Monthly Archives: October 2012

Sometimes, it hits me that my children are grown and my grandchildren are growing up…very quickly…too quickly. They are almost grown up now. I look at the pictures of them as children, especially on days like Christmas, birthdays, and Halloween. There was such excitement in the air, with the anticipation of the day’s events, that they could barely control themselves. Even the parents were excited, though few of us would admit it then. Looking back at the little kids they were, makes me think of the young adults they are quickly becoming.

They no longer dress up for Halloween, and even might be working that night now, which is something that kind of makes me a little sad. They were so cute in their little costumes. They might be a pirate, or ninja, a mime, or pumpkin, a ladybug, or fireman, Spiderman, or even a lion, but it was not the costume that mattered, because they were our little trick or treaters, and they were the absolute cutest ones ever. They couldn’t wait for the time to arrive to go out and do the one thing Halloween is all about…getting candy. They were practically jumping up and down with anticipation. Dinner simply couldn’t get over fast enough, and in all reality, they didn’t want to fill up on food anyway, even though their parents don’t want them to fill up on candy! You knew there was going to be a huge difference of opinion there. Finally, the time arrived, and you were off.

Today’s, and even in my girl’s day, trick or treating must be more limited. When I was a kid, Dad took us all over the area around our house. We went for blocks and blocks. You didn’t have to worry about the candy you got, or have it x-rayed, in fact no had even heard of such a thing back then. No, we just collected enough candy to last us easily until Christmas…thought it never did. It was a great time.

Sometimes, I wish time did not have to pass so quickly, because those days are gone forever, and now so are the days of my grandchildren trick or treating. I wish I could go back there sometimes. That said, however, as it is with life, the next generation is right around the corner. Before we know it, these kids, now young adults, will be married and having children of their own, and the next generation of the cutest trick or treaters ever will be upon us.

My mom grew with stories about the Indians her grandfather had known in his lifetime. Of course, my Great grandpa Byer passed away before my mom was even born, but his legacy lived on long afterward. He had been a friend to the Indians, and had been invited to take part in their Pow Wows. I don’t really know how much this impressed my mom, but I know that she often talked about the stories she had heard so many times in her youth. I remember, Mom’s stories well…probably because she used to use examples of Indian things when she spoke to us in everyday life.

As with most kids, we figured shoes were optional in the summertime, and in reality, they were in the way. As a result of this belief, our feet spent the better part of the summer looking as black as the ace of spades. My mom liked to joke with us about our feet. She would say such things as, “Look at those feet! The are completely black! Are you part of the Blackfoot Tribe!” I didn’t know much about the history of the Blackfoot Indians, but apparently they got their name because of their moccasins, which were often black from walking through the ashes of the prairie fires. Many of the Indian tribes would set the prairie on fire as a way of…well, mowing the lawn. Tall grass provides a hiding place for enemies, be they animal or human. So, burning them made riding and walking easier, and gave the protection of the open areas with no place to hide from the tribe’s people. It was the best protection they could have.

I always used to wonder why she would say that we were from the Blackfoot Tribe, and then I checked into it. No, we weren’t wandering around the prairie, walking through the ashes left from mowing the lawn, but we did wear moccasins for a time, when they were in style. The reality, however, was that she was reminded of the Blackfoot Tribe, by her own little tribe of barefoot girls with feet as black as soot, running around, carefree and happy, in the summer sun. Her own little tribe of Blackfoot Indians.

Winter has never been my favorite time of year because of the slick roads, wind, and cold, but one thing about winter that I love is the beautiful snow scenes. Sometimes, it is like looking at a Hallmark card. The snow glistens in the sunlight, like diamonds in a necklace. The leaves mostly gone are replaced with snow and frost…Winter’s lace.

Light snow falling gently to the ground, brings a sense of peace and quiet, so that you can almost hear the snowflakes touching the ground. The wind has calmed with the snow’s appearance, and it brings a quietness to both mind and spirit. If you happen to venture out in the evening, under the street lights, the snowflakes look like falling stars twinkling all the way to the ground. It feels like you are walking in a wonderland. It almost seems like make believe. The air is crisp and cold, and add that to the quiet, and you can feel like you are completely alone in the world.

