My husband, Bob’s uncle, Eddie Hein was a sweet man who was an encouragement to many people. His children were his pride and joy, and he would do anything in his power to make their lives better. When Larry wanted to open a mechanics shop, Eddie was totally onboard. Eddie always loved mechanics, and seeing Larry start a career in that field was pleasing to him. Eddie loved vintage cars and would have loved to spend hours working to restore them. Of course, that wasn’t feasible, so watching his same work on cars sometimes filled the mechanics gap, in his life…at least the one that existed in his latter years.

His daughter, Kim Arani had very different goals and dreams than her dad, which makes sense. Most women don’t dream of becoming a mechanic. Kim chose later to move to Texas, because she absolutely hates the Montana winters, and I can’t say as I blame her. Even though Kim lived far away know, Eddie and Pearl were very supportive of her dreams, and were very excited to attend her wedding and give the bride away. It was a dream wedding, and while Eddie had suffered a stroke prior to the wedding, he was able to make the trip and walk his daughter down the aisle…on the beach.

While Eddie was dedicated to his children, Larry and Kim, he was most dedicated to his loving wife, Pearl. When they were off work, they were together. They gardened together and worked on the house together. Their lives were intertwined. When Eddie had his stroke, Pearl really stepped up to make sure Eddie had everything he needed. She drove him lots of miles to do his therapy. She took care of him at home. She nursed him back to health, and Eddie was grateful. He knew he loved her from the very start, and she proved to be the best thing that ever happened to him. Today would have been Eddie’s 80th birthday. Happy birthday in Heaven, Eddie!! We love and miss you very much!!

My grandnephew, Easton Moore is getting ready to start the next phase of his life and is still considering his options. The rest of us are sitting here wondering where all the years went. It seems impossible that Easton could be out of elementary school, much less high school. Currently, Easton is a supervisor at McDonald’s, which is a pretty good accomplishment for a young man of just 18 years. He is looking forward to the end of school now, because as supervisor, he is required to close, which makes for late nights and little sleep…which accounts for his mom, Machelle Moore’s ability to catch him sleeping during the day and having the evidence to prove it.

Easton has spent a lot of time tinkering on his own vehicle and has found that he really has a knack for it. Easton has also helped his friends work on their vehicles, so he is actually building a clientele of sorts already. In fact, mechanics is one of the things Easton is considering as a career option, a side option, or a temporary option while he prepares for the other possible career option that he is considering. Like most young people, Easton is very comfortable with computers, and would not mind getting a job on the internet or maybe in computer programing. The possibilities in computers are endless right now, and things are advancing so fat that what seems far-fetched today is very possible in the very near future.

One thing Easton isn’t considering right now is moving out on his own. Like most high school graduates, he would like to, but with rentals in Powell running around $1000 a month for a one-bedroom apartment, that is just not feasible. Moving out right now around here is not a good idea. So, his plan is to live at home, while working, and to begin taking college classes to advance his computer skills, so that if that is what he decided he wants to do in life, he is moving in the right direction for it. As for his mom and dad, I’m sure this plan doesn’t hurt their feelings one bit, because they were facing the “empty nest” and I don’t think they were really very happy about it. Sometimes, it’s nice for the parents to have a little reprieve…even if it’s just a little one. Easton is graduation today and getting ready to go out into the world and make his own mark. Congratulations Easton!! We are very proud of you!!

My grandnephew, Easton Moore is very excited for his upcoming high school graduation. I think that whether a kid likes school or not, as they near the end of their public-school days, they are just ready to have it over with. This last semester is notoriously the hardest one, because the student really has “short-timers disease” for lack of a better term. Thirteen years of public school is a lot, and that’s if they didn’t go to pre-school, which most kids do these days. Thankfully for Easton, this last semester is a very light and easy one. That makes it easier to handle in his final stretch. Easton hasn’t exactly decided what he wants to do concerning college, tech school, or working.

