My niece, Liz has always been a sports fan…and a bit of a tomboy. The only pictures we really have of her in a dress were when she was very little. She always had strong ideas about what she wanted to do and where she wanted to go. Oh, she hadn’t chosen her career path when she was little, but at that time she had strong ideas about what sports she liked and what teams she liked. Sports was always something she shared with her grandpa, my dad, Allen Spencer. They were both Broncos fans, for football, and Yankees fans, for baseball. That love of those teams, and their love of talking about sports never changed. They could talk about it for hours. It was a special bond that was cherished by both of them.
As Liz grew, she started thinking about what career she wanted to pursue, and after considering several things, she settled on teaching. It was the perfect choice, because Liz really is a gifted teacher. It isn’t every teacher, who can have a friendship with her students, that lasts well beyond graduation. They know that she is a friend they can trust and respect. She works with many of her students closely, because she is the journalism teacher. She and her students publish the school newspaper, the Kelly Kall, and she also heads up the annual staff. She is also the photographer for the paper and the annual. With all that, Liz gets to know many of the students and the school organizations. It makes her one of the well known teachers too.
One thing that doesn’t make her stand out as a teacher, however, is her height. Very few teachers, or people for that matter are as short as Liz. Unfortunately for Liz, she comes from a family of short people, so there wasn’t much chance that she would become a tall person. When she began her teaching career, most of her students thought she was a new student. I’m sure that is something she will deal with for a while, because she can still pass for a student. I have looked at some of the pictures of Liz with special students, and she is always the shorter one, but in last year’s graduation, Liz was finally able to see eye to eye with one of her students. Seriously…how cool is that? Maybe she will look like the teacher someday after all. Today is Liz’s birthday. Happy birthday Liz!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
It’s funny sometimes how a child can take on the personality of their aunt, or even great aunt. Such is the case with my grand niece, Raelynn, who is so like my sister, Allyn in that both of them figured out a way to avoid most spankings…without even trying!! When my niece, Dustie told me that a stern look can make Raelynn cry, I thought back to when Allyn was a little girl. When I asked why Allyn hardly ever got spankings, Mom said that it was because just a stern look made her cry. I guess Allyn and Raelynn have both decided to do their best to be good so no one looks at the in a stern way. Hmmm, maybe that wouldn’t have been such a bad idea…wish I had thought of that. One thing, Raelynn…I don’t think you will be able to avoid today’s spankings, because as we all know, birthday spankings are sort of a tradition. Sorry about that…Not!!
Raelynn takes after her cousin, Michelle too, in that she loves art. There are a few artists in our family…I am not one of them, unless you call photography art. I am getting pretty good at that…since the camera does all the work. An artist, however…a true artist, I’m not. We will see where things go for Raelynn. She has been encouraged to explore her artistic side and even has an art desk to produce her art on, and true to form for artists, can often be found sitting at her art desk, humming a tune with paint on her face.
Raelynn is also very much a girly girl, and loves to dress up. I so seldom see her in anything but a dress, that it occurs to me that I don’t even remember the last time. That characteristic, she just might get from me. I love dresses, and almost always wear them to work and church, but Raelynn wears them all the time. I guess she is quite a bit more girly girl than I am. Even when she is wearing pants, most often in the winter, she manages to have the look of a girly girl…even when her brother and sisters are goofing off…Raelynn manages to look all girl and no goof.
Some of Raelynn’s favorite people are her uncles. They and her cousin’s husbands are the people she likes to go and dance with or just sit and talk to. She is very social and likes to butterfly around to everyone to talk and socialize, and of course, dancing is a big part of that. At her cousin’s wedding, Raelynn grabbed her Uncle Dave several times and they twirled around the dance floor. Of course, her all time favorite dance was the one her daddy, my nephew Rob took her to earlier this year. There is just nothing more special to a girly girl that a father/daughter dance. In reality, many of Raelynn’s characteristics come from a lot of us. I guess she is just one of the family. Today is Raelynn’s 10th birthday. Happy birthday Raelynn!! We love you!! Have a great day!!
As our 38th wedding anniversary approaches, I am reminded of the flurry of activity that was going on about this time in the planning stages of the ceremony. My wedding gown, which was made by my grandmother was finished, and it was beautiful. The rice bags were ready, and the flowers had been ordered. My cake, made by my Aunt Evelyn was ready, except for the final touches as it was placed on the reception table. Everything was coming together perfectly. We had only a few more days to wait until our wedding day arrived. My mind was filled with excitement, and my heart was filled with happiness.
