My niece, Liz Masterson is a Journalism teacher at Kelly Walsh High School in Casper, Wyoming, and she is loved by all of her students. Being a teacher is a big responsibility. There is no such thing as a 9 to 5 teaching job. At night, there are papers to grade, lesson plans to prepare, and if you are Liz, there is also photographing every event that takes place at the school. There are times that she misses out on family events because of the workload she carries. Of course, like all teachers, Liz went through the Covid Online School Year, and like most teachers, felt like the students learned almost nothing during the online experience. Liz has been and strives to be an excellent teacher, and anyone who knows her, knows she is a great success. Liz may have faced some unusual methods of doing her job this past year, but she is still a devoted teacher. Her students become her friends for life, and continue to share the events of their lives with her. It’s because they know a teacher who cares when they see one. There is nothing fake about Liz. She genuinely cares about her students, past, present, and yes, even future.
While teaching is her passion, as well as her career, Liz is also an excellent daughter. Her mom, my sister Cheryl Masterson, raised Liz and her four siblings alone, and they are very loyal to her. Liz often does little things to make her mom’s life easier. After the recent two feet of snow we received, bringing to a standstill, much of Casper, Liz went over to her mom’s house, and dug her out of the snowdrift her house and yard were buried in. It was a massive undertaking, but Liz persevered and got the job done. Her mom still couldn’t get out, until the streets were cleared, and thankfully was able to work from home for a few days. Then, when the roads were open again Cheryl, like everyone else in town was able to get back to normal life again. Of course, Liz had to dig her own house out before she could come and dig her mom out, so she got a double dose of show removal.
Liz is the mother to five fur babies, three dogs, named Buffy, Luka, and Scout, and two cats, named Kitty and Izzy. They Love her to pieces…and the feeling is mutual. I often see Liz out walking her dogs…often in a stroller-cart because they get too tired or rowdy when she walks them. They just get excited and want to run in circles around her. To the casual witness, it’s quite comical, but to Liz, it’s pretty frustrating. Sometimes she just walks them one at a time…just for the sanity. She loves her babies, but it does make for a crazy live. Today is Liz’s birthday. Happy birthday Liz!! Have a great day!! we love you!!
When my nephew, Barry was little, he spent a lot of time with his grandparents, my in-laws, while his mom, my sister-in-law, Jennifer worked. Like most little boys, Barry had at least one hero. Often a boys hero is a television character, and that may have been the case for Barry, but his real hero was his grandpa. He wanted to be just like him. In fact, he told us once that he didn’t need to go to school, because he was going to “stay home and work” with Grandpa.
Oh, and work he did. From the time he was a little boy, he wanted to be on the tractor, or using his wagon to help Grandpa haul in wood for the fire. Anything his grandpa was doing was simply ok in his book. Barry helped him with snow, wood, cars, cows, just about everything. His grandpa was his best buddy and hero. Yes, Barry wanted to be just like Grandpa, and oddly, he got his way in more ways than just work and other activities. It amazes me just how much Barry looks like his grandpa. Looking back at old pictures of my father-in-law and comparing them to my nephew, they could almost be the same person.
Pretty much every boy, and child for that matter, has a hero or two in their lives, and if you ask me, Barry could have chosen a far worse role model than my father-in-law, who is a hard working and very caring man. In many ways, Barry’s life has been modeled after his grandpa’s. Barry works hard and holds himself to high standards. He is a man that can be counted on whenever you need him. And to this day he would do just about anything for his grandpa. It’s is sort of like the tables have turned now. My father-in-law is 82 years old, and can’t do all the things he used to. We, his children and grandchildren, help him out with whatever he needs, and Barry is one of the grandchildren that we can always count on to come and help out with whatever needs done.
Barry has turned into a good man, and it has been a pleasure watching him grow up. He could have chosen to be wild and crazy and to mess up his life, but he chose to model himself after a good man, and become one himself. As his aunt, that makes me very proud and grateful to my nephew. Thanks for all you do Barry!!