S: OUR GRANDPARENTS CHRISTMAS 2011
BC: WE LOVE YOU
FC: OUR GRANDPARENTS
3: Weidner's Farm est. 1885
4: Dear Grandma and Grandpa, Of all the times I came out to the farm and the times you came out here to visit one of the best memories I have is the time you guys took Blair and me for a road trip up to Bear Mountain, New York. We went to see West Point Academy and the Bear Mountain Bridge and went up the mountain. It was pouring rain and Grandpa was driving and couldn’t figure out how to change the wiper setting from intermittent to full on. So we drove along the winding roads of upstate New York barely being able to see. Grandma wasn’t happy. So we saw this little roadside restaurant and decided to stop until the rain let up a bit. I still remember the name of the joint, The Acorn Inn. We went in and we were all pretty hungry. We were seated right away and made up our minds on what we wanted to eat. Grandpa ordered a burger. I think I did too. Then we waited for our drinks. And waited. And waited. To say the service was slow was an understatement. Blair was pretty young and was getting kind of cranky. I think Grandma was too. And we’re still waiting. And waiting. Finally Grandpa leans over to Grandma and says in a voice that he thinks is barely audible but really is pretty loud, “I think retards run this place.” It was loud enough for me and probably all the wait staff to hear. Grandma gave him a disapproving look but was obviously in agreement. Finally our food came. Grandpa said something about how the burger was one of the worst he’d ever had and how his cattle tasted better. He was right, too. It was a terrible burger and even worse service. So we all piled back into the car on our way back home in the pouring rain with the windshield wipers on intermittently. Even though it was a terrible rainy day plagued with technical difficulties and terrible service it was a great time with Grandma and Grandpa. Thanks for the great terrible road trip. Love, Brett
5: so many | BRETT
6: Dear Grandma, Merry Christmas! When I was very young, I remember you laying out a blanket in the front yard on the brick path so we could watch the stars. They were so big and bright it felt like I could reach out and touch them. We spent quite a while waiting to see shooting stars. It seemed like they always moved too fast for me to see them but I knew they were there because you tried to point them out for me. I always appreciated the time you spent with me as a child and now as an adult. You always had some kind of arts and crafts project or cooking lesson to keep me busy. Do you remember when you sent me out to collect apples from the trees by the pond to bake a pie? I will always remember those trees and the orchard behind them. Looking back now, I think that must have been quite a chore for you. Children aren’t easy to keep occupied but you always had something fun planned for me. I hope you had as much fun as I had when I would visit every summer. Dear Grandpa, Merry Christmas to you as well! I remember riding in the tractor with you. It seemed like I was sitting higher than anyone in the world. One time in particular, Mom was waving to us from the ground and I saw a mouse run right across her feet. She didn’t even notice it but we did. Admittedly, I was a little intimidated and scared of you as a young girl. I’m sure it was because you are a GIANT and I’ve never seen anyone with hands as big or as rough as yours. Also, I had the unpleasant experience of being in the truck with you when you got a flat tire. I won’t repeat what you yelled out that day but it wasn’t pretty. As I grew up, I realized that you are one of the kindest and most loving men in the world. You will always be the strongest man I know with the biggest heart. I look forward to every moment that I get to spend with both of you. The two of you have taught me many things, most of all, how to cheat at Liverpool Rummy. But really, I have always felt fortunate to have grandparents who are as loving and grounded as the two of you Most importantly, I would like you to know that together, you are the best role model for any couple. Your love is so strong and I feel lucky to have you in my life.