He loves working on his Bronco, and it sound to me like he could easily make a career of mechanics and/or auto body repair work. That isn’t surprising, because he comes from a long line of mechanics. He has really been changing things up on his Bronco. He has added new headlights, grill, radio, speakers, door speakers, and that’s just for starters. He has future plans to switch out the interior to black…the roof, flooring, dash, console, door panels, and such. He also wants to add a visor to the outside of the windshield. The back window had been broken while the Bronco was sitting in front of the house, so he replaced that and the trim around it. He is hoping that keeps it from breaking again. He also put in a new back window motor, new ignition lock switch, and fixed a leak in the seam around the front window. He took the running boards and replaced the muffler and the heater core…it was blowing smoke into the cab which made him freak out a bit. I can totally understand that!! The Bronco is an unimpressive light tan color, in Easton’s opinion, so he plans to paint it, and put on different wheels and rims. At Christmas, he even put a string of Christmas lights on the Bronco. It looked pretty fancy driving down the road. His mom, Machelle Moore is sure he will think of a bunch of other fun things to do to it too, because his Bronco has really started something in him that, she believes he will end up having a passion to do. He is learning so much about how to do these kinds of things, and he’s not afraid of digging in to figure it out. I’m sure that before long, his Bronco will be a real “chic magnet” and there’s nothing wrong with that.

It’s going to be a great year for Easton, and he is very excited to see where things go from here. I think he will excel in whatever he decides to do. Today is Easton’s 18th birthday. Happy birthday Easton!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My husband’s Uncle Eddie Hein was a man of integrity. He worked hard in everything he did. When he decided to take on a job, schooling, family and family projects, or anything he did for other people…he did it with integrity. People always knew they could count on Eddie to be there to help them out of any jam, or just when they need a little bit of assistance. Eddie built the additions to the family home, that gave it enough room for all of them.

Eddie lived most of his life in Forsyth, Montana, with the exception of the years he spent in Casper, Wyoming working at Rocky Mountain Pack and going to night classes at Casper College to get his degree in mechanics; and the years when he was in the US Army, where he served his country during the Vietnam War. He was honorably discharged in 1966. That was when he met his future wife, Pearl Krueger. They got married on July 15, 1967…the happiest day of their lives. Their marriage was blessed with two children, Larry Hein and Kim Arani. They also had three grandchildren, one of whom, Destiny Hein, was born on Eddie’s birthday, giving them a very special bond. They were best friends.

Eddie worked at the Forsyth Standard Station until he was hired at Peabody Coal on May 4th, 1970. He worked for Peabody Coal until 2005, then he went to work for Western Energy Coal Company, retiring in 2010. Eddie was a respected worker at all of his jobs, and I’m sure they were sorry to see him move on to other jobs. Uncle Eddie had a presence that made people feel good. He had a smile that made you smile too. Uncle Eddie was always a working man, and I know it was very hard when he had the stroke that really slowed him down. It was hard on him, Aunt Pearl, their kids, and grandkids. They worried about him and wondered if he was going to come out of this, but he did come out of it. He did walk again, and he was able to walk Kim down the “isle” on the beach, when she and her husband, Mike Arani were married. I suppose that it was his strength to come back from the stroke that made his heart attack, and subsequent passing on October 16, 2019, so hard to believe. I still can’t believe he is gone. Today would have been Uncle Eddie’s 77th birthday. Happy birthday in Heaven, Uncle Eddie. We love and miss you very much.

With each new anniversary, I find myself feeling more and more blessed. The years have flown by, but that is what they say about time, and having fun. For Bob and me, life has been just that…fun. No, we haven’t lived life without any challenges, but all in all, they were minor, and life really was fun. I don’t know how we managed to always be going in the same direction, with the same goals and ideas about life, but that’s what we did. The word soulmates comes to mind. We are very like-minded people. An idea may not necessarily have appeared to both of us at the same time, but when it did, it was usually something we both agreed upon right away. How does that happen? Soulmates…that’s how it happens.

