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Heather Gates, Ep. HG 16, Heather Had a Busy Weekend

Updated on June 26, 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.

After the game, they gathered at the Ice Cream Parlor

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A typical Ice Cream Parlor
A typical Ice Cream Parlor
A typical Ice Cream Parlor

Heather talked to Diane Friday afternoon, September 27, 1996

Heather was going about her normal Friday afternoon routines at the stables when Diane returned from the hospital and checked in at the stables to see how things were going. Cletus and Heather said they had things under control, but each wanted to hear the latest from Bart. Diane shared that the doctors had inserted a stent they assumed would be sufficient to prevent another blockage. She talked a bit about the new proper diet and increased exercise she and Bart would both be on going forward. Diane thanked both Cletus and Heather for continuing to take care of the horses and other stable duties while she had been away spending time at the hospital.


Heather reminded Diane that during the day on Saturday she would be working at the Mill during the Arts and Crafts Festival and Show. They had purposely not scheduled any rides so as not to conflict with the Festival that had become a very popular fall event in the valley in recent years. It supported both local artists and crafts persons as well as raising funds for three local charities: the local battered women’s program, breast cancer awareness, and the regional AIDS awareness and support program. Diane remembered to tell Heather that Beverly and Winnie and stopped by the hospital to see both Carter and Bart. Carter had been asleep so they missed seeing him. Bart was fully recovered from his early morning procedure, so Winnie did get to meet him. They had a nice chat. Diane said that Beverly and Winnie had decided to head on south after they left the hospital. Heather said she appreciated knowing that.


Kari, Karla and Heather did go to the home football game Friday night. The weather was good, but it was chilly, definitely sweatshirt and jacket weather. Fall had arrived for sure. Although she didn’t talk to them, Heather did see that Jennifer and Brian were in attendance. She waved at them from afar. The hometown Tigers won a high-scoring game by a touchdown. The hometown celebration carried over to Plumblee’s Ice Cream Parlor after the game, which was also a local tradition. The girls enjoyed talking with friends that they had not been sitting close to at the game. Karla had been disappointed that Trevor Inman did not get into the game this week, but was still happy with the win. She admitted that she had talked to him a couple of times during the week, and he had said he didn’t think he would likely play this week because of the usual match-ups with this team. Kari and Heather looked at each other and smiled, but didn’t say anything else.

They played with a hand-crafted wooden game

A hand crafted wooden game of dominoes
A hand crafted wooden game of dominoes

Annual Arts and Crafts Festival and Show at Homeplace Inn and the Mill on Saturday

The Arts and Crafts Festival split the exhibits between the Homeplace Inn and the Mill on Saturday. The art that was entered in the judging and would be part of the auction were all at the Inn. Art that was for sale was split between the Inn and the Mill. Crafts exhibits and crafters at their trade were located at both venues. Heather spent the middle part of the day at the Mill, assisting exhibitors, customers and other workers assuring that each visitor had a useful and pleasant experience. She especially appreciated being able to spend a little time with each exhibitor, watch them at their craft a bit, and enjoy seeing the output of their efforts.


One of her assigned tasks was to walk the parking lot several times during the day to check to see which cars could be identified as being from miles away, based on bumper sticks and such. She was pleasantly surprised to see more out-of-state cars than in the past. Their use of the Internet to advertise this year appeared to have had an impact, Paul noted, when she reported back to him.


Heather was pleased to get to talk to Christopher’s sister, Melanie, as she and her husband, Richard, and their adopted daughter, Kim, visited the Mill. They were in town from their home near St. Louis to visit her father, Carter, in the hospital. Kim was especially fascinated by the several wooden toys that were being created on the spot by crafters. Kim knew her Grandpa Carter liked to play games with her, so she hoped that he would be feeling well enough to play with her at the hospital. She chose one hand carved wooden game that she was certain he would like.

Cardinal Corner was a special place for both of them

A pair of Cardinals on a limb
A pair of Cardinals on a limb

Tuesday, October 1, Was a Day Heather Would Long Remember

In her early morning time at the stables, Heather had learned that both Bart and Carter had been released from the hospital the day before, as each had hoped would be the case. Diane had said that Carter was stabilized and they had checked out at about the same time. Bart had come home and rested, but was anxious to at least spend a little time with his harvest workers each day. When Jennifer made her rounds, she told Heather she had specifically checked on Sunshine and she was doing just fine. They chatted about that a bit.


With her more permanent schedule as Assistant Banquet Director, at Big Thunder Lodge, Nicole was off on Monday and Tuesday, so she and Christopher almost always went for a ride on Tuesday afternoon, weather permitting, of course. Heather had begun to look forward to their regular visits. As the fall temperature was brisk, they were wearing their riding jackets as they arrived to afternoon sunshine. There was no hint of precipitation in the air. Heather waved to them as they took their normal ride out to Cardinal Corner. It turned out this was no ordinary ride.


On their return, Heather greeted them and noticed that each of them had what she could only describe as ‘radiant faces.’ She casually asked, “Did you have a good ride?”


They looked at each other, hesitated, and Nicole, looking at Christopher, asked, “Shall we tell her?”


“Yes, might as well.” Christopher was beaming.


Nicole walked over to Heather, showed her the diamond ring on her left hand, and said, “Christopher asked me to marry him, and I said yes!”


“Oh, my,” Heather replied. “Congratulations!!”

[Continued in Episode HG 17]

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. And, the proposal by Christopher to Nicole is on the last page of the novel.

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    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      4 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Thank you, Dora. That end is my favorite, as well!! ;-)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 months ago from The Caribbean

      Happy that Bart and everyone else are in reasonably good health. Especially love the conversation and the topic at the end. More joy!

    • Homeplace Series profile imageAUTHOR

      William Leverne Smith 

      4 months ago from Hollister, MO

      Nothing quite like it, for sure!! ;-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 months ago from Olympia, WA

      The Old Ice Cream Parlor...the perfect meeting place in my opinion!

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