A Merry Heart

Merry Heart
April 6, 2019


I did it! I really, REALLY did it! I got my sister good!

Many FAR readers know- or at least know OF- my sister Robin. If you know Robin, you are also probably familiar with her antics.

Antics! It sounds like such an innocuous word. The “antics” my sister has pulled on me through the years were anything but innocuous! Without malice? Yes.  Silly pranks?  Perhaps.  Character-building?  Possibly, but NOT innocuous!

Over the years, my sister has played many pranks on me…Well, on all of us!  But, for whatever reason, Robin takes special delight in terrifying me. She found out some time ago that I startle easily. I blame this on the Nelson boys.

Years ago, when I did bulletin boards for the Christian School I would be working: late in the night, by myself, in an old building, with unidentifiable noises.  Did I say. ALL ALONE? While working, I sometimes had to go outside, between buildings, carrying supplies. Whether the Nelson boys had inside information or they just kept an eye out, they ALWAYS seemed to know when I was putting up the new bulletin board. Hiding in the dark shadows, they would simply step out of the shadow at just the right time…and…well…I must have been entertaining when I did this little dance/leap/jump/hop back several paces while screaming in 4 different octaves!  I never knew when or where it would come.  I just knew it was coming! As a result, everything would startle me. They didn’t even always have to show up; they would still “get me.” I blame these “adorable pranksters” for my being so easy to startle. (As I write this, I am beginning to question the wisdom of sharingit.).

Anyway, besides all the pranks and practical jokes, my sister, every time we get together will find a way—or several ways— to hide and jump out at me. Just the anticipation that she’s likely to do it, gets me.  I wish I had enough space to share just a few of the times she’s had me sobbing in terror in some restaurant bathroom.

I have tried to “get” my sister back before…a few times, but it never worked out! The most notable was during a trip my 4 sisters and I took together to Florida. We rented a car and I was the delegated driver. As commonly happens in Florida, most every evening there were heavy rains. I would drop the girls off at the door and go park, getting soaked on my way back to the hotel. Robin couldn’t resist. Ignoring her urge to cut me a break because I had done her a great favor, she would find the perfect hiding spot (because of the labyrinth of hallways and cubbies, she had endless dark recesses to duck into) and of course, I did my little terror song and dance. Well! Finally, we got the perfect chance to get Robin. She had to run back to the room and because you could see all the elevators from the parking lot, we watched Robin coming, as she got on the elevator on the 4th floor. We ran to hide in a bush right outside the elevator. As the elevator doors opened, we jumped out and yelled, “BOOOO!” What could go wrong? Two strangers stepped out of the elevator, screamed and jumped. All we accomplished was to give Robin—and the two ladies—a huge laugh. This is just one example of how my attempts at retribution have backfired.

Now my sister, while my nemesis, is also one of my biggest supporters and fans. She genuinely loves my work. Not only does she ask me to do important projects for her, but she also shares her admiration for what I do with countless friends and peers; I have gotten several jobs as a result of her acclamation. Well, she asked me to photograph her granddaughter. We decided to do a composite. I designed a scene with her granddaughter playing her harp in the snowy woods as a fawn and bunny looked on.

It was actually my son, Travis that gave me the idea. Execution would be crucial! It had to be COMPLETELY undetectable; it had to be impossible to find. Once you found it, it had to be VERY easy to see! With a lot of work, time, and care, I had it just right.

I made sure we ordered the finished artwork on full, custom-sized canvases (they looked fine on standard size, but this would have cut off my “bonus work;”) I insisted she order the custom size to include ALL the artwork.  After all my hard work, I knew she wouldn’t deny me.

So reader, I’ve let you in on this practical joke. Robin has no idea she’s been had, and that she literally paid for it. The canvas has been hanging on her dining room wall for about 3 months.

If you look carefully, in the background, in the trees, amongst the bushes, you will see Bigfoot staring into the camera.