Chapter 11 Welcome To Michigan Part 2

"Are we late for Michigan?" Abby asked, the next morning as she opened her eyes and saw that it wasn't dark outside.

"No, Baby." Annie said as she closed her book before kissing Abby on the head. "Uncle Eric and I decided we would let you and your cousins go swimming before we leave."

Abby smiled. "AWESOME!"

"But first you'll need a bath, okay?" Annie said as she hugged Abby.

"Auntie Annie, how many more hours until we get to Michigan?" Abby asked, a few minutes later as Annie helped her step into the bathtub.

"We're actually, just a few minutes away from Michigan, but it will take us at least a few hours to drive to the cottage." Annie explained as she put some Dial Soap on a wash rag for Abby. "We should be there around dinner time or just before – if we get there soon enough, you can watch Sesame Street today."

"YES!" Abby giggled. "I hope Uncle Eric drives fast."

"He can't drive too fast, or the police will give him a speeding ticket, Honey." Annie replied.

Abby was confused. "What's a speeding ticket?"

"When you drive too fast, you get in trouble. A speeding ticket is a small sheet of paper that tells how much money you have to give the court to pay for your mistake." Annie explained as she continued to help Abby with her bath.

"Why can't people drive fast?" Abby asked.

"It's against the law, Sweetie." Annie replied.

"Oh." Abby said, still confused. "Can we swim for a long time, today?"

Annie smiled. "We'll stay for one hour, Baby, then we have to leave so we can get there in time for dinner."

"Look, everyone – Auntie Annie is carrying me in the water!" Abby giggled a half-hour later when they were in the pool.

Eric smiled. "You look like you're having lots of fun."

Abby continued to giggle as she put her arms around Annie and kissed her on the cheek.

"Yes, we are, Uncle Eric." Annie agreed, before kissing Abby on the head.

"I don't want to land on you when I jump in." Abby said, a few minutes later as she stood before the edge of the pool.

"You won't, Baby, it's okay." Annie said as she moved back a little and held out her arms.

"I won't hurt you?" Abby asked, nervously.

"You won't hurt me, Sweet Baby." Annie said.

"Can I go first?" Lucy asked as she stood behind Abby.

Annie smiled. "Okay, Sweetheart."

"Watch this, Abby." Lucy said, before jumping in.

Abby watched nervously as Lucy jumped in the water. "Do you want me to jump in, now?"

"Only if you want to, Baby Girl." Annie replied. "If you do, it won't hurt me."

"Okay." Abby said, still nervous as she jumped in.

Everyone continued to swim until the pool was almost empty.

"Why is everyone leaving?" Abby asked, confused, as she watched everyone leave the room.

"I think the National Weather Service just issued a tornado watch for the rest of the day." Eric said as he stood by the edge of the pool. "They said it includes most of Michigan, too."

"Oh. I don't see any clouds." Abby said as she looked outside from where Annie was holding her in the pool. "Can we still swim, Auntie Annie?"

"Honey, are there any storms coming right now?" Annie asked as she looked up at Eric.

"I don't know." Eric replied. "They didn't mention any."

"Can we still swim?" Abby asked again, as she hugged Annie.

Annie smiled. "We can stay in here for a few more minutes, Baby, and then we have to go."

"I'm getting hungry." Abby said ten minutes later as Annie wrapped her up in a towel.

Annie smiled as she helped Abby dry off, before picking her up. "Do you want to get some doughnuts for breakfast?"

"YEAH!" Abby said, before giggling. "Those windows are so big, there's no room for the walls!"

"Yes, they are, Sweetheart." Annie agreed.

"We're ready, Mom." Matt said as Eric, Simon, Mary and Lucy followed him to where Annie and Abby were standing.

"Okay, let's go." Annie said as she picked Abby up and carried her while everyone followed them back to the Hotel room.

"To Michigan!" Abby added.

"Yes, we are, as soon as we put some dry clothes on." Annie said, before kissing Abby on the head.

"I want blueberry!" Mary said, twenty minutes later as they stood in line at the bakery.

"I want mine with strawberry in the middle and that clear frosting on the outside!" Abby said.

"Glazed?" Matt asked.

"Yeah, she calls it clear frosting." Annie explained. "Honey, I don't think they have the clear frosting on the ones with the strawberry in the middle."

"Oh." Abby said. "Are we in Michigan, now?"

"Not yet, Baby." Annie replied. "We'll be in Michigan a few minutes after we leave here."

"WHOA, it's getting dark out here!" Abby said as they walked out to the van, after buying a big box of doughnuts.

