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Broken wristI love the two annual family get togethers that the Byer side of my family has. It seems like each year brings the passing of another of my aunts and uncles, or at the very least, a close call, and as each of them gets a little older, the possibility of losing another of them seems very real. This year when Aunt Virginia arrived, with her arm in a sling, we found out that she had fallen the day before and broken her wrist. It will be in a cast as soon as the swelling goes down a bit, but when I think of what could have happened, had her granddaughter, Autumn Beadle not been there, I cringe. Autumn is so good to her, as are her son Steve and his wife, Wanda.

The picnic, on Sunday, was a lot of fun. The day was beautiful, with just enough breeze to keep it comfortable. The food, as always, was great. We have so many good cooks in our family. My mom, my daughter, Amy and I had an opportunity to visit with Susie and Clyde Young, Aunt Dixie and Uncle Jim Richards, Aunt Sandy Pattan, Peter McDaniels, Aunt Bonnie AutumnCliff and Keith ByerMcDaniels, Uncle Wayne Byer, Aunt Jeanette Byer, JeanAnn Stanko, Elmer Johnson, Keith Byer, Cliff Byer and his family, Cindy Ellis, Aunt Virginia Beadle, and Autumn Beadle, Shannon and Terry Limmer, Jim Pattan, John Pattan, and so many others. I especially like that Mom got to visit with all these people, because while I am on Facebook and have a chance to connect with them, she is not. In our busy lives, it is really hard to go visit our family members at their homes, but Mom doesn’t do the computer, so when people can’t visit, she doesn’t see them much. She misses that time with her family a lot, and loves every chance she gets to see them.

I always find it interesting how much the children have grown. It gets to the point that you Elmeraren’t absolutely sure who they are. The ones I see pictures of on Facebook I can usually remember, but some you just don’t get to see as often. I can remember through the years wondering “who’s kid” this one or that one was, and my mom was having the same trouble, when she didn’t know who Mayme Williams was, or Aunt Bonnie’s great grandson, Mateo. And she’s not alone in that I hear lots of us asking, “Who does that kid belong to?” Then of course, to throw a monkey wrench in things, so people bring a friend, and you find out that it’s no wonder you didn’t know that kid…they aren’t even in the family. At least you now know that you aren’t losing your mind! That’s just how it goes at The Annual Byer Family Picnic!

When my brother-in-law, Ron was little, it seemed like he would always be too little to help out much with things in the garage, and other mechanical areas of the place they lived. It was a frustrating thing to him to always be told, to go in the house, or go play, or stay out of the way. He wanted to be a mechanic…just like the big guys were.  He was sure he knew how to do stuff, but he just never seemed to get the chance. He did his best to be grown up…even trying to get to be as tall as me…which wasn’t saying much, but somehow struck him as being big at the time. Ron was younger than Bob by 14 years, and the rest of the kids were girls…who as we all know, do nothing that is interesting to a little boy.

As Ron grew up, of course, there began to be more jobs for him to do than he probably wanted to have. That happens with most kids. What seemed like the coolest thing to do in our early lives, is in reality, work, and not fun at all. Still, there were jobs that Ron really liked to do. One of them was moving snow around the place with the tractor. Having driven a tractor quite a bit, I can relate to the fact that it is a fun thing to do. Of course, it can have it’s down side too, as Ron can tell you. One time on Thanksgiving Day, Ron was moving the snow off the driveway, and the tractor got stuck in the snow. Ron stepped up on the tire to try to get it moving, and…well, it moved alright…right over his leg!!

Bob was working that Thanksgiving Day, and my girls and I were running late getting to my in-laws for Thanksgiving dinner. When we pulled up, I saw my father-in-law carrying ny nephew Barry, into the house, and several other people were with him. What struck me as odd…the fact that no one said one word to me. I thought, “Wow!! I’m not that late, am I?” The truth was, it was not my 2 year old nephew, Barry that my father-in-law was carrying into the house…it was my 12 year old brother-in-law, Ron, who had broken his leg. How Ron could have looked like Barry to me is still a mystery to me. I suppose it was because I couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea of my father-in-law carrying my 12 year old brother-in-law.

Needless to say, it was a rather strange Thanksgiving dinner. My in-laws took Ron to the hospital, and the rest of the family ate a rather subdued Thanksgiving dinner without them. When we next saw Ron, his entire leg was in a cast and he was in a hospital room. It was a difficult 6 week for him,because that cast made it next to impossible to walk, but he was soon well again, and has had no ill effects from that terrifying experience…when the tractor went berserk. Happy birthday Ron!! Glad you’re ok!!

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