rooster

My aunt, Dixie Richards is the 8th child of my grandparents, George and Hattie Byer, and the middle of the younger three daughters. She is also a very giving person. She is always there whenever her help is needed. For many years she has taken care of her grandchildren, as well as the children of her siblings and their children. It has been a long run of children who can say that they got to spend quality time with Aunt Dixie. What a blessing that was for them, and how nice I was for their parents, who didn’t have to worry about who was watching their kids. They knew that their kids were entertained, loved, and cared for in the best possible way.

Aunt Dixie has lived in the country for as long as I can remember, but I suppose there might have been a time when she didn’t. She has always enjoyed the country life, complete with the farm animals that went with it. One of her farm animals came from my mom, Collene Spencer, who was given a baby chick that one of her grandkids had won at the fair. I could never figure out why they gave away live animals at the fair, because most people didn’t have their parents permission to bring these animals home, and often, the animals weren’t allowed in town. Nevertheless, my mom had big plans for her baby chic. She was going to raise it and have eggs. Little did she know that she had a rooster. Even when the chick started crowing, Mom denied the obvious, still hoping for eggs,but finally she had to face reality, and the chick, named Queenie, who should have been King, moved to aunt Dixie’s place. Mom never knew what happened to Queenie after that, but I think that deep down inside, she knew that Queenie had probably become chicken noodle soup or some other such thing, because he was older than most butchered chickens, and probably not suitable for a fryer. Nevertheless, Aunt Dixie would never have told her sister what happened to Queenie, because she was far too kind.

These days, Aunt Dixie is retired from babysitting, and her favorite thing to do is to spend time with her family. She and Uncle Jim love being close to their grandchildren, all of whom they are very proud. I’m sure they are looking forward to the day when they will have done great grandchildren too, because as every parent knows, grandchildren are the reward that comes from having children. I know that they will be wonderful at that too, just as they were with kids and grandkids they have now. Today is Aunt Dixie’s birthday. Happy birthday Aunt Dixie!! Have a great day!!we love you!!

Aunt Bonnie, Aunt Dixie, and Aunt SandyMy Aunt Dixie Richards was always a shy little girl…something many of us can relate to. The expressions on her face as a child depicted that a little bit. I have always thought that she had a little bit of a shy smile. But the one thing I did notice about that smile is just how beautiful it was. And that she smiled often. I have looked at the pictures of her, and she was always smiling…and her smile always seemed to show some secret delight or tidbit of humor that only she knew about. I always loved that about her, and in looking at her childhood pictures, I can see that it was always the case.

Aunt Dixie has a very loving heart, and her greatest joy is her family. She is married to the love of her life, Jim Richards and together they had three children, Jeannie, Jim, and Raelynn…who gave her six grandchildren. She loves being a grandmother, and wants her family close by and in her life. I can totally relate to that too. There is nothing more precious than family, and the more time you have to spend with them, the better. Aunt Dixie has been the transport person, babysitter, after school day care, and a multitude of other helper positions for her daughters, and she has enjoyed each and every minute of that time. It is simply the job of a grandmother…to be the assistant to the parents.

Uncle Jim and Aunt Dixie Aunt Dixie has always been such a creative person. Whenever she and her family have run the annual Christmas for the Byer family, the decorations have been so unique and pretty. Aunt Dixie has lived in the country for as long as I can remember, and she has raised chickens and such. When my mom ended up with a rooster chick from the fair, she planned to raise it, thinking it was a hen. When we found out that it was a rooster, we had to find it a new home. Aunt Dixie stepped up and took the rooster. We knew he would end up on the dinner table, but at least mom didn’t have to think about it…and that was nice. Today is Aunt Dixie’s birthday. Happy birthday Aunt Dixie!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you!!

Dixie Lynn Byer_editedBy the time my Aunt Dixie joined the family, there were already seven children in it. That meant lots of help to take care of the new baby. If she was anything like she is today, my guess would be that she laughed easily and often. Aunt Dixie has never been a melancholy person, but rather always seems to look for the positive things in life. That is a trait that few people have these days, and one that will make her life always rich.

Aunt Dixie has a creative side to her too. She has a talent for making things that add a touch of beauty to her life and to those around her. I can remember the many family Christmas parties that Aunt Dixie and her family have put on, and her talent is easy to see. We have all been blessed by the things she and her family have made for those parties. They always bring something new to the feel of them.

Aunt Dixie has always loved living in the country, and has had her little farm for many years now. I remember when she came to the rescue of my sisters and me, when she took the chicken/rooster my mother ended up with after one of the kids brought it home from the fair. It was cute at first, of course, and Mom’s plan was to have eggs. Having chickens in town was against city ordinance, of course, but Mom didn’t think anyone would know, since it was just one chicken. Then it started crowing, much to the embarrassment of all the rest of the family. Finally Mom gave up and admitted that it was indeed a rooster. Then she had to figure out what to do with it. Aunt Dixie saved the day by adopting the rooster. IMG_0539Now, I’m sure he became fried chicken or chicken soup, but there are worse things in life…like having to listen to that rooster crowing every morning.

Aunt Dixie loves kids…especially her grandchildren. She has 5 grandsons, and then…finally, three short years ago, she received the granddaughter she had longed for. Now her life is complete…at least until the great grandbabies start coming, but that’s another story. Today is Aunt Dixie’s birthday!! Happy birthday Aunt Dixie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Years ago, when the different booths at the fair used to give baby chicks or fish as prizes for the different games you could play. My mom and dad were at the fair, and a little boy came up to her and asked if she would take his baby chick, because his mom wouldn’t let him keep it, so mom took it, and decided to raise it in the hope of having eggs. She named our chicken Queenie. We loved Queenie. She was yellow and fuzzy and so soft. Of course, the thrill of having Queenie wore off for us kids pretty fast, and Mom was left to her care.

With dreams of eggs for some time to come, my mom took great care of Queenie. And our little chick thrived on the care. She was probably the only chicken to ever live in a house. Mom kept her in a box in the utility room. She was a household pet…not that everyone liked her. She had a tendency to peck at the little kids, and they somehow didn’t think that was a very good idea. So mom had to keep Queenie away from the kids, and that meant the back yard was off limits sometimes…to the kids.

As Queenie grew, there began to be some…strange occurrences. Sounds that Queenie shouldn’t be making were coming from her. I’m sure many of you know what was going on, but my mom didn’t want to believe that her chicken was really a rooster. Her plans of having eggs were dissolving before her eyes, and try as she might, there was no denying it.

The neighbors started asking about a rooster in the city limits, and of course, mom was told she couldn’t keep him there, so she talked to her sister, my Aunt Dixie, and it was decided that she would take the rooster named Queenie, since she had a place in the country and other chickens.

My mom kept telling herself that Queenie was out at my aunts house, living it up as the King of the chicken coop, but we all knew that Queenie probably ended up as most chickens and roosters do…as fried chicken, or some other such tasty dinner entree, and it’s just as well, because whether we liked Queenie or not…eating him was definitely out of the question. He was a household pet, after all.

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