roof

Like most of the Schulenberg men, my brother-in-law Ron Schulenberg is a work-a-holic. When he isn’t working as a diesel mechanic at Wyoming Machinery, he is working on a car at his own house. This year Ron also put a roof on the family home and put up a fence around the yard. Like any work-a-holic, he spends an average of 16 working hours a day, and then comes in to spend time with his favorite people, his wife Rachel and his son Tucker, and the dogs of course. Weekends often find him working with his nephew, Barry or brother, Bob, both of whom are work-a-holics too. The men cut wood or work on cars. The main good news about all this for Rachel is the fact that she knows where to find him. That’s the way I always felt about Bob’s work.

Ron loves grilling, and really knows his way around a barbeque grill. That seems to be another trait of the Schulenberg men…including my father-in-law, Walt Schulenberg, who was just like his sons and grandsons. Of course, these days, Ron has a helper with all his activities. His son Tucker, his sidekick, is right there doing whatever his dad is doing, be it working, playing, or grilling. They are best buddies, and they are perfectly happy to have each other to count on for help on their projects. It’s important to have an assistant for these things, and Tucker would rather be working with his dad, than almost anything else in the world.

While Ron is a work-a-holic, and like getting things done, he does like his relaxation time too. He enjoys traveling. The family took a trip to New York a while back and really enjoyed Niagara Falls. Ron really enjoys his work, but the reality is that we work to make a better life for our family. Work is a means to an end…a better family life. I can’t picture Ron never getting out there and working…at least not until he is really, really old, but I think that if you ask Ron how he feels about the things he does in life, he would simply say, “I’d rather be camping!” Today is Ron’s birthday. Happy 50th birthday Ron!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

cheryl160cheryl158It’s every school aged child’s dream…enough snow to have the school district call a Snow Day. The only bad thing is that they are always few and far between. Nevertheless, I can remember a few of those snow days from my childhood. They made for good rivals for the storm we had overnight, in the amount of snow received. I remember one storm in particular from those days, when we were told that the snow was very heavy, and people needed to shovel it off of their roof to protect the roof from collapse. Well, like most kids on a snow day, we didn’t need a second invitation to go outside and play. It’s funny how that works. The plan was to go out an shovel off the roof, but while that did happen, there was a lot of playing in the snow too. Now mind you that the school district had decided that it was too cold, too snowy, and definitely the snow was too deep to have the kids walk the relatively short distance…five blocks in our case..to school, but we could spend half the day outside playing in the snow. I could see the problem if it had been blizzard conditions, but it wasn’t. Nevertheless, on a snow day,cheryl154 cheryl155playing outside all day was far better than trudging off to school.

Deep snow is always extra fun, because it makes building a fort much easier, and believe me, that snow and this snow today…are deep. the snow is heavy and easily formed into walls or snowballs. Before long the fight was on. I’m sure that our parents loved hearing the screams of laughter as their daughters played happily out in the back yard. You see, sometimes, snow days are for adults too. Today for instance, my car could not begin to drive down the alley from my garage, and we will have to go our and dig snow later to get it out so it can be parked in from of the house…if I am to make it to work tomorrow. When my husband, Bob left for work this morning, his truck was dragging on the deep snow, and my car sits much lower than his truck. The snow day of yesteryear that comes to mind was the one where my dad got to stay home too. In fact, he city was even asking people to offer to transport people on snowmobiles in the event of an emergency.

cheryl162cheryl156That didn’t affect us in any way though, because we didn’t have snowmobiles, nor did we have need of one. We were busy outside trying to move the snow from one spot to another, so that we could move from point “a” to point “b” with a little bit of ease. And the only reason we were doing that was because we wanted to see just how deep the snow really was. We weren’t going anywhere…we had nowhere to go…because it was a snow day, and everyone knows that everything of any importance to a kid is closed on a snow day…especially the school.

When Eric was born, his older brother, JD was very excited about having a little brother, but that didn’t mean that he knew how a little brother needed to be cared for. That wasn’t really unusual for a little boy of 17 months. Nevertheless, we all wondered how Eric managed to survive having an older brother like JD.

The first hint that Eric might be in peril came when JD stuffed an eye drop bottle, with the lid on thankfully, down Eric’s throat when he was less than a year old. Thankfully, their mom, my sister-in-law, Jennifer was very nearby and heard little Eric’s struggle to breathe. She immediately called 911, and they walked her through what to do. While Jennifer is a nurse, you can’t thinks straight when it is your own child.

Having survived that ordeal, life got back to normal for the two brothers…for a while anyway. When Eric was about 3 years old, JD’s curiosity would again get the better of the situation, and JD would lock Eric in the trunk of the family car…thankfully it was parked in the garage at the time and not in the hot sun. Jennifer heard his muffled yells for help and rescued her youngest son from his big brother a second time. Now, I know you think JD hated Eric, but the opposite was the truth. They were inseparable.

And if having his brother out to get him wasn’t enough, Eric decided to give it a go himself, when he fell off of the deck of the family’s bi-level home. He landed on the concrete below, but somehow managed to stay in one piece…with everything in working order. Talk about having nine lives, I think Eric must be part cat.

Through the years many future challenges presented themselves, since the brothers were very much into motocross, and with motocross comes a number of bruises. Still, that did not diminish their love for extreme sports. They have tried many different extreme sports, and usually do quite well at them.

But, probably the craziest thing Eric wanted to try almost happened on the day he had a friend over and he called his mom at work to ask if it would be ok for them to jump off the roof of the house and into a snow drift. Of course, Jennifer told him no, but he continued to try to persuade her to allow it. So, finally she told him that if he insisted on doing that, he had to wait until she was at home…because someone needed to be there to call 911. Needless to say, that was one attempt at Eric’s demise that didn’t happen. We’re glad you made it through it all, Eric!! Happy birthday!!

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