Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Trip Home

In heels and dresses, we clung to the tractor fenders literally for our lives. We knew we could tolerate the cold for the miles it would take to get us home.

Little did Shirley and I know that when we left for work in Dayton that morning, we would be struggling to make our way back again. It was 1966. I was working at NCR and made the daily trip to work with my friend, Shirley, carpooling with Doyle. Now riding with Doyle was a challenge on a good day, but carpooling saved money. Shirley and I would meet Doyle at my fiance's house.

The weather began to change around 3pm. Our bosses decided to send home those of us who commuted. Icy roads continued to worsen as we headed north. We were near Phillipsburg when night descended and the roads became impassable. Doyle turned the car into the lane of the nearest home.

The house was full of people. Strangers, such as us, who could drive no farther were welcomed by these residence of this home. We knew we didn't want to spend the night here in this mass of humanity. Doyle had headed out on his own. Had we gone with him, the chances were good we would be stranded.

I called Gary's parents, and before long, a tractor pulled into the lane. The Miller's had called their neighbor who came to gather two worried girls. In high heels and dresses, we climbed onto the tractor. Shirley and I clung onto the sides for dear life as the tractor made its way to Jenny and Marvin's home.

The warm house and warm arms greeted us. We were with family. With nothing more than purses and the clothes on our backs, Jenny found clothing for both of us, feed us and took us in as her own. The trip home from work took two day. Two days that created a small family talking of the boys we loved in Nam, playing games and enjoying the companionship.

I often think of that day. I'm not sure my bones ever thawed out from that tractor ride, but my heart warmed by those two days with people who were very dear to me.

Sometimes what seems to be a long trip home can end up being a trip 'home'.

1 comment:

LJL said...

Not sure if this was the same year, but one year about then, on Nov.2, my birthday, Dad could not make it home from Hobart Brothers. He stayed in a barn with several other guys at 721 and 718. I think it was Carrol McKibben's barn. Dad kept the fire going to keep everybody warm until morning when he finally got home.