puffed wheat

When my parents moved to Superior, Wisconsin, which is where my older sister, Cheryl Masterson and I were born, my mom was a young bride, who was experiencing the first days of marriage and the first time away from her family. I’m sure that was not really an easy time for her, but when she arrived in Superior, she was greeted by my dad’s family, who were the only people she knew there. If you have to move to a new city and state, it is nice to at least have someone that you know and can call family, as well as friend. My dad had a large family in the area with whom my mother became quite close, one of whom was my Aunt Doris Spencer, her sister-in-law, and my Uncle Bill’s wife. They spent a lot of time together, and really, had a number of “adventures” together.

As young women, they were always weight conscious, and always on the latest diet. I’m sure that they thought it would be easier to diet with a buddy, and many of us have thought the same thing, but as we all know, dieting is never ease, and inevitably, they found themselves starving!! So, as a way of easing the cravings until they could eat something again, my Aunt Doris handed gave each of them one kernel of puffed wheat and said, “Here, this will tide us over until dinnertime!” Now, as we all know that would be like literally eating air, and it would not ease hunger pains in any way, but as every dieter knows, it was worth a try, because they didn’t want to mess up their diet.

When we moved to Wyoming when I was a little over two years old, it was hard on a lot of people, but I think it was especially hard for my mom and Aunt Doris. While their “adventures” were sometimes silly and sometimes almost crazy, they always had a great time together, and they had become almost like sisters, not sisters-in-law. Aunt Doris and Uncle Bill visited us in Wyoming and we visited them in Wisconsin, but it was never quite the same. Then a few years ago, my sister, Cheryl and I took Mom to Wisconsin for a visit. it was so amazing to see the two sisters-in-law/friends together again, and I know they felt like it was an amazing reunion too. It was the last trip my Mom would make, but my Aunt Doris is still alive and going strong. Today is Aunt Doris’ 94th birthday. Happy birthday Aunt Doris!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Aunt Doris & MomWhen my mom was first married, she and my dad moved to Superior, Wisconsin. Dad’s brother, my Uncle Bill Spencer and his wife, my Aunt Doris lived there, and they had a rental house just across the back yard from their house. They rented the house to mom and dad, and the two young brides became fast friends. They did lots of things together, and since they lived just across the yard from each other, it was easy to touch base a lot. They spent some fun, and sometimes downright comical times together. They tried it all, from ketchup soup with crackers, to a single puffed wheat to hold them over, when they were dieting, but probably didn’t need to be. They were two young women doing crazy, goofy things, in the spirit of fun.

Then my parents decided to move to Casper, Wyoming, and the friends had to say goodbye. It was hard on both of them, but as the years went by, time and distance softened the sadness each had felt, and frequent trips to visit helped to keep them in touch. After a number of years, my Aunt Doris’ marriage to my Uncle Bill ended in divorce. Mom and Aunt Doris tried to stay in touch through letter writing, and did pretty well, until it became more and more difficult for them to write. Eventually they got to the point where communication was pretty sparse. I know they were both sorry that they had all but lost touch with their friend.

Then, my sister, Cheryl Masterson, my mom, Collene Spencer, and I decided to make a trip back to Superior, Wisconsin to visit relatives…previously known to us, and also not previously known to us. Upon our arrival, my cousins, Pam Wendling and her husband Mike, and Bill Spencer and his wife Maureen and daughter, Kristin got us together with their mom, and suddenly they were together again. Our moms were so excited to see each other. It was such a beautiful sight to see. I thought both of them were going to cry, and maybe they did a little bit. I found myself watching such a sweet reunion, and it felt good to have been a part of that joyful moment. We don’t know how many more times they will be able to get together like this, but they have had this time, and while they will have to part ways again, I know that both of them will cherish this little reunion.

It is always hard to leave friends behind, but it is pretty much inevitable. Sometimes, while it is a move in the right direction for you, it is heartbreaking for others…and even heartbreaking for you in some aspects of the move. That’s how it was for Aunt Doris and Mom. While the move to Wyoming was necessary and a good one for our family, it also left two friends to try to keep the friendship alive over time and distance.

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