My grandniece, Siara Harman is a tiny little girl, just 4 feet 9 inches tall, but don’t let that fool you, because she is one tough cookie. She works out, and she’s really strong. After high school, Siara spent a year in Great Falls, Montana going to school, and representing the college as a cheerleader. During that year, she worked out and cheered at a pace most of us would find exhausting. Nevertheless, Siara took it all on stride. After that year, Siara returned home, mostly because she missed her family, I think…especially her mom, but also to continue her studies in her home town.
Siara is the type of person who takes time to decide to commit to most things, but once she does, she is all in. After her mom, my niece, Chantel Balcerzak remarried, it took Siara 18 months before she started calling her step-dad, Dave Balcerzak, “Dad.” Her brother, Jake Harman was much quicker to accept his step-dad. Nevertheless, once Siara committed to calling Dave “Dad,” she was in, wholeheartedly, and as far as she is concerned, Dave is her dad. Commitment, while not forthcoming, is something Siara takes very seriously.
Over the years, Siara has had a number of boyfriends, but once again she was very slow to commit to any of them. Siara was in two serious relationships before her current relationship, but once the conversation turned to marriage, her mom could always tell that it was, “Nope, not yet.” Her heart couldn’t move in that direction yet. With her fiancé, Nick Olsen, things would be different. While she and Nick have been dating for a while now, it took Siara only two week to tell her mom that, “No matter when he asks, the answer is yes.” I guess that when it’s the right one, commitment is easy. Siara and Nick will be married this summer.
As I said, Siara is a tiny, short little girl, and I recall that a few years ago…before she was “fully” grown, she told me that she wanted to be 5 feet 7 inches tall…an impossibility for our little Siara, who is full grown at 4 feet 9 inches. Knowing that she would never achieve that lofty goal, I told her to wear high heels, because that was going to be the only way she would ever be taller. She took my advise, and these days, with heels she is over 5 feet, anyway. Siara has decided that she is not going to take that chance with there kids, so she is going to marry a tall man. Of course, it wasn’t his height that won Siara’s love, but rather his heart. Still, Nick’s height was not a negative to Sara, even if he practically has to pick her up to kiss her. The really good news is that since Siara loves a very tall man, her kids might have a chance to be taller than she is. I guess that’s some consolation to Siara’s height dilemma. Today is Siara’s birthday. Happy birthday Siara!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Every girl can tell you that there are the everyday things and then there are the important things. The important things vary from girl to girl, and are partly their personality and partly the way they mimic their mother. From the moment a girl is old enough to notice the everyday essential things that her mother has or does, she starts to develop her own list of the important things. One of the first things many little girls notice is their mom’s purse. They instinctively know that Mom’s purse is important. It seems like everything she needs in in there. With that discovery, they decide that a purse is a must have for them too. The things little girls keep in their purse are different than their mom’s, because at this time in their life, toys and lollipops are just more important.
Of course, the use of the purse changes as girls get older. With the discovery of makeup, comes not only a time of experimentation, but a time of change in purse contents. A girl just can’t go anywhere without the ability to freshen her makeup, you know. One other thing that usually happens at this point is that Mom’s makeup is no longer safe, and really needs to be put away in a place that is too high for her little angel to reach, because I don’t know a single little girl who hasn’t used her mother’s makeup and not had disastrous results…for the makeup anyway. And, yes, I think for her little face too.
At some point, maybe after the makeup phase, or maybe during the makeup phase, the dress up phase begins. Your little princess starts trading her sensible shoes, for your high heels. She may also borrow some of your clothes too, because she is pretending that she is you. In her make believe world, she heads off to work, just like you do every day, or if you are a stay at home mom, she wants to cook dinner, change the baby, or clean the house. The biggest problem with this phase is that it is all too quickly over, and she goes back to wanting to play and not help out around the house. Have you every noticed just how quickly our kids grow up and begin a life of their own, leaving behind them all of the memories of their little kid days, for us to sort through and feel quite lonely over? We miss the little person they were, and if it were possible we would love to have that person back…especially when their teenaged years begin.
Yes, when the teenaged years start, many of us begin to wonder just who the child is? We thought we knew who they were and who they were going to be. Then suddenly, and without warning, all they want to do is talk on the phone with their friends…or boyfriends, as it were. Once again, the important things have changed, as they spread their wings and try to figure out who they want to be, and the kind of life they want to live. You are no longer the only real influence in their lives. Yours are no longer the only priorities in their lives. There are other hopes, dreams, and goals on their minds now. You have been relegated to being the back up plan. You are the one they come to when they have a problem no one else can fix, and you become the babysitter when they want to spend alone time with their spouse. Those are wonderful things and I don’t know of a parent or grandparent who doesn’t love being there for their adult children, but somehow…in the back of your mind, you can still see the little girl…your little princess, who is trying to figure out just what the important things are, while you are trying to figure out, where the time has gone.
Not everyone who belongs in a family history is a family member. It seems fitting to me to talk about the Hoover family, because they played a rather large part in our family’s history, and therefore were as close as family. In her young years, my great aunt, Bertha Matilda Spencer and her mother did not get along. The situation continued to be a problem for some time, and at some point it became intolerable.
I don’t know how old Bertha was when she went to live with the Hoover family, or if it was her decision or her mother’s, but she never lived at home again. Many people might think that hers was a horribly sad and lonely life after that, but to me she looked genuinely happy. That makes me think that possibly her move to the Hoover home was something that was by mutual agreement, between her and her mom, but I still have to wonder if the whole situation made my great great grandfather rather sad. I don’t know about Great Great Grandma, but the rest of the family, it seems, was very close to the Hoovers…leading me to think that they missed their sister very much. Because the Hoover family was so close to his, my grandfather remained friends with them for the rest of his life, even having his picture taken with two of the Hoover boys, Ed and Joe, two years before his death.
Mr Hoover’s name was France, and while he was a farmer by trade, he also had the ability to repair and maybe even make shoes for his family. I suppose a lot of families learned trades to help save their families money, but shoemaking is something that seems such a strange hobby these days. Of course, for France Hoover, it was not a hobby, it was a necessity. His family needed shoes, and to purchase them was expensive. I found these pictures to be very interesting, as I thought about how the shoes were made or repaired in those days. They were all hand crafted, unlike the shoes of today that are mass produced by machines. The shoes were made out of leather, while most shoes today are made out of synthetic materials. I have a feeling those shoes lasted much longer than our shoes today do too.
Shoes then were not designed for looks so much, but rather they were made in a practical fashion, which would have saddened me, because I love my high heels, and I love different designs and colors. Shoes of yesteryear were quite different, and I’m sure the shoemakers would have thought of me as being half crazy. Maybe I am, but I would be in good company, I think, because there are a whole bunch of us high heel fanatics in this world. These are just different times than those were, and since they most likely had just one pair of shoes, compared to my 50 or more, theirs had to be built to last. While France Hoover was not related to me, I still find him to be an interesting character from the past. Some things he did the old fashioned way, like making and repairing shoes, and some things like cars and tractors, he had to have the latest innovations available. I suppose it just depends on where your priorities are, really, and I’m quite certain that mine are vastly different than France Hoover’s were.