A light snow that sticks to the tree branches becomes like a lacy dress, especially in the moonlight on a crisp, cold night. It’s hard to capture that in pictures sometimes, but when you do, they are amazing, and so you take a little bit of time to try to capture the perfect picture of Night Lace. Finally, you succeed, and then it’s time to head for home.

Walking home in the cold Winter air, makes you finally long for home, The cold air finally creeps into your bones. The snow flakes gently flutter to the ground, and make you want to snuggle up in front of a warm fire with a cup of hot cocoa, and just soak in the fire’s warmth. These Winter evenings seem to encourage those cozy moments by the fire, with the smell of the burning wood, and the crackling of the fire. The hot cocoa begins to make you feel tired, and ready for a warm bed and sweet sleep, but your mind continues to linger on the beauty of Winter’s Lace.

My niece, Susan was the last of the nieces on Bob’s side of the family, and in fact there would not be another girl born in the family for 15 years. That, in itself, was surprising, because up until that time, the family had been mostly girls. You could say that we were very used to little girls and their ways. Susan was unique in some things, such as her imaginary friends. Yes, many people have imaginary friends as children, but she was the first, and I believe the only one in our family to have them, and we all thoroughly enjoyed their antics.

Through the years, I have watched Susan go from being a cute litle girl, who always made us laugh, to a beautiful woman, wife, and mother to her 2 daughters. Susan has a sweet spirit, and a bit of a shy smile, but inside her lives a heart of gold. I don’t get to see her as often as I would like, since she lives in Powell, and in many ways I feel like those of us who live here have missed out on all the good things Susan is.

One thing I didn’t know about Susan is the outdoorsy girls she is. When I look through her pictures, I see her camping with her family and fishing with her little Kaytlyn, which is quite funny, since Kaytlyn was not impressed with the fish they caught. And I can’t blame you Kaytlyn. I like to eat fish, and I don’t mind fishing, but someone else needs to put the worm on and take the fish off…that is just a rule!! But Susan took it all in stride, and Kaytlyn made it through that horrible ordeal with that monster from the water. Whew!!

The years have flown by so fast Susan!! I remember when you were just a newborn, and now you have children who aren’t even babies anymore. It just doesn’t seem possible. Today is Susan’s birthday, and we want to wish her the very best of birthdays. Have a great day, Susan!! We love you!!

When you marry a man who has a daughter, you aren’t marrying just the man, but rather the family that he really is. That is what Dustie did when she married my nephew, Rob. He came as a package, with his daughter, Christina. It is hard to step into a situation where you are expected to help with a step-child, but you have to be careful not to step on the child’s mother. It was a challenge for sure, but Dustie has done a good job, and she and Christina have a good relationship now. Yes, there are the occasional arguments, but for the most part they get along well. Many step-relationships are never good, so that is an amazing feat. I think the ability to blend and then add to a family unit is a skill that is learned, but you have to be willing to compromise and to open your heart to this child.

Dustie has opened her heart to Rob’s daughter, and she has also made her place in our entire family. She helps out with anything we ask her to do. I can’t count the number of times she has gone for groceries so her mother-in-law, my sister Cheryl could take care of the things she needs to at my mom’s house. There were many times that Dustie saved the day, just by taking that one thing off of our hands. When you are a caregiver, you need lots of help in many areas, and Dustie was always willing to provide that help.

Dustie is a wonderful girl, with a sweet spirit. She is a good step-mom to Christina, and a good mom to her own three children with Rob, Raelynn, Matthew, and Anna. They are all very blessed to have her in their lives, as are we, the entire family. Today is Dustie’s birthday. Happy birthday Dustie!! We all love you and hope your day is as beautiful as you are.

When my Aunt Sandy was born, there was some disagreement as to what her name would be. My grandfather wanted to name her Sonja, but my grandmother wanted to name her Sandra. Neither of them wanted to give in to the other, so they decided to let the rest of their children make the final choice. So, while Grandma was still in the hospital, Grandpa went home and talked to the kids. He told them that they had a new little sister, and that they were going to help pick out her name.