8: Grandpa & Grandma, When I decided to work on this project I knew that I would have a difficult time deciding what to write, not because I wouldn’t be able to think of anything but because it would be so hard to decide on only a few things to highlight. There are so many memories that stand out as being some of my favorites; working cattle, riding in the tractor, playing in the garden, or our many games of Liverpool Rummy and Mexican Railroad. All of these are special memories for me. Some of my most favorite times with you, Grandpa, have been sitting together on the couch, whether I was on your lap or next to you. This is when you have told me your best stories; jack-rabbit round ups, growing up on the farm, courting Grandma, and all about people I didn’t know, just to name a few. It never mattered to me what story you were telling, as long as you were telling one! To this day, I still love setting with you, listening to your stories and holding your hand, specifically holding one of your thumbs in my palm. When I was little I was always amazed at how large your thumbs were and how small they made my hands look. My hands are larger now but your thumb always fits perfectly in my palm. Grandma, I believe that it is because of you that as an adult I still love to cook, sew and do crafty things. I love having a creative side and I know that you nurtured that part of me when I was growing up. I remember watching you paint, sew, cross-stitch and cook and wanting to be able to do exactly what you did. One of my favorite projects, out of many, was a little cream colored pillow that you helped me make after I saw your larger version of it. Mine has four little squares with little decorations in each square. I still have it in my hope-chest to keep it safe and every time I see it I remember crafting with you and it makes me smile. I have been one blessed girl to have lived so close to you growing up. If only every child could be so lucky! I loved being able to come home everyday after school when I was little and spend time with you. (I just wonder how much you spent on fudgesicles and chicken nuggets back then.) Another of my favorite times was spending the night at your house when my parents were away. I so enjoyed having breakfast with you, even if I wasn’t quite awake yet. I didn’t realize how precious these moments were to me until I was no longer living a few minutes away. Grandpa and Grandma, you had no obligation to be my grandparents, yet since the day I met you, I have never once been made to feel like anything less than family - - less than your granddaughter. I am so incredibly grateful to have the two of you in my life. You mean the world to me and I am so glad that on that fateful day in May, twenty-one years ago, I wouldn’t let us leave without going to see “the Indian”! I love you! Lacey | LACEY
10: Dear Grandma and Grandpa, When asked to put down a few thoughts about what we’ve done together and what they meant to me I paused and really had to think about it. Not for lack of material, mind you, but that over the years we’ve made a lot of memories together. I did some thinking and I would like to share with you the memories that have had more lasting impressions. Some are humorous, some not, but when I think of the two of you these are some of the things I think about. Odd as it may sound, some of my favorite memories with you, Grandpa, involve doing chores on the farm when I visit. I know it sounds strange but I always came away from the job with a sense of accomplishment. To me working with you gave me a feeling that I wasn’t simply a visiting relative but a member of the family who is expected to pull his weight just like everyone else (albeit I probably wasn’t pulling the same load I’m sure!) Of the chores that really stand out are moving cattle, branding said cattle and removing said cattle’s manure. Despite the relatively simple and routine work involved with getting livestock from point A to point B it was a pleasurable experience for a kid who never really sees large animals on a day to day basis. I particularly liked watching you and everyone flap their arms and holler at the cows to get them to move. A few years ago I was at the farm while you were branding cows. I won’t lie and say I didn’t feel a bit like a cowboy, but I think the part that left the biggest mark (Ha!) was that we were working together as a team. Now Grandpa, I don’t know if you recall but years ago while we were visiting I helped you scrape manure out of the barn. Your job was to operate the tractor; my job was to stand on the blade so that it made contact with the ground. I’ll never forget that chore, not because it was unpleasant but because I think it was a hilarious situation. I will add that since then the smell of cow manure has never bothered me at all! Something that I always enjoy when I visit is a game of Mexican Train. I like that we can all get together and play a game that everyone really gets into. It crosses the generation gaps and brings us all to the same place. Grandma, I think that what stands out the most for me about you might surprise you. As children one of the highlights of you coming for a visit to Manhattan was a trip to Call Hall for some ice cream. As it happens that was nearly the only time that we ever went there despite how good it is. I recall mom saying that Grandma Gert wants to go for some ice cream and as a result Call Hall was Grandma Gert’s Ice Cream to me, even when you weren’t in town! To this day whenever I find myself there getting a cone I think about you and dripping ice cream in the hot sun. These were just a few of the experiences we shared together as you know but they stand out among the rest. I know we don’t get to see each other very often but I want you to know that I think about you frequently. I’m always ready to hop on board and visit you on the farm and do so when I can. I want to make some new memories. I love you. Your grandson, Matt | MATT
