Saturday, February 12, 2011

Double Six in View

Maybe the title sounds like an ode to a famous route, or a high-roll with a pair of dice. But, no, dear reader--the title alludes to my natal anniversary, looming straight ahead of me.


I am now official a Medicare beneficiary as well as someone collecting Social Security. I guess I join the ranks of curmudgeonly seniors snarling--get your hands off my entitlements. Oh, please don't let me become self-centered and selfish.

Anyway, it is time to run a bit more of my parents' biography. This story is taken from my father's account of the day I was born. While all the details, and most of the words are his, I have edited it a bit. At the time of my birth, my parents were living in Waukena, California, where my father was the pastor of a church in central California, and also a public school teacher in a school some 25 miles away.


I was born on February 13 on a Tuesday evening. Because the due date was five days later, my father had gone to school that morning all unsuspecting that "today" was the day. While my mother was beginning to have feelings and symptoms pointing to the fact that she would likely soon deliver their first baby, she had not told my father. It was his week to drive to school. After school, he had dropped off his fellow teacher with whom he car-pooled at her home. When he arrived home, he found a friend there with my mother, who had been having labor pains all day long and she was beginning to become concerned knowing that my father did not know. She had walked over to a local store and Post Office in the morning and told the store owner. Eventually, word got around to the friend who stopped by just before my father got home; she was prepared to drive my mother to the hospital.

When my father got home and learned that "now" was the time, his first feelings and emotions were to be overwhelmed at all that was happening. So he took my mother in his arms and hugged her, with the friend hovering over them and urging--go, go, go.

So, off they went to the "East Tulare Hospital", about twelve or thirteen miles away. About halfway on the trip, the car began a knock in the car engine, and my father felt the car losing power. He kept the accelerator down and kept moving until they got in closer to town. They had to cross a railroad track, the Southern Pacific Rail Road, as they approached the hospital. Looking ahead, my father saw a slow moving southbound freight train coming to the crossing. Trying to keep his speed up, for fear the engine would die, he turned on to another street to avoid the crossing altogether.

As he slowed to make a left turn the motor died completely. It would not budge. They coasted to the side of the street. My father jumped out and ran across the street to a house where several people were sitting on their front porch. He said to them, "I'm taking my wife to the East Tulare Hospital and my car died." They had seen and observed that fact, and the "East Tulare Hospital" was a maternity hospital only. So they took in the situation immediately. A young man there jumped up, ran into the house saying, "Where are my keys?", grabbed his car keys, ran out to the carport at the side of their house, backed out and pulled his car up beside their car. My mother was transferred to that car, and the three of them sped across town to the "East Tulare Hospital."

With my mother safely in the hospital, my father made his way to the house of one of his church members. They then took him back across town to the car to tow it back to his place. It was parked where he had left it, parked at an angle partly out into the street. After they all got back to the church members’ house, my father wanted to go back to the hospital right away. But the church members assured my father that it could be hours and hours yet, that the first baby usually took a long time coming. So they insisted he eat supper with them.

By the time my father got back to the hospital, I had been born. My father came into the room to see my mother just as a nurse came along and popped a thermometer in her mouth. Anxious to learn of his child, he asked her, "Is it a boy?" And she shook her head "NO". My father then said, "Is it a girl?". And she shook her head "YES".


Grizz………… said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I don't what what you do about such matters in your family, but here on the riverbank we celebrate! (Actually, that usually means we go out to dinner, birthday-blessed picks and spouse pays.)

BTW, per the final paragraph in your post…your father had just faced several logistical traumas, arrived late for his firstborn, and probably was still digesting that enforced supper. It's understandable he might have experienced some momentary confusion as to the number of available gender options regarding his new child.

Anvilcloud said...

It must be great to have something written down like that about The Day You Were Born. Have a great natal weekend.

Jayne said...

Well, I suppose at least you can be thankful that you are getting back some of that money you paid into the coffers as you worked for years. By the time I reach an age to retire, there may be none left! :c)

What a wonderful story of the day you came to be. An early Happy Birthday to you my friend!

Peruby said...

LOL! If I were your Mom I would have been tempted to shake my head both times! Now, that would have put him over the edge! Also, the pic of your family is precious! Your father kind of looks like Elvis to me.

warriormom said...

How great to have all the details and too funny! Happy birthday!

Ginnie said...

I love the fact that your Father actually wrote about your birth. AND your birthdate is two days ahead of mine ... except for the fact that I am way older than you. On Feb. 15th I'll be 78!! (and holding, as they say.)

KGMom said...

Grizz--we have usually been low-key on celebrations, but this year, we are in San Diego. So dinner will be along the Pacific; not bad, eh?
AC--thanks. Natal weekend is proceeding quite nicely.
Jayne--truth is, I don't think of my having paid in as my due for collecting now. In truth, I paid in so others would not want. We are peculiar in the U.S., bemoaning helping others as we do.
Peruby--me too. Like what other choices were there?
WarriorMom--it is fun. Most kids want to know about their births.
Ginnie--way older is good. Keep at it! And happy birthday to you.

Anonymous said...

What a dramatic beginning! Now THAT'S a real BIRTH day! I love this story!

Have a happy one!

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

My you did come into the World in a dramtic circumstance. Your father was lucky your mother took all day to deliver. Our wee son was a first (only) child and arrived within six hours of first pangs. He weighed 10 pound 2 oz. It seems I was married to a breed mare. She only weighted 2 pounds above her normal weight when she left the hospital. I always thought she should have had more children. It turns out between myself and our son, she had enough of children :). As you know she left us to leave me to grow up and raise our son.

troutbirder said...

How sweet. I certainly envy the fact you have such records to reconstruct the past. Mine were entirely haphazard and oral from my father ... and unfortunately mostly long forgotten in detail.

Climenheise said...

I'ver heard the story before and do not tire of hearing it again. I do wonder what Dad would have done if mother had said "No" both times? Help! I suppose he would have assumed twins, or something like that. But you have done enough in your life for two people anyway. Happy 66th birthday!