Where to start? When we left the family home, there were elders, Manon and Shannon, adult Steven, teen Helen and younger brother, Ken. Ken hadn’t been doing well at school and was taken away by the Social worker. His parents weren’t permitted to adopt him back so Steven did. So Ken was back, but also back to square one as far as age – we had to go through it all again. Pierre Champignon came round and played with Ken and also destroyed the lemonade stand in one of his tantrums.

Ken and pierre

He’s a worry, that boy. Meanwhile Helen was getting A’s so phoned for a scholarship and went off to Academie Le Tour. Not long after, despite Steven’s best attempts to get Ken to do his homework, Ken was failing at school and another visit by the Social Worker saw the end of Ken. Goodbye Ken. You’re out of the family story now.

Now that Ken was gone, Steven could concentrate on his own life and his up-to-now non-existent love life. He met a very attractive woman called Christa, who brought a friend along to visit and he chatted to both of them. He never imagined he’d have a hope of wooing the very pretty Christa, so he tried to woo her friend, Marie Rossi. It was very slow going. But we’ll come back to them later.

Helen arrived at university and joined the same dorm as the three students already living there (the Hiroshi crowd). They were halfway through their freshman year and worked hard. But Helen was loving the freedom to finally party away from her parents and siblings. She went out and chatted up every male who responded to her. She got quite a number of friends in the process – among them, the Jesus look-alike, Dan. But the one she really lusted after was Leo Bachman(?). (All this has happened so quickly, I’ve already forgotten his surname.) He was a dark-haired pony-tailed guy with a big nose but she liked him and he seemed to like her in return. Before I knew it they were engaged! Helen missed her first exam and did no homework or term papers even while on probation. So come the end of her second failing semester, she was booted out of university.

She found a small house not far away from the family home and moved in and immediately invited Leo round and they ‘woohooed’. They got married then and there when two visitors were there to greet them to the neighbourhood! So Leo quickly became Leo Collie and his surname disappeared forever…

Sharlene and Leo 

Here he is outside the Collie family home with new sister-in-law Sharlene.

Part Two of the Collie saga:

Darlene Collie grew into a toddler and pretty quickly after that Sharlene became pregnant again.

Darlene walking 

Darlene has successfully learned to walk and talk (unlike her father when he was that age).

Pregnant Sharlene 

Meanwhile, Remington and Mellon were back in love with each other and Remington’s wish was to have a child. On the first try Mellon became pregnant. Mellon gave birth to her baby before Sharlene and had a girl, Penny.

Remington and Mellon

Over in the family home, Shannon’s wish was to hold her granddaughter and she tried to invite her round but Mellon refused. Manon invited Mellon but of course she didn’t bring the baby. Marie Rossi was visiting Steven at the time. It was a fairly short visit and Shannon tried to make amends with Mellon, but Mellon was having none of it and said goodbye to Manon and left. Little did she know it would be the last time she saw Manon. Death came for Manon in the kitchen as he was about to prepare dinner. Steven and Shannon looked on in horror and sobbed uncontrollably for some time. This didn’t do much for Steven’s date with Marie, but she was kind-hearted and understanding.

Sharlene gave birth to a boy, Denny, not long after the death of Manon at 76. Ben and Mellon are rapidly heading for elderhood themselves.

Shannon now wanted to meet her first grandson but that was not meant to be either. At least she was happy that she had another grandchild and her greatest wish was to have 6, but her days were numbered.

Steven asked Marie to stay the night and the next day asked her to move in. The engagement proposal came soon after and she agreed. Steven formally introduced Marie to Shannon, who seemed to approve.

 Introductions

However, Marie wasn’t so sure of this strange old lady who would often just stand there and look at Marie.

Shannon looking at Marie

Marie was secretly hoping Shannon would hurry up and die so she could redecorate the whole house which had horrid brown decor and old furniture and really needed updating. But Shannon kept on and was even hoping to fall in love again.

Finally, Steven suggested to Marie that they get married anyway – it would be good for his mother to see a wedding of at least one of her children. Marie agreed and on Sunday evening just before Shannon turned 81, Steven invited the wedding guests: Ben and Sharlene, Helen and Leo, Mellon (Steven didn’t know Remington), Christa, and Jean-Philippe.

 Wedding guests

Just as they were about to start the wedding, Shannon died in the bathroom. Nobody noticed. They were all outside toasting the happy couple. After the wedding, Steven came across the ashes on his way to the toilet and cried briefly. The wedding party was a great success despite the death, and Steven and Marie were very happy.

Wedding couple

They interrupted their hugging and kissing just long enough to move the headstones to the recently opened Bluewater cemetery. “Hurrah!” thinks Marie. Finally the house was hers to renovate.

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