Like a Railroad Train


Every marriage has a make or break test.

Ours occurred at the end of 1975.

The details are unimportant. Think what you want. Suffice it to say, it was enough to break us up; 87% of the fault was mine. Terry had a lot of thinking to do and, I, a lot of reflecting.

We thought it best to think away from home and away from civilization. So, we packed the car with 5% of our stuff and 95% of Julianne’s, age 3, and headed for Terry’s cousin Marie and husband Wolvy’s thousand acre mountain hippie retreat outside of Montpelier, VT. The air was rarified there. There were no luxuries like indoor plumbing, hot water, television, radio, stuff, and things. It was a monastic retreat without your God or my god.

Terry and I mended our fences and put up gates under the auspices of Marie and Wolvy.

The day before we left, unknown to us, a spark of life was ignited in the open air.

By the middle of January, Terry was feeling odd. She had missed a couple periods but her cycle was always so erratic that we thought nothing of it. By the end of January, we got scared as Terry’s odd feelings had grown to illness.

Off we went to Snyder & Blander, OB-GYN. I was really worried as we were burying aunts, uncles, and cousins, right and left, from cancer and coronaries. Worried? No, I was afraid, and, quite frankly, sick and tired of funerals. She was in the examination room for what seemed like too long a time.

When she came out with the grin of a Cheshire cat, I knew that not only was she well---but pregnant---and three or four months along at that.

It seems that everything about Josh’s birth was fast forward. With Julianne, it was forever to conception, then nine months of waiting and training, then hour upon hour of labor. There was always time to think, reflect, and, worry every step of the way.

Josh sort of slid right in.

It was less than a six-month pregnancy and Terry never made it to the delivery room.

"It’s coming!"

"Don’t be silly, dear, the doctor isn’t even here yet. There’s plenty of time." Said the nurse. That having been said, there was a rustle of the bed sheet, and, like a train flying out of the tunnel, Josh arrived, unannounced, at the station.

Like his sister, he didn’t cry but gurgled.

Julianne didn’t like the name Joshua.

"We should call him Rex the Wonder Puppy." She said carrying him, under our supervision, into our home for the first time.