Monthly Archives: May 2015

IMG_0020aOne of the hardest things a parent has to face, is having their child move away. Whether it is to college or a permanent move, it is a tearing time for the parents, who had hoped this day would never come. Parents don’t have children so they can move away, but nevertheless, that is what happens sometimes. Whether it is a job transfer, college, or a move of choice, it is really hard on both parents and children. Since I have never moved away as a child, I can’t speak to the feelings of homesickness that come from living so far from the only home I have ever known. I suppose it could be much the same as the parents are feeling about their child leaving. You want them to be happy, and yet you had always hoped that their happiness would be found in the same city that you live in, and not in a city that is 1200 miles away from you. That is just so far away, that it seems unbearable.

As the parent, in this situation, I think it might be just a bit unique. For the last six and a half years, I have had the great pleasure of working side by side with my daughter, Amy Royce. Friday was her last day, since she is moving to Washington state today. I think the hardest part of her leaving work for good, is seeing her empty chair. Her office is out front, and will continue to be used to do things like make payments and such, until we hire someone to take her place, but it’s really hard for me to go in there, because when I do, I am once again faced with that empty chair…not to mention the task of telling every client that Amy no longer works there. It almost feels like rubbing it in.

It has also been our tradition to go to breakfast with Amy every other week on Saturday, trading off with going to breakfast with our older daughter, Corrie Petersen. As we were having a special breakfast Sunday morning, which included both of them, so that we could all enjoy one more time together, it occurred to me that in the future, we would again be looking at an empty chair…the one Amy used to occupy every other week at breakfast. It is just another reminder of the drastic change that has taken place in our family.

Then, came church. I am used to having Amy sitting on my right and Corrie on my left, but Sunday morning brought yet another empty chair, as Amy and her family spent the morning packing the moving truck they have rented. Amy also sang with me as part of the backup singers for the music ministry, and that felt a little bit lonely too…even though I didn’t stand right next to her. I still knew that she was there, and now I know that she isn’t there anymore.That Empty Chair

I know that I will get used to having my daughter and her family living so far away. It will just take time. I know it will be hard for them too, but I think they will have a bit of an advantage over me, and those of us left behind, including their daughter, Shai, who decided to stay in Casper, because they will not be picturing us in places around their world. It will not be normal to have us there at their work, at the restaurants they go too, or the church they attend. They will have a normal that doesn’t include us. We will have to create a new normal that does not include them. Yes, I will get used to having them gone too. I just think it would be easier for me, were it not for that empty chair.

Princess CharlotteSomething very new has happened to the royal family of England. As you all know by now, Prince William and his wife Catherine “Kate” now have a second baby…a girl named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana. In times prior, this child would have been passed over for succession to the throne, but this is a new time, and she is currently fourth in line to the throne. It used to be that if William and Kate were to have a third child, and it was a boy, he would pass up his sister in the line to the throne. That kind of left the girls as a showpiece really, so I think it is a great move to abolish that old tradition. And when we look at the years that Queen Elizabeth has ruled in the United Kingdom, I would have to say that she has done a pretty good job.

I am so excited that William and Kate had a baby girl this time, because they have been able to add a tribute to William’s mother, my 18th cousin, Princess Diana. I wish they had named this baby Diana for her first name, but I can certainly understand the reasons not to. As one person commented, this baby should have her own identity. Nevertheless, I think it is important that she have a tie to the grandmother she will never get to know…at least not in this life. I also think it would be wonderful if this baby bore a slight resemblance to Diana, who was quite beautiful.

Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Windsor was born on May 2, 2015 at 8:34am, weighing 8 pounds 3 ounces, which was just 3 ounces less than her brother, Prince George when he arrived on July 22, 2013. Her name has several possibilities as to where it came from. Of course, the previous Princess Charlotte of Wales, was beloved by the people, but she died in childbirth in 1817 at the age of 21. Charlotte is the feminine form of Charles, and I suppose she could be named after Prince Charles. The name means petite. Charlotte is also Kate’s sister, Pippa’s middle name, so it is quite possible the name came from there, as the girls are very close. Of course, I’m sure that Elizabeth is after both Queen Elizabeth, and Kate herself, as her name is Catherine Elizabeth, and as we all know, Diana is after her grandmother, Princess Diana.Kate & William with Princess Charlotte

I’m sure this baby will feel a responsibility to be as loving as her grandmother was, and I think that is a good thing. Diana was the “People’s Princess” and I’m sure her granddaughter will be just as beloved as Diana was. While it will be a while before we see many more pictures, I look forward to watching this, my 18th cousin twice removed, grow into the beautiful princess that I’m sure she will become. Her parents have done a wonderful job raising her brother, Prince George, and I know they will do the same with her. I look forward to having the princess dazzle us in the very near future. Congratulations Will and Kate on your beautiful baby girl!!

Travis Abraham RoyceWhen I think of who my son-in-law, Travis Royce is, I really have to say that he is an idea man. He is always coming up with new ideas whether it be for his work, his life, or simply his day. He is quick witted, and quite funny, which is I’m sure a big part of what attracted Amy to him in the first place. It is just a part of his charm. I think many people wish they could be as quick to have a comeback, or a joke as Travis is, but few of us have that ability.

Travis has always wanted to live somewhere besides Casper, and now he and Amy are getting ready to start their new adventure, by moving to the Seattle, Washington area. For him, there could be no better birthday present. Moving to Washington is not a totally surprising choice. He went to school in the Puyallup area as a child, and Amy has always loved visiting Washington too. Travis’ parents, Valerie and Gene Fatur lived in Washington for a time during his high school years too, but Travis was living with his Uncle Marty Hansen then and going to high school here in Casper, at Natrona County High School. Nevertheless, his heart was always set on anywhere, but Casper…mostly because of the wind and cold. I’m not sure I would trade those for rain, but Amy would. I just wonder if Travis will now trade the Chicago Bears for the Seattle Seahawks. No…I suppose not.