My three younger sisters, Caryl, Alena, and Allyn, were going to sing at our wedding, and they had been practicing, and a little praying, that their part would turn out perfectly. The song I had chosen was called, “O Perfect Love” and I couldn’t imagine a better song for the love Bob and I had, and still have. Their voices blending in harmony as they practiced their song, were beautiful. I was amazed at how well, these my little sisters, only 15, 13, and 11 years old, could sing. Sometimes, the age of the voice doesn’t really matter, it is the pure, crystal clear beauty of the voice that matters.
That is what my sisters had…pure, angelic voices. I was so pleased that they were going to be singing at our wedding, and the song they were going to sing was so beautiful. I can still hear every word…every note, as the girls sang that song for me and my husband. It was like they were singing a prayer over our marriage. It was not just a popular song of the times, it was a hymn. It was, and is the most beautiful wedding song I have ever heard, and it was sung for Bob and me by the three angelic voices of my little sisters. Thank you Caryl, Alena, and Allyn, for your beautiful contribution to our wedding day. I love you all.
O Perfect Love
O perfect Love, all human thought transcending,
lowly we kneel in prayer before thy throne,
that theirs may be the love which knows no ending,
whom thou forevermore dost join in one.
O perfect Life, be thou their full assurance,
of tender charity and steadfast faith,
of patient hope and quiet, brave endurance,
with childlike trust that fears nor pain nor death.
Grant them the joy which brightens earthly sorrow;
grant them the peace which calms all earthly strife,
and to life’s day the glorious unknown morrow
that dawns upon eternal love and life.
As I was going through some old pictures, of some family members who I don’t know, I came across some very old style wedding dresses and veils. The thing I found rather odd is that while the dress seemed overly simple, the veil and especially the head piece were overly elaborate. It almost seemed to me that what cost they didn’t put into the dress, they instead put into the head piece.
When my girls got married, the wedding dress was the biggest part of the wedding planning. The veil carried a close second to that, but the dress was really what you noticed. Pearls and sequines, and satin and lace were the bling of choice. The head piece was floral, but not nearly as big as the ones from years gone by.
I have begun to wonder about the history of wedding attire, so I did a little research on it. I found that in the early 1800’s, Weddings were very simple. The dress was often just their best dress, and believe it or not, was often black, because that best dress also doubled as a funeral dress. The other thing about that dress was that it was not kept in pristeen condition, but rather, it went back to normal use right after the wedding.
The white wedding dress was not the normal attire until 1840, when the newly crowned Queen Victoria of Great Britain wed Prince Albert. Unlike the monarch before her, Victoria chose to be married in a splendid, white satin gown. In reaction, young women in England and America, fascinated by the newly married queen’s style, immediately began insisting on white wedding dresses of their own. A new style was born. Our fascination with royalty seems to affect style quite often. Personally, I like this style change, because I think a woman looks beautiful in a white wedding dress. Of course, I have also seen beautiful brides in other colors or in embellished white dresses too. I’m sure the joy of the day plays a huge part in the beauty of the bride.
The symbolism of the bridal veil is as varied as the culture it comes from, ranging from protection from wind and sun, to warding off evil spirits. The most common is to symbolize modesty and purity, indicating that only virgins should wear them, but that is probably not followed much these days. The one I like best is that the veil is lifted by the husband to symbolize his acceptance of his bride…like accepting a gift. He unwraps his bride as he takes her as his own. Of course, with women’s lib came equal rights, so many women lift their own veil to symbolize their equality. As for me, I personally like the idea of the groom unwrapping his bride like a gift, for that is really what she is to him, as he is to her. The gift of love.
Winter has never been my favorite time of year because of the slick roads, wind, and cold, but one thing about winter that I love is the beautiful snow scenes. Sometimes, it is like looking at a Hallmark card. The snow glistens in the sunlight, like diamonds in a necklace. The leaves mostly gone are replaced with snow and frost…Winter’s lace.
Light snow falling gently to the ground, brings a sense of peace and quiet, so that you can almost hear the snowflakes touching the ground. The wind has calmed with the snow’s appearance, and it brings a quietness to both mind and spirit. If you happen to venture out in the evening, under the street lights, the snowflakes look like falling stars twinkling all the way to the ground. It feels like you are walking in a wonderland. It almost seems like make believe. The air is crisp and cold, and add that to the quiet, and you can feel like you are completely alone in the world.
A light snow that sticks to the tree branches becomes like a lacy dress, especially in the moonlight on a crisp, cold night. It’s hard to capture that in pictures sometimes, but when you do, they are amazing, and so you take a little bit of time to try to capture the perfect picture of Night Lace. Finally, you succeed, and then it’s time to head for home.
