The Ladies Page

Country Echoes

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.’

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