It seemed like a dozen hours--though, as far as Flor knew, it hadn't been more than six-- before Papa finally stopped the car, and she and her brothers piled out gratefully to stetch their legs on the pallid grass.
Nathaniel was larger than Papa --with Axel nearly as-- and together they were able to lift the large wooden packing crate off the top of the volkswagon and onto the ground. They were handsome boys, with the same sharp, defined features and dark muscular bodies; well developed for Nathaniel's fifteen years and Axel's thirteen. Like Papa, they were used to physical work, and though Axel was smarter, Nathaniel had their father's dedication. It had been useful, Flor realized, having them about in the last few weeks. Especially with Papa being the way he was.
Papa took his time getting out of the car, as though their arrival was merely another mediocre event and not a turning point in the lives of his four children. None of the older three--Flor included herself in this categorization--had any memory of Grammama and Papatito at all, since it had been eleven years since they had visited, and Flor had been only a tiny baby, or perhaps not even born. Poor Canaan was too young even to know of his grandparent's existance, so he would be surprised, she knew, at the sudden change of environments. Perhaps he would even ask for Mama again, as he had in the first few weeks after the fire. She hoped he would learn not to mention her when Papa was around.