Junior (Thomas Albert Hersey Junior, 1864–1956) deftly maneuvered the oars of the small row boat to the front window of the cabin. It was still raining, but not as hard as in the previous twenty-four hours. A torrent of unexpected rain had flooded much of Williamsville and nearly all of his father's (Thomas Albert Senior, 1839-1910) property. What a day!!! Junior's father had been yelling orders and directions to him the complete thirty yards from the main house to the cabin. Junior was well practiced at ignoring his father. In fact, he was the only one of the ten children that could handle his father. It was his happy little secret. He was able to ignore his father while simultaneously portraying abject loyalty.
Junior and his family lived up the hill in the main house while Oma and Grandpapa lived tucked into the little cabin downhill. Well, Grandpapa was usually tucked into the cabin. This evening he was on the cabin. He was on the roof calling to God and Noah to stop the flood. Grandpapa (Daniel Hersey, 1797–1879) often imbibed in amusing behavior now that he was in his eighties.
Junior and his younger brother Ernest (Ernest Francis Alfred Hersey, 1870–1939) had rescued their father and Uncle David (David John Hersey, 1846–1900) with the rowboat. The elder Herseys had been trying to make their way through the flood to the cabin. Really, the two of them were adults but…they were hopeless! Father had nearly severed his thumb in the process and Uncle David looked like a water demon; he had cut his head in several places and had tied a scarf around his head to stop the flow of blood, making him look as if he had the mumps. This was nothing compared to the look of what remained of his suit. How had he managed to get his suspenders wrapped around his left leg? Oh, this was great fun!
Ernest, being the smallest, handed Junior the lantern and began to climb his way through the window.
"Hoy! Oma!! How be ye?"
Their Grandmother, (Mary Ann Smith Hersey, 1808–1888), laughing, pulled him into the cabin.
"Oh Ernest! What a day!"
Junior, climbing through without help, had already noticed the aroma coming from the wood stove.
"Oh, ja, Pfannkuchen und Pumpernickel mit raisons und maple sirup."
"MMmmm! Did you use the Fleischmann's yeast I bought for you?"
"Oh, ja, ja!" The two of them left the others to hover over and analyze the bread.
"Junior!!" His father barked. "We are not here for a baking lesson! You are carpenter, not a cook!!" Thomas Albert Senior and David John had struggled to get through the window. David had somehow managed to land upside down on his already bruised and cut head.
"Oh yes, father, I am a carpenter! Just like you and Grandpapa. But I'm doing as you said; I am calming down Oma."
David, still upside-down in front of the window, actually smiled; but silently and to himself. He loved hearing his older brother being angled. Right-siding himself and carefully entering the conversation, he asked, “Mama…have you noticed that father is on roof?"
"Oh, ja, ja!"
Thomas interjected. "Mama!! Did you try to get him down?"
Mary's face took on a stern look. In perfect English she said, "Thomas, only once, twelve years ago, I made a suggestion to Papa. I have never done so again."
Thomas and David paused and mused. Yes, they remembered that series of incidents.
Mary added, pointing behind them, "Schau hinter dich."
Both brothers turned their heads behind in curiosity. David screamed in shock. Thomas took three steps back quickly. Their father had been standing inches from them holding the lantern.
"What?? How did…?" Thomas stammered.
"I went up the loft and told him God said it was time to come inside," piped Ernest. "I helped him in through the cubby hole."
Oma, all smiles, proclaimed "Lasset die Kindlein nicht...sie sind alle Engel!"
Yes. God bless the children. May Heaven be filled with the likes of little Ernests.