My grandfather, George Byer was the only grandfather I ever knew. My dad’s dad had passed away before my parents were married, and all of my great grandfathers passed away long before I was born. It was not something I ever felt cheated about then, it was just the way it was. Of course, now I wish I had been able to know the other grandfathers, as well as some of the grandmothers. I did get to know my grandpa’s mother, but I don’t recall my grandma’s mother, because I was only three when she passed away. Grandpa was such a gentle man and I loved him very much. We all did.
I remember one afternoon when Grandpa stopped by our house. My mom was on the phone, so she told her dad to just come on in. She went on with her conversation, and Grandpa stood there. When she realized that he hadn’t come in, She again motioned him to come on in. Again she went back to her conversation, and again, Grandpa stood there. Finally my mom realized that something was wrong. It was then that she saw our German Shepherd dog, King was standing at the door. He wasn’t exactly growling or anything, but Grandpa knew that he had better not come inside, because King was guarding the door. Mom said, “King!! You let him in!!” King looked at Mom sheepishly, and literally smiled. Mom said it was the first time she had ever seen a dog smile. King turned and stepped away, allowing my Grandpa to come inside. I really miss that dog!! And I really miss my grandpa. I’m sure that Grandpa got a kick out of the whole thing…later, but at the time, he knew better than to test the dog. The funny thing is that King really wouldn’t have hurt him. King really did have a sense of humor. Some dogs do, you know.
If you ask me, I had the very best grandpa in the world. He was the best and sweetest grandpa ever. All of his grandchildren loved him, and his kids always felt like they were given the very best life ever. Grandpa may not have been rich, but he was rich in love for his family. He would have give everything he owned to make sure that they were ok. Together with our grandma, Hattie Byer they showed their generosity to anyone who needed it. No matter what Grandma was cooking, and how many extra people showed up, it seemed like there was always enough to feed everyone. They really were both amazing people. Today is the 128th anniversary of Grandpa’s birth. That was a wonderful day for our family, even if no one knew it then. Happy birthday in Heaven Grandpa Byer. We love and miss you very much.
Everyone’s home life growing up is different. Some homes are very reserved, some are chaotic, and others, like mine are simply wonderful. We always knew that our parents loved us and that they loved each other too. In our house, there were kisses and hugs all around, but we got the biggest kick out of our parents kissing. Dad would come home from work, and give Mom a big kiss, and my sisters and I started singing a song we made up…”Mommy and Daddy are kissing!!” The more we sang the song, the more they continued to kiss. We loved teasing them about kissing, and they love having us tease them. Of course, there was no embarrassment on either side, because we loved that our parents demonstrated their love for each other. What makes a kid feel more secure in the stability of their parents marriage, than a daily show of love.
Of course, kissing wasn’t the only way my parents showed their love for each other. My dad was always the gentleman. He was very protective of my mom. He treated her like a queen, and made sure that we respected her too. He was a hard working man, and we never wanted for anything that we needed. Nevertheless, it was never the things that made us rich. It was the love of our parents that made us rich. There is nothing more comforting than to know that your parents will be there with you and for you. And mom, for her part, always made our home welcoming and inviting, not to mention teaching us to keep house and to cook. One of my favorite memories of my childhood was coming home for lunch on a school day, to find chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. That was my very favorite lunch, and it was great to come home to Mom’s cooking.
I’s like to say that there was never any drama in our house, but my parents had five daughters, and…well, drama is just a part of the deal. You get five girls to the age of their teens or close to it, with one phone, and everyone wanting to have their turn, and you have drama…not to mention the fights over the bathroom with all of us trying to get ready for school or a date. I suppose mom understood, but dad had to be a saint, and that’s all there is to it. With one bathroom, a wife, and five daughters, dad just had to wait…forever!!
Nevertheless, while there may have been a little bit of drama, our home was a house filled with love, laughter, singing, and yes with mommy and daddy kissing. Today would have been my parents’ 64th wedding anniversary. They will be spending it together in Heaven. I’m sure it will be a beautiful day, and I wish we could spend it with them, but for now, that is not to be. Happy anniversary Mom and Dad. We love and miss you very much.
For as long as I have known my husband, Bob, he has been a person who loves to laugh, and so loves a good joke and loves to tease. Of course, I have been the recipent of much of his teasing, and so can attest to his teasing personally, and that was ok, since I was raised in a teasing household too. I’m not talking about mean teasing that leaves lasting scars, but rather, practical jokes and other funny stuff. People who have never been around playful teasing are really missing out if you ask me.
In our more that 38 years together, Bob and I have shared many a laugh. It has made our life rich in so many ways. I believe that a house filled with laughter is the best kind home to live in, and teasing is a big part of that. Life can get so serious at times, and if there is laughter in the home, it lightens the mood and makes the tough times so much easier to bare.
Bob can be so funny sometimes, and yet, it hasn’t just been the laughter that has made our lives rich. We have so many things in common, and we love being in each other’s company. There is nothing quite as amazing as spending the rest of your life with your best friend, sharing all the great times that life has to offer. Hiking is our main activity of choice. It is our way of getting away from it all and spending quality time together. Our hikes always include laughter and joking, along with sharing our hope, dreams, and plans for the future. They also include, picture taking, because many of the beautiful places we hike are begging to have their picture taken.
Pictures are a big part of the memories we have from our times together. They I love looking back on all the great shots I’ve taken of the many special places our hikes have taken us. From places right around home to hikes in the Black Hills, and along the Grand Canyon, we have seen so many wonderful sites on foot. I have been amazed at how far our feet have taken us.
This life with my friend has turned out to be the most wonderful journey that we could ever have taken. Our dreams of seeing wonderful places…places most people never see. Places that don’t cost thousands of dollars, and yet they are worth billions of dollars to me…because they are ours. Our footsteps on the many trails we have hiked have made this life with my best friend the best it could have been.