Grandpa Masts lived on a large dairy farm along a busy highway. Their driveway went up a steep grade and ran along side of the highway. It was fun looking down from the buggy and seeing the cars on the road.
Uncle Eli and his wife Sadie lived in a trailer on Grandpa's farm and helped with the crops and some of the chores and then had a large sawmill yet.
Uncle John Henry and his family lived on the same farm but on the other side of a ravine. There was a nice wooden bridge built across it that was fun to cross if my hand was firmly tucked inside my Mom's or one of the other grownups.
Most times when Mom drove over to Grandpas we would take their field lane off of a small side road rather than face the traffic on the highway or the steep driveway.
One rainy day Mom had to go to town, so she dropped the three of us children off at Grandpas while she did the errands on her own. We had fun playing with Grandma's rainy day toys and Grandpa sat on his rocking chair and let us comb his hair and his long beard.
When Mom got back from town Grandpa helped all three of us into the front seat beside Mom because there were a few 100 lb bags of feed in the back and then advised her to take the driveway instead of the field lane since it was really muddy.
We said our good-byes and started down the driveway. At the end we had to stop and wait for traffic. The buggy didn't have brakes and Mom kept an extra firm grip on the lines so Jim wouldn't start out in front of a vehicle. A semi passed, showering us with water and Jim eager to get home out of the rain didn't care for it at all, and started backing. Mom yelled whoa but then a milk truck passed and we got another shower and Jim backed faster. He didn't really care how or where he was backing, he just wanted out of there. The back wheel bumped over the edge and the buggy tipped precariously John, David, and I were starting to cry Jim backed a little more and we all went over the edge and down on our side right beside the highway. Mom was against the door and we three children landed on top of her. We started howling on the top of our lungs, somehow she convinced us to be quiet so as not to scare Jim and get him started kicking.
Fortunately for us someone had seen us fall and stopped to help, and soon there were a lot of people there trying to lend a hand, Uncle Eli had realized something seemed amiss and came to see what was going on. He opened the storm front and lifted us out and took us back to the house to Grandma. Jim lay there quietly until they had him unhitched and then stood up and stood there waiting to see what 's next almost as if he was apologizing for the mess he got us into.
Somehow the men got the buggy back on its wheels and Jim hitched up again and we went home bumped, and a little bruised, but what an exciting story to tell Daddy when he got home from work.