There are places that remain in our memories, the details may become slightly blurred, nostalgia may colour our thoughts, but they don’t fade. And how those places made us feel at the time is the one thing that remains.
Today I’m welcoming Darlene Foster, a friend I’ve known online for quite a while, and had the great pleasure in meeting and getting to know her in real life at Barb Taub’s writing retreat on Arran, a few weeks ago.
Darlene is here to tell us about the time her baby brother was born during the blizzards at her near Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada.
I remember when my brother, Timothy, was born. It had been a typical cold and snowy prairie winter. Blizzards created impassable road conditions. Mom expected the third member of our family to arrive in early February. Dad was concerned that when the time came, the inclement weather might stop him from getting her to the hospital some sixty miles away. Well before her due date, he took mom and my younger brother, Lorne, to stay with our grandparents in the city. Since I had school, I stayed with my great-aunt and great-uncle in the small town near our farm.
I was excited about this as I loved Aunt Elsie and Uncle Ed. They treated me well. Aunt Elsie was a great cook, and I could walk to school with my older, and therefore much cooler, second cousins.
In their living room stood a cabinet full of amazing books. I would sit in front of it and stare at the titles: Little Lord Fauntleroy, The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, A Tale of Two Cities, Robinson Crusoe and other classics. I so wanted to read those books behind the glass doors. I still remember the day when Aunt Elsie said that if I was very careful, I could read one of them. Believe me, I was extremely careful. Eventually over the years, I read every one of those books in that cabinet.
The baby took longer to come than Mom thought. Finally, on February 10th, she delivered a chubby little boy. Dad drove into the city to see her and reported back that mommy and baby were doing great. She even wrote me a letter and sent it back with Dad. Apparently, my other brother was being spoiled by Grandma and Grandpa. We expected Mom, my brother and the new baby to be home in a week.
But, as luck would have it, the day she was released from the hospital, another terrible blizzard blew up. The road to the city was closed to traffic. Grandpa picked Mom and baby Timmy up from the hospital and took them back to their place. I was disappointed because Lorne got to see the new baby before I did.
The weather stayed nasty for another week and vehicles were not getting through. Mom had been gone for a month now and I missed her. Even though I enjoyed staying in town with my aunt, uncle and cousins. In the city, Mom grew homesick, missing me and Dad.
When I returned from school one cold but sunny day, Aunt Elsie told me to keep my coat on and watch for a surprise. Not much later, an old-fashioned, covered sleigh pulled by two large draft horses that plodded down the road through the glistening snow.
Dad shouted, “Whoa!”
The horses stopped in front of my aunt and uncle’s house. Dad let go of the reins, jumped down from the seat in front, and with a wide grin, opened the door to the sleigh. Inside sat my mother in a hooded red woollen coat, trimmed in white rabbit fur, smiling from ear to ear. In her arms, she held a baby bundled up in many blankets.
“In you get,” said Dad. “We’re all going home.”
Dad had borrowed the sleigh from a neighbour in order to get his wife back home.
It was a magical moment for a little girl to see her mom and baby brother delivered in a horse-drawn sleigh. Straight from a storybook. It’s one of my fondest memories.
Growing up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, traveling the world, and meeting interesting people. She also believed in making her dreams come true. It’s no surprise she’s now the award-winning author of Amanda Travels, a children’s adventure series featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. When not traveling herself, Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, Spain with her husband and entertaining rescue dogs, Dot and Lia.
Amazon author page https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/1771682744/