Walking home in the cold Winter air, makes you finally long for home, The cold air finally creeps into your bones. The snow flakes gently flutter to the ground, and make you want to snuggle up in front of a warm fire with a cup of hot cocoa, and just soak in the fire’s warmth. These Winter evenings seem to encourage those cozy moments by the fire, with the smell of the burning wood, and the crackling of the fire. The hot cocoa begins to make you feel tired, and ready for a warm bed and sweet sleep, but your mind continues to linger on the beauty of Winter’s Lace.
These days graduation pictures are often very casual. They probably are more of a portrayal of the person, but in some ways, it takes away from the significance such an important event. When a graduation occurred back in my Aunt Evelyn’s school days, they often went out an bought what very well could have been the first new dress the graduate had owned. They also might have made the dress themselves, but either way, the dress was special. In many cases, it may have been more elaborate than the prom dresses of our day.
Such was the case for my Aunt Evelyn’s graduation. She looked stunning. When I saw the picture, I had to ask my mom what event this was for, because I expected it to be for prom or some other dance. I was a little surprised that it was for graduation, but as I thought about it, I realized that it made perfect sense. Other than marriage, graduation is the most special day in a person’s life, or at least the events that you might dress up for. Some people still dress up some for graduation these days, although not as much as my aunt’s attire, and I think it is kind of sad that the others don’t, because she looked amazing. In fact, this picture is one of my very favorites of my aunt. She is a beautiful woman, no matter what age she is at, but this picture is so elegant.
When I look at amazing pictures like this one of my aunt, is feel a sense of loss with the graduation pictures of today. I understand the desire to portray one’s self in their graduation pictures, but maybe it would be nice to add a few shots in a really nice outfit or even a prom style dress or suit for a man, so that the people like me who like a bit of elegance in our world, might have a picture of our loved one looking elegant like my aunt does in this picture.
I love looking at my family’s old pictures. It makes me wonder about the way things were in years past. One of the things that stands out to me is the clothing. Kids of all generations think that the clothes they wear are totally new fashion, and I suppose some of it was, but like it or not, there really is no new thing under the sun. The styles of today, were once the styles of yesteryear. Everything from long skirts, to pants, to mini skirts, to shorts has been worn before. It is so strange to look back, and see styles that girls have worn in the very recent past or even today, showing up in the 1800’s or the early 1900’s. In fact, I was amazed to see girls in either a mini skirt or a skirted bathing suit, with heels on. Now is the 1800’s, there would have been a name for girls like that, but in the 1920’s, after World War I ended, and the flapper came into being, the attitude in this country was so festive, that things were allowed that had not been very acceptable in times past.
When I think back on my own fashion statements as a kid, the jeans went from straight legged to bells, to big bells. They went from tight, to skinny, to bells that started at the top of the tight. We also went from Capri’s to shorts, to never wearing shorts, and from never wearing plaid to plaid was totally in style. Skirts went from long to midi to mini. And with each change, we were certain that we had started a totally new trend. Even some of the really outlandish trends of today are not originals. The really low cut pants the boys wear today, were actually started in men’s prisons, to let the other prisoners know that the convict was “open for business” if you can believe it. That in itself would make me refuse to wear that style…how about you? And of course, what girl hasn’t been told that she needs to leave something to the imagination, and yet in some of the eras of the past, showing more than half of the bosom was not only accepted, but the only fashion there was for women to wear!!
So, would we be shocked if someone came into a room is a style from the past, or would we not even notice, because they fit right in. I like to think that showing half of the bosom would shock us, but then we are used to men showing half of the butt these days. So, would we be surprised? I think we might not. In my opinion, the only thing that might surprise anyone, would be if the person was dressed up too much, not how much they were showing. A girl in high school wearing a lacy dress, with a high collar, and mid-length skirt would undoubtedly bring stares from all those around her. Styles do change, and we must change with them to a degree, or at the very least, learn to live with the latest fashion statements that each new generations is bound to come up with…or resurrect.
When kids go outside to play a lot, you will find them climbing the trees eventually. This might be more common with boys than girls, but I don’t really think so. Every kid I have ever come across loved climbing the trees. Whether it is in a tree house, or just pretending to be a bird, it just gives a sense of freedom that can’t be found anywhere else.
