When a man retires, life slows down, and he begins to take it easy. Ok, let get real. he majority of men retire and have dozens of “honey-do’s” to get done, and not only for their wives. Somehow the “daddy-do’s” are just as big a part of life now…not that Daddy would want it any other way. After all, at least for my brother-in-law, Lynn Cook, his girls, Machelle Moore and Susan Griffith are his princesses, and what they want or need, he will try to get it for them. And of course, now that he is retired, he has lots more time to spend with his grandchildren, Weston and Easton Moore, Jala Satterwhite, and Kaytlyn Griffith too.
Over the past month, Lynn has found himself in the middle of a daddy-do at his daughter, Machelle’s house. For quite some time, Machelle and her husband, Steve had to shovel the snow off of the grass, because there was no sidewalk. Anyone who has done that, knows that it can be a pain in the neck, but you don’t want to wade through the snow ether, so you shovel the grass. Recently, Machelle and Steve decided that the time had come to put in a sidewalk and a patio. Thankfully, they were able to call on Lynn to help with the work…and it does help to know people, who know people. Lynn was able to find a dump trailer and skid steer, and then he worked on digging everything out while Machelle and Steve were working during the day. It was a wonderful help to them!! They all worked together, digging some areas by hand and others by machine. Finally they were ready to pour the cement, and when it was all done, it looked amazing. Machelle and Steve couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
Of course, when Lynn isn’t doing his daddy-do’s, he and my sister-in-law, Debbie, his wife of 43 years, love to go camping in the Big Horn Mountains. They will head up the mountain, and stay there two weeks of so, just hanging out, enjoying the quiet peacefulness, and the crisp mountain air. It s a retreat they both love very much. When they aren’t camping, Lynn has been fixing things up around their house…just to keep busy, and enjoying his retirement by spending time with his family. Today is Lynn’s birthday. Happy birthday Lynn!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
My grand nephew, Zackery David Spethman is an eleven year old boy with a lot going for him. This past November, he took and passed the Hunter Safety course, and he can’t even go hunting until he is twelve. Not many kids would take the course a year and a half before they would even benefit from it…and I have my doubts that most kids who are just ten years old, would even be able to pass the test, but Zack did, and we are all very proud of him.
Zack is a very tenderhearted boy. His mom, my niece, Jenny Spethman says that he “loves deeply and feels deeply” about people, He doesn’t like getting his feelings hurt, and so is very careful not to hurt the feelings of others. He doesn’t ever want to be the one to inflict pain on someone. Zack is a huggy boy. He is quick to give a hug to those he loves, and very quick to try to cheer up a person who is sad. And one of his favorite things to do is to make his little sister, Aleesia laugh.
Zack is, nevertheless, all boy. He loves to play football, go bowling, go shooting with his parents, and play cops and robbers with his brothers, Xander and Isaac. For Zack, the season makes no difference. Jumping into a snow drift is just as much fun as jumping into a pile of leaves. He just loves life, and doesn’t want to miss a moment of it. He loves watching movies with his siblings, and his parents, and like most kids, the super hero movies are the best, but he has also watched a lot of war movies. His dad, Steve Spethman, was a marine, and he wants his boys to understand the need to stand up for what you believe, and even to fight for it if necessary. Steve and Jenny have taught all their children good moral values, and not to be afraid of doing what is right. These are values that so many kids are not taught these days.
Zack is not afraid of hard work. He and his brothers have often headed out after a snow storm ready to tackle the neighborhood sidewalks and driveways…for a profit, of course. They understand that if you want to have money, you need to work for it. It’s the only right way. I realize that at eleven years of age, it is a little difficult to have a steady job, but he isn’t too young to be industrious enough to make a few bucks here and there by doing work for the neighbors. Zack is just such a kid. He has lots of great plans for his life, and while he is still a kid, he is loving life on a daily basis, and isn’t that what it’s all about at eleven. Today is Zack’s 11th birthday. Happy birthday Zack!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
As a kid, going to the roller skating rink was not always an option. Nevertheless, we all loved to skate. Not being able to go to the skating rink all the time didn’t bother us, nor did the uneven sidewalk in front of our house. We learned to overcome those obstacles, because we loved to skate. I suppose it was that age old desire to have wheels to take you where you wanted to go, without having to depend on your parents to get you there…or maybe it was just because it was a lot of fun. The skates I had as a kid were not the fancy ones with the shoe built onto it, because…well our shoe size was always changing. It made no sense to buy new ones every year. That was simply an unnecessary expense.
Of course, the problem with those skates that could grow, was that you needed a key to change the length and the width of the skate to fit your shoes. Since feet didn’t grow that fast, it might be a while between the times you needed to change the size, by the time you needed it again, the key was nowhere to be found. This was such a big problem, in fact, that at one point someone came up with a song about two kids…one who had the skates, and one who had the key. It made for a good partnership…or maybe it was just necessity that they become friends. Either way, having a skate key made one a valuable friend to anyone who had skates and no key.
