Monday, July 25, 2011

Shep Ferguson Ch. 7 The Rest of the Clan Pt. 7

More on Scott and Heather Ferguson...

The Little Blackford Twins and How They Grew…

When Heather Ferguson’s oldest daughter, Jenna, met, fell in love with and married Jesse Blackford it was shortly before Heather and Scott Ferguson’s wedding. Jenna ended up delivering twin girls right around the time her mother had Scotti Lynn. So Scotti Lynn was the same age as her twin nieces.
Jenna and Jesse were happy to be parents. They named the girls Janice and Jessamyn. 

When the girls grew to be toddlers it became easy to tell them apart; Janice had darker, almost burgundy red hair while Jessamyn’s was a bright copper. As their separate personalities emerged more and more it became clear that Janice, the older twin by two and a half minutes, was more outgoing and friendly, but often got her feelings hurt too easily, while Jessamyn was more introverted among strangers, yet at home she was energetic and sometimes obstinate.

Once they were school age, their separate likes and dislikes became more pronounced yet. Janice loved to wear pretty dresses, even at home, and to have her hair tied up in a perky bow. Ballet and reading were her favorite hobbies and she loved to meet friends or have them over. A social butterfly. Jessamyn was the tomboy, and a little reckless. Sports memorabilia covered her side of their dainty old-fashioned bedroom and she wore her hair in braids for convenience sake more than anything. Her hobbies, of course, were things like basketball and swimming. Both girls loved gaming. 

Janice was partial to her father, Jesse. She always ran to greet him when he got home from work, no matter what she was doing she took off at a run when she heard the limo drop him off. Jessamyn strove toward her mother; her opposite in many ways. Jenna was the one who helped her with her homework and applauded her every time she brought home an A+.

The girls had a playroom across the hall from their bedroom and usually did their exercises in there as well as played with their toys. 

Although Jessamyn was quite a bit shyer than Janice, the twins soon had many friends, like Ty Generica, Dennine McWilliams, Tina Traveler, Tessa Ramirez, and Loni Faye Hammond. 

Everyone in the family said Jessamyn was the twin most likely to put a bean up her nose. One Sunday when the family had been swimming in the pool and playing the Llama game, Jenna told the girls to get out of the pool now, and get dressed for dinner. Quickly Jessamyn put on her play-clothes and then went out the back door and around to the side porch.

She didn’t know why she and Janice couldn't stay in the swimsuits when she could see her mother preparing hamburger patties in the kitchen to put on the grill. She was still wearing HER swimsuit. That was parents for you; "do as I say and not as I do".

Humming tunelessly to herself Jessamyn got her bubble jar out of her pocket and began to blow beautiful bubbles. As she admired the bubbles she made, an idea came to her. She looked at the bottle and took a swig. It tasted horrible but, she reasoned, this should enable her to blow bubbles right out of her mouth. Instead she choked and gasped and threw up part of the grape popsicle she’d eaten earlier.

Jessamyn shrugged the dismal experiment and experience off, then she skipped off to rinse her mouth out with Kool-Aid. She knew supper was almost ready and she dearly loved cheeseburgers. 

Everyone gasped when they got to the dinner table the next night because Jenna had cut off all her hair. She must have done it right before she started dinner. After the first shock, they agreed that, actually, they really liked it better.

“I’ve worn my hair the same way since I was a child, so it seemed like it was time for a change,” Jenna said in her quiet way.

Later that night Jesse was up painting until late hoping to finish his portrait of the girls; their birthday was tomorrow.

The next morning Jesse went to work thinking how his little girls would be teenagers later tonight. He would miss their eager little faces and he worried, how hard might it be to raise teenagers? He’d heard dire stories from many of his friends on the perils of parenting adolescent children. 

After supper they went into the living room and sat down per Jesse’s instructions. Jessamyn was rather shy and did not want a big fuss about their birthday, as in a big birthday party with all their friends. Janice was disappointed, but understood. She and Jess had a very special relationship, being twins. They talked about the toys they wanted for their birthday not really realizing that these would not be the gifts a teenager would care for.

Jesse and Jenna came in and sat down. Suddenly the girls stood up and then began to feel tingly all over. The next thing they knew they were teenage girls with all the appropriate equipment. Jenna seemed more amazed than they were themselves. The twins were pleased with the results but both did go upstairs almost immediately to change their hair. Janice put hers up in a different updo; more sophisticated, and Jessamyn took her braids down and combed her hair long and straight with a center part.