13: Dear Grandma and Grandpa, Happy Holidays! I know we don’t always get to see each other and spend a lot of time together but I want you to know that when we are together, I enjoy the time spent, especially at the farm. I had such a good time last year when Matt and I were able to come out twice. Now that I’m older I find myself thinking of the farm a lot and reminiscing about my childhood spent there. Sublette is definitely a gem of a town and I always have such a good time when I’m there, even on the shorter trips. I truly feel at ease when I stay with you guys (even if I do sleep in all day :D). I love the stars at night and the smell of the barn and just sitting and talking with you both. Grandpa, I love all the times when Matt and I were little kids and you would take us to see the cows and I also had a lot of fun with you at our graduation parties. Vista burgers now remind me of you. Grandma, thank you for always being there for me when I was a little girl and would get scared when my parents would leave. You always made me feel better and calmed me down. I also love that you love Halloween as much as me and always think of me during that time. My favorite decorations have a lot to do with you and I am reminded by them every October. I hope to get back to the farm sometime next year. My job is very demanding and I seem to get less and less vacation but I do always feel so refreshed after time in Sublette! The quiet town can do wonders for a girl that’s stuck in a noisy city. I love you both very much, I hope you have a great holiday season and hope to see you both soon!!! Love, Amy
14: I'm just beginning to realize how lucky I was to grow up with both of you next door. Not every person gets to see their grandparents frequently, let alone nearly every day and I couldn't ask for a better set than you two. Our family and your friends are privileged to know you so well and are better people for it. Have a great Christmas, Jim
17: MAKING MEMORIES
18: One of my earliest memories is of playing in Grandma’s garden when I was just under two years old. I don’t remember it very well; I mainly recall the presence of quite a lot of mud. What really sticks out to me about this moment is how lucky I was to have two grandparents who tolerated the presence of two rowdy kids in their yard. I don’t know of anyone else who was fortunate enough to grow up knowing such caring people, let alone anyone privileged to see them almost every single day. I could not imagine a more perfect childhood than the one I had, and my adulthood is looking pretty good too. I know that this would not be true if you had not been a part of my life. So, thank you. Thank you for letting my two-year-old self tear around your yard getting mud everywhere. Love, Mallory | MALLORY
19: Grandma's Garden
20: My Grandparents Where do I even begin? For as long as I can remember, and beyond that, you two have always been my best friends. You've always been there for me when I needed you, and when I didn’t, too. It never mattered the time, or the day, that you wouldn’t enjoy sitting down to eat, read a book, or even take a nap with me! My entire life you have both cared for and nurtured me, each in your own special way. Grandma, you've filled up my stomach with your wonderful cooking! Grandpa, you've shared your wisdom. From working in the shop to the field, you've taught me what you have learned over the years. Then there are the things you both share with me. Things like sitting down and reading me a book, telling a family story, sharing the afternoon comics, or playing dominoes in the evening. Even when I was being difficult to handle, you both always dealt with me in a loving but strict manner. I know for a fact that because of your hard work you’ve helped form the young man that I’ve become. There are many aspects of your life that I plan to implement into my own. You both have a very deep and special place in my heart. Thank you so very much! Merry Christmas from your loving grandson! Tate Adam Thomas Weidner | TATE
22: Dear Grandma and Grandpa, It’s really too bad that Kansas and Washington are so far apart because while I hear the many stories about when I was little I sadly don’t remember too many of them from when we visited you guys. Fortunately, though, we have gotten to spend time together at our cabin a few times within my memory! Those times are my favorite memories of being with you guys. Sitting around the camp fire talking, laughing and sharing stories are some of the great times we had (when we weren’t trying to melt our shoes or lose wedding rings!). But if you were to ask me a long time ago, I bet my favorite memory would have been swimming in your guy’s hotel you always stayed at! I’m sure I missed out on a great time this past summer, Emily and I are both getting better at pool so we will definitely need to play a few games. Also getting in a round of Mexican Railroad would be great! Hopefully one of us will be able to make the trip again, and soon! You guys mean a lot to me and I can’t wait to visit again. I love being around family, but hate not being able to visit the family that doesn’t live close by. Although I think we have been very fortunate to see each other as much as we have, more would be better! But until that time I guess I will just have to settle with catching up over the phone to hear about stories from Kansas. I hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas with the rest of the family, we will all be thinking about you!! Love, Paul
23: P.S. Oreo says hi! He’s getting pretty old but is still hanging in there. | PAUL
24: Dear Grandma and Grandpa, Coming to your house during the summer was amazing. I got to do all my favorite things; ride horses, play pool, read and, most importantly, spend time with you and lots of the family down there. Getting to know Mallory and Tate was cool, and finally being able to meet Aunt Fawn was great. Being able to go to Kansas has been one of my favorite summers so far. Uncle Ken was really nice by letting me ride his horses. I think the most fun ride we had was herding the cows, although it was really hot! I got to ride faster then I ever have which was really fun. I also got to ride with my dad, which is something I have always wanted to do. Another cool thing was all of Ken’s Indian saddles and stuff. It’s really cool to see the things they would have used. Besides horses, all of the dogs were fun, even though there were some skunk problems. The kittens and the baby rabbits were probably the cutest, though. Getting to know Mallory, Steve and Janet was great. Cooking with Janet and taking a tour through the pumpkin patch was fun and so was making chocolate cake. Watching Super Chicken and Soap with you was awesome! It was really fun to get to see you in Kansas, instead of you coming here. Playing pool with Grandpa was really fun except that room is really hot! Playing cards and games was really cool because we never play cards here. I think the worst part of the trip was the fact that I will never be able to smell Miracle Whip ever again. Making all those sandwiches for the Old Time Harvest was weird, but it was fun to spend time with you guys. Have an awesome Christmas! With Love, Emily | EMILY
26: Family is family...
27: Whether it's the one you start out with... The one that you end up with... | Or the family that you gain along the way...