Happy Saturday! I’m in a mellow mood tonight. When I think of being mellow, I often think of Irish music. If you are worn out and in need of some rest, may today and tomorrow give you the rest you need!
In the heat of San Miguel, Dr. Mackenzie was explaining her theory about the village they were excavating. In the specimen tent she explained, “So when we take into consideration the pottery, both the material used, and in the design and shape, we can see that this village pre-dated the Aztecs.” She was holding a sample as she was talking. She continued with, “Further evidence can be shown for this theory, by this wonderful specimen of a sundial.” “If you look at the details here, it is completely different than anything we have seen in the Aztec culture.”
“Dr. Mackenzie…” Allison went to ask a question but was interrupted with… “Please call me Laura”. Allison tried again, “Laura could this village have been part of the birthing of the Aztecs?” Laura countered with, “It’s unlikely.” “From what we can tell, the span of time between the two cultures is too great, at least hundreds of years”. “We are here so that we hopefully prove one way or the other, whether or not there was a connection between this village, and the Aztecs.”
Jack was so glad he came! He loved every minute of it, and felt like he was involved in detective work, only this investigation was a look into history. Then of course there was Allison. They were inseparable. Everywhere he went, she went, and everywhere she went, he went. They ate together, worked together, and talked constantly. They only separated at night.
They worked in three person teams, and Mark Williamson was assigned to work with Jack and Allison on the north side of the village. After five days of listening to Jack and Allison, constantly chattering, he lost his patience. “I can’t stand it anymore!” He stood up and yelled, “If I hear another word about the classic book by John Anderson, on the Chitka Indians of the Amazon, I will puuuke!”
Laura Mackenzie came running. Jack tried to calm him down, “I’m sorry Mark, we’ll change the topic….” Laura asked Mark what the problem was. He pointed to Jack and Allison, and said in an angry tone – “It’s these two acting like a couple of lovebirds, they never stop talking!” “They are stuck together like glue!” “They act like they’ve read the book, five times each.” “We have”, came the answer, from both Jack and Allison at the same time. In the past day or so, they had this unnerving habit of answering people together, saying the same thing, at the same time.
Laura pulled Mark away, and mentioned that she had some work for him to do in the specimen tent. She gave Jack and Allison an angry glare as she left with Mark. Once they were alone Jack said, “I’ve never been so humiliated in my entire life”. Allison said “Yeah, I know”. With their heads hanging low, and their faces blushing ten shades of red, they got back to work. With gloves on, they used brushes, and tools to uncover fragments of bone. They also used pan sifters to make sure they didn’t miss anything.
They hardly spoke at all the rest of the afternoon, but they worked hard in the hot sun. There were two team members assigned to distributing water and supplies to their team mates on the site. They brought water by on a regular basis. Warm bottled water never tasted so good. The team also had several generators, and one of them had a small ice making machine. The ice was not for drinks, as much as it was for first aid. They would all use towels filled with ice cubes to rub on their heads and necks.
At dinner in the food tent, Allison asked Jack a question, as if a light bulb came on. “Jack do you have your master’s degree?” He explained, “Yes of course – I thought you knew” “My degree is in Cultural Anthropology, with a minor in Linguistics”. A huge smile came over her face. “Jack do you know what this means”, he asked “No what?” Allison was getting excited now, “Jack you qualify to work under the fellowship I’m working in, in Brisbane!” “And there’s an opening!”
That night on his cot, Jack had a lot of thinking to do. It was hard to sleep anyway, and he wondered if things were moving too quickly with Allison. They had only known each other a week. Should he apply for the job in Brisbane, Australia? To top it all off, the Ministry of Antiquities in Australia was studying people groups in India! It didn’t pay much, but who wouldn’t go? He would be insane to pass it up.
His mind was made up though, the following day at lunch. Laura Mackenzie asked to speak with him and Allison privately. “I’m not mad at you two, and I wanted you to know that”. She continued, “In fact you both remind me of my husband and I.” “He died years ago from cancer, but we were like this, loving the work we did, and loving being with each other”. Jack and Allison both looked at each other. “Jack, Allison told me about the possibility in Brisbane, and I can’t say whether you should go for it, but I do know one thing.” “You belong in this field Jack.” “Not only do you do great work, you have a love for it that is very rare.” “And by the way after this dig is over, the two of you need to discuss rooomance!” She chuckled at this, and walked away smiling. With words like that, Jack put in for the position in Brisbane that same day, realizing much of his work might be in India. He used Laura’s computer, and she submitted a recommendation for him.
On the last day of the dig Jack received an email from Australia. He got the job! As soon as he read it, he jumped up and down, and yelled, “Yes I got it!”. The whole team heard him and when they understood what was going on, they clapped and cheered for him. Allison was stunned with joy, and started crying with her hands to her face.
