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Chapter 8: The Surprise

It has started to turn colors in Alberta with the Fall quickly approaching. All the countryside is exploding with the colors of fall as the temperatures start to creep down. Brooke has released her album with Jack and Lyndi's songs and it has hit the top 10 on Billboards country music charts, and Heartland Heartbeat and Lyndi's song are in the top 5 and climbing. Lyndi rode out to the mailbox to get the mail and as she was culling through the mail, she saw that there was a letter from Rich Publishing that looked like a check. She hurried back to the house and ran inside to Jack. "GG,GG, look we got a letter from Rich Publishing and it looks like a check!"

Jack takes the letter and looks at it, "It sure does. Let's open it and see!" So Jack immediately opened the letter and sure enough, inside, was a check made out to Jack, Lyndi and Amy for royalties from both of the songs. Heartland Heartbeat got $120,000 and Lyndi's song over $300,000 dollars. Included with the check was a message from John. This is just the beginning. These songs will be number one! Great Job!

Jack, looking completely flabbergasted, looked down at Lyndi and with a huge smile said, " There is $420 Thousand dollars in here. Wow. I never knew there would be so much money involved with writing songs. Lyndi, I don’t know what to say!"

Lyndi, "We got to tell mom! Where is she! "

Jack, "I think she is in the barn! $420 Thousand dollars!"

Lyndi is now in a full run to the barn when she sees Amy bringing a horse to the pin. "Mom, Mom, you will never guess what we got today in the mail!"

Amy, "I haven't a clue. Wasn't expecting anything."

Lyndi, "You know those songs we wrote for Brooke! Well, both of them are in the top 5 and moving up. We just received royalty payments of $420 Thousand dollars and there is more to come!"

Amy, "Are you kidding. $420 Thousand dollars?

Lyndi, "I am not kidding! It is $420 Thousand dollars. GG has the check! Come See!"

Amy, " Wow! I never really knew how much we would get by lending a few songs to Brooke. That is quite overwhelming."

Lyndi, "I didn't know that writing songs could bring so much money!"

Amy, "I remember when we were in Nashville, Brooke said we could have a pretty nice payday if these songs are in the top 10. I didn't put much thought to it then. How great! What a windfall. Hey, Let's keep this under our hat until supper and we will show everyone the check. Make sure you go and tell Grandpa!"

Lyndi rushes back to GG, "GG we are NOT going to tell anyone about the check until supper. Mom wants to surprise them!, Ok?"

Jack, "That is fine with me. Let's put this right here and we won't speak of it until then!"


Lou had been feeling really sluggish for several days and decided to go to the doctor for a checkup. She hadn't been in a few years and it was time for her to go. At the office, she was called into the exam room for her checkup. She conveyed that she was not feeling well and was a bit sluggish. The doctor started asking questions as he listened to her vital signs.

Dr. Pugh, "So Lou, have you been under a lot of stress lately,"

Lou, "Nothing out of the ordinary."

Dr. Pugh, pressing down on her bladder, "Does this hurt when I press down."

Lou wenches, "Yes, it does."

Dr. Pugh, continues to press and prod, "Have you had this pain for a while, or just recently?"

Lou, "I notice the pain in my stomach for the last few months."

Dr. Pugh, "I would like to schedule you for a breast exam today. Can you fit that into your schedule?"

Lou, "Why so quick, did you feel something?"

Dr. Pugh, "I am a bit concerned with that pain you have when I press. You haven't had a mammogram in a while, so I think we should get this done to rule out any issues."

Lou, "Issues, what do you mean, issues!"

Dr. Pugh, "Nothing to be alarmed about, just with your abdominal pain, there can be many causes of it. Since you haven't had a mammogram, today seems like a good day to go ahead and do that. Next, I would like to get you to a Gastro doctor to check your stomach. You are a very tense person who has a lot of responsibility, so you might have some Bowel issues that a Gastro can figure out."

Lou, "Jesus! I just have a pain in my stomach!"

Dr. Pugh, "It is time for you to get those tests. It will give us some markers at least for follow-up tests and visits.

Lou, "If you say so!"

Dr. Pugh call his nurse to schedule the test. The nurse comes into the exam room and takes her to the waiting room where they will perform the test. While she was waiting, she called Amy, "Amy, hey I am at the doctor's office and he wants to run some tests on me. I came in feeling sluggish so he wants me to get a mammogram. How crazy is that!"

Amy, "When was your last one?"

Lou, "Wow, 2, maybe 3 years!"

Amy, "You're due! I wouldn't worry about it. Dr. Pugh is just real thorough!"

Lou, "You think!"

Amy, "I know! I get one every two years. You know it runs in our family, right?"

Lou, "I guess you are right! I probably should have done this a long time ago!"

Amy, "Call me when you get the results. I will say a little prayer for you!"

Amy hung up the phone and said a quick prayer. Lou was called into the exam room where they performed her mammogram. After the test, they had her go to another station where they drew several vials of blood. "Why so much blood," Lou asked?

