Posts Tagged ‘house’
When my older sister, Cheryl got married, she and her husband moved to Keeseville, New York. There was a changing of the guard, so to speak, at our house. Since Cheryl was the oldest, she was always in charge when our parents weren’t at home, but when Cheryl married, the responsibility shifted to me. I’m sure that if you ask my younger sisters, they would tell you that I…maybe took the power a little too seriously…you know…bossy!! Well, maybe extremely bossy. I wasn’t a very patient person back then, so my little sisters quickly learned not to mess with me much. That kind of power can make a person push all their work on to those people who are in a position whereby they have to obey. That was where my little sisters were.
Oh, it wasn’t a constant thing, and my sisters and I had some very good times together, but as anyone who has ever been in charge of their younger siblings can tell you, being the one in charge does have its up side, and that upside is all about getting out of the work of cleaning the house. Ok, ok…I know it wasn’t probably the nicest thing to do, but I was a kid after all.
That was a long time ago, and we have all grown up. My sisters have long since forgiven me for my big power grab, and we are friends now, but that was a rough time for them…or maybe I wasn’t so different from any other teenager who was in charge of the younger kids while their parents were at work or out for the evening. I like to think that the later is closer to the truth, but I’m also sure my little sisters will still say that I was horrible. All I can say is that it couldn’t have been so bad…I mean, after all, I did let them live!!
My mom and her siblings have always had a close relationship, and even if their lives have become busy enough at times, so that it became almost impossible to see each other very often, they maintained a lasting love for their siblings and their spouses. Of course, as with most families, the older siblings and their spouses had more in common with each other than with the younger siblings. Because of that, my family spent more time with my Aunt Evelyn and Uncle George’s family, since my cousins, my older sister and I were close to the same ages. That said, I remember going out to Aunt Evelyn and Uncle George’s house to play, and always having a great time. Maybe it was that I was so young, or maybe it was because everything always seemed more fun at someone else’s house, but we always had the greatest time.
My Uncle George was always a soft spoken man…at least when I was around. I’m sure that having 5 kids of their own, all feisty, could make a man raise his voice once in a while, but I don’t recall that happening while I was there. I always liked their house, because it seemed so unusual. They had built it themselves, and it had cool and unusual, at least at that time, doorways, which were arched, and a fireplace, which our house didn’t have. There were lots of other things about their house, their own design that I liked too, but I don’t recall what all they were now. It’s been a long time since I have been through their house. All I know is that we always had great adventures out there.
My Uncle George is a handsome man…the kind you think of when you say, tall, dark and handsome, so I can see why my aunt was attracted to him, but there was so much more to him than that. I always loved his quiet laugh, and his gentle ways. He was always so nice. Today, my uncle is 88 years old. He has been a member of my mom’s family longer than any other spouse, and like my Aunt Sandy always says, he is more like a brother than a brother-in-law to her and I’m sure most of the kids. He is the oldest living member of the family now, sort of the man of the family, since grandpa passed away, back in 1980. His childhood was without a family of his own, because he was raised in the State Children’s Home, but for the last 65 years, he has belonged to us…and we are very, very happy about that. Happy birthday Uncle George!! Have a wonderful day!! We all love you very much!!
When he first arrived on September 9, 1998, 5 weeks early, Josh had to be flown to Denver because his lungs were under-developed. That was just about the last time Josh would be weak in any way. Josh quickly grew into an eating machine, wanting a treat every time he walked into my house. The first words out of his mouth were, “Treat, Grandma…treat!!” I had to make sure I had granola bars or fruit roll-ups, because that boy was hungry!!! And the really strange thing is that to this day, he can eat and eat, and still be a skinny little kid. Today, Josh is a great big 14 year old boy, but he’s still slim. I don’t know how he does it, but he does!
We went up on the mountain yesterday to celebrate Josh and his dad, my son-in-law, Kevin’s birthday. They wanted to have their party on the mountain. They love to camp, and so Josh couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate his birthday. They have had a great weekend, and in the middle of it, they got to spend time at their favorite pass time…paintball shooting. And to top it off, we brought them another fighter…Caalab!! Kevin, Chris, Caalab, and Josh had a great time hiding and shooting each other. And as for me, I was just glad that I wasn’t involved in the fighting, because I have a feeling I would have not only lost badly, but I’m pretty sure I would have been the prime target, if I know these guys…and I do.