Bob was one of those kids that loved climbing the trees. With 4 sisters, and no brother until he was 14 years old, I have to wonder if he climbed trees to be alone, of course, if you look at this picture closely, you will see that one of his sisters was in the tree too…in a dress!! Still, Bob was higher up, so that would make him the better climber…right. I’m sure that is what he thought anyway. As I said, Bob always loved to climb trees, but I can’t say that it was always the best idea. There was the time that he fell out of the tree, and tried to break his fall by landing on his arm. Needless to say the arm was broken. I don’t know if he ever fell out of a tree again, but he never landed on his arm again…too painful I guess.
I never fell out of a tree, although I did climb them as a kid. I don’t think I was very adventurous when it came to heights, so even though I climbed, it wasn’t that high and I stayed pretty close to the trunk. I did have a cousin that I was climbing a tree with the fell out when we were climbing. Terry was just below me and when he stepped on a dead branch, it broke and down he went. That made me nervous about climbing after that. I don’t know how he felt about it.
Nevertheless, most kids have a great time in a tree. Their imaginations can run wild, as the breeze blows through their hair. No wonder kids love tree houses. It is like a place of their own, away from the rules of parents, teachers, and such…at least for a little while. If you ask me, there is no better place for a kid to be than up a tree.
Sometimes, I look at a picture, and a story seems to emerge that may or may not be reality, but it sure seems to be the case. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but maybe pictures are made up of a thousand words. As I looked at this picture of my niece, Lacey, I could see that she had been playing dress up. The frilly blue dress, over the long sleeved T-shirt gave that away. I could also see that she had been eating something, candy or something like that, because there are spots on both dress and face that gave away her little secret.
What I couldn’t say for sure in this picture is whether or not she was sleeping or had she just blinked at the moment the photo was taken. I suspect though that she was not sleeping, since there seems to be a hint of a smile on her little face. She might have blinked, but it occurred to me that maybe she was playing hide and seek. That would make perfect sense to me.
When Lacey was a little girl, she used to love playing these kinds of games, and most especially dress up with her cousin Siara. They were as close as sisters or at the very least, and maybe even more so, they were best friends. It didn’t matter that they were in different grades as school…Lacey is 6 months older than Siara. They still hung out together at school and after school. They also spent the night together as much as possible, and since Siara is my sister, Cheryl’s granddaughter, they often stayed at my mom’s with Mom, Dad, and Cheryl. They always had a great time together, often well into the night, giggling and talking in bed. Of course, that meant that getting the two of them up for church the next day was…well, a huge effort.
Lacey graduated last year, and Siara this year, and both are going into the next phases of their lives. Lacey is studying to be a Cosmetologist, and Siara is just starting her first year of college, and doesn’t know exactly what she wants to do yet, but I know that both these girls will be highly successful and will always make us all proud of them. No matter where life takes these girls, we will always love them very much, and we will never forget the little cuties they were…in their frilly dress up clothes and makeup.
When my sister-in-law was a little girl, her favorite outfits were pretty dresses. She, like many little girls, loved feeling beautiful. Wearing dresses is something that has a way of making many women feel beautiful, so why should a little girl be different. Marlyce lived out in the country with her family, so there weren’t many times when she got to wear a dress. So when the days arrived that a dress was needed, Marlyce was very happy about it.
Once she was dressed for the day, Marlyce pranced aroud the place showing everyone how pretty she looked.
Wearing a dress doesn’t have much place in the country. Too much dirt and when playing outside, even girly girls get plenty dirty, so many mothers choose to put their little girls in bib overalls or slacks to keep them a little cleaner.
But, how so the little girls feel. Well, most of the time, wearing slacks or bibs, is ok by them, because they are out there playing in a rough and tumble way, or as was the case with the children in my in-law’s family, riding horses whenever they could. That said, pants were a lot easier to wear to do the things they wanted to do.
But, Marlyce was a little girl who liked to do things a little bit different. She did like to ride the horses and play outside, but only part of the time. The rest of the time, she wanted to wear pretty dresses. She wanted to dance around, and tip toe around so everyone could see her pretty shoes. Marlyce was a sweet little girl, who turned into the sweet sister-in-law that I gained when I married Bob, and lost when cancer took her life at the age of 39 years.
I wish I could have known the sweet little girl she was, but since she was born 6 years before me, that was impossible. So all I can do is look at the pictures of the little girl she was, and compare it to the girl she was when I knew her, to know the story of her life. People didn’t come sweeter than Marlyce. Although developmentally disabled, she knew more about kindness that many people who weren’t developmentally disabled, and who lived long lives. And while wearing a dress allowed Marlyce to feel pretty, I know that it didn’t matter what she had on…Marlyce was always pretty.