Will Blue Heaven drown again?
For ten years of my childhood, I could sleep better in a moving car than my own bed. My father, a civil engineer, moved us at least every two years from the time I was four until I was almost fifteen. My little sister, A and I learned to be each others best friends because we never stayed in one place long enough to make lasting friendships. It was an exciting way to live because we saw so many new places and had so many great adventures but it was also hard, especially because we were both animal lovers and the "gypsy" life is a not one to have an animal with. In 1958, we adopted a mixed female dog with the hideous name of Trixy but I was soon to discover that it did indeed fit her. She was and still is the smartest dog I have ever seen. She has been gone now almost 36 years but she left an indelible impression on me. She was my constant companion, my protector, and my buddy. She did amazing tricks and she could learn anything that I could teach her. Trixy adapted to our way of life. In 1962, my parents finally found a place that they decided to settle down to and call home. We owned a mobile home, 10 feet wide and 55 feet long, and so they parked it on a rented lot in a trailer park and began to search for the right piece of land. It took two years to find it. When they did and the sale was settled, they named it BLUE HEAVEN after one of their favorite songs when they had been courting during WWII.
Blue Heaven was twelve acres of land, three high ground and nine marshland. Dad had great dreams of dredging up the marsh and turning it into pasture for a herd of cattle. Thankfully, the EPA passed a law protecting it before he could do it. You see, Dad had been raised on a dirt farm in the hillbilly country and having satisfied his lust for travel, he wanted to create a minature version of his childhood home. So he had to settle for turning the back two acres of high ground into a menagerie. We owned Pet and the calf, Buster, Ginger, a Razorback hog named Suey, seventy chickens, and two rabbits that eventually turned into fifty rabbits. Of course, there was still Trixy, the barn cat, Tom and Teddy, a half-blind mixed Shepard that had been starved by his former owners as a puppy and he was so malnourished when A and I got him that he couldn't walk and he had Rickets so bad that his bones never fully developed. Yet what handicaps that Teddy had physically, he more than made up for in love and fierce devotion. As will sometimes happen when one sense is damaged, another one is compensated by heightened sensitivity and I swear that dog could hear twice as far as even Trixy could hear.
Besides, the domestic animals that we had, A and I got to take care of three raccoons, a wounded Canadian goose until it was well enough to fly again, a pigeon who flew in one day and came to stay, baby fox squirrels that only lived for awhile, and observe a multitude of other wildlife that called the marsh home.
It was a wonderful place to grow up and an adventure every day. It remains one of the times in my life that I truly cherish the memories of Blue Heaven and the unforgettable animals that called it home.