img_5407It’s like taking a trip down memory lane…going back to Forsyth, Montana. It’s the town where my husband, Bob Schulenberg’s family comes from. When our girls were little, we took them to Forsyth every summer for a visit with the family that lived there. In those days, we saw Bob’s grandma, Vina Hein, and her husband, Walt “Grandpa” Hein, and his Uncle Eddie and his wife, Pearl Hein and their family and Butch (Bernard) and his son, Scott. Then later on, we got to know Bob’s grandpa, Andrew Schulenberg, who had been the sheriff of Rosebud County for a number of years, and Bob’s Uncle Butch (Andrew) Schulenberg. After Bob’s dad, Walt Schulenberg’s passing, we talked to his brothers, Eddie, Butch, and Butch. Those were sad phone calls, but as often happens in these situations, when one door closes, another opens. Such was the case with my father-in-law’s passing. As sad as it was, it opened a door that has allowed me to get to know his brother, Butch Schulenberg, his wife, Charlys, and their family. Finding out that they are on Facebook was an added blessing, because we have become quite close. I think my father-in-law, Walt Schulenberg would be very pleased.

Yesterday, brought Bob and me full circle…back to Forsyth, Montana, and back in touch with the uncles and their families. As an added blessing, the uncles are friends, even though they Eddie and Butch Hein are not brothers with Butch Schulenberg. That simply hasn’t mattered. Butch and Eddie worked together at Peabody Coal, so they were friends for years. We all went out for dinner and had such a wonderful time. We talked about everything from their Peabody days, to the old days with their families. When my father-in-law, Walt Schulenberg passed away, and my mother-in-aw, Joann Schulenberg went into the nursing home, I knew that things would never be the same. That door had closed. Our lives had taken a turn in a new, and unfamiliar direction. It was not especially a direction I had ever wanted to take, but here we were, and we could not go back. Dad was gone now, and Mom’s mind is quickly slipping away.

Coming back to Forsyth was a journey into the past to a degree, and I wasn’t sure hour it would turn out, img_5171except that I knew that I loved the people we were going to visit. It had been a number of years since we had seen them, especially Butch and Charlys Schulenberg, but when we arrived, it was like we had seen each other every day for years. While one door, the one with my father-in-law, had closed…another door, the one with his brothers had opened…or rather, re-opened. It never really was closed, but we hadn’t stepped through it, I guess. Now, I can’t imagine not spending time with the Forsyth family again. Each one is a special blessing to me. I find myself feeling so thankful to know these wonderful people. Time slips away so quickly, and I don’t ever want to take that time for granted. I don’t want to find another door closing only to find that I didn’t go through it to spend time with and really get to know the precious people there.

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