World War II had been ended four years earlier, and people were getting back to their lives. The year was 1949, and the date was June 6th. My future in-laws had other things on their minds. Today, June 6, 1949 was the day they would be married. I wonder if they were even aware of the significance of the day, but if they were, I’m sure they paused for a few moments to remember the men who that very day, just five years earlier, when one of the biggest operations in World War II was carried out. The war was over, but the aftermath was still very fresh on everyone’s minds. Still, life goes on, and while we commemorate the important days in history, we can’t usually avoid of all of them when it comes to life events that come after.
Weddings in those days were not the elaborate affairs they often are today, but rather were set to times when people might already be planning to be in town. My mother-in-law, Joanne (Knox) Schulenberg wore a simple light peach colored dress and flat shoes. For those who don’t know my mother-in-law, seeing her in a dress of any style was amazing, because she practically lived on a horse, and dresses simply weren’t done. I never saw her in high heels, or any kind of a heel at all, so the flat white Mary Jane type of shoe was as dressy as it gets. My father-in-law, Walt Schulenberg, was equally out of character for his wardrobe style. He didn’t usually wear a suit unless he was going to a funeral. For that reason, seeing them dressed up shows just how special this day was to them. Of course, people in those days didn’t get married in some of the outlandishly casual outfits that we sometime see these days.
The day turned out beautifully, and while I’m not sure if theirs was an outdoor wedding or not, I rather doubt it, because in those days, you didn’t see very many of those, but I could be wrong too. Nevertheless, the day was sunny and without rain, and the wedding went off without a hitch, and their married life began. They would go on to have six children, four girls and two boys. Life would take the family from Forsyth, Montana to Casper, Wyoming in the end. While Dad left us in May of 2013, Mom was with us until January of 2018. Their love was never ending. Today would have been their 70th wedding anniversary. Happy anniversary in Heaven, Mom and Dad. We love and miss you very much.
We all get frustrated at times, thinking that things will never go our way. We have tried and tried, and nothing seems to fix the current situation. At some point we start thinking we might as well give up, but in reality, the only sure way to fail is to quit. That is exactly what my first cousin twice removed, Nicholas Young, who is my first cousin once removed, Jim Young, and his wife, Alina’s youngest child, found out over the weekend, when he was about to give up fishing for the day. He stuck it out a little longer, and was rewarded with this nice catch which someone managed to get a great shot of. He was pretty excited, and I can relate to that, because one of the reasons I don’t like to go fishing, is those long waits in between the time you drop your line in the water and the time some fish decides to finally bite!! I know that my pro-fishing friends and family probably think I’m crazy on that point, but I get way too bored.
Nick, who just turned 9 years old on June 8th, is used to going fishing though. His family goes to Alcova Lake and Pathfinder Reservoir quite a bit in the summer. So he knows what fishing is all about, but sometimes even seasoned fishermen get frustrated. When it’s a good day to fish, a guy should be catch some fish. Still, as every fisherman knows, the fish don’t always agree with this kind of thinking, and so they sometimes just refuse to bite for a while. Finally, if you wait long enough, some unsuspecting fish comes along, and voilà…you have a bite. In my opinion, all we need now is a stupid fish finder, so we don’t waste so much time fishing among the smart fish.
In reality though, the best thing we can do when we are trying to accomplish something, is to never give up. Oh, I know that sometimes, the day ends, and you still may not have accomplished your goal, but there is always tomorrow…as long as you never give up. As for Nick, I’m really glad that he didn’t have to wait for another day to catch a fish, because when you are 9 years old, waiting until next weekend can seem like waiting until next summer…and with the summer break from school, you always know that your fishing time is short anyway. So congratulations on your catch Nick!! I hope the rest of the summer finds you catching a lot more fish, and having a great time doing it.
In June of 1946, my Uncle Bill and Aunt Doris left Wisconsin, for points west. He had no intention of moving back to Wisconsin at that time. They weren’t sure where they wanted to settle, so they tried Idaho, Oregon, California, and Wyoming. Uncle Bill would have loved to stay in California…he said the warm weather suited him. Aunt Doris was homesick, and wanted to be nearer to her family. I can’t say for sure if it was totally Aunt Doris being homesick, or if it was my grandfather becoming ill, with the cancer that would eventually end his life, or a mixture of both. Uncle Bill has indicated the possibility of both being the reason for their return. It doesn’t really matter, but it is my opinion that Uncle Bill could not let his dad go through cancer by himself. I can relate to that quality in him, because I think I inherited it to a degree.
We never really know what events will transpire to change the course of our lives in an instant. We might be just living our lives, making plans for the future, or raising our kids, and then very suddenly we find ourselves in a position to step in when we are needed desperately. It is what we do with that call of duty that can make the difference between life and death for the person in need. Uncle Bill could not stay in Wyoming, where he was at that time, and simply let his dad handle the most horrible experience of his life without the benefit of help from family. He and his wife, my Aunt Doris headed home to Wisconsin, arriving in June of 1950. It was a decision he would never regret, nor did he ever decide to move away from Wisconsin again.
I think we eventually end up where we are supposed to be. Some of us move away from our childhood hometown, never to live there again, while others, like me, never live anywhere but in our childhood hometown, and still others like Uncle Bill, move away, and eventually move back for one reason or another, and never leave again. There must be something that either draws them away or back, or causes them to stay and never move away at all. I suppose the reasons vary as much as the people themselves, and sometimes there seems to be no real reason at all. They just end up in the place that draws them to it. I believe it is that we are in the place where God wants us to be.