grown man

Garrett's College GraduationOver the years, I have seen many changes in my nephew, Garrett. He has gone from being the goofy brother, picking on his sisters to being a grown man, schooled and now starting a new job in his chosen career. There have been a lot of changes in Garrett over the years, and he has a wide range of activities that he enjoys. Everything from sports to hunting…Garrett is there. Of course, there is always the Garrett Standby…little kids. Garrett absolutely loves little kids. He plays with them, teases them, and loves to get his picture taken with them. I think he will make a great dad someday.

Recently, Garrett has been hanging around a special girl, Kayla Smiley, and I don’t know how serious they are right now, but he seems very content in her company. The almost funny thing is that she lives right next door to my mom, Garret’s grandma, so like it or not, she keeps close tabs on his comings and goings from Kayla’s house. Garrett doesn’t seem to mind though, he just stops by Mom’s house at some point…most of the time anyway. That satisfies her, and so I think she kind of likes the fact that he is around a little bit more. I guess we will see where things go from there.Garrett & KaylaRaelynn, Zack, Garrett, Isaac, and Xander

May brought about Garrett’s graduation from college, with an Associates Degree and a Welder Certification…along with a big change in his work status. He landed a great job at Nalco Fab Tech as a welder. He reminds a lot of us, especially his mom, my sister, Alena Spencer Stevens of our dad, Allen Lewis Spencer, in that both were accomplished welders, who made a great living in that field. I think my dad would be real proud to have Garrett following in his footsteps, and I know that having another welder in the family will be a great asset. Somehow, it seems that every family has need of a welder. There always seems to be things that need welded, and not everyone has that skill, so I guess you know what place you will hold in the Family Go To List, Garrett!

Of course, Garrett has many other skills that put him on the Family Go To List. He is quite Garrett Weldinghandy when it comes to construction, and so is a great hand to have around when his grandma comes up with a new project around her house. One thing about having people skilled in construction, welding, photography, floral arranging, insurance, and so many other areas, is that, while you may pay for the work done, it is always quite a bit cheaper than it would have been otherwise. And while some of us can’t make it cheaper, we can give expert advise. I think everyone needs a Family Go To List, and I know that for ours, Garrett just became a key member. Today is Garrett’s birthday. Happy birthday Garrett!! We are very proud of your accomplishments!! Have a great day!! We Love you!!

Hard Working ManMy dad was a hard working man, really from the time he was a kid. He helped out on the farm when he was a young man, then when he moved to California at 17 years of age, he did the work of a grown man, while he was still the age of a boy. That work ethic was something he learned growing up and it never left him. Through World War II and beyond as he moved around the country, while deciding where he wanted to live, he always had a job. He believed that work, any kind of work was a noble undertaking, and he did every job to the best of his ability.

When I was a little girl, he was working at a job that took him out of town sometimes. I really hated that particular job. I didn’t want my daddy to leave to go out of town all the time. It wasn’t that I was so young that I didn’t remember him when he got back, because I did, it was that I missed him so much that I could hardly stand it. I just didn’t think daddies should go out of town. He was supposed to be at home, with his family. I can’t say that the years have changed my opinion on that idea either, although I do understand that sometimes men have to go out of town for work. That is just the way things are sometimes. I just didn’t understand that as a child.

One time after Dad left to go out of town, I got sick. My stomach ached, and I just didn’t feel well, in general. Mom put me to bed and took care of me, as you would expect a mommy to do, and since it was nothing serious, there was no need to go to the doctor. We figured it was just a flu bug, and it would go away in a couple of days…and so it did, but not in the way you would expect. It was the strangest thing, but the minute my daddy got home, everything was fine, and I had not been faking illness either. This was similar, I suppose to being homesick, grandpa spencer050only in reverse. I wanted my daddy home so badly that I felt homesick for him. I was so happy when he came home. Everything was right again. Our family was all together again.

Dad was always the hero to his daughters. We knew that no matter what happened, Dad could fix it. That was just the way it always was. Dad was a problem solver, and his presence in our lives always made us feel stable and complete. We were always Daddy’s Girls…all of us, including Mom. And he always made us feel like we were his princesses. I guess that was why having him gone, out of town for work, or now, in Heaven, makes this world feel like something just isn’t right. And it isn’t, because my daddy isn’t here, and I miss him terribly. Today, my dad would have been 90 years old. Happy birthday in Heaven Dad. We love and miss you very much, and we can’t wait to see you again.

Perfect HappinessWhen my nephew, Barry was a little boy, I used to get such a kick out of watching him open presents. Whether it was his birthday or Christmas made no difference, because Barry got excited!! I know, most kids do, but the looks on Barry’s face were just classic, and when his eyes lit up with pure excitement, it was impossible not to smile. For Barry, the best gifts were always trucks, but that didn’t mean that all the rest weren’t super cool too. I suppose that he initially thought that gifts were going to happen every couple of weeks, since his birthday is just two weeks before Christmas. For a little kid, that second dose of presents in such a short time could make it seem like this was going to be the new normal.scan0055 (5)

Of course, as time went by, Barry understood how it all worked, but he still got as excited as any other kid when his special day came along, or when Christmas finally arrived. The one thing he decided that he didn’t like too much was having that birthday so close to Christmas. That put all the excitement of receiving gifts in one short little time frame and then left a whole year until he got gifts again. In a way, that was a disappointment to the rest of us too, because we didn’t get to see how excited he got for a whole year either.

I can’t say that Barry still gets so excited about gifts on scan0057 (4)his birthday or Christmas, after all, he is a grown man now. Maybe he just holds that excitement inside…like we all do at one time or another. And he doesn’t have that little baby face anymore or his little boys ways, and in many ways, I miss both of those things sometimes, because like all kids, Barry grew up too fast. He has grown into a wonderful man, who is always there to lend a helping hand. He is someone you can always count on when you need something done. He still likes his trucks and other toys, but these days they are just bigger and more expensive. Today is Barry’s birthday. Happy birthday Barry!! Have a great day, and try to contain your excitement, ok!! We love you!!

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