I guess I might have titled this post "The Summer of '42," but that particular string of words has already been used and, besides, that's not when all this stuff happened.
The months following the birth of my brother were full of activities. The ones I recollect were:
* Mama created a small garden for my sister Meg and planted lettuces.
* Said lettuces were just coming up nicely when Colonel Henry decided that particular spot was where he was going to plant his new rose bush, and he summarily tore out the lettuce. Meg cried a lot. Mama got mad.
* The aforementioned Col. Henry decided that Eddie cried too much at night (he had colic I was told in my later years -- Eddie, not Col. Henry) and evicted us from the ground floor apartment in his home.
* We moved into a second story apartment a few blocks away in the home of a lovely couple, Mr. and Mrs. Carrington; lots more space, but a lot of going up and down stairs.
* I don't recall ever seeing Mrs. Carrington without her apron on, but that was OK because she made wonderful cookies!
* The Carrington's small Chihuahua dog bit the heck out of Daddy's leg when he came home one night after dark. Tore Daddy's trousers, too. I remember a lot of hollering -- and blood.
* Meg got pneumonia and couldn't go to Kansas with Daddy and me. Meg cried a lot.
* The morning Daddy and I left for Kansas, Mama let me have my first cup of coffee, liberally laced with cream and sugar, so I could "stay awake and help Daddy drive."
* The highway we traveled from Las Vegas, NM to Grandma's farm passed through Garden City, Kansas. Daddy told me stories about the towns we passed through, but I don't remember them. I just remember the name Garden City.
* It was really, really hot in Kansas that summer; I was allowed to crawl out the bedroom window onto the roof and sleep on a pallet, along with older cousins who were in residence at the time.
* I nearly chopped off the big toe on my right foot with one of Grandma's sharply-honed garden hoes while I was trying to chop "sticker-weeds" out of the front yard (which was all dirt and sticker weeds, no grass.) I cried.
* Grandma stuck my foot into a can of kerosene to staunch the bleeding and prevent infection. I cried a lot.
* I got to lie on Grandma's bed in a little alcove downstairs. I cried some more.
* Daddy went to the store in Fall River for supplies, and brought back a small white paper sack about half-full of lemon-drops candy. I quit crying.
* I sucked on lemon-drops until the hard sugar crystals on the outside made my tongue sore. I don't recall sharing any of them with my cousins. I still love lemon drops.