WAIT!  That Can’t Be True.

   What I am about to tell you is true.  I don’t expect you to believe it.  It is very unusual.  And I am sorry that I cannot tell you everything I know about it, but I have promised some of those involved that aspects are to remain secret.

   Really, it is just a simple fact.  I do not know how long this simple fact has been true, and I don’t know if it is still true now.  What I do know is that there was a moment in time when it was true, and I was a witness to this time along with four others – the three others directly involved and an indirectly involved eyewitness.

  You will need some background information to appreciate the fact, and then you will be given the events leading up to the remarkable discovery.

   There are eight children in the Westhoff family.  The oldest four, Anne (Mrs. Carroll), Jim, John and Dave, grew up together.  They shared in childhood such things as going to Kiowa (which rhymes with Iowa) School, a two room schoolhouse, and played 4-H softball. They are not very important to the story.

  The next three in the family, Kath, Barb and I, grew up together and were always known as the “Three Little Kids”.  We did such things as go “Walking and Talking”.  This consisted in walking along the Kiowa (which rhymes with Iowa) Creek bed that divides our farm and talking about very important things, most significantly our yearly Christmas play which we would start planning in mid-summer.  Most of our growing up consisted in playing.  Kath was the transition from the older four to the Three Little Kids because she did go to first grade at Kiowa (which rhymes with Iowa) School where, as she remembers, she spent the entire year playing with a plastic set of farm animals.

   Wendy, the youngest, is in the subset which consists of one member. She is eight years younger than I.  She survived all the attention that the Three Little Kids gave her, but more importantly she survived the lack of attention we were once guilty of.  The Three Little Kids were supposed to be watching Wendy.  We decided to do this while rolling on top of barrels that we would crash into each other, trying to knock the others off.  It was intense demolition derby type action, and in the fray we somehow forgot about Wendy until Mom came out and asked how she was.  Terrified looks were exchanged as we jumped off our barrels and began running around wildly looking for our two-going-on-three year old sister.  She was discovered a quarter mile from the house, right at the edge of the Kiowa (which rhymes with Iowa) Creek.  The Creek is usually dry, but there had been water running through it recently, and Wendy was crouched down looking over the edge into water that had pooled, inches from falling and drowning.  The Three Little Kids were asleep on their duty, but fortunately Guardian Angels never sleep.

   The Three Little Kids and Wendy are the ones the unusual fact concerns.

    Before we get to the bizarre and to further its bizarreness,  here’s an update on the last four Westhoff children.  Kath describes herself in adulthood as sitting all the time.  Wendy is the opposite, never having learned to drive, she walks between 10 and 12 miles most days, but I do not know how much of that time she also spends talking.  Barb’s activity level is somewhere between those two.  I, who am never busy, spend most of my days between sleeping and eating and then every ten days or so posting on this blog. 

   The day in question was Sunday, the 17th Week of Ordinary Time (July 25th) . Mom, Dr. and Mrs. Carroll, Kath and Joe, Barb, Wendy and I were at the farm with our friends the Bucholz family and one mysterious visitor who mispronounced “Kiowa” not realizing it rhymes with Iowa. (He gave the “I” a long “E” sound.)  We had a wonderful afternoon chatting and eating the food that Kath had risen from a chair to make.

  The Bucholz family left, then the mysterious visitor left, but not until my brother Dave called to talk to him about the geologic origin of the Great High Plains, something the mysterious visitor seemed obsessed with — very unfortunate they were not on speaker phone.

   Now there was just our family.  Earlier in the day I had brought a new electronic digital scale out to the sunporch  to try to get Mom’s weight.  She refused.  I just left the scale sitting in the room.  As I was walking through the sunporch into a back bedroom (neither eating nor planning to lie down), I saw that Kath was weighing herself.  From the bedroom, though I couldn’t see, I could tell that Wendy was next to try the scale.  There was amazement between sitting Kath and walking Wendy that their weights were the same.  Barb was then being encouraged to weigh in.  When the reading was displayed, there was the exclamation, “We all weigh ABC!”  (Giving the weight is part of the secret.)  Hearing the weight, I came out and said, “That’s what I weigh.”  And to prove it, I got on the scale and sure enough, ABC showed up a fourth time.  Always the doubting Thomas, I said that the scale must not be working.  So Mrs. Carroll got on, and a different reading came up and each person said that ABC was in fact about what they thought they weighed. 

   Three girls, one boy (after all we are the Three Little Kids and Wendy, and could hardly think of ourselves as women and a man); from 57 to 45 years of age; differing in height by as much as 10 inches; of widely different activity levels; the last four children of a family of eight, and all weighing the same.  That is unbelievable.

   I wish the mysterious visitor had stayed a little longer.  Earlier in the day when he wasn’t talking about the Great High Plains he had said he weighed ABC – C pounds.  Of course, he was just rounding off and may well in fact weigh exactly ABC too. 

   The Three Little Kids and Wendy are now one group.  We have formed the “ABC Club”, not to be confused with the “Hate Bee Club”, but that’s another childhood story.



Jezu, ufam Tobie.