Hetty is now 25, if my calculations are correct. She was born in 1983. As a history lesson, 1983 was a pivotal year for the Norvel and Karen Christenson family. To review:
- Dad and a partner started a new business called Tri-Sales Auto, later to become Overland Auto.
- Mom went back to teaching after spending time as a laundromat attendant and stay-at-laundromat mom. (We lived in a house connected to a laundromat. Funnest house ever. We had 24-hour access to candy machines and pop machines and a pinball machine. We even got Space Invaders. These were the days before Nintendo. At night, we would strap on our roller skates and skate around the washing machines. It was Laudromat-Sweet-Laundromat.)
- The family moved from our "Wash Tub" home on J Street to our home on Q Street in Heyburn.
- With the birth of Hetty, Mom had 8 kids total. Her age--37. Ai, yai, yai! And I think I'm going crazy.
Hetty has had a few near-death experiences. The first of which came at the hands of Amy and Doug. After church one day, Doug and Amy decided to put baby Hetty (six months old) in a blanket between them. Doug took one end and Amy took the other end. They started rocking Hetty in the middle. Higher and higher Hetty swung. Doug suggested they make the swing go all the way around--sort-of like the Colossus for babies. One, two, three, followed by miscommunication and poor grip strength equals Hetty being swung from the blanket, across the room, and landing right on a conch shell my parents brought back from a trip to Hawaii. A quick trip to the emergency room and a few stitches later and Hetty was brand new.
Her other death-defying day came in the fall of 1996 when Hetty ran across the street to the Burley Junior High School only to be hit by a car, then ran over by same car. She suffered some major teeth loss, a broken pelvis and jaw, and many days in the hospital.
Hetty has survived until now, knock on wood. My mom gets a little emotional talking about her three youngest "angel" children. A friend of ours once said that Heavenly Father blesses families with easier children the more children you have. It's an interesting thought, and truly, it only seems fair. Hetty now lives in Pocatello with her husband Jeff Gower. Hetty served an LDS mission to Hamburg, Germany and graduated from USU earlier this year in psychology. We continue to be quiet observers on the rest of her life, with an occasional shout out, like this one. Happy birthday, Hetty the Queen!