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!!
My 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 that 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 was 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!!
My 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 counter 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 my 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!!
When 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 hearts, 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 close 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.
Whether a man wants a daughter or a son, really doesn’t matter when that baby arrives, because he sees that little life, and in an instant he knows his whole world just changed. That’s how it was with Bob. His girls were his world. He had so many plans…all the things he was going to teach them…and it didn’t matter to him that they weren’t sons. He planned to train them to be good mechanics. He is still working on that today…and still no more successful at it than he was years ago. Girls seldom make good mechanics, and that was a hard concept for Bob to grasp…he was hoping to train them to love mechanics.
As time went by, Bob did start to get an inkling, that maybe his little girls weren’t going to be mechanics. I suppose it was because they were a little more on the lines of girly girls. Oh don’t get me wrong, they could play hard with the best of tomboys, but mechanical…not so much. Of course, they excel in so many other things, that you just can fault them for the mechanical thing. Nevertheless, he still expected them to get their cars to him to work on if they needed to, and not wait until they broke down to get it to him. There is nothing worse than having to fix extra things that could have been prevented, had they been done earlier.
Children seldom turn out exactly as we expect, mostly because we often try to show them the things we like to do. That doesn’t mean that they will like those things too, and quite often, they just don’t. Sometimes they end up in the same profession that we are, like my daughter, Amy and me…both insurance agents, but just as often, they take a totally different path in life, like our daughter, Corrie, who is an operations administrator for a major energy company. It’s all part of being human. Each of us is wired differently, and suited to certain work. All work is honorable, so the work we choose doesn’t matter.
As with most parents, we are proud of our children no matter what they did or didn’t do in their lives, but I can honestly say that both of our girls have far exceeded our hopes for their lives. As for Bob, well those girls wrapped him around their baby finger the moment he saw them, and he has never left that place since. All they have to do is bat their eyes at him and say, “I love you Daddy”, and his heart melts, and they get whatever they wanted. Bob just doesn’t have a chance when it comes to Daddy’s Girls!!
From almost the day he was born, my nephew, Barry was Grandpa’s boy. He wanted to do everything with his grandpa. Barry was highly motivated for a little kid. Oh, he liked his toys and especially trucks too, but he wanted to do man’s work most of all. He was practically a little grown up from birth. Not very many people are like that. Most little kids want to play all day. They don’t want to be bothered with work. Barry wasn’t sure he wanted to be bothered with play. It was always funny to hear Barry say that he wasn’t going to school, because he had to stay home and work with Grandpa. To Barry, there was nobody better than his grandpa.
Barry is all grown up now, and yes…he did go to school, although I’m not sure he was always happy about it. His love for and connection to his grandpa has never changed. There has and always will be a closeness there. Barry is one of the people that I know I can count on to help out with care for my in-laws, for that very reason. If I ask him to help me with them, he is quick to respond to that need. Help just doesn’t get better than that.
Not a whole lot has changed a far as Barry’s interests are concerned. He still likes trucks, motorcycles, and pretty much any type of mechanical work. He has added hiking with his wife, Kelli to that mix, a pass time I can totally relate to and one I don’t think his grandpa ever did. Of course, there are several of us who have taken up that pass time, and fully enjoy every minute that we are able to get out there and enjoy nature.
Barry has grown from a cute little grandpa’s boy to a man that I respect very much. Many times I don’t know what I would do without him. I know Bob feels the same way, as they have to get together once a week for breakfast and good conversation. They can each be counted on to help the other when needed too. Happy birthday Barry!! Have an awesome day!!
When most of the men in the family have a tendency toward mechanics, you will find that the older men teach the younger men the ropes. That is the best way to learn…by example. Most of the young men who are learning from the adult men are in their teens, but sometimes you get an overachiever, who wants nothing more than to be a mechanic. It seems to be in their blood…even as little kids.
My nephew, JD was like that. If a car was being worked on, JD was there. It’s almost as if he could smell it. He wanted nothing more than to come out and help…even if it was only handing Bob, or one of the other men, the tools they needed to work on the cars. He has never wanted anything more than to work on cars. These days it is very likely that you will find JD in the garage working on a car until the wee hours of the morning. And he has plenty of them to work on too. He owns at least 8 vehicles. I guess that early training kind of made him just a bit of a fanatic!!
Our family really doesn’t need to take a car in to be worked on for anything. We have mechanics that can work on engines, transmissions, radios, maintenance, and even body work, which isn’t really mechanics, but falls into a similar category, since it is done to a car. All of these guys came up the ranks…taught by the men who came before them. And all of them were very motivated to learn all they could about cars. It makes for a great support system for our cars.
Some of the men have tried over the years to train up some girl mechanics, and more than one of us make pretty good assistants, including me. Most of the women in the family really never took to the mechanical side of things, however. Still, that didn’t stop the men in the family, and especially Bob, from trying to turn the women, and especially his girls and me, into mechanics. He started trying to have the girls help him when they were just toddlers. They loved being out there with their dad, standing on the bumper, and watching him work on the cars. Unfortunately, all too soon, boys came into their lives, and the mechanic lessons were quickly forgotten. I guess, you can’t fight love with mechanics, because love will win out every time. Today, our girls don’t work on cars much. Either their husbands do, or Bob does. Of course if Bob does it, he still requires them to help. He doesn’t give up easily.