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.
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?