Nurse, "We are going to do an extensive panel on you. Looks like they are checking everything."

Lou, trying to be funny, "Will I get some back?" They both smiled.

Nurse, "Ok, Lou. Why don't you take a seat in the waiting area and Dr Pugh's nurse will give you some instructions.

After a few minutes, Lou had a whole list of questions she wanted to ask before she left. The nurse came from the exam area with a bunch of papers. She sat down with Lou and said, "Now Lou, I know you have a lot of questions. Let me get what I need to say out first, then I can handle your questions. Ok?"

Lou, "Yes."

Nurse, "Well, it looks like Dr. Pugh wants to give you a thorough exam. You have not been in for a while and we want to make sure that your stomach issues are not something more serious, so that is why we ordered so many tests and we took most of your blood." She smiles. "It will take a few days to get the results, but you need not worry yourself with anything. With these tests we are simply trying to rule out things that might be causing your issues so that we can get to the source of the problem. So go home and continue your regular schedule and we will call you with the results. Ok?"

Lou, "Well, it looks like you answered most of my questions so I guess I will just wait for you to call."

Nurse, "Dr. Pugh suggested this over the counter medicine to ease your discomfort if you think you might need something." So the nurse begins to write on a pad the name of the medicine and hands it to Lou. "Again, if you have any questions, or the pain becomes worse, make sure you call us immediately."

Lou, "Sounds like a plan." She takes the sheet from the pad and the bundle of papers and leaves the doctor's office.


Back at Heartland Ty came home for the day and was greeted with an over excited young lady. "Dad, Dad, you are never going to believe what we got today in the mail!"

Ty, as he is hugging Lyndi, "Let's see. $1 million dollars!"

Lyndi, "Close but not 1 million! We got 420 thousand dollars! Mom said it was royalties from the songs we gave to Brooke to add to her album. The best part is that this is only the beginning. Everyone loves our songs and the more they sell, the more we make! Isn't that awesome!"

Ty, looking surprised and at Jack and Amy, "Is this for real?"

Amy, shaking her head and moving toward Ty to give him a kiss, "Here, look! Here is the check! And Lyndi, way to wait for supper!"

Jack, also shaking his head. "I knew we might make a little money on those songs, but $420,000. This is way beyond my imagination."

Lyndi, "So what are we going to do with the money?"

Amy, "Lyndi, we just got the check today and you are already thinking of how to spend it! We need to be smart about this and discuss this as a family. You know you and grandpa did most of the work on the songs so it would be probably appropriate that you guys get the lion's share of the proceeds."

Jack, "Now you hold on Amy! You and Lyndi did the singing that made the songs fly up the charts! So you are just as much a part of this as Lyndi and I!"

Lyndi, "That is right, mom!"

Amy, "Well, let's just let this sink in for a few days and we can discuss how we need to split this up then, Ok? For now, let's get this in the bank!"

Ty, "I still can't believe this. God has been so gracious to us and has blessed us way beyond our imagination. And now this! I think you should use some of it to give back to God. Maybe through Georgie's foundation, or our church."

Amy, "All that needs to be considered."

The family gets ready for supper as Amy and Lyndi are putting the final touches on dinner. Lyndi, "You know mom, we had this great opportunity to record songs and be country stars that we turned down because we love what we do here at Heartland. How awesome is God to still give us the opportunity to get involved in music and still keep our work here. You know, when I prayed for this I just asked God to work it out so that we could keep our horse business and still do music. I never thought he would do it this way!"

Amy, "Lyndi, I prayed also that the path would be clear to make the decisions we needed to make. I think our decision was the best decision, but never in a million years thought he would bless us with music, too! I can see us writing music for Brooke and John and never have to go on the road or the studio unless we want to."

Lyndi, "Ok Guys, dinner is ready. TJ, Tyson, come and get this and put it on the table, ok!"

At dinner the conversation was centered around what they could do with the money. Tyson chimed in, "Mom, why don't you get one of those fancy sports cars like my friend Alex's mother drives."

TJ, "Then, you would really be the coolest mom!"

Amy, "So I lost my "coolest" status because of a car?"

TJ, "Well, it really is a cool car. And it goes real fast!"

Amy, smiling and looking at Ty, "Hum! Might have to consider a cool car!"

Jack, "Well, I think I am going to take some of my money and put it away for you guys' college. I have always wanted to do that and this seems like the right opportunity to do so."

Ty, "Jack that is great, but Amy and I have already started a fund that will pay for the kids' college. So why don't you spend this on yourself!"

Jack, "What would I get? I don't need anything."

Ty, "How about a trip. Maybe to France. Heck, why don't we all go to France for a summer vacation."

Amy, "Now that sounds like a great idea. We haven't been at the Villa for a while and I think the kids would really enjoy it."

Lyndi, "I vote for a trip to France!"

TJ and Tyson, "Us too!"

Ty, "That does sound like a great idea. I could use a break!"

Amy, "Then that settles it. I will look at dates and get back to everyone!"

