Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Ronald Tipton and Patrick Flynn, 2017.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Now like All Christians I will be Happy, Healthy & Prosperous

Besides my job and my church work and the youth ministry and also playing in a church league softball league, I had gone back to college in the evenings of 1977. Apparently I didn't think I had enough on my plate.
At Temple University I majored in Sociology, but when I registered at Camden County College as a student I went in another direction, computers. I had a course in COBOL programming and another in Systems Analysis. The latter was to become very handy to me in the near future and one of the most useful tools I ever gained from education. I never actually got to apply COBOL anywhere; although a call went out for such programmers when they panicked over Y2K. The programming language I did learn and use regularly at Welded Tube and later at Wilmington Trust was RPG II (Report Program Generator).  (Eventually I also picked up Basic and HTML or HyperText Markup Language.)
I also took Accounting Principles I and II. I had an A average overall, but it was hardly surprising, I had been doing accounting in the real world for several years by then. Everything we were being taught, I had already done, but on a more complex and larger level.
But like several other things, the miraculous birth of my daughter, Laurel, complicated things.
Lois and I had given up our involvement in the youth ministry due to her pregnancy. Obviously having to remain in bed for term made it impossible to continue. Having a baby added to the responsibilities at home.

Now that I was a Born Again Christian, my life should become incredibly easy, right?  Saved Christians are assured to be happy, healthy and prosperous are they not?  We have a big invisible shield,  just like Colgate Toothpaste, to protect us from the woes of this world, isn't that so? Did not Jesus say in John 10:10 that He came so we could have the abundant life? Didn’t Paul tell us in 2 Corinthians 8:9 that Jesus “though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich”?  Didn’t Jesus also say, in John 14:14, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it?” Isn't God like the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella?
At the time I accepted Christ as my Savior, Prosperity Preaching was very much in favor with some radio and TV “evangelists” (I use quotes because the term evangelists is being used pretty loosely here.)   A lot of people fell victims to these false prophets and send their savings and money they couldn’t spare  to receive prayer handkerchiefs or miraculous vials of water, and the false idea that if they gave a dollar to a Leroy Jenkins or some other charlatan that they would magically receive a $100 or a $1,000 or even more riches.
The only ones really prospering were people like Reverend Ike (pictured right), who distorted the Word of God to fill his coffers with millions of dollars. The so-called Reverend Ike died of a stroke at age 74 in 2009.

Sad to say, Leroy Jenkins is still at it despite being in his eighties, even after being convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison for assaulting two men and plotting arson to two homes; despite his arrest in 1994 on grand theft (charges were dropped after he agreed to pay restitution.) He married a 77-year-old widow three weeks after her husband died in 2001. She had just won $6 million dollars in the Ohio lottery. The marriage was annulled by the courts on the basis the women was incompetent and incapable of knowing what she was doing at the time. In 2003 the Ohio Department of Agriculture found his cure-all “miracle water” contained coliform bacteria. He was at least fined $200 for not having a license to sell water.

These so-called preachers cherry-picked verses from the Bible that suited their deception without including the context. They overlooked the fact that it is hard to find true people of God within the Bible or out who didn’t suffer for their faith. Being faithful followers of Christ certainly led to easy street and the prosperous life for the Apostles, now didn’t it? Jesus, who was closer to God than any of us, because he was God, was born in a borrowed stable and buried in a borrowed grave. He never had a big Galilean Estate or a luxury chariot to tool about in.