Of course, the children were excited about both the new baby, and picking her name. Their dad, asked them if the would like to have her be named, Sonja…as he said the name, he tried to make it sound as beautiful as he could. Then he asked if they would rather have the name Sandra, trying to make the name sound as plain as he could. It didn’t take the children more than a second to pick the name Sandra, and when he asked why they didn’t like the name Sonja, all they could say was, “Sonja…eeeewwwww, that is an awful name. Sandra is much better!!”

Poor Grandpa. He must have been so disappointed, but he was a man of his word, and Sandra it would be. He and Grandma had decided that the kids would have the final say, and that is how it would be. I’m sure Grandma was happy about the decision, and yet I also think she felt bad about his disappointment. It was a tough decision, and yet she really wanted her name to be Sandra.

After hearing this story from my mom a number of years ago, I asked Aunt Sandy which name she would have preferred, had the choice been hers. So often we wish we could have had a different name than the one we were given…at least, at some point in our lives. Then most of us decide that the name we were give is the best one after all. As to Aunt Sandy’s choice…she said, “Oh, definitely, Sandra!! I can’t imagine wanting to be Sonja…ever!!” So, whether Grandpa liked it or not, it looks like the name she was given was the best by majority rule. Today is Aunt Sandy’s birthday. Happy birthday Aunt Sandy!! We all love you very much!! Have a great day!!

It’s easy to see how much or how little a person has changed, when you know them well. When you watch someone grow up and see them every day, you see the changes as they grow, but, it is harder to picture an older person as a young person. Our memory of them is only after their features have aged. Then we find a picture of them as a child, and we can see the features that have stayed the same, and the ones that have changed. It can be very surprising to find that not so much has really changed.

When I came across these pictures of Bob’s great grandfather and these of my second cousin, Ted, I was amazed at the fact that I was able to tell that the younger versions were indeed them. It took me by surprise, especially with Ted, who I see just about every week. Yes, I know what he looks like now, but even though Ted is my second cousin, I was not aware of that fact until about 20 years ago, when our daughters were bowling together, so the thought of knowing what he looked like as a child never occurred to me. Then, as I was going through some of my mom’s old picture a few weeks ago, I came across this picture. It was so absolutely clear that this was my cousin Ted.

With Bob’s grandfather, I think it might be even more surprising, in that I never knew him well. In fact, I only met him on that one visit, about three months before he passed away. And yet, I could easily tell that this little boy was indeed Bob’s great grandfather. The jawline and the eyes, and even the way he held his head gave it away. I guess you never really change that much, even though we like to think we do through the years.

I often like to think about what these people might have been like as young children. That is how they would normally change the most. Of course, different times and different generations would have produced very different people, as children too. The times were very different when Bob’s grandfather was young, as compared to when my cousin Ted was young. Still, not so much has changed in the way children act and play, when they are little anyway. The main change I see, is the toys they play with. Computers would have been viewed as almost alien in Bob’s grandfather’s childhood, and we would laugh at their toys too, because much has changed in our world, but I don’t think people have really change all that much.

The newest member of our family has finally arrived. My nephew Eric, and his wife, Ashley gave birth to Reagan Kaylynn Parmely today, October 24, 2012, at 9:49 am. She weighed 7 pounds 10.5 ounces, and she was 21 inches long. She has dark brown hair that is about an inch long. She tried really hard to arrive on her mommy’s birthday, yesterday, but that was not to be. She missed it by a few hours. That is a fact that I’m sure her parents will forgive her for. They are just thrilled that she is here now.

When Eric and Ashley started planning a family, Eric told her that he wanted daughters. You see, his was a family of three brothers, of which Eric was the youngest. His family had always hoped for a girl, but it was not to be. Eric had always hoped things would be different for him, and so when Ashley became pregnant, they waited anxiously to see if the baby would be a boy or a girl. Finally the day of the ultrasound arrived, and it was discovered that Eric would get his wish. Their child would be a girl. Eric was floating on air.