"We're having a storm, Sweet Baby." Annie replied as she felt a rain drop.

"We have a thunderstorm coming!" Abby announced to anyone who was listening.

As soon as Eric unlocked the van, everyone took their seat, before Annie passed out doughnuts and napkins. "Please be careful so you won't get any jelly or frosting on the seats or the floor."

Abby smiled as she looked out the back window of the van. "Auntie Annie, I can see the thunderstorm from here."

"Daddy, are we going to leave?" Lucy asked as she watched Eric take a doughnut from the box.

"He's going to eat, first, Sweetie." Annie replied.

Abby smiled as she watched Eric go through the stations on the radio. "Can we please listen to some country music?"

"Country?" Matt asked.

"Yeah!" Abby said as she continued to smile.

"As long as they tell the weather report." Eric replied. "If there's a tornado, we need to know so we can find a safe place stay until it's over."

"We should run away in the van if one comes." Abby suggested. "Then it can't catch us."

"We can't do that, Sweet Baby. It's not safe to run away from tornadoes." Annie explained.

By the time everyone finished their doughnuts, Eric was already on the road with the rain coming down in sheets. "Here's Michigan." He announced right before they crossed under a bridge with a sign on it.

"YES!" Abby giggled as she tried to open the shades on the side window in the back seat. "I like this thunderstorm, Auntie Annie!"

After Annie opened the shade for Abby, she helped her make up the bed in the back so she could sleep.

"I'm hungry, again." Abby said, four hours later as she rubbed her eyes. "Auntie Annie, can I please have some chicken nuggets?"

"Yes you can, Sweetheart." Annie replied after kissing Abby on the head. "Honey, can we look for a McDonalds around here?"

"Okay." Eric agreed. "McDonalds will be our next rest stop."

"Auntie Annie, how many more hours until we get there?" Abby asked fifteen minutes later, as she sat down in the van, holding her Happy Meal box.

Annie smiled. "We should be there in about thirty to forty-five minutes, Baby."

"YES!" Abby smiled back as she opened her box of chicken nuggets. "I hear thunder, again."

As soon as Eric was done eating, he started the van and continued the trip to the cottage with Abby eating her chicken nuggets and watching it storm the rest of the way there.

"Is this where we're staying?" Matt asked forty minutes later as Eric pulled into Alice's driveway.

"No, Honey, we're staying in her other one across the road from this one." Annie replied as she started getting everything ready to unload from the van.

"I hope he doesn't try to eat any of my chicken nuggets." Abby said as she plugged her ears, while watching the barking dog in the yard.

"You're still eating?" Matt asked.

Abby giggled as she continued to plug her ears.

"Mom, can we get out?" Mary asked as she took her seatbelt off.

"In a minute, Sweetie." Annie replied as Alice knocked on the window of the van.

"Is that Cousin Alice?" Abby asked. "Uncle Eric is putting his window down."

"Yes it is, Sweet Baby." Annie replied as she finished putting everything into a plastic bag.

"Auntie Annie bought me chicken nuggets at McDonalds." Abby announced to Alice a minute later as she held up the Happy Meal box. "I got nine of them, because that's how old I am – until my next birthday, then I'll be ten."

"Are you coming, Abby?" Eric asked as he waited to close the door on the side of the van.

"No way!" Abby said as she pointed at the dog, who was now standing next to Alice. "I don't want him to get my chicken nuggets."

"I'll make sure he doesn't get your food." Alice said, as Annie helped Abby step down from the van.

Abby held up her Happy Meal box and stepped back as the dog walked over and started sniffing her. "Please stop it, these are mine - Auntie Annie bought them for me."

"I'll put him in the pen, so he won't bother you." Alice said as she led the dog away from Abby.

"Did I miss Sesame Street?" Abby asked as Annie picked her up.

"No, Baby, it should be starting in a few minutes." Annie replied after looking at her watch.

Abby smiled. "Let's go watch it!"

"Let's take the van and go get unpacked." Eric suggested.

"We have to take the van, just to go across the road?" Abby asked.

"We're going to stay in her other cottage across the road, so we have to park the van over there." Annie explained, before kissing Abby on the head.

"Yeah, I don't think Alice wants our van in her driveway the whole summer." Eric said as he opened the door so everyone could get back in.

Abby giggled as Annie helped her back in the van.

"Why don't I show you around really quick so you'll have an idea of where everything is." Alice suggested after everyone was inside the cottage.

"Oh that would be great, Alice." Annie replied. "Can Abby watch Sesame Street?"

