My uncle, George Hushman entered life in a troubled situation, and in the end, it was destined to get worse. His mother passed away when he was very young, and his dad was not involved or interested in his children’s lives or welfare. Uncle George and his sister, Betty were placed in an orphanage. They would not be one of the few older children to get adopted, because as most of us know, adoptive parents prefer babies. That might seem like the end of a sad story, but it isn’t. While George was not adopted “officially,” he did have families who “adopted” him in many ways. Wallace and Hettie Saint John, who were my future son-in-law, Kevin Petersen’s great grandparents, were very good to Uncle George, who was friends with their sons. The treated him like one of the family.
Then, of course, there was the Byer family, into which Uncle George would marry, making him my Uncle George when he married my aunt, Evelyn Byer. This was the point when Uncle Georges life took its most amazing turn. Upon their meeting, my aunt and uncle only had eyes for each other. Their world was suddenly filled with all of God’s greatest blessings. Their marriage would produce five beautiful children, Sheila “Susie” Young, George Byer, Shelley Campbell, Shannon Limmer, and Greg Hushman. They also went on to have many grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren. Theirs was a match made in Heaven. They were happy, and they were together as much as it was possible. Their marriage would endure the hardships and sadness that every marriage does, and it thrived. Anyone who knew them could see their great happiness. At the time of Aunt Evelyn’s passing on May 4, 2015, they had been married for 68 years. That is almost unheard of!! When Uncle George joined her in Heaven, they had been married 71 years, and they were reunited on Uncle George’s 92nd birthday. What a wonderful birthday present. Their eyes got to see each other once more, their hearts were reunited. I’m sure Uncle George was ecstatic!!
Uncle George was a quiet sort of man, but always kind. I always loved going over to their home, because we were always treated kindly by them both. They had built their house in Mills, Wyoming, in 1948, with the help of family. They loved their home, and unlike most couples, they would live in that same home for the rest of their lives. Most couples look around some before settling on their forever home. Others moves several times before really finding one that suits them. Not Aunt Evelyn and Uncle George. The knew what they wanted, and they never waivered. Theirs was a sweet forever home, where the couple that lived there were forever in love. Happy birthday in Heaven Uncle George. We love and miss you very much.
As we all know, the first day of May is May Day, and while that is true, there is a new special day in May that will now happen every year in the Parmely family…because, May 9th will forever more be Maeve Day. You might be wondering what holiday Maeve Day is. Well, on May 9, 2019, my nephew Eric Parmely and his wife, Ashley welcomed their adorable little baby girl named, Maeve Elizabeth Parmely into the world. Maeve is the youngest of Eric and Ashley’s four children, and little sister to sisters, Reagan Kaylynn and Hattie Joy, and brother, Bowen Lewis, who are just thrilled to have a new little sister.
Maeve has dark brown hair, big beautiful dark eyes, and cute baby cheeks. She weighed in at 6 pounds 11.9 ounces and was 20 inches long. She might be a tiny little girl now, but as she grows up, she will become a capable little farm girl like her older siblings, who will help their parents to teach her the ropes. Maeve has big shoes to fill, because her siblings have become veteran farm kids, but I have no doubt that she will become an expert very soon. Of course, she won’t be spending much time indoors, because her mom, Ashley just loads the babies up in a back pack or front pack and keeps right on working the farm, so she will get in on the ground floor very soon. Maeve will have lots of babies to share her life with, because babies seem to be the family business. Happy Maeve Day baby Maeve Elizabeth Parmely. This special day belongs to you!! We are so glad you are here.
We’ve all been told not to stand so close to the television set, but somehow all that nagging by our parents never really had much effect on most kids, who still stood right in front of the television as often as they sat a distance away from it. I don’t think it was really an act of defiance, but rather that the child was absorbed in the show, and didn’t even realize that they were standing right in front of the television set.
Of course, our parents were worried about a myth that getting too close to the television set could damage their child’s eyes, but science has proven that to be just that…a myth. In reality, they say that the reason that children tend to stand close to the television is that they can actually focus better on objects that are closer. Of course, scientists also say that when children stand so closely, it can also be a sign of future nearsightedness. That said, I guess that in reality, it does no harm for a child to stand right in front of the television…other than the fact that it irritates everyone else who is trying to watch the same show. I don’t suppose that this revelation will stop parents from telling their children not to stand so close to the television set, and that is up to them, but the reality is that it will not hurt your children.
