When I was a little girl, we had the same black and white, two-door car, just packing in one more child each year, getting more and more crowded. We never named our cars, like some people do. Heck, Mom and Dad had enough trouble naming all the kids; but we kept that car around long enough to feel like they were part of the family. Dad decided one day that it was time to get a brand, spanking new car: a station wagon. Now maybe Julie could get a little space; she hated to be touched and was all the time squealing, “Don’t touch me,” especially in the summer, which was near impossible to do with five kids squeezed together into the back seat, one in the middle front, and Frankie on Mom’s lap.
Dad took all us Magpies to look for a new car. He loved taking us places like that ’cause he could count on somebody’s mouth getting all round and surprised looking and saying something like, “Are these all yours?” Dad was always telling people he had three or four more at home, or another one in the oven, which I knew was a lie, but I didn’t think it counted as a sin. Sometimes, he said something different, like “That’s what I’m told.” Once in a while people said Bonita was the Milkman’s ’cause she was the only one with dark brown hair the same color as walnuts. That was pretty silly, ’cause we didn’t buy milk, Dad brought it in from the barn, so any way you looked at it, Bonita was his. Besides that, Bonita was Dad’s favorite girl, sometime she called her Spider because she had long legs. I had super short legs, study like tree-trunks, Grandma liked to tell me. I think she thought that was a good thing. Continue reading