Category Archives: Comedy

No footing Around

As part of Larry’s back surgery therapy, we went to Pro-Fitness to work out on a stationary bike and light weights. On the way home, he mentioned his concern about how painful his foot was and wondering if he was developing a hammer toe. When he got home, he took off his shoe and a stuffed sock in the toe area dropped out. We both had a hearty laugh. It was the first we have had since surgery on July 9th.

By the way, I certainly move quickly if his foot descents anywhere near mine.

The Schuerr Brothers & Their Nine Lives

Visions of Cowboys and Indians Dancing in their Heads                           By Sue/Larry/Ken Schuerr

Today, April 28th, 2018, we have a Celebration of Life for Kennith Schuerr. We will remember him as a wonderful husband and father who loved to laugh and lived life to the fullest.  He enjoyed reminiscing about his childhood. Below are some of those stories.

All little boys growing up in the 50’s were influenced by the TV cowboy characters Roy Rogers, Hop-a-long Cassidy and John Wayne. The good guys wore white hats and the bad guys wore black. Of course, both were always fighting the Indians. Larry was no exception. He and his two toe-headed stair-step brothers, Bill and Ken, were glued to the TV screen soaking up the many lessons to be learned about being a real cowboy.  They were thrilled to have electricity and a TV in their small, primitive summer cottage supported only on posts. It was located in Lily Moor just outside of McHenry, a better place than the city for three growing boys.

In 1952, Larry’s dad bought the summer cottage from his half-brother.  The goal was to convert the summer cottage into a year round home. Money was a scarcity so the transformation took years. The  Insulation, heat and indoor plumbing were non existent, and they had to take a bucket to the hand pump on the front porch to pour  water down the indoor-outhouse to flush it. The wood burning stove sizzled with wood scraps Larry’s dad brought home from his carpentry jobs.

“We’d wake up in the morning with snow blowing through the eaves onto the floor,” Larry recalls. “Only one bed would fit in our room and we nestled close to one another for warmth.  For Christmas each of us received two presents—-an article of clothing and one toy. One evening, the VFW showed up at our door with a turkey and a box of food.  It was the first time, I saw my dad cry.”

Larry’s dad, a man whose arms resembled the cartoon character Popeye, dug a well and installed a pump by the sink in the kitchen similar to what we had seen on the TV series, Lassie.  The next ongoing project was to dig out a basement under the house. This was a Herculean task for three young boys. First, walls with windows were installed. Then Larry and his brothers, Bill and Ken, would  dig out the basement by throwing the dirt out of the window.

But at least it was their place, and the TV provided a mental escape from on-going chores. There were trees to climb, sticks to turn into guns and plenty of new places in the country to explore

Ken, the youngest of the three, was often the target for taunting. When it was his turn to swing from the rope on the tree, Larry, being the chief, would tell him when to jump. Of course, the oldest brother was always right.

Ken would yell, “When should I jump?”

“I’ll tell you when,”  said Skip.

“Not now,” screamed Bill and Larry

With their early understanding of physics, they would wait until the distance between Ken and the ground was greatest and then yell, “Now”!

As would be expected, they all were wounded regularly just like the real cowboys and Indians on TV;  Dad, the medicine man, was an expert at making butterfly bandages and other repairs to their frequently wounded bodies.

Another time, they ventured into a dairy farm behind them and visited the cows. Bill and Larry talked Ken into grabbing the tail of a Holstein to see what would happen.  When the thrill of seeing their brother fly on the end of a cow’s tail passed, they yelled.

“Let go.”

But the shock of being dragged by a moving cow, made Ken grab on harder.

“Let go,” yelled Bill and Larry even louder.

But, Ken continued to grab on even harder as he bounced off stones, sticker bushes and manure patties.

Rainy days were a recipe for disaster for the growing family who lived in the space of a double garage. Mom and Dad were playing cards with friends down the road and the three boys got to rough housing. It wasn’t long before they put a hole in the tender wall.

“Now, what do we do?” said Ken

“We’re dead meat,” cried Bill

But Larry, the ringleader,  came up with an excellent solution. The three would move the refrigerator to cover the hole——-Mom  would never notice.  With a great deal of pushing and shoving, the hole vanished behind the mayonnaise, mustard and sour cream.

