We were all sitting around enjoying another beautiful day of sunshine and warm weather outside our Rat Lake cabin when Tim was struck with an idea. “Why don’t we go for a boat ride this afternoon on Lake Bitabee?” he asked the general populace – which consisted of his fiancé Arlene, myself (his older sister), two little sisters, and our parents. This idea met with general approval from Arlene and myself, but Mom and the younger crowd elected to stay at the lake and Dad wanted to spend the afternoon fishing.
My grandfather had a fairly new silver Dodge Saint Regis back when I was a sophomore in college, which eventually became my car when he got a new one. On the particular late-winter weekend of our story, Grandpa was going away for a visit (or perhaps to a conference) and didn’t require the use of his car until late Sunday afternoon. My Dad, on the other hand, needed the use of car – any car — since the Schlosser family vehicle had conked out on him and was in the garage being fixed. My Grandpa offered him the use of the Dodge, and Dad accepted gladly. So Grandpa dropped off the Dodge at our house on Friday evening, leaving it to the tender mercies of my family while he went away.
In the nineteen-thirties and early forties, when my grandmother Mildred was a young woman, she settled in New Jersey with her husband Loyd. They lived in an old green farmhouse surrounded by fields, with few neighbors, and a large white church with a revival-style campground just up the block from their home.
Not too long ago my niece lost another tooth. Being an enterprising child who is not afraid to believe in the tooth fairy if it means receiving money, she stuck it under her pillow. Obedient to custom, her father — Tooth-fairy Tim — did his job well, and in the morning she was richer by one dollar.
It had been one heckuva day. By the time I got home I was practically crawling on my hands and knees, fatigued in mind, body, and spirit. All I wanted was food, a hot bubble bath, and sleep, in that order. I was determined that I would have all three tonight no matter what I had to push off to do it.