Whether it is hard on your children’s eyes to stand so close to the television or not, will probably always be up for debate, but don’t think that kids are the only ones who do it, because they aren’t. I’ve seen plenty of adults who stand in front of the television set, including my husband, Bob and me too. It’s not that you mean to do it, but rather that you walk by and something catches your eye. You are interested, so you look, and the next thing you know someone is telling you to get out of the way. Oops!! Not only did you get caught by another adult, standing in front of the television set, but it was probably one of the same people who heard you tell your kids not to stand in front of the television set. I know that for me, that brings back memories of those days now in the past when I nagged my kids in exactly the same way.
I think it is always a cool thing when we look through old family pictures of people we never knew, or at least don’t remember, and suddenly find ourselves looking at a familiar face…one very similar to our own. Such was the case for my youngest sister, Allyn Spencer Hadlock, when she read my story a couple of days ago, about my great aunts, Mina, Bertha, and Elsa. For much of her life, Allyn had noticed similarities between her sisters and other family members, and in reality there are many strong family resemblances, but she just didn’t see one that she could say looked a lot like her. She just assumed that she was of the Heinz 57 variety…a mix of several or many other family members. All that changed when she read my story, and looked at the picture of our great aunt, Mina Schumacher Spare. The picture of Mina bore a remarkable resemblance to pictures of Allyn, and to certain looks she saw in her reflection in the mirror.
Something about Mina’s face simply reminded Allyn of herself. She mentioned it to me, and I set about looking at pictures of Allyn and Mina to see for myself. I think Allyn hit the nail on the head. While Allyn’s eyes are bigger than Mina’s, the rest of her face is quite similar to Mina’s. I always find it quite remarkable to be able to see ourselves in the face of one of our ancestors. I am finding more and more that the Schumacher genes in my family tree are very strong genes. There are similarities that have jumped out at us through several of our family members and the Schumacher family, which is to say our grandma, Anna Schumacher Spencer and her parents and siblings. I love finding look alikes among the family members and ancestors. It gives people such a sense of belonging to see just where their characteristics came from.
For Allyn, who had always felt like simply a mix of the ancestors, seeing a picture of Mina that reminded her so much of herself, was a very cool feeling, and I can relate. I have come across different pictures of myself that remind me of Great Aunt Bertha Schumacher Hallgren, Aunt Ruth Spencer Wolfe, my daughter, Amy Royce, and my granddaughter Shai Royce. When you find that look alike, it seems to leap off the screen at you. It is just the coolest feeling, because even though you never had any doubt that you were a part of this family, you still wondered just exactly where you fit in. Then, when it has becomes so very clear, just exactly where you fit in, you start looking for other similarities you might have with that person, such as the fact that I laugh exactly like my Aunt Ruth…so much so, that every time I laugh, she comes to my mind. It is another connection I have to her, even though she passed away in 1992.
Unfortunately, Allyn and I don’t recall Great Aunt Mina or Great Aunt Bertha, so we are not aware of other similarities, although I have been told that I got my writing abilities from Great Aunt Bertha…a thought that I am honored to hear, because I consider her a great writer. Great Aunt Mina was a very capable woman, who got an education that was more than what many women received in those days, and that moved her into supervisory positions at her work. Allyn has that capability too, and in fact was just promoted to Clinic Billing Supervisor at Central Wyoming Neurology, where she has worked for some time now. She has shown that her abilities are just what they want in their office, and we are all very proud of her achievements. I’m sure her look alike, Great Aunt Mina Schumacher Spare would have been too. It is a testament to her belief if a good education, and never giving up just because you are a woman…something that we don’t have as big a problem with these days, but that Mina and her sisters, Bertha and Elsa dealt with for sure. Obviously, there is more about Allyn and Mina that is alike than just their pretty faces.
Recently, while looking through some old school pictures, I came across one of my own, that I vividly remember being very embarrassed about as a kid. It was silly, I suppose, but at the time…I just couldn’t believe it. Back then, the photographer couldn’t be totally sure that the subjects eyes were open, or that they smiled, or if they had hair in their eyes, or much else about the picture until it was developed. They looked through the view finder, but there was that second when they snapped that picture where they just had to hope the subject held the position they had seen them in just long enough for the picture to be taken. And film cost money, so they didn’t take several shots in the hope of having one turn out…at least not until the senior pictures were taken and the family was paying for all that film.
The other challenge a photographer faced, was getting a child to smile when they maybe didn’t feel like doing so. With no parents there to make the child sit still and smile, the photographer was on his own, so he would usually come up with any funny comment he could think of to guarantee that coveted smile in each of the hundreds of school children that passed in front of his camera on any given day. Sometimes, that was a huge challenge. Kids might have had a bad morning, didn’t like what their mom made them wear, or didn’t like their hair. Whatever the case, kids can be very temperamental when things aren’t going their way.
I don’t recall ever being one of those children who didn’t smile for the camera, but still the photographer didn’t know that, so he had to do what he felt was necessary to guarantee my smile. In this particular year, the photographer thought he had it all figured out, and on the smile part, he did, but there was just one small problem…the eyes. No, I didn’t close them, as you can clearly see, but I wasn’t looking at the camera either. When I saw the picture, I thought, “Oh yuck!! I look goofy!!” I couldn’t have retakes, because the stipulations for retakes were things like eyes closed or hair in the eyes, not eyes looking up. You might be asking yourself, what was she doing that caused her to be looking up. It’s a valid question and one that I can still answer for you. This is the look you get when you ask a little girl, “Do you have a boyfriend?” I always did those days, of course, but I had to think about whether or not I was willing to tell the photographer that. You might be wondering why my hair didn’t bother me too, but that was the style then…my goofy look wasn’t. I just have to wonder if he asked the girls that particular question after that.
I love looking at old photographs of people and trying to decide who they look like. With some people that can be difficult, because they are a Heinz 57, of sorts…a little bit of both parents, with some aunts, uncles, and grandparents mixed in there. Other people are so obvious that you can tell who they belong to right away. Still others don’t necessarily look like a specific person, until a little later on in life.
Our grand niece, Jala falls into the “Wow!! She looks a lot like her grandma” catagory. I have always thought she reminded me of my sister-in-law, Debbie, but even more so, when I look back at pictures of Debbie when she was closer to Jala’s age. They have the same jaw line and smile…the same nose…the same ears, and even similar eyes. It always surprises me when someone looks so much like another person in the family, although I suppose it shouldn’t because everyone has those traits that are strong in their family. Nevertheless, when it happens it still surprises me.
Jala is my sister-in-law, Debbies first granddaughter, and I know they have more likes and dislikes in common that just their looks, though…like their love of quilts. Debbie likes to make them, and Jala collects them and other types of blankets. She must have a hundred of them, and uses every single one. In fact, I had heard that Debbie was planning to teach Jala how to make them herself. Just think of it. Then she could have 200 of them if she wanted, and her grandma wouldn’t have to make all of them. Ok, that was a joke, because I know that Debbie loves making quilts and other things for her grandchildren.
Today is Jala’s 11th birthday. You are growing up way too fast. Before we know it, you will be all grown up and married with kids of your own. Ok…let’s not rush things. Happy birthday Jala!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you!!
For some time now, my niece, Jenny has thought that her son, Isaac looks like his great grandpa, my Dad. Whenever she, or anyone else says that, I look at him, and I can kind of see it, but I wasn’t sure. For me, it can take a while to see those similarities…mostly I suppose because the similarity is often from a specific age of the proposed look alike, but once you see what the other person saw the looked so similar, there is just no doubt.
It is often easier to see the similarities when you are talking about a father/son or even grandparent/grandchild, but a great grandparent/great grandchild and beyond is often a little more difficult to see…at lease for a number of years, in most cases. One of the things I see about Isaac is that he is quick to smile, like my Dad was. I think they might share more that physical looks. They might have a very similar sense of humor. I do know that Isaac gets the same little look on his face when he is about to pull something on someone that I have seen on my dad’s face…it’s one of those funny little looks that tells you immediately that you are about to get picked on…if you are quick enough to notice it.
There are other similarities between Isaac and my dad too, of course. They had the same nose, smile, chin, and especially eyes, of a deep amazing blue color, and of course, the twinkle. I look forward to watching Issac grow up, to see how much he looks like my dad at ages older than what they were in these pictures. I think that as he gets older, we will see so many ways that he is like Dad. Often, when someone is so similar to another person, those similarities carry into other areas of their lives. I think Issac could do no better than to be like his great grandpa. He would be an amazing man, if he was like my dad.
You know one…that person who can keep a straight face while telling you a complete lie. No, I’m not talking about a malicious lie, but that joking thing, where they tell you some wild tale and by the time they are done, and their face hasn’t exploded into laughter, you find yourself actually believing them. Then you say something like…”Really!!” And the look on their face tells you that you were just caught…again. In our family, that person is my son-in-law, Kevin. I can’t tell you how many times I have been caught in his trap, and then he proceeds to laugh and laugh. You can just see the delight dancing in his eyes.
Most people are more like me, I suppose. Sometimes they can keep a straight face, and sometimes it is impossible. My husband, Bob is pretty much the opposite of Kevin. If what he is saying isn’t true, he laughs every time. He would love to be able to keep a straight face, and make the joke work, but it just doesn’t happen. I suppose it is a matter of being able to control certain emotions, and if that is the case, then Bob must not be able to control his funny bone, because if it is remotely funny…even if the punch line hasn’t been given yet…Bob has to laugh about it.
I know that Bob wishes he could be more like Kevin in that way, because he would love to be able to put one over on people, and in a lot of ways I would love to be more like Kevin too, because I can only hold back sometimes…or for a little while. Then I can’t help but laugh. That’s how my girls are too. It isn’t a matter of self control exactly, but rather laugh control, and facial muscle control. Either you have that control or you don’t I guess. Kevin is one of those people who can hold it back until just the right moment, and then, when he’s got you…that’s when, he really gets a good laugh, and you simply have no choice but to laugh too, because, it’s never malicious…it hilarious!!
As much as I dislike snow, and the inevitable wind that always seems to come with it, there are times when, if I have just a moment of free time, and if I stop long enough, I can look at the snow and possibly see something beautiful. It’s hard to do that though…slow down…look around…stop and smell the roses, so to speak. Everything in life these days demands a hectic schedule. Every day I try to cram everything I need to do into a day that doesn’t have enough moments in it, let alone hours.
I had just such a moment on New Years Eve. I had the day off, and Bob had to work. I still had my caregiving duties, but I had a little bit of quiet time late in the morning. I took a look outside, and there it was. The wind had quit. The snow was a little bit windblown, but smooth in many ways. The sun had come out and was shining brightly on the snow. The air was cold…frigid really, but it didn’t matter. I stepped outside, and looked at the snow. The sun was so bright, it made my eyes water, but I still couldn’t take my eyes off of it.
The snow was beautiful, but looking deeper I saw what the snow tries to hide from those who just casually glance at it. So often we miss the deep inner beauty of the snow. There in front of my eyes I saw the riches of the snow…the gems that it had been hiding…snow diamonds. “What”, you might ask, “are snow diamonds?” Well, they are not just ice crystals sparkling in the sunshine. They are much more than that. They are the little glimmer of hope that no matter how heavy our burdens are…no matter how tough our job or our life is…there are still beautiful things around us that can lift our spirits, brighten our days, soothe our souls, and mend the brokenness that comes from a life that is lived far too often in a hurry.
As I stood there in the crisp cold air, looking once more at the beauty that had been pointed out to me by my Lord, in an effort to show me the things He has made that I might have missed, I felt a warmth inside me…a smile that started in my heart and after making a brief stop in my consciousness, it came to rest on my face. I closed my eyes so I could fix the image in my memory. With their beauty, the snow diamonds had completed their appointed work. They had lifted this caregiver’s spirit…brightened my day…and made me feel like I could breathe again.
One of the first things I noticed about my niece, Michelle, as a baby even, was her eyes. They were beautiful, almond shaped, smiling eyes, that brought a sparkle to her entire face. When she smiled, her whole face smiled, and her laugh was and still is contagious. It’s all part of Michelle’s nature. She has a bubbly personality, and that makes her a lot of fun to be around. She never lacks for friends, because she has such a great personality and a love of life. A smile, laugh, personality, and great eyes, are all just part of the outward beauty that is Michelle, but it is her inner beauty that draws most people to her.
Like Michelle’s art work, her beauty comes from deep inside herself. As an art education major in college, and with only one year left before she will be able to teach, it occurs to me that many of our children will learn to express themselves and their own inner beauty from one of the best. Michelle will be a great teacher, as she has already shown in her work as a student teacher. I was never much of an artist, but I can tell great work when I see it, and Michelle’s art is so beautiful. I would love to be able to create the kinds of beautiful pictures and other art work that she creates with ease.
I understand that Michelle will have to go away to college for her fianl year, and that makes me very sad. I will miss seeing her at church on Sundays, or family gatherings, but I know that it will be a growing experience for her too. I only hope that she will be able to come back her to teach, because I think it would be really sad to have her talents go outside of our state. I think the students here would really miss out if she were to get a teaching position somewhere else. And, I’ll admit it…I would miss her very much. Today is Michelle’s birthay. Happy birthday Michelle!! We love you very much!! Have a wonderful day!!