On the 18th of March some of the ladies of the church threw a baby shower for Lois.  No one had given her any during the pregnancy because of fear she would lose another. The joy of gifting an expectant mother with baby needs would turn to deep sorrow if the child was lost. The mother would not want to see what could have been represented in the gifts that would never know the child. 
Lois’ longtime friends also gave her a shower at Mary Lou’s Bryn Mawr home on April 9. 
This was a rare baby shower where one of the guests of horror is the baby. 
Then two weeks after these parties came a scare. Laurel began gasping and struggling for breath. It would be a real concern in any baby, but Laurel was a premmie as well, and her lung growth had been a concern with the doctors. Before she was born, during that tense week when we thought we were going to lose an eighth child, the doctors had approached us with their concerns. They wanted to use a then experimental drug in hopes it would strength her lungs. The drug was called steroids. It had certainly appeared to do the trick since she had come out into the world howling. Now we were facing a new threat to her breathing.
After seeing the pediatrician, we were sent to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where Laurel was admitted with suspected Whooping Cough (Pertussis). The hospital provided sleeping arrangements for a parent to be with the child during the stay and Lois remained with Laurel the two nights she was being treated. She had been admitted on April 25 and came home on the 28th, now fine and dandy.
On Mother’s Day, my dad gave us money to have dinner at the Black Angus, then one of our favorite restaurants. It was a fairly upscale place located in Ludwig’s Corner, not far from the horse show grounds. Lois was an adventurous eater, but I was pretty predictable. I think I had the same meal every time we went there: Two Whiskey Sours on the sweet side, a fruit cup with orange sherbet, a house salad with blue cheese dressing, a medium filet mignon with onion ring, mashed potatoes and gravy, fried eggplant and some kind of pie for desert. I no longer drink alcohol and I cannot eat such a large meal anymore. Frankly, I can’t afford filet mignon these days.
I gave my mother a framed 8x10 photo of four generations of family women, my mother, grandmother, wife and daughter. That did not cost anywhere near as much as our dinner, but to them it was a more valued gift.

Laurel was dedicated on June 25. Laurel Hill Bible, as a Fundamentalist church, did not believe in infant baptism. Such a practice is not Scriptural. Baptism is an acknowledgement of your acceptation of Christ as your savior, a symbolic burial and resurrecting into a second birth, and so must be done with complete understanding of what you are engaging in, and a baby cannot understand this nor accept Jesus of their own will. Therefore, what substituted as a Christening was a dedication on the parent’s part to raise their child in the faith.
My parents, Lois’ father and my friend, Victor Ernest along with his wife Marsha attended. Victor also brought his mother and cousin, who were currently visiting him from their home, and his birthplace, of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean Sea. Although the Island was then under the United Kingdom, it had bounced back and forth between French and British colonization for centuries. (A year later, in 1979, it would become an independent state.) Victor had a distinct accent of Saint Lucian Creole French, although Lois always swore he sounded like the Muppet Elmo.
Since the end of the slave trade, the African population has become the majority on the island. A small minority of the population are Indian (from India). Victor was part Indian and part African. By the mid-1970s he had become my best friend.
On July 8 something happened that became a life-changing event for my dad. He was changing a tire on his truck when the locking ring exploded. It flew at him and he threw an arm up, which the rim hit and then careened off a far distance into a nearby field. The blow shattered his arm and they took him to Coatesville Hospital. This was his first stay in a hospital in his life and the first time he realized he was mortal. He said if he hadn’t got his arm in the way that rim would have probably taken his head clean off. He had seen that happen to a trucker one time. My father had always saw himself as John Wayne, something bigger than life; now he realized he was human after all.

The arm was in bad shape with multiple fractures. It had to be pieced back together like a puzzle and put together with rods. The resulting scar would run pretty much the length of his arm. We visited him in the hospital, where he wasn’t happy, several times over that month. On August 10 my mom took him to a doctor in West Chester to remove the stitches. My father was a tough man, but they had to get smelling salts to keep him from fainting during the removal. His arm was placed in a sling. It wasn’t until August 16 that he was able to drive again, when he drove himself to a clam bake at The Gap. He wasn’t able to work until mid-September when he began escorting drivers hauling oversized loads locally.

On Halloween 1978 we surprised my parents on Halloween by showing up in costume. But the Devil’s Holiday was a warning to this Christian boy that Satan was still about and our lives began to take a turn toward troubles. So much for the lie that being a Born Again Christian guaranteed you’d be happy, healthy and prosperous, and safe from any harm.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Do You Believe in Miracles

I thought our pregnancies were all in the past. When Lois loss the seventh child in 1975, she claimed she had the doctors tie her tubes. It would just be us going forward. I was settled with the idea of never being parents. Life was good as it was. I was satisfied with my job and had an extended family at Laurel Hill Bible Church. We were active, very active, extremely active youth ministers, so in a way we had kids, about fifteen. The great advantage was we didn’t have to feed them and clothe them. The money we made was our own and we could really enjoy the good life. We had no debt, except an occasional car loan and no homeowner responsibilities. We lived in a perfectly beautiful apartment and any repairs were taken care of by management. We just had to pay the rent every month. The only utility bill we had was electricity. Water, heat, trash pickup all came with the lodging.
Lois was even involved with some things outside of the Word of Life Club that she seemed to enjoy. She had taken up skating and at Christmas performed in a Christmas Show at the rink as a Dancing Christmas Tree.

