The Light Behind the World
Chapter 18: Inversion

Copyright© 2010 by Sea-Life

We were probably in the air little more than forty minutes. I don't even think there was time to get the plane to its normal cruising speed.

We landed at Warren Field around ten and taxied directly to a private hanger, where a large limousine and an even larger man waited. We thanked the crew for a safe and swift trip. "Captain Bob" as I had already laughingly started referring to him told us that since the crew had received their thanks, they would no longer keep our bags hostage, and they were free to go. Of course the rather large gentleman who had been waiting for us had already managed to move our things into the trunk of the limousine. Sheb shook Bob's hand and gave Tracy a hug. "Lets load up folks." He said, as he held the door open for Mom and Ginny. I climbed in after, followed by Dad, and then Sheb. The seats faced each other and we were all sitting almost in a circle. I looked at Sheb, and did Mom and Ginny.

"Sheb, we thought you were the chauffeur?" I asked him. He cackled again in his funny way.

"I'm sorry folks, I clean forgot. Davey that outfit was sort of an inside joke between your Father, Grandfather and me. I wore it as a sort of signal to your Dad that he didn't have to worry about the reception he was likely to get when we got home." The rather large gentleman who loaded the bags and is waiting patiently for permission to get moving is Cyrus Poole, and He is your Granddaddy's regular chauffeur. I'll introduce you all when we get home."

He pushed a button on the side of the window between us and the chauffeur "We're ready Cyrus," and away we went. We passed through the center of downtown Washington, North Carolina, straight onto a bridge that Sheb said was actually U.S. Highway 17. We followed that road into the center of tiny downtown Chocowinity, hung a right and headed North on State Highway 33. We stayed on 33 for only a few minutes it seemed and took a right onto a surface street, and then across a railroad track an onto a long winding road.

I could feel it pretty much from the moment we crossed the tracks. It was more powerful than I had imagined it to be, even with Dad's awed description. I felt its presence wash over me like waves on a shore. If I had not been sitting, I probably would not have been able to remain standing. I struggled to make that adjustment, to regain my balance and add this new presence to my environment. I had lost track of our travels during my struggle, so I was unsure how far we'd come, or which way we'd turned, if we had turned at all. When we pulled up in the shade of a large tree which I later learned was Red Oak I had it pretty much under control. Sheb made the proper introductions to Cyrus, apologizing for having let that little detail slip by at the airport. The brief delay and the handshake helped steady me. I felt Dare's soft nose nuzzle me behind the ear, and that really did help refocus me on the here and now. I reached up and scratched her little throat. Her tail fluffed up and coiled under my chin, another sign of affection. I reached out and took Ginny's hand, and the three of us followed Sheb, Mom and Dad towards the house.

The house was large and white, and had a high covered porch that looked out past the Red Oak, and as I looked around, a twin Red Oak on the other side of the driveway. You could see a little glimmer of water beyond in the distance to the right and behind the house.

Three people waited for us at the top of the porch steps. It was a high porch, and there were a lot of steps. I could tell immediately that all three of these people were family. They five of us, them Dad an I were like peas in a pod. Well, except for the fact that they were all older and fatter than either of us.

Dad stepped forward then, and as with Sheb at the airport there were three long hugs and he turned and introduced Mom, Ginny and then me. The first person to reach out and take mom's hand was shorter than Dad, more portly, and had a black mustache and glasses

"Everyone, I'd like you to meet my Uncle Ambrose McKesson. Uncle Ambrose, this is my wife, Elizabeth Jean McKesson, my Son, David Alan McKesson and his friend Virginia Elspeth Parkin, " it seemed very formal, and probably it was, but more a southern thing than strictly a matter of being formal. He and Mom hugged, and Mom kissed his cheek, and they exchange a brief greeting.

Uncle Ambrose turned and took my hand.

"Thank you Uncle," I said in return. "You gave my Dad a love of sailing, and he has passed that love on to me, and for that I am forever grateful," he hugged me then, and looking at my Father said "My pleasure Davey."

He shook hands with Ginny next, and he was polite and smiling wistfully as they shook hands.

Next we met Uncle Aaron. He was thinner and taller than Uncle Ambrose, but not as tall or as thin as Dad or I were. The process was pretty much the same as it had been with Ambrose, except quieter. Uncle Aaron did not strike me as much of a talker. He did smile at me when we shook hands though.

Grandfather McKesson. Andrew Jackson McKesson. 'Bull' McKesson.

I had heard a lot of things about my Grandfather. One thing I absolutely knew, even before meeting him for the first time, before ever speaking on the phone even, was that his was a dynamic personality. Dad described him as 'an irresistible force'. In person, and clasping hands, I could see it easily. His eyes seemed to dance and their was fire behind them and energy in his voice. We shook, and hugged, and I thanked him again for inviting me to celebrate my birthday with him.

"Davey, there is no need to thank me, this is your home as much as it is any of ours, and you are always free to come home to it'" he took my arm with one hand, using his cane in the other, and he walked us into the house.

The door led into a small dining room, separated from a kitchen on the right by a long counter. Through an open door beyond it I could see what must be a formal dining room, because it had a long wide dining table in its center that must have been big enough to sit fifty people. We made a slight turn to the left however and entered a large living room, probably what would be considered a parlor in the South. There was a huge fireplace in the center of the wall to the right, which I learned later was what is called a double fireplace, as it opened on the dining room on the other side of that wall as well. A grand staircase ran up the left wall starting near a huge set of French doors. I realized that we had entered the house essentially through the back door!

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