When Bob and I met, there was instant chemistry. My heart skipped a beat just looking at him. Of course, I can tell you that he would probably say, “What does that mean?” That’s because he is a man. He felt the same things, but describing the feelings that way is totally another story. Still, there were so many ways in which he showed those feelings to me. One of the biggest was the way in which he showed how important our anniversary was to him. Most years, he took the day off work, because it should always be spent together. There were very few exceptions to his self-imposed rule. In 45 years, I can say that he probably took 42 off work…and the ones he couldn’t were a huge disappointment to him.

Bob and I just like to be together. We are best friends and working partners, even though we never worked at a job together. We still work well together. Home projects, caring for parents, and even mechanics, were done together. I knew I could count on him, and he knew he could count on me. There is no one I would rather work next to on any project, loved one, car…or anything else. I have found the best partner and soulmate for me, and I am looking forward to the next…say 54 years, since we plan to live to be 120!! I’d say that 99 years of marriage would be a good goal…whether anyone else believes it or not. We can shoot for what we want to. Happy 45th anniversary to my sweet husband, Bob!! I love you very much Honey!!

My nephew, JD Parmely is a hard working man, who lives a quiet life in the house he purchased from his grandmother, Joann Schulenberg after his grandfather, Walt Schulenberg passed away. She was living in a nursing home by then, and the purchase allowed her to life out her days in peaceful happiness. I can’t imagine a better person to live in the house where we had all spent so many happy times. I think it felt like coming home for JD, because he had never known a time when his grandparents didn’t live there.

Those were happy days for little JD…for the most part. JD really didn’t life food when he was little. I remember that he made a face at almost everything. A pickier eater, there never was. I remember times when his mother, my sister-in-law, Jennifer Parmely resorted to M and Ms to get some calories into him. Thankfully, those days faded into the days when JD had a hollow leg, and needed a heavy duty platter of food to fill him up…after having seconds, of course.

I remember JD playing “horsey” on his grandpa leg, and loving every minute of it. He also loved being with his grandma, and being rocked to sleep on her lap. The good times JD had at the house that is now his home will always live in his memory. He helped his grandpa with his projects, and his uncles and his grandpa with work they were doing on cars. It was in this garage that JD learned the ropes on mechanics, as well as from his own dad, Keith Parmely in their garage at home. With all these mechanics in his background, I think it was pretty much a given that JD would grow up to become a mechanic, even going to college for mechanics in Arizona, before coming back home, where it wasn’t for “blazing hot.” JD loves his cars, and has about twelve of them at any given time, so having a double garage on his house makes it even more perfect for him. A double garage and the memories from his childhood…it doesn’t get better than that. Today is JD’s birthday. Happy birthday JD!! have a great day!! We love you!!

I’m sure that most people have seen the movie, Twister. It is a personal favorite of mine. There is one line in the movie, where Aunt Meg said to Jo, that Bill always went his own way, which was usually the same way Jo was going. Well, I can’t say that Bob was going his own way, or that I was, but I can say that we were usually going in the same direction. Maybe that is the key to it, I don’t know, but I like that Bob and I like to do the same things. I never have to find a hiking partner, because Bob and I both love to hike. I don’t have to worry about a bowling partner, because we do it together. We both tend to like to be at home in the evenings…at least after that evening walk, and of course, we both love our family. I think the thing we most like to do though, is to be together. We are best friends, and I like that very much.

Of course, there are a few things that Bob likes to do that I really don’t, such as mechanics. Bob is an excellent mechanic, and has spent the majority of his life working on cars. They say that if you do something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. I think for Bob that is a true statement. He really loves mechanics…from the diagnostics to the dirt…he loves it all. I personally don’t want to be all greasy and dirty, but Bob just doesn’t seem to mind, and you just can’t spend much time under a car without getting grease and road dirt all over yourself. All I ask is that he doesn’t wear something that I care about, because after one car, any great shirt he is wearing is no longer very nice. Nevertheless, he sure does clean up nicely.

