clothes

Theresa Halcyone DavisWhen a mother dies young, the family is left to try to put the pieces back together, even though a very important piece of the family will now be forever missing. Theresa Halcyone “Halcy” Davis Freese was a young mother with so much to live for, when she passed away at only 40 years of age. Halcy left a loving husband, Louis Emery Freese, and four children, Vera, who was 14, Buford, who was 10, Myrtle, who was 8, and Florence who was only 4 1/2.  It was a lot for a dad, who was going through his own horrible grief, to handle. For Louis, trying to care for his children and still make a living, became almost too much. Thankfully, he had the help of his mother-in-law, Theresa Elizabeth Spencer Davis, to help them all through the pain of loss, and care for the children, when their dad couldn’t, either because of work, or just the deep sadness of losing his beloved Halcy. The children’s aunts and uncles, Halcy’s sisters and brothers helped out too,and they all showed such kindness to the children, that it became something the children would never forget.

Their Uncle Luther, who was courting Lena Timpte at the time, took the children to the Timpte’s bakery to visit Lena. Later the children would spend a lot of time at Luther and Lena’s farm, and they lovingly pointed out that Lena made the best candy!! They would also go to visit their Uncle Reuben and Aunt Maggie, who lived on the “Creek Place”. That was a great place to visit because they could go swimming in the creek. Clifford and Josephine had the farm in the center. There was always an aluminum pitcher on the table full of milk, which is a real treat for “town kids”, and they remarked that “no one can fry potatoes like Aunt Josephine!” Aunt Cassie was always so sweet, and she kept her girls long hair in beautiful curls. She also had a music box they could wind up and listen to…you could see the inner workings too, which was an added bonus. Aunt Ruth took the children on their vacations for years, and made them clothes. She also did so many other things for them over the years that they became too numerous to mention, but were never forgotten.

As these dear aunts and uncles passed away, one by one, Florence, who was Halcy’s youngest daughter, and the author of this portion of Uncle Bill’s Family History, felt the heaviness of loss that she could not feel as a little girl of only 4 1/2 years, when her mother passed away. While she loved her mother very much, these aunts and uncles had stepped in to make her life a happy one in spite of loss, and for that she could never thank them enough.

Chris senior pictureThere comes a time in the late summer and early fall of each year when all the high school seniors are busy getting their Senior Pictures taken. They are excitedly planning the clothes they will wear and the settings they will choose. There are so many great places around town to have pictures taken. The ideas for poses are as endless as their imaginations. These days the senior picture accentuates the personality of the senior and not just the same old thing. When my generation got senior pictures taken, they were pretty much all the same. They were taken in a studio, and most of them were just a glorified version of the traditional school picture. The main difference was the fact that they could edit out your zits. You might wear special clothing, but the picture did not look that much different than the school pictures. But, that was the past…

This year, I will have two grandchildren who will graduate from high school. Christopher will graduate from Kelly Walsh High School and Shai will graduate from Natrona County High School. They have both had their senior pictures taken, and they are all so good it will be very hard to choose the one I like best for each of them. I have chosen two that I like for this story, but I can’t say for sure that they will be my final favorite. More likely, I will have several favorites, and I’m sure I’ll have to have several different ones for different places at work and home.

Choosing a photographer is just as hard as choosing the setting and clothes, and I think that the photographers they chose were both amazing. Each one has their own style and their work was great. Christopher’s pictures were done by my niece, Liz Masterson, who is the Journalism teacher at Kelly Walsh, and has produced the year book for the last several years, as well as taken all of the pictures for it. Shai’s pictures were taken by Jessica Coleman at Poetic Images Photography. I am Shai's senior pictureextremely happy with both photographers, and I think they both have a great future ahead of them.

I can’t believe that two of my grandchildren are going to graduate this year. It seems like only yesterday that they were born. How can they possibly be in their last year of high school? I know that the years ahead will be great for both of them. I can’t wait to see where their next journeys will take them. I am so proud of both of them. They are both amazing people. Chris and Shai, I hope your senior year is totally amazing!! I love you both so much.

Love that babyEveryone thinks of boys and men being all tough and macho…at least when it comes to emotions, but that really isn’t always the case. In my experience, the fastest way to turn a guy from tough and macho to mush is a girl. Yes, girlfriends and wives will bring that out in a man, but the thing that really melts my heart is watching a man with his daughter or a boy with his baby sister. They just lose all that tough macho stuff, and become pretty much putty in her hands…living the rest of their lives wrapped around her baby finger, because she is quite simply their baby girl…their princess…their little darling…their everything.

