My sister-in-law, Debbie Cook is my husband, Bob Schulenberg’s older sister. When they were younger, they were good friends, mostly I suppose, because of their closeness in age. Debbie was just 17 months older than Bob. I don’t know how close they were as kids, but as adults, they got along very well. In fact, it was because of that closeness that Bob and I met at all. Debbie and I were both working at Kmart. She had graduated from high school, and I was a senior in high school. She worked in the Deli, and I worked in the Millinery Department (handbags and wigs, for those who don’t know). I had a display by the Deli, and we became friends. Later, we would double date, and eventually, I was the maid of honor in her wedding, and she the matron of honor in mine.

After we both had children, the cousins became good friends. When Debbie and her husband, LJ Cook moved their family, including daughters, Machelle Moore and Susan Griffith, to Thermopolis, Wyoming from Casper, Wyoming, our daughters would take turns spending a week with each other in the summers. Those were special times for everybody, and times I miss very much. I think we all do. Of course, we would not choose to go back, because we would miss out on so much, like grandchildren. Debbie has two grandsons, Weston and Easton Moore; and two granddaughters, Jala Satterwhite and Katlyn Griffith.

Debbie and LJ have suffered some health issues as they have grown older, but they are working very hard to get themselves back to health. LJ had back surgery, and now, he feels so much better. Debbie has been trying to get healthy, and with the encouragement of her daughters, she has also done such a great job losing weight. She has realized that with age, can come decline, so Debbie has decided that she doesn’t want that to happen to her and LJ. So, she has been going to the senior center for exercise classes a few times a week, and as an added perk, getting pedicures there as well. She has been eating better and cooking more health-conscious meals for both her and LJ.

Debbie has been trying to get involved with the Powell community in the past few years, where they now live. She’s joined the “Giddy Up Gals” too. They are a part of the Red Hat Society. She has really become involved with the local senior center, including some of their trips to Cody. She also enjoys getting out of the house and making friends. These are things that Debbie hasn’t been able to do in recent years. I’m really happy for her and for LJ, because it’s been a long hard road, and now there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Today is Debbie’s 70th birthday. Happy birthday Debbie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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