hats

Mountain ManPeople joke about being tired after they retire, or at least that is what the hats all say, but I don’t really think that is the case most of the time. After all, let’s face it, when you are retired, you can sleep in as long as you choose, and if that still isn’t enough, well, just take a nap in the afternoon. I think that most retired people get up early, because of that afternoon nap. Seriously, there are only so many hours that a person can sleep. I don’t know if my brother-in-law, Lynn Cook is one of those early risers, who nap in the afternoon, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all.

Many retired people head south for the winter, or travel all over the country during the rest of the year, but for Lynn, and my sister-in-law, Debbie, the big draw that retirement held, was camping in the Big Horn Mountains. Their idea of a relaxing time is being in the quiet of the mountains, preferably with just the birds and other wildlife as neighbors, unless their kids come up to join Campthem, that is. During the summer months, they will stay in the mountains for weeks at a time, unless some specific thing requires them to come back to town, and back to reality. I think lots of people would call that a little slice of Heaven on Earth. I would have to agree that being in the mountains is most likely right where I would want to be too, but Bob and I would most likely not want to camp out, however. We like to hike, and then we want the comfort of a motel room…at this point anyway.

Since Lynn used to drive truck for a living, and was always on the road, long term travel doesn’t really appeal to him much, but the short drive to the Big Horns is something he really likes. He is getting a little better about other travel on occasion now too, but as far as I know a long trip means driving from Powell, Wyoming to Debbie & LynnCasper, Wyoming…not exactly what most of us would consider a long trip, but it’s a pretty big step for him.

Since his retirement, Lynn has become more and more of a mountain man than ever before. I think there was always a bit of Jeremiah Johnson in him, but since he would live on the mountain in a tent these days, he seems more and more so. Even then, I can’t exactly blame him. I would love to have a cozy cabin in the mountains where I could hole up sometimes…especially when the responsibilities of life get a little too overwhelming. Today is Lynn’s birthday. Happy birthday Lynn!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Sweet MarlyceMy sister-in-law, Marlyce Schulenberg was developmentally disabled. In many ways that made her always seem younger than her years. In reality, she probably never aged past her teen years, mentally. Still, Marlyce could do some things that adults do, such as cooking and working. In those ways she was much like any grown up person her age.

Marlyce lived with her parents, my in-laws, Walt and Joann Schulenberg, all her life, but she was a part of a school in Casper at that time, that trained developmentally disabled people to be productive members of society, and then worked to place them in jobs. Marlyce loved her job, and enjoyed going to work every day. It made her feel good about herself, and it made her feel like she was a grownup, like everyone else around her. Marlyce just wanted to belong in the adult world. Something most of us can understand.Beautiful Marlyce

Before Marlyce was forty, she contracted Cancer, and at the young age of just thirty nine years, she lost her life in that battle. It was a devastating loss to all of us, her family, and to all who knew her. Nevertheless, time marches on, and while we will always miss her sweet smiling face, the hats she knitted, and the wonderful chocolate chip cookies she made, we will miss her more than any of those things. Marlyce was the sweetest sister-in-law in the world. She was kind and caring. She loved being an aunt when all the nieces and nephews started coming along.

Her life was sadly, very short in the grand scheme of time, but in that timeframe, Marlyce lived a full life. She was not held back by the limitations that most of us do not consider limitations, like husband and children, but in reality, they are things that must be taken into consideration when deciding whether to read a book, take a trip with parents, or even take a nap. She could, for the most part anyway Amy with Marlycemake her own choices. And that was what allowed her to live a full life in just a few short years. Nevertheless, we all wish she was still here.

Today, Marlyce would have turned sixty five. I wonder what she would have been like now. Things would have been a bit more difficult in that her dad is in Heaven, and her mom in a nursing home. I’m not sure where she would have been living. Perhaps with one of her siblings or maybe in a group home. She would be ready to retire, but I’m not sure she would have wanted to do so. It’s all speculation, of course, because we will never know. Today Marlyce would have been sixty five, but in reality, she is forever thirty nine. Happy birthday in Heaven, Marlyce. We love and miss you very much.

Classic styleHome DecorMy niece, Chelsea Hadlock, has a very classic style that makes her appear to come straight out of the past movie star eras. It is a look that not everyone can pull off, but it suits Chelsea perfectly. Chelsea’s looks are complimented so well by the style of the 40’s and 50’s. While Marilyn Monroe was never my favorite actress, she was a classic beauty, and there are times that I see little bit of her style in Chelsea…minus the flippy skirt thing, because I can’t really see Chelsea doing that. Hats are especially big with Chelsea, and she always pulls them off in style, both for her and her daughter, Rory. If Rory grows up just like her mama, she will be very stylish.

While Chelsea has classic style, that is in no way all she has going for her. Chelsea carries her style into her home and her jewelry making. Her family recently moved into a new home, and she is busily decorating the new place. She is doing a lovely job with it too. Maybe I need to have her come and decorate a couple of my rooms. They sure could use a little updating, and I think she is probably much better at it than I am.

Even with all her nesting, you can be sure that Chelsea’s husband, my nephew Ryan and children, Ethan and Aurora are her number one priority. She makes things for them…like costumes and clothes. She is such a good mom. The kids are well behaved and always look nice. One day, Ethan wanted to have a sandwich that had his first initial in it, so she did that for him. She always makes them feel very special, and what could be better than that.

