For a number of years now, Bob and I have made a trip to Thermopolis each year in early March in celebration of our wedding anniversary, which is March 1st. Driving through the Wind River Canyon that many times, I feel like I know the face of those canyon walls pretty well. Since rainy weather has dominated this Spring, many areas of the state of Wyoming and several other states, flooding is a word that we have all gotten used to hearing. Since our state has been in a relative draught for a number of years, the ground has had a hard time absorbing all that water that has been coming in. And then there is the fact that we have had a few fires in key areas around the state. That adds an additional danger to certain areas…one of which is the Wind River Canyon, which was hit with mudslides and rockslides earlier this year.
This morning, Bob and I decided to take a drive up to Thermopolis to see for ourselves, exactly how the canyon face had been changed by the mudslides. Our granddaughter, Shai Royce decided to come along to see it too. We had seen the pictures of it on television and on the internet when it happened, but you really can’t get a clear picture of something like that until you see it up close. So, after breakfast we set out. It was a nice drive up to the Wind River Canyon, and at first, it didn’t look so different, but then we got to the area where the main slides were. It was much different.
I expected it to look different, and it did, but what I didn’t expect was to have it occur to me that I was looking at the changing face of the canyon. I thought about how the canyon had changed over the years of its existence. The river made most of the changes that had taken place, slowly carving out the depth of it with erosion. Soon, its walls were high and filled with the hard rocks that had survived the erosion process. The trees grew along the face of the walls, and in time we all thought it wouldn’t change much, but rock and mudslides can change the face of those canyon walls overnight. I found myself thinking about how easy it was to pick out the slide path of each slide area. The coloring of the upturned earth made it stand out as if it were florescent paint. I was able to see the complete path the mud and rocks took on their way down.
I realized that this was just one event, but it didn’t matter, because I was looking at the changes brought about by time. This was the canyon’s changing face, caused by the effects of weather, water, wind, and fire to bring about an entirely new look to a canyon that had been there so long, looking, or so I thought, always the same. In reality, it was ever changing.
When it comes to teaching babies how to do things, it seems like we all want a part in it. We may not even realize that we do, but we do. As mothers, we try many things to get our babies to eat solid foods…especially those dreaded vegetables. You might see a mother pretending that the spoon is an airplane or a train, hoping that her child will decide that food on a train or plane tastes better, or won’t notice that the dreaded vegetable has been eaten. Maybe those things work and maybe they don’t but either way, they can look very funny, and to think that as teenagers we were always thought of as pretty cool…so what happened? The thing I find really funny is that the mother always opens her mouth to apparently show the child what he needs to do. Like a kid who hates his vegetables is going to open his mouth just because his mommy did, right. I think not. Of course the funniest face in the food game is that of a child who absolutely hates the food he is getting. They look like you have just given them poison and…seriously, how could you be such a bad parent, but have you ever noticed that even a baby who hates food, happens to find her toes, she has no problem putting those in her mouth.
Something women tend to do for no real reason is the open mouth to put on mascara maneuver. I really don’t know what purpose this serves, but yes, I do it too. And, I don’t know of a single woman who wears mascara that doesn’t do that. Maybe it’s an instinct, but I simply can’t understand why. It’s rarely something I think of when I am putting on my mascara, but when it is mentioned…usually by a man…I have to wonder why I do it. They say that it doesn’t make it easier to get your mascara on, but they can’t convince my mouth of that fact. It just instinctively wants to help, just like the mom who opens her mouth to get baby to eat. I don’t know, maybe there really is an eye mouth connection.
Then, of course, there is the child having his first birthday. It’s only one candle, but for some reason, not even the baby’s breath can manage to blow it out. If you want those candles to stay lit, they simply won’t, but if baby is trying to blow them out, they are like a never ending flame. Have you ever looked around at the other people who are watching? I’ll bet that about half of them have their mouth puckered up trying to help the baby blow out the candles. They aren’t blowing out any air, they are just puckered up…almost like they are throwing a kiss, and the baby just sits there looking at the pretty candle. I’m not even sure they really want to blow it out. Whatever the reason, you will find no such difficulty when told to eat that cake. That kid…even the one who hates everything, will dive right in, and have a totally different look on their face. But then, the look on your face might be different if you were eating cake too.
