Cortney

Cortney on a swing

If you’ve read my old blog or book, you know all about my sweet granddaughter Cortney. One thing you might not know is that all but one of her cousins on her mother’s side of the family were boys, and most of the cousins on her dad’s side were also boys. As if that weren’t enough for one girl to cope with, she was the only girl in a neighborhood full of even more of them!

Growing up roughhousing with all those boys turned her into a tough and durable girl. Whether it was on a volleyball court or dragging 1000-pound cattle around at the fair, she knew she could do it. After all, hadn’t she been showing the “stronger” sex all of her life that she could keep up with them and even, often, better them. She was as apt to be covered with mud, from four-wheeling with her brother, as painting her fingernails, and she spent as much time wrestling as dancing. Her first serious boyfriend was just one of the guys who suddenly looked up one day and found that the tomboy he competed with had been slowly blossoming when he wasn’t looking and turned into the girl he wanted for his Homecoming date.

Cortney married her Homecoming date last summer. She is now doing her student nursing and will soon be a registered nurse.

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Jack

Jack

You can tell Jack was pretty thrilled to pose for me!

Jack is the “city” cousin of my grandsons, but he and his sisters Maggie and Erin still spent many hours at our house while they were growing up. One time when his family was spending the weekend at our farm, Jack decided he would just like to be there a little longer and asked if he could spend the week. His parents said, “yes,” and he promptly asked his grandpa what time he left for the barn in the morning and set an alarm for that time. He got up that morning at 5:00 and went out with Gerald all dressed up in some borrowed tall rubber boots and an old shirt. He said he liked helping with chores, but he may have been being polite because that was the end of his farming days. He spent the rest of the week playing with his cousins and swimming in our pond.

He isn’t a hunter or rider like his male cousins but is especially strong in many different ways. He has great discipline and is a gifted musician, playing in many bands throughout his adolescent years. He went through a grueling ordeal, which has been likened to army boot camp, to become a member of The Ohio State Marching Band (best band in the land!) The honor of becoming a member of this band belongs to an elite few OSU students. This still of Jack playing his bass horn was taken when the OSU halftime was on television as he played for the first time on the field. Can you imagine our excitement? He had not only made the band and was playing but was captured on TV!

Jack on TV

Pea Salad for an Easy Summer Dish

This pea salad is a tradition in our family, and we have it often at family gatherings. Whenever I would fix this salad, Jack’s Dad, Brian, who was always so well-mannered and polite, never failed to crack us up when he would dryly say that it had been a long time since he’d “had a good pea.” We’re obviously an easily amused bunch!

My daughter and her husband enjoying

My daughter and her husband enjoying “a good pea”

It doesn’t take very long to throw these ingredients into a plastic bowl and cover until lunch time the next day.  Anything I can make ahead of time so that it’s easier to put a meal on the table is usually a hit with me.  If you leave the bacon off, it’s still good and is a nutritious side dish.

Combine one bag of frozen peas that have thawed, two chopped hardboiled eggs, one-half cup chopped green pepper, one-half cup chopped onion, one cup shredded cheddar cheese, three tablespoons mayonnaise, one-half teaspoon salt and one-quarter teaspoon pepper.  Top with three slices crumbled bacon.  Let the salad set overnight before serving.  Stir and serve.