Monthly Archives: January 2019

If holiday travel seems like a nightmare today, it was much worse in 1914. People didn’t travel from place to place in hours, but rather in days. These days, we hop on a plane and before the day is over, we are visiting with family on the other side of the country. When I think of that era, of course, the Titanic comes to mind. People had to pack enough clothes for a year or so, because they couldn’t just go somewhere and stay for a week and then head home again. People had to travel with a purpose.

The same applied to travel on land. During the era of the wagon train, when someone went west, it was to move. All too often people might never see their families again. Of course, with the invention of cars, travel became less time consuming, and people could go to visit family a lot more often. Having family members move away, didn’t mean that they were gone forever and you would never see them again. Trips could easily be made for holidays, new babies, or just to visit.

The railroad modernized travel because unlike the wagon train, the trains could go much faster. Even with cars, the train could get you there faster, because while you could only drive your car so far, the train kept moving throughout the night, often reaching your destination by morning. A trip that once took forty days, could now be taken in just five days. Even wars could be accomplished in a more timely manner…if that could be considered a good thing. When Britain sent out its troops when it declared war and invaded Germany, soldiers would have had to travel up to five days to reach Germany once the declaration of war was announced. Troops from New Zealand and Australia also traveled for several days in order to invade and occupy Samoa and German New Guinea, respectively. If a travelers from the United Kingdom wanted to make a trip to Australia, a former British colony in 1914, the journey would have taken at least a month and or more than 40 days. With trains, planes, and trucks, armies to get to the front much quicker. While this type of improvement is good, I’m not sure it was the type of travel that the inventors intended. Nevertheless, travel has greatly improved over the past 100 years or so, and I wouldn’t ever want to go back to the old ways.

Since moving to Casper a year ago, our family has had the opportunity to finally get to know my nephew, Allen Beach and his wife, Gabby for the first time. For the majority of his life, Allen and his sister, Andrea have lived in several areas of the western United States, so we didn’t see them often. Later, when Allen joined the Navy, he lived in the Washington DC area and also in Japan. All these distances made us almost strangers to our nephew and the bride he met in the service.

Now all that has changed, since Allen and Gabby have moved to his mother and step-father’s place west of Casper, Wyoming. Gabby is getting ready to start nursing school, and with his schooling behind him, Allen has landed a great job at Wyoming Medical Center as department manager over the referral and communications departments. It is a job that Allen has worked hard to prepare for and one that he really loves.

Recently, Allen was instrumental in something that is near and dear to my heart, and one that brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it. Shortly after my husband, Bob had a heart attack, on October 14, 2018, we were able to either meet or friend on Facebook, all of the people who were instrumental in saving his life. Of course, we hugged and thanked them, but I never felt that it was enough for all that they had given me. They took time out of their day to respond to a terrible situation, and as a result, I still have my husband. I can never repay them…we can never repay them. I wanted to do more. I wrote a story, but I had no way to connect it to our angels…until Allen asked me if we would agree to be interview for a story on the hospital’s website. We jumped at the chance, and he arranged it for us. It was a way to tell all those people that they would always be our angels. More importantly, it was a way to tell the world about these amazing people. So many people might not have known about our miracle, if it weren’t for Allen, and we will be forever grateful to him for making the arrangements for us. Allen has such a kind and loving heart, and he will always be a great blessing to us. Having Allen and Gabby here in Casper has been such an amazing blessing in so many ways, and we are so happy that they are here. Today is Allen’s birthday. Happy birthday Allen!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Not everyone can start their new age on the same day as the new year, but my mom, Collene Spencer always could, because she was a New Years Baby. Growing up, it was always normal for our family to have a New Year’s Eve Party. Our dad, Al Spencer was a romantic…at least when it came to Mom. He loved doing things for her, and never really needed any help…not even from his girls, but he did let us help.

While being a New Year’s Baby was Mom’s first claim to fame, it was not the thing most people would remember her for. I think that when asked, most people who knew my mom would have to comment on her never-ending love of God. Not only did she love God, but she wanted to share him with anyone who would listen. Mom wanted every person she knew to be in Heaven when they died. She couldn’t bear the thought that the people she knew and loved would spend eternity in Hell. Of course, not everyone understood Mom’s drive, especially her own girls. We all wanted her not to be so “pushy” when it came to spreading the Gospel. Talking to many people after her passing, we can now see that Mom made an impact. She really did. We were the ones who had no idea what we were doing, at least not when it came to spreading the Gospel to people who were genuinely searching for a way to fill the hole in their lives. Mom has an eye for that, where most people don’t.

Mom was always a great mother, who really wanted nothing more than to be a stay at home mom, but when needs arose, she would never leave her precious “Al” to carry that extra load alone. Dad sometimes worked long hours to make ends meet, and when we were young girls, daycare would have cost a lot of money. Then when we were old enough, Mom went to work at Kmart. Mom could run circles around anyone at the store. We would walk over to take breaks with Mom, and we couldn’t keep up with her either. Mom was an amazing woman who always live her life being true to herself, her family, and most of all to her God. Today would have been Mom’s 83rd birthday. Happy birthday in Heaven, Mom. Have an amazing day with all the family who are there, and with Jesus!! We love and miss you every day!!

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