We had even had money for some travel now We had been to Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa in the early seventies. In 1976 we headed south to Tennessee, crossed that state and came back via Kentucky. I remember how crowded the highway was that snaked through Gatlinburg, bumper to bumper traffic. We stayed over in Knoxville and then down to Chattanooga. All along the highway between those two cities were billboard saying, “See Ruby Falls”.  
After a day in Chattanooga we turned west for Nashville. We did get into Greeneville and the home of Andrew Johnson. We remained in Nashville about three nights. I started off driving with an idea of going to Hannibal, Missouri, the location of much of Mark Twain’s legend. I had tried making it to there on our previous trip on our way back from Wisconsin, but halfway down Iowa I couldn’t take the flat land anymore and turned east. Now I thought we could cross Tennessee and go there, but then realized our schedule wouldn’t allow it and I turned northward into Kentucky instead.

We got to one of the large thoroughbred horse farms. We also toured the Jim Bean distillery. We had a motel in the same town and that evening as we were walking in the town we saw a lady across the street collapse. We hurried over and she was unconscious. I left Lois with her and knocked on doors until a person answer and had them call the police. ) Did not have cell phones in those days, and by that year only 17% of the United States was serviced by 911. The home owner called a local number and soon ambulance and police arrived. As they began attending to the lady, Lois and I just slipped away and returned to the motel. I assume the lady was taken care of, but we didn’t want any fuss made over us.
One of our last stops in Kentucky was Bowling Green. We ate in this restaurant that had this gigantic salad bar running down the middle. I had never seen anything like it. Not long afterward restaurants back home began featuring salad bars. Perhaps the biggest was La Grande Salad in Glen Mills. It was a gig attraction for a number of years, but the fad for large salad bars faded and it closed. A McKenzie’s Brew House occupies the spot now.

At the end of August of 1977, we took another trip during one of my vacation weeks, making a tour of Central Pennsylvania. We had made a big circle through the state and near the end of the tour we took a little tram tour through one of the coal mines. After we come out of the ground, Lois complained of not feeling very well. Back at the motel, she said she might be pregnant. How? She claimed her tubes had been tied after the last pregnancy, but she confessed she had lied. (She denies she ever said this today, but she did.) We waited until after another month and she missed her period before following up with her doctor.
It wasn’t I was concerned about the financial costs of my wife’s pregnancy. We had excellent health insurance, paid for by my employer and if history was any indicator, there would be no resulting child. And there was the real concern, the wellbeing of my wife. She had been devastated by the last baby loss, what would another loss do to her? Even worse, she was risking her life. She had been through this too many times. how much more could her body take?
That was her obstetrician’s stand as well. He had warned before that she was risking her health and doctors had told her she could never have a baby, it was impossible. He stood by those decisions now as he told her she was indeed pregnant. to the point he would not take her case.
There was a doctor attending the church and he was able to obtain a new obstetrician. On October 3 I called my parents to tell them Lois was again expecting. On October 6 she was once again in a hospital being sewn up, a cervical cerclage to hopefully prevent a premature birth…maybe. We’d been down this road before. She came home from the operation on the ninth, then on the tenth was right back to the hospital. She had a reaction to the spinal they had given her.
On the 11 my mother and grandmother brought us dinner. Lois was home, but forbidden to do much. That first day home she had to lay down and drink 1 ounce of flat soda every hour. From that point forward she was not to do anything for the remainder of the term. I rearranged the living room so she hadthe sofa available for lying upon or sometimes sitting. The TV was where she could watch and the remote was at hand for her. I placed a cooler nearby within arm’s reach with drinks and some food for her. She was restricted to walking short distances when necessary; she could walk to the bathroom or to the bedroom to sleep at night. Everything else that had to be done fell to me.

However, the church understood our history and plight. A prayer group formed and met weekly to pray for Lois and the baby. Some of the women brought us meals occasionally or helped with the cleaning. My parents were down on November 1 with dinner and they did our laundry.

