My aunt, Virginia Beadle spent time out in nature with her family as a child when her dad, my grandpa, George Byer took the family out rock hunting, so she knew about snakes. In the years before her passing on November 29, 2019, at 89 years of age, Aunt Virginia lived with her son Steve Beadle and his wife, Wanda, and later with her son Bill Beadle and his wife, Janie. While she was living with Wanda and Steve, Aunt Virginia stepped out the front door of the house, and immediately back in. She told the boys that there was a rattle snake by the front door, and she said it was huge!! The boys thought she was a typical girl, afraid of any old snake. They said it was probably a garter snake. Well, it wasn’t a garter snake, and Aunt Virginia wasn’t a typical girl who was afraid of a snake. After Steve had killed the rattle snake and cut off his head and rattle, he measured the snake. Steve is 5’8″, and just holding the snake up, it hit the ground when Steve held it just under his chin. That is a big snake. I’m sure the boys believed that she knew a rattle snake when she saw one after that.
Steve was reminded of a story his mom (my Aunt Virginia) told him. She was about 4 or 5 years old, and the family was living in a sod house. Aunt Virginia was outside playing and she saw a string of beads on the ground. She picked them up and went inside to has her dad, my grandpa, George Byer, if she could keep the beads. Her dad was shaving, and when asked, he told her yes, then thought maybe he should see what she was wanting to keep. When he looked down, he saw that she was holding a blue racer snake by the tail…and it was trying to bite her. He quickly grabbed it and stomped on its head. Aunt Virginia is pretty sure that is where her fear of snakes came from. Steve also said, “If Mom says it’s a big dang snake, it’s a BIG dang snake!!”
A few years ago, Wanda and Steve decided to lift Aunt Virginia’s spirits following her husband, my Uncle Bill’s passing. Aunt Virginia had told Wanda, during one of their many conversations, that she had always dreamed of a bedroom that was red and gray. She had wanted that bedroom all of her adult life. Without telling Aunt Virginia what they were doing, Wanda and Steve gave Aunt Virginia that bedroom that she had always dreamed of. She told them it was “too beautiful to sleep in” when she saw it. She never thought her dream would come true, but that day, with tears of joy streaming down her cheeks, Aunt Virginia saw the beautiful bedroom her kids had given her. That bedroom was their gift to her, but it was more than that…it was their love for her, and she knew that. She knew they loved her before that, of course, but to take a lifelong dream and make it a reality…well, she felt like a princess. And then there were the PJs. Aunt Virginia and Wanda loved their PJs, and I think that’s very cool.
Aunt Virginia had three little fur babies that she loved very much. Her idea of a wonderful way to spend time was to sit out on the deck, that had been beautifully furnished with new deck chairs with lots of padding and ottomans, as a gift for her birthday one year. Aunt Virginia loved sitting on the deck with the puppies, Molly, Whiskey, and Rosie…babies that she claimed for her very own. She sat on “her” deck with “her” puppies every chance she got. She would also sit under the covered pergola and do her puzzles. Wanda swore me to secrecy here, so don’t tell, but she did more sleeping than puzzling. Aunt Virginia went to heaven on November 29, 2019, and this past April, her little puppy, Rosie went to join her there. Rosie was the puppy that always greeted Aunt Virginia in the hallway, every morning when she got up, and now Aunt Virginia got to greet Rosie when she went home too. Rosie was the one that greeted her in the hallway every single day when she got up. Rosie adored Aunt Virginia, and now they are together forever, and since Rosie’s birthday was yesterday and Aunt Virginia’s 91st birthday is today, they can celebrate together in beautiful Heaven style. Happy birthday in Heaven, Aunt Virginia. We love and miss you very much.
Since my grand niece, Katie Balcerzak was a little girl, she wanted to be a mommy, just like most little girls do. After her marriage to my nephew, Keifer, she and Keifer were doggie parents to their puppies, but now they have decided that the time has come to have a child of a different kind. So, in February, their new little bundle of joy will make his or her appearance. In the meantime, it’s always a good thing that parents-to-be have time to prepare for their little one, and all of the changes that come along with being parents, because life is about to get really interesting for them…and for their puppy girls…who will most likely ease right into being “sisters” without batting an eye, because dogs love kids…at least all the dogs I have ever known. And especially if they get to know the baby from birth. Dogs just seem to know that they have a new playmate coming soon.
I think for Katie, being a mom will not be something so new, because she has been an aunt for a number of years, and therefore, she knows how to take care of babies. Anytime a girl has an older sibling, who has kids, she finds herself babysitting at a young age. And when a girl babysits, she learns how to take care of children. For Katie, who has long wanted kids, working at the Montessori School has been another way to prepare for her new role as mommy. I think that in reality, Katie’s whole adult life has been an ongoing preparation for having children of her own, and I am so excited for her as she and Keifer embark on the new world of parenthood, and all the incredible joys that go along with it. Babies, while a lot of work, are a most rewarding part of life.
