My husband, Bob Schulenberg’s grandfather, Robert Knox lived an interesting life…at least those early married years, when he and Grandma, Nettie Knox only had one child…Bob’s mother, Joann Schulenberg. Their home was a sheepherder’s wagon, and it was small. My mother-in-law and their daughter, Joann Schulenberg, often told me about her days as a small child living in that wagon. She got her first tricycle while living there, and that winter found her riding her tricycle from door to bed and back again over and over. I wonder if her parents were almost driven crazy with all the activity in that small space.
I know that a shepherd is responsible for the lives of the sheep, but in Biblical days and even days more modern in the past, the way to protect the flock was to kill the predator using a stone, or stick. Of course, with the invention of guns, the task became easier. There were guns by the time Grandpa Knox was herding sheep, so I’m guessing that was how he killed the coyotes that might have tried to kill the sheep. Being a shepherd is a hard and often lonely job, but when a man can have his family there too, it’s not so bad.
Grandpa was also a master gardener, and this was something I saw for myself. The whole family reaped the benefits of his rather extensive garden. When I joined the family in 1975, I had never canned vegetables, but my mother-in-law was a willing teacher, and Grandpa’s garden supplied all the veggies I could possibly have needed…and more. Those were good years. The garden grew well, and the vegetables were plenty. We had all we could ask or need. Grandpa enjoyed helping out the family by caring for the garden, because it gave him purpose. As people age, they can sometimes begin to feel useless, but Grandpa Knox have no such concerns. He knew that the work he was doing was good work, and that the whole family was healthier because of his hard work.
Grandpa Knox left is in 1985, at the age of 77 years. Cancer took its toll on his body, and finally he succumbed, but not before receiving a great granddaughter, Machelle Moore as a birthday gift in 1976. The had a few years to get to know each other before he went home, and I know that the gift of Machelle made him very happy. I also know that Machelle misses him, especially on their birthday. Happy birthday in Heaven, Grandpa Knox. We love and miss you very much.
My husband, Bob Schulenberg’s grandmother, Nettie Knox was not born during the pioneer era, but she did live a life that mirrored that era to a degree. While she was born in the West, in Clydes Park, Montana, she was nevertheless, a kind of pioneer woman. Grandma was born on June 30, 1909 to Orin and Eva (Landis) Noyes, and married Robert Knox on June 14, 1928. She was not born before cars were invented, but sometimes she lived like she was in the Old West. Grandpa was worked on a sheep ranch, and for a time when my mother-in-law, Joann Schulenberg was a little girl of about 3 years, they lived in a sheep wagon. The shepherd needed to be near the sheep, and Grandma was a homemaker, so she went with him. Plus, the sheep wagon was provided to them free of charge, and you don’t turn down a rent free place to live. Of course, that wasn’t where they lived for very long, because even with just the three of them for the first 15 years of her life, living in a sheep wagon would not really be roomy enough.
Grandma loved tradition, Christmas, birthdays, and celebrations in general, but when my daughter, Corrie Petersen was born on her birthday, and she was her first great grandchild, Grandma was ecstatic!! She considered that to be the greatest git ever, and they always had a strong bond. They always celebrated that birthday together, and new pictures were taken every year to see how much they had both changed. Of course, to me it seemed that it was Corrie did the changing. She was the one that was growing up, and Grandma seemed to have a timelessness about her. In fact, it seemed like she had an innocence about her. Maybe it was her love of tradition and celebration, or maybe she was just blessed with good genes. Whatever it was, Grandma just never seemed to get old…to me at least. Maybe that was why Grandma and Corrie could have such a great relationship too. They could both get excited about the same kinds of things.
When I think of what Corrie is working on becoming, and has already become, I know that Grandma Knox would have been so proud of her. Grandma suffered with arthritis and always whiced that the medical community could find a cure for it. While there is no cure yet, maybe there will be someday. Nevertheless, Corrie tries to comfort people, no matter what the disease is that they have. Her job is is give comfort to her patients, and I know that Grandma would have seen that as a great contribution to the world. Today is the 113 anniversary of Grandma’s birth. Happy birthday in Heaven, Grandma. We love and miss you very much.