These days, Bob is trying to wrap his head around the fact that he has been retired for a full year. Of course, he can’t really say that he is retired, because he is still doing the same work…just in a different location. Now he does all his mechanic work at home. I’m glad that he has that, because I think he would go stir crazy if he was just sitting around. Mechanics is what he loves, and I’m sure it is what he will always be doing. If I want him to myself, I still have to take him out of town, where he doesn’t have cars to work on. The good news is of course, I always know where to find Bob…out in the garage. Today is Bob’s birthday. Happy birthday sweetie!! Have a great day!! I love you!!

Ron nowMy husband, Bob and his brother, Ron Schulenberg have been good friends since Ron was born. The fourteen years between them made no real difference at all. Maybe Bob was just excited to have a brother…finally, after having four sisters. Bob took Ron places with him and they really had a lot of fun. That continued after Bob and I began dating, and it was a realy good deal, since it meant that Ron got to go cool places like A & W, for Rootbeer Floats. Of ccourse, going places wasn’t the only reason they were friends, but when Ron was little, it was a big part of it.

These days, Ron and Bob have a different reason to be good friends, besides the fact Bob, Ron & 67 Mustangthat they are brothers. They have teamwork. Both of them are mechanics, and when they are working on a vehicle, sometimes assistance is needed. It is just a part of the mechanics game. They each have tools, but often share them, because it makes no sense to buy a tool when your brother has one already. They have always shared a love of vehicles and mechanics, as have most of the men in the Schulenberg family. In fact, the teamwork the Schulenberg men have includes all of them. If one needs help with something, be it mechanics, or cutting wood, the others are right there to help. They know that they can count on each other.

Ron served in the Army for three years, and then was called back to participate in Desert Storm. His formal training in diesel mechanics came from his GI Bill benefits. It Ron's Army dayswas a great way for him to go to college, but I’m sure he would rather not have had to fight in a war. Nevertheless, it was necessary, so he did it. We all missed him very much. No one wants a loved one to have to go to war. You worry about them every day. And that’s what we did. We worried and prayed the whole time he was gone, and rejoiced when he came back home and the war was over. We were also very proud of his service. Being a Veteran is something to be proud of, and being a part of a team is something else to be proud of. I don’t know what Bob would do without him sometimes. I am very thankful for the many times Ron has helped Bob with a project, and I know that Ron is thankful for Bob’s help too. They do make a wonderful team. Today is Ron’s birthday. Happy birthday Ron!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Jason and JessiMy niece, Jessi, thinks her husband, Jason Sawdon is a lot like her grandpa, my dad, Allen Spencer. Both of these men have made the choice, for as much as it is possible, to buy American made. Their reasons might be slightly different, but buying American made is very important to the American economy. It helps keep American people working, and that is important to all of us in this country. For Jason, who moved here to Wyoming from Michigan, it is especially important to buy American cars, and he isn’t alone in that either. My dad felt that way, as does my husband, Bob.

Jason likes to keep busy on his days off, and he is pretty handy too. He built Jessi a garden, fixed their porch, and rewired the dash of his truck. In Jessi’s book, that makes him a Jack Of All Trades, and I would have to agree. Since Jason is a guy who likes to tease, and he’s pretty good at mechanics, he decided to tell a bunch of his friends that he was a NAPA certified mechanic. They believed him for a number of years, and then, one time they went into NAPA looking for parts, and told the So In Lovecounter clerk that Jason was NAPA certified. The person looked at them funny and said that there was no such thing. I’m sure they felt a little gullible for having believed Jason for so long. I have to think that Jason must be pretty patient with his jokes, if he would wait years to get that ultimate laugh. In the end though, it was Jessi who got the final say on that joke. It was when she was helping her aunt go through some things that had belonged to her Grandpa Hadlock, and she came across a NAPA Certified Certificate, so apparently you used to be able to get NAPA certified. They had a good laugh over that one.

That had to be a rare moment for Jessi, because as she will tell you, she is pretty gullible too, and Jason is usually the one to pull one over on her. He often tells her things that she initially believes, and then after giving it some thought, she realizes that what he said is impossible. I’m sure that when she confronts Jason, he gets a great laugh out of that. Jason is always tricking people in funny ways, and in that too, I can see how he reminds Jessi of her grandpa. But, one thing that Jason can’t hide is just how much he loves Jessi. Anyone could see that on his face the first time they saw them together. And of course, Jessi feels the same way about him. I have seen a lot of couples get together in our family, and some stand out as being extra special in Jason and Auroramy mind. Jason and Jessi were one of those couples. One of their wedding pictures best shows what I, and everyone else, could so clearly see.

Jason loves his nieces and nephew, and enjoys spending time with them and they think he is the greatest too. Having such a great sense of humor makes Jason a great playmate for the kids. He has lots of energy and doesn’t mind playing their games. They in turn flock to him. It is the reward of having an inner child I think, and it is what makes Jason a perfect fit to our family. Today is Jason’s birthday. Happy birthday Jason!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Always SmilingWhen a young life ends, there are always far more questions than answers. It is simply incomprehensible to think that the son, dad, brother, and grandson that you thought would always be around, is suddenly gone. When we found out yesterday, that Bob’s first cousin once removed, Brian Scott Kountz passed away at 9:45 pm on June 21, 2014, it was such a hard day. Brian was Bob’s cousin, Sandi Kountz’ oldest son, and he had a brother, Kyler Avey and a sister, Destreyia Cannon. He was the first grandchild of Bob’s aunt, Margee Kountz. He will also be missed by his uncle, Dan Kountz and cousins, Zech and Stasi Kountz, and extended family and friends.

When someone passes away, it seems like the memories that lived only in your memory files, start coming to the surface. Memories like the ones Stasi has of how Brian lit up a room by simply walking into it. He had a great laugh, and he touched the hearts of all who knew him. One of the favorite memories Stasi has of Brian is watching “Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air” and eating Mac and Cheese together. It isn’t necessarily the major life events that hold a special place in our Too Coolhearts, but rather the moments that seem to stay with us forever, after losing a loved one.

I think a lot of us will remember Brian for his old cars. He always seemed to have a car that was like a big clunky boat. And that was just fine with him. He might have a rusty Cadillac or an old Blazer, but he didn’t care. He loved those old cars, and as a young man of only 24 years of age, maybe they were also what he could afford. He had a tendency to go 4 wheeling with his SUV, and that was probably not the best thing for the car, but like all kids, there were priorities…and then there were priorities, and adventure was simply a priority. Mechanics and cars were of great interest to Brian. He was taking mechanics classes at the time of his death, and his future plan was to open his own shop. He was happy. His life was taking shape and before long, he would be a successful businessman.

Even though he was like all kids in the things that he liked to do, his family was the top priority in his mind. Brian took being the oldest child very seriously. He was a good big brother, who would give the shirt off his back for his brother and sister. He was especially Working Manclose to his little sister, Destreyia, which is typical of lots of big brothers. I’m sure they had their moments when they fought like cats and dogs, but when it came to anyone else picking on his little sister…look out, because he would do whatever it took to protect her. There were so many things that bonded them together. Brian was her rock, and she was his sunshine. For Brian’s mom, Sandi, he was her first born, and like all moms, each child has their special characteristics. Each one holds a special place in their heart. Sandi has always seen the potential that Brian had, and she was his biggest cheerleader. She encouraged him to take the mechanics classes, and she knew that he would be a big success when his training was over. The hardest thing about today is knowing that all Brian’s plans and dreams are over now…his future no longer exists. Rest in peace Brian. We love and miss you already.

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