The future will bring many frustrating times. She will be rebellious and argumentative. She will fight with them and annoy them. She will want to start dating My Girland going out with friends, leaving her poor daddy to sit up, just waiting for her to get home, and then waking up after a late night to go to work, whether he feels like it or not. Her clothes will cost more than he ever dreamed, because obviously a girl can’t have too many outfits…or shoes. And yet, somehow all that doesn’t really matter, because she is their girl. They feel that protective instinct kick in. She is fragile and tiny, and they want to make sure nothing ever hurts their little girl.

It’s funny how even little boys can tell that their is something very different about this new baby. You have to be more careful and gentle than with a brother. For her…and no one else, they will change their play from rough and tumble to girly things…and Lovin'Sissyyou had better never tell anyone about it! She is simply special. She can make her brother play house…and have fun. She can make him stop running around…and run to pick up her dropped toy, without even trying. All they want to do is make her happy. They will turn into a clown, making little faces at her just to get a smile. And yes, they will hug and kiss this girl…at least for now, because we all know that at some point in a boys life, he figures out that even his sister can have cooties, and then for a time, she might have to realize that she is temporarily contagious. But then again, maybe she always was. Maybe the contagion has just changed a little bit…from “I love my girl” to “Girls have Cooties” and back again, because she will always be their girl.

Aunt Ella's house in Illinois editedDuring the Civil War, when so many of the young men were away fighting, the War Department made a call “to the Union-loving women of America on behalf of those noble fellows who have dedicated themselves to their country.” Many of the nation’s women quickly responded to the call, and the Ladies Aide Society was born. They held fund raising luncheons and suppers, where they accepted cash donations to purchase supplies for the hospitals where the soldiers were being treated. War wounds were only a part of the causes of death from the battles, in fact more than half of the men who died, were taken down by germs and unsanitary conditions. The efforts of the amazing women of the Ladies Aide Societies went a long way toward saving men who might otherwise have died.

Women had always been considered too weak and delicate to be exposed to the horrors of war, yet, they provided much of the supplies that gave the hospitals the ability to use fresh sanitary bandages and such to treat the men. Many of the women were not content to merely pine away for their men, fighting in the war, they wanted to do something to help out. Their contributions of supplies, food, clean clothes and nursing services fought disease. Something as simple as a new blanket sent from home could replace one that was infested with disease, possibly saving a life. Little did these women, or anyone else for that matter, know how important their efforts would be. What started with a few women, meeting in someone’s home trying to do something for their loved ones, grew into a nationwide effort, and in the end, no one doubted the ability of these women, who were thought to be far too delicate to see some of the things they saw.

Many young men didn’t come home from the war, because of the horrible injuries and the horrible conditions, but there were a lot more that came home than because of the efforts of these brave women who gave of themselves to make the conditions better for these soldiers. I seriously doubt if women were thought of as too delicate again after they showed just how strong they were in the Ladies Aide Societies of this nation.

At the mall BestiesMy grand niece, Christina has to spend this, her 17th birthday, staying off of her feet after having surgery on her knee a few days ago. While I’m sure that the pain of her injured knee was far worse than the knee that is healing nicely, my guess is that fact does little to make her feel better about having to spend her birthday sitting in a chair waiting for this whole ordeal to be over.

The good news for Christina, is that her good friend and cousin, my granddaughter, Shai is spending part of the day with her. We have had several cousins in our family who were such good friends that they didn’t even seem like cousins, just friends. Christina and Shai were born 5 days apart, with another cousin Chris in there to, at 4 days after Christina. We were a busy bunch at that time. With Chris being a boy, he didn’t get into the girl thing with Christina and Shai.

Christina and Shai have many of the same interests. They love shopping, and used to hang out at the mall as much a possible. They both like all the girlie things, from make up, to hair dye, to jewelry, to clothes. But probably the thing that stands out the most about these girls is that they are just plain goofy when they get together. They are always posting the funniest pictures together, just to see if they can get a laugh out of their Goofy Shai and ChristinaPretty girlsfriends. The goofier the face they make, the more they like the picture.

Today is Christina’s 17th birthday, and it has been a difficult one with the knee surgery. Christina, I hope you have a good day in spite of the pain you are in. We love you very much. Happy birthday Christina. If you can’t have a great day, at least have a goofy one between the pain med doses.

