Gene's Story or How I Gained a Cousin Chapter 66

Ellen and Jinny.jpg
Gene's Story
or How I Gained a Cousin

A novel by Karen Lockhart

Copyright 2016

It's funny how things happen to change your life and the way you look at things


While Ginny checked out the Thai clinics, I downloaded a photo of a champion Western Pleasure horse and rider for Ginny to compare herself to. This is what I used to do; wow, was I far away from competing with those horse and rider combinations.

Ginny ran up to me all excited. “Ellen, Ellen, guess what I found out,” she was almost shouting. “This clinic will open up on a further day in the schedule! For them to do it, you must pay for the operating staff and surgical theater. I converted the Bahts or what ever the money's called, into real money. It's only another $2500!”

I sat back in the chair, as much to avoid the onslaught from Ginny, as to think about that revelation.

“Are you sure about that? It doesn't sound like enough money to pay the staff.”

Ginny took a breath to calm down. “Well the surgeon's fee is included in the cost of the surgery, the theater is also paid for, but to get this date, you pay a premium. The staff you pay for are the post surgical team who normally would have a few days off.”

“Let me see if I have this correct, $17,000 for the surgery, $7,200 for the boob job; that totals about $24,000. That make them cheaper than the Montreal or Trinidad clinics by about $5,000, but you do need to add in the plane ticket's cost. I suppose the hotel cost is the same, except you stay longer in the Thai clinic's plan.”

“Ellen you're right so far, but adding in the extra hotel days and the special fee of $2500, you break even!”

“Then it comes down to where do you want to have your surgery done, in Canada, or in Bangkok? Thousands have gone to Thailand, probably more than at the other two combined,” I opined.

“When you say it like that it's a toss up, except I have a date in the clinic in Montreal.”

“Do you? I told you about the three quarters of a million dollars arson fire. You should check first thing tomorrow to make sure you have a date. If you don't, call the Thai clinic immediately.”

“Good advice Ellen, I'll call as soon as we get to the office”. She looked out the window. “Hey it's starting to rain, what did the weather say?”

“Chance of showers tonight, a more steady rain by morning, getting heavy by noon.”

“Then we can expect some flooded roads by lunchtime.”

“Ginny, are you serious about showing Western this up-coming season?”

She thought a second, “Yes, definitely, why?”

“To help you with your outfits, notice I said 'outfits', for Christmas I would like to buy you a pair of nice show boots. We can go back to Paul's store in Andover. This way, you can wear them around the house and break them in, then they'll be comfortable in the Spring.”

“Outfits? What do you mean by 'outfits'? I figured a hat, chaps and a Western shirt.”

“Oh sweetie, have you got an education coming. You need matching chaps, a hat, riding pants and a WOW custom made Western shirt. You'll need at least 3 shirts, two pairs of riding gloves in different colors, and probably a second hat. These hats are often dyed to match your outfit.”

Ginny stared at me with her mouth open. No cavities I noticed. “That's going to cost a fortune!” she exclaimed. “You pay $250 dollars for a base priced hat; the chaps are more, and the blouses are $100! You're talking a thousand dollars in clothes!”

With that I laughed, “Hey if you rode saddle-seat your suit would cost $2500 and then you buy boots and a derby. Kevin's the only one who makes out, a sport jacket, khakis and a straw hat. He only has to buy a hat for $100.”

Ginny snorted, “It figures the guys make out, it's not fair!”

“Ginny, ah, you forget, you're a guy too!”

“Huh, well I won't be come show season, will I.”

“Okay, you win. Look, the Patriots game has started, let's watch it.”

Well, I'd like to say the Patriots won, but there's something about playing in Miami in December that acts as a jinx, The local member of the NFL lost 28 to 17. The good news was, this was only their second loss so far.

I asked Ginny if there was anything she wanted to do and she said 'no', she just wanted to hang around the house. The rain was getting heavier, so that seemed a good idea. It made me happy, I wanted to watch football all day. Isn't it funny, the girl wanted to watch football, and the male wanted to watch ice skating with Johnie Weir.

At about 5.30pm an aroma started to come from the kitchen that made my mouth water. I had to investigate!

“What is that I'm smelling, it's got my stomach growling.”

“These are marinated center-cut pork chops rubbed in a garlic and coarse ground black pepper. I grill them on this special frying pan. See the grill ridges? This acts like a barbecue grill. Then I have frozen asparagus spears that are real close to fresh. As a potato substitute, would you like stuffing or Spanish rice?”

“I know I keep saying it, but Ginny you are a genius! I'd never think of that!”

She laughed. “Ellen it's simple, the asparagus is frozen, you just microwave it for five minutes; the stuffing comes from a box, just add it to boiling water with butter and stir. The marinade for the pork chops you buy in the store, or at a pinch, use Italian salad dressing, pour it over both sides, let them sit a while, salt them, mix garlic powder with course ground black pepper, or what ever pepper you have on hand, then with the burner on medium high, grill them for eight minutes each side. Add wine and 'presto' dinner!”

I 'presto'd' myself over to the table to await that simple dinner. Oh, I opened the drinks, a nice Italian table wine, nothing fancy.

After eating, I rolled myself back to the sofa for the Sunday night game having no hope of seeing it all before falling asleep. During the half time break, the local news spoke of the heavy rains that weren't expected to end until early the following night.

I looked outside at the snow banks. They had definitely shrunk during the day. I dozed off before the game's end and woke up around 2am. Oh well, I went to bed for an additional three hours' sleep before getting up for work.

The next day I saw at least half the snow had melted. Some of the forms were sticking out, but I still thought the work was done past Christmas.

In the other office, Ginny was making her phone pad smoke! About 9.30am she walked in and sat beside me.

“By your long face, things aren't going well,” I said.

I spoke with the clinic in Montreal, they were about to call me with a cancellation, or at least a one year delay. My appointment was a last minute fill in, based on the cancellation by the earlier patient. That fire raised hell with their schedule. They have me penciled in for this time next year.”

“Well don't give up! If you want this I'll go with you to Bangkok, you're not in this alone. Now pick up that phone and call the clinic. You have enough money. Do it!”

Ginny gave a sniff, smiled, and said “Thank you, I don't know where I'd be without you. From day one you've saved me.”

A little while later, I heard whooping coming from the other room.

“I've got an appointment in Thailand for surgery on January 29, they want us there by the 27th for pre-surgery testing. If all goes well, I'll be a girl on the 30th. They are even arranging the flights for two. I think we leave on the 25th.”

Now my head was spinning!

To be continued:

Many thanks to Bronwen Welsh for her assistance in fixing typos and errors in puncuation

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