I love how Chelsea has grown over the years that she has been a part of our family. She was always a beautiful girl, but motherhood made her even more beautiful. Some people are like that. Motherhood puts them so in their element that they just glow. Of course, she probably E is for EthanHatshad all those qualities all along, but we just didn’t know her well enough to see all of that before. Chelsea likes to do nice things for people. She likes to entertain and celebrate life, and she likes to do all those things in unique ways, so it is always new and fresh. She really has a zest for life, and that shows in everything she does. Today is Chelsea’s birthday. You have been a wonderful asset to our family. Happy birthday Chelsea!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

DebbieWhen I was seventeen, I got a job at Kmart. It was not in the most exciting department for a seventeen year old, but in the end it worked out ok. I was in the Millinery Department, which is, for those of you who don’t know, handbags, gloves, scarves, and wigs. Like I said, real exciting. Most of the time, the hours dragged on and on because of the boredom.

Part of my job that winter was to straighten my glove display over by the delicatessen. It was there that I met my future sister-in-law, Debbie. She worked in the delicatessen, and often worked the same shifts I did. We talked a little bit whenever I went over to straighten the display…which, in the winter, could be a couple of times a shift.

Before long, we were good friends. I could say that it was through Debbie that I met my husband, Bob, but that wouldn’t be exactly right. Bob and his friend, Paul both asked me out…after trashing me display just to get my attention, but I turned Paul, who had asked first, down, because I liked Bob. Then, when Bob asked me out, I had to turn him down too, because I had other plans that night. Bob thought I didn’t like him either, and didn’t ask me out again…for a long time, even though they still came up and trashed me display. I guess he couldn’t stay away, because he liked me too. I didn’t know what to do next, so I talked to Debbie. I told her that I really liked Bob, and that I really had turned him down because I had other plans, not because I didn’t like him.Debbie, Lynn, Caryn, & Bob

In the end, it took a lot of talking on Debbie’s part to convince Bob to ask me again. It was obvious that he liked me too, but he honestly thought he had been rejected. So I guess you would have say that Debbie was instrumental in getting us together. When she got married, I was her maid of honor, and then when we got married, she was mine. After all, would we have even been getting married if she hadn’t been Bob’s older sister, who didn’t mind being bossy and telling him to try again. Today is Debbie’s birthday. Happy birthday Debbie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Oh Those HatsWhen Prince William married Kate Middleton, the world became enthralled with the hats that were being worn by the elite female guests. It was as if the hat was the only part of the outfit that mattered. I watched when Prince Charles married my distant cousin, Diana Spencer, but I don’t recall so much fuss over the hats the women wore. Maybe there was a big fuss, but it just wasn’t what stuck in my mind. This time, however, the hats were the most important part of the pre-ceremony coverage. I was never one to wear hats much, in fact pretty much never by choice, so I couldn’t see the draw they seemed to have on the people in England. I suppose if I lived in England, I might think differently, and I also suppose that some of my English relatives would think I was a bit on the rogue side, for not conforming to the style.

I would also suppose that my grandmother, on my dad’s side, might be inclined to agree with them, if she were still alive, because she came from the era that had American women dressing somewhat similar to the English women…right down to the hats. When I look and those hats, all I can think, is how in the world do they keep their heads from flopping over from the weight of the hat. Now, I know that some of the hats were very light weight, even though they were big, but there were still those hats that weighed quite a lot. And the styles…well, wow!! Some of those women carried half a garden’s worth of flowers on their heads. They adorned them with peacock feathers, fake birds, ribbons, and many other such items. You could tell a woman’s social status by the hats they wore. And both the men and the women looked at the hats the women wore, although the men probably looked at the hats less that the other women at the event.

It’s not that I don’t like the look of a fancy hat on a woman, and in fact, I think many are just beautiful. I just wouldn’t want to have to wear one of them, myself. However, on my grandmother, those hats had a way of looking stunning. I have always thought my grandmother was beautiful, and so petite. She had an elegance about her that made you stop and take a second look.You just knew that she and her sisters were women of class and style. They knew what was the latest style, and they knew how to look elegant in those styles. They wore stylish dresses, carried parasols, and oh, those hats.

Kids…their biggest goal is to be just like the adults…practically from the moment they are born. They watch the things the adults around them do and they notice the things that are done over and over. These things, they determine, are the important things that make you a grown up. It can be very entertaining.

Kids have a way of making you laugh that is all their own. One of the funniest things they do is the “hats” they wear. They see others around them wearing a hat, and because they are little, that seems like the coolest thing to them, and they want to mimic their parents, or other adult. It makes them feel all grown up. Even if the hat is too big, they will put it on and do their best to make it stay put.

And it doesn’t have to be a hat at all, in order to make it important head gear, like the ear muffs grandpa wears when he mows the lawn. They are an important item to be on your head, and nobody says they just have to be on over your ears, they can be a great fashion statement for the stylish little girl of the 90’s. And if you could just add a pair of heels, this little girl would be on her way to Hollywood for sure.

Of course, sometimes things don’t go just exactly as planned. Sometimes the cutest hat in the world just won’t cooperate very well, and doesn’t it just figure that at the biggest wardrobe malfunction of the season, there would just naturally be someone right there with a camera to capture the unsuspecting model looking…well, not quite her normal perfect self.

Yes, hats and kids go together like peanut butter and jelly. But sometimes that head gear can be a bit of a challenge to our little people…and a definite source of smiles for their parents.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Check these out!