This chapter is a quarterly review of everything going on in Denver Cereal according to Delphie. This is what's happened in the last few months!
Review Chapter 2
Hello from Maine!
This is your Delphie, reporting in for your quarterly update on how everyone and everything is going. As usual, some of it has been really good, and some of it has been less good.
You probably want to know why we’re in Maine.
It seemed like everyone was sick of everything — the pandemic, the politics, and just boring old life. The teens seemed to be slipping into a depression. The Marlowe School is off for a week, so Jake suggested that we take a week and go to his lodge in Maine.
You probably remember the lodge in Maine? No?
The short version is that Jake was dating this horrible woman. He thought he was going to marry her and never “spend another day” in Denver. In the middle of that chaos, his father was being pushed by the board to open a branch of Lipson Construction in Los Angeles. I convinced Val to get Jake to go with her to Los Angeles. The kids could take a look at the project. (I knew that they would talk Sam out of it.)
I bet you remember that Jake and Jill met for a wildly romantic night at a costume party. Then Jill got pregnant with Katy and felt that she had to stay with Trevor and. . . Well, even the best plans can go off the rails.
Anyway, lodge in Maine. . . You’ve got the cast of characters. Jake’s horrible girlfriend talked him into buying this falling-down lodge. He thought that he would fix it up and run the lodge as a business. Jake and Ms. Horrible would live happily ever after there.
But Sam showed up at the lodge. Sam was so crazy that Jake got me (!) to fly to Maine. Between Jake and me, we got Sam to realize that he was off his rocker. Jake came back to Denver to fix Lipson Construction. Ms. Horrible cheated on Jake and tried to steal the lodge. But Blane sued her, and she lost.
Jacob fixed up the lodge while he was wrapping things up with Ms. Horrible. I mean, that woman. . . never mind. I don’t need to go all negative.
And that’s about it. It was open as a lodge until the pandemic — or something like that.
Now, everyone is here — all of us from the Castle, from Heather and Blane’s — even the Fey Team and their families came. Sissy and Ivan are here. All of the teens! All of my friends and their partners are here. Sissy’s host family from France is here, too. Seth, Ava, Claire, and her boyfriend are coming this week, too!
Everyone is super careful about the pandemic. So, we’ve been doing well about the virus, erring on the side of caution.
There’s a chef, and he’s put together a great team. The food here has been a-maz-ing!
The lodge manager hired a wonderful cleaning staff. Everything is spic and span. The spa people are beyond belief. And Val found a nail salon to give us someone for the week. We’ve been fed and rubbed and cleaned up. Even me!
Um. . . what else?
Jake told my Sam about all of these hedgehog finance jerks buying up low rent apartments in Denver. Sam went kind of wild and bought some buildings just as we were stepping on the plane for Maine. Then, Jake found out that one of the buildings didn’t have any utilities. Another building didn’t have heat, and one was under a big lawsuit. Jake’s been on the phone with Marco almost every day.
Who is Marco? Oh, right — we’ve never brought him up. Marco helps Jake with all of the apartments. He’s kind of a middleman. Nice guy. He and I are good friends. Jake found him living in the Castle when he came back from Maine. Marco spent the next few years just hanging out with me and finishing high school. Now, he’s going to college and taking care of all of these buildings. These buildings have been pretty crazy, but you know, Jake likes to work. They ended up “renting” one building to the Coalition for the Homeless for a dollar a month. So, in the end, more people will have a place to live.
That’s a really good thing.
Val and Mike are doing great. They named their last girl, “Grace.” She is the sweetest little girl. Jackie and Eddy are growing up fast! It’s amazing to see them together as a family. It’s like they all fit together. It’s weird and wonderful. Mike is still painting and Val’s working on three television projects at the same time. They are so happy.
I was hoping that they’d have more kids but Mike had a vasectomy. There was a lot of drama — or, to be more accurate, he was very dramatic. Of course, we found out later that his grandfather healed the surgery two whole minutes after it was done. Mike was faking all of his pain and upset. (You can roll your eyes now.)
Jeraine is having music shows at the Castle as well as at the casino in Las Vegas. He’s doing really well. When we were flying here to Maine, Tanesha went to Las Vegas to see Jeraine’s show. They had a great time. It was a big splash on social media. But you should see those two — they are really happy, and their boys are, too!
Oh, you might not know about their boys.
Jabari’s birth mother, Annette, gave birth to three other boys with three other fathers after our Jabari. When the pandemic started, you might remember that Jabari came home sick with the virus because Annette didn’t “believe” in virus. She was sick when Jabari was sick, but she didn’t get help. She died in her own bed with these three boys in her home. Then, Annette’s parents died, as did the boys’ fathers and their families.
Like so many kids now, the three boys — Will, Bubba, and “baby” — had nowhere to go. The eldest boy, Will, wanted to be with his brother Jabari, so he convinced social services to move them to Denver. Before Tanesha knew about the boys, I told her that we would help her with anything.
Now, the three boys live with Tanesha and Jeraine. Heather, Tres, and Blane are also involved with the boys. Bubba is best friends with Tres. Will is close with Mack, which brings him close to Blane. The youngest boy is just about six months old now. Because Tanesha’s in medical school and Jeraine is running the shows in the ballroom and in Vegas, “the baby” (Annette didn’t name him) spends a lot of time with his grandparents. We named the child, “Rod” after Tanesha’s father, Rodney.
Here in Maine, this new little family was out for a walk, and they met an angry man who wanted to shoot them. It was really terrifying. But they managed to get help and get home safely. The man is now in a mental hospital.