"Okay." Alice said before turning on the TV.

After Sesame Street was over, Abby went to look for Annie. "Look what I found in one of the rooms!" She announced as she ran out of the cottage, carrying a Rubik's Cube.

"Abby, there's a car coming!" Matt yelled as he watched her run towards the road.

"No, Sweet Baby, stay over there!" Annie said as she looked across the road and saw Abby running in her direction.

"Abby, wait!" Mary yelled as she stood next to Matt.

Abby continued to run, as she heard everyone yelling, but didn't process anything they were saying.

"Abby, don't cross the road, yet!" Lucy yelled as she joined Matt and Mary.

"Abby!" Simon yelled, copying his brother and sisters.

Annie gasped as she watched Eric pull Abby back right before the car came speeding by. "BABY GIRL!"

"I just wanted to show Auntie Annie what I found in the cottage." Abby said, confused as she watched Annie and Alice walk across the road.

"Abby, that car almost hit you." Matt said as he walked over to her.

"Honey, you could have been killed." Annie said, still shaken up.

"Are you mad at me?" Abby asked, nervously.

"No, Baby…you just really scared me when you almost ran out in front of that car." Annie replied. "If that car hit you, you could have been seriously hurt or even dead."

"I'm sorry." Abby said, as she felt tears run down both sides of her face. "I didn't mean to scare you."

Annie started to cry as she picked Abby up and hugged her while kissing her on the head. "I know you didn't, Sweetheart. I just love you so much and don't want anything to happen to you. Oh baby, I'm not mad at you, I was just scared. But I'm so glad you're okay."

Abby rested her head on Annie's shoulder and continued to cry, as she was being carried inside the cottage. "I saw you talking to Cousin Alice in her yard and I wanted to show you what I found in here."

After Annie checked on her children and saw that they were all with Eric, she sat down and rocked Abby while explaining the Rubik's Cube to her.

"I wish you had one at your house so I can play with it when I come over." Abby said as she rubbed her eyes.

Annie smiled. "Well maybe I'll buy you one sometime."

"I love you." Abby said, before kissing Annie on the cheek.

"I love you, too, Sweet Baby." Annie replied as she hugged Abby.

"Abby, do you want to come outside and play?" Lucy asked a few minutes later as she walked in the room.

"Not tonight, Honey, it's almost time for dinner." Annie said.

"What are we having?" Abby asked.

Annie smiled. "Cousin Alice is coming over and she's going to make Broccoli Casserole and ham."

"I like ham." Abby said. "What does the Broccoli Casserole have in it?"

"Broccoli, Cheese, Cream Of Mushroom Soup, Rice and other stuff." Annie replied.

"I hope it doesn't have onions or pepper." Abby said. "Can I please go play with Lucy?"

"Okay, Sweetheart." Annie agreed as she helped Abby off her lap. "Please stay inside for the rest of today, okay?"

Abby smiled. "Can I please play outside, tomorrow?"

"Yes, you can, Baby, as long as you don't go near the road." Annie replied.

"Okay." Abby said. "If I see you go by the road, can I please go with you?"

"Please yell my name or something to let me know you're there, first and I'll come and get you." Annie said, as she hugged Abby and kissed her on the head one more time, before standing up to go in the kitchen.

"Okay." Abby agreed as she skipped off to the playroom.

"Abby really scared me today – she doesn't understand danger and isn't aware of it, like most children and sometimes I worry about her more than Matt, Mary, Lucy or Simon." Annie explained five minutes later as she helped Alice make dinner. "It makes me want to never let her out of my sight."

"Yeah, I understand." Alice replied as she took a sweet potato and started peeling it.

"Auntie Annie, can someone please hook up my Nintendo?" Abby asked as she walked into the kitchen.

"Can we also have something to snack on?" Lucy added. "We're getting hungry."

"Here's some cheese and crackers, Baby." Annie replied after taking them out of a plastic bag.

"Auntie Annie, it's getting dark outside." Abby said as she looked out the window. "And I hear thunder!"

"They said we might get more storms today, Honey." Annie replied as she poured some Seven Up for Abby and Lucy.

"YES!" Abby giggled, jumping up and down.

"Mommy, is Abby in trouble for why she can't go outside again today?" Lucy asked.

"No she's not being punished, Sweetie." Annie replied. "I'm still a little shook up from what happened earlier and I want her to stay inside with me, so I'll know she's safe."

When dinner was ready, Abby tried the Broccoli Casserole and liked it so much that she ended up eating most of it and Annie had to hold her a few times during and after dinner when the storm made the power go out.