Monthly Archives: March 2013

Grandma and Walt in their kitchenI always thought I knew so much about Bob’s grandmother on his Dad’s side. We didn’t get to see her as much as we would have liked, but when we did, I was sure I could see in her home, all the things she liked and disliked. Looking around her home you would find the piano and the sewing machine in the living room, along with a small television that was never turned on. Grandma was always working on something. Over the years she made many quilts and afghans, and of course, she sewed many clothing items. Her living room also housed a collection of photo albums, that hold the treasures of her life…her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Her kitchen was a flurry of activity almost from morning until night. The radio was the main, and usually the only form of entertainment and it was usually on the station with the farm and ranch report. It seemed like Grandma was always cooking. Living on a ranch meant that she was up with the sun. Grandpa had to have breakfast early so he could milk Grandma Hein and Bobthe cows and feed the livestock. Lunch was always the biggest meal of the day. After breakfast, Grandpa worked up a big appetite taking care of the animals, and nothing would take care of it like a big home cooked meal.

Grandpa liked to play cards whenever we were there, and we always needed a fourth player, so Grandma was pulled from her duties so we could play. I could always tell that she didn’t feel like she should be sitting down wasting time playing cards, when there was so much work to be done. Nevertheless, she played, because she wanted our visit to be fun for us. She was quick to abdicate her chair, if anyone else was willing to sit in it, however. She finally got a break from cards, when we went to town to visit the rest of the family in Forsyth, or when Grandpa needed to take a nap, which he did every afternoon. But that never meant that she would sit and idly watch television. No, Grandma took that time to bake, clean, quilt, or some other productive activity.

Grandma just never liked having idle hands, which is why I was so surprised to find out Chris Petersen, Grandma Hein, and Shai Roycethat Grandma was a San Francisco 49er’s fan. Football seemed so far outside of her nature that it was something akin to having an elephant sitting in the chair next to you. Now more and more women are getting into sports of all kinds, and watching football on television is a big part of that. I am a Denver Broncos fan, myself. But for Grandma, that just seemed so foreign. And then to top it off, I found out that she also loved baseball. Now, more women liked baseball in times past, but it still seemed foreign to Grandma…at least the Grandma I thought I knew. And, I’m not alone in that thought, because my family didn’t know it either. I have to wonder what other little things there are about Grandma that we never knew.

Our 25th AnniversaryBob and I have reached another almost unheard of landmark in our marriage…38 years together. Of course, at this point in our marriage, we reach another almost unheard of landmark every year. It’s not that we are the only ones to ever reach this landmark, and in fact, I know several other people who have reached this one and beyond. It is simply that in a world where marriages have almost become disposable, those of us who manage to endure are rather rare. 

When people have been married a long time, it seems like everyone wants to know what they attribute their marital success to, and everyone has some profound way that they managed such an amazing feat. Personally, I don’t think there is really any such thing as a perfect formula. Every marriage is different, the two people in the marriage are different, and the circumstances are different. What might work to keep one couple together, might just tear another couple apart. Therefore, I simply choose to say that by the grace of God we are still together. We aren’t perfect, but God loves us, and he has helped us through the difficult times and brought us to this place.

Through the years, we have been blessed with 2 daughters, Corrie and Amy, and their husbands, Kevin and Travis, and their children Chris, Shai, Caalab, and Josh. Our lives have been filled with much happiness, and a few sad times, but then we all go through loss and sadness. Nevertheless, we managed to cling to each other during the sad times, and rejoice together during the happy times. And we have worked together during the times when it was necessary to pull together to achieve the important goals. We have cared for our children, helped with our grandchildren, and now, we are caring for our parents. Yes, sometimes the work was very hard, and it seemed like we would not win against sickness or disease, but again, by the grace of God, we were able to pull through and not only do the things we needed to do, but have victory after victory along the way. There is such sweet victory when God guides your path, especially in caring for others.

No one knows where the road will go from here, and what new challenges the journey might bring. What we do know is that because of God’s help, we will be together through our remaining years, and every day will bless us more, because every day in the Lord is sweeter than the day before. I can’t tell you any perfect formula for making marriage last, but I can tell you that for me God’s grace and patient leading, His son Jesus’ sacrifice in my place, and His comforting Spirit are the only way we could possible have managed such a feat, because with out God, I know we probably would have failed. So I give God all the glory, all the honor, and all the praise, and I thank He each and every day for the wonderful man He gave me to walk the paths of this earth with. What a blessing Bob has been to me. I love you Bob, and I thank God for you every day.

ShaiToday is one of three un-birthdays that Shai,  my granddaughter will have before she gets to have her next real birthday. Shai is a Leap Day baby, and officially she is 4 1/4 years old today…or actually on that nanosecond between February 28th and March 1st…that is as close as we can get to her birthday, three out of 4 years. Most people, myself included, think the Leap Day is a cool birthday. It makes her 1 in 1500. That is the odds of being born on Leap Day. Not as rare as lots of other things, but rare enough.

Shai was a little grown up well before the years would make her a young woman, so it is fitting that today she is seventeen, but not really. That has always been the case with Shai, older than her actual years. She took care of my parents when they were sick and she was only 10 years old, or 2 1/2. She babysat for my niece Jenny at 12 years old, or 3. And like most kids, she drove at 16, except that she was really 4.

Like her cousin Chris born the day before Shai, I was there for Shai’s birth, and that was only a week ago, so how could she already be seventeen years old, even if seventeen is really 4 1/4, I take no consolation in the fact that we can call her younger than the years that have passed since her birth, because they have simply gone by too fast. My only consolation is the fact that Shai, like her cousin is a good girl who stays away from trouble and loves the Lord.

Shai doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life yet, and that’s ok. The possibilities are endless, and I know that whatever she does will be perfect for her. She could easily go into nursing, because she has had 7 years of experience in that area, but I’m not sure that is the choice she would make. She is a very social person, and it would not surprise me to see her go into a field like public relations. She worked in my office for over a year, at late 14 through 15 years of age, which is very unusual for a kid of that age. She did so many things early, and it made me even more aware of how fast the years were rushing by.

Today, Shai is unofficially seventeen years of age, and while it seems to me like a week ago, I have long been aware that she was growing up very quickly and right before our eyes. Happy birthday Shai!! Have a great day, and maybe slow down a bit, ok. We love you very much!!