driving lessons

As my nephew, Rob Masterson’s birthday approached, I decided to get an idea of what his kids love about their dad. Kids can give a range of answers based on their age and even gender, but that was not what I got. Rob’s children saw pretty much the exact same things in their dad. They tell me that their dad is a great guy. His sense of humor is…goofy!! He jokes with his kids a lot, always keeping them in stitches. That reminds me of their dad as a kid…not much has changed. He’s still a kid at heart, and his wife, Dustie Masterson, and children, Raelynn, Matt, and Anna Masterson have all been the beneficiaries of his goofy kind of humor, as has his grown daughter, Christina Masterson.

Rob works at Sam’s Club in Casper, where he has been for 4 years. He is the supervisor of Tire and Battery, and he loves when the family can come up for his breaks. He works everyday, but he always takes his kids home after school, even if he has to take a lunch to do so. Those rides home from school are a wonderfully fun time for Rob and the kids. Raelynn says her dad’s a dork, especially on the days when she is particularly drained from school. He’ll joke around and laugh and tease them, making it not to laugh at his antics. She loves getting in the car because it’s never boring. It’s a confident man that can set aside the world’s idea of dignity, and just goof off with his kids.

Raelynn and Matt are both learning to drive right now, and I got the same kids of story from both of them on just how that is going. As we all know, learning to drive is a challenging matter, and there are always the inevitable running of a stop sign, weaving a little, and going too fast (or sometimes too slow), but Rob (and Dustie too) have been really calm and patient when teaching them. Rob has even taught them to parallel park, and for any driver, that is a really important lesson. Road signs can sometimes be difficult to remember, especially if they aren’t a worded road sign. Rob is working with the kids to make sure they know what is really important, and what is secondary. Both Raelynn and Matt have enjoyed their adventures is driving lessons very much. Raelynn told me that her favorite moments with her dad are in the car because he’s just at his dorkiest then. He’ll put his finger close to their ears, if they are ignoring him and wiggle it to annoy them. Somehow, I think I recall that with Rob, hahahaha!!

Rob and Dustie have been been married for 18 years now, and they are still going strong. They are just perfect for each other, because Dustie can be just as goofy as Rob can. Both Rob and Dustie are supervisors, and anyone who works with them will tell you that they can be the funniest people around, but when it comes to work, people are expected to do their job. If they do, it’s all good, and everyone can have a good time…within the confines of job protocol, of course. Rob has an infectious personality, and that makes him somebody very special. Today is Rob’s birthday. Happy birthday Rob!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My nephew, Josh Griffith is a hard working man, who loves his family, and would do anything for them. He is constantly doing things to improve their home,and he is always able to fix the things that break. Their house is all electric, but they are planning to change it to a gas furnace this year. For now, the family needs 4 trailer loads of wood a year to heat the home without using the electric heat. Josh spend a lot of his free time chopping and splitting the wood so that the family can stay warm all winter. My niece and his wife, Susan helps too, but chopping wood is a tough job for most women, and so Josh does most of it by himself. Josh also spends a good deal of his time keeping the family from being snowed in. He plows snow almost constantly…and does it all without complaint…because he is the provider, and it’s for his family.

Josh has spent a lot of time teaching his girls to ride horses. Susan didn’t grow up around horses, and so she wasn’t too sure about riding horses.Josh worked with her, and before long, Susan has a good time with it. Their daughters, Jala and Kaytlyn have grown up around horses, and so they will be naturals at it. Josh and Jala go riding quite a bit and have even hunted together. Susan says that Josh is definitely the more hands on parent. I suppose that is because Susan has always had such a soft heart. She parents in a different way. Nevertheless, Josh taught Jala to drive more than Susan did because she said, “I was so scared.” It can be scary to teach a child to drive. It seems that usually one of the other parent has the right temperament for it, and the other doesn’t. Clearly, Josh will be the driving instructor for their girls.

Josh does work very hard, but work is not the only thing we do for our families. There is the all important quality time as a family too. This year, Josh and Susan took the girls to the Billings Fair, in Billings Montana. Living in a small town like Powell, the girls don’t usually have a chance to ride on some of the cool rides that they have in bigger cities. This year, the big deal was the Black Out. It is a totally crazy ride, that I would personally never ride. Susan said that all the rides at the Billings fair were so nice, and just seemed safer. Susan doesn’t have to worry about the girls being on the rides, because Josh always rides rides with the girls. Susan stands by holding everyone’s things…sounds like the place I would want to be too. Thankfully for Susan, Josh takes care of that for her…and she is so grateful for that and everything else Josh does for them. Today Is Josh’s birthday. Happy birthday Josh!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My grandkids when they were littleIt has been a year and three months now, since our family had any members who weren’t fully licensed to drive. Nevertheless, it seems like only yesterday that I was taking my young grandchildren to school and then daycare. Those were special days…days of watching with great interest as those four little people grew up and became the people they were destined to be as adults. Of course, these days I almost never take the kids anywhere, unless their vehicle is broke down or we are going somewhere together, and even then, they are experienced drivers now, so I never hear the little kid things where driving is concerned.

When they were little, however, things we very different. Those kids learned very quickly how to get to the places they needed to go. If you took a wrong turn, or went a different route, they were quick to tell you that you were going the wrong way. I always found myself quite amazed that these little kids could know the way to places they went. I just didn’t exoect them to be paying that much attention, I guess. I found out, that kids pay quite a bit of attention to things, if they think it is important to the adults. They like to mimic the adults, so if we think something is important, so do they.

My oldest grandson, Christopher Petersen proved this to be the case, when he gave me driving lessons. Now, I remind you that kids love to listen to their parents and repeat everything they say. And some parents take advantage of that by telling their little ones the goofiest things to say. Well, my son-in-law, Kevin Petersen is no exception to that rule. In trying to teach his son the meaning of the traffic lights, and believe me, I use the term teach loosely, Kevin started telling him what the light colors meant.

Being the good little 3 year old student, Christopher Chriswas explaining to me one day what his dad had taught him. He told me that he knew that the green light meant go. So I asked what the red light meant. He told me that it meant stop. I was impressed at his grasp of the system, so I asked what the yellow light meant, and Christopher promptly told me that it meant to go faster and faster! Of course, that comment brought roaring laughter, which made Christopher feel very proud of himself. That was what brought about all the repeat performances of his driving lessons. Looking back now, I find just how much I miss those days when the grandchildren were little and so innocent and funny. I love who they have become, but the children they were…well, they were very special too. I am very blessed.

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