I wrote a story back in May of 2011, about my sister Caryl Spencer Reed, who is so ticklish that we used to torture her unmercifully over the years of her young life. That story has by far received the most comments of any story I have written. Apparently it doesn’t matter if you are the one tickling, the one being tickled, or the one wishing you could be the one tickling, everyone has an opinion on tickling. Of course, my sisters and I didn’t really have to think about that, because we had the perfect victim right there in our house, and she had nowhere to go. She was trapped.
The years have flown by now, and my sisters and I have matured to the point where we don’t torture her anymore, although, we might…if the opportunity presented itself. Nevertheless, it hasn’t in many years. Caryl went on to become a respiratory therapist, and it really never occurred to me before, but I wonder if the reason is that during those torture sessions, she felt like she needed oxygen. I guess knowing that you are being tickled to the point that you can’t breathe, might make you consider oxygen…the very moment that you are finally released…if you live long enough to be released, that is. After all, we did call it the Tickle Trture, and we meant that torture part, for sure.
Many people have been helped by the skills Caryl has, and I know that the hospital she works at in Rawlins, Wyoming is grateful that they have her. In fact, in the last few months, she has been their only respiratory therapist, and that is bad, because she can’t work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but she is on call…all the time. That has been a struggle, because Caryl and her husband, Mike have been working on a ranch they bought here in Casper to retire on and raise horses. She has had to be available by phone to walk people through proceedures that she has trained them on, but that are not a part of their formal training. Nevertheless, it is working…for now, and I know they are working to replace some of the other respiratory therapists, so in the future, things will get easier. For now, Caryl is their Go To Girl, and they are well aware of what a perfect gem they have been blessed with. Today is Caryl’s birthday. Happy birthday Caryl!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
It seems to be the way of every fisherman to tell tales of the big one that got away, or just how many fish they caught. It also seems like those fish grow in size and in number with each telling of the tale. I think that just about every fisherman has engaged in such tales, and it appears that my brother-in-law, Ron is no exception. Now, I can’t say for sure exactly what he was saying when this picture was taken, but the fish hanging from his shoulder give me a pretty good idea. It would seem that age is not a factor when it comes to those fish stories, because Ron appears to be working hard to make his point. Of course, that seems to be the way it is when these guys are making up their fish story…they assume you won’t believe them anyway, so they really doctor up the story to start with, and depending on who they go fishing with, they could be learning from the masters of fish stories.
Ron loves to go camping and, as far as I know, still likes fishing today, as well as hunting, but I don’t know if he is still into telling the wild tales that often go along with those sports. It would not be surprising to me if he still told some whoppers, I mean after all, it is the sport for those wild tales. I have to wonder how far from reality most of the big fish stories really are. If you ask most fishermen, they seem to have all caught…or at least had a nibble on the line from a fish the size of a small shark, and who’s to say it isn’t so…right?
And, the fishing trip isn’t all about the fishing, it’s about camping and great times with good friends too. There is just something about sitting around the campfire, talking and telling those stories, while roasting marshmallows, that makes for the most enjoyable evening. Ron loved the whole marshmallow thing too. So, after a hard day of fishing, he would load up on those gooey, melted marshmallows while soaking his feet in a pan to get the dirt off from a long day in the woods. Awww!! Now, that’s what I call relaxing.
For years, my son-in-law, Travis liked to play a game with his wife, my daughter Amy and their kids. They got pretty good at the game as well. I don’t really know how it got started, but I always seemed to be the sucker who fell for the whole thing. The way it is played is this. The person who randomly decides to play, simply makes the ok sign with their hand, and then says your name. When you look at the ok sign, it is as if you had flinched. At first Shai and Caalab weren’t very good at it, and they got the good ole double punch in the shoulder, but after a few of those, they decided to figure this thing out. I don’t know how often they managed to catch their dad on it, but my guess is that it wasn’t much…Travis is really good at it.
Their grandma…was another story. I think I must have been their best practice session provider. It wasn’t my fault really, because I mean…after all, your grandma is supposed to pay attention to you when you are talking, and look at the things you show her. I mean that is understood, isn’t it? Whether that is how it is supposed to go or not…that is how it went with me. Call me gullible if you want. They caught me 90% of the time…at least!! And I wasn’t trying to be nice and let them either, it’s just that when my grandchildren ask me to look at something, or even just call my name, I have a hard time thinking they have diabolical plans for me…again, call me gullible.
