My grand niece, Jadyn Mortensen, has grown up so fast. She is not a little girl anymore, but a grown up young woman of 16 years. Soon she will be driving and then graduating and then off to make her own life. Jadyn is already a very grounded girl. She knows the things she likes, and isn’t swayed by the ideas of others. Right now, as they have been all her life, horses are in the forefront of her life. Jadyn loves horses, and would likely spend all day every day on them if she could. She might even sleep on a horse, if she was sure she wouldn’t fall off. Now, that would be embarrassing. The kind of rider and barrel racer Jadyn is, falling off of a horse that was standing still…no, it’s best not to sleep on her horse.
Jadyn is very athletic in every way. She likes winter sports, and summer sports. With a family like hers, that is kind of mandatory. Summer weekends are usually spent at Seminole Lake, where boating, swimming, and 4 wheeling are the order of the day, and hanging out around the campfire with friends is the order of the night. Everyone loves fishing, and of course, the competition to see who catches the most or the best fish. In the winter, Jadyn’s family can be found on snowmobiles or skis or razors, deep in the snow of the nearby mountains. Jadyn lives a full and active life in every way.
Nevertheless, with all of Jadyn’s activities, and the “getting down and dirty” that comes with it, Jadyn “cleans up” really well. She’s growing up and beginning to go to dances and looking so very grown up, that it is really hard to believe. It seems like she should still be a little girl, but those days are over. She has had her learner’s permit, and has been practicing her driving skills for almost a year, and I’m sure it won’t be very long before she exchanges that permit for a license, and then she will be just that much more independent. Before we know it she will be out on her own…college, marriage, or whatever she wants in life. She can do anything she puts her mind to. Today is Jaydn’s sweet 16th birthday. Happy birthday Jadyn!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
There comes a time in every child’s life, when they hit that magical age…the age when they can drive by themselves. For my nephew, Weston Moore, that day has arrived. Of course, each child has to pass the driving test, and most of them do. They are so anxious to be independent, that they study as hard as they can, because they want that license. Having your own license means that you don’t have to be driven around by your parents anymore. It means that you can get a job and have your own money. It means that when you take a girl on a date, you can drive. Of course, it also means that your parents will ask you to drive your younger brother around, or go to the store, or run some other errands. It is just part of the territory. Weston has reached that age. I’m sure that he can’t wait to go and get his license. It is an exciting day for him. For the rest of us…well, that remains to be seen.
Weston is my niece Machelle Cook Moore, and her husband, Steve’s son, and like most kids his age, Weston likes to hang out with his friends, play video games, and of course, he likes girls. He likes going to dances, and is enjoying high school. Still, like most kids, he can’t wait for summer…but then I think we all feel that way. Summer for Weston brings camping in the Big Horns with his family and cousins. Weston also helps out his grandparents with their lawn and such. Now that he has turned 16, I wonder if he will still be able to do that. If he gets a job, he may not have time to mow the lawn as often. I suppose that job will be passed down to his little brother, Easton. Time will tell.
Weston is a great young man, and I am amazed that he is 16 years old already. The years have flown by so quickly. Before long, he will be graduating from high school and going on to college, or a career, and then marriage and children of his own. I know we will be shocked at how quickly the time flew by then too. Nevertheless, that day is down the road a little bit yet. Today is Weston’s 16th birthday. Happy birthday Weston!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Can a house feel lonely? Well, maybe not the house itself exactly, but it really can take on that feel after the loss of a loved one, and the moving of the other to a nursing home. We have been preparing my in-laws’ house for the sale to my nephew, JD, and the more things that get removed from the house; the more lonely it feels there. When I think back to all the wonderful times we have had in the 24 years that my in-laws lived there, it feels like the house took on their personalities to a large degree. That is the way it goes, when you own a home. You pour your own style into it, and it becomes almost an extension of you.
All the good times and the sad times that went on during the years they lived in the house, keep coming to the top of my memory files. I remember the sadness we felt when Marlyce passed away, and the excitement as each new baby came into the family. Gone are the times when the kids would come by before a dance or to trick or treat on Halloween. Gone is the noise that was always in the house…the television that was always on and turned up loud so my father-in-law could hear it, the laughter and chatter from all the visitors they always seemed to have, and even the rumbling of the oxygen concentrator that was a mainstay in the home for many years. Gone are the birthday parties, holidays, and family get togethers. All are gone from the home now, and it is quiet…too quiet really. That is an amazing thought, since they lived on one of the busiest streets in Casper.
It’s funny, how much my mother-in-law hated the noise of the street, and yet loved the flurry of activity that always accompanied that traffic noise. Everyone stopped what they were doing when an emergency vehicle went by, and grumbled at the loud motorcycles and vehicles when they roared by. Toward the end of their time there, it was all that traffic that gave them something to look at and wonder about. Their chairs were set up so they could look out the big front window and see the hubbub of activity going on, because whether they ever admitted it or not, they liked all of it…except maybe the noise in the summer when the doors and windows were open.
I’m glad my nephew is going to buy the home, so it stays in the family, and I’m glad for the home that it will once again have someone living in it…someone who will remember the good times that we all had there for so many years. Oh I know that JD will change the house, add things, and make it his own…that is inevitable, but to us and him, it will simply always be remembered as his grandma and grandpa’s house…at least somewhere in his memory files…and that makes it all feel better somehow. A house needs to be lived in. That is its whole purpose for existence, and when it isn’t lived in, it is simply a house…so lonely.
These days is people want to dance, they go to a bar. Yes, most people want to drink, but not everyone wants to go to a bar to do it. When my parents were dating, they often double dated with her sister, my Aunt Evelyn and brother-in-law, my Uncle George. They loved to go dancing. Back then there were several balls that were held, such as the Military Ball or the Fireman’s Ball.
They had the opportunity to dress up in uniforms and ball gowns, or dress suits and ball gowns, and go out and enjoy a long night if dancing and socializing. I know that my parents enjoyed these dances, because they continued to go when we were kids growing up. I remember them even after we were old enough to stay alone. Ballroom dancing seems to be a thing of the past now, although I’m sure there are places where the still hold balls and dance those old and very beautiful dances, but they are becoming fewer and fewer.
I also know, from my cousin Shirley that her parents, my dad’s sister, Ruth and brother-in-law, Jim enjoyed going with them to those Firemen’s Balls and other dances as well, sometimes the kids even got to go along. A rare but exciting event. We, who had the opportunity to go along, will always remember how very cool it was.
There are other dances that people go to that are a lot of fun, don’t get me wrong. Square dances, and bar room dances are all great, but the elegance of ballroom dancing is all but gone from our society and our dance style. Even at proms and other school dances, while the gowns are elegant, the dancing is formless, with free style steps. Anyone can create their own dance…or just move around and no one thinks anything of it, but looking back in time, I can see something others might not…elegance lost.