I was born June 19, 13 years ago at St. Clair Hospital in New Cambridge, PA (a city 35 miles north of Ridgewood) to Charles and Karrie Erickson. My sister Trina is 2 years older than I am, and my brother Chase (Charles Jr.) is 4 years older than I am. His birthday is January 7, and Trina’s is April 21.
The day I turned 13 was a disastrous one when lightning struck my father and me. I awoke from a coma to discover I had developed telepathic powers and that the lightning had killed my dad.
About My Dad
My father, Charles Keith Erickson, was born 41 years ago on May 11 in Wheeling WV where he grew up. His parents are attorney Reginald Maxwell Erickson (70, retired) and school teacher Katrina Jane (McGuire) Erickson (67, retired). He was the second child of three children and the only son born to Grandpa and Grandma Erickson. Dad’s sister, Jane Anne Erickson (45, graphic designer, married and lives in Cincinnati OH with husband Paul Watson and family) is the oldest, and Michelle Alexis Erickson (43, kindergarten teacher, divorced from Justin Roth, and lives in Monroeville—suburb of Pittsburgh, PA) is the youngest.
Reginald Erickson, married Katrina McGuire, Wheeling WV, retired; winters St. Petersburg FL; 3 children: Jane, Cincinnati OH; Charles, deceased; and Michelle, Monroeville PA.
♦ Jane, married to Paul Watson, Cincinnati OH; 4 children: Sara, Joel, Thomas, and Holly.
♦ Michelle, divorced from Justin Roth, Monroeville PA; no children.
Dad graduated from Wheeling Park High School at age 18 and then from University of Pittsburgh School of Law (Pitt Law) at age 22. He met my mom at college and married her when he was 25. They lived in Upper St. Clair where he was a lawyer. He and Mom moved to Myers Ridge after I was born, and he practiced law in Ridgewood until lightning struck him while he helped me put away his lawnmower from the rain.
He was tall (6’ 3”) and had blonde hair and blue eyes.
About My Mom
Karrie Louise Lybrook was born 37 years ago on November 19 in Ridgewood PA, the only child of her dairy farmer parents Jonathan “Jack” Edward Lybrook (66) and school bus driver/substitute teacher Evelyn “Evie” Renee (Doyle) Lybrook (64) on Myers Ridge. She lived a childhood of milking cows, baling hay and harvesting crops when she was home. At high school, she was a 4-year cheerleader for the football team.
Mom graduated Ridgewood High School at age 17 and moved to Pittsburgh where she attended University of Pittsburgh School of Education. She graduated at age 21, receiving her teaching degree in secondary education. She lived with her Aunt Helen (Pittsburgh schoolteacher) and Uncle Ken McCormick (news editor) while attending college, met my dad Charles Erickson while at college, and married him in a July ceremony in Pittsburgh after a whirlwind relationship. They lived in Upper St. Clair where Mom taught school before she and Daddy moved to Myers Ridge. She teaches 8th grade science at Ridgewood High School.
Mom is 5’ 4” tall, has thick auburn hair worn in a stylish pixie cut, and green eyes like mine.
About My Brother
Charles Jonathan Erickson
♦ Named after our dad; Middle name is maternal grandfather’s first name.
♦ He is sometimes called Charles Jr.
♦ His nickname is Chase.
Chase has brown eyes, is 5’ 11” tall and lean like Daddy was, and has brown hair kept short most of the time, except that one time in 10th grade when he wanted it long for some reason. I’m sure it was because of a girl—an incident Mom refers to as The No Haircut Year.
Chase is sports active, outdoorsy and loves playing football, basketball, and baseball. He enjoys bicycling and riding motorcycles and 4-wheelers. He is mechanically inclined and is handy at fixing small engines, which has endeared him to Grandpa Lybrook. Since he is the only boy in the family, he seeks out other boys with similar interests.
About My Sister
Trina Evelyn Erickson
♦ Named after paternal grandmother Katrina Erickson.
♦ Middle name is maternal grandmother’s first name.
♦ Her nicknames are Tree and Tee (from her initials), though she dislikes both.
