The winter winds were sweeping across the hills and around the corners of the house when Daddy came upstairs one Saturday morning to wake us up. He told John and me to hurry and get dressed while he helped David. Once we got downstairs he gave us a note and told us to take it to Grandma Mast and then stay there until he comes and gets us.
He helped us into our coats and we started up the road as the sun was beginning to rise above the trees across the road. We trudged up the hill and made our way slowly to Grandpas where aunt Emma arranged chairs around the kitchen stove for us to warm up. Grandma read the note and handed it to Grandpa, he read it and immediately went and hitched up his horse, Tony, to their buggy while Grandma hurriedly got ready to go with them.
I was wondering what all the strange commotion was about and suddenly I recalled how they acted similar once before and I all of a sudden grew excited and could hardly wait till Daddy came to get us.
He came shortly after lunch smiling from ear to ear, and asked if we want to go home and meet someone new. I asked if it's a baby girl and he said "No, we have another baby boy." We hurried out to the buggy and hurried into the house the moment we got home. Grandma was standing at the kitchen sink washing a few dishes and told us to warm our hands while we wait till Daddy gets in to show us the new baby.
Once Daddy came in we followed him into the bedroom where Mom was in bed and beside her was the wrinkliest, ugliest little baby I had ever seen. I felt like crying. It had been bad enough that I didn't get a sister, but having such an ugly baby was about more than I could bear. Daddy gently lifted the baby and placed him in my arms and said, "Say hello to your brother Mahlon."
I choked out a whispery hello, just as the baby opened his eyes and his wee little mouth and stuffed his fist in and started making the funniest noise as he started sucking on it. Daddy gave the baby back to Mom and herded us out of the bedroom saying that there is plenty of time to get acquainted with him once he is no longer hungry.
I ran upstairs and flopped across my bed and cried. I could hear voices downstairs but I didn't even bother to try to listen what they were saying. After a bit I heard the squeal of buggy wheels in the snow and looked out the window to see Daddy, John, and David starting out the driveway and head up the road.
After what seemed like a long time Grandma came upstairs to find me. She asked what is wrong, but I really didn't know what to say and finally blurted out. "The baby is so ugly!" She chuckled a little and said "Don't worry, all newborns look like that. He will look a lot better in a few days."
I went downstairs with her and helped start supper, and before too long Daddy and the boys were at home bringing a neighbor girl along. She would stay with us for the next six weeks and do all the housework while Mom rested and enjoyed her new baby.