Monday, March 23, 2009

Tree Street Tuesdays: Meet Arlene Heaton

Arlene Hardy Heaton, age 18

Forsythia, vital sign of the Tree Streets after a long cold winter, is in full bloom today.  Her vibrant yellow blossoms remind that joyfulness can emerge out of even the grayest of seasons.  My eyes were drawn like magnets to every Forsythia bush on Cherry Lane as I walked the wet sidewalk to Arlene Heaton's fifty-three year old home.  

Arlene Heaton moved to Cherry Ln in 1956 when she and husband Israel had a home built there.  When I moved to the Tree Streets nearly forty years later, Israel was the chorister in church.  "As deaf as a bat," as Arlene says, Israel would smile and sing in the wrong key at about 88 dB.  He conducted our hymns as often as his health would permit until he passed away several months ago.  

"Do you get lonesome for Israel?"  I asked curiously.  

"No, not at all!  And I know exactly why.  I stay so busy that I don't have time to be lonely!"  Her answer surprises me, but makes me smile.  How does a ninety-one year old stay so busy?  After seeing the piles of family history, books and manuscripts on her dining table I understand.  Arlene has written and published an 832-page autobiography as well as one for Israel of about the same magnitude.  She is currently in the process of writing a book on holistic medicine.  

Before there was the Good Earth, Whole Foods Market or Sunflower Farmers Market in this valley, there was Alrene Heaton's health food business in her front room.  She stocked vitamins, herbs, and a few whole foods for her clients who were more than a dozen a day.  Lecturing all over the state, she learned how to balance her role as a mother and small business owner.  

Walking home with a terrible migraine one day, Arlene stopped me on the sidewalk to ask if I was alright.  After learning of my headache she suggested I start taking a blend of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, promising that it would greatly help my headaches.  She was right and I notice a big difference when I am using them.

Arlene's top recommendations for supplements are as follows:

To prevent cold and flu:  3000 mg vitamin C, 1000 iu vitamin A, 50 mg Zinc - all taken together at the onset of symptoms.

Cough:  Norwegian Cod Liver Oil

For Healing Injuries:  Zinc and Lecethin

I was raised on homeopathic medicine and whole foods, so Arlene and I have been herbal buddies over the last few years.  I don't see her often anymore as her age makes it difficult to get out.  I have to confess that as she labored to recall memories with her ninety-one year old mind during our visit, I had the urge to just reach out and kiss her smiling cheeks.  I felt overcome with a sensation that the beautiful individual before me was of infinite worth.  Our visit was one of the sweetest and simplest moments in which time on Cherry Lane seemed to stand still.

Arlene and Israel Heaton


  1. Mindy

    We are planning our 1999 Class reunion and need to get e-mails. If you could send your e-mail and any others that you might have that gratuated with us to Thank You!

  2. What a wonderful treasure of a person to know.

  3. I love your tree street tuesdays ! I think I may have met her on sunday...if I am thinking of the same person, she is very sweet !

  4. I love these! Tree Street Tuesdays are so fun to read.

  5. And Steve thinks 18-year-old Arlene is cute. I'm not sure what to think about that.

  6. Ha. She is cute! Don't you love that picture? I'm glad you enjoy Tree Street Tuesdays. I think you're probably the only one because you live here :-)

  7. I like to think that Arlene's recommendation of Lecithin (in addition to calcium, alfalfa, and vit. D) helped my herniated disk heal. Arlene is awesome.