Get Ahold of Yourself - Handmade Collage

Father used to load the family into the Packard for road trips across the Midwest. When my older sister Pauline took my road bingo playing card and handed me hers, I pitched a fit. Father turned around in his seat and told me to get ahold of myself. This just made me cry harder. Without a word, he pulled the car to the side of the road and hauled me out the backseat by my shirt collar and the seat of my pants. Being only four and half, he tossed me like a bale of hay onto the hood of the car. "You will stay out here until you calm down!" Before I fully realized what was happening, he was back behind the driver's wheel and had pulled onto the highway. Terrified, I held on for dear life. Above the roar of the passing wind, I heard my mother screaming, imploring my father to stop the car and let me back in. We must have traveled a mile or more before my father brought the car to a rest. He got out of the car, undid his bow tie and threw it on the ground. My mother exited the car and walked a good fifty yards in the opposite direction. She turned and glared at him. He refused to meet her gaze.The tension was unbearable. I glanced up from the hood and peered through the windshield. Inside the car, my sister and brother sat in the back seat stunned and frightened. Moments later my mother returned to the car. She picked me up and cradled me in her arms. "Are you okay Baby?" I nodded. "Let's get you back in that car," she said. Nestled between my siblings, we watched as Mother slid behind the wheel and took off. None of us looked back for fear of what we would see. We didn't stop until we reached Lincoln, Nebraska where a new life consisting of just the four of us awaited to unfold.