Circa 1955. Smalltown, Pennsylvania
Milk was hard to keep in the house with so many kids around. It seemed like the refrigerator was always being opened and closed and mouths were being opened and closed and growing children especially wanted and needed milk. Not that it was expensive. Mom always thought she was buying enough for the week, but the demand seemed to grow in proportion to the supply.
"Marilyn!...Marilyn!! Come here!"
Marilyn was called because she was the closest child when Mom realized they were out of milk again.
"Marilyn, I need you to run up to Ike's and get a gallon of whole milk. Look at the date and get the one with the latest date on it. Understand?"
"But, Mama, I was playing with Teddy and we were about to go exploring. Don't make me go to Ike's! I was..."
"Take Teddy with you, then. I don't care. Just go now. I need the milk to cook dinner tonight. Go on."
Marilyn knew better than to argue too much and since she could take Teddy maybe it wouldn't be all bad. Teddy was the best dog ever. He was a collie; well-built and sturdy for rough-housing but good with kids and best with Marilyn. Rarely was one not thinking about the other. He was good company when company was needed. He had come to live with them when the next door neighbors had moved out and left him in the back yard by himself. Marilyn's father said they could keep him over night until somebody else could be found to take him but Teddy had never left and everybody including Teddy seemed to like the arrangement.
The two took off for the store in no hurry. There was too much to see and do along the way and besides, surely Mom wasn't too serious about being in a hurry to get the milk or she would have gone herself. It was just down the street and around the corner and between Teddy and Marilyn there might even be some fun to be had. Little did either one know what a trip to the grocery store held for them today.