The Hartle Family (sung to the tune of Adam’s Family)

Life continued on in Grandma’s house. I rode my horses, attended my art lessons, and went to Jenny Craig meetings with my mom. Mom started to walk early every morning, and I could ride my bike along side of her when she did this, so bike riding was back in session.

My brother continued his relationship with the crazy lady…and it was forever up and down.

My sister still lived in Atlanta. She wanted to stay and finish her senior year in her highschool, and mom and dad allowed her to live with her best friend during this time.

The time soon came, that we finally found a house to move into. This house was about 30 minutes north of where Grandma’s house was located. The reason for the move was that Grandma decided to put her sister in a nursing home, because they couldn’t get along and wanted to come back home. I think that’s how the story went, but I am not very sure.

I was very excited about moving to another community. This place had a normal street where I could ride my bike. It also had a girl my age living next door. I thought things would be looking up for me.

We moved into our house, and I got to know some of the neighborhood kids. But something was quite right. I got along with them fine, yes…but their attitudes were not like the kids I had left in Georgia. I just didn’t seem to “click” with them.

But they were “friends” and so I took what I could get. Another girl my age moved in across the street as well. And then another girl about two years older than me, vacationed during the Summer in another house in our neighborhood.

During this period of my life, I joined a “horse club” that a lady (Mrs. Hartle) in our umbrella school started during the school year. Every week or every other week, we got together, and learned about horses and how to take care of them and ride them.

After the school year, she declared that she was going to have a “horse camp”. A time to spend five days at her house, and spend the night, and do all things horses. I wanted to attend! I asked her if I could bring my own horse, and she said that I could.

They were a “peculiar” family. They had more than three children. I think they had nine…and she was pregnant with her tenth. I thought it was kind of neat to have that many brothers and sisters. Now as I think about it, they reminded me of “The Home School Family” that Tim Hawkins did a parody of.

But they were also kind of strict. I remember, I was sitting at the table to eat, and I was telling a story (I was extremely shy) and getting excited about it, when Mrs. Hartle interrupted me told me to not sit cross-legged in the chair. I thought that odd, because my mom let me do that, but it was her house, and so I respected that.

Our days were filled to the brim. Every afternoon (during the hottest hours) we were given two hours of free time. Her daughters had Little House on the prairie sun bonnets, and we would play little house on the prairie. I really enjoyed that!

We also would have Bible studies every morning. Usually it had to do with horses…and I thought that was kind of cool. 🙂

But Being outside in the hot Florida sun everyday, started to take a toll on me. Plus the Hartle’s didn’t have air conditioning. I got a very bad sunburn and the next day, (Thursday morning) I woke up sick to my stomach and vomited on the bed. I was sleeping on the top bunk, and it was pitch black. I couldn’t get off the bed in time.

I was too afraid to tell anyone. I tried telling one of her daughters, but she wouldn’t wake up. The thought of waking up Mrs. Hartle myself was more than I could bare…and I started to fantasize of leaving the house, saddling up my horse, and riding home. LOL!

Then I started to cry, and that woke someone up. Pretty soon, Mrs. Hartle was up cleaning the mess up. I remember her telling me, “Next time, try to make it to the bathroom”  I was kind of humiliated, as I didn’t mean to throw up on her bed.

I went home that morning and rested up. Apparently, it was just the heat that made me get so sick. I got to finish the camp on Friday.

We found a barn closer to board Shadow in. He went from Horse camp to there. But the stable was a boring place. Hardly any kids, and no fun activities like my teacher’s boarding stables.

Mom paid for my teacher to come up to our new area to give me lessons.

Meanwhile, we found out that my brother was expecting a baby with his girl friend. She threatened to abort the baby. My brother did not want this. He wanted to marry her and try to make a family with her and his new child growing inside of her. She ran away to Colorado to “think”. My brother was very depressed, and just wanted to do the right thing. There were many fights between him and my parents about how to handle this problem. He decided to trade in his beloved corvette for a family car, and buy a house. He tried to make a place for his girl friend to want to come home to.

My parents supported him in his wanting to make things right. They just weren’t sure about the stability of this woman who my brother was determined to love.

I was 10 years old, when all this stuff started to happen. My mother told me later, she didn’t know what to do, because all of this “stuff” with my brother was taking place in front of me. There was no hiding it. And my brother and his girl friend weren’t married and expecting a baby. Mom didn’t think it was good for me to be around, but she felt she didn’t have a choice, because it was her son too, and she felt obligated to help him get on his feet.

As for me I was thrilled to be getting a baby niece or nephew. I had wanted a baby brother or sister since I could remember. Now I was going to be an Aunt!

I knew at the time, that my brother and his girl friend’s lifestyle choices were wrong…but it wasn’t the babies fault.

So, brother’s girl-friend called him and told him that she would come back home…but that her mother didn’t want her living with her when she had the baby. Mom and Dad graciously allowed her to move in with us while the house my brother started to build was completed.

And guess what that meant? Heather was going to get a new bedroom in an odd room. The “formal livingroom” this time. (as our house had a family room and a formal living room) But I didn’t mind. My baby niece or nephew was going to live with us, and I would be able to help take care of him or her.  ♥

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One Response to The Hartle Family (sung to the tune of Adam’s Family)

  1. Esther says:

    Interesting Heather, I enjoyed reading this:) Can’t imagine how any place in FL does not have AC though LOL

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