Every grandchild is special, but you will always remember when your first one arrived. It is a day you most parents have waited for since their kids reached marrying age. I don’t mean that you wanted grandkids since your kids became teenagers, but as they grew, your mind…maybe deep down, maybe consciously, wondered what their children would be like. We were no different. As my girls grew up, I wondered what my grandchildren would be like. No matter how hard I tried, my thoughts of who they might be, came up very short of the great kids they are, or the fact that after having two daughters, I would end up with only one granddaughter, and 3 grandsons.

Every one of my grandchildren is very special and very unique. Christopher, from the beginning, had the best smiley faces. His eyes were so expressive. You couldn’t help but laugh with him. He loved doing goofy things, like dumping all the clean clothes out of the basket they were in, so he could get into the basket himself. Then, he waited to see what you were going to think of it. His great big eyes were always so expressive, and in them you could totally see the delight that he was feeling. And he seemed to be able to play to your sense of humor, because he never seemed to fail to do things that were just funny.

People call people like that a ham or a clown, and maybe he was, but all I can say is that it was just Christopher’s way. Also, I don’t know if he even realized what he was doing, at least at first. After a while, I’m sure he did, and he seemed to hone his skills as he went along. I remember the first time I saw him talking and shaking his head side to side, when he was about 3, and that is something many adults can’t do, but again, on Christopher it just came naturally. And I have laughed at that one over and over, because I can still see it in my memory. He was so funny as a little kid, and still is today. It was his unique talent.

Kids have always loved playing in boxes and most of us can attest, and some kids can really get carried away with boxes. When the box becomes more important that the item in the box, you know that your kid is one of those kids. Of course, this is something kids just do when they are little, and it doesn’t last very long, so it is something you should smile about while you still can.

Sometimes, they are so infatuated with the box that you start to wonder if you should just wrap that up instead, because they would have more fun with it. Of course, clothes are always a good option, because they can get rid of those pretty quickly and then they are left with the box. Cool, in their opinion…and maybe in yours too.

My youngest daughter, Amy was one of those kids who really loved to play in boxes and with boxes. For whatever reason, it fascinated her. She liked to put things in the boxes just to see if they would fit, or get in the boxes and play. Seriously, who needed toys. Just give Amy a box. Birthdays and Christmas were great fun for her…even if it wasn’t her birthday or her present. And nobody had to fight with her over their gift, just hand her the box.

It is kind of sad these days, at least while children are little, that most gifts come in bags, because you can’t really play with a bag in the same way. In fact, it ends up looking just like wrapping paper, which oddly, doesn’t hold much interest for the kids. I would think they would love to rip it up and make noise with it, but they just don’t.

One of the funniest times concerning a child in a box however, was the Christmas that Amy was 1 1/2. She was really into the whole playing with boxes thing, but have no idea how big a box needed to be to hold a kid. Someone had opened a gift, and given Amy the box, and after playing with it for a while, she decided to sit in it. Well, as most of you know, Amy was and is a pretty small girl, and at 1 1/2, she was about the size of a 6 month old baby. That didn’t really help matters very much, however, when she decided that she could fit in a shoe box. It was a fact that simply escaped Amy, and I’m not sure she would have cared anyway, because, what mattered is that even if she did overflow a little, she found a way to sit in that shoe box. I mean, that is what boxes are for…right!!

When Amy was 3 months old, we found out that she would probably never reach 5 feet. I know that at 3 months that hardly seems like something anyone could predict, but she had not grown at all since she was 6 weeks old, and my doctor being a seasoned pediatrician, and after examining her, concluded that, “If she reached 5 feet, he would be surprised. Well, he was right, and today my little girl is a 4 foot 11 inch adult. But don’t think she is a wimp, because you would be wrong.

Amy had her little blond moments as a child, like the time she brought the outfit she wanted to wear out to the kitchen and put it on. Then she started looking around for something…all over the kitchen. Finally I said, “What are you looking for?” She answered, “My shirt!!” I answered, “You have it on!!” She looked down in total surprise to find the shirt on, just like I had said. She did have her blond moments.

And then there was the time that we were walking into Kmart. Amy was about 3 or so. She was just ahead of me as we walked through the parking lot, and she always had a tendency to look behind her or around herself and she walked forward. So, suddenly I hollered to her to look where she was going, but it was too late…Amy walked right into the bumper of a parked car. She wasn’t hurt, but I found myself having a hard time not laughing about it.