When my nephew, Barry was a little boy, I used to get such a kick out of watching him open presents. Whether it was his birthday or Christmas made no difference, because Barry got excited!! I know, most kids do, but the looks on Barry’s face were just classic, and when his eyes lit up with pure excitement, it was impossible not to smile. For Barry, the best gifts were always trucks, but that didn’t mean that all the rest weren’t super cool too. I suppose that he initially thought that gifts were going to happen every couple of weeks, since his birthday is just two weeks before Christmas. For a little kid, that second dose of presents in such a short time could make it seem like this was going to be the new normal.
Of course, as time went by, Barry understood how it all worked, but he still got as excited as any other kid when his special day came along, or when Christmas finally arrived. The one thing he decided that he didn’t like too much was having that birthday so close to Christmas. That put all the excitement of receiving gifts in one short little time frame and then left a whole year until he got gifts again. In a way, that was a disappointment to the rest of us too, because we didn’t get to see how excited he got for a whole year either.
I can’t say that Barry still gets so excited about gifts on his birthday or Christmas, after all, he is a grown man now. Maybe he just holds that excitement inside…like we all do at one time or another. And he doesn’t have that little baby face anymore or his little boys ways, and in many ways, I miss both of those things sometimes, because like all kids, Barry grew up too fast. He has grown into a wonderful man, who is always there to lend a helping hand. He is someone you can always count on when you need something done. He still likes his trucks and other toys, but these days they are just bigger and more expensive. Today is Barry’s birthday. Happy birthday Barry!! Have a great day, and try to contain your excitement, ok!! We love you!!
In church on Sunday, we were talking about patience…a subject that we all need to think about, but often don’t. It brought to mind something that happened to me years ago…on my way to my bridal shower. For those of you who are a part of the Byer family, you will understand how this could happen. And for those who aren’t, the Byer family has a different way of looking at time than the rest of the world. They operate on Byer Time, and that is 30 to 60 minutes later than the time that the clock shows. Unfortunately for some of us in this family, being fashionably late is not something we ever thought was the right way to do things. I happened to be one of those people, due to being half Spencer maybe, while my mother…a Byer by birth, even if she was half Pattan, definitely operated on Byer Time. I will say that time and circumstances can mellow a person, and I don’t stress about the time nearly as much as I used to, especially concerning Byer family functions.
Mom and I were on our way to my bridal shower, and as usual, we were running late, because Mom took so long to get ready. I was ready early, and growling around like a caged lion. Finally we were on our way, with every stop light and every slow moving car in front of me raising my anger level even more. I was driving, and yelling at everything as we went, and I came up on a car a little way before we got to the turn by the Wagon Wheel Roller Rink, that was moving particularly slow…at least in my mind. Mom tried in vain to calm me down, but I was having none of it. I screamed at the woman, and at some point (looking back I’m not sure just where or how) I passed her, screaming and yelling at her all the way
It was at this point that I realized that the woman in the slow moving car, was none other than my Great Aunt Gladys. Now she never said a word about my behavior, but then she didn’t have to. Not only was I horrified that I had acted in such a way toward one of my favorite great aunts, but then I got to face her at the shower. As I said, she never said a word about it, but I had to carry on a conversation with her, hoping that she was still speaking to me, and hoping that my face didn’t show the true level of the humiliation I felt.
I have had several turning points in my life, concerning patience…or the lack thereof, and each one of them has left it’s impressions on my mind. I have to hope that I have learned a few things about that in my lifetime, and I often feel like I have a good handle on it now…until the next episode, that is.
