My aunt, Jeanette Byer is a sweet, loving person, who is also very strong and independent. She and my uncle, Larry Byer married on February 11, 1956, just 2½ months before I was born, so she has been my aunt for my entire life. She has always been a blessing in our lives. She never says an unkind word, and she is always very encouraging to everyone around her. Aunt Jeanette and Uncle Larry raised two children, Larry Byer and Tina Grosvenor. Then their lives were blessed with grandchildren…(Twins) Melissa and Melinda Grosvenor, Adam Byer, Matthew Grosvenor, Travis Byer, and Melodie Grosvenor. Their lives were further blessed with several great grandchildren. Uncle Larry passed away on December 22, 2011, after 55 years of marriage. Aunt Jeanette carries on in good health and enjoys her ever growing family, but always missing Uncle Larry.
Years ago, Uncle Larry and Aunt Jeanette set up a mobile home on their land east of Casper, and inside it she had a family ceramic shop. She didn’t sell ceramics or anything, but it was a place where that family could go and make ceramics for gifts, to sell, or just for themselves. My grandparents, George and Harriet Byer were some of the main visitors at the little ceramic shop, and the things they made were beautiful. They blessed many people in the family with the ceramics they were able to make at Aunt Jeanette’s shop. I can picture it now. The good times they all head there…working on ceramics, while talking and laughing…just enjoying each other’s company. I’m sure Aunt Jeanette misses that a lot. Today is Aunt Jeanette’s 83rd birthday. Happy birthday Aunt Jeanette!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
When we think of the Old West, the Pioneer movement, the Gold Rush, and generally, the settling of the United States, our minds immediately go to the brave men who fought the Indians, ran the wagon trains, weathered the harsh winters looking for their fortunes, and fought in the wars to make this a free nation, but seldom do we think of the anonymous heroes of that time…the women. There is a saying, “Behind every great man there’s a great woman.” that saying is one reference to the many women who have set aside their own comforts to support their man in the goals and dreams he has. In many ways that saying is the picture of the Pioneer woman, but it actually leaves something out. Just because her man did not become famous, doesn’t mean that the woman was any less behind him, supporting him in all he did.
Pioneer women were there, on the home front, working hard all day trying to keep their house clean in a rugged windswept frontier. Her floors were often made of dirt, and yet she swept them. The water came from a well, or a nearby creek, and she had to haul it into the house, because her man was off hunting to bring in food for the family. The house was crudely constructed with logs and often had a sod roof, and she was right there working like a man beside her husband to get that house built. She watched over the children, and kept them safe from the many perils that were a daily encounter. From snakes, to bears, to mountain lions, to Indians, she did what she needed to, even to the point of handling a gun as well as her husband did. And yet, history looked at her as the weaker part of the partnership, the one who needed to be sheltered and protected. History looked at her as if she could not even bear to hear about certain things, because they might be too upsetting to her. In reality, they had vastly underestimated their women.
When the men got hurt, and the garden needed to be cared for, the women would till the ground…fighting with the tiller behind a horse, and winning the battle. These women took care of the house, the children, the sick or injured husband, and the garden or other crops, all without batting an eye. These women knew all about the hardships of frontier living, and when the going got tough, they didn’t turn and run back east. When the Indians attacked, they stayed and fought with their men. They could not afford to hide in a cellar, their hands were needed to hold a gun. They even faced the Indians alone, when their men were away, becoming excellent negotiators, who were able to make a trade of their wares that, in the end saved their own lives and the lives of their families. They were determined to make this new frontier work, and for the most part, they did it all without making a name for themselves. Sometimes, when we look up ancestors in historic archives, these women are either listed only as Mrs, acknowledging only the husband’s name, or they were listed only as the wife of their husband. Their true identity sometimes remains forever a mystery, and yet, they were heroes…but, they were anonymous heroes. The great men they stood behind, thereby making these men successful, may have been heroes of the frontier, and their name may have been one that every history book told us all about, but their wives, who worked quietly beside them, remained unknown. We knew about the exploits of the men, the towns they founded, the travels they made exploring ever westward, but the women who were there with them, cooking the meals while the men talked, cleaning up afterward alone, delivering their babies often with only the help of their husband, carrying a baby, while weeding a garden, and feeding their family before themselves, going hungry, if necessary, to make sure the family was taken care of…these women rarely made the history books. Their job must have seemed to mundane to be considered adventurous, but without their contribution, this nation would not have become the great Republic that it is.
Our 1st cousin once removed, Nathan Avey, who is Bob’s cousin Sandi Kountz’ middle child finished college this past year, and landed a job in Lewiston, Montana working for Spika Welding and Manufacturing Inc doing drafting and design work. He is somewhat lonely living so far away from his family, especially since the passing of his brother, Brian on June 21, 2014, just four days after Nathan…who we have always known as Kyler..moved to Lewiston. Nevertheless, he is adjusting.