Ashley said she wanted a boy first, but like most mothers, that doesn’t matter once that precious little one is snuggling up in her arms. Little miss Reagan Kaylynn will fill her heart with so much joy that she will wonder why she ever wanted a boy first, and when the next baby comes along, Reagan will be the best little mommy’s helper ever. Little girls are like that…mommies from the start.

As the years go forward, Ashley will have someone to go do all the girlie things that Eric won’t be very interested in doing. Yes, in the teenage years, they will disagree over probably everything, and Reagan will most likely be a drama queen at times, but those years will quickly pass, because children grow up in just a minute, when you consider how quickly time passes. Before they know it, she will be dating, driving, graduating, marrying, and having babies of her own. Does that seem like an exaggeration, take it from someone whose daughters did just that, just a few weeks ago, or was it really 37 years ago since my first daughter was born. Enjoy this wonderful time Eric and Ashley. It goes by so fast, but watching little miss Reagan Kaylynn grow up will be the most wonderful experience of your life! We are all so happy for you!!

I liked my nephew’s now wife, Ashley from the moment I first met her. She was sweet, funny, and she was a great fit into our family. And I was delighted when Eric asked her to marry him, because the longer I knew her, the more I liked her. Now, a little more than a year after their marriage, Eric and Ashley are expecting a new baby any day, and we are all very excited about that new little life. So much has changed since that first time Eric introduced us to his girl.

Ashley has a great sense of humor, as anyone who knows her can attest. Sometimes, her humor is almost surprising, and you find yourself laughing hysterically. She can be almost a tomboy, and yet turn around look beautiful all dressed up. Of course, to pull that off, a girl has to be beautiful on the inside, and that is what Ashley is. Her positive personality is refreshing in so many ways. She doesn’t spend much time on the things that she can’t do anything about, but rather focuses on the little blessings that can fill everyday life, if we don’t overlook them. It is an attitude that wins people, and that is exactly what Ashley has a way of doing…winning friends. I think our family has been very blessed with the addition of Ashley.

Ashley has a love for all animals that is very impressive. Her family raises horses, including miniature horses, which are very cool, by the way. Eric and Ashley recently bought a house next door to her parents, partly so they can be close to the horses they both love. Watching Eric and Ashley with the various animals they both love is very sweet, and as in the case of the cat’s bath, it can be very humorous, and perhaps the subject of another story in the very near future. It is also, very Ashley! She is a very unique person, and I think it is that uniqueness that makes her so interesting, and such a great part of our family. Today is Ashley’s birthday. Happy birthday Ashley!! I hope that new addition to your family arrives really soon, because we are all ready to meet her…and I know you are ready for her to arrive…really ready!!

Daughters-in-law come in many forms. Some can be difficult to get along with, and some can be simply impossible to get along with. However, some can be sweet and special, and easy to get along with. Of course, that works both ways. Mothers-in-law have been notorious to sticking their noses in where they don’t belong, or at least many have been given that bad rap in the past, whether they were really like that or not.  But when the relationship between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law is a good one, it can be very rewarding to all concerned. If they will allow themselves to get along, they might just find that their mother-in-law, or daughter-in-law can be very helpful, now and for years to come.

I can’t say for sure, but it seems to me that in years past, there was less discord between in-laws, be they mothers, fathers, daughters, or sons. Bob’s great grandmother seemed to have a very pleasant relationship with with her daughters-in-law. While they didn’t always live near each other, they did for a time, and the way I understand things, they enjoyed spending time together.

I think that relationships with the in-laws, are to a very large degree about working things out together. It is about each person being understanding of the feelings of the other person. People have good and bad days, and with understanding, and acceptance, people can get along. That is the only way those relationships can work. I’m sure that through the years there were mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships that were horrible, because that is the way things go in this world, but I truly think that the relationship between Bob’s great grandmother and her daughters-in-law, was a very good one. The little bit of time that I had the pleasure of knowing Great Grandma Knox, Grandma Knox, and Aunt Helen, I can honestly say that these women got along famously. Great Grandma Knox made several trips to visit her daughter-in-law, Bob’s grandma with her other daughter-in-law, Bob’s Aunt Helen, and his Uncle Frank. They enjoyed each other’s company, because they chose to not only get along, but to like each other.