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Heather Gates, Ep. HG 14, Heather Listened Closely to Family and Friends

Updated on June 12, 2018
Homeplace Series profile image

Dr. Bill's first passion is family history. His second is a passion for creating family saga, historical fiction stories that share it.

They had pizza together

A pepperoni pizza
A pepperoni pizza

Paul and Heather at the cottage, Sunday evening, Sept. 20th, 1996

Paul and Heather had closed the Mill together earlier in the evening. It had been a busier than expected day. They decided to go into town, pick up a pizza and take it back to the cottage for a late supper. Along the way Heather had brought Paul up to date on her FFA Horse Project. Paul enjoyed seeing the sparkle in Heather’s eye as she talked about it. The pizza was very good, as well.

Before long, the conversation got around to the upcoming visit from Beverly. According to the schedule that Paul had gotten from Karen, Beverly would probably want to spend some time with Heather after school on Wednesday, it appeared. They would wait for Beverly to call and set it up, but they would be ready to say, “Yes, that would be a good time.” They agreed that Beverly meant to be a good mother, and that they would do everything they could to give her the opportunity to do that. In the past, there had been many times when Beverly only thought of herself, and not what the effect was on the others around her. Moving away permanently was certainly a symptom of that.

However, in recent years, and confirmed by Karen’s recent call, Beverly seemed to be focused on ‘doing the right things.’ Perhaps it was the influence of the new husband. Time would tell. Paul and Heather talked about how important it was to be pleased that Beverly was visiting, and make the time spent here, this next week, as pleasant as possible for everyone involved. They were certainly both looking forward to meeting “Winnie” on Thursday. They had heard nothing but good things about him, but he seemed like he would be so different. They knew he had grown children from a first marriage, and that the first wife had died. Beverly was working for him, at the time, and before long they had married in his mansion. That was about as much as Beverly had shared, so far. What would come next, with this visit?

Brian used a Penske Rental Truck to move to Oak Springs

A typical Penske Rental Truck
A typical Penske Rental Truck

Jennifer and Heather talked early Monday morning at the stables

Heather approached Jennifer about her weekend, “So, fill me in on your eventful weekend.”

“Well, Saturday afternoon, I had a farmer call, needed me to come examine one of his horses that he feared had been injured.” Jennifer replied, with a straight face.

“I’m sure you took care of that just fine. When did you see Brian first and last?”

“Oh, that part of the weekend…” Jennifer smiled, flushed a bit, and plunged ahead with a brief summary of her weekend time spent with Brian. She realized she really wanted to talk about it, and Heather, she was learning, was really an excellent person to share her feelings with. She was kind, and not too nosey. Jennifer went on to share that Brian had come out Saturday evening, they shared a pizza, and talked about his move to his Dad’s house in town and then about some family history stuff.

“And on Sunday?” Heather hardly gave Jennifer time to catch her breath.

“He needed to take the rental truck back to Penske’s in Springfield. So, he asked me to drive up with him in the morning to do that. We had lunch, and then spent a couple of hours at the Genealogy and Local History Section at the Springfield-Greene County Public Library. That was fun.” She went on to explain that Brian had a family branch that had settled near Springfield over a hundred years ago. He wanted to begin seeing if there was anything about them in the Centennial county histories.

Heather asked Jennifer to tell her more about these county histories. Jennifer explained how she had learned about them on one of her trips to the Independence library. One of aides there explained that most counties around the country had a project in 1876, for the centennial, to write and publish a county history of their counties. Most had many biographical sketches of prominent local families, even in the rural counties. They could be very useful in finding out information that was not available anywhere else. If you knew of a family that was in a certain county in 1876, it was a great place to find details. Not every family was included, of course, Jennifer added. But, if it was, it would be a treasure trove of family details.

As they talked, Heather suddenly realized the bus might already be outside. She hurried off to catch it.

The Genealogy and Local History section in the Library Center

The entrance to the Library Center of the Springfield-Greene County Public Library
The entrance to the Library Center of the Springfield-Greene County Public Library

Heather watched from afar as Christopher and Nicole went for a late afternoon ride

Heather was finishing her stable tasks when she saw Christopher and Nicole arrive to take their horses for a ride. It was a beautiful early fall afternoon with the fall leaves in full color. This was one of the joys of living in the Southern Missouri Ozarks, for sure. Chase ran to meet them and stayed by their side as they prepared for their rides. Christopher indicated to Heather, and Cletus, that they would do that themselves, today. Heather was pleased to let them. She could see they were talking all the time as they slowly saddled their horses. They seemed to enjoy the process, today.

Heather could see Chase lead the way for Nicole on Maggie and Christopher on Shadow as the started down the trail path in the pasture. Chase was frisky, today, and many birds fluttered into the air as he approached them, along the trail. The view across the pasture towards the forest along the river was spectacular in the late afternoon sunlight.

Heather could see they were headed for their favorite spot in Cardinal Corner. She had noticed that they had each taken an apple for the horses and some favorite doggie treats to enjoy half-way through their ride, along with some trail-mix for themselves. Heather imagined in her own mind what it would be like at trails end, to walk hand-in-hand with someone special, as the animals rested. To talk about the area, and the special things they were considering today. Would she do that one day? Would she have someone special, one day, to ride on Sunshine with out to Cardinal Corner? Someone to share special thoughts with? It seemed a long time away, but, at the same time, she realized this might be the first time she had seriously had these thoughts. Oh, my!

[Continued in Episode HG 15]

Author’s Note

This series of stories in the life of Heather Gates, a fictional character in The Homeplace Saga series of family saga, historical fiction stories (home blog found at thehomeplaceseries dot blogspot dot com), is being created as a way to use a minor character in the early writings to expand those stories and share details omitted in those earlier writings within the original overarching themes. These newly included details may have been left out of the earlier stories through editing or they may have seemed unrelated to central themes at the time. With the expansion of the entire Saga, over the years, it has become obvious that filling in some of the gaps in the story for overall better understanding of the individuals, their families, and their interactions would be useful to The Homeplace Saga body of work in total. These episodes parallel the timeline of “The Homeplace Revisited” novel in this series.

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    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      13 months ago from Hollister, MO

      For sure, Bill. Thanks for stopping by so soon after a busy day at the Farmer's Market!! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      13 months ago from Olympia, WA

      We all have roots buried deep which are as much a part of us as breathing.

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      13 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you for your visit and comment, Mary. Much appreciated. Family relationships are critical to each of us, for sure. ;-)

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      13 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I still go home to the place I grew up in and our house is still there and family, too. Many of our friends are still around. We share so many memories together and we also get to know the next generation in the different families.


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