The first guest the twins had over after their birthday was their friend, Debbie Ferguson, who had also just had her birthday. Debbie was related to them but only by marriage; her oldest sister, Gillian was married to Jeremy Blackford who was the older brother of Jesse, their father. 

They'd reached the age for high school and so it was time for Janice and Jessamyn to take their place in Pleasantview society and even the more introverted Jessamyn was looking forward to it.


Back to cousin Scotti Lynn

The day after Shep’s family visited Scott and Heather was Sunday and they were going over to Heather's daughter Jenna’s house for dinner. In the game room there they played the inevitable but always popular Llama game, while Scott and Janice worked the pinball machines.

Scotti Lynn was close with her twin nieces, but especially with Jessamyn. When the two of them got tired of the Llama game, they went to the living room and played video games while Scott and Janice took their places in the Llama game.

Dinner was on time and delicious and the twins were careful to mind their manners. Grandmother Heather liked meals, especially dinner, to be elegant and gracious. Scotti Lynn was used to this but it was rather uncomfortable for the twins. Their mother, Jenna, although very gentle and ladylike, preferred things much more relaxed as a rule; maybe in reaction to the way she was raised.

In fact, the twins thought Heather did not seem like a grandmother at all most of the time; more like an aunt and that would make Scotti Lynn their cousin rather than their aunt. It was true, she did bake cookies, really good cookies, at Christmas and other holidays, but other than that she really wasn’t like the grandmothers in books and movies or even like their other friends’ grandmothers. She looked too young and pretty for one thing. They couldn’t imagine calling her Granny or Grandma, that was for sure. Jenna just called Heather “Mother” not Mom or Momma. That’s just the way people were with Heather. The mailman tipped his hat, waiters rushed to be of service, and balky children and barking dogs settled down and behaved themselves after one gentle, but admonishing, look from her china blue eyes.

As for Scotti Lynn, sometimes she despaired of ever being half the person she thought her mother was. Heather was so important to Scotti Lynn and a point of reference in everything. She constantly wondered, what would Mother do? Of course more often than not she asked herself this question after she’d already acted hastily. Then she tended to berate herself for not thinking it through first. She comforted herself at these times with the thought that her father, Scott,seemed to love her just as she was. For that matter; she knew her mother loved her, it was just that Heather was such a careful, controlled person that sometimes it was hard for the impulsive Scotti Lynn to live up to her mother’s expectations. She didn't realize yet that Heather's high standards were for herself and she didn't necessarily expect others to meet them, at least, not all the time.

One thing that mother and daughter shared was their love for dancing. Heather had taken lessons for many years as a child. When Jenna was small and they lived in the other house, most of the upper level of that house was taken over by a large dance studio where Heather taught ballet classes. Along the way she had taught Jenna and when Scotti Lynn was old enough Heather began giving her ballet lessons in the tiny dance studio Scott built for them on the third floor.

Their little family was cozy and, although Scotti Lynn had wished for a baby sister or brother since she was small, if it remained just the three of them she was content. Heather had made it clear that it was too late to for her to have another child; they’d tried when Scotti Lynn was a toddler, but it just had not happened. Now, with a grown daughter with teenagers of her own and her younger daughter in high school, the time for more children was past.

Her father was much more easy to understand. Retired from the police force; Scott usually worked in the greenhouse, but occasionally Heather helped him out, she was an old hand at it and had taught her older daughter, Jenna, how to garden as a child. Fishing and cooking were Scott’s main hobbies, but he still liked to fool around with drafting from time to time.

Although Heather was considered by most people to be rather circumspect, with Scott she was affectionate and still a big flirt. He was the love of her life and he felt the same way about her. When Scotti Lynn heard various other friends complain about the way their parents were cold with each other or argued all the time, she couldn’t imagine how awful that must be. Heather and Scott seemed to get along perfectly. If they did quarrel, Scotti Lynn figured it was when she was at school or asleep, because she never saw it.

At last, much to Scotti Lynn’s delight, her mother finished the portrait. They just had to decide where to hang it. The one Scott did of her as a child was already ensconced on the wall in the living room.

Winter was approaching and that meant making a snowman, sipping hot cocoa and having indoor fun like games, painting and reading. Scotti Lynn always found something good in each season.