Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Shep Ferguson Family Ch. 3

It was summer and time for the twins to celebrate an important birthday for they would become teenagers today. Madeleine brought in two cakes. Jeannie Walton had been a guest for dinner and she celebrated along with the family. Both Holly and Harvey were fairly happy with the way they looked. Madeleine became a little teary-eyed while Debbie realized she had lost her playmates. On the other hand, Holly pointed out, they'd soon be getting cars (at least they hoped they'd be getting cars) and then they could take her places, like to the roller rink and the Dairy Queen. That perked Debbie up quite a bit.

Her youngest three children were growing up. Time was moving faster and faster it seemed to Madeleine. So much was changing Madeleine reflected, except us. Me and Shep. She had worn her hair the same way since before she even met Shep. He loved it like that, but…Madeline was definitely feeling a need to update herself. A new hairstyle would be just the thing. Besides she didn’t want to wear a chignon into old age. Platinum hair in a chignon was one thing; white hair in a “bun” was another. She wasn’t ready to leave her hair its natural color which would probably be nearly white, so she went to the Golden Shears beauty salon in a nearby town and got her hair cut and styled. She loved it and afterward treated herself to a few new outfits as well, but in the meantime Shep nearly had heart failure. He was feeling the years too, his hairline had receded quite a lot in the last few years, so he understood why she would want a change although he told her had no intention of buying a “rug” or getting hair plugs. Like it or not, it was their time to become the older generation. Madeleine told him she liked him just as he was. No sooner did Debbie see her mother’s new hairdo than she said she must have her hair cut too.

“I just want it all chopped off—I need a change!” Debbie said airily, in almost the very same words Madeleine had used. So she took Debbie to the same hair stylist and let her choose an easy care wash and go style.

Now that her shyness was going away little by little, Debbie made more new friends, including little Janice Blackford. 

One Friday night Holly invited Gareth Caswell over. They were friends and had been friends since they were quite small. 

They’d had kind of a thing for each other as well, but only recently had Holly begun thinking of Gareth as a serious romantic prospect. Gareth had never asked her out, but they frequently met up town, Holly would come with one or two of her friends, Gareth would do the same, but they would spend most of the evening together. Her mother said Holly should just ask him to dinner, he used to come all the time as a child and Holly used to eat at his house, until they went through a shy period. Gareth seemed happy to come over. They already had one guest with Gareth and then Debbie brought home Janice to eat with them.
After supper Gareth kissed Holly out on the front porch and asked her to go out the next night. All the gang were going to the Arcade in Bluewater, but he wanted to pick her up separately and go by Sam's to grab a bite to eat first. Then they would meet the others. Soon they were an item.

“Does that kid live here or what?” Shep asked Madeleine one night after Gareth left. She just smiled,

“Don’t be such an old poop. Try to think back and remember your first love.”

“Oh. Yeah, that’s right…way back then,” he drawled in his Shep Ferguson way, taking Madeleine in his arms, “Hmmm, I think it’s coming back to me.”

One afternoon when Holly waited for Gareth to get there she was all smiles. But she did have to shoo Harvey, out of the room. He'd been jamming to his MP3, making goofy faces.

“Please, Harv---I need privacy!”

“Yeah I’ll bet; just so you and Caswell can suck face,” then he shrugged, “Well, I gotta practice anyway.” He started to trudge upstairs to the third floor where his drums were stowed.

“You should talk, you practically dive-bombed Lori at the Arcades two nights ago--I saw her jump!” she yelled up the stairs then grumbled under her breath, “At least Gareth and I don’t make out in public.”

"Let's have a little less noise out there," Shep called out from the art studio.

Holly fretted a moment. She had a strong suspicion Gareth wanted to ask her something. Something like 'will you go steady with me?'. A boy couldn’t ask this kind of thing if there were distractions or intrusions. Her dad was painting as usual, her mom was sewing, both of them in the back studio. As long as she and Gareth were quiet Holly thought her parents would stay put. Debbie was in the playroom on the 2nd floor. Until Madeleine called her to have a bedtime snack, she would stay up there. Holly could hear her chattering to herself as she colored. Just as she heard Gareth’s car come rumbling up, Harvey hit the drums full force.

