Montessori High School
Chapter 5

Copyright© 2012 by Cor

We were sitting around the breakfast table the following morning. Rose had not slept well ... the previous day's excitement combined with Junior's doing his Aikido kata during the night had made that she had spent more time awake than asleep.

Debra had asked that she not go to school that day and, after discussing it with her and underlining that she would not, should not, be spending the rest of her life in hiding, we allowed her this extra day to come to grips with her mortality. It's a hard thing when a child first realizes that her parents can't protect her from everything...

Tori would soon be leaving to go to school (a momentous task since she would have to schlep her school bag a whole one hundred and fifty yards across the street and down the path); thank the gods her clothing choices were limited or we'd never hear the end of it.

As for me, I'd be doing my usual run again this morning ... Things were relatively quiet at the resort; we'd be getting our usual two busloads of kids for the drown-proofing courses later that morning but that was routine and didn't need any supervision by me or any of my staff. However, Thanksgiving weekend would be upon us in two weeks and Chef Jacques likes to be prepared. I'll have to remember to lay on extra housekeeping staff for the upsurge.

"Paul ... Paul." Rose interrupted my reverie.

"What, Hon?"

"It's time." I looked up at her; she was holding her belly with both hands.

"Oh!" I shook myself. "Very well ... Debra; would you be a dear and change the sheets in our bed and Tori, would you please run over to Ingrid Freyadottir's house and ask her to come over ... I'll go over to the restaurant to see if Shelly could go pick up the groceries this morning."

Within ten minutes, the whole of 'Cuda Beach knew about the imminent event and I've had to push away the offers of several 'stay-at home' moms. Shelly would not have to go into town, after all; when Chef Jacques dictated his order over the phone, Sandy offered to drive it over personally ... for years, she had resisted my gentle invitations to come by but, now that Rose would be giving birth, you couldn't keep her away.

Rose and I had planned this out for months already; Debra had been born at the hospital (When I think, now, of how 'Organized Medicine' has appropriated even the most natural of events under its all-controlling umbrella here in North America, I shudder), while Tori was born on the way there (there had been an accident on the Turnpike). This time around, Rose had decided to deliver at home.

Part of what had helped settle it in our minds was that Old Doc Harvey was getting on in years ... Even when Tori was born, he had not been a young man anymore and that was over twelve years ago. He hasn't retired but the citizens of Manatee Bay have been careful not to overwork our dear (and only) doctor. The principal factor, however, had been that Ingrid and her husband, Eric Thorsson had moved into Willow Lane from Reykjavik, last summer. Eric was an engineer and geothermal specialist; he had been hired by the State to supervise the Capital's 'Green Belt' policies while Ingrid had been a professional midwife in Iceland. She had breezed through the State's licensing procedures last August and has since hung up her shingle here in Manatee Bay. Since then, she has assisted at an average of one birth per week. Over the last three months, she and Rose have become fast friends.

Under Ingrid's tutelage, Rose has embraced a fitness regime of exercise and eating habits that not only assured her of maintaining her strength and muscle tone, it actually improved on her pre-pregnancy state. Since August, she has been going for hour-long walks along Barracuda Beach's two nature trails, morning and evening, and has planted and tended a large flowerbed by the clubhouse. All that exercise, plus the fact that this was her third child, made for an extremely easy childbirth. The four of us, along with Ingrid, were together for the birth, alone in our bedroom. Debra and Tori were fascinated and not a little thrilled to be able to participate in this. Both their eyes were as wide as saucers as they watched the baby's head crown and emerge. It was Tori who cut the chord, officially welcoming her baby brother, Charles Henry, into the world.

Shortly before four, that afternoon, Rose, holding Charles Henry to her breast and flanked by Debra and Tori, both with the most beatific smiles on their faces, stepped out the front door and were acclaimed by the some two hundred nude well-wishers who had gathered there.

Needless to say, the Maison d'Or was full to bursting that night; as the residents of 'Cuda Beach, the Willow Lane complex, the students and staff of 'Cuda Beach Elementary and quite a few outside parents all spent the evening to celebrate. Sandy had called Harold and had him drop off some two thousand dollars' worth of foodstuffs and she, completely nude, and Chef Jacques had spent the afternoon cooking up a storm, aided by a bevy of volunteer cooks and bottle washers to set the tables and prepare the side dishes.

About a week later, I was doing some paperwork alone in the office, when the phone rang.

"Barracuda Beach Naturist Resort ... May I help you?"

"Yes ... Hi. My name is Venera Crenshaw ... I'm looking for a place to stay over the Thanksgiving weekend and possibly a week afterwards. Janet Brooks tells me that you have the only suitable place to greet out-of-town guests in Manatee Bay."

"You are aware, Ma'am, that we are a NATURIST resort?"

"Yes, thank you, I'm well aware of that. I would probably have called you anyway, even if you HAD had a hotel worthy of that name."

"Very well, then ... Just what kind of accommodation are you looking for?"

"Nothing elaborate ... I'll be there on business; some meetings with the Manatee Bay School Board and the State's Board of Education. I just need some place to park my carcass overnight."

"I still have a small efficiency unit available at reasonable cost; it has a small bedroom, a living area with a small kitchenette. Of course, if you prefer, we have a full-service restaurant and all the amenities of the resort are at your disposal during your stay. There is an RJ45 socket installed in the living area should you need to connect to the Internet. We are not yet wired for Wi-Fi, unfortunately."

"That will be fine..."

"Very well ... May I have your name again, please, and a credit card number to lock down the reservation... ?"

Debra was manning the reception desk when Ms Crenshaw walked into the office the following Wednesday afternoon.

"Hello ... My name is Venera Crenshaw ... I have a reservation..."

"Ah, yes, Ms Crenshaw ... If you would, please fill out this registration slip and I'll need a print of your credit card..."

While Venera filled out the card, Debra picked up the house phone and buzzed me. "Dad ... Ms Crenshaw is here..."

As Venera passed over the slip and her card, Debra hung up, scanned the credit card and took out a key from the drawer. "Would you follow me, please, and I'll show you to your room."

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