All kidding aside though, our little blond is a very capable, and really not blond-like most of the time, adult, who is a great help to me. I might tease her a little, but I don’t know what I would ever do without her. Amy and her sister are two people I can count on…no matter what I have to ask them to do. The life of a caregiver, which both of my daughters are, is a tough one, and those who have not been there, don’t understand. Many people would not take on the challenges of caregiving, but when the needs arose, my girls were there for me, and their grandparents, on both sides. They know what it takes, and they don’t give up. Ever!! That is…priceless!! I know that those commercials are done in a joking way, but really, all joking aside…my girls are priceless!!

When they say that big things can come in small packages, it was Amy that they had in mind. And I am so blessed. How could I have been so blessed? It is a question for which there is no answer. Today is our precious little blond’s birthday, and I can’t say enough about what a wonderful honor it is to be her mom. Happy birthday dear Amy!! We love you very much!!

With summer comes the need to keep cool. Kids have the unique ability to set aside things like concern over wet clothes or ruined makeup. They simply don’t care about those things. If given the chance, they will run through the sprinkler, clothes or bathing suit…it just doesn’t matter. And, who needs to ask for permission every time? Just tell mom that you were walking by and simply got wet…yeah, right!

Why is it that something that brought such pleasure as kids, seems to be something that we cringe at as adults. Just getting caught in a sprinkler or rain storm as an adult sends us running for cover, but as kids we relished the chance to do the exact same thing. And, as adults when we get caught in that situation, it doesn’t matter how hot we are, that water feels so extremely cold! What has changed? We are the same person…only older! I don’t get it.

As kids, all we can think about is finding a way to get out of the heat. Even end of school picnics can incorporate a type of sprinkler. How do you cool down an entire class of kids at the same time? You call in the fire trucks, of course. Now I wouldn’t want to be hit by a fire hose head on, because it would seriously hurt!! But, you spray that same hose into the air, and it becomes some of the coolest “rain” you ever saw. It becomes just like a downpour!! What better way to soak an entire class of kids!!

And of course, there is still the more conventional way of cooling off…the back yard pool, or as it is with little kids, the wading pool. It is in the wading pool that many kids find that you don’t need the water to be deep necessarily, just cold. Add a few toys, and you have an afternoon of cool fun.

Yes, kids get to have all the fun…without all the inhibitions. Looking back on those years when my sisters and I were running through the sprinkler, I can remember what it was like to be a kid. Sometimes, I wish those days weren’t in the past, but then I look at what I have now, and I realize that I probably wouldn’t want to go back there…even for the fun of running through the sprinkler without worrying about my makeup.

When kids get to the age where they can start to dress themselves, the results can be a pretty funny. Sometimes clothes are on backwards…sometimes inside out…sometimes the colors match…sometimes they don’t. It all seems so foreign to a child, and yet before long they will master the whole idea of getting dressed. It’s funny how as young parents we are so concerned that their clothes be right, so people won’t think we are neglectful, but when we look back on the whole thing…we wonder why we worried so much. It is a natural part of that transition we call growing up. No one expects kids to be perfect at it from the beginning.

Sunglasses and hats are a couple of other items that take a little work to master, and always seem to go on upside down or backward, although these days a hat on backward puts your child right in style. Still, it can be very comical to watch your child doing their best and yet not being very successful at it. Somehow though, the hardest thing for kids to master is getting their shoes on the right feet. It just seems like for the longest time those shoes are always on the wrong feet. Why is that? What makes shoes invariably look right to a child on the wrong foot. I mean, shouldn’t they get it right at least part of the time? But, they don’t. They always put those shoes on the wrong feet. It is amazing…and funny at the same time.

With clothes, hats, and sunglasses, they get it right at least part of the time…but those shoes can be on the wrong feet clear into grade school sometimes. Maybe it’s because shoes, and least little ones sometimes don’t look a lot different, one from another. But putting your shoes on the wrong feet, well…it just feels odd…at least to us, so why doesn’t it feel odd to them? Or maybe it does, but they just don’t exactly know why that is. That’s what makes it so funny, I guess. Here you have a child who has finally mastered the whole idea of getting the clothes on right with very little help. They are so proud of themselves, and then they put on those shoes, and it’s like being back at square one.

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