August 12, 1970
When I arrived, my thoughts were on our Baron, and I couldn’t wait to cuddle him again. So when I walked in, it was upsetting that he didn’t appear. “Where’s our puppy-dog?” I said, feeling nervous.
“When we left for Canada,” Mom said, “the plan was to drop him at Mary and Bervin’s to spend the week playing with Russell. But Tom said his good friend David who adores Baron, as you know, had asked if he couldn’t please keep him instead. With Russell still trying to get used to his new home, we thought that arrangement would be best.”
So Baron was in Chicago, and though I knew David well and trusted him completely, it was a disappointment. Mom and Dad were planning to retrieve him as soon as they next went into the city. Maybe it was good they didn’t have to care for him for a few days.
Meanwhile, Mom was bubbling over with the joys of their Keswick trip and wanted to share every detail. Dad, too, had positive comments about their time away. Over an afternoon snack of cheese, toast, and grapes, I caught up with all their news and was glad I’d come.
Then, just when the conversation gave me an opening to bring up our problematic Mustang, Dad took the floor again. “Your Ma and I bought a birthday present for you. It’s for Nate, too.” I found it unusual that Dad mentioned a birthday gift, since that was Mom’s department.
Then without pausing he said, “We bought you a Fiat.”
“What?” I said, completely stunned.
Before I could think straight enough to respond, he continued. “The dealer says he’ll take the Mustang off your hands, too. I told him all about the fumes, but he still gave us credit for it — eager to seal the deal, I guess.”
I was astounded. What a gift! Nate would be shocked, too!
More than likely Dad reasoned it would have been many years before we could have paid him back for the car, and we still owed for the Mustang (a debt he let stand). Whatever his thought process had been, I was grateful for it! He assured me he’d given matching funds to Mary and Tom to “keep things even,” and they, too, had been surprised and overjoyed.
Our mid-afternoon table-talk ended with, “You can drive it home tonight if we can get there before closing.”
Dad and I hurried out to the Mustang, and with wind whistling through open windows, made it in time. When they brought the Fiat around front for us, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was a twin to the one Nate and I had ogled-over in Champaign — black convertible top with hunter green body.
I decided not to warn Nate ahead of time so he could receive the same wonderful, whopping surprise I had. And I could hardly wait!
“The Lord brought me out into a spacious place.” (Psalm 18:19)