That is how they started their life together. Allison later told him she didn’t want to live together unless they were married. “I’ve been hurt too many times by men that told me they loved me.” “I can’t do that again”, she said. He drew her close and said, “Deal”. As he smelled her hair, and kissed her forehead, she said, “Jack”. “Yes?” He was in another world now, but she continued with, “And when the money gets low, you get to work on trucks”. “Deal again!”, is all he could say.
When they got to Brisbane, and after Jack got his head out of the clouds, their love ignited. It is a flame that will never go out!
I love this story, and the idea of Jack and Allison being in love, traveling the world, studying other cultures! I’m planning on writing more about them in the future, spread out with other work. Thanks for reading!
On the flight from Chicago to Mexico City, Jack Crawford felt like the luckiest man the face of the earth. Not only was he going on the expedition, which he so badly needed, but he got to sit next to Marta Rodriguez, a beautiful Mexican-American woman about his age. He was nervous, but after takeoff she was the one that started the conversation. After she introduced herself in English and shook his hand, he answered her in Spanish. Not only that, he used that beautiful, slow dialect of Mexican Spanish. She was impressed and smiled.
She launched out with, “De Donde es Usted?” He explained, “Soy de los Estados Unidos”. “Claro, pero que ciudad?” she was chuckling now. She was asking him where he was from and he told her from the United States! She said of course (duh!) but what city? He laughed too, and they continued with Spanish for what seemed like a long time. At some point though she told him that she was engaged to be married, and she would be married in two weeks! His heart sank.
If there was one thing his father did not teach him, it was about women, or at least how to relate to them. He was disappointed but tried not to show it. He was quiet now, and she could sense why. So she was quiet too. After a while though, he launched out with an act of bravery. “De donde es su novio?” or where is your fiancé from? They started talking freely again, practically the whole flight. As they were talking he realized he was learning an important lesson today. He needed to see women as potential friends, and not always as potential lovers. He felt stupid in a way, and it was painful. He knew he needed it though.
When they landed they exchanged email addresses, and gave each other a brief hug. He really meant it, when he wished her all the best. He honestly expected to never see her again.
From the airport, he took a harrowing taxi ride through the city, to the hotel, and he was glad to be alive when they finally made it! He had felt like a pebble in a tin can. When he got out of the taxi, he was still thinking about Marta. He blurted out, “Gosh!” and meant it. The taxi driver said, “Que?” or what? “Nada senor”. He gave the man a tip, and disappeared through the doors.
The next day many of the expedition team assembled in the hotel lobby. Twenty people were expected at the site in San Miguel tomorrow, only eight would be leaving from here. The head of the team was Dr. Laura Mackenzie, a vibrant, confident, sixty year old woman that knew her job, and loved it. Jack thought she was beautiful, and noticed her long gray hair. Once their meeting commenced in the conference room, he was in awe of her leadership qualities. She had charts and diagrams of the site, and her laptop contained computer models of what the village had once looked like. There was a stunning Power Point presentation on the excavating done so far. She had pieces of relics to wet their appetites. Jack Crawford was in anthropological heaven.
Of the team members he met that day, one stood out. At the end of the meeting Allison James asked him if he wanted to have dinner together. “I know this great café at the end of the block”, she said. He was surprised but of course he said, “Yes!”. They had a great time, eating, talking, and drinking coffee. For some reason they talked about coffee for at least thirty minutes. They discussed different flavors, why they did not like Starbucks, and how Turkish coffee was the absolute best! They had so much in common, but Jack was careful not to let his emotions run wild, especially after the lesson he learned with Marta! He would be the best friend he could possibly be.
When they loaded onto the bus the next day for San Miguel he made sure he sat next to her. It would be a bumpy 3-4 hour ride to get there, and he wanted to talk some more. She sat on the window side and he was closest to the aisle. His plan was ruined though, when an elderly woman got on the bus, and there were no more seats. He did the right thing, and gave up his seat, but he wasn’t happy about it. He would hold on to the rail above his head for the entire trip. Allison smiled at him, seeming to know exactly what he was thinking.
Odd how he never noticed her hair before, it was short, and blonde, and it seemed to shine in the sunlight. They took off down the highway. “Jack, I never asked you what you do for a living”, she startled him with this question, which was kind of loud, so she could be heard over the engine. When he told her that he repaired trucks for a living, he was stunned with her response. “So cool!”, she said. He had expected her to make fun of him, and it never happened. Maybe Allison was a good friend already……..he couldn’t help but say quietly, “thanks God….”
The conclusion of the Anthropologist very soon! Thanks for reading! You are awesome!