Off and on I ran Lois to the doctor, those were her big outings.  On Christmas, my parents came over and brought the whole turkey dinner with them I was sick, really miserable. My parents were over again on December 27 to take Lois to the doctor since I was still ill. They brought me soup and juice. And so the weeks went. On January 29 my father brought me snow tires already mounted on wheels since I had been unable to find any in Jersey. Everyone was sold out.
On February 3 my cousin Little Francy’s wife Carol, gave birth to their first child, a girl they named Kelly (left).
That winter was brutal, cold and windy with occasional rain or snow. This was the case on February 26 when Lois told me to take her to the hospital. She was in her dreaded fifth month. I drove her through the night snowfall to John F. Kennedy Hospital in Stratford, New Jersey, perhaps the longest 4 and a half miles I ever drove.
She was immediately admitted and placed in a labor room. I sat in the room with her all night until 4:30 AM. They were giving her an IV to retard any labor. She was complaining of the pain she was in. The doctor asked us if they could try a new drug, it was still experimental, but they thought it would strength the baby’s lungs. They said it was something called steroids.

I called my parents the morning of the 28th. Lois was still in pain. They had taken some of the stitches out and told me the baby might be born at any time. I called the hospital that evening after getting home from work, but nothing had happened yet.
I got the call early Tuesday morning of March 1, 1978. The baby, a girl, had been born at 4:00 AM. Lois had a hard time with the delivery. The baby didn’t need to be spanked, she came out howling, protesting leaving her cozy place in the womb. Who knows, maybe it was Roid Rage. She weighted 5 pounds 1 ounce and was 17 inches long. She had a head full of dark brown hair. We named her Laurel Christine.
She was quite premature and they placed her in an Isolette.

My parents came down on March 4. Lois had come home from the hospital at 9:45 in the morning, but Laurel had to stay there. She had lost weight since her birth and wouldn’t be released until she gained back up to 5 pounds.  My parents came down and we all went to the hospital to see the baby. She was still in the Isolette and would remain there for a while. She was all long legs and arms.
They took her out of the isolette on March 7 and placed her in a crib, but she was still in some danger. She was sleeping more and had lost more weight.
The hospital called us on March 14 and said we should bring some clothes for the baby. She had finally reached 5 pounds and we could take her home. We came in and they handed her to Lois. We had to dress her before they would allow us to leave. We didn’t have a clue how. The nurses stood about laughing at our attempts to put clothes on Laurel. Even the newborn outfits were too large and she kept squirming and kicking and waving her arms about. She was as easy to handle as a greased eel. After a long time of wrestling, we did get her dressed and at last placed her in a baby seat in our car and took her home.
A miracle had happened against all odds and we had a living, breathing child. It was for those faithful who prayed at church that we named her Laurel, after Laurel Hill Bible. We gave her the middle name of Christine, which is French for “follower of Christ”, because Christ was central in our lives.

Lois said she had her tubes tied after Laurel was born.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Days of Writes and Snowes.

My writing had fallen off during the mid-years of the 1970’s. Life had become too crowded and busy. I had continued my studies at Temple University until the end of 1971 and I didn’t formally enroll at Camden County College until 1977, so there was no formal education going on in the center of that decade. I did take a couple courses there in between for my own self-development, I guess you could say.
I took a two month course in Basic Auto Repair, it being a time when you could still get under the hood and have a chance of recognizing something. There wasn’t a computer dictating every move. I had such tools as a timing gun, battery tester and did such basic tune up procedures as gapping the points and changing the spark plugs, timing the engine and adjusting the carburetor, putting in new filters and so on. I think the last car I ever changed spark plugs myself you had to take half the engine apart to even see them. 
The scariest part of this course was the first assignment; take your car to a car wash and wash the motor. Everyone was sure their car wouldn’t start after power spraying water all over it. The day I went I stopped at a Pep Boys and bought some wire drier. Lois and I drove to a nearby do-it-yourself car wash. I was shaking when we got there, I was that nervous. Since I was a kid I had seen cars sputter out after driving through a deep puddle and the idea of actually hosing down the motor seemed crazy to me. But I flipped the hood, and with trepidation, made that engine shine. Much to my surprise I had no problem starting it.