Trina is 5’ 5” tall, has brown eyes, and straight, shoulder-length auburn hair. She is musically inclined and likes to write and play songs on Grandma Evelyn’s piano and on her own Gibson acoustic guitar. She sings with a beautiful soprano voice. She belongs to an all-girl “rock band” called ARC, which was formed by friend and neighbor Amy Evans.
About My Maternal Grandfather
My grandfather Jonathan “Jack” Alan Lybrook is 66 years old, tall and thin at 6’ 2”, has thin, dark brownish black hair (which he claims he doesn’t dye), frowning brown eyebrows, serious looking brown eyes, and an upturned nose above a pinched mouth on a clean-shaven face.
Grandpa often wears brown coveralls and spends a lot of time tending the yard and fixing minor things at our house. According to him, the house is a Colonial one that someone renovated before my parents bought it. Here is a photo of how it looks today:
The original house was built around 1890 by a sheepherder and farmer named Ludwik Dekownik. His daughter Margga (pronounced marj-guh’) was a self-proclaimed witch. Although she is dead, some people believe her spirit haunts our house and Myers Ridge.
Grandpa grew up in nearby New Cambridge where his father George Lybrook and his brother Paul and sister Janet Baker live. His brother Jerry lives in Albany NY with his wife Alice and family. His mother Helen Jane Crawford Lybrook is deceased and his 91-year-old father lives at New Cambridge Retirement and Health Center, a senior care home.
♦ Paul, married Elaine May, New Cambridge PA; 2 children, daughters: Erin and Kay.
♦ Janet, married to Ronald Baker, New Cambridge PA; 2 children, daughters: Debra and Anne.
♦ Jerry, married Diane Marrs, Albany NY; 3 children, daughters: Brianne, Donna, and Gail.
More About Grandpa Lybrook and Our House
Grandpa moved from his dairy farm on the other end of Myers Ridge because the ground collapsed years ago, creating a sinkhole in the cornfield next to the house. The hole grew larger and 2 other holes appeared last year. One of them collapsed his milk house and the other appeared while he was plowing near it. No one was injured in either incident.
We live on Myers Ridge at 31619 Ridge Road, Ridgewood PA. Below are the floor plans to our house. The living room, dining room and family room have wall-to-wall plush cream carpets, plush furniture, velvety drapes, animal and pastoral prints and paintings on white walls, and a glass chandelier in the dining room. The rest of the downstairs has polished wood floors. Grandma and Grandpa sleep in the master suite, which was Mom and Daddy’s room.
The rest of us sleep upstairs. All the rooms are carpeted, except the bathrooms. My room is the smallest.
Downstairs, the basement has a low ceiling with copper pipes everywhere make going there a headache for anyone who is taller than 5’ 10” and forgets to duck their head. Luckily, I don’t have a problem hitting my head on the pipes, but Grandpa does. Still, he, along with Mom and Grandma, keeps it clean. The cement floor has good drainage, so it’s good place for storing dry goods. Right now, Mom and Grandma plan on using it to store their canned goods during the winter. Grandma still has her vegetable garden at her old farm, even though Grandpa sold the property a few months ago.
About My Maternal Grandmother
My 64-year-old grandmother Evelyn Renee (Doyle) Lybrook is short at 5’. She is plump but fit and strong from living on a farm. She has short, red hair and green eyes. She drives school bus during the school year and is a part-time substitute teacher for the Ridgewood school district.
Grandma grew up the youngest of 4 at nearby Alice Lake (approximately 2 or 3 miles east of Myers Ridge) where her father James Doyle (now 89) was a Presbyterian minister and school bus driver and her mother Adali (now 87) was a housewife; both live at Alice Lake’s Lakeview Living Center. Grandma’s oldest sister Judith Ziegler and husband Kurt live 10 miles south of Alice Lake in a small community called Blooming Valley where their son John Luke is a Presbyterian minister. Her older brother Matthew and family, and her sister Sara Davies and husband Nathan live north of Ridgewood in Brookside and Bakers View, respectively.
♦ Judith, married to Kurt Ziegler, Blooming Valley PA; 3 children: John Luke, Mary, and James.
♦ Matthew, married Roxanne Stills, Brookside PA; no children.
♦ Sally, married to Nathan Davies, Bakers View; 4 children: Jean, Carla, William, and Pamela.