I can’t imagine having my first child on my own birthday, but it does happen, and did happen for my grandmother, Anna Schumacher Spencer and her first born, Laura Spencer Fredrick. Then, to top it off, it would be ten years before Grandma’s second child, my Uncle Bill was born. No one that I have talked to is sure why there would be ten years in between those first two children. After my Uncle Bill was born in 1922, my dad, Allen would follow in 1924 (15 months after Uncle Bill), and Aunt Ruth in 1925 (18½ months after my dad). Nevertheless, Aunt Laura was an only child for ten years, and during that time, she and her mom were very close. They did everything together. Of course in the early years, that made sense, since Aunt Laura was a little girl who didn’t go to school or anything, but even later, there were wonderful trips with family and friends into town and shopping.

During those early years, Grandpa Allen Spencer, worked a number of jobs. At one time, he worked in the lumber business, taking his little family to the camp in the middle of the woods. I’m sure it was rather a lonely existence for Grandma, but she had her little daughter to keep her company, and that helped a lot. For long months they didn’t really go anywhere much, but there might have been a few other wives living in the camps. Still, mostly it was Grandma and Aunt Laura. I can imagine the games they played and the walks they took. There wouldn’t have been much else to do, so mother and daughter would have bonded over the long hours spent together. It was always so obvious to me just how proud Grandma was of her well-behaved little girl.

Later, there were trips taken to see family. Grandma’s little family of three was excited to be going and the other family and friends were happy to see them. Aunt Laura always seemed to stay close to Grandma, but maybe that was just for the pictures. Aunt Laura was very well behaved, a credit to her mother’s upbringing. She was really quite grown up for her age, and in fact, when Uncle Bill arrived, she was his nanny at just ten years old. Grandma was running a hotel by then, and Grandpa had to work too, so Aunt Laura needed to help, and now she had a job too. I’m sure it made her feel grown up. She was very close to her brother, just like her mother had been with her. Like mother, like daughter. Today is the shared birthday of my grandmother and Aunt Laura. Both are in Heaven now, and we love and miss them very much.

It’s not a common thing…having your first child on your birthday, but it is what my grandmother, Anna Schumacher Spencer did when she gave birth to her first daughter, Laura Spencer Fredrick, on August 3, 1912, when grandma was 25 years old. It would be ten years before my grandparents would have another child, but no one in the family knows why. After my Uncle Bill was born in 1922, my dad, Allen quickly followed in 1924, and my Aunt Ruth in 1925. Nevertheless, they had just Aunt Laura for ten years. I really wish Grandma had known that her 2nd great granddaughter, Elliott Stevens would share in that joint birthday too. I think she and Aunt Laura would have liked that very much.

Grandma and Aunt Laura did everything together. They were not just mom and daughter, but best friends too. They shopped and traveled, and they worked around the house together. Grandpa was often away working, so Aunt Laura was Grandma’s companion much of the time. They were very close, and Aunt Laura was a big help to her mom.

When Uncle Bill came along, Grandma was running a hotel, and ten year old Aunt Laura became her right hand helper and almost full time nanny. I don’t know how Grandma could have done it all without the help of her dear daughter. They shared much more than just their birthdays, they shared the workload, the child rearing, and their memories I’m sure. When Aunt Laura married in 1932, just before her 20th birthday, she and her husband, Fritz moved to Minneapolis from their home in Holyoke, I’m sure that Grandma felt the loss deeply. Minneapolis isn’t that far, but too far to visit daily. Today is the day 132nd anniversary of Grandma Spencer’s birth, and it is the 107th anniversary of Aunt Laura’s birth. Happy birthday to both of you in Heaven. We love and miss you both very much.

Katy_edited1When I first met Katy Balcerzak, my niece, Chantel’s step daughter, she was just a little girl. I remember thinking what a great dad her dad, Dave is. Katy and her older brother Kiefer were such good little kids. When a blended family first meets the rest of the family, sometimes things don’t go as well and everyone had hoped, but that was not the case with Dave and his kids. They were very sweet and we loved them immediately. That has been a number of years, of course, and the kids are grown up now. Keifer is married, and Katy is engaged. I have a really hard time believing that they are so grown up. As with all kids, the years have flown by so quickly.

These days, Katy is a nanny, but that is only temporary, because Katy has been accepted into the two year nursing program at Casper College. Things are changing quite rapidly for Katy now. With her wedding coming up this summer, and her studies lined out, everything is looking toward a great future. I think Katy will make an awesome nurse. She has a winning smile, and the ability to add a positive note to any situation…and isn’t that exactly what is needed when you are in a doctor’s office, or a hospital. Whenever you go to see a doctor, you are worried that they are going to tell you something is really wrong. A nurse with a positive attitude and a comforting way about her, can go a long ways toward making you feel at ease. Of course, not all the news is good news, and when a nurse is needed to give care in the hospital, everyone wants one whose smile can make you feel better. I don’t know what type of nursing Katy plans to go 12247959_801102820012326_2711983612513020629_ointo, and maybe she doesn’t either, yet. I have found that many nurses start out in one area of nursing, but later change to another. Time will tell what area of nursing will become Katy’s chosen field, but I’m sure that she will be great at any area of nursing she chooses.

It’s just so strange to think Dave’s little girl is all grown up, and is going to be a nurse. The years have changed her in so many ways, and yet, in other ways, she is still her daddy’s little girl. Before we all know it, she and her future husband, Jake Collett will be starting a family of their own, but…that’s another story. Today is Katy’s birthday. Happy birthday Katy!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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