phone company is coming today. They are supposed to put a jack on the patio, in the wine cellar and the boathouse. Ask if they can put a jack inside the passageway by the doors like the boathouse one. Would you like that outside the wine cellar there by the laundry area instead? Sorry I forgot to tell you Friday.”

“Howard and I are going to see a client today, till this afternoon honey.”

“I’ll handle it. Sounds like you’re already on information overload.”

“I just got the gray matter shook up a little. I’ll call you at lunch time
and let you know about dinner time I’ve got to run.” Craig held out his
arms and Carla got her big hug and kisses.

“Love you.” Carla said as she opened the door for him. Carla poured herself another cup of coffee and sat down to watch the Today show, she did some laundry, got dressed in pedal pushers and a t-shirt not knowing when the phone company would arrive. By 11 the phone company had arrived, installed all the phone jacks that where requested.

At 12:30 PM, the last load of towels was in the drier when the house phone rang. “Mrs. Jones, this is Mr. Jones, am I speaking to the lady of the house.”

Carla started to laugh, “You are.”

“What are you up to Mrs. Jones, what are you wearing Mrs. Jones,” Craig laughed.

“Oh a t-shirt,” a giggle escaped. “Pedal pushers, oh I have to go Craig, my cell phones

“Carla, Vanessa, I received a call from your husband over the weekend,
are you ok?”

Carla answered, “No can Craig and I see you this week some time?”

“Tomorrow night 6, ok?”

“Yes, we’ll be there.”

An hour later, Craig was having lunch at Bob Evans working on a proposal when he heard, “Craig Jones.”

Craig looked up “Hi Joey, I just took a schematic to a prospective client on the north side of Carpenter. Checking up on me?” Craig said as he shook Joey’s hand.

“No, I just ran into you. How’s it going?”

“Great Joey, surprised at first, don’t know why I thought it would be any different than working anywhere else. Actually I like this arrangement.” Craig said smiling.

“If you need anything call me Craig. Oh any word on the Smiths’ funeral arrangements Craig?” Joey asked.

Craig shook his head, “Don’t know what happened to him?”

“Me either Craig, see you later.”

Craig hit the 1 and Carla’s cell phone rang “Let’s do pizza, I am going to stop at the Corner Pizza, call in what you would like Carla. See you soon, love you.”

45 minutes later, they sat eating pizza. “Something interesting happened today Craig” Carla said.

“What? Please don’t tell me you found more jars?”

“Not exactly, I was pulling out the boxes and things on the floor in the secret closet and found a whole lot of office equipment; in addition, a couple boxed Mont Blanc fountain pens, and assorted supplies, two phones one black and one brass candlestick telephones. And a big stack of used business accounting books for the liquor and furniture stores.”

Carla went on. “I already checked it on the one auction antique site and entered it in the computer with photos. Oh Vanessa called, she can see us at 6 tomorrow night.”

“Great, did you say us?”

“Yes it was your idea and her suggestion, is that a problem Craig?”

“No. It’s probably a good idea.”

Lost Relatives

“Jonathon, please down load the pictures from the summer.” Bertha asked.

“What’s the rush Bertie?” Jonathon asked.

“Jonathon, please down load the pictures from the summer.” Bertha asked.

“What’s the rush Bertie?” Jonathon asked.

“Just do as I ask you old coot. I want to see if I’m right! I think I saw Linda Sue’s daughter Carly at Costco . . . remember the craft show?”

“Yes, which one we’ve hit everyone in the Illiana area in the past 3 months?”

“I took lots of pictures of craft items to make and I think she’s in one of those pictures from the shows by U of I?”

“Bertie we didn’t do that one. We went to Amish Acres instead, remember?”

“So please snuggums. I just gotta know Johnny.” Bertie snuggled up to him
grabbing his waist. “I’ll give you something you like.”

“Carly . . . Oh yea, she was Jim and Becca’s granddaughter. The only one to survive the fire . . . didn’t she find out driving home.”

“Yes Johnny and we could be her only living relatives!”

“You remember Carly she stayed with us for 2 years till college, think Johnny!”

“Oh yea, didn’t I call her my little doodle bug, cause she drove me nuts with the car?”


“Didn’t we get a card from her a few years back Johnny? Oh dumfangle, were did I put my glasses.”

