As was usual, the men were gathered around the bar at one end of the patio and the women were clustered in the kitchen, talking about whatever they talk about while preparing supper.
There was Tiny, Phil, Abe, Martin, Kevin, Henry, Charlie, Hap, Hank, Mark, Darnel, Terrell, Jim, Mark, Chuck, even my father-in-law, Ben, and of course me, Steve. Abe cracked a joke, as usual, and asked, "Who called this meeting to order?"
Phil added, "What is the nature of the discussion."
Chuck said, "You know it's the eleventh already, and I don't have anything for Valentine's Day yet."
There were groans all around. I suggested, "Let's run down to Wal-Mart and get cards and candy for all the women and girls."
Tiny said, "That's so normal, so expected, and so dull.
Abe stated, "It's worked for me for the last forty years plus, what wrong with it?"
Phil said, "It just seems we should be able to come up with something more bizarre or at least meaningful."
"What's the big deal, Charlie said, "I get Shawna a card, Shawna gets me a card, everyone is happy."
Martin said, "I always try to take Glenda out for dinner on Valentine's Day. Last year we went to Chili's for lunch. She really liked it."
I asked Chuck, "You have a bunch of women, what are you going to do?"
"I have no clue," Chuck said, with a puzzled expression on his face.
Tiny said, "Whatever it's going to be, we are going to have to get going. We should come up with something for all the women and girls and have it from all of us, something really wild."
Hap asked, "Now what would be bizarre enough to get a rise out of our ladies?"
Charlie said, "They like booze, dressing up sexy, babies, going sailing, going riding, and fooling around with us. They mostly enjoy that special private time we enjoy together."
Ben said, "That's no help. We can have a drink, they can put on a sexy gown, and we can fool around anytime. We need something special to go with that."
Kevin said, "I have an idea."
We all crowded around to listen.
Valentine's Day just happens to be on a Saturday this year. While the ladies were asleep Friday night, a bunch of us guys got up and moved some truck trailers into the big grassy area next to the patio. Between the two big trailers we put up a cover that made a roof and a room area between the two. The unique thing about these two trailers was that they were both very bright red. On them were giant hearts with the cute saying that are on those little candy hearts. You know, 'Be mine, ' 'I'm yours, ' 'My Valentine.'
We pulled some steps out from the rear of the trailers for easy access to the doors, then closed up everything and went back to bed. Just for fun, we all scattered red rose petals all over our houses and bedrooms.
Inside those truck trailers were the surprises.
Mornings at our park always come early. I slid from bed, amidst groans of "Not yet, it's Saturday."
I showered quickly then began teasing the faces of the ladies with the rose petals. I laid them on their noses and over their eyes. I even slipped one between Mercy's lips and tucked some down in Sue's wonderful cleavage.
Since they were not waking up, I went out to the kitchen and started some coffee. It was just getting done when Glenda came into the patio wearing a bright red silky gown.
"Good morning, Glenda, you're pretty fancy this morning, happy Valentine's Day."
Glenda gave me my morning hug and then pointed toward the bright red trailers, "What are they doing there and when did they get there?"
I said, "I guess that little fairy that shoots those arrows must have brought them last night."
"How did you get them in there and not wake me or everyone else up last night?"
"I guess the fairies are quiet."
"Oh you," Glenda said, "Give me some coffee. You guys are in for a surprise this morning."
At that moment, Chuck came from one of the guest bedrooms, smiled and said, "I like your gown, Glenda."
Glenda said, "Thank you, Chuck. Are those trailers the reason you and all your women stayed out here last night?"
"Pardon me? Those trailers must have been brought by fairies."
"You're as bad as Steve. Just let me drink my coffee and think about what we'll have for breakfast."
The back door opened and Tiny and Ryan came in with Ruth and Michelle, who were also in sheer red gowns. Those two ladies were enough to get the juices running.
About the time a huge catering van pulled up outside, Charlie and Shawna, with their kids, came walking across the lane. Shawna didn't have her usual holey T-shirt on, but had on a red gown like Ruth and Michelle.
Two carts pulled in, with Henry and Nancy in one, and Kevin and Susan in the other. Both women had the same sheer gown on.
Charlie was staring over my shoulder, so I turned to see Chuck's menagerie all standing and displaying their wares in those same sheer red gowns. That's when I saw kids come running from the hallway. All were dressed in red pants and T-shirts. I turned to see that Shawna's kids were dressed that way as well.
My ladies came out of the hallway and gave me hugs, all wearing the same sheer red gown as was being worn by the other women. Beth was with them and had a gown similar to Glenda's.
Sue pointed at the catering truck and the tables that were being assembled outside the patio. "What's that and where did those trailers come from?"
Tiny said, "We can't have you ladies slaving over breakfast. We thought you might enjoy being served this morning."
Mercy said, "Okay, that takes care of the food thing, but what's with the trailers."
Shawna said, "I knew Hank was up to something. He was in the big paint booths over at the rebuild shop the last two nights."
Hank was standing there and said, "You have me confused with someone else."
Shawna rolled her eyes and said, "Sure."
All of the kids were having a great time inside watching the early Saturday cartoons, while the mothers hovered over them and getting them juice in little pouches with straws to start their day.
I kept watch and saw a bunch of women in red harem clothing get out of some vans and disappear between the truck trailers. The surprise was set.
After we ate, Phil stood on a chair and hollered. "Happy Valentine's Day, ladies. In this coffee can, I have numbers from one to fifty. I think that will cover it. Each of you will pull a number and we will escort you, beginning with the lowest number to begin your Valentine present."
.... There is more of this story ...