That night Nolan got a little bit more sleep despite the roaches. They didn’t get on the couch where he was sleeping and that comforted him. Plus he was pretty tired from the big day of fishing, cooking, eating and playing. Deep in the night when he was sleeping the hardest the lights began to come on in his mind. He saw dolphins swimming next to a boat. In the distance Nolan saw a lighthouse and as he got closer he saw a very old fort. Then he flew up from ground level and watched as the island was split in half by a storm. When he came back down to ground level his eyes zoomed into the distance and saw a storm formed out over the ocean headed for the same spot on the island. Nolan could feel the storm in his dream and for a few minutes he just enjoyed the power, it was like he was made for storms. But the driving rain and wind shook him awake.
Nolan was uncomfortable when he awoke. He could hear the roaches on the floor but he closed his eyes and just ignored them. Soon it was morning and he could see that the sun was coming up through the crack in the bottom of the door. He got up before anyone else and went out to the courtyard to see if anyone else was awake. His Uncle Jim was outside drinking coffee with his wife, Aunt Margarette. Aunt Margarette was a northern bell gone south. She married Uncle Jim when he was working for Hoover in the D.C. office of the FBI many years ago.
She was a Harvard educated woman but she had learned to live Uncle Jim’s way. She got up early with him and made his coffee and homemade biscuits. She sat with him and they would read together in the morning. Uncle Jim and Aunt Margarette were out by the pool, each armed with a different section of the newspaper. The sun was rising and the Gulf of Mexico was the most beautiful it could ever be. Nolan sat with them and ate one of Aunt Margarette’s biscuits. She asked him if he would like some lemonade and a piece of left over carrot cake. He smiled so big and she just went to serve it to him before he spoke. She was such a gracious hostess.
Nolan sat in silence listening to the conversation between them over coffee that morning. They sounded like his dad and janitor DJ, questioning the meaning of the news. They never took it as written but they didn’t let it bother them the way his dad often did. These two were very smart, educated, experienced and comfortable with the plan they were moving through life with. It was impossible not to grow up a little by just sitting in that place and hearing the candid conversations of these two giants of the family.