An Easter Surprise
Tuesday, March 28th, 2006
Preface: I actually started writing this post yesterday, on Heather’s actual birthday, but was too tired to complete it. “It doesn’t really matter if its a little late,” I said to myself. “Heather doesn’t read the website anyway.” Apparently I was wrong. I’m glad you DO read my posts, Heather, Honey, and very sorry that I didn’t post this yesterday. I really do love you very, very much. And now, our feature presentation: March 26, 2006
Today is a very special day. It is Heather’s birthday. When I told Johnny, he asked, “So is today Easter?” Well, I guess it was a valid question, since Heather was, indeed, born on Easter. And today IS a Sunday. It is at least more logical than the time Jim was creating an event calendar in Computer Class and slapped his sister’s birthday down on Easter Sunday in the middle of April. I guess it never occured to him that sometimes Heather had birthdays that were not on Sundays, and sometimes even had ones on which we did not celebrate Easter, but I guess I should cut him some slack. He was only 16 after all.
I already covered all the salient details of her birth and much of her early life in an earlier post “Heather, This One’s For You”, complete with cute baby pictures, and I strongly encourage you to review that excellent, informative post. So now I will fill in a few more details about the life and times of that young enigma known as Heather.
Like all my kids, Heather was pretty much bald at birth, and when her hair did come in, I worried for awhile about her hairline, as it seemed to start halfway back on her head. But my concerns were groundless. Like her mother, Heather is blessed with very thick, healthy hair, but unlike her mother, whose shade of hair has been alternately described as ‘dishwater blonde’ (brother) and ‘honey-blonde’ (mother), Heather’s hair is the most gorgeous shade of red. It was a lot of fun having a little girl. Finally I was able to use all those dresses and nightgowns people bought for Bobby when he was a baby, and in which his dad refused to let me dress him. Okay, I really only had a couple of dresses from Bob’s babyhood (given before he was born), and Heather also wore a lot of hand-me-down blue rompers and t-shirts. Bobby was so excited to have a little sister, and wanted to help with all aspects of her care. I realized just how closely he had been observing everything when I came upon him trying to feed his boy-rag-doll, “Pockets.” He had his shirt lifted up and Pockets was contentedly feeding on Bobby’s “tummy”, as he explained to me!
All of my kids have raised 4-H animals, but Heather really enjoyed it and was good at it. She became especially adept at the difficult and frustrating task of “fitting” a lamb. For you novices, this involves first shampooing the lamb with mild dish soap or Woolite. ( I know, it seemed funny to me too.) Then the lamb must be towl-dried, and “carded” with a wool-card. Then the real work begins as the lamb is alternately trimmed with shears and recarded. This can take hours. Heather’s lambs were always gorgeous, and she actually won several demonstration contests with her “How to fit a lamb” demonstration. She always had female lambs, and tended to name them after women who were important in her life at the time. “Suzanne” was after our current minister’s wife. “Lori” was a teacher Heather admired, though Heather was never in her class. Heather raised pigs too, but I think the lambs were her favorites.
Heather had a vivid imagination, and invented a scary childhood ‘friend’ she called “Suzie Who”. I never quite understood the entire concept behind “Suzie”, but she was the object of one of Heather’s favorite jokes. “Knock, knock.” “Who’s there?” “Suzie.” “Suzie who?” “Suzie Who is there? AAAAAAHHHHH!” (runs away screaming)
It can’t have been entirely easy being raised as the only girl among three brothers. For awhile she and her older brother, Bob, seemed to have an especially fractious relationship. Several months after he left home, I thought this might be changing. “I sure miss Bob,” Heather sighed one night after getting “into it” with Johnny. “You do?” I asked incredulously. “But you and Bob fought all the time.”
“I know,” she replied, “but the oldest one gets blamed for everything!”
Another of Heather’s love is cats, and around the farm there were always plenty. UltraDad was pretty firm about no cats in the house, but one day, 12-year old Heather came home with a kitten she had found on the school playground. “Poor thing was all alone. It’s mother left it. My teacher said I could keep it until its mother comes back.” And so Brenda, thus named because she was a tortoise shell or ‘brindle”, became our first house cat. She wasn’t really a very nice cat, but Heather adored her. Brenda returned the favor, even bringing presents of freshly-killed mice, and leaving them on Heather’s pillow. We had that cat for years; in fact she only died relatively recently. (See post “Beautiful Brennie”........Bob, I seem to have forgotten how to insert links) Heather’s hands and arms were always scratched up from playing with Brenda and the other cats and kittens on the farm.
Now that Heather has her own place, she has three cats of her own. Callie is a large, gray tabby who looks as if she may be part Maine Coon cat. According to Johnny, who shared digs with Heather and Callie for a time, Callie is a bit satanic, but he only says this because she liked to attack him for no apparent reason. Nimbus is a black blimp of a cat, very affectionate. Rocky, a black and white former-stray, is the relative newcomer.
Heather has been in a relationship with Heath (Heath & Heather….........sounds so cute!) for several years now. Heath is a personable young man, but the trait I most like is his consideration and caring where Heather is involved. Plus he likes the cats as much as she does! Heath is a very good sport, a survival necessity in this family.
Heather, I am so pround of the capable, responsible adult you have become. When we get together now (all too infrequently), I have SO much fun with you. Dad and I LOVED our anniversary gift of a coupon book from you and Heath, and are looking forward so much to your visit in June. Happy Birthday, Sweetheart. Now I think its about time for me to whip out some of those coupons and start enjoying a movie, carwashing, and breakfast in bed. And while we’re at it, lets see some comments, Babe.