One Day

Summer is when temperatures soar and mosquitoes were at their worst. Summer didn’t end the day Lucille walked off the yacht. It had only begun. Mr. Otto spent a week alone with his daughter and for the first time was getting to know her. Her smile returned, her appetite grew stronger and best of all she was bonding with her father. She never wasted a moment to be with him.

She would wake up early, did her bed, brush her hair, dressed neatly in one of her mother’s fine handmade dress, and hurried to the kitchen were her father prepared breakfast. Together they were learning about one another, and her father learned what foods she was liking best. She was crazy about the mini pancakes he made, drizzled with syrup, a bit of marmalade and maybe some butter with bacon and eggs on the side.

Lunch consisted of a Greek salad which he added red grapes to the mix, eaten with a sandwich. For dinner, they would dine in, and have pork chops with mashed potatoes and peas, finished with a dessert of any kind. Food was marvelous, when her father cooked, even when they dine at restaurants, Frida rather have her father’s home cooked meals.

During the day, father didn’t lounge on the deck as he did before, instead he did things with Frida, swam the ocean, and sailed the yacht here and there. Frida was surprised to watch her father sail the monstrosity across the ocean, and like any little girl held her father with great esteem.

By the end of the week, Mr. Otto was in good spirits and Lucille was out of mind. Though, his marriages were not successful he made it abundantly clear that having a good, solid relationship with his children was the most important thing to him. So he sat down his daughter one afternoon and told her that every summer he sails the ocean with his sons and he wanted her to join them. This was a way to spend time with them, and now that included her, and when Max came of age he would join them. Frida was excited.

The following week, the yacht was gone and replaced by what appeared to be a schooner called ‘Otto I The Great,’ it looked like a pirates ship with sails, lines, a burgee with a strange symbol sat on top of the mast, and other things she didn’t know the names of. Mr. Otto assured her she would learn everything about sailing. Mr. Otto and Frida greeted his sons as they boarded the schooner. In the lower cabins, it wasn’t the luxury of the yacht, but it was comfortable enough. It had four rooms, three of them had two berths that bunked one over the other, except for the captain quarters which was her father’s room., which was definitely fit for a king. All quarters had their own bathrooms which was like a narrow hall. If not accustomed to the confined spaces it could be claustrophobic for some, luckily for Frida, she was use to small places. The rest of the cabin consisted of a dining area, a kitchenette, a laundry room and a storage room for food that was only allowed entry by whoever was responsible for the kitchen.

It had just been Mr. Otto and his three sons, now they had to make room for Frida. Poor Frank, the youngest had been moved out from what use to be his room and bunked with Dale. Frida got given his room. This would now be the arrangements every time they boarded the schooner. Frida was settling in when her father called on his children to meet him in the dinning area. Frida, wasted no time, and noticed his sons had also promptly complied, as they whisked down the steps into the dinning area. When Mr. Otto got his children’s attention he began his speech.

“This is the first summer Frida will be joining us,” Mr. Otto said, “hopefully one of many. I want all of you boys to make her feel welcome and help her settle in. You boys have sailed with me longer and I expect you to teach her as well as I have taught you and make sure she does it right. She is all of your responsibility. Anything that doesn’t go right, I will blame you and make you responsible for it. She is the youngest and the only girl on this boat and she will be given the proper respect I have given you all. You are not allowed in her room without permission and I mustn’t remind you the importance of knocking before entering. This applies to you too, Frida, you will respect their privacy and enter only when given permission. We are here to work together and learn from each other, and I am hoping we can get along. We will sail for days and then port by the end of the week. We are all a family, regardless that we live under different homes. I will command complete obedience and respect which is vital and important on the ocean. We only make right choices, and when in doubt come and ask me. You are my children and therefore you are siblings. You will watch out for each other and if you can’t get along come to me and I will make sure to settle it. We will all work together, with that said each of you will be giving a responsibility on deck and down here in the cabins. If you cannot perform the task at hand, come to me and will work it out. I will not tolerate any dallying when work is required, there will be enough time for that after work is done, and if you think I won’t spare the rod, think again. Mathew you are responsible for the kitchen, you will prepare breakfast and lunch. I will cook dinner. Dale laundry room is your area, and Frank the mopping and cleaning of the rest of the cabin is your responsibility. Frida since you are our newest member you will wipe the windows and help out others when you are done with your chores. Nobody will stop until lunch and dinner is called out, and even then, certain tasks need to be finished before anyone eats. That means if you see someone still rigging the sails you need to jump in and help. Nobody eats until the tasks are in order. Also, everybody will be responsible for their rooms and bathrooms. Any disagreements, come to me.”

Frida had been hoping to get the laundry room, but she was new and didn’t dare to oppose her father. Lucky for her, she was use to hard work and began her duties. On deck, were different responsibilities. Frida watched as her brothers were in charge of the rigging, the lines, the anchoring, and other functions that amazed her. She was responsible for keeping the deck clean, windows washed and helping her brothers. Mr. Otto had a strict schedule he made everybody abide by.

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