SHAYNA MANHEIM SPECIAL TO LNP|LANCASTERONLINE
I was nine months pregnant when we moved to the green house on a quiet street in the suburbs.
Having already begun my maternity leave from my job, I was happy to have unpacking to fill my days. Of course, that may have occupied my hands, but it left my brain free to wander.
Its most frequent destination was the baby, particularly, what name to choose. We already had decided to choose a name honoring both grandfathers, but that left a lot of latitude.
I firmly believe that, before actually assigning a name to a defenseless infant, the impending parents should try it out.
That left me yelling a lot of names out the window.
“David, come to lunch!” “Joseph, it’s time for you to do your homework!” And so on.
I was home alone all day when everyone else was at work, so it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Did I mention that my due date was in October, during deer hunting season?
That would explain why one day my new neighbor showed up at our door. He had just bagged a fine buck, which he had gutted and hung on a rope between two trees in his backyard, and I could see it clearly from my kitchen window.
He said he was going shopping and wondered if, while he was out, I would keep an eye on his prize. His bloody, dripping, eviscerated prize. I declined, as politely as I could.
“Why won’t you watch my deer for me?” he queried, querulously. “People steal them, you know. I’m not asking you to do much, and you’re not being very neighborly.”
I offered a shrug in response, but he wasn’t done questioning me: “Oh, and by the way, who are all these people you keep calling to lunch?”
We named our son Louis Michael, in memory of his two grandfathers. They were names that were easy to yell out the window.
The author lives in Willow Street with her husband, Alan Manheim, and their two dogs. She was born in the Bronx and studied at the State University of New York at Albany. She remained in Albany, working for the New York State government, before retiring to Lancaster County in 2006.