My nephew turned 16 this weekend. It was a major milestone in his life.

Like a lot of people, I remember the day I turned 16 quite vividly myself. I also remember the day the kid, who is quickly becoming a man, was born.

It was the summer of 2003. I remember it because it was the same weekend I met the woman I would be engaged to very shortly after.

It was a very hot summer. We had just moved into a house out in the country. I was sitting outside watering the newly planted grass in our front lawn when the girl next door came outside to water the trees in her own yard. I could tell she was trying to get my attention the way she kept throwing the water hose up into the air to spray the grass on my side.

Eventually, I ended up walking over there to talk to her. We spent the rest of the day sitting on the grass getting to know each other. She told me her life story and I listened intently. She had a younger brother die in a house fire at an early age. She had been taken from her parents and raised by a foster family.

When I met her she was working as a teacher’s aid at an elementary school nearby. I used to visit her at work and the kids in her class would light up seeing her smile when I came to see her.

I lived just outside of Twin Falls at the time.

My sister gave birth to her son in Boise, and I drove up to the hospital to meet the newest member of my family and then spent the whole time telling his mom about the girl I just met. I dare to use the phrase “love at first sight” but we bonded so quickly when her step-mother suggested we get married, the two of us jumped at the idea.

As much as I miss her, I can’t help but think about the time we shared together that summer my sister brought her first born child into the world. Now, I live in a camper on my sister’s property and see that boy growing into a man right before my very eyes. It makes me glad I get to be an uncle to one of the best kids I’ve ever met..

Happy birthday to Sherman Johnson and Ernie Goolsby, both of Sherman; Jerry Dwayne Ruffin of Grand Prairie; May Phares Harris of Granbury; Kelley Copley of Colbert, Oklahoma;

Happy anniversary to Randy and Linda Henson of Whiteboro, 24 years;