The kids had a great time with the flinching game, for a number of years, but as with any of these types of games, you outgrow them after a while…at least for now anyway. If I know my grandchildren, this particular game could be resurrected at any give point, if one of them decided that they could get away with putting one over on grandma again. To avoid these surprise attacks, I would need to be alert and vigilant. I would need to avoid being too trusting. Right…that’s gonna happen!!
Remember when life was simple. You were a kid with no responsibilities. You went to school and then you went outside and played with your friends. Sometimes, when life gets to be too much and my stress levels are through the roof, I really wish that I could go back there again, but then I suppose many people do. Life wasn’t always so complicated. Back in the old west, people didn’t have so many places to go. Families spent time together. Kids seldom went to play at someone else’s house, and spending the night was something saved for trips back East to visit family that you had not seen for many years.
The kids in a family had really two places the went…school and church. Other than those places, they were at home, helping out around the place or doing their homework. With no television or radio, there was no big news story to occupy their minds. They used their imaginations to pass the time. Kids might pretend to have families, or they might pretend they were on a train to visit famiy, or maybe even fighting Indians, although I seriously doubt that many girls played that game.
Today, the kids get bored if they don’t have a video game to play, or the MP3 player playing their favorite tunes, or television coming up with newer and more exciting ways to entertain them. Reading books is almost a thing of the past, and I don’t mean because of the Kindle, which I consider to be a form of reading a book, but because they would rather watch a show on television than read about it. Their imaginations don’t seem to be able to take them into the book like we used to be able to do. It’s all about what action is put in front of their eyes, not about turning words into pictures in your imagination.
Now, life is so hectic. Most people have several places to be right after work, and they can’t go home for an hour or more after they get off work. Dinner is often late, or picked up at a fast food joint along the way. There is just no time for a home cooked meal, unless maybe it is on the weekend or in a crock pot. No wonder TV Dinners became so popular…and the microwave, of course. I mean who has time to cook stuff in the oven either. No one!! Life was so simple then…what happened?
My nephew, Ryan takes after his dad, my brother-in-law, Chris in many ways. They are both very tall at about 6’4″. They also tend to use that towering height to their advantage when they are doing their favorite pass time…picking on those who are smaller than they are…which is pretty much everyone, so don’t think you are safe in this matter, because no one is safe!! Ryan has a great sense of humor, and loves to pretend that he didn’t do it, even though no one buys into that story! If Ryan is behind you or even in the general vicinity, you already know who did it…unless his dad is in the area too.
Ryan wasn’t always so big, of course. He had to start somewhere, and while he had little chance of being short, and he was a tall kids at every stage of his development, he still had to go through childhood like all kids did. He had some great humor role models during those years. His Grandpa Spencer was a teaser from way back, and Ryan, being the observant child that he was, quickly learned the lessons taught by his grandpas and dad. He couldn’t wait until he was big enough to fully participate in the tease-a-thons that were always standard procedure in our family. I’m quite sure he actually started his practice on his mom, my sister, Allyn and sisters, Jessi, Lindsay, and Kellie, who by the way can hold their own in any tease-a-thon, so I’m sure they all honed their skills on each other to perfect this skill.
Ryan was always a good boy…teasing aside, and has grown into a wonderful man, husband, dad, son, nephew and grandson to our entire family. These days he spends his time picking on his wife, Chelsea, and teaching his kids Ethan and Aurora the ropes, because if Ryan has anything to say about it, his kids will be as good at teasing as he is. It is a big job to pass on the time-honored traditions of a family, and like my dad, Ryan’s grandpa, it can be a very tiring job too, for adult and child, so of course, you need to make sure you get lots of sleep…which is something else Ryan is quite good at, but then again, he had a great teacher!! Today is Ryan’s 26th birthday, so if you happen to be around him at all, give a little bit back…teasing that is, because it takes a bunch of us to ever really get one over on Ryan!! Happy birthday Ryan!!