My grandma, Harriet “Hattie” Byer was never a very big person in stature, but when it came to being the boss, she was a giant. Grandma was a loving person and very kindhearted. She would never let anyone go hungry, and often had several extra mouths at the supper table. No one could ever figure out just how she managed to always have enough food for all of her family, and yet still have plenty for extras, even when she didn’t know they were coming. Yes, when it came to the kitchen, Grandma was the Queen!!
Grandma was pretty easy going, but when one of her kids crossed the line, they found out exactly who was the boss. Grandma’s short stature in no way diminished her ability to discipline her children or grandchildren if they had dared to cross her much…like the time she was giving my Uncle Larry a spanking, and my mother dared to interfere. There was no doubt in my mother’s mind that her mother seemed giant like…or at the very least, had giant like strength when she grabbed her by the hair, jerking her back to receive her own spanking for sticking her nose in where it did not belong. And then there was the time that an adult Aunt Bonnie, dared to suggest that grandma couldn’t take her down now, because she was too big for her mother to handle. Grandma immediately reached over and grabbed Aunt Bonnie’s feet and pulled them right out from under her, depositing her, with mouth wide open, on the floor. Aunt Bonnie found out what a giant her mom was too.
More than one of the grandchildren have learned the hard way, that Grandma ruled like a giant. I remember getting crossways with her myself, one time when my mom and dad were hunting. Grandma was babysitting my sisters and me. I don’t remember what it was I did now, but I do remember that I knew I was in the wrong, and I remember that when Grandma was done with me, I had no doubt in my mind that she was a giant of a woman. It wasn’t that she beat the daylights out of me, because I don’t recall that she even spanked me. She simply let me know that she was in charge, and I had better not forget it. Grandma stood 5′ in her tall days, and about 4’10’ after she began to shrink, but when it came to being in charge, Grandma was a giant of a woman. Today would have been Grandma’s 105th birthday. Happy birthday Grandma!! We love you!!!
When he first arrived on September 9, 1998, 5 weeks early, Josh had to be flown to Denver because his lungs were under-developed. That was just about the last time Josh would be weak in any way. Josh quickly grew into an eating machine, wanting a treat every time he walked into my house. The first words out of his mouth were, “Treat, Grandma…treat!!” I had to make sure I had granola bars or fruit roll-ups, because that boy was hungry!!! And the really strange thing is that to this day, he can eat and eat, and still be a skinny little kid. Today, Josh is a great big 14 year old boy, but he’s still slim. I don’t know how he does it, but he does!
We went up on the mountain yesterday to celebrate Josh and his dad, my son-in-law, Kevin’s birthday. They wanted to have their party on the mountain. They love to camp, and so Josh couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate his birthday. They have had a great weekend, and in the middle of it, they got to spend time at their favorite pass time…paintball shooting. And to top it off, we brought them another fighter…Caalab!! Kevin, Chris, Caalab, and Josh had a great time hiding and shooting each other. And as for me, I was just glad that I wasn’t involved in the fighting, because I have a feeling I would have not only lost badly, but I’m pretty sure I would have been the prime target, if I know these guys…and I do.
So much has changed since our premature little Josh arrived, but one thing I can tell you without a doubt is that Josh is a fighter. In the beginning he fought for life, in sports he fights to win, as the youngest he fight for equality, and in paintball, he fights to beat his dad, brother, cousin, and anyone else who wants to take a shot at him. True, all his fighting is in the area of sports these days, but as the youngest, I suspect he will be vying for his superiority for a while yet…not that any of the boys or Kevin will mind that so much. They are a competitive bunch, after all. Who will come out the victor over all lies in the future, but that’s ok. The journey will be fun. Happy birthday Josh!! We love you!!
When I think of my grandparents now, I always think of their latter years. They seemed more serious during that time, and now that I have experienced aging parents and in-laws, I can understand how that can be. People get more tired as they age, and the aches ad pains that can come with it often makes them forget the days of youth and the stamina that went with it. I’m not saying that they never had any fun, it’s just that life was harder and since it was a lot more work, they just didn’t have the same stamina that I remembered from before. The nice thing about pictures is that they are a reminder of days from the past, and sometimes, they can take you by surprise, because they portray events or personalities from the past.
My grandfather was smitten by my grandmother from the day he first met her. He simply delighted in everything she did. And my grandmother was a bit of a teaser, so when she would get that urge to be a little goofy, he was always thrilled with the whole thing. They were both always happy people. They always reminded me of that old song, “Side By Side”. They were just traveling along singing a son, side by side. Circumstances didn’t really matter so much, because they always knew that tomorrow was another day and nothing was all that bad anyway. They had their family, their health, and the smiles on their faces, and everything was going to be just fine.
My grandparents survived the Great Depression years, and like many other people, money was scarce and families were big, but somehow they always found a way to have enough food on the table, a smile on their lips, and a song in their hearts. They helped their neighbors and even the strangers that always seemed to find their way to their table, hungry and in need of warmth. They never turned anyone away. I suppose that is why their always had enough. Somehow, God always finds a way for those who will give to those in need. He makes a way for them to always have enough, and that is what was always the case for them.
My grandparents were married on Christmas Eve, so Christmas always a special time of year for them, filled with lots of celebration, and much gladness. As I said, my grandfather was smitten with my grandmother from day one, in fact you could say that he thought she hung the moon. He always got such a kick out of her antics, and when she decided to dance a little jig, he would look on with delight…unless he just decided to join right in. My grandparents have been living in Heaven for a long time, now, and I miss them very much, but when I see pictures like these, I find myself smiling at the memory of those happy days.
Most little boys are hungry enough to eat a horse most of the time, and my son-in-law, Travis was no exception to that rule. If his family was having meat loaf, they would have to make 2 meat loaves. One for the family, and one for Travis. They came up with this plan, because after each person had taken a slice of meat loaf, Travis would take the rest of the meat loaf. Travis wasn’t being selfish, he was a growing, hungry boy, and he really needed the food.
Many boys are like that. My husband, Bob was called “hollow legs” by his grandmother. My nephew, JD was another hungry boy. I don’t remember what he was called, but he could easily eat a 5 pound bag of potatoes by himself. Other boys have been called a “bottomless pit”, “the stomach”, or some other such thing. Most boys have been given one of these names, or something similar in their lifetimes. Then they reach adulthood, and of course, the uncontrollable appetite goes away. All kidding aside, Travis did outgrow the need to eat constantly, and isn’t among the bottomless pits of the world anymore.
One thing he never outgrew, however, was his unique ability to be a comedian. Travis is definitely a show biz type. He is a big kid in many ways. He has a great personality and quick wit. His son, Caalab takes after him in that. Together they are two of the funniest guys I know. His career as a radio personality is so perfect for him. I am very proud of his accomplishments. Travis does many of the commercials for his radio station, and is the program director. He has a knack for detail, and yet doesn’t seem the type.
He most recent endeavour as a part of a band. They have started to have a presence in our area. The band, IndiSoul plays independent/rock/blues music. That is not the type of music I listen to, but I have heard some of his music, and the band is very good.
Travis is not a typical 35 year old husband, dad, son, and son-in-law, but then, if he were, he wouldn’t be normal…for him. Travis would seem crazy to many people, and I have to admit…sometimes I think he’s crazy, but it’s in a funny, goofy sort of way…the comedian coming out again, I suppose. But the truth is that he can make people laugh at the drop of a hat, and that is not a bad thing. It makes for a happy home…one where the family laughs often…not a bad idea. Happy birthday Travis! We love you!