Kyler was a swimmer in school, and loved the hard work and practice. It made him strong and kept him in shape. And he loved the competition. Sometimes people find release in the competition, and I think that is how it was with Kyler. Swimming kept him focused, as well as keeping him in shape. I believe it will be that focus that will give him the strength and wisdom to help his family through the coming months and years. He has already begun, by keeping close tabs on his mom. As a kid we don’t understand how important that is, but now that so much has happened Kyler is stepping up and taking on the responsibilities of the man of the family.
As the middle brother, Kyler was often in on the teasing that he and Brian used to do to Destreyia, but now that Brian is gone, Kyler feels not only terrible loss, but the very real need to step up and be a good big brother to Destreyia and also the man of the family for his mom, Sandi. It is a big responsibility for anyone to take on, and Kyler is just 20 years old, and still dealing with his own feelings of grief.
I know that right now, things seem impossibly hard for Kyler and for his family, but with time it will get a little easier…or rather, will become normal…if losing your brother can ever be normal. I guess it is just a matter of moving forward, because that is all you can do.
The future is bright for Kyler, even if things seem grim right now. It won’t be easy, but this family will rebuild itself, and I think Kyler will be a big part of that. He is stronger than he knows. Today is kyler’s 20th birthday. Happy birthday Kyler!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
I never got the chance to get to know my grandmother, my dad’s mom, but I have heard so many great things about her. She was such a strong woman, running a farm, much of the time with just the help of her children, and carrying on the day to day workload that it takes to run a family and get all the kids headed out for school and such. She was not a big woman, as the size of this dress told me, and yet, she has always seemed larger in my mind, because of her capabilities. The dress shows that she was maybe a little taller than I am, and slender. I had noticed that too, in other pictures, but she also had to have been very strong, to carry the load of the work and home responsibilities that she did. I’m sure it was the size of the work that she did, and not the size of the woman, that made me think she had to have been a bigger woman that she really was.
My grandmother’s parents immigrated to the Unite States from Germany in the years before she was born. I’m sure that many of the traditions for Germany came along with them too, and I know that my dad’s grandma spoke much German or a combination of English and German to my dad when he was little, including “So, du bist a ocha man” which would translate to “So, now you are a big man” when he fell after rocking back too far in his chair at the kitchen table. I have to wonder what other traditions were passed from parents to daughter.
One thing that I’m sure was passed along was a good work ethic. My grandmother was a very hard working woman, who was really nothing like the frilly, lacey wedding dress that she wore on her wedding day. The dress, while beautiful, was soon replaced by the everyday work dresses of a woman with a pioneer spirit and the strength to do what needed to be done to make a living on a farm. Of course, I suppose there are very few of us who would wear clothing during our marriage that would be anything similar to the gown we would choose to wear for our wedding day. Still, I think that the gown we choose for our wedding day does depict the type of woman we are…at least at the time. People change as they mature, and life events play a huge part in that change. I’m sure that my grandmother rose to the occasions in her life to become the strong woman I have heard about all my life.
It seems like every family has a comedian or two in it. My grandson, Caalab definitely falls into that category. He is constantly coming up with new ways to be silly and to make other people laugh. And believe me, he is pretty good at it. From the time he was little, he could tell a joke and never forget the punch line. Or he would make up his own funny stuff, and it was really funny.
The other day, he was helping me scan pictures onto my computer, and as we were finishing up for the day,he said, “Would it be ok if I scanned my face?” Now we have all seen the jokes where people copy their face on a copier, but I hadn’t seen a scanned face before. As crazy as it sounded, I couldn’t exactly see a problem with it, so he scanned his face several times.
Of course, he had to try several different looks to see what might be the funniest, and then he wanted to make sure the scans were saved…for some future joke, I’m quite sure. As I have looked over pictures for my blogs, I have come across these scanned pictures of my silly grandson, and laughed about them every time. It is amazing to me that even without trying, he has figured out a way to make me laugh.
The really funny thing is that once Caalab has created the funny thing, the moment for him is over, and he can walk away, leaving you with the memory of the funniness. He will now save it in the archives of his mind, bringing it up at some later date to see your reaction over and over again. The cool thing is that he doesn’t overdo the whole thing either. It just comes up once in a while and then as quickly as it appeared, it is gone again. He’s good that way.
Our comedian grandson will always be that way, because being a comedian is as much a part of him as his great smile. It is part of his wiring, if you will. Everyone is crafted differently. We all have our strong suits, and our weak ones. Everyone excels at something. And most of us have several things we are really good at. Caalab is no exception. He plays the guitar…and is getting quite good, he loves dogs…of every kind, he has a good heart…filled with kindness, and he is a funny guy…a comedian. Yes, Caalab is always coming up with some new and very funny way to make people laugh. You might say he is…Scanning the Possibilities!!