I awoke to my grandmother shaking me. She was standing by my bed with her coat on. It was not yet light out, but there she was. Wake up! We have to get dressed. You’re coming with me. What was happening? Such an odd morning already and the sun wasn’t even up yet. Your mother is having the baby. Your father took her to the hospital. I roll out of bed. Grandma goes out to the kitchen to make me something to eat. There’s a baby coming. I have just turned three.
Grandma and I get in the car and we drive out of town, down the well worn path between all things town and Grandma’s house. Main Street, over the Viaduct, up Center with a left just before Great Grandma’s house onto Ziegler, past the ball field, then out into the woods. We drove down the road that was not yet etched in my brain. I hadn’t been down this road enough in my short lifetime to know what lies ahead.
It is late spring and the morning is grey. The grass is up in tufts of green, but the trees were late in budding this year. Out in the country it will be wet and muddy. We drive on down the road.
Then, the car stops. Just stops. Grandma gets that wrinkled look on her face that comes when something is wrong. Ohhhhh … We drift to the side of the road and park. What now I wonder. This doesn’t look familiar. Grandma and I get out of the car. We have to find a phone. We go to the first house and walk through the gate in the fence. A woman comes out onto the porch and Grandma asks if we can use the phone. Sure, she says. But you have to get through the yard first. Grandma takes my hand and off we go down the path. And then they come. A herd of geese. Going after us like we were common thieves. Grandma and I ran screaming into the house, but not before we were nipped once or twice by the guardians of the yard.
And that was the day my sister was born.
People in this story besides me: Florence Keck Kradel, Amy Sue Kradel