35 "The Saddle"-Part 3
After returning home, Jim went about living and enjoying his new retired life style. He contacted his sister in Colorado and they talked. She had wanted to go see their dad because it had been as long for her since she had seen him. She was unable to go with Jim at that time because it was the start of the busy season where she worked. So they made plans to go see him at the end of January and beginning of February since on the 5th of February would be his 95th birthday.
Jim packed up and hit the road. This trip would include a bit of a detour. Jim drove up to Oakland first to pick up his nephew to take him home to Colorado. He and his nephew then headed for Colorado.
This being January there was some snow in places, especially going across the Flaggstaff area. They made it to Colorado. Jim stayed at his sister’s for a couple of days. Then he and his sister headed to their dad’s. When they got to Albuquerque it started snowing. Jim was determined to get his sister to their dad’s for his birthday. She was his birthday present to his dad. There was a lot of snow, ice and traffic and the going was slow. It took a long time to travel and the driving was very tedious in this weather and these conditions, but they pushed on. After several grueling hours of driving they made it to Amarillo, Texas and stayed the night.
Driving the next day was better, though the conditions weren’t great yet. Once they made it to Shamrock, Texas the weather and roads got better. That day they drove straight through Oklahoma and to Missouri. They arrived at their dad’s house just at sunset.
The half-sister knew they were coming but didn’t tell their dad. They knocked on the door and you should have seen the look on his face. He was definitely surprised. Jim and his sister stayed to visit for a few days and celebrated the 95th birthday of their dad. Then they headed home.
They drove back to Colorado with no problems with weather and an overnight stay in Amarillo, Texas again. Jim stayed and visited for a few more days at his sisters. He then drove home.
Now is where the saddle part of the story comes in.
A year later Jim and his sister were talking via texts and something was said about the dad and how he was being taken care of. That the half-sister seemed like she was afraid that Jim and his sister wanted their dad’s stuff. They both said, to each other, that all they wanted was his love, which they felt they had. Jim jokingly commented that he wanted his love and the million dollars his dad had stashed. His sister, again jokingly, said, “Yeah the million he had stashed in the saddle.” With that they said their goodbyes.
The next day Jim, just for the heck of it, went outside to the saddle and stood there and stared at it. The saddle was so worn from the weather and distorted from being outside that there was no way there could be any money there. What a joke, but the idea was worth a laugh. For the heck of it, Jim turned the saddle over. There was undisturbed padding on the underside. He also noted a seam there. He lifted the seam and felt something there. He first just felt it and then pulled on it. Low and behold, there was money there. When he was finished pulling it out he counted it. There was a total of $10,000.00. This money must have been there for all those years. It had to have been the dad’s way of giving his long lost son something without everyone else knowing and then arguing over.
There is that old saying, “Never look gift horses in the mouth.” I guess that goes for old saddles too.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.