A fun story from way back

I was just telling the children a story from the old days, back when we could count our children on the fingers of one hand.

In fact, we only had one child on the outside and one on the inside.  Deanna was about 19 months old and I was 7 months pregnant with Kaitlyn.  Actually, I’m just guessing about the 7 months part, but I do remember being very pregnant, and it seems like all of our best stories happened when I was 7 months pregnant so I think it’s a good guess.


Back in the old days, hubby worked in a chemical warehouse up in Ohio.  One day he was moving 55 gallon barrels of chemicals by tipping them on edge and rolling.  They weighed around 500 lbs each, but he’s the kind of man who moves 500 lbs. around when it needs moving.  He just does it.

This particular day, it didn’t go so well.  I think the contents inside one barrel sloshed, sending the barrel off-balance.  It tipped back onto hubby, its weight pressing onto his leg and forcing his right knee and shin to the floor while his right foot remained firmly planted on the floor.

This required a trip to the doctor, where they found one or two dislocated toes and some crushed bones in his foot, not to mention a hyper-extended Achilles tendon.  It would heal, but he needed to use crutches for at least 6 weeks.

Fortunately, his employer was able to assign him to a different job that would allow light duty for the 6 weeks that he was unable to do his regular job.  It required a slightly longer drive, 45 minutes from our home instead of 25.

That brings me to the subject of transportation.  Here’s where it gets fun.

Our only car was a very small hatchback with a manual transmission.  It was a Toyota Tercel from the early ’80’s like this one.  Have you ever driven a vehicle with a manual transmission with one foot?

So I would have to drive him to and from work. This much was clear.  It was winter, and I was very pregnant, and we had a baby, but that’s ok.  We do what we have to do, and I could do this.

But maybe I should mention some of the car’s other quirks.

The passenger door was jammed shut by a recent wreck.  The lady who hit us didn’t have insurance, and we didn’t have the heart to ask her to pay to fix our$400 car, so we were waiting for her to cough up $150 to make the door work again.  As it turned out, she was good for the money, but at the time we were still waiting.  So the passenger door and its window were non-functional.

We had also learned that winter that if we opened the driver door on a very cold day, it wouldn’t latch again.  This was rather inconvenient, to say the least.  I know exactly how inconvenient it was, because we tried it a few times.   Those were some of the longest 45 minute drives I’ve ever experienced.  They were also exercises in coordination and creativity.

Have you ever tried to shift gears while holding the door shut with one hand?  For that matter, have you ever tried to hold a car door shut for 45 minutes?  It’s very difficult to get a good hold unless you (gulp) roll down the window.  This was winter in Ohio.  This was the sort of weather where we sometimes had to use a snow shovel just to find our little hatchback in the morning.  I’m not kidding.

I think we’ve established that both doors were non-functional.  In our car, 2 non-functional doors only left one option.

The hatch.

So every morning, I would hoist my very pregnant self in through the hatch and crawl to the front of the car.  I would start the engine to warm the car for the baby, and crawl out the driver window, reaching inside to roll it up as far as I could.

When we were ready to leave, hubby would hobble out and climb in through the driver window with his broken foot and recently relocated toes, struggling over the gear stick and into the passenger seat.  It was very difficult for him but easier than coming through the hatch.

Then I would hand him his crutches, buckle the baby into her carseat (probably through the hatch?) and hoist my pregnant self in through the driver window.  Finally, we were ready for the 45 minute drive to work.

We did this twice a day for 6 weeks.  I don’t remember much about those 6 weeks, but I sure hope we laughed about it.  It’s hard not to laugh about it now.

I wonder what we’ll be laughing about in another 15 years?


  1. Thank you for that… it made my day to laugh like that. I have had to climb over seats 8 months pregnant on a blizzard trip many times one time and I sure can relate. Thanks

  2. I love your stories, Kim! You just have a way of putting things in perspective. 😉

  3. Did my sweet husband just say I don’t ever get that big?
    Isn’t it adorable how he still sees me as I was at 21, back when I had abdominal muscles?
    I didn’t *used to* to get that big. Now I often look done by 7 months. Then I spend 2 months waiting for the stupid calendar to catch up.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing that! We have a little 91 honda civic with similar quirks. Just two weeks ago I went into labor, starting contractions around 8:15 pm. Hubby patiently drove our tiny, quirky car up and over a mountain to take me to the hospital WHILE I WENT THROUGH TRANSITION! At the top of the mountain everything got a lot easier and I thought, either those contractions were a big joke, or I just went through transition. Susannah Piper was born in the bathroom (while trying to leave a urine sample… hahaha!) 19 minutes after arriving at the hospital, at 9:44 pm. Just to say, we will never forget our little honda and all the stories it contains.