So much has changed since our premature little Josh arrived, but one thing I can tell you without a doubt is that Josh is a fighter. In the beginning he fought for life, in sports he fights to win, as the youngest he fight for equality, and in paintball, he fights to beat his dad, brother, cousin, and anyone else who wants to take a shot at him. True, all his fighting is in the area of sports these days, but as the youngest, I suspect he will be vying for his superiority for a while yet…not that any of the boys or Kevin will mind that so much. They are a competitive bunch, after all. Who will come out the victor over all lies in the future, but that’s ok. The journey will be fun. Happy birthday Josh!! We love you!!
Large families have, as a matter of course, a wide range of ages in the children. The elder children are often married when the youngest ones are just little or sometimes not even born yet. Then their children come along and they end up playing with their aunts and uncles as often as not. They become almost like sisters and brothers. That was the case for my cousin Susie, who often played with her aunts, Bonnie, Dixie, and Sandy. She had automatic friends. From having lunch together, to playing house, their time together was filled with fun.
Aunt Sandy, who is the youngest of my mom’s siblings, tells me that she doesn’t remember a time when her brothers-in-law and sister-in-law weren’t in her life. I doubt if she remembers a time without nieces or nephews either. I’m sure she also helped in holding the babies when they were little too. Young aunts can make the best babysitters, when they are old enough to be a help, that is. Girls usually love to sit and hold those babies, but then who doesn’t.
In looking at this picture, I can see a camaraderie between these four girls that is very obvious. When I was a kid, all my aunts and uncles were grown ups, so I never experienced that myself. I’ve often wondered just how it would feel to hang out with my aunts and uncles as kids. I know that my aunts and uncles were quite a crew. It seems from the stories my mom has told me that they were always having some great adventure. I’m sure too, that my grandmother had to stay on her toes, because as with Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, quite often, those adventures got the kids in a bit of trouble with their parents, but then, what’s the fun in adventure if it doesn’t result in one fix or another. Of course, I’m sure my grandmother would disagree.
Our family enjoys spending time together, but I think very possibly Aunt Bonnie, Aunt Dixie, Aunt Sandy, and Susie have a relationship that is just a little bit closer than most, because it began when they were so very young. It made them almost like sisters, and as most of us know, sisters are forever friends.
My father-in-law has always been a hard working man. He worked hard all his life, beginning at 13 when he went to live at a ranch not far from his home, to work milking cows and hauling hay, for a mere 50 cents a day for milking and 1 dollar a day when hauling hay. He learned very early on, that it took hard work to get where you wanted to be in life. That work ethic has taken him a long way in his lifetime. He is a respected man to all who know him.
He worked hard to provide for his family and insure that my mother-in-law could be a stay at home mom. Together they raised six children. She kept house, as well as, knitting, crocheting, sewing and canning. He worked long hours to make enough money to support the family, and was often away from home for days at a time. It was a hard way to make a living, but he did it so his kids could have their mom at home. That was how things were back then. The men worked and the women kept the house.
These days my father-in-law still works very hard. At 83 years of age, he spends his days taking care of my mother-in-law, who has Alzheimer’s Disease. He cooks, cleans, and makes sure that she has the things she needs to stay home. Yes, he has help, but during the day, he is on duty alone most of the time. It is a hard day for him, and it wears him out much of the time, but whenever my mother-in-law has to be in the hospital, he is terribly lonely. Once again, he chooses hard work in order to support his loved ones. The unfortunate thing is that my mother-in-law has no idea just how blessed she is.
Today is my father-in-law’s 83rd birthday. For the past 7 years or more, he has been faithfully and lovingly caring for my mother-in-law, without complaint. His love for his family runs deep. He always puts their needs ahead of his own…no matter how tired he gets. Happy birthday Dad!! Have a wonderful day. We love you!!