My grand nephew, Zackery David Spethman is an eleven year old boy with a lot going for him. This past November, he took and passed the Hunter Safety course, and he can’t even go hunting until he is twelve. Not many kids would take the course a year and a half before they would even benefit from it…and I have my doubts that most kids who are just ten years old, would even be able to pass the test, but Zack did, and we are all very proud of him.
Zack is a very tenderhearted boy. His mom, my niece, Jenny Spethman says that he “loves deeply and feels deeply” about people, He doesn’t like getting his feelings hurt, and so is very careful not to hurt the feelings of others. He doesn’t ever want to be the one to inflict pain on someone. Zack is a huggy boy. He is quick to give a hug to those he loves, and very quick to try to cheer up a person who is sad. And one of his favorite things to do is to make his little sister, Aleesia laugh.
Zack is, nevertheless, all boy. He loves to play football, go bowling, go shooting with his parents, and play cops and robbers with his brothers, Xander and Isaac. For Zack, the season makes no difference. Jumping into a snow drift is just as much fun as jumping into a pile of leaves. He just loves life, and doesn’t want to miss a moment of it. He loves watching movies with his siblings, and his parents, and like most kids, the super hero movies are the best, but he has also watched a lot of war movies. His dad, Steve Spethman, was a marine, and he wants his boys to understand the need to stand up for what you believe, and even to fight for it if necessary. Steve and Jenny have taught all their children good moral values, and not to be afraid of doing what is right. These are values that so many kids are not taught these days.
Zack is not afraid of hard work. He and his brothers have often headed out after a snow storm ready to tackle the neighborhood sidewalks and driveways…for a profit, of course. They understand that if you want to have money, you need to work for it. It’s the only right way. I realize that at eleven years of age, it is a little difficult to have a steady job, but he isn’t too young to be industrious enough to make a few bucks here and there by doing work for the neighbors. Zack is just such a kid. He has lots of great plans for his life, and while he is still a kid, he is loving life on a daily basis, and isn’t that what it’s all about at eleven. Today is Zack’s 11th birthday. Happy birthday Zack!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
It’s every school aged child’s dream…enough snow to have the school district call a Snow Day. The only bad thing is that they are always few and far between. Nevertheless, I can remember a few of those snow days from my childhood. They made for good rivals for the storm we had overnight, in the amount of snow received. I remember one storm in particular from those days, when we were told that the snow was very heavy, and people needed to shovel it off of their roof to protect the roof from collapse. Well, like most kids on a snow day, we didn’t need a second invitation to go outside and play. It’s funny how that works. The plan was to go out an shovel off the roof, but while that did happen, there was a lot of playing in the snow too. Now mind you that the school district had decided that it was too cold, too snowy, and definitely the snow was too deep to have the kids walk the relatively short distance…five blocks in our case..to school, but we could spend half the day outside playing in the snow. I could see the problem if it had been blizzard conditions, but it wasn’t. Nevertheless, on a snow day, playing outside all day was far better than trudging off to school.
Deep snow is always extra fun, because it makes building a fort much easier, and believe me, that snow and this snow today…are deep. the snow is heavy and easily formed into walls or snowballs. Before long the fight was on. I’m sure that our parents loved hearing the screams of laughter as their daughters played happily out in the back yard. You see, sometimes, snow days are for adults too. Today for instance, my car could not begin to drive down the alley from my garage, and we will have to go our and dig snow later to get it out so it can be parked in from of the house…if I am to make it to work tomorrow. When my husband, Bob left for work this morning, his truck was dragging on the deep snow, and my car sits much lower than his truck. The snow day of yesteryear that comes to mind was the one where my dad got to stay home too. In fact, he city was even asking people to offer to transport people on snowmobiles in the event of an emergency.
That didn’t affect us in any way though, because we didn’t have snowmobiles, nor did we have need of one. We were busy outside trying to move the snow from one spot to another, so that we could move from point “a” to point “b” with a little bit of ease. And the only reason we were doing that was because we wanted to see just how deep the snow really was. We weren’t going anywhere…we had nowhere to go…because it was a snow day, and everyone knows that everything of any importance to a kid is closed on a snow day…especially the school.
My grandfather used to build dams in his younger days. He worked on Kortez Dam, Alcova Dam, and Pathfinder Dam. On many of these jobs, he was a supervisor, but that did not mean that my grandfather was afraid to get in there and work with the men. He hated to make the men work overtime. He felt like after a long day, his men needed to be home with their families.
Another thing my grandfather felt strongly about was not procratinating. He felt like the work needed to be done at work and on time. Still, he understood that not every job can be finished in one day. One particular day, after sending his men home for the day, grandpa was walking past the area where the men had been working. It was a ditch and there was so little left to do on it. So Grandpa made a split second decision, grabbed a shovel, and went to work to finish the ditch. He was working alone…something you really were not supposed to do, when his supervisor came along. He was checking the site one last time before he left for the day.
My grandfather didn’t know his supervisor was there, but it was a good thing that he was. I’m sure they were both horrified at the thought of what might have happened had the supervisor not been there. As he walked up on the ditch, he noticed that the sides of the ditch were giving way. He immediately yelled, “Jump George!!” My grandfather did as he was told, and the dirt collapsed around him, but his face was not covered, because he had followed orders.
In today’s world, so many people challenge orders. People don’t like being ordered around, especially an order like that, but my grandfather had been in the service…where orders were given and followed, immediately and without question. My grandfather jumped as ordered, and it saved his life. I’m sure the rule against working in a ditch alone took on a whole new meaning for my grandfather, who just wanted to put the men a little ahead of schedule the next day. And I’m sure he never did that again. Just as I am sure he was very grateful to the man who saved his life…as am I.