I took a second course the next year. This had nothing to do with cars. This was a Japanese form of Martial Arts called Aikido, or loosely translated, “The Way of Harmony of the Spirit”. What I liked about it was everything was self-defense. With a name like that one might think it was a gentler, kinder self-defense than some of the other forms of battle. True, there were no offensive or aggressive movements and you were urged to avoid a fight if at all possible, but if your attacker persisted the object was to disarm them quickly and effectively. Effectively usually meant you left them dead or maimed. It did have its brutal aspects. For instance, if some bully grabbed your shirt front you could easily twist him away and drop him to the ground. As shown in the illustration this was not particularly gently done. It might just leave him writhing about with a broken finger and dislocated shoulder, but it effectively took any fight out of the bully. 

There was a good bit of that “harmony of the spirit” stuff mixed in because it was all wrapped around Far Eastern religion and philosophy, even though my class was a modern form. There was a lot of talk about your “ki” and your opponent’s “ki”. Ki is kind of like your essence or spirit and aiki is focusing on that spirit and controlling it.
 An example of one exercise was this. Imagine you are fallen into mud on your hands and knees. You now focus on the “ki” of the mud, that it is sucking you down and you cannot pull free. You are pulled deeper and deeper. Soon, without a sense that it is happening, you find yourself flat on the floor imprisoned by this nonexistent mud. To escape you reverse gears and focus on your own “ki”, and soon you have pulled free and are standing.
This kind of thing seemed silly to me, frankly, perhaps a form of self-hypnosis. Nonetheless, it worked magically. You could use that imaginary mud to your advantage to pin a much bigger opponent and keep him contained. You are on top and now you key on that mud and it is pulling you down, further and further, except now your opponent is beneath you and the mud is sucking him down and down and he can’t push you off. The mud's suction has become your strength. I saw some of the smallest young women in the class hold some of the largest men helpless applying this technique. I learned to apply it to a number of life situations. Am I trying to open a pickle jar for the first time? I could picture some force turning it beneath my hand and pop, the stubbornest jar would surrender to the force. Maybe I was becoming a Jedi Knight.

I had become very engaged at Welded Tube,  especially in 1976 when I took on the duties of the Computer Systems Manager along with being Assistant Controller. More and more of my time outside of work was taken up by Church. Still my writing career continued to some extent.
Into the early ’70, of course, I was still writing features for “Philadelphia After Dark” and poetry here and there. In 1970 two of my poems had been selected for inclusion in an anthology of modern American poetry, Dance of the Muse. My last short stories from “Magazine of Horror” also appeared at the beginning of that period.  In 1974, “Animal Lover’s Magazine” bought and published my essay, “Ian”. Other of my work was being published unawares, so I never received the payments due me. “Conjured” appeared in the  March issue of “Startling Mystery Stories”, which featured me as one of the authors listed on the cover. This was the same magazine that published Stephen King’s first professional story in 1967, a year before I sold my first to “Magazine of Horror”. Both publications were owned by the same publisher, Health-Knowledge, Inc. of New York, NY.

Meanwhile two of my previously published stories were included in overseas anthologies. “Last Letter from Norman Underwood” (entitled “La ultima carta de Norman Underwood”) was included along with work by Robert Bloch and others in La Chica de Marte y otros relatos (The Mars Girl and other stories). “Les Oeuvres D’Elwin Adams” (“Writings of Elwin Adams” was in the collection, Histoires D’Objects Malefiques (1975) edited by E. C. Bertin, which also contained a story by Robert Bloch, Agatha Christie and others.
By then I wasn’t writing about the kind of spirits that go bump in the night, but about the Spirit of God. In 1976 I helped the teens in the Word of Life Club do their own magazine, “Teens on the Scene for Jesus Christ”, for which I occasionally wrote an essay or poem, but mostly edited what the kids wrote. Then in 1977 came my play, “Words of Life”, which I directed and we performed about the area.

I did manage to put together a collection of short fiction in 1976 called Sins of the Sons. Most of these stories dealt with psychologic crime, including one conceived by my wife and written by us both (she used the pen name of Jean O’Heaney). Three of the 12 stories would be called ironic humor and two were semi-autobiographic, both based on occurrences during my Boy Scout years: “Death of a Scout” and “A Brother to All”. These dealt with prejudice, hazing and bullying. One story in the collection, “Homicide”, was taken many years later (2011) by Fantasist Enterprises.