Ty laughed, "Then, Amy, you can retake your coolest status and get a fast car!"

TJ and Tyson, "Yeah!"

Amy, grabbing TJ and hugging him "I am cool just as I am. I don't need a car to prove that!"


On the way home Lou decides to keep the doctor's visit and testing to herself until she finds out the results. As she is pulling into the house, she meets Katie who is working out in the front yard. "Hey baby, what is going on? Doing your yoga?"

Katie, "Yes. I love to do this outside when the weather is like this. It is so relaxing."

Lou, "Did you have a good day training?"

Katies, "Yes, but it is really intense. The closer we get to trials the more Quinn is pushing us. I heard Georgie talking to him today asking him to let up a bit. But Quinn just looked at her and asked her if she wanted to win again!"

Lou, "Sounds like it is all business."

Katie, "So how was your day? Did you go see the doctor?"

Lou, "How did you know I was going to the doctor, and yes, that is where I was."

Katie, "Dad. I have been talking with him this week and he mentioned you were having stomach aches all the time. What did the doctor say?"

Lou, not wanting to lead on, "He said it probably is a spasmodic stomach from stress, but we ran some tests to check it out."

Katies, "What kind of test?"

Lou, "Hey, I need to get supper ready. We can talk about this later!"

Katie, going back to her workout, "Ok."

Lou goes inside to an awaiting Peter who grabs Lou and gives her a big hug. Lou, "That is just what I needed. I get so stressed when I go to the doctor!"

Peter, I know, still holding on, "How did it go?"

Lou not wanting to divulge anything, deflected, "He thinks my stomach issues are due to stress. He gave me an over the counter drug recommendation and ran a few test."

Peter, "Test?"

Lou, "Yes, I hadn't been there for a while so he kind of gave me a thorough examination."

Peter, "Hum! How thorough?"

Lou, "You know. A complete physical with a mammogram. Look, let's talk about this later. I need to get food ready."

Peter, "You have had a rough day. What do you say we take Katie and go out for dinner. That new Mexican place just opened in town and I have been dying to try it. Oh, your stomach. I am so sorry?"

Lou, "No! That is ok, I can watch what I eat. It shouldn't be a problem. Let's go!"

Peter yells out to Katie, "You up for Mexican tonight?"

Katies, "Sure, can you give me a few minutes to clean myself up?

Peter, "Yes, but hurry up!

Lou, "Why don't we call Georgie and Quinn and see if they want to come?"

Peter, taking out his phone, "That sounds like a great idea!"

Peter dials up Quinn's number and gets Georgie. "Hey, you guys want to go with us to the new Mexican restaurant downtown? Katie is here and she is going."

Georgie, "That sounds like a plan. By the way, have you spoken to Amy, Jack, or Ty today? Did you hear the news?"

Peter, "Can't say I have. What is the news?"

Georgie, "I tell you at the restaurant. I need to get cleaned up now to go. See you guys there!"

Georgie hangs up and tells Quinn about the plans. Both get ready and head over to the restaurant. Peter, Lou, and Katies do so as well. They both arrived about the same time and went inside and got seated at a table. Peter, "Ok, so what is this news with Amy and Ty?"

Georgie, "Well, you know they went to Nashville to record some songs with Brooke. That girl who sang at my wedding. Well, John, after hearing the songs, offered Amy and Lyndi a recording contract but they turned it down, right?"

Peter, "Right, I knew that."

Georgie, "Well, the two songs made it to the top 5 on the country music charts and they received a check today for $420 thousand dollars. That was their share of the song's revenue! How cool is that $420 thousand!"

Lou, "What! Are you kidding! That is crazy money!"

Georgie, "I know! And more, they might continue to get royalties as long as the songs keep selling. The best part is that Brooke has asked them to continue to write and send her songs to review. How about that! They turned down 1 offer only to be given another that fits into their plans. How great is God!"

Katie, "I wonder what they are going to do with all that money?"

Georgie, "I guess split it up between the three!"

Peter, "I am so happy for them. I know that the decision not to pursue the recording contract was probably a tough one and to have them still involved with music and keep their horse business going can only be the will of God!"

Lou, "Wow!"


That night Ty and Amy are lying in bed, face to face, holding each other as they do almost every night. Ty, kisses Amy and says, "You know, this trip to France is going to be awesome with the family and the kids, but maybe we can sneak a few days in for ourselves and recreate our honeymoon!"

Amy, kissing Ty back, "Why do we need to wait until France?"

Ty, "I don’t mean the love making, Mrs. Frisky! I mean we can rent a bike and ride the countryside to one of those small bed and breakfasts we visited. Jack will be there, so he and Lyndi and watch the kids!"

Amy, rolling Ty over on his back and getting on top, "I have a better idea!"

Ty, getting really excited, "Ok, What's that?"

Amy, now kissing Ty on his neck, "Let me show you how a country music star loves her man!"

Ty, "Ok, ok, I get the message! We can talk about this later! Country Music Star! Yahoo!"

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