They, after getting dressed, again, went down the stairs to the kitchen. Their family was seated at the table with cups of coffee. As they entered, the 3 ladies, both mothers and the older sister, stepped over jugging and kissing them both, offering their congratulations on the new daughter. Mama Breen, tears of joy on her face, thanked Dave for naming her after her Grandmother. They turned one and all to Cathy, kissing and hugging her as much as they had Dave. They had long since accepted her as one of the family, in every way. She was one of the c***dren, just as much as if she had been born to them.
Dave glanced toward the back door to see their suitcases sitting there in a neat pile. Papa Breen explained that with the weather turning sour, he had decided to bring the wives and Betty here himself. He had one of the new smart phones, and was going to get as many pictures of Sarah as he could to take home with him. He was only going to stay until the next morning and head back to the farm. He didn’t want to leave the work to Tod and Mr. Campbell. They would have just about as much snow, and possibly ice, as they had here. Taking care of the stock would be twice the chore as it was during the other weather. Hay and feed would have to be carried out to them, holes would have to be chopped in the ice for them to get water, and, possibly. they would have to be herded to sheltered areas.
They caught up on all the news from home, and Betty announced that she was pregnant, again. This would be her and Tod’s 3rd baby. The oldest boy was almost 4, their daughter had just had her 2nd birthday, so, to them, it was time for another. They had decided long ago, that they wanted 5 or 6 c***dren, or, if possible, even more. Tod was 25 and Betty was 24. They had plenty of time, the strong desire, and an even stronger love of family. Raising a “passel of younkers” wouldn’t be out of the question. Large families were in their blood. Hearing others talk of having one, or two at the most, c***dren was a strange concept to them. They were both young, healthy, financially capable, and willing to have as many as they could. When Cathy told them that her and Billy hoped for the same thing, they were all smiling. Betty told her that she had never had any problems with her pregnancies, or deliveries, and hoped that, when the time came, she would be the same.
Mama Campbell looked up at the clock on the wall. “We can talk some more on the way to the hospital. I want to see my new granddaughter, and my daughter, and thank her. Show us where to put our things, so we can go.” Dave and Papa Breen picked up the suitcases, each of the others taking some of the lighter bags, and started up the stairs. Dave commented that this was probably just for starters. Willy and Sharon would, most likely, hijack some of them over to their house next door. They also told them, that as soon as they had seen Carol and Sarah, they would go out to the farm to show it to them and let them see Willy and Billy. Looking over at Papa Breen, Dave told them what was happening with the mares. Papa Breen’s face lit up at this. He always enjoyed helping take care of the mares when they foaled. He especially enjoyed watching the newborn take its first wobbly steps, and nurse its mother for the first time. He loved everything about livestock ranching, especially the labor involved. He had a seemingly unlimited strength in him, and a desire to use it at every opportunity. He had raised his c***dren to feel the same way. They love testing their strength every chance the got.
They, since it was roomy enough, got into Dave’s pickup for the drive out. Papa Breen and Dave up front, with Cathy in the middle, and Betty and the two older ladies in the backseat. All were amazed at how close the hospital was. It took them only 15 minutes, even through the deep snow, to get to the hospital. Even though the wind had settled to near calm, it was still snowing heavily. They had turned on the radio, and the newscaster had said they already had 12 inches, and the largest part of the storm hadn’t come through, yet. He was predicting they would get between 15 and 20 inches total. The biggest they had had in 50 years. The power company had reported no outages due to icing, and the police were advising extreme caution for those that had to be out.
They pulled into the parking area, it was covered in the first 3 levels, and walked to the elevator. Dave and Cathy were mildly surprised to see Mary’s station wagon just down from them. Cathy remarked that she was glad her and Billy had gone ahead and put the covers and doors on her Jeep.
It was close to regular visiting hours, so they went straight up to Carol’s room. When they got there, they were surprised to see Mike and Misti standing just down from the door. The airbase had closed due to inclement weather, and the school had postponed the graduation ceremony for the same reason.
They came over, Mike shaking Mr. Breen’s hand, and Misti kissing and hugging them all. Misti had put her arm around Mr. Breen’s waist, stating, “I don’t have my own father here so I hold you. You’re the very best next thing.” She kissed him, again, and told him straight out, “I love you.” Papa Breen beamed at her words. It was easy to tell that he enjoyed this beautiful lady.
The door opened and the nurse came out holding Sarah. “The same rules now as before.” she said gruffly, but with a smile. “Two at a time. Our new mommy has to rest. Besides, she gets to go home tomorrow. She’s fit as a fiddle, and rarin’ to go. She don’t like our company, and would go right now, if we let her. Dr. Immelmann wants her to stay overnight to make sure she has her strength. Now scoot on in and see her. She’s dying to see you.”
Everybody had got a good look at Sarah, and Papa Breen had taken probably a dozen pictures of her and the nurse. Papa Breen had given the nurse a quick peck on the cheek and thanked her. She gave him a huge, bright smile and headed for the nursery. Papa and Mama Breen went in first, kissing and hugging Carol, and thanking her for giving them a new angel to love. This was their fifth grandc***d. Then Betty and Mama Campbell took their turn, leaving absolutely no doubt in Carol’s mind of their love. They came out and Mike and Misti went in. They were beaming as they visited with her. By this time Sharon and Mary, who had went down for a cup of coffee while they waited, had returned. Carol told them all that she was going to be released the next morning to go home. They were all overjoyed to hear this news. Cathy stated, so that everyone of them understood, that her and Dave were going to bring her and Sarah home, since she had a 4-wheel drive vehicle. It was 4 door and was made for this kind of stuff. Nobody argued. they knew Cathy was determined, and stubborn.
Armed with this information, they all decided to go home. Dave had gone in and checked the second time on Carol, reminded her how much he loved her, and they left.
They stopped at a large store on the way to pick up a few things, and went to make things ready for the homecoming.
The Grandma’s and Aunt Betty had a long list of things in mind to do before they got home. They would need some time to get them done.