house

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My grand-niece, Katy Balcerzak’s fiancé, Dylan Herr is co-owner, with his dad, Robert Herr, of Red Wing Shoes. They have stores in Casper, Wyoming; Cheyenne, Wyoming; and Brighton, Colorado. Recently Dylan, Katy, and their precious son, Max moved from Brighton to Casper to run the new store here. The only bad thing about that is that, at least for now, Dylan is working 7 days a week, and periodically traveling to Cheyenne and Brighton to check on things there. The Herr family has owned a Red Wing Shoe Stores franchise for three generations. They continue to expand and grow in sales.

Dylan and Katy recently bought their first house here in Casper, and he has become quite the handyman. He put together a swing set for Max, which as we all know, is not the easiest of projects. He has also completely transformed the yard at the house, which needed a lot of work to take it from dead weeds to green grass. Being a homeowner is, as most of us know or find out quickly, a rather large and never ending job. Houses, while wonderful to have, are always in need of some kind of work. Dylan seems to have a knack for that kind of thing, so I’m sure those little projects are really rather fun. It’s always exciting to put your own stamp on your new home, and to show your unique style. Dylan and Katy have been doing just that since they moved back to Casper. 

Dylan is a very patient and kind person. That is truly what made Katy love him so, and why Max thinks he is the greatest daddy on Earth. Having moved to Casper, Dylan misses his parents, Robert and Dee Dee Herr, and his brother Tyler Herr and his wife, Amber, and they miss him, Katy, and Max very much. They are all a close family, including the grandparents, and that makes a move hard. It’s always hard to live far from your kids…especially when the grandchildren begin to show up. Dylan’s parent and brother are all very close to Dylan’s little family, and it makes it hard, but thankfully it isn’t too far away. they can get up for weekends and such once in a while, and that helps a lot. Dylan and Katy are starting this new adventure in her home town, and we are very happy for them. Today is Dylan’s birthday. Happy birthday Dylan!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My sister, Cheryl Masterson is one of the most honorable people I know. She lives her life on purpose…following the will of God, and being a blessing to everyone she comes in contact with. Cheryl doesn’t just live a respectable life out in public, but lives that same respectable kind of life in private. She is a prayer warrior and is willing to pray without ceasing when needed. If you find yourself in a bad situation, Cheryl is definitely one of the people you want to have praying for you.

Cheryl is a family-first kind of person. Her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, as well as sisters and their families are her priority, second only to God. Her favorite things to do revolve around her kids and grandkids. She loves having family dinners, where all of her family come to eat and spend time together. Traditionally, Cheryl has a day or two a week when she cooks a big meal and her family all join her for dinner. Cheryl lives in our family home. During the last years of our parents lives, she was the live-in caregiver to them, while the rest of us put in time during the day. After our dad, Al Spencer’s passing, our mom, Collene Spencer made out her will, giving the house to her daughters, with a lifetime estate to Cheryl. The rest of us had homes, and it is a fitting reward for all the time Cheryl gave to their care. Now that our parents are both in Heaven, Cheryl no longer has patients to care for, freeing her up to entertain her family. She spends a lot of time with her youngest grandchild, Aleesia Spethman. They are very close and they enjoy their time together very much.

Cheryl is also artistically inclined, and has made many things for our homes. I still use one of basket decorations she made for me when my husband and I bought our home in 1995. I love it, and it brightens my breakfast nook. I don’t tend to be as artistically inclined, so when we bought our house, Cheryl was a huge help in it’s decoration. We had been living in a smaller mobile home, so there were a lot of walls to decorate in the new house. It was a little overwhelming for me, but she made it seem easy. My other sisters, Caryl Reed, Alena Stevens, and Allyn Hadlock, as well as my parents helped too, and in the end, I loved the look. I have been very blessed to have the sisters I do, and Cheryl, being the eldest has always been the leader, and in many ways, now the spiritual leader of the Sister Prayer Warriors. Today is Cheryl’s birthday. Happy birthday Cheryl!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My niece, Kellie Hadlock is a wonderful girl, who is always the happiest person around you. I don’t know how she does it, except that she has kept happiness in her spirit all her life. It was a top priority. She has giggled her way through life, and passed her giggles on to everyone she knows. She is a great joy to be around. She has been a great blessing to her family, especially her nephew, Ethan Hadlock, and nieces, Aurora Hadlock, Adelaide Sawdon, and Mackenzie Moore, all of whom love her to pieces. Kellie is a wonderful aunt, and loves to play with the kids. They totally enjoy being with her. She hangs out with her brother, Ryan Hadlock and sisters, Jessi Sawdon, Lindsay Moore and their spouses, Chelsea Hadlock, Jason Sawdon, and Shannon Moore a lot, and the whole family gets together as often as they can.

Kellie works at American Title and is well liked by bosses and coworkers alike. Kellie is a hard worker, who works carefully and accurately. She also decided to buy a house recently, and she really loves it. She lives there with her Yorkie dog, Leena and her birds…her pets. Kellie stays active and goes to the gym a lot. One of her favorite things to do is to sing at church. She loves singing! I think that when she is singing, Kellie is at her most happy. The nice thing about singing is that she can be happy about life, and singing still fits right in. Kellie has a beautiful voice, and is such a great part of our church worship team. Her solos and her lead singing parts are stunning. Many people would love to have a voice like Kellie’s.

Last year, Kellie met Tim Thompson, and they are very happy together. They get along so well and Tim really fits into her family. They are so compatible, enjoying many of the same things, but there are other activities that Tim has introduced Kellie to that are new to her. He takes her hunting, and to the indoor shooting range, which she really likes. They go hiking, snow shoeing, and just love being together. He comes to Casper as often as he can from Gillette and they have a lot of fun. She has her little dog Leena, who is just a tiny bundle of energy and Tim has a golden retriever named Jet, who loves Kellie and Leena. The difference in these two dogs could not be greater, but Jet is so gentle, and Leena doesn’t feel afraid at all. Tim also has a daughter named Jolene, and she is very sweet. She and Kellie get along great too. Tim has taught Kellie a lot about cooking, because he loves to cook and the whole family has benefited from his culinary skills. Tim is so good to Kellie. For her birthday he bought her a guitar, a gift which she is just thrilled with. With her love of singing, a guitar is just perfect for her. Today is Kellie’s birthday. Happy birthday Kellie!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Twenty seven years…it can seem like a lifetime, or as is the case with my daughter, Corrie Petersen, and her husband, Kevin, it can fly by so quickly that it seems impossible that it has been that many years already. Corrie and Kevin began dating when she was just 15 and he was 19. They fell in love almost instantly, and they have never looked back. They married two weeks after Corrie turned 18.

So many things have changed over the course of 27 years. Two sons were born into their union, Christopher and Joshua. They were blessed with much love in their home, which they purchased almost immediately after their marriage, with the down payment coming from a car accident that occurred on their honeymoon. Kevin and his dad, Dean knew how to do bodywork on cars and to paint them, so much of the payment for their damages was left to them following the accident that was the fault of the other driver…who was an honest kid, who accepted the blame and was just thankful that no one was hurt.

Over the years, Corrie and Kevin have had a number of pets, from their first…a Dalmatian puppy, to their currents…a Scottie, two Dachshunds, and a cat. Their love of pets is quite evident, and they have been equally blessed in return. The also shared their love of pets with their sons, who both have pets in their homes, now that they are grown.

With the adulthood of their children, came more changes. the empty nest that many people dread, was not their favorite time, but they have adjusted to it, and the addition of Chris’ fiancée, his little daughter, and with a son to follow in November, life is getting better and better every day. Both of their sons were able to keep their jobs during the Covid-19 Pandemic, and in fact were considered “essential workers,” which helped to alleviate any financial concerns for Corrie and Kevin, concerning their children. Life has been good to them, and the love in their family is filled to overflowing. Twenty seven years have flown by, which is exactly what happens when you are having fun. Today is Corrie and Kevin’s 27th wedding anniversary. Happy anniversary Corrie and Kevin!! Have a wonderful day!! We love you both!!

My brother-in-law, Chris Hadlock has had a very busy summer. Last year, he and his wife, my sister, Allyn purchased the land where his parents lived, and he grew up, and had the old home torn down, because it was in disrepair. Then, they built a new house on his favorite place on earth, his childhood home on the Platte River. The house was finished in time for the holidays last year, and because they love to entertain, we have all been the beneficiaries of their beautiful new home. The Spencer Family Christmas Party was held there and a wonderful time was had by all. We had the Spencer Family New Year’s Eve Party there and again enjoyed a wonderful party. And I know there will be many other gatherings to come, including a barbecue this weekend as our cousin Bill Spencer will be here from Wisconsin for a visit.

They still have work to do on the house, as they plan to finish the upper level, but the lower level is done. The spring brought with it, the beginning of the plans Chris and Allyn have for the outdoor areas of the property. They used the time of Covid-19 and Social Distancing for a retaining wall project on the east side of their house, where the builders dug the dirt out to build the house. It really does look great. That just goes to show what can be accomplished when we have lots of extra time on our hands. I think a lot of people had social distancing projects in the works. When you see your house all day long, you really begin to notice the things that need to get done.

Chris really loves to work on the land they now have, and the back yard that borders the river is a wonderful incentive to really make it into a sanctuary. Because I have spent time in their back yard, I can tell you that it was beautiful, peaceful, and quiet. Their home and property sits far back from any highway, and even far back from the closest road to get to their driveway. Their driveway is long, and the house sits in a little valley at the end of the driveway. That effectively eliminates traffic noises, and allows you to sit and listen to the birds and the river as it meanders by. Peace and quiet just doesn’t get better than that. I suppose it’s like camping out at your own house, except they aren’t sleeping in a tent or camper. Instead, they are sleeping in the awesome log bed that Chris made for them. Chris has a knack for wood work, having done work on other cabins, as well as chainsaw carving, both of which he excelled at. It is always nice when you can do some of the construction and other building work for yourself, as it saves a lot of money in the end. Chris has proven himself in all these areas. Today is Chris’ birthday. Happy birthday Chris!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My sister, Alena Stevens has always had a great sense of style…especially when it came to interior decorating. Her ability to somehow see something in a room that almost speaks to her. She can just picture what the room should look like before she even starts decorating the room. I was always impressed that she could do that, because I practically have to copy something out of a magazine or webpage to get the room to look good. Alena just sees it all in her head. It must be her creative side.

I was always impressed with the beautiful rooms Alena could create. Her house always feels warm and homey. What I didn’t expect, was when a house spoke to Alena. No, I’m not being creepy, but Alena saw the house she and her husband, Mike now own, after it had already been sold. At that time she told Mike that if it ever went on the market again, she wanted it. After a few years, the house did go on the market again, and they jumped at the chance to buy it. The house was everything Alena had dreamed it would be. She set about decorating it, and the house seemed to glow under her loving care.

Over the years, Alena had changed the décor of the home, and each time it is just as lovely as the time before. When we went through our parents things, after their passing, she incorporated the things she got into lovely areas of tribute to them. Then she made a wonderful man-cave for Mike. Don’t get me wrong on who does the work here, because Mike does most of the heavy lifting and the mechanical stuff, but the design is all Alena. Her design talents are well known in the family, and a number of us have her ideas in our own homes, including me. It is something we can all feel very blessed about, because talented interior decorators are not easy to come by.

These days, a part of Alena’s heart lives in Sheridan, Wyoming. Her son Garrett, his wife, Kayla, and daughter, Elliott live there. Alena and Mike go up as often as they can. Elliott is their first, and for now, only grandchild, so visits are precious. Elliott is an almost 2-year-old toddler, who is full of personality, and makes everyone laugh. She holds her grandparents’ hearts for sure. They keep in touch by FaceTime when they can’t be there, but it just isn’t the same. With Alena’s retirement this year from the school district, she will be able to go to Sheridan more and I know that she will do just that. Today is Alena’s birthday. Happy birthday Alena!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My uncle, George Hushman entered life in a troubled situation, and in the end, it was destined to get worse. His mother passed away when he was very young, and his dad was not involved or interested in his children’s lives or welfare. Uncle George and his sister, Betty were placed in an orphanage. They would not be one of the few older children to get adopted, because as most of us know, adoptive parents prefer babies. That might seem like the end of a sad story, but it isn’t. While George was not adopted “officially,” he did have families who “adopted” him in many ways. Wallace and Hettie Saint John, who were my future son-in-law, Kevin Petersen’s great grandparents, were very good to Uncle George, who was friends with their sons. The treated him like one of the family.

Then, of course, there was the Byer family, into which Uncle George would marry, making him my Uncle George when he married my aunt, Evelyn Byer. This was the point when Uncle Georges life took its most amazing turn. Upon their meeting, my aunt and uncle only had eyes for each other. Their world was suddenly filled with all of God’s greatest blessings. Their marriage would produce five beautiful children, Sheila “Susie” Young, George Byer, Shelley Campbell, Shannon Limmer, and Greg Hushman. They also went on to have many grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren. Theirs was a match made in Heaven. They were happy, and they were together as much as it was possible. Their marriage would endure the hardships and sadness that every marriage does, and it thrived. Anyone who knew them could see their great happiness. At the time of Aunt Evelyn’s passing on May 4, 2015, they had been married for 68 years. That is almost unheard of!! When Uncle George joined her in Heaven, they had been married 71 years, and they were reunited on Uncle George’s 92nd birthday. What a wonderful birthday present. Their eyes got to see each other once more, their hearts were reunited. I’m sure Uncle George was ecstatic!!

Uncle George was a quiet sort of man, but always kind. I always loved going over to their home, because we were always treated kindly by them both. They had built their house in Mills, Wyoming, in 1948, with the help of family. They loved their home, and unlike most couples, they would live in that same home for the rest of their lives. Most couples look around some before settling on their forever home. Others moves several times before really finding one that suits them. Not Aunt Evelyn and Uncle George. The knew what they wanted, and they never waivered. Theirs was a sweet forever home, where the couple that lived there were forever in love. Happy birthday in Heaven Uncle George. We love and miss you very much.

On the first trip I made to Forsyth, Montana with my husband, Bob Schulenberg’s family, I was introduced to his family there…among them, Eddie Hein, Bob’s uncle…his dad’s half-brother. That first trip was followed by yearly trips for many years to come. We loved going up for visits, and we were always made to feel welcome. Eddie was a quiet man…soft spoken, but with a big heart. You always felt accepted by him. Eddie had a great big smile, and a laugh that lit up his face, and he liked to laugh. I will miss his smile, and his big hearted kindness. There was never the formality of calling Eddie and Pearl, uncle and aunt, because they weren’t that much older than many of their nieces and nephews were. Even though we didn’t see them as much lately as we used too, it was always good knowing that he was there. Now, suddenly, Eddie is gone. He passed away yesterday, even though it seemed that his health was improving after his stroke of a few years ago. We will all miss him very much.

Bob and I went to Forsyth, two years ago, after his stroke, and I am so glad that we made that trip. It is a trip I will cherish now. Eddie and Pearl, his wife, were both is good spirits, and the trip was so much fun. His mobility was good, even after the stroke, and he seemed just like his old self. I was glad. Pearl just beamed. She was so happy to have him beside her…something I understand after my own husband’s heart attack. You learn to set aside things that don’t matter so much, and live for the day you are in. That’s what Eddie and Pearl were doing too. There were times that Pearl wanted to declutter…we all need to do that from time to time, but Eddie wanted her to let that go, and just be together. I think I understand where he was coming from, as I’m sure Pearl does too. Stuff can be cleaned out anytime, but time cannot be relived. Memories are always with us, but we have to live them to have them first, to make the memories. Eddie and Pearl lived them.

They were married on July 15, 1967, and their marriage was blessed with two children, Larry on May 17, 1969; and Kim on June 27, 1971. Life was good. Eddie worked for many years at Peabody Coal in Colstrip, Montana; while Pearl worked at the IGA in Forsyth, until they both retired. This past July they celebrated their 52 wedding anniversary. Eddie and Pearl had a house in Forsyth, Montana, along the Yellowstone River. They raised vegetables, and Pearl canned they every year. Eddie had a garage where he could tinker, and he loved caring for the garden. He was also a capable carpenter. He turned their mobile home into a beautiful house, with a fireplace made from area stone. It was beautiful. Eddie was always willing to help other people with their own projects, including when his brother, Walt Schulenberg, my father-in-law was building his house outside of Casper, Wyoming. As the years passed, Eddie and Pearl became grandparents. They loved their time with those kids, and I’m sure the kids loved the time with them.

It’s hard to believe that Eddie is gone now. There will always be an empty place that belonged to him. I am thankful for the memories of our trips to Forsyth, and the wonderful visits to Eddie and Pearl’s house. I can picture it now, sitting around their table, drinking coffee, and listening to the stories of our lives. It didn’t matter what we talked about…their lives or our lives, we were reconnecting, and that always felt good. I will really miss those times. It saddens me to have the aunts and uncles leaving us. They contribute so much to our lives, and that rich heritage is slipping away with each one who goes home to Heaven. Still, Eddie, like so many others who have gone on before us, is in our future now, not our past. We will see him again. Rest in peace Eddie. We love and miss you already.

Just like cars, planes have blind spots too. It makes sense, and in reality, the blind spots on planes make the blind spots in cars seem so much less significant. It makes no difference really, because during a crash the result is catastrophic. Of course, there is a better chance, in a collision, to survive in a car than a plane. Of course, it depends on how bad the crash was and where, as to what chances there are of survival in car or plane.

On Monday, September 25, 1978, Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) Flight 182 departed Sacramento for San Diego, with a stop in Los Angeles. Flight 182 was a Boeing 727-214 commercial airliner, registration, N533PS. The seven-person, San Diego-based crew consisted of Captain James McFeron, who was 42; First Officer Robert Fox, who was 38; Flight Engineer Martin Wahne, who was 44; and four flight attendants. The flight from Sacramento to Los Angeles went smoothly. At 8:34am, Flight 182 departed Los Angeles. First Officer Fox was the pilot flying. There were 128 passengers on board, including 29 PSA employees. The weather in San Diego that morning was sunny and clear with 10 miles of visibility. It was an ideal day to fly.

At 8:59 a.m., the approach controller alerted the PSA crew about a small Cessna 172 Skyhawk aircraft nearby. The Cessna was being flown by two licensed pilots. One was Martin Kazy Jr, who was 32. He possessed single-engine, multi-engine, and instrument flight ratings, as well as a commercial certificate and an instrument flight instructor certificate. He had flown a total of 5,137 hours. The other, David Boswell, who was 35. He was a US Marine Corps Sergeant. He possessed single-engine and multi-engine ratings and a commercial certificate. Boswell had flown 407 hours at the time of the accident. He was practicing under Kazy, intent on achieving his instrument rating.

The men in the Cessna had departed from Montgomery Field and were navigating under visual flight rules, which did not require the filing of a flight plan. As is common while learning instrument flying, Boswell was wearing a “hood” to limit his field of vision straight ahead to the cockpit panel, much like an oversized sun visor with vertical panels to block peripheral vision. At the time of the collision, the Cessna 172 light aircraft, registration, N7711G was on the missed approach (in visual meteorological conditions) from Lindbergh’s Runway 9, heading east and climbing. The Cessna was in communication with San Diego approach control. The Cessna came up from below the Boeing 727. The PSA plane failed to keep track of the Cessna, or report losing sight of it when it moved into the blind spot. It was a recipe for disaster. The larger plane virtually ran over the smaller plane over San Diego, California, at 9:01am.

Both aircraft crashed into North Park, a San Diego neighborhood. Flight 182hit a house, and impacted the ground just north of the intersection of Dwight and Nile, killing all 135 people aboard the aircraft and seven people on the ground in houses, including two children. The Cessna impacted on Polk Av between 32nd St and Iowa St killing the two on board. Nine others on the ground were injured and 22 homes were destroyed or damaged by the impact and debris. It was Pacific Southwest Airlines’ first fatal accident.

My husband’s Aunt Pearl Hein is one of the sweetest people you could ever possibly know. I will never forget the first time I met Pearl. I was a newcomer to the family, not yet married to my husband, and so everything felt awkward, until Pearl stepped in to make me feet a lot more at ease. Of course, I was comfortable with my in-laws to be, but the other people were all unknowns to me, and that can make a shy person like me feel like crawling into a hole to hide. Then, we went to Pearl’s house, and I felt instantly comfortable. Of course, these days, I am comfortable with all of the Hein family. I have been a part of the family for over 44 years now, so I know the whole family. They are all a great bunch of people, and I enjoy spending time with all of them. Nevertheless, it was Pearl’s welcoming ways that opened the door to make me feel comfortable.

Like me, Pearl married into the family, and so she knows how it feels to be the newcomer. Still, I think that her personality is just a kind and welcoming one. She likes to make sure that everyone has anything they need, be it water, food, or good conversation. That’s what makes Pearl’s home a place that people want to visit, and a favorite place for us when we are in Forsyth, Montana, where my husband’s family is from. We used to go there every year, but haven’t gone as often in recent years, still Forsyth, the Hein family, and Schulenberg family are very dear to my heart. I couldn’t ask for a better family to join.

Pearl worked for a number of years at the IGA in Forsyth, and they considered her to be their most valuable employee. When Uncle Eddie’s health grew poor, she had to retire to take care of him. I’m sure those were scary days at the IGA, because there were things that she was the only one who knew how to do them. Knowing Pearl, like I do, I know she hated leaving them that way, but her husband was more important than any job, and he needed her. Uncle Eddie is doing much better these days, and so they have more time to relax and do the things they like to do. That makes me feel happy for them. Today is Pearl’s 70th birthday. Happy birthday Pearl!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

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