My grandma, Hattie Byer was never a tall woman. I like to say that she was 5 feet…in her tall days, because most of us remember her as being more like 4 foot 10 inches, give or take an inch. Don’t let her short stature fool you, however, because my grandma was a capable woman in every way, especially in the handling of children. She raised nine of her own, and the grandchildren were no match for her either. It wasn’t that Grandma was mean, but rather that Grandma didn’t take any “guff” from the kids. I can attest to that, because I made the mistake of going up against her once. Yes, I said once. After that, I decided that going up against Grandma wasn’t in my best interest, hahahaha!!
Whenever one of her kids got out of line, Grandma was very likely to turn them over her knee. Everyone’s views on spanking children are different, but in those days, everyone spanked their kids. My personal opinion on that matter is that in the days of spanking your kids, the children were much more well behaved, but that is my opinion, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Grandma was one who believed in spanking too, and I’m pretty sure the boys might have been a little more mischievous than the girls, with the possible exception of my mom, who was right in the middle of the two boys, and very loyal to both of them. Mom made the mistake of voicing her displeasure to her mom once concerning the spanking of her brother. Grandma let her go on, while she finished the spanking, and when both of the kids started to run outside, Grandma grabbed my mom by the hair, and proceed to give her a spanking to, for “improperly interfering with the discipline of her brother.” I think Mom got the message…loud and clear, and I don’t believe she ever did that again.
Grandma was well able to handle her adult kids too, as my Aunt Bonnie found out one time, when she mistakenly told her mom that she couldn’t spank her these days. Well, Grandma quickly reached out, and grabbed Aunt Bonnie by the feet, taking her swiftly to the floor. While she didn’t turn Aunt Bonnie over her knee, I think they both knew that she probably could have. Aunt Bonnie sat there on the floor with a shocked look on her face, and after the shock wore off, everyone in the room laughed hysterically, including Aunt Bonnie. Grandma never lost her touch. Today is the 114th anniversary of my grandmother’s birth. Happy birthday in Heaven, Grandma Byer. We love and miss you very much.
My daughter, Amy was born 6 months before her cousin, Machelle. The girls were alike in many ways, and could often be found playing in their own little world. Machelle’s family moved to Thermopolis when she was very young, and the girls didn’t get to see each other as much. We tried to get the girls together as much as we could…when Debbie and Lynn were in town, or sometimes we would take turns taking the four kids for a couple of weeks in the summer. Oh, Amy and Machelle had their little tiffs, but they always were, and still are good friends. When I look at those pictures of the girls back then, it makes me smile to see the cute little expressions they had. I’m pretty sure they were sharing some little secret.
Nevertheless, as little girls, they fought over toys, and had a few bouts of hitting each other…like all kids do. I suppose it was a good thing that they didn’t live too close to each other, or who knows what might have happened…especially since Amy, while quite small in stature, was afraid of nothing. And, even though Machelle quickly passed Amy up in height, sometimes having a small person going after you in a big way can be really disconcerting, and Amy had that effect on kids who didn’t know what to expect. She could move so fast that they had no idea what she would do next. Thankfully those little events didn’t happen very often. As the years went on, they grew out of the fighting stage of life, of course. Their friendship continued to grow. They didn’t get to see each other much still, because Machelle’s family had moved to Powell.
When Amy was planning her wedding, of course, Machelle was included in the wedding party. Amy couldn’t imagine her wedding day without Corrie, her sister, Carina, her best friend since kindergarden, and Machelle and Jenny, her two special cousins in the wedding party. The girls all looked just beautiful, and the wedding day was as special as Amy had dreamed it would be. It’s amazing that two cousins who have lived in different towns for most of their lives, can be so close, but they were. Both of the girls have grown into beautiful, women, wives and mothers. When I look at these old pictures, it’s hard to believe that they are grown up already…much less with almost grown children of their own.