Nellie DeGood Knox, Nettie Noyes Knox, Helen KnoxBob’s great grandparents, Edgar and Nellie Knox, had 5 sons, and no daughters. For Nellie, that meant a lot of years around boys, and boys things. It isn’t the worst situation in the world, and she loved her sons after all, but like households with all daughters, it is a bit lopsided. Usually, the odd man out, whether father or mother, doesn’t totally mind that situation, because they often feel a little bit special. They seem to be doted upon a lot of the time. I know this, because that’s how it was in our family. My dad was the only male in the house, and while he always treated our mom like a queen, something that has always made me think of him as one of the last of a dying breed of men. As for his girls, mom, my sisters, and me, well, we always doted on Dad. When he got home from work, we were all excited. We made sure his dinner was ready, because he worked so hard. You know, just making him feel like the king of the castle. Not that we didn’t get in trouble, or rebel now and then, but we tried to make his homecomings special. Still, the thing that he wouldn’t have in his life for many years was a son, or for my dad, a son-in-law.

Sometimes, those in-laws can be a real problem. They don’t get along with the mother-in-law, or the mother-in-law really didn’t want to suddenly have girls in the family. They like their specialness. I have been blessed with a wonderful mother-in-law, and of course, she had daughters and sons, so I didn’t come as a culture shock to her either. Bob’s great grandmother was such a sweet person, as were the daughters-in-law that I have had the pleasure of knowing. They seemed to genuinely love each other.

I have talked to many people about their in-laws, and while most like their in-laws, some have said their in-laws are a nightmare. I think that is so sad…for both of them. I believe there is something good in most people. I know that there are some that are horrible, but on the average I think most are good. Nevertheless, as daughters-in-law go, Bob’s great grandmother’s daughters-in-law were wonderful people, as was she. It may have been a culture shock at first, but once they got used to it, I think it was wonderful for all of them.

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