Dad, Billy Barlow, is opinionated and cantankerous. He’s also one of the hardest-working men I’ve ever known. When I was growing up, he worked all day during the week climbing poles for the phone company and worked nights and weekends farming. He has long since retired from the phone company, and age has slowed and weakened him some physically. However, he still heads out in his pickup truck with his black lab by his side each morning to check the cattle. His bickering partner is:
Mom, Carolyn Barlow, is one of the smartest people I know, despite the fact that I think she’s been brainwashed by osmosis by the FOX News my dad constantly keeps blaring on the TV. A retired social worker, she keeps busy babysitting our kids and attending church, garden club, 4-H and other assorted community meetings. She’s a great cook, and my favorite thing on Earth to eat is her strawberry delight. Since she worked while we were growing up, my sisters and I also spent a lot of time during summers and after school with our second mom and grandmother:
Grandma, Mildred Baber, is at 88 the matriarch of our family. After a divorce from my hard-working yet abusive alcoholic grandfather, she basically raised my mom and uncle on her own in a time when being a single working mother was uncommon. She took early retirement in her early 40s to watch me, and she continued to take care of the kids in our family as long as she could. She too has slowed with age, but her sarcastic wit still shines through her quiet demeanor at times.
Next up: my sisters…this should be fun;)