Brake & Tonsils

Posted in Eternal Love | 2 comments

Our days were beginning to become routine.  Frank was busy working shift work, Scotty was going to school, and I was planting flowerbeds around the yard.

With all of us in different places during the daytime, Frank became concerned that we needed another vehicle. If I needed the car, I would take Frank to work, but this did not take care of the emergencies that might come up. With Scotty three miles away in school and the knowledge that I might try to take on projects at the house without using good judgment, Frank decided that we needed another vehicle. This man knew me way too well.

Frank decided to buy an old rusty truck to drive to work. The old truck was a 1950 Ford with a manual sift in the floor, questionable tires and had the color of rust because most of the paint was gone. The best thing going for the vehicle was that it ran well when it started. Sometimes the only way to start it was by pushing it with someone inside steering then popping the clutch.

Popping the Clutch

Our truck was a work in progress.  Frank and I were doing what we could to fix it up, but only as we had the money to do so.  Frank loved this old truck, and to tell you the truth; I did too.  The first items on our list of things to buy for the vehicle were a new starter and ignition switch.  Some days the starter and ignition switch worked, but on most days, Frank would push the truck while I was inside steering and popping the clutch.  If the old vehicle would not start when Frank was at work, others there would assist him in doing the same thing.  We both knew that Frank’s buddies at work would be thrilled when we had the money to fix it.

One Saturday morning, we drove the truck to Frank’s Grandmother’s house in Van Vleck. I do not know why we chose to go in that truck, but I do know that we all loved riding in it.  Frank, Scotty, and I would turn up the radio, roll down the windows, sing to the music, and haul booty down the road, but evidently, we made a wrong choice that day. When we got ready to leave to go back home that day, Frank’s Aunt Ann, cousin Kim, and another cousin had come outside with us to say goodbye. So after, many goodbyes and hugs, Frank, Scotty, and I got into the vehicle, of course, it did not start.  What a surprise!

Frank and I knew the routine well, so I slid over behind the steering wheel as Frank got out of the driver’s seat to push.  Frank’s male cousin got on one side of the back of the truck to help.  After turning the key on, I pushed in on the clutch and brake then waited for my signal.  Frank hollered for me to let off the brake pedal, which I did, but as they pushed, the vehicle did not budge.

Frank yelled to me, “Nancy Lou, you wanna take your foot off of the brake, please?”

Immediately trying not to laugh, I yelled back to him,  “I do not have my foot on the brake, Mister!”

Looking back through the rearview mirror, I could tell that Dimples did not find me funny at all, so I refrained from laughing out loud but giggled to myself.  Once again, Frank hollered for me to get my foot off the brake, which was easy for me because my foot was not on the dang brake pedal.  As I watched through the rearview mirror, Frank and his cousin pushed as hard as they could, but the truck would not budge, then I saw Frank walking to the driver’s window of the vehicle.  Since he was not smiling, sweat was running off his forehead, and his face was red, I knew he was a little bit upset.

Frank spoke very slowly and determined as he said to me, “Nancy Lou, this is not funny. It is hot out here, we have done this a thousand times, and you know what to do.  Now stop it.”

Trying not to laugh while staring into his eyes, I showed Frank precisely what I was doing.  Of course, I pushed in the clutch and pumped on and off the brake pedal several times so he could see I knew where it was, how to use it, and which pedal it was.

As Frank watched me, suddenly he started laughing, then he opened the door, reached inside saying, “The emergency brake is on.  I forgot that I put the dang emergency brake on!”

I laughed until tears ran down my cheeks. Frank’s revelation was priceless, and, of course, I would store it in my mind for future us to pullout as ammo when I had completely messed up.

After releasing the emergency brake, Frank walked back to the back of the truck and, with his cousin, got ready to push.

Frank hollered, “Let off the brake pedal, Lou!”

I responded with, “Both brakes now off, Mister Dimples!”

Funny how easy that truck rolled as I let off the brake pedal. Frank and his cousin got it moving pretty fast, then I popped the clutch, and the old truck started purring like a kitten.  After driving it around the block, I returned to the front of the house, Frank and Scotty climbed in the rusty truck, we all waved and yelled goodbye then off we drove.  Frank, Scotty, and I were singing to the music again, the wind was blowing our hair, and Nancy Lou was shifting gears while driving the truck and hauling booty down the road. I do not remember when we sold Old Rusty Truck, and we had many other vehicles, but I do know that we never had as much fun in them as we did riding and driving in that truck.

