Our Cover Family
The Robert & Bernie Snyder Family
03/01/2007 - Talking exuberantly, laughing throughout, overlapping and taking turns, Robert and Bernie (Bernadine) Snyder tell me about Robert's marriage proposal.
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Robert and his beloved had been invited to a wedding in Dillon, Montana.
"My hometown," Bernie says.
Wanting to pop the question in a big way, a big way, Robert arranged for a billboard on Dillon's main street to read, 'Bernie, will you marry me? Robert.' Would be easy enough to spot, Robert reasoned. Problem was, Bernie was concentrating on the goings-on at street level. It took two swipes up and down the street before Bernie finally looked up and spotted it.
"I screamed and cried."
And said yes.
Now, seven years later, the Snyders make their home in our town. They have two daughters, 3-year old Ellie and 1-year-old Abbey, a cat named Dusty, and a white, 4-month old, 50-pound puppy named Shadow.
When baby Abbey was born, Robert took big sister Ellie to the nursery window so Ellie could pick out which baby she wanted to take home. Pointing to Abbey, Ellie said, "I want that one." At first, Ellie didn't notice that Abbey was the only baby in the nursery. When it dawned on her, whipping her head back and forth at the empty bassinets, she exclaimed, "That's the last one!" As if she and her dad had made it just in the nick of time before all the babies had been sold out.
Robert, a wire line operator for Schlumberger, was born and raised in Casper. He joined the Navy and traveled the world but chose to settle back in Casper to raise his family. "It's all right here. We're 20 minutes from the ski slopes. We can go to The Lake, go to the theatre. It's all right here."
Once a traveling nurse, Bernie works at Wyoming Medical Center for operating room services. She has traveled to many other places in the western U.S., but she likes living in Casper because it's small enough to feel friendly and safe for her children, yet large enough to offer a lot of diversity.
And what do the Snyder girls like to do?
Abbey's favorite thing is dropping food for the puppy from her high chair.
Besides ballet lessons and picking out newborn sisters, Ellie likes to do arts and crafts. Cutting and gluing. Painting and coloring. "And markers!" she says with a smile.
Oh, and Ellie also likes smiling. A lot. It's an infectious smile. And heartwarming. A makes-your-heart-leap-up smile. So much so that, I'm told, whenever Ellie walks through the studio door for her dance lesson each week, her teachers ask her to smile for them. They just can't get enough of that smile.
I can see why.