As I mentioned in my previous blog post, some of the stars of my new Weko Harbor series have demanded some time on the blog and other social media sites. I’ve just been swamped with getting most of my books up at iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, and Smashwords. They’ll still be available at Amazon, just not exclusively anymore.
That said, Nick and the gang started nagging me about getting the login information for this, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest … and that isn’t happening. So I stopped by to get Nick’s first blog post up. And now I’m going to bed. Feel free to chat with him in the comments section. I’ll let him back on every day or so to check. 🙂
Hello. I guess I should start off by introducing myself. I’m Nick Rutledge. My family has lived in Weko Harbor for a few generations, and we’ll probably be here for a few more. Probably until the end of time because though some of us have tried to leave, we always find our way back home.
That’s not a bad thing. Weko Harbor is one of the best places in the world. It just isn’t where I thought I’d be spending my life. I thought I’d be off somewhere else, slaying giants and making a difference. Yet here I am.
It seems my mid-life crisis arrived … a couple of decades early. Yeah, it hit me at the ripe old age of twenty-three and four years later, it seems its settled in for a lengthy stay. And I’m still not sure what I want to do with my life.
I thought I did. From the time I was a kid, I had everything all planned out. Graduate from high school, four years of seminary, and then find a church somewhere. Maybe start out as the youth pastor, then move up into the top position when the head pastor retired.
Within eighteen months of getting my degree though, I’d been hired—and quit—three positions. I’ve pretty much been working on cars in small service station (where know-how is valued over a license) ever since, trying to keep my friends and family from finding out what a failure I am. Of course, Gramps probably would have said I just needed to figure out what I didn’t want to do before I could figure out what I did want to do.
What exactly do I want to do? I wish I could tell you. I’m still sorting through my options. If I’d done that nine years ago, I wouldn’t have wasted four years of tuition at seminary, and I wouldn’t have done quite so much job hopping.
Right now though, I’m back where I’ve always loved to be. Weko Harbor. It’s where all the people I love are.
For now, I’m running Gramps’ Surf ‘n Soda Shack. I’m living in his big ol’ Victorian house too. You see, when he died, he left my brothers the lion’s share of his life insurance policy. He left me the Shack and the house.
It came as a big surprise to me. Kind of like Gramps dying. I might have had some time to prepare myself for everything if even one person I know had bothered to mention he’d been sick. Really sick. For two years. I have some … issues … over that.
But I can’t say much. I spent those two years hiding out in Ohio, coming up with one excuse after another to avoid coming home for visits. I told myself that they’d see the grease and oil stains on my hands. No matter how many times I washed them, I couldn’t make them go away. But was it ever really there? Or was it guilt I was seeing instead? Guilt at letting everyone I know down?
You want to hear something funny? Gramps knew. Seriously. I don’t know how but he did. He It was in the letter he wrote to me before he died. When he told me the business was mine—to do with as I pleased. He just wanted me to be happy.
I know his hope was that I’d want to take over for him. Not that he tried to pressure me or anything. Maybe this is what I’m supposed to be doing. I know I’m happier than I’ve been since I left high school. And I know the Shack inside out. I tagged along with Gramps from the time I learned how to walk until he gave me my first job there on my fourteenth birthday.
Maybe providing food, beverages, and ice cream to the residents and tourists who visit Weko Harbor is my real calling. If it is, I’m in the right place. The Shack has always been the heart of our little community.
So anyway, that’s a little about me. Gotta go though. Tomorrow is the meatloaf special. I’ve got to get everything mixed up and ready to go in the oven bright and early in the morning. Thanks for letting me bend your ear for a while.