R. R. 2, Brandon, Wisconsin 53919
Again it comes to the time of year when we start to summarize the year's activities and decide whether what we have done has been worthwhile and meaningful. As Thanks giving and Christmas are approaching what new thing have we learned? What good books have we read? Has a fresh skill been added to abilities? Now that the less active and cooler days have arrived I am much interested in textile painting and I can hardly wait to get started on a pair of painted pillowcases for our two little granddaughters.
Some big things have happened in their lives. They have twin beds now and Cindy, the eldest has started to kindergarten. The next generation begins as this one nears the end of their High School years. Our youngest daughter, Mary, has only two more years to go. Is it possible, we ask ourselves? Where have the years flown? And now, our eldest daughter, can she possibly be a mother? I am not sure I would really believe it if I hadn't battled so much Pennsylvania Turnpike traffic to get to her home. Somewhere along the way I passed a point near to Enola. I was probably starting to worry about the first tunnel along about that time or giving a sigh of relief at having passed through them all safely on the way out.
It all started on August eleventh when the telephone began ringing after midnight. Again we were grandparents, I learned. This time it was a little boy cousin for Cindy and Gail. I forced myself to go back to bed without waking everyone else in the house. But sleep was far from my eyes. I had promised to come to New Jersey. In the dark hours of the night airplanes didn't look good to me at all. Trains looked even worse, and bus travel? Then I might just as well drive. For two or three days there was dreadful indecision. Mary had her driver's license now, why didn't we go together? That night I met more cars on my pillow than I had ever met in my lifetime before. They went zoom, zoom, zoom, zoom, just past my head. I had traveled the Turnpike before so had no illusion of a leisurely motor trip.
The next worry was just as logical - what would the men eat while we were gone. We baked some things and cooked applesauce, a large bowlful. We took to the road at 4:50 A.M. on Friday morning. Tucked into my purse were exact directions on getting around Chicago on the toll road. The only thing was we went the wrong way on 100 and found ourselves in downtown Milwaukee. Traveling on 47th. Street we got back on our road. About 8:00 A.M. we were passing around Chicago. So were a lot of other people. Three lanes each way took my entire attention.
Somewhere else our directions failed us (or we didn't read them aright) and we found ourselves on Highway 6. Oh well, it was going in the right direction so why not? It was a good road, and we saved some toll. The first tunnel I approached with some misgivings. Clutching the wheel determinedly I MADE IT. Mary wanted to try the next one. Why not? She had practically worn out the driveway at home for the last two years in her efforts at learning to drive. Besides I was well pleased with the driving she had done so far. The weekend traffic was quite heavy. As each car was met and conquered I whispered, 'Thank You, Lord, Thank You, Lord.' Isn't it wonderful to have such a Friend when we are practically petrified? As we passed through tunnel 7 I was exuberant.
Only one more real hurdle, The Wilmington Bridge. Then there were just a few more miles to Woodstown and our son's home there where we would stay until Sunday when the new mother came home from the hospital. We were a little disturbed to find no one at home. They had been in the mountains for the week and were expected back that afternoon, the neighbors assured us. They didn't even know Ginni had become a mother. The neighbors were most kind.
We happily relaxed in the lawn chairs as we waited. We had MADE IT. Two helpless, scared women had MADE IT. The afternoon looked glorious in spite of the wilting vegetation around us. Yes, Jersey was dry, too.
It was nine days later that we started for home. We were much more confident this time. We made seven hundred miles the first day and stopped at La Porte, Indiana for the night. We would tackle the Skyline Drive in the morning. So it was that 5:30 in the morning found us in the heart of the Windy City. It matters not too much that the traffic zoomed over my pillow for several nights after our return. They all went back to the Turnpike before too long. I'm happy to let the East keep it there. Give me my little County Trunk M with my neighbors waving as they pass by. One thing I didn't get to appreciate in '64 is the accelerated way of life. Grandmas don't change their ways so readily. I shall get at my pillowcases so they will be ready for Christmas. And again I say, 'Thank You, Lord. Thank You, Lord.'