Family Expansion

Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them. They won’t be disappointed when they speak with their enemies in the gate. (Psalms 127:5 WEB)

Three children, one girl and two boys, it sounded just right to Beth and me. There was just enough room in the car, just enough room in the house and there were just enough chairs around the table, including the highchair of course. Things were starting to smooth out about the house with the new routine, learning how to cope with James’ endless energy and Joel starting into Kindergarten.

God I have discovered does not have the same sense of completeness and timing I have. Along the fall of 1987 we discovered another Chick was under construction to expand our family from five to six. As we considered these new circumstances we decided some things needed to change. All the items which were just the right size were now one size too small. I’m starting to sound like Dr. Seuss!

The family was expanding, including Beth who I believe looks absolutely lovely pregnant, so our home, table, car, everything must expand to include the pending arrival. It was with great sadness we sold our car. Not that the car was anything special, it was only a simple Toyota station wagon. But, it was the first and only car we had ever owned which we purchased new from a dealer. Things just don’t last forever.

To provide sufficient space for another baby and all the necessary paraphernalia, portable crib, stroller, baby seats, etc., we searched hi and low for the right vehicle. That vehicle, provided by God’s perfect timing, was a 1977 Volkswagen Bus. Yes, Bus is the right term. The steering wheel was almost horizontal and there was plenty of room to take on passengers.

Unfortunately this bus only had two front seats and a bench in the rear. No seat belts and the center bench seat was missing. It was time for some improvisation. It’s important to remember I’m not a mechanic, machinist, or any sort of auto expert. If it doesn’t plug into the wall I don’t know a lot about it. However, the old adage is true, “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

Purchasing an additional seat for such an old car was out of the question. Our lime green, yes lime green, bus was the only VW bus on the island so parts were scare. In truth there were maybe six VW vehicles on the island all imported by various military personnel. All parts had to be ordered via the post out of the USA. Seats were just too big for the post.

I looked around and considered the possibilities and then came upon an idea. There were school buses on Guam. They wore out. There had to be some in the junk yard. Why not get one of the old school bus seats? Sure enough, I found an old bus and convinced the owner to permit me to remove a seat for a modest price. I had to do the work but departed from the yard with a new seat for my VW Bus.

Next I needed to add a couple legs, figure out how to mount it in the bus and add seat belts. The seat belts were relatively easy. I ordered them from a company in the USA for the VW Bus. The seat required me to learn to weld, thanks Rich, and then drill some holes in the floor of the bus and mount the seat. A few days later we were ready with seats for seven in our VW bus. I even took time to get the air conditioner fixed. It didn’t last long but it was nice while it lasted. We dubbed our new transportation the Sweet Pickles Bus and threatened to name the new baby Moonbeam if it was a girl.

Our pending child caused me to learn a few new things. I think that’s the way God works. He uses circumstances in our lives to teach us something new at just the right time. He also uses children to teach us a lot about ourselves but that is a different story.


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