Johnny started to laugh. “And you call me an old coot, Mrs. Crazy Crafty, your specs are on the top of your head again and you have another pair on the chain around your neck. Bertie don’t know how you get on so. Ok Bertie here you go I’m going to get us an ice tea while you look. Are you sure, it was her Bertie? We haven’t seen her for what close to 10

“The fact that we might be right here close to that lovely girl, all alone, I just gotta know. It’d be wonderful to see how she’s making out. Where’s the dullie to whip through these, oh dumfangle!”

“Just use these arrows Bertie to flip pages. Honestly I don’t know how you can take these pictures but not know how to do anything else electronic.” Johnny just shook his head.

Bertie and Johnny Kellog spent the next few hours closely looking at the 400 photos for their niece. “Bertie, why do you take all these craft photos?”

“For idea snuggums, I’ve got to have things to do when you go out fishing and then I sell them at the fairs. By the way how much did we make on the fairs this season Johnny?”

“I doubt we covered what you spent Bertie.” He kissed her cheek. “Where is the Champaign Fair,” Bertie asked.

Johnny shook his head. “We didn’t do Champaign. We did Nappanee, Amish Acres instead towards the end Bertie; it was in late August” Johnny held down the key to speed through the photos. “Here, now double click on the first picture there and just slowly look through these.”

“Get my phone I snapped a picture of her when I saw her at Costco this week. Now compare it to this picture. Oh Johnny, blow that up to full page; let me get my specs.”

“That’s her! It is the same girl . . . Oh, she looks just like Linda Sue! Now show me the whole picture, there stop! It was at our booth and she paid with a charge card. We need to look at all my cc things Johnny.” Bertie was beaming.

“Bertie do you mean the credit card receipts? I’ll get your duggie bag, I’m sure they’re still in there,” Johnny walked away in search of the bank bag laughing. “Bertie you need to send these to the companies to get paid you know. Nappanee Amish Acres the right envelope Bertie?”

“Yes, from the picture it looks like she bought a multi colored Doilley long scarf so that’s what the charge ticket would say, of course the name would be Carla.”

“Bertie sit down you’re making me nervous with your toe tapping, there’s a lot of receipts here.” Johnny took out his car keys and shoved them in her hand. “It’s after 2 go get me a strawberry shake and a cheese burger.”

“Okie do key, just find my doilley!”

“I’m back with your treat did you find our Carly, Johnny?”

“Mrs. Carla Jones, she’s the only one that bought your Doilley scarf during the
whole show and the date and time matches your picture date and time stamp. You’re a pretty smart cookie Mrs. Crazy Crafty!”

“Oh you’re the best snuggums! How do we find her Johnny?”

“Let me play on this computer, will see if I can find her.” Johnny put in Carla Sharp Jones
and there she was, with address and phone that was disconnected, but it was a start.


Surprise Evening

“Time out, no more today, tonight we eat and rest Carla, come on.” He held his hand out to her as she heard the buzz of the doorbell.

“What a surprise Craig, you were very sneaky when you went for that water. Thanks, todays perfect for pizza and salad. What’s this?” Carla unwrapped the foil package, “Brownies, hmmm.”

“That’s for later Carla, bread stick?” The rain finally had stopped and the sun was trying to peek through the clouds as Craig and Carla headed upstairs.

“Calling it a day already Craig?” Carla asked.

“Yes Mrs. Jones I have a surprise for you.” He took her hand, pushing open the French Doors, there was a faint glow in the southwest window upstairs that night and soft music playing. A gentle breeze blew in off the lake as they sat on the bedroom terrace Craig handed her a glass of champagne with a big ripe strawberry at the bottom.

“Wow, this is a surprise.”

Craig took her hand and pulled her up to stand in front of him “May I have this dance?” Craig asked and they danced.

“This negligee is beautiful Carla, but it’s in my way,” he gently took off the white robe with the big red roses on it and said, “Very pretty and how perfect for you my love.”

Dancing a little more, he handed her a red rose, stopping for a sip of champagne.

Craig twirled her around him as his hand went to her waist to bring her back to face him as they continued to dance on the terrace. He worked in some more of his very slight kisses around her neck, sliding off the shoulder straps of the silk gown . . . “You’ve got my blood simmering . . .”

Craig whispered in her ear “Ooh baby . . . See I can surprise you just like you can surprise me . . .” He picked her up and laid her on the red sheets she said “Ooh Craig . . .”