Tuesday, December 31, 2013


I won’t say that I was a sickly child. However, I was more prone to sickness than were my siblings. My main trouble was with my ears. I would have horrible ear aches and would sometimes wake up with a pillow soaked in red, blood like liquid that came from my ears. Most likely it was puss mixed with ear wax and blood.

On two occasions I had ear surgery where they inserted tubesin my ears. I never really understood what those tubes would do. But I do recall that I couldn't get my ears wet as long as the tubes were in my ears. I was a late swimmer because one or two summers I had tubes in my ears and could not go swimming. I was also late learning to ride a bike but I doubt I can blame my ears for that.

I can’t recall how old I was when I got the tubes inserted but I distinctly remember when I was baptized my ears were packed with Vaseline and cotton. I bet I looked stylin’. So I know I was at least eight years old when I had the tubes in.

Oh Grandpa!

I have quite a few memories of fun times with Grandpa but nothing holds a memory better than a picture!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Burnt Meat and a Flood

One great memory that I have is when Grandpa Frank came down to stay with us while Mom and Dad went out of town. I don't remember where they went.
Anyway, Grandpa Frank decided to make us kids spaghetti. I remember we were all really excited to have Grandpa staying with us so we all got caught up playing with him that he forgot that the ground beef was on the stove and it burnt really bad. I think some of us tried to pick out some good pieces and add them to the spaghetti. Needless to say there was not much to go around.
I think that it was the same trip down to our house to watch us that a pipe burst in our basement and flooded it. I'm not sure if it was Sarah or Emily who, when they stood on the wet carpet for the first time, said "Did Grandpa wet the bed!"
Fun times in the Heiss home trying to clean that mess up.Wet carpet smell is so gross!


It wasn't enough to have a dog named Clyde. Somehow we got a grey cat we named Daisy. Clyde lived outside and Daisy lived inside. She was a great cat. I am not sure why we named her Daisy, but why not? She was a cat. Seemed of good name even though daises are not grey.


Morey was dead. We were in deep mourning. This was the first death we kids had ever experienced. Our parents could see we were sad so they decided to take all five of us to the SPCA (pound) so we could get a new dog. We knew this dog wouldn't replace Morey, no dog could. But it least it would fill the void we all felt.

When we got to the pound, I was amazed at how many dogs we could choose from.  There were all types of dogs. But we all had to agree which dog we would take home with us. So we all looked around and consulted with each other.

We agreed upon a medium sized golden retriever. I doubt it was a pure bred retriever. We didn't care. We just wanted a dog. I am not sure how Mom and Dad felt about this type of dog. It was much larger than Morey. But, they agreed and we got the dog.


 I am not quite sure how to spell this but it sounds like “more-e.”

Morey was the name of the best dog our family ever had. He was a small dog with mostly black fur and tan highlights. This picture shows the proper coloring but Morey was probably twice as big.

No one is quite sure how we acquired Morey, he was just there one day and never left us. He was the friendliest dog in the world. In fact, he was the neighborhood dog. He knew the neighbors better than we did.

One day one of our unknown neighbors moved away and happened to take Morey with them. Somehow Mom was aware of this dognapping and called the police. I am not sure we ever had hope that Morey would come back. It was a sad day.

Dried Apricots

I had six dried apricots today. Yeah, I know. That can be digestively dangerous. But you can't just eat one dried apricot.

Every Christmas Karen gets me a bag of dried apricots and I try my hardest to make the bag last until February. I never make that goal. Typically they are all eaten by the second week in January. Dried apricots always take me back to my childhood.

The Family Flag

I am not sure where Mom got the idea, but she came home from some event and proposed we create a family flag. You can see parts of the flag right behind me on that now famous picture. I remember we all took part in designing the flag and came with the following features.

  1. The name Heiss would display prominently at the top of the flag in a cool Germanic script.
  2. We would use the official Heiss crest on the flag to connect us to our German forefathers.
  3. The center of the flag would host a white tree to symbolize the Tree of Life. 
  4. Each family member would have their picture on the tree.
  5. Each family member would have an individual crest used to symbolize them.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

That Famous Picture

Late November or early December was a painful time for the Heiss children while we were still under our parents' roof. Why? Because that was when Dad insisted on the annual family photo.

I am not sure how things worked in other families, but none of us, except for Dad, looked forward to family photo night. 

Typically, we had this torturous event on a Sunday just after church while we were still dressed in our church clothes. Our parents were wise in making that decision. It was hard enough for us kids to “willingly” consent to family photo night. But if it meant we had to dress up in our Sunday clothes on a day other than Sunday, well, good luck.