  5. My Boaz’s Ruth – she doesn’t ever get that big when she is pregnant. Many pregnancies folks thought she was half-way done when she was near the end.

  6. That is funny. In fact, it beats one of the reigning funny stories in my family. It seems that when my mom and one of her sisters were both exceedingly pregnant, they went on an errand one day to buy some boards for one of their husbands. The boards wouldn’t fit in their car, so the nice men at the lumberyard tied them to the roof of their car. The car didn’t have luggage racks, so they opened their windows and tied them on the roof that way. It was summer in New Orleans, and this was back when only the wealthy had AC in their cars, so having the windows open wasn’t a problem.

    When they got home, though, they realized that the doors were tied shut. It was the 70’s, so the car was a hatchback, and they had a way to get out. They did look around and make sure no one was watching, though.

  7. I am having a hard time imagining how you FIT In through the window!

  8. That was a wonderful story! I am new to posting responses, so don’t be alarmed when you don’t recognize my name. I have been following you here and on FB for a few weeks…….I am very inspired by your family.

  9. Love this story! So glad you shared it. We all have these bizarre motherhood moments and they’re always good for a chuckle – eventually!

  10. Mark Filiatreau says:

    Great story, great site, which I found by googling “unscrewing a toilet tank”!

  11. That’s a great story, Kim!

  12. Oh my goodness! I certainly didn’t mean to imply something like that should happen, of course! I was just being flippant! 😀

  13. That is so hilarious! I can sympathize with you, but definitely to a lesser degree–when I was pregnant with my 2nd, we lived in an apartment complex with the most narrow parking spaces imaginable. They were all marked “compact,” which our car was, but most of the vehicles in the spaces were anything but–cargo vans, giant Ford trucks, etc. Several times I was left with about three inches between the driver’s side and the vehicle to the left–no way I could squeeze my pregnant body into the car on that side, so I would have to open the passenger side and slide over the gear shift into the driver’s side. Oh, and did I mention that our car only unlocks from the driver’s side? I know at least once I had to enlist my skinny husband to back the car out for me because there were mere inches on either side of the car.

  14. Oh, that’s funny! This would be perfect for a blog carnival I’ve started for Fridays: share family favorite stories! I’d love it if you stopped by and linked up this cute story tomorrow. Anyway, the idea is to share stories so we don’t forget them.

  15. Hey wait a minute…aren’t you about seven months along right now?

    So there should be some funny stories coming, right?

    *grin* just messing with ya. I felt bad for laughing at this story, because it truly is an awful thing to be saddled with, but the mental images were pretty amusing!

    • Jennifer,
      Not listening, not listening, lalalalalalala….
      Actually, I think I was just exactly this far along with Bethany when I hurt my back. The very memory makes me cringe and shudder. I really thought I was going to end up in surgery that day, and I’ve never had a stitch or broken bone in my life. Well, except my tailbone, twice. But those don’t require medical care. I wonder if I was pregnant when those incidents happened? Hmmm…

  16. My husband had a 1990 Bonneville that we kept until it had 352,000 miles. It still ran like a champ and got about 30 miles to the gallon. However, the only door that would still open was the back seat passenger side door. The front windows did not work at all and the back windows only went down part way (child safety or something). Whenever we went anywhere as a family, My husband would climb in and over the front seat. Josh and I would sit in the back seat. I kept wondering aloud what would happen if that last door decided not to open anymore and we were all inside. My son may have been able to fit through the half way down windows in the back, but neither my husband or I would be able to. So, they decided to try and unfreeze the driver door. They took a sawzall and opened the door. They couldn’t figure out what the problem was, but now the door would not close. So, they tied that door to the other front door from the handles that were on the inside of the doors to pull them closed with. So, now when my husband would drive to his corporate job, he would go way out in the parking lot, look around and make sure no one was around, get out from under the rope and go over the seat and out the back door. 🙂 Other things went wrong because the car was old, but the motor kept on going. The guys who bought it and came to pick it up, drove it up onto the truck they were taking it away with. 🙂

  17. That was a great story!

  18. Kimberly in Idaho says:

    Oh my goodness, tears are rolling down my cheeks! What a funny story. Bet it makes you appreciate what you guys have now. You tell the best stories, thanks for sharing with us. Kim

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