As a rule she and Gareth sat down on the love-seat and put the TV on. They’d watch about five minutes then he’d pull her onto his lap. It might be 10 minutes more before they started seriously kissing. It was a gradual thing.

Tonight Gareth moved a little faster. Maybe it was the drums. Harvey was still torturing those skins at a breakneck pace. Suddenly Gareth broke off for a moment, slightly breathless, “I need to ask you something.” 

Holly’s heart started going like a trip-hammer, “Yes?”

Gareth was not a shy boy as a rule, nor ever at a loss for words, but he seemed hesitant this time. His baby blue eyes looked into hers,

“You know you’re really special to me, I mean you’re more than just a friend, you know? So I was thinking, it’s been enough time, I mean…I was wondering, if maybe we ought to…I mean maybe you’d like to…Sheesh, I suck at this,” he finally laughed, “Okay, I’ll just say it, do you want to go steady with me?”

Holly pretended outrage,

“Gareth John Caswell, if you don’t know we’ve been going steady since we were 8 years old, then I give up!”  He looked startled.

Then she smiled, “Yes, Gareth, I do want to go steady with you.”

The drums were louder than ever, Harvey was going all out. He was trying to do the drum solo from Wipeout. It was considered one of the all time classics and he had temporarily swiped the old record by the Surfaris from his parent’s collection.

Usually, after Madeleine thought it had certainly been long enough she would pop her head in from the kitchen or dining room and say, “Don’t you two think you should come up for air?”

Then she would offer a bribe, “I’ve got cherry cheesecake…”

Holly and Gareth almost didn’t hear Madeleine that night. They weren’t even kissing…just sitting side by side. Gareth had his arm around Holly; she had her hand on his arm.  They looked blissful.

Madeleine leaned into the room from the kitchen and ventured, “Um, can I interest anyone in pecan pie?” She took a longer look, “Okay then, how about Gooey Butter Cake?”

*Note from author:  if you’re not familiar with Wipeout by the Surfaris or you just want to hear it again, check this link out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxsJppYju1A  The intro with film clips takes a few seconds.

Shep and Madeleine walked next door one afternoon to see their first grandchild and congratulate, in person, the proud parents. Gillian thought it was hilarious that her mother, after giving birth to five children, would have forgotten how really awful dirty diapers could smell.

 Gillian's husband, Jeremy, with  his son, Robby

But Madeleine got over it and spent the evening mostly with the baby, oblivious to the others. Robby seemed to take to his grandma just as quickly.

Author's note: Evidently grandparents not living in the same house as the baby can only perform certain functions. Madeleine could get the baby from the crib, hold him, feed him, cuddle him, bathe him and play with him but she could not use the changing table or even just throw him up in the air to change him and she could not put him in the crib. She could not even hand him to Gillian, nor could Gillian take him from her. Poor little nooboo started crying too. She had to put Robby down on the ground for Gillian to change him and the same for when it was time for him to go to sleep. Beats me. When I had the Ottomas grandmother (Nana Doralee in my stories) living in their home she did almost all the care of the twins, So I guess they have to be a resident of the home to care completely for the child.

“I didn’t even get to hold the baby,” Shep complained on the way home, “His grandma was hogging him the whole evening.

Madeleine smiled, “I’m sorry, Grandpa, next time we go I promise to let you hold him all night.” He looked at her.

“Almost all night,” she amended. She'd just had the best time with Robby and soon Margo's baby would arrive, "I think I'm really going to love this grandma thing. You can play with them all you want, and spoil them, then go home and let the parents worry and lose sleep." She gave a thumbs up to Shep, who had to laugh.


Next installment of the Shep Ferguson Family HERE



Sim Girl said...

AWWW a grand baby :-) I love the reaction to him asking her to go steady! That was cute.

Lorelei said...

I just love the little nooboos :)

Yeah, poor Gareth lol They're starting to get matched up with each other, all my teens, sometimes they surprise you.