I think if the inventor of the skates had given any thought to it, he might have figured out a different way to do the size changes, or at the very least, put in a place to store the key, so that if it was lost, it would truly be the fault of the child, and not just the fact that the key had no safe storage place to be. Of course, in all reality, the skating years were pretty short lived. All too soon, we were on to the next great toy or the next cool set of wheels…such as the skateboard. Once those came out, kids who were still using skates were considered babies…until Inline Skates came out. Then the ones who still had four wheeled skates or even skateboards were considered babies, who couldn’t balance on two wheeled skates…until trick skateboarding came along. Before long, that old pair of four wheeled skates and their corresponding key, were no longer the latest thing…and no one wanted them anyway, so the key no longer mattered.
As I was leaving Albertson’s Grocery Store yesterday afternoon, I happened to glance at the side of one of the buildings in the Hilltop Shopping Center. It had a sidewalk ran from almost the top of the building in back, to the bottom of the building in front. It was a sidewalk I knew very well. I was reminded of how my sisters, our friends, and I used to walk over there every time our parents gave us a nickel. That sidewalk was steep enough that we could run down it with little or no effort. That was a game in itself. I have no idea why looking at a sidewalk that I had seen hundreds of times over the years, suddenly took me back to my childhood this time, but it did.
You see, just around the corner at the bottom of that sidewalk, was the Ben Franklin Store. The Ben Franklin Store had penny candy…and back then, you could get something much better than a simple gum ball for your penny. Having a nickel meant a bunch of candy. Even the candy itself was special. It wasn’t just a candy bar or a little piece of hard candy, but candy lipstick, and candy cigarettes, which may not have been the greatest thing, but we liked them. There were the candy necklace, bracelet, and ring. And, do you remember the wax pop bottles and wax lips, not to mention the old stand by favorites…jaw breakers and licorice cables. It seemed like there was something new every time we went to the Ben Franklin store. We never got tired of going as kids. It was the in thing to do, I suppose.
Of course, time marches on, and penny candy soon loses it’s appeal, as kids move on to other things in life. Bigger stores came into town, and soon the Ben Franklin store couldn’t really make a profit anymore. They closed years and years ago, but for me, the memory of that walk to the Hilltop Shopping Center to go to the Ben Franklin store will live on. Those were special times, when we were young and unencumbered with responsibility. Times when candy was all the treat we needed and a nickel bought enough of it to satisfy you for at least a day.
I can’t say I would want to go back to those days, because there are too many of today’s blessings that I would have to give up to go back there. Nevertheless, those memories are precious, because just thinking about them can take me back to a special time in my life. Every experience in life shapes who we are and who we will become as time goes by. For me, those sweet days of childhood were such a blessing. My childhood was all I could have hoped for, and I wouldn’t change a day of it. Sometimes, I miss those days, but mostly I just like to run through my memory files once in a while to spend just a little but of time in my past, before moving back into the present with a renewed sense of just how blessed my life has been.
Today is the first track meet of the year for my grandson, Josh. He is the only one of my grandkids that really likes track. The others have done it a time or two, but Josh loves to run, and so the track part of the meet totally suits him. He has really been training for the track meets all of his life…even before he knew what a track meet was.
Josh and his big brother, Chris used to come to my house in the mornings and when it was time to go to school, they would walk the half block to their elementary school. I say that they walked, but that was rarely the case. Mostly they had a race to see who could get there first, and except for reminding them to look both ways for cars, I simply enjoyed watching the race to see who would win today.
When these races first started, Josh was pretty little…a Kindergarten, grade school newcomer. At that age, his strategy was…outsmart the big brother. So, he tried to distract his big brother so he could get the upper hand. They were supposed to go out to the sidewalk and start the race at the same time, but Josh always managed to figure out a way to get a head start. I know that he figured it was his only way to win, since his brother, Chris is 2 1/2 years older than he is. And at in those early years, Josh was probably right.
Then as Josh grew, things began to change. Josh worked so hard at beating his brother, that he grew stronger and quicker. He started winning a race or two…which was surprising to his brother. We had to start making Josh was until I said, “On your mark! Get set! Go!” Otherwise the races were no longer fair to Chris. Still, even with the new fair starts, Josh was winning more and more. Not always, but winning fair and square.
Those early races were not to practice for future track meets, but they did stimulate a love for running and racing that has carried Josh into this sport. He has tried the field events, but they don’t give him the excitement of the run, the wind in his face, and the thrill of the victory that racing gives. Running is where he shines, and I, for one, love to watch the race. Go get ’em Champ!!