Life progressed on in its usual fashion. Business was good and we kept moving from one project to the next and staying busy. The Police has tied the murders down to being drug related and had pursued several leads but none had panned out. They were still working on the case. They had released the Jones Warehouse back to the owners so that project was back on the books.
Valerie and Jodi were spending more and more time together and I took every opportunity to visit Louisa. She was a very friendly and affectionate woman but was holding back in deference to the fact that technically, I was married. Still, I found her company to be very enjoyable as I think, she did mine.
My thoughts turned to the project that we had a contract for at Valerie’s house to remodel her kitchen and bathroom. I wondered how difficult that was going to be but the more I thought about it, the more I decided that we should move the project forward and get it out-of-the-way. I made arrangements to see Valerie so that I could go over this with her and see her re-actions. I needn’t have worried as she was more than willing for us to do the work sooner rather than later. She needed the work done and we already had an agreement and although nothing was out in the open between her and Jodi, she, like I thought we should go ahead.
Glen had finished up work on Louisa’s garage and a couple of smaller projects and was ready for the next one. I sent him and Harvey to Mrs Browns project so they could start dismantling her kitchen in preparation for remodelling it. Bill and Matt were at the Jones Warehouse and were working that project. When they came back in that evening and I asked how it was going, Matt piped up that it was bloody scary working in a place where a man was murdered. Bill was a bit more level-headed and kinda laughed it off. “If they are dead, they can’t hurt you” he said.
It was now the middle of August and I knew from experience that the possibility of the first frosts were looming large as Labor Day was fast approaching. Around here, the vacation season went from Memorial Day to Labor Day with nothing much opening before and closing almost immediately after both of those days. Usually, true to form, the first frost would come the day after Labor Day. This meant that we were running out of time to get the stonework and concrete projects done for this year. We would have to start covering any work that we did during the day to prevent if from freezing at night.
I was working in the office deep in thought just staring into space and Pat piped up “You looking at me Boss”? “Do you need something”? I shook myself out of that moment and apologized if I had been staring at her. “I was miles away, sorry”. “Thats OK but I don’t know whether I like having someone look at me as though I wasn’t there” Pat said “After all, I like to think that I am well worth looking at”. I was quick to apologize again and other than admiring her from afar, I had never had any inclination to hit up on her. “You are, you are. It’s not you, it’s me. I have a lot on my mind right now”. “Look Boss, she said “If you need someone to talk to, give me a call and I will be very happy to lend you my shoulder”. I thanked her for being so kind and considerate and went back to the work in front of me.
I was busy making out a schedule for all of the remaining work that we had on the books. I had all of the concrete and masonry type work in the front and figured that we had about 3-4 weeks of this kind left and probably another 4-5 weeks of remodelling work. I was not so concerned with the latter as I had already discussed with the owners if the work running into the winter was going to be a problem. With the exception of one job that the client had to have done within the next two weeks, it looked like we had enough to take us up to Christmas.
I made a list of the phone numbers and then called all of my clients with outstanding work and told them when I expected to be on their project and did these dates meet with their approval. Without exception they all agreed and were very happy to know when their project would start and in a couple of cases, grateful we had not forgotten them.
Work was progressing well on Valerie’s project. Jody stopped by every day but they spent most of their time either riding or out in the horse barn so when I visited the job site, I sometimes would not see either of them. I figured to have about two weeks before wrapping up that job and from my perspective, the sooner the better. Jody would come home and give me a word for word of the day’s work and she had to admit that both Glen and Harvey were very good workers and even better technicians at their trades. Jody was spending time away from home in the evenings. She always used the pretext that she was out with one of her many friends of which there were both male and female. Sometimes, she would come in the early morning hours. When I did bring up the subject, she was always out with her friends but never anything or anyone explicit.
One thing that was coming out of all of this was the remarkable difference in Jody. She was much more cheerful and bounced around our house as though she had found a new love. Probably she had and it certainly wasn’t me. She treated me with a distinct coolness and was beginning to shy away even if I accidentally brushed against her. So I figured that the sooner we finished Valerie’s project, the sooner this was going to come out in the open.