Bob’s great grandparents, Edgar and Nellie Knox, had 5 sons, and no daughters. For Nellie, that meant a lot of years around boys, and boys things. It isn’t the worst situation in the world, and she loved her sons after all, but like households with all daughters, it is a bit lopsided. Usually, the odd man out, whether father or mother, doesn’t totally mind that situation, because they often feel a little bit special. They seem to be doted upon a lot of the time. I know this, because that’s how it was in our family. My dad was the only male in the house, and while he always treated our mom like a queen, something that has always made me think of him as one of the last of a dying breed of men. As for his girls, mom, my sisters, and me, well, we always doted on Dad. When he got home from work, we were all excited. We made sure his dinner was ready, because he worked so hard. You know, just making him feel like the king of the castle. Not that we didn’t get in trouble, or rebel now and then, but we tried to make his homecomings special. Still, the thing that he wouldn’t have in his life for many years was a son, or for my dad, a son-in-law.
Sometimes, those in-laws can be a real problem. They don’t get along with the mother-in-law, or the mother-in-law really didn’t want to suddenly have girls in the family. They like their specialness. I have been blessed with a wonderful mother-in-law, and of course, she had daughters and sons, so I didn’t come as a culture shock to her either. Bob’s great grandmother was such a sweet person, as were the daughters-in-law that I have had the pleasure of knowing. They seemed to genuinely love each other.
I have talked to many people about their in-laws, and while most like their in-laws, some have said their in-laws are a nightmare. I think that is so sad…for both of them. I believe there is something good in most people. I know that there are some that are horrible, but on the average I think most are good. Nevertheless, as daughters-in-law go, Bob’s great grandmother’s daughters-in-law were wonderful people, as was she. It may have been a culture shock at first, but once they got used to it, I think it was wonderful for all of them.
Every family has their experts at different things. Some have people who work at banks, some insurance agents, some doctors, some nurses, and the list goes on. These are the people you just naturally call when you have a problem that fits into their area of expertise. Our family is no exception to that rule, We have people from many areas of expertise that we can call on, and some that show up even if we didn’t call on them. That is where my cousin Clyde comes in. Now the time he showed u without our calling him, I really must clarify by saying that someone did call him, it just wasn’t us. Bob and I lived out in the country, and a neighbor say smoke coming from our place, and she called the fire department. That’s where Clyde comes in. Clyde was the Natrona County Fire Chief for many years, before he retired.
I was at work, when I got a call form Bob saying that we “needed to go home” right away, because we had a fire. That is not the best way to find out that all of your belongings might be toast. Bob came and picked my up, and we rushed out to our place to see what the damages were. As we pulled up, we saw that the flames were higher than our house, so we couldn’t really tell what all was involved. We could see that our Jeep was a gonner. Clyde walked up to us as we got out of the car, and said, “Hi Bob, I wondered if we had your place here…Where’ve you been dumping your ashes?” I was stunned at that moment. Apparently, Bob had been taking our ashes out of the stove, and after several days in the ash bucket, he was dumping them on the ground outside of our yard…but, probably a little too close to a pile of junk wood we were cutting up and using for our wood stove, and that pile of wood was just on the other side of the fence from my Jeep.
Bob explained that the ashes were cold…he had felt the bucket. Clyde explained that with the wind that was blowing it had fanned the ashes and ignited the flames. In the end, the Jeep and the junk wood were the only things we lost, but we were sure glad that we had Clyde in the family. He would have given the same care and concern to any fire he fought, but it was comforting to know that when we really needed a fireman, Clyde was there. Today is Clyde’s birthday, and we want to thank him for all he has done for this county, and for us. Happy birthday Clyde!! We love you!!