Other than trips to Yosemite, Santa Cruz, and a short trip to Tijuana once I had never been far from home. We set out for a great adventure to Texas. Our furthest point from home would be Branson Missouri.
We spent three days at Uncle Raymond’s home. We went to one of Walt’s football games one evening and to an amusement park one day. We had a great time.
We were in back of the house one afternoon talking. The ground was hard and cracked. I’m used to grass in everyone’s yard so I asked Uncle Raymond why he didn’t water the yard. “I’ll show you,” he said. He took the end of the hose to the middle of the yard, returned to the faucet, and turned it on. As the water began running down into the cracks bugs and scorpions started crawling out. “That’s why.” He said laughing.
In the evening Raymond, Larry, and I were standing in the kitchen. Raymond said, “Don’t move!” I froze. He picked up a telephone book and quickly dropped it right on top of a 5-6 inch scorpion in the middle of the kitchen floor. He warned us sometimes they come out after dark and said we should be careful if we get up in the middle of the night.
Larry and Heidi have always had a very close relationship. We both sang to her from the first day she was home. We’d make up songs as we sang or sing familiar ones. It was a short time before Heidi’s second birthday when she seemed to get a sentimental streak. It was about the time we went to visit my Uncle Raymond and Aunt Nancy in Texas.
For some reason any time Larry started singing You Are My Sunshine Heidi would stick her bottom lip out and begin to cry. It was a real cry with tears and a runny nose! When Larry quit singing she quit crying. He could sing other songs and she’d laugh and clap along with him.
He tried singing the tune to You Are My Sunshine with other words and that made her cry too. There was just something about that tune. It bothered her for a couple of years. Any time Larry wanted a hug all he had to do was sing, “Your are my” and she’d run to him with arms outstretched and tears in her eyes.
Larry and I got into the guest bed and put Heidi between us. We figured we could keep her in the bed if she was between us but she kept trying to get up. I refused to turn off the hall light just in case I needed up but it provided enough light for Heidi to want to get up and go find Uncle Raymond and Aunt Nancy.She was teetering on the edge of the bed ready to jump when I heard a familiar tune. It was Larry. “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.” Heidi turned and dove into Larry’s arms. He held up the blanket. She crawled under and hugged him tight. Each time she started to push the blanket down he started the song again. She fell asleep in a matter of minutes.
The next day we had a great time at an amusement park. We went on a few rides and Heidi got to sit on a turtle. Walt and Stevie went too. They had fun on the rides with Heidi. They both seemed to enjoy playing with her and she loved every minute of it!
When we got home Uncle Raymond played catch with Heidi in the back yard.
When we left Ray and Nancy’s we headed for Branson. We stopped once in Muskogee. We played in a park and found a quiet motel.
While we were in Branson we saw the “Bald Nobbers” music and comedy show. We all laughed hard and really enjoyed ourselves. Heidi even enjoyed it. I think part of the time she was laughing at what was happening on stage and part of the time she laughed and clapped because the entire audience was laughing and clapping.
Branson has grown. When we were there it was so small we had a hard time finding a place to eat and a room for the night. I hear now it is a big city.
On our way home we stopped at the Grand Canyon. I’d never been before. I remember our first look the canyon was full of clouds so we couldn’t see anything. We went into a little shop to kill some time and have a little refreshment. When we went back to the canyon it was sunny and beautiful. I was amazed at all the colors. Between the gorgeous sky and the colorful canyon it was really a feast for my eyes.
Although the whole trip was wonderful the thing I remember the best is Heidi got potty-trained on that trip. She practically trained herself. The first time I needed to use the restroom I told Larry I needed a gas station. When we got to one I took Heidi with me.
I took in her little portable seat, she was successful, and after that about every two hours she would announce, “I need a gas station.” She did so well so quickly we found a store where I bought some cute little panties. The front was just plain but the whole backside was rows of lace. Once Heidi saw the lace she insisted on wearing them backwards! She would do anything to keep those pretty panties clean and with the lace in front so she could see it!