My grand niece, Christina has to spend this, her 17th birthday, staying off of her feet after having surgery on her knee a few days ago. While I’m sure that the pain of her injured knee was far worse than the knee that is healing nicely, my guess is that fact does little to make her feel better about having to spend her birthday sitting in a chair waiting for this whole ordeal to be over.
The good news for Christina, is that her good friend and cousin, my granddaughter, Shai is spending part of the day with her. We have had several cousins in our family who were such good friends that they didn’t even seem like cousins, just friends. Christina and Shai were born 5 days apart, with another cousin Chris in there to, at 4 days after Christina. We were a busy bunch at that time. With Chris being a boy, he didn’t get into the girl thing with Christina and Shai.
Christina and Shai have many of the same interests. They love shopping, and used to hang out at the mall as much a possible. They both like all the girlie things, from make up, to hair dye, to jewelry, to clothes. But probably the thing that stands out the most about these girls is that they are just plain goofy when they get together. They are always posting the funniest pictures together, just to see if they can get a laugh out of their friends. The goofier the face they make, the more they like the picture.
Today is Christina’s 17th birthday, and it has been a difficult one with the knee surgery. Christina, I hope you have a good day in spite of the pain you are in. We love you very much. Happy birthday Christina. If you can’t have a great day, at least have a goofy one between the pain med doses.
Once in a while, you come across a baby, who makes the funniest faces. Reagan is just three months old, but she makes great funny faces. She has great teachers, so you might say it isn’t so unusual, except that she was less than a month old when this first picture was taken. How do you get a baby to make the same face as her daddy, when she is not even a month old? I don’t see how, but here is Reagan, my grandniece doing just that. Amazed, I asked her mom how they got her to do that, she said, “We just asked her nicely and she did.” Of course, she had no idea how it happened either, and yet, Reagan did a perfect imitation of her daddy for this picture.
And, we have all seen the pictures that everyone is doing these days, where everyone in the picture has their tongue sticking out, and of course, Little Miss Reagan is no exception. She has to make sure she keeps up with the rest of the in crowd of babies, so as soon as she could work it out, she had her mommy and daddy take the first of these necessary pictures. I mean, a girl has to make the right moves so she can get set up with the in crowd. Not that I expect Reagan to ever have any trouble being in the in crowd, because she has personality to spare. I think she will be a natural in any crowd she wants to be in. Everyone likes a girl with a smile on her face, who can make people laugh.
I think Reagan comes by her knack for cute little faces naturally…I mean when you look at the faces her parents make, you have to assume that some of that will rub off on their children. It could be the faces she sees them making, or it could be that she simply inherited it. It is still very odd how she managed to make the same face as her daddy when she wasn’t even looking at him. Maybe they really are two of a kind, or maybe it helps to just ask. However it happened, my guess is that we will be seeing lots more of this little girl making these funny faces, because I think it is just a part of her nature, and I think that her parents funny faces won’t hurt when it comes to working up a funny face.
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!!
My mom’s younger brother, Uncle Wayne has always been such a funny man. He loves to make the kids laugh. For as long as I can remember, Uncle Wayne had dentures, and he loved popping them in and out of his mouth when the kids were around. He could pop them part way out of his mouth and make them act like they were going to bite you…all with no hands. The first time we saw it, we screamed with delight, and then we begged him to do it again. When we were little enough not to understand what dentures were, we would try to pop our own teeth out too, a comical site for sure, as we pushed our lower jaw out , or pushed on our teeth with our tongue. Uncle Wayne’s eyes just danced and beamed with delight as he watched us try, then he would show us how “easy” it was, if we just knew how. Every time we saw him we asked again and again, to pop out his teeth. If Uncle Wayne got tired of that, he never showed it. He would simply grin and pop out those teeth, and then sit back with a smile on his face and wait…for a second or two…until the kids started begging him to do it again.