When Mom and Dad came home, she asked who moved the refrigerator.

“Not me,” said Larry

“Not me,” said Ken

“Not me,” said Bill

That left their little sister, Mary, gurgling in the corner.

Digging out the basement was an on going project. By then real plumbing was installed and Shirley, their mom, decided to have a Tupperware party.

As usual, the boys came home from school and worked in the basement shoveling the dirt out of the window. The boring, laborious labor cried for adventure. Larry remembered seeing a special episode of Roy Rogers where——–

The memory was crystal clear in Larry’s mind and he diverted his attention from throwing dirt out the window to digging a large hole. He coaxed Bill, the cowboy, into climbing into it. Bill obediently jumped in. The Indians, Ken and Larry, buried their victim up to his neck. All they needed were cowboy hats and feathers—–until Bill’s piercing cry.

“Help! Get me out of here.”

The Tupperware party was in full swing upstairs as the ladies inhaled their Lucky Strike cigarettes, munched on brownies, and practiced burping their new lettuce containers.

But the call persisted, “Help, Help, Get me out of here!”

Shirley politely said, “Excuse me ladies,” It looks like I’m needed below.” She was angry about missing the latest gossip tidbits.

Stomping down the basement stairs, the first thing she saw was Bill buried up to his neck and then Ken and Larry standing in the distance with shovels trying to be innocent bystanders.  The spell was now completely broken—–the Indians were on the run with past wallops in memory.

She grabbed a shovel and furiously began to excavate her middle son promising retribution,” I’m going to kill you guys.” In the next breath she called upstairs in her sweet voice, “I’ll be with you in a minute, ladies. ”She came close to excavating Bill while Larry and Ken flew up the stairs and out the door in ear shot of her impending promise, “I’m going to kill you kids.”

It was hours before they returned home for dinner. But it wasn’t long before the trio once again escaped into the wonderful world of Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and Tonto—–with visions of future exploits dancing in their heads.

The Cowboys and Indians of the 50’s Bill/Larry/Ken

My latest interview with Ken in March, 2018.

After school, the Indians would go down to Lily Lake to skate around the Lake below our house. It was rather slushy. Larry, whose nickname was Skip, was skating toward the shore wearing a heavy old winter coat with a hood that pulled tightly around his head. Suddenly the ice broke and he sank into the water. Ken, remembering what he saw on TV, laid on the solid ice to keep from sinking himself, and extended his hands forward to help Larry get out. After a struggle, he emerged and quickly rushed to the safety of home escaping Hypothermia. Thanks Ken for saving my future husband.

Our adventures often entailed a dangerous challenge. Ken was the youngest and smallest of the three Indians.  They were having fun jumping off the pier while avoiding pockets of water. But little Ken, while jumping, ended up missing his target and slid torpedo-style under the ice. He was disoriented and unable to figure out up from down.  He imagined himself being Houdini the character they got to know on TV. Like Houdini, Ken finally managed an escape and with the assistance of his big brothers managed to get home, escaping hyperthermia.  Barb would like to thank them for saving her future husband.

Living in the country, one of the favorite sports of the three boys was to climb trees. Mary, who was younger than Ken by three years, wanted to climb the tree too. She was eager to experience a little adventure herself, being the only girl in the family. She climbed the tree successfully but was unable to get down. The thought of descending what seemed like a mountain to her was more than she could handle.  She sat there for hours while her brothers tried to coax her down, with no success. They finally got hungry and set out for home. Mom said, “Where is your sister?” “Oh her, um, she’s stuck up a tree,” they said nonchalantly afraid of getting punished. Instead of serving dinner, she fetched Mary out of the tree.  Kirby, Mary’s husband, would have said, “Thanks for saving my future bride.” No thanks to the three boys or she would still be up a tree.

Grandpa lived next door to the Schuerr family. His house was a haven for the brothers who loved nibbling off the many fruit trees in his yard. That day, they were playing War Games. Ken had stuffed his pockets with tasty ripe plums. Skip, being almost four years older, tackled his enemy– and crushed the plums in Ken’s pocket. Wow, it looked like real blood. “It sure was sticky and gooey,” said Ken who wobbled home to the chagrin of his mother.

Grandpