Seven long years have come and gone since Aunt Linda Cole went home to be with the Lord. It seems impossible that Linda has been gone that long, and yet time seems to have flown by too. For many years my husband, Bob Schulenberg and I took our girls, Corrie Petersen and Amy Royce to go visit his Aunt Linda and his uncle, Bobby Cole, and their children, Sheila and Pat. It was an annual fun trip, and our family had a great time. Linda and Bobby lived in Kennebec, South Dakota in those days, and if you don’t know the area, well, Kennebec was that town they meant when they said, “If you’re driving along and you blink, you will miss it.” The population in those days was about 334 in 1980. It was about 281 in 2020. That means that there was little to do there, except visit with family and play cards, which we did a lot of. That also meant that the kids could all run about pretty freely, because there wasn’t much way to get into trouble either…other than fighting with their cousins that is.

Linda and Bobby were fun-loving people, who laughed and joked often. We always felt welcome in their home. I’m sure that is why our visits were pretty much an annual event. We wanted our girls to know their family, and since the family wasn’t all located in one state, we took the opportunity to travel to other places for visits…something I have been thankful to have done, now that so many of the family members have left us now. You just never know how long people are going to be around, so taking the time out of our busy lives to make a few connection is so vital…especially when those we are going to connect with live in the same town.

Linda and Bobby particularly loved square dancing. What seems to most of us, like a long-lost dance style, came alive to them. Maybe it was one of the only things to do in rural South Dakota, or maybe, when the opportunity presented itself, Linda and Bobby got excited about the prospect of doing something weekly that had only previously been taught to them in the classrooms of their grade schools. That is where I learned what little I recall about square dancing anyway. I was never really interested in square dancing, so it’s quite likely that I didn’t really pay attention to the instruction I was given. I was a child of the rock and roll era, and so square dancing seemed very much like “old fuddy duddy” stuff to me and my generation. Linda and Bobby were of the generation prior, and maybe square dancing was still somewhat in style them…or maybe it was just what was available to them for the whole “evening out with friends” routine. Whatever the case may be, they loved it and they were quite good at it. Today would have been Linda’s 77th birthday. Happy birthday in Heaven, Linda. We love and miss you very much.

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