Uncle Wayne’s funny side developed early in his life. He was the younger of my mom’s two brothers, and one of two boys in a family of nine children. You could look at that situation in a couple of ways. You could call him and his brother…out numbered, and you would be right. Or, you could say that the boys had lots of potential victims…for all of the antics boys are bound by their very nature to engage in. Since my mom was born right in between those two boys, and they were often her playmates, and she was either a prime victim or a partner in crime…depending on how she or they felt at the time. To be sure, my mom and her two brothers got into plenty of mischief together. What one didn’t come up with one of the others would, and when you put those three heads together…oh boy, look out!!
Today is my Uncle Wayne’s 75th birthday…which is a landmark by any standards. His life has been one filled with laughter, much of which was his own making…the best kind of life. Happy birthday Uncle Wayne!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you very much!!
Uncle Jim, my Aunt Dixie’s husband has always seemed like such a quiet, and even shy man. I don’t think he really was shy, just quiet. I think he was a man who was often deep in his own thoughts, which is quite a bit like I am, so I can relate to it. Quiet people aren’t necessarily shy, and quite often, they really have a lot on their minds, but they just don’t always say everything they know. The strange thing is that their face almost always speaks volumes. That is how I have always felt about Uncle Jim. You could see how he felt by the smiles on his face…and he smiles a lot.
A serious family man, Uncle Jim moved his family to the country on the west side of Casper, where they live to this day. His children have bought homes that are very close to their parents…just across the street, in fact. The family is very close, and enjoys each other’s company. The grandchildren have the benefit of the closeness to grandparents, and their parents have the ability to work, knowing that the kids can be with their grandparents while they are away. It is a win/win situation.
For many years, Uncle Jim took care of his mother, who lived with them for quite some time, and also helped in the care of my grandparents when then needed help. That is really the thing that has always impressed me the most with my uncle. He is a very caring person, who always puts the needs of others ahead of his own needs. People just don’t come better than that. In this age of much better longevity, caregivers are very much in demand, and as a caregiver myself, I know what it takes to care for another person. It is a selfless act of a special person with a heart of gold that is filled with compassion.
Today is my Uncle Jim’s 75th birthday, and as usual, he is spending it busily getting things ready for the cold winter months that are coming up, because, that is simply what he does. He takes care of the needs of his family. Well, happy birthday Uncle Jim!! Don’t work too hard. We love you!!
I love seeing the funny ways many babies and toddlers fall asleep, because they are so uninhibited. They get tired and they just nod off in whatever place or position they are in at that moment. Sometimes they have been fighting the whole thing for a while, and sometimes you don’t really want them to fall asleep…just yet. You hope they will stay awake long enough to finish dinner, because you know that if they don’t eat enough, they probably won’t sleep long, and a hungry baby wakes up grouchy!
One of the funniest ways kids fall asleep is when they are eating. Sometimes their face is covered with food bits, and they have a complete mess all around them. Sometimes, they are just about to put their face right into that dinner, and it doesn’t matter to them, because they are just too tired to care. And, when you think about it, does food on a baby’s face really bother them anyway.
Babies are so funny. They are out trying new things…keeping themselves running, or crawling, all the time, and before you know it they simply drop from exhaustion. That is not unusual by itself, but it is the way they drop that usually brings a laugh. They might have their little butt in the air, or be lying over a pillow, that is under their back instead of their head. They might snuggle up to the dog or a favorite toy, or they might be face first in their dinner plate.
One of the funniest sleeping moments with most babies is when they have nodded off in their windup swing, with their little head hanging down on their chest, and then you go to wind up the swing again. They jump the minute you start to wind it up, their head flies up, eyes partway open, but the baby is not really awake. You are trying not to laugh, because you really don’t want to wake the baby up, and that was the reason you were winding the swing up anyway, right.
Yes, sleeping babies can be very funny. For most of us a sleeping baby can also be a relief. If they have been crying for a long time, we are so ready for it to stop, but once they finally crash, all that frustration goes away, and we simply watch them and enjoy the funny way they can look. Either way, there is nothing quite like a sleeping baby.