Thursday, December 1, 2011


My granddaughter, Kallie (pronounced Kay-lee) is birthday is 23 on December 2nd.  Therefore, I had to come out of my "vacation mode" to wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

Unfortunately, she probably won't be able to see this as she is in Japan training for her upcoming deployment in Kuwait.   Yes, I said Kuwait, I'm not too thrilled about that, but at least it's not in one of those other places.

This is baby Kallie before I knew her.
Anyway, back to the birthday girl.  When I first laid eyes on Kallie it was the summer after her kindergarten year.  She was helping her mother pack for moving; and this adorable little girl was writing the contents of the boxes on the outside (and doing a darned good job of it).  She was a little waif of a thing with sparkling blue eyes that danced with excitement.  You see, her mother was moving because she was marrying my son and Kallie was delighted.  Every time I saw her she was laughing or smiling. 

It wasn't hard to get to know this sweet young girl as she was cute and funny and so easy to love.  She started calling me grandma right away and the next thing I knew she was mine!
The little mother.

Kallie at her mother's baby shower.

 When Gene William came along she was a great a big sister and a little mother to him.


The next few years were full of all kinds of movies, miniature golf, swimming, ball games over nights, and the like.  She was my little buddy.

Click here to read about why I gave her the nickname "Little Turtle."

Then, the summer after she graduated from grade schools I took her on a trip to the Kenai area of Alaska.  My friend, Carol, and her grandson, Stephen, went with us.   Kallie had only met Stephen once, but the two of them were instantly great friends.

The kids and I camped out (in a tent) on the shore of a huge lake, explored the area, and cooked out over an open flame.  I talked to them about bears and how they should make a lot of noise as they walked along.  Of course this was no problem for either one of these kids.  Whenever they got too far ahead of me I would yell "Yoah!"  and they would yell back "Ho-Ho."  The woods echoed with our version of the Seven Dwarfs song.

At one point Kallie and Stephen found some interesting tunnels in the underbrush.  These tunnels were fairly large and when I asked them what they thought made these tunnels they both looked at each other then freaked out as the realization hit them......Both of their heads (sporting the biggest eyes I have ever seen) spun towards me in unison as they quickly backed away from a tunnel entrance and said, "BEARS?"   "That would be my guess," I replied.    From that time on they were a little more careful where they explored.

Just before we ate dinner I heard a splash and peals of laughter.  They had been jumping over a small stream that ran close by our campsite, and, of course, they fell in.   Two giggling, but cold and wet kids showed up within seconds.   After we ate, the fire was used to dry shoes and the like.  That night as we were snuggled into our sleeping bags we heard all kinds of grunts, snorts, banging and rustling.  Good thing we had hung our food high up in a tree as the tunnel makers visited the campgrounds that night.  I guess that is why everyone else was camping in trailers and campers.  Everyone but us, that is.  Oh, well!

The rest of the trip was spent covering every inch of the Kenai that we could.  We took a boat ride out of homer to an island and saw Orcas on the way.  We panned for gold at Homer.  We saw glaciers,  eagles, and moose.

In the picture to the left, Kallie is cracking up because I borrowed a fish from a guy at the market so I could pretend I caught one.

After that trip Kallie started to grow up and I didn't get to see as much of her as I would have liked, but she had other interests.  She still mowed my lawn for me and would visit often but it was never the same.  Then she got a car and, well, you know the rest of the story.

In what seemed like minutes she was graduating from high school.  Before I knew it she was attending junior college.  Then she knocked me off my feet by telling me she had enlisted in the Air Force and would be leaving for boot camp soon.   That just about took the wind out of me. The next thing I knew she was finished and assigned to Andrews Air Force Base on the East Coast.  My baby girl was all grown up and heading out into the world.

Kallie in her BD?s(Or something ike that.  The military is full of acronyms).
Big brother Justin, Kallie, and little brother Gene at her going away party.
(Justin was doing something to GW's neck that is why he has a funny look on his face.)
I really admire her for what she did.  Here was this young woman leaving the small farming area where she grew up in small towns which had very little of anything let alone the large variety of ugliness that can be found elsewhere.  The first time she was without her family for more than a week was when she went to boot camp.  She must have been scared to death, but she never showed it or spoke of it.   I know she was homesick because she called me and her mother almost daily.  However, she never complained.

From Andrews she went to Korea; from Korea she went to Hawaii; from Hawaii she went to Japan and from Japan she will go to Kwiate.  She tells me that she loves military life and is planning on making a career of it.  I will ask her again when she gets back from Kuwait as I think she is finding it difficult to leave new friends she makes along the way.

In DC when her brother and I visited.
Enjoying the beach in Korea

Exploring Hawaii.

Don't ask!


Kallie, I thank God that my son married your mother.  My life has been made rich simply by you being in it.  I miss you terribly and pray that you will be given leave to come home before you are deployed.

S#*!  This took me two days and a lot of C.R.A.P. (new readers that means Computer Related Attacks by Poltergueists) and forth to finally get this to post right.  That's what I get for taking a vacation.
12/1/11 kt


  1. So happy you're back. You're definitely right about Kallie being beautiful--man, I'd be worried sick over her being all the way on the other side of the world and stuff. On the other hand, I'm even more glad she wasn't eatin' by that bear!!!


    Kallie is truly your granddaughter, blood relationship or no! Blood may be thicker than water, but love is thicker than either. AND, she IS beautiful.

  3. Missed you!

    Happy Birthday to your granddaughter!

  4. Homer is where a good friend of my daughter's lives. She loves it there.
    She lived in a shack / tree house. They had to climb a ladder to get into the house. No water - had to haul it in each day. But the tree house kept the critters away!

  5. Hey KT - I can't wait to see you next week.

  6. We have missed you tons! The best surprise was finding a new post from you and what a wonderful tale you have woven. So lovingly and with so much pride. Kallie must be a very courageous young woman. She sounds so much like her Grandma! Happy Birthday, Kallie! And a big, bear hug for you, Karen. Hope you are having a very special time with your precious family xoxo

  7. KT - What a wonderful story you have spun for your Grandaughter. I hope she gets to receive this. You have been blessed with wonderful people in your life. Kallie sounds wonderful and I wish her a great career in her chosen field. She kinda looks like a young you in the last photo. A very brave, courageous young gal . Take care and really nice to read your post.

  8. I just swung over to check on you and much to my surprise there you are! I laughed about your trip to AK did I tell you I lived there for almost 4 years and my son was born in Anchorage? As for her uniform it's BDU's. Don't ask what it stands for after 17 years of military life I still haven't figured out all the acronyms.
    I've missed you!
    Tell your grandbaby thank you for what she does.

  9. As for your relationship with Kallie... Well that is exactly how I feel about Mr. P. I'm so glad she has such a wonderful grandmother.

  10. What a beautiful post! So much love.

  11. You have a wonderful grand daughter, Karen! I can see why you are soo proud of her! :-)

  12. Gma,
    I know I am AWESOME!!!! LOLThey are ABU's (Airman Battle Uniform). Love ya cant wait until I come home in july.