May-be it’s a blizzard

May-be it’s a blizzard

Southwest de-icing operation - 12 May 2011
Southwest de-icing operation - 12 May 2011

A quick flight from Denver to Omaha by the numbers:

3.5 – hours ahead of departure time that we left home

45 – minutes late boarding the plane

3 – passengers we had to wait for from connecting flight

4.5 – hours we sat on the tarmac waiting for take off

4-6 – inches of snow that fell in hours we sat on the tarmac

3 – planes ahead of us in the de-icing line

1 – number of times we had to be towed back to the gate so the engines could be “air started”

65 – minutes of actual flight time

5 – hours late arriving in  Omaha

7– minutes left before the rental car desk closed upon our arrival in Omaha

1 – phone call made to the hotel to get directions in the middle of the night

3:45 – hours after midnight when we crawled into bed

11 – total hours spent making a 500 mile trip

At least we weren’t on the flight to Phoenix!

photo (credit: CBS)
It’s a girl!

It’s a girl!

Birth Announcement
Birth Announcement

The phone rang early on that Sunday morning in the Pratt home in Flint, Michigan with a long-distance call from Saginaw – about 40 miles away.  When Gram answered, Dad simply said, “Happy Mother’s Day”.  Her immediate response was, “What is it?”  “It” was a long, skinny baby girl with dark hair who was soon named Lynnette.

2 or three months old
two or three months old

At 9 pounds, 9 ounces and 21 1/2 inches long, I was big and healthy.  However, during my first months of life, I was plagued with digestion problems and couldn’t tolerate regular formula.  Following  the doctor’s orders, my parents fed me a smorgasbord of concoctions in an attempt to find something that my system could “stomach”.  In the mid 1950’s, commercially produced formula wasn’t widely available – even for babies without stomach problems.  So whatever they tried didn’t come in a can, but was mixed by my mother in her own kitchen and then poured into sterilized glass  bottles that she stored in the refrigerator. That must have been a chore for her.  I have vague memories of Mom mixing formula for my younger siblings using evaporated milk, water and some corn syrup.  Horrors!

On the bassinette - changing table
On the bathinet - changing table

Projectile vomiting was my routine after every feeding, and my parents soon learned to never burp me while I was facing them.  After weeks or maybe months of trial and error during which time my dad regularly carried my stool sample to the hospital for evaluation (talk about a father’s love!), I think they finally found some soy formula that I could handle. After following that regimen for several months, the doctor was still somewhat concerned when I weighed only 17 pounds at 1 year.  However, after a few more months of growth along with solid food I began to put on a little weight and before long was measuring in the “normal” range.  Oh, to be plagued with an inability to gain weight now!

Mom holding me
Mom and me in our classic 50's attire

I was the third child in the family.  David, born 20 September 1951, was not yet three and Yvonne, born 9 September, 1952, was not yet two.  In September of that year when I was about four months old, Dad returned to Michigan State at Lansing to finish his Master’s Degree.  So Mother was left alone (remember this house?) with three little children and no car during the week – Dad came home only on the weekends.

My mother was a strong woman.  Thanks for the great example!