Scotty made it through kindergarten, and then came summer break.  He would have a rough go with earaches, sore throats, and infections in the sinuses that summer.  Frank and I took him to an Ear, Nose & Throat Specialist in Wharton, Texas, to see if anything could help.  The Specialist suggested that we have Scotty’s tonsils and adenoids surgically removed before school started.  Scotty’s sinuses were showing a lot of blockages, so Frank and I agreed to the surgery.  Part of the Specialist plan was to washout Scotty’s sinuses with saline water to remove the blockages and to put tubes in his ears while he was in surgery.

Frank and I had both had our tonsils and adenoids removed as children, but we both had concerns with our son going under anesthesia.  We had both been given ether for our surgeries, and both of us had terrible memories from the ether anesthesia.  The Specialist assured us that there were better anesthesias at that time for children, so we agreed to schedule the surgery for Scotty.

Of course, Frank and I were anxious.  Scotty was our only child, a gift to us from God; we did not want to make a mistake.  We fretted until the day of surgery, but we had asked God to take care of our child, and we knew that He would.

That’s My Baby

Frank, Scotty, and I arrived very early at the hospital on the morning of Scotty’s surgery.  The nurse took us to an excellent hospital room for Scotty to wait until his surgery. Frank and I tried not to hover over him too much and to keep the mood happy. We told him that the nurses would bring him ice cream and popsicles any time he wanted them after his surgery.  It was hard to look at our tiny little boy in that hospital bed.  Many times I had to turn away to hold back the tears.  Frank knew how I felt and would put his arm around my waist, hug me, and whisper that he loved me, which was the only reason I held it together.

After a short while, the nurse came to place an IV into our son’s arm, then the anesthesiologist and doctor came into the room.  My heart sank, and I could not breathe, but Frank and I hugged our son, kissed him, and told him we would be right outside the surgery door.  The anesthesiologist injected medicine into Scotty’s IV, and he was asleep as they wheeled him out of the room with Frank and I following close behind.  Frank and I had to stop at the surgery room door, and tears started to flow down my cheeks.  I tried hard to hold the tears back, but it was impossible.  Frank held me tightly, comforting me, but I could see that he was fighting the same battle.

Finally, after what seemed like hours, the nurse came through the doors. She told us the surgery had gone well, and that Scotty was okay, but still coming out of the anesthesia.  As she opened the door to return to the surgery room Frank and I heard Scotty scream, “I want my momma!”

I tried to push the nurse out of the way, but she grabbed my arm.  Pulling my arm from her grip, I told her, “That’s my baby!”

As I pushed past her, she yelled, “Ma’am, you can not go in there!”

Frank walked past her, saying, “Too late.  She just did, and I’m going with her!”

Scotty was waking up, scared, and did not know where he was, but when seeing us, he settled down.  We told him we loved him, and soon he returned to his hospital room.   The nurses brought Scotty lots of ice cream and popsicles that evening, and when he fell asleep that night, Frank and I sat by his bedside praying and thanking God for His blessings on our son. On the morning of the third day, Frank and I took our son home.  Scotty recovered quickly, and it seemed like no time until he was back eating everything in sight, running through the yard, and playing with our dogs.

Scotty’s first-grade year in school passed by quickly.  Since he was acting bored and performing above his grade level in all subjects, the school decided to test him.  Scotty was off the charts in his performance on the tests, which was a concern for Frank and me.  Was he being pushed to reach his potential?  At this time in the school, there were no advanced classes for him to take.  Frank and I checked into other schools around then decided to move him to SweenyISD.  There was a young girl the same age of Scotty who had tested nearly identical to him on the tests, and she was attending school in Sweeny.  We knew that she and Scotty would push each other in classes to become their best.

Frank and I talked then decided to buy a home and move to Sweeny.  After we found an older home for sale in the city limits of Sweeny, purchasing the house, and moving into it, we sold our trailer home to a young couple who moved the trailer off of Frank’s folk’s land. So in 1981, Frank, Scotty, and I moved to Sweeny, Texas.  Guess what? I still live in the very same home.

<<< Book I  Next Chapter>>>>











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  1. That was some truck! I’m glad Scotty didn’t have any adverse reactions to the anesthetic or the surgery. By the way, I couldn’t find your “Like” button. Where did it go?

    • Thank you, Diane. All went well, and we thanked God for that.
      Not sure about the like button.
      Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it so much. It was so good to hear you are selling your books, and your congregation is behind you. God has a purpose.
      God Bless You.

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