KellieWhen I think of people who are always happy, the first person who comes to mind is my niece, Kellie Hadlock. I really can’t think of a greater tribute to a person than to be known as the happiest person I know. That is the kind of person everyone wants to be around, because she lifts your spirits when you are feeling down. She makes you laugh in spite of your own sour mood. She leaves you feeling better that when she entered the room. Those comments don’t just come out of some misguided sense of obligation, but they are spoken about Kellie, because that is just how everyone feels about Kellie. Kellie finds life to be delightful, and even when she might have the opportunity to be sad, she just thinks herself happy.
Lindsay, Kellie, and Jessi
Kellie is an insurance agent in Casper, Wyoming, following the example of her aunt…me!! Of course, her mom was an agent for a time too, and a very good one, but since I was the one who got her mom into it, I will take the credit for insurance being in Kellie’s blood. Kellie was nervous when she first decided to go into insurance, and I can hardly blame her for that. Taking the insurance examination is a daunting task, and studying for it is no picnic either. Nevertheless, Kellie persevered, and before long she was licensed, and is doing quite well as an insurance agent, and I know that her clients love seeing her smiling face every time they see her.
Kellie is the youngest of my sister, Allyn and her husband Chris Hadlock’s four children. Her and her siblings have a unique relationship. They tease each other, and even call each other names, but it’s all in fun. I suppose that if people listen to them, who really don’t know them, they might think them rude, but they are anything but rude. They love each other very much, but they are also some of the funniest people I know. Kellie and her family thrive on teasing and making jokes. How cool is that? Just think…every day of your life is filled with random laughter, jokes, and silliness. It’s almost like being in a comedy show 24/7. Today is Kellie’s birthday. Happy birthday Kellie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

imageMy grandmother, my dad’s mom, passed away when I was just two and a half months old, so I never got to know her. I have been told many things about her, and I’ve come to the conclusion that she was an amazing woman. She worked as hard as any man, and raised her four children to be good and responsible people. She ran a farm, and expected her children to help out around the place. She could be fun loving and was a happy person, but when it was time to work, she expected the kids to do so without goofing off. She worked hard and she expected nothing less of them. And for the most part, they didn’t let her down, but kids will be kids, so there were a few situations that made Grandma…less than happy.

Unfortunately, kids and their parents often have different ideas, and it doesn’t even have to be just the little kids. Taking a moment or two to have her picture taken with her dog was my Aunt Ruth’s way of goofing off, and when you look closely at this picture, you can see that Grandma was…not very happy with the situation, and then, there is the person behind the camera…who I assume to be my dad or my Uncle Bill. They just weren’t cooperating with her plan for the day. The dog seems to be the only one who knows that Grandma is not someone to mess with, but Aunt Ruth was never one to be scared of people, and like her niece…me, she was not afraid of a…difference of opinion.

I don’t know if Aunt Ruth was as much of a challenge to her parents as I was to mine, but I think it is entirely possible. Aunt Ruth and I were so much alike, and I know that I was a definitely a challenge to my parents. Still, Aunt Ruth was a hard working woman too…although, I’m not sure Grandma would have thought so at that moment. Kids might steal a moment or two to play when they should be working, but most kids grow up to be much like the parents who raised them, which would be a tribute to Grandma’s good upbringing, because all of her kids grew up to be workers.

I don’t know if Aunt Ruth got in trouble for goofing off that day or not, but I do know that Grandma was getting to the point of losing her temper. It happens and kids are usually used to it, so they tend to push things as far as the dare, and no further, because one thing you had better know is that, Mom was not someone to mess with when she was angry!!

Billy SpencerMy cousin, Bill and his brother, Jim were always such fun to be around when we were kids. My sisters and I had no brothers, so there were times when those boys were a little surprising to us. Boys are just very different than girls. Those two loved to try to scare us with ghost stories when we would sleep out in the bus they went camping in. It didn’t take too long for us girls to think maybe we should have slept in the house, but it was all in good fun, and we did survive those nights, after all, so I guess it wasn’t all bad. Most of the time those two boys were just a couple of funny guys. What one didn’t think of, the other one did. We had such fun times with them, when we were kids.

Unfortunately, as time goes by, cousins sometimes end up seeing less and less of each other, mostly due in this case to distance, but also because of busy lives. We kept in touch by mail, and pictures, but didn’t get to see each other like we used to as kids. It is always a sad thing to loose touch with those you love. Nevertheless, as sometimes happens, time can come full circle and that is what happened in this case. Sadly the reason for the reconnection was the age and failing health of our dad’s, but Bill and his family brought his dad, my Uncle Bill out to see my dad, Uncle Bill’s brother. It was a blessed visit in every way. The two brothers had one last chance to be together and relive old memories. It was Cody, Bill, Kristin, Maureen, Dad, Uncle Bill, & Moman act of kindness that will never be forgotten.

Bill is a family man, who loves his wife and daughter, and is totally involved in his daughter’s activities. He and his wife, Maureen keep us up to date on things that are going on back in Wisconsin, especially with Kristin, who has turned into a lovely girl…a tribute to her parents.

I wish the miles didn’t separate our families so much. It would be nice to be able to see them more often. Today is Bill’s birthday. Happy birthday Bill!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you!!

We look back on the wars of the past and where we fought them, and no matter how hard we try to cover up those places…to erase the past as it were, the earth remembers. My dad was stationed at Great Ashfield in Suffolk, England during World War II. That was a very busy place in those days, and the people who lived there during the war were grateful to the men of the 8th Air Force. Great Ashfield was largely a B-17 base, and the towns around the base were fairly safe, because the 8th Air Force was very capable and much feared. Their very presence made people feel safer, in a time when feeling safe was…well, a precious commodity.

The area where the air base was at that time is still marked by the memorials to the men who kept them safe during that awful time. A beautiful sign decorated with a B-17 Bomber still marks the Great Ashfield Gate. It is a tribute to those great men who fought and died to protect the lives of people they didn’t even know. Fighting for people they don’t even know is after all the core of every person in the military. It is maybe something we civilians don’t really understand…until someone steps up and does it for us. That is how those people felt, and why they continue to honor those great men to this day…the earth remembers.

I looked Great Ashfield up on Google Earth. We are blessed today to have the ability to take a virtual tour of places we might never have seen otherwise. When I first looked it up, while I was making a book of my dad’s war days for my dad and my Uncle Bill, all you could see was from the air, and while the air base is no longer an air base, you can still see exactly where it was, and a small part of it is still used for small planes today…the earth remembers.

Tonight as I write this I looked it up again, and now you can actually get right down to the edge of the base, as if you were standing right there. Google Earth now takes those street views, and Great Ashfield is one of them they have done. As I looked at the edge of the base, tears came up in my eyes, and I got a lump in my throat, because I knew that this was a place where my dad had walked…his old stomping grounds, as the old saying goes. Dad had told me about three Poplar trees at the end of the runway, and all the men knew that when you saw those three Poplar trees, you were safe. The enemy wouldn’t dare follow you here. As I stood there at the edge of the base, looking around the area, I was almost dumbfounded when those same three Poplar trees came into view…just like in the pictures I had found. They are still there to this day, as a reminder, at least to me that my dad always made it safely home…the earth remembers, and so do I.

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