It was April 2, 1961 -- Easter Sunday. The tradition was to go to my father's parents for Easter supper, about 30 miles to the north in Grafton, North Dakota. However, my mother was nine months pregnant with child number 6, and the hospital where she was scheduled to deliver was 20 miles to the south, in Grand Forks, ND. So she said to my father, maybe we shouldn't go. Well, since there were five kids in the house with no meal ready for the occasion, my father said they were going to his parents anyway. If she stayed back, it meant she would be home alone -- out in the country on a farm -- so she decided her best option was to join them.
So off they went, and the trip was uneventful. Just as they were about to sit down for the meal, however, my mother said she wasn't feeling quite right and went to lie down. She soon realized she was in labor; they needed to go to the hospital. But they were 50 miles away. Was there time? After all, this was child number 6! So they assessed their options. If they left for Grand Forks, they would have about an hour drive. There was a hospital in Grafton where they were, but it was a much smaller hospital with less resources. All things considered, they decided to go to the local hospital instead of chancing a baby being born en route.
Well, about an hour later, I was born, and the doctor told them it was a good thing they didn't try to go to Grand Forks because I would have been born right around the Manvel grain elevators, a rural community about 15 minutes shy of their destination!
In the end, my father didn't get his Easter meal; instead he got a new daughter! Seems like a good tradeoff if you ask me!
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