Sunday, January 29, 2012

Snowbound by Ruth Elinor Heston


On this one particular bitterly cold and wintry January day, Mark left at four thirty in the afternoon to fight the elements on his way home from work. Three inches of new fallen snow made driving hazardous and it was a bit of relief for him to pull in their driveway and leave the Envoy to fight the elements on it's own. Marie was still at work and Brandon, their son, was in the basement playing games on his iPad. After just a few minutes to change his clothes, Tweety their cat, sat watching Mark relaxing in the hot tub from inside on her third story 'hangout' by the double glass doors overlooking the hot tub on the deck. It was beginning to get dark and perhaps getting restless from watching Mark in the hot tub, Tweety jumped down from her highrise and did a big 'no no'. Among all of her toys, Tweety finds it far more fun to play with the wooden handle that is an added safety feature to lock the glass doors at night. And this she did! By now it was quite dark and when Mark got out of the hot tub to make a mad dash for the door, he found he was locked out of his house. He got back in the hot tub to 'thaw out' and to rationalize his predicament. He came to the conclusion his only alternative was to get back out of the nice hot water and run around the side of the house, unlock the gate to the fenced in back yard and run to the front door using the keyless entry. He was barefoot, just in swim trunks, no towel, soaked to the skin, and must have come in the house looking like a bug in an ice cube. Tweety nonchalantly was yawning from her third story 'penthouse' trying her best to look innocent of the whole episode. After a nice hot shower and getting dressed, knowing Mark, he probably went to Tweety with a smile and a treat. That is his way.....

Mark Eugene Heston, grandson of Amanda (Carlson) Burkland ~ story written by his mother, Ruth.

Friday, January 6, 2012

My First Vacation

My First Vacation

You may wonder why I have a picture of a cabinet and another of two vases for a blog about my first vacation. At the end I will give you the answer. 

It is difficult to describe my first vacation from the eyes of a five month old baby, so I will have to put together all of the memories that were told to me from various family members. I’m not sure whose idea it was to travel to Canada with a baby, my almost three-year-old sister, Linda, my grandparents, Nana C. and Papa C., Aunt Marge, and of course, my mom and dad. But, my father packed the Oldsmobile on one July day in 1951 and thus began this family journey from Indianapolis, Indiana to Canada. We were on our way to Niagara Falls.

I am told that the first day was uneventful. My grand parents, Nana and Papa, and my Aunt Marge sat in the back seat. My father was the driver. Mother sat in the front passenger seat, but would trade places with Papa whenever they stopped for meals or a fill up. Linda was somewhat of a wiggle worm. This was before child seats were used and so she would sometimes sit between my parents, but preferred to sit on Papa’s lap. She was also quite proud of her potty seat on the floor in front of the front passenger seat. It’s hard to imagine that there was room for all of these people plus their luggage and a cooler full of food for lunch times…but those old cars were much roomier than what we drive today. Nana and Aunt Marge took turns holding me because Mother was quite busy with Linda.

Some time the second day, I began to cry…the kind of cry that puts everyone on edge. Everyone tried their magic cry cures but none of them worked. It was at this time that Linda wanted to try her portable potty…and of course, could not wait for my father to safely stop along the road. I’m sure that Mother was more than frustrated that our Norman Rockwell family vacation was beginning to unravel.

Linda was informing everyone that she made a stinky…I was still crying at high decibel levels…and Dad was trying to find a safe place to pull over. Mother could not wait, rolled down her window to throw out Linda’s stinky…not realizing that Papa’s back window was open. Mother heard Papa yelp, turned around to see Linda’s stinky dripping from Papa’s nose…his whole face wet. Linda looked at him and laughed, saying, “You’re funny, Papa!”…and everyone was able to laugh as Papa washed his face with one of my clean diapers.

By the time we got to Canada my grandmother knew I was crying because I was sick, so they had to find a doctor. I don’t know where we were, but it must have been a small town. Nana told me later that a real Indian woman held me and agreed with Nana that I had an ear infection. She also told Nana that I was a beautiful baby! My parents got medication for me and for the rest of the trip I was fussy, but not howling like I had. I remember, when I was quite young that I felt special to have been held by a real Indian, and that she thought I was beautiful.

I have not found any pictures of this trip, but there are still a few more boxes of pictures for me to search. The only other souvenirs of the trip were two vases that my grandmother bought….and there is a story about them that will answer my beginning question. What do these two pictures have to do with a story about a vacation? My grandmother loved these vases and had them sitting in a special place in the parlor. One day, my grandfather bumped one of the vases, breaking it beyond repair. He cleaned up the pieces…walked out the back door past Nana’s garden, past our play area by the garage, and stepped into his workshop.

Papa’s workshop was one of my favorite places to visit. I love the smell of paint, sawdust, turpentine and wood that permeated the room. It was here that he made the cabinet that is pictured in this blog. This is one of many pieces of furniture that he built and I am glad to have it to display my crystal glasses…and of course, the two vases. But how do I have two vases when Papa had shattered one of them? If you look carefully at the picture of the two vases…you will notice that the vase on the left is duller than the other. It is the one that Papa made to match the real one. It is made of wood and painted the exact color as the other. It is almost 60 years old, so the paint has dulled, but at one time it was difficult to tell the difference between the two. When he finished making this duplicate vase, he set it next to the other one and waited many weeks before Nana discovered what had happened. And…instead of being angry that he had broken her beloved vase…she was grateful that her husband was so talented and “repaired” the damage he had done.

Linda just read this and has an added something she remembers from the trip. We also went to the New England states where we stayed in little cabins in Maine. Linda had her own little suitcase that she carried with her everywhere. She also loved bing much so that she had to be cut off from them. Now she says that she will have to find an equally disgusting story to write, with me being the star. oops