Katie is a fun loving girl with a beautiful smile, and I think Keifer loved her from the moment he first laid eyes on her. She has a goofy side that appeals to the kids she spends time around, and she is patient with them too, so that endears her to them very quickly. Kids love an adult who doesn’t mind playing kid games and acting silly sometimes, and Katie is willing to do that. I suppose that would make her a kid at heart, and that’s ok. Today is Katie’s birthday. Happy birthday Katie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My niece, Liz Masterson, doesn’t realize what an inspiration she is to a lot of people, or if she does, she is just so not conceited, that she would never acknowledge that she knows. She is a journalism teacher at Kelly Walsh High School, and as such, she also teaches English, and puts out the yearbook. Her younger English students may or may not realize how much she does for them, but her journalism students, and the students she works with on the yearbook, know very well, how special she is. The friendships she has made with those students, and yes, I say friendships, have and will last for as long as they live. How many people keep in touch with and even spend time with their teachers after high school? Not very many, if any, but Liz is special. She treats them like the amazing people she knows they can become, when they are still students, and later when they start out in their lives, they remember that she was always there for them…cheering them on. There is no greater tribute a teacher can receive than to have a student say that if it wasn’t for this teacher, I might not have lived to my full potential. Liz has been that teacher to her students, and they have told her so.
Another part of Liz’s job as the journalism teacher, is photographer, and she is an amazing photographer. She captures such precious moments in the students’ lives. Everything from sports, to team pictures, to dances, and other functions, have been captured by Liz’s lens…and in perfect detail. She has also taken many of the Senior pictures for the yearbook, including the family members who have gone through the ranks of high school. She has also taken many other family pictures, and recently, the pictures for our church’s website. Her photographic talents are endless and ever expanding. Liz stays up on techniques and styles, and so her photography changes with the times…becoming more amazing.
Liz has many interests, not the least of which is traveling, and of course, her babies…puppies, Luka, Scout, and Buffy, and her cat, Piper. She mothers those babies just like you would a child, and they love her like she is their mom. It is a beautiful relationship. They love her as much as she loves them. Liz has a well rounded, happy life, and she is an amazing inspiration to all who know her. Today is Liz’s birthday. Happy birthday Liz!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My grand nephew, Jake Collett joined our family when he married my grand niece, Katy Balcerzak. Jake and Katy are perfect for each other. When they aren’t at work, they are together. It doesn’t matter what it is…errands, visiting family or friends, or just hanging out. They are a team, and that is the best thing to be in a marriage. People who really love each other always seem to be going the in the same direction. Their goals and activities all seem to be along the same lines. That’s Jake and Katy. Just looking at their faces, when they are together, you can see the love they have for each other. It’s just so awesome to watch.
Jake and Katy love all things outdoors. It doesn’t matter if its the mountain or the lake. They are there. They love going for long walks on the mountain, and taking their dogs with them. Hiking is such a beautiful sport, and anyone who does it, knows the peace and serenity of the outdoors. You can’t spend much time out there, and not be hooked for life. Exploring through the trees, finding out what is just around the bend in the trail…that’s what it’s all about. Jake and Katy get that. The mountains and trails are the perfect place to unplug from life and reconnect with your spouse. And that’s what they do…often.
Jake and Katy also love to ride four wheelers. That way they can get even further from the hustle and bustle of their busy lives. There is nothing like heading out into the trees far from the highway and the crowds. These days so many people don’t take time to get back to nature, and I think that is sad. Jake and Katy take lots of pictures of their adventures, and their puppies, Bubba and Sheiba. I like that they post their pictures so everyone else can share in their peaceful times together. I know that they are going to have such a wonderful life, and I’m so happy that they have each other, and that we have been blessed with the addition of Jake to our family. Today is Jake’s birthday. Happy birthday Jake!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
I had hinted toward a story a few days ago, and I think today is a good day to take that one further. My niece, Ashley is a very good mom to her daughter, Reagan, and to her little animal children. Everyone needs to be cleaned up and polished. Ashley was this way even before Reagan was born. So every so often, the puppies and kitties must have a bath. Now we are all used to puppies having a bath, but I had never known anyone who gave their kitties a bath before. In fact, thought that was rather dangerous…for the one bathing the cat. I mean, cats have sharp teeth and claws.
In fact, that danger is something Ashley found out periodically, when her cat scratched or even bit her for doing something the cat didn’t like. I have to say that Ashley is a brave woman to keep coming back. I think that after a cat bit me, I would most likely be too nervous to stick that cat back in the tub, but Ashley and Eric want the cat to be a well rounded kitty. Once again, ok, but I think I would probably find a different way to round him out. Ashley is a very brave girl.
I would expect the cat to not like her very much after, what he might consider such mistreatment, but somehow the cat, as well as all her other animals, love Ashley to pieces. They somehow look at the cat bath as…well, maybe just an Ashley-ism, and so even if their cat friends don’t have to take a bath, it’s ok, because they know their mommy loves them, and maybe their friends are just not loved quite as much as they are. On that, I would have to almost agree. Maybe their cat friends are loved as much, but they certainly are not loved more than Ashley loves her cats, dogs, and horses, because that would be impossible.
Ashley has been an animal lover all her life, and every animal she has ever been around knows that very well. She cuddles, and pampers, bathes and then dolls up her pets, until they are among the most handsome you have ever seen. They look and feel very loved, because they most certainly are.