Gen and Dick were active in the Lutheran Church they attended on Kellogg in Wichita. Gen always took us to church because, I suppose, it was the right thing to do, but it certainly seemed like an ordeal for her, especially when Dick was gone.

Baby shoesSusie could dress herself. I had trouble with buttons, zippers, and getting my underpants properly oriented, so I needed inspection and correction. Becky needed everthing. Gen would stand over Becky's crib, trying to get shoes on those little baby Becky feet. Becky couldn't seem to get with the program. "Uncurl your toes," Gen would say gently. Then, with a little more emphasis, "Uncurl your toes!" Finally, with a big voice and considerable vigor, "BECKY UNCURL YOUR TOES!!!"

(If Becky understood what Gen wanted her to do, she probably thought it was a game, like the game of Throw the Bottle From the Crib. Becky's crib must have been equipped with a rocket launcher. She could toss her glass bottle with such force that it would fly three-fourths of the way across our bedroom and shatter on the floor, making enough noise to bring Gen running down the hall. The mess had to be cleaned up, of course, and Gen did it without complaint, even when awakened from sleep in the middle of the night. As a result, I have no glass shards embedded in my feet.)

In spite of the stress involved in getting ready, we always made it out of the house and into the car, where Gen gave us a chewing out on the way to church. The speech would begin about three minutes into the drive with the sternly issued word "Now!" followed by "bla bla bla why does it have to yadda yadda yadda why can't you waa waa waa it's not so hard yak yak yak" and various other verbiage to which we turned stone deaf as soon as she uttered that opening "Now!"