Travis has spent much of his married life working in radio, as a DJ and production manager, but he thinks it’s time for a career change too. He isn’t sure what he wants to be when he grows up, but he and his son, my grandson, Caalab Royce are looking into taking classes to learn to build guitars. They are thinking about starting a business building guitars and maybe later, other musical instruments. I’m sure that they will have much success with an occupation like that, because there is always a demand for guitars, and the styles are ever changing, so those who use them always need to look into buying new ones now and then. Also, more and 11138583_10205158822163710_7811955475298618260_nmore, people who buy guitars want to personalize them. There are as many personalizations as there are people too, so the possibilities are endless. I don’t know if that will be a fulltime career for Travis, or simply a hobby. Only time will tell on that, I guess. The main thing is that he is happy with what he does.

While I will miss my kids greatly, I wish for them the very best of everything. I know that this new adventure will be exciting and interesting. I love the Seattle area too. There is much to see and do. The rain forest is beautiful, but I’m not sure I would like all the rain that goes with it. Nevertheless, I know they will have fun with it. Today is Travis’ birthday. Happy birthday Travis!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Jim QuillenWhen my husband, Bob Schulenberg and I went to San Francisco for the first time, we wanted to make sure we saw all the sights of the area. I was especially interested in Alcatraz Prison, partly because of it’s unique location, but also because of its history. While visiting the prison, we had the opportunity to visit with an author, who had actually been an inmate at the prison. Jim Quillen recounted the years he spent at the prison, the corruption, abuse, and the Battle of Alcatraz, which took place from May 2, 1946 to May 4, 1946. The battle began with an unsuccessful escape attempt, and ended with the deaths of two guard, William A. Miller and Harold Stites, as well as three of the inmates. Eleven guards and one inmate were injured, and two convicts were later executed for their actions.

While most of the inmates and guards were in outside workshops, inmate Bernard Coy, a bank robber serving a 25 year sentence at Alcatraz, was in the main cellhouse sweeping the floor around C Block. Kitchen orderly Marvin Hubbard called on guard William Miller to let him in. He had just finished cleaning the kitchen. As Miller was frisking Hubbard for any stolen articles, Coy attacked him from behind and the two men overpowered the officer. They then released Joseph Cretzer and Clarence Carnes from their cells. They went to the gun gallery and obtained a rifle. As they attempted to make it down to the dock, hoping to catch the incoming boat, they quickly realized that was not going to work. Then, they decided to go back to prison and take some hostages.

At 10:00pm, unarmed guards went into the cellhouse. They were covered by armed guards in the two gun galleries overhead. They found the hostages, but one guard was wounded by a gunshot fired from the roof of one of the cell blocks. Then they locked the open door to D Block, and when the last officer reached safety, the Alcatraz 1guards opened fire with a massive barrage from machine guns, mortars, and grenades on the prisoners within D Block. The prison authorities thought one of the armed convicts was holed up there, but they were wrong. They eventually figured out that the rebellious prisoners were confined to the main cellhouse and ceased their attack until further tactics were worked out. Jim Quillen told us that the men tried hiding behind their mattresses, or anything else they could think of, but it was really no protection at all. The battle lasted until May 6th. Alcatraz was the home to many of the most notorious prisoners, and many said it was filled with corruption and abuse from the guards. After a checkered past, it became a tourist attraction, and continues as such today.

Countries of th United KingdomMany people may not be aware that in the United Kingdom of Great Britain, there is almost a constant state of confusion over just exactly who they are. They are considered Great Britain or the United Kingdom, but the United Kingdom takes in the countries of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It was on this day May 1, 1707 that England and Scotland joined together to become the United Kingdom. I think the union must have been a bit surprising, given that the English and the Scots had long battled over one thing or another. Nevertheless, The Scots needed the economic support that England could offer, while for England the merger was political. The Scots would no longer have a Parliment, but they were given instead a proportion of the seats at Westminster.

The English tend to call Great Britain, England, with notorious disregard for the feelings of the Welsh, with whom they joined in 1536 and the Scots, with whom they joined in 1707. The Act of Union of 1707, states merely that England and Scotland shall ‘be united into one kingdom by the name of Great Britain’. Many people simply lumped them together as Britain, calling all of them the Brits, which technically isn’t so…and even the English didn’t like that name. The last official merger was with Northern Ireland in 1800, at which time the enlarged kingdom became the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

It’s hard for me to think about being a country that is part of a kingdom, and yet, I suppose that is exactly what we were when the United States of America was part of England. Although we may not have been considered a part of a kingdom exactly, we were under British rule until the Revolutionary War. I suppose that there could be a love/hate relationship among the countries of the United Kingdom to this day. I do think that the British Royals do like to go to the different countries that are a part of the United Kingdom, and maybe Balmoral Castlequeen-elizabeth-ii-3those countries like having them come for a visit now, but I have to wonder if that was always the case. Queen Elizabeth heads to her Scottish castle, Balmoral, at this time of the year, so she must love the whole Scottish countryside at least almost as much as she does England. For Queen Elizabeth, having a castle in Scotland is normal. I suppose that if you grew up being a part of a kingdom, it would be normal, and in all reality, while it wasn’t always a kingdom, it has been since 1536, so it might as well have been always…at least for the people who call the United Kingdom of Great Britain home.

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