Archive for the ‘North Dakota tales’ Category

A Tribute to Heidi

Monday, September 15th, 2008

My husband’s best friend of 14 years passed on September 5, 2008. He tells me that it happened just as he wanted. She fell asleep and was laid to rest on the farm where Darren worked with his uncle. Darren and his dog spent many happy days there.

He tells stories of how she used to “show the cows who was boss” by rounding them up to go into the barn. She would nip at the heels of the stragglers, making them join the group.
Darren was continually amazed by his dog’s speed, and the gusto she had for everything they did together. He says, “She trusted me and just had to be with me no matter what.”

It was these memories of a faithful and loving friend and companion that made the inconvenience of incontinence and other signs of old age in his dog so tolerable. He still saw only a young and energetic puppy, where the rest of us saw a thin and arthritic dog who could no longer hear.
Darren’s life was saved by this once young dog. This was the moment that brought them closer than anything ever had. It was then that Darren knew how much his dog loved him. The house was on fire, but the master of the house was oblivious to this, being fast asleep. It was the dog that sensed danger, and woke my husband just in time to spare him from being overcome in flames.

Heidi was with Darren through the purchase, toil and sad loss of a farmstead when the cattle market fell through. It had been Darren’s dream for many years to own his own lot of cattle rather than exclusively work as a farm hand. He says that he grew closer to God in this sad loss and was comforted by Heidi and her dear undying friendship.

He wanted a tribute written to her, and published on my blog, but couldn’t do it himself. The best I can do is try to piece together the stories that I’ve heard – try to capture the emotion and pen it out.

I don’t believe dogs have souls, and really can’t fully understand this deep caring for a pet. However, I did cry when he cried, holding me close after returning from doing what he’d hoped never to have to do. I love Darren and am thankful that God gave him such a friend in a time when he felt alone.

Darren wants me to be sure to write that he can’t even express the deep thankfulness he has in his heart for the kids and myself here and now.

Goodbye, Heidi dog. You were lucky to have such a kind master in your life.

Darren spent all of his childhood years dreaming of the dog he might have one day. That dog was Heidi, his one and only.

It’s been a week, and Deeder is still looking for the ole’ doggie, calling for her, and patting his leg the way we do to get her to come.

Calling All Angels

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

Grampa and Gramma Harr have their house filled top to bottom with little breakable animals. Diederick dreams of holding the miniatures. You can see it in his eyes.
On Saturday he discovered little candles in the box by the back door. My mother-in-law wasn’t there to tell him whether or not they were O.K. to touch, so he brought them out.
Out of the wood box and paper bag they came. Diederick lined them all up, then sat back and admired his handiwork. All afternoon and through until dinner time he played with angels.
Watching him, I thought how typical this behavior is for his age: needing to touch and handle small things. Gramma Harr has a corner full of toys for Deeder, but he’d rather have the angels.
(Typed up by GrammaMomma, from the hand-written notes Laura mailed to me.)

The Tree

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

Darren planted a tree right outside his bedroom window as a nine year old. These many years later his son is playing in and around the tree. And sleeping in the bed that was Darren’s.
I wish I had a picture of Darren those years ago next to a tree no taller than he was. It meant a lot to him to see the son he thought he’d never have:
• Here, in his hometown.
• Under his tree.
• Cuddled up in his bed.
On this visit Deeder has also received two of the trucks Darren played with as a kid. Darren’s been snapping lots of pictures of Deeder playing with the old Tonkas. I’m sure I’ll feel the same way seeing Deeder in the world that I loved as a kid.
(GrammaMomma here: This is one of the posts that Laura mailed to me to post for her.)

Free Lunch

Friday, September 12th, 2008

There’s a saying that goes something like this: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” I found the contrary to be true when I was sitting on a bar stool at my father-in-law’s, listening to KSBG FM. A guy was reading off what sounded like the local paper’s obituary section. When I said that I’d never heard anything like this, my father-in-law had a smile on his face as if to say how ridiculous he knew it must sound to me.

“Oh, yes,” he said. “All of Jamestown tunes in at 9:30 each morning for this.” He further explained that the idea was to inform the local public, just in case they might know the deceased.

The next piece of information he had to impart about this particular tradition was conveyed with a jovial tone: “Or, just so that the senior citizens can know where to go for a free lunch.” We laughed together on this, with a mutual feeling of the hilarity of it all.

Then he said, “No, seriously. They give out free lunches at these things.”

(Note from GrammaMomma: I received this in the mail today from Laura, so typed it up for you to read.)