2008 at the traditional Young Christmas Eve Dinner
This week marks the 24th, I mean 34th Birthday for my cousin Alisha Rose Young Transtrum. Alisha and I have been best friends since we were practically born. We are only 80 days apart, but even so we were in different grades, different schools (until High School), and lived on different sides of town, however we were together most weekends, talked on the phone every day at least once and even now talk most every week. We imagined our lives would continue being close to the same, but even though both of our lives have taken a totally different path than we had planned, we still have that same strong bond that we always have had.
During late elementary school and Jr. High we would ride our bicycles a mile or two, but seemed like 10 miles from Alisha's house to the best place in town, The Swiss Village Cheese Factory. We would spend hours there as we watched them make cheese through the gigantic windows, sample every kind of cheese ever imaginable, eat lunch at the upstairs cafe consisting of french fries, nachos, and the best ice cream ever for only 95 cents or $1 with tax. We would top it off by purchasing a large bag of fresh squeaky cheese for the road; oh how I miss squeaky cheese. This was by far the best place in Nampa, until 1999 when they shut the factory down to the public. We were totally devastated. We still talk about it every time I'm in town.
When we were in High School, Alisha had the best car ever, it was a 1950's turquoise, push button Falcon with bench seats! Wow, the men we picked up in that ride, that is until she slid into a telephone pole during a winter snow storm on her way to school. Gratefully she was OK, unlike when she tried playing high school softball and ended up with a broken nose and two black eyes after being hit in the face while attempting to play catcher. We would sing at the top of our lungs and replay over and over again, "Forever Young, I want to be Forever Young." I think we meant by age, but I'm sure we always also thought that because our last name was Young, we would always be A Young too.
Tristen, Alisha, Kaycee, and me at our favorite college hangout The Brick Oven Beanery.
Alisha went off to Ricks, while I finished my last year of High School. I think this was one of the saddest parts of my life. We didn't have cell phones then or internet and I remember only being able to talk on the phone 20 minutes a week because it was a long distance phone call, which added up. We actually would write letters with postage stamps and stickers. When she would come home we found a new favorite activity which consisted of going to Fred Myers and buying a bag of jelly bellies. We would sit in the dark and eat them one by one, while guessing what flavor we were eating.
I was so excited when Alisha finished her second year at Ricks and moved home, however it wasn't but a month or two before she met her husband, fell in love and married rather quickly. When they were newly weds, Jason worked nights, so Friday's after class, I would drive to Caldwell. Alisha and I would make dinner and drink root beer from our "maverick mugs", that is until she got the fancy frosted mugs at a yard sale for 10 cents, which made root beer taste even better. We had ourselves a slumber party which would entail going on walks, pedicures, head massages (Alisha gives the best ones ever), and watching movies. Jason realized rather quickly the bond that we had and still honors that. He loves that we spend time together when I am home and even didn't mind when she came to visit last September. We sure had a great time at Hilton Head Island. I showed her my lifestyle, beaches, elegant restaurants, luxury cottages with breakfast on the patio, while looking out at the golfers. It was just about pure heaven. Unfortunately my life isn't always like that, but we had a great time. This is how Alisha sunbathes at the beach...
Jason actually supports her in her desires to not lose herself in motherhood all the time and encourages her with out making her feel guilty to take a break from her busy life with four children. Alisha and Jason have this great relationship. They work together and encourage each other in their goals. Last year Alisha ran her first half marathon. She had injured her knee a few weeks before, but she finished the marathon, as her husband supported her by tending to their sick children at home, instead of cheering her at the finish line. I really need to find a man like him. I'm still looking...
Alisha is a great mother. I admire how she is so patient with her children, especially with the challenges that each have. She teaches them by fulfilling her callings, continuing her education, taking them to the library, and encouraging them to be the best that they can be.
So here is to you, my dear, wonderful, beautiful cousin and wishing you the best year yet! Yes, thirty's are the new twenty's for sure!