First of all, Emily is back in ICU and needs prayers more than ever. Please visit Rogue’s blog for details.
Many in blogland know Bas of New Life in DD, our Dutch representative who is known by the avatar picture of his brown-and-white dog named Unique.
Today I’d like to tell the story of how Bas came to have a garbage can named after him. A shiny, well-kept, and iconic garbage can. 🙂
As anyone who knows Bas has found out, he has a sense of humor. A heart full of love. And a love for mischief.
When I wrote The Vengeance of Mrs. Claus, I included names of a few members of blogland. Bas was one of them, but (alas!) his character had exactly one line. I didn’t mean for him to be a minor character, but his role of a kindly but no-nonsense next-door neighbor was easy to summarize in one line of dialogue. There is, shall we say, a quintessential Bas quality.
Rather than complain about only having one line, Bas posted the most lovely article about “Klaas and Claus,” which I sometimes go back and read. In truth, I felt embarrassed because his article seemed undeserved when I had only given his character one line.
When I talked to Bas, his response was his usual touch of self-deprecating, understated humor:
That he understood, and he couldn’t expect to play Hamlet his first time on stage.
I resolved, although without telling him, to give his character more lines if I ever wrote a sequel.
Later, when Bas engaged in his usual teasing of me (to be fair, it went both ways), I playfully threatened to name a garbage can after him in my next book. His answer? More quintessential Bas.
That if his fate were to be a garbage can, he would be a garbage can with grace.
And he did. In Lighting the Way, book two of the Kat and Natalie stories, “Sebastian the Garbage Can” is its own chapter. Bas claimed that he got kicked by all of the girls, but it’s not quite true. Kat was afraid of getting in trouble with Natalie, and she took her frustration out on Sebastian the Garbage Can, who was otherwise a much-loved member of their community.
I know it sounds strange, but in the context it makes sense. 🙂
With the upcoming release of Daughter of Discipline, a semi-sequel to The Vengeance of Mrs. Claus, Bas finally gets a real part with real lines. This time, Bas the stern but kindly next-door neighbor plays a significant role in guiding Claire’s well-meaning boyfriend in how to handle a spitfire. He is much better able to do so than Claire’s father, who is ready to tear the boy apart before learning what happened. (A sobbing Claire only gasps her boyfriend’s name without giving context, so naturally her father misunderstands. Not that fathers tend to be rational when it comes to protecting their daughters!)
I didn’t realize until writing this post how often Bas figured in my stories, but then I realized it made sense.
Bas was one who was there for me in the very beginning, who never ceased his support, and who had simple, practical wisdom (as many of us detailed in our Words of Basdom/Spankful for Bas posts). How could he not be a part of what I wrote?
Today, I am grateful that Bas could be in my life. This world is full of special people, and Bas is one of them.
To Bas, Lisa, grandbaby Pixel, Unique, and all of the family members–
You are loved. All around the world, you are loved.