Our social life outside of the church was mostly with Victor and Marsha Ernest and with Joe and Linda Rubio. Otherwise there were several people we occasionally visited with connected to the church. I had mentioned the Van der veers, Webbers, McFalls and Biads earlier. We had also become friends with a couple in our apartment complex, a nice young couple who we got together with named Cathy (left) and Dale (right) Yonkin.
They had a toddler son named Andrew.

Another person we became friends with from church was Wayne Bonner (left). He was a young man and independent contractor who was building homes in South Jersey. We had discussed buying a house at the time, but we just couldn’t decide, which was probably God guiding us away from a bad decision.

It was in this period we went with several other couples to the Poconos. We did this both at the end of 1975 and 1976, driving up the day after Christmas and remaining until the day after New Year. We had occasionally gotten together with these people over the years. We met them through Mary Lou Marple Pappolla, one of Lois’ longtime friends from her grade school days. Mary Lou had been one of the Bridesmaids in our wedding party.

Most of the others had been or were coworkers or college friends of Mary Lou and their husbands or boyfriends.  Mary Lou, Ruth, Judy (napping on the left) and a couple others were Social Workers and I think all had graduated from Penn State. I had been a Sociology Major at Temple University, so I was somewhat familiar with the field. There were a number of very interesting conversations indulged in during our gatherings.
I’m not sure if Rich, who went with Ruth was also a Social Worker or not (Rich and Ruth on
right). Mary Lou’s husband, Tommy, definitely wasn’t.

Tommy (in the ledge kitchen on the left and helping get the Christmas Tree off the car roof on the right) and Mary Lou wee so diametrically opposite in all except height (both were rather short, Mary Lou was only 4 foot 10) it was as if Archie Bunker married Maude. She was the college grad, champion of the downtrodden, a vocal Liberal. He was the street-savvy, self-made construction contractor, and a vocal anti-liberal. I can’t quite imagine what dinner table conversations were like at their home, just as I have trouble picturing James Carville and Mary Matalin co-existing. 

I liked Tommy. He was funny and honest, and always ready to help someone. He had poor health in the decades that followed our Pocono outings; I believe he lost his legs probably to diabetes. He died at age 75 in February 2007. His children by a previous marriage, Wayne and Donnamarie sometimes spent those New Years with us at Nemanie Lodge above Lake Wallenpaupack.

We rented out all of Cottage #1, which had room to sleep 10 couples, I believe. It had a kitchen and a great room where we usually gathered in the evenings before a large fireplace and held our discussions. Every couple brought food for the week and we took turns with the cooking. I remember the first night we planned to pop popcorn over the hearth, but no one had brought popping oil. The only oil we had was garlic oil, which cooked up an odd tasting and smelly popcorn. Richard, Tommy and I drove down along the mountain next day and found an open general store where we could buy some oil. (Right, me at Lake Wallenpaupack cabins, 1975.)

While on this trek, Richard spotted an iceboat for rent and we hauled that back to the lodge atop the roof of his jeep. I don’t recall seeing any other people around during those end-of-year trips, we always had the Lake to ourselves. There was a rugged drive from the cabin to the lakefront and we drove down and right out onto the ice. That is how cold was that winter. The ice was thick and strong enough you could drive a jeep right across it. We launched the iceboat and took turns riding the winds. It had a triangular frame with ice blades at each point and a sail. The wind really carried it across that ice and you had to learn how to control the gusts and currents, but man, what fun.
We had a big spread on New Year’s Eve and then blasted in the New Year itself. Those are times I do sometimes miss.
My wife was a very sexy looking snow bunny. We did a lot of sledding down the long slope of the mountain side onto the ice, but of course, like life, afterward we had to make the slough back up with sled in tow. 

1975, ’76 and ’77 went by in a blur of activity and really a kind of peace. As is often said, all was right with the world and the hope was it wouldn’t change.

And then in the midst of everything, Lois looked at me one day and said, “I think I’m pregnant.”   Hey, she had been pregnant seven times so she ought to know, but how was this possible. She had said she her tubes tied after the last loss? Well, she lied and now she was sure she was two months along. 

It was, as they say, a pickle.