Friday, May 2, 2014


Disaster raised its feared head on July 5, 1971, just 10 days after my daughter's birth and almost two years after my son's.

My parents had invited Lucy's and my four-member family for an afternoon picnic at their rambler in University Place, Wash. As the warm afternoon rolled on, the four adults and baby Christina lolled in the shade under the covered patio. Young David, though, was dead-set on exploring the backyard, including the vegetable garden. It stretched out through rows of carrots, corn and beans to the raspberries, cherry tree and compost pile at the back fence.

Suddenly, my dad became alarmed. He recalled scattering slug pellets in the garden. Looking at David out back he wondered, had he seen David pick up a slug pellet and put it in his mouth?

Alarm spread. How should we save David from the worst? What if he'd eaten 10 or 12 pellets, not just one? What would that do to a two-year-old? We decided that a rushed 10-mile trip to Tacoma General Hospital was in order.

At the emergency room, personnel immediately pumped David's stomach. They found absolutely no evidence of slug pellets but displayed a clump of cherry pits and raspberry cores they'd found. We heaved sighs of relief. The cherry pits and raspberry cores were enough to disable David, temporarily at least, with or without slug pellets.

Meantime, Lucy was seated in the hallway nursing Christina when a famous doctor strolled by: David Hellyer, M.D., who, with his wife Connie, donated the land for Northwest Trek in 1971. Dr. Hellyer glanced at our contented Christina and said, "Looks like a very healthy baby!"

David Reeck's second birthday arrived three weeks later on July 25th. Lucy, David, Christina and I were back at the senior Reecks. Grandmom Orleen wanted to host the family party. For David, she made a very special Rice Krispy cake decorated with two large candles. This cake gave him great joy (and sticky fingers.)
Photo: Mom enjoyed adventures too!

Followup: David has remained an explorer. Christina is a valued lactation nurse, and Lucy brings joy to family occasions. For Mother's Day, I honor the two most important women in my life for their grandmotherly ability to produce joy for kids.

P.S. If you enjoyed this, you'll also enjoy many episodes from mid-century in Growing Green Two Ways! No surprise: It features Mount Rainier! Get it quickly and easily. Click here.

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At September 5, 2016 at 10:42 AM , Blogger Hal said...

What great connections drawn between your mother and your wife, son and daughter! (Enjoy looking at the blog on occasion to see what I've missed.)


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