Maggie led all of the “Wild Bunch” to take care of Jabari, Will, and Bubby. They have been running all over the lodge as a herd of toddlers. The children hide from scary, mean people. It would be hilarious to watch if it hadn’t been such a terrifying thing.
Of course, the media is stirring the pot. Jacob’s been able to keep them away from the lodge. But they really, really, really wanted to talk to Jeraine or Tanesha or get some film of the boys. After Tanesha answered a few questions, we’ve been able to keep the media at bay.
We have some good news, too. Honey was treated with some kind of inflammation medication for her still healing spine. Somehow, it messed with her birth control, and, now, she’s three months pregnant. Maggie is beside herself with joy. Since Maggie’s best friends, Mack and Jabari, become now older siblings, she’s been lobbying for a sister or a brother. She can’t wait. Honey’s doing great. It’s really MJ who freaked out.
Tink and Charlie are sort of engaged — more like promised to each other. Charlie asked her on this platform with the lookout window. Tink thought Charlie was going to kill her. Ha! Instead, he asked her to marry him, and she said “Yes!” We all got to watch, because Aden set up a webcam. It was so romantic. And, a big deal because when we met Tink, she was pretty sure that she’d spend her life alone.
Now, she and Charlie are charting a future together. They are graduating from high school when we get back. And, next fall, they are both going to college here in Denver. Right now, they are planning to keep living at the Castle while they go to school.
Noelle had her first art show, called, “How she sees herself.” It was on the Friday we left Denver. Everyone we knew showed up — even Teddy’s father and his stepmother. My favorite painting was of a green eye looking in a visor mirror in a vehicle. The woman’s face is obscured except for the eye and her arched eyebrow. The painting is small, but impactful. That one was bought by the Denver Art Museum. We don’t know if they’ll show it or keep it or trade it, but it’s pretty exciting for Noelle.
Speaking of college, Jill has finished her junior year at the Colorado Institute for the Arts. She had a crazy year. They were sent home five times for Covid outbreaks. She said that she felt like a yo-yo going back and forth to school. But she and her class got through it together.
Honey is about a year behind Jill, because she was recovering from being stabbed and her Crohn’s disease and the lawsuit and everything. She’s finishing her sophomore year. MJ wants her to stop going to school when the baby comes. But you know Honey — nothing’s going to stop her from working and going to school. So, she’ll be back at school in the fall. Of course, we’ll be there to help.
Everyone is growing and healthy. After this crazy season with the pandemic and masks and everything else, it’s amazing to see that, despite everything, everyone is growing and happy.
Nash is driving now. You should see him. He’s so handsome and mature. He’s planning on spending the summer in New York to learn more about Nadia’s businesses. He’s so excited to be a New Yorker. He makes me laugh.
Noelle and Teddy are planning on spending the summer in Paris with Sissy at Clare and Ben’s home. Noelle got into an art class that’s run by the Louvre, and Teddy is working in a boulangerie, not dissimilar to the bakery where he works when he’s staying at Alex’s house. Noelle and Teddy can hardly hide their excitement.
It’s going to be quite a different summer for Aden. Certainly, Rachel Ann will be home. Sandy’s talking about taking a trip to Europe to see the kids and explore a bit. Everything is up in the air because of the pandemic.
I will tell you — I’ve known Noelle and Nash since Noelle was a baby. I will miss those kids so much. It’s a tough bind to love children and still force them out of the nest. Celia and I did it with Val and then with Jake, but somehow, these kids seem so much younger and fragile. Luckily, they are going to stay with our friends Clare and Benjamin. So they won’t be alone.
One thing I know is that the kids going to have a great time and will return sooner than I can imagine.
Katy and Paddie are growing up, too. Their adventure with Nelson seems to have convinced them to settle down a little bit. They haven’t had a crazy adventure since going to find the Templar hoard.
Jill thinks that their adventure was so terrifying and hard that they don’t want to go through it again. For the last few months, they’ve gone to school, worked on their martial arts, gone to the zoo, and pretended to be regular kids. They’re still doing it while we’re here in Maine! It’s definitely odd.
That said, Paddie’s mother had that awful Long Covid. Blane and Jill have been able to help her, but it’s a really terrible disease. I think it’s nice for Paddie’s family not to have to worry about him for a change.
Outside of regular visits from Mari, magical people haven’t come to visit us lately. Tanesha and Heather asked for the magic to stop while their new charges settled into living with them. It’s going to take at least six months for the boys to be adopted, so they don’t want anything to stand in the way.
So, Prince Finegal commutes from the Isle of Man to go to medical school with Tanesha. She meets him at school every day. Tanesha says that he’s doing well. He tells her that the fairy “realms” (that’s what they call them now that they aren’t matriarchies anymore) are thriving under Edie. Blane tells me that Mack and Wyn’s grandparents come to visit them regularly, but I guess they knock on the door like (gasp) humans. Otherwise, we haven’t really seen other fairies, gods or goddesses, or really anyone.
Of course, the Gorgon are still around. I told Nelson that once you make an agreement with those ladies, it can never be altered or ended. He didn’t know that when he made the arrangement with them. And, according to everyone, the Gorgon are the reason no one was killed on the quest for the Templar hoard.
You probably remember that Nelson’s agreement with the Gorgon included returning Medusa’s head. She healed Nelson’s father, Pierre, in gratitude for her head. So Pierre is here with us in Maine as well!
You’re probably wondering how the lodge fits so many people. It was built before the American Revolution. The entire basement has rooms that were originally slaves and servants. We moved the teens downstairs, and they love it. The rest of the lodge fits all of the adults and families.
Tuesday night, all of the kids are going to put on a talent show. It should be hilarious!
There’s more stuff going on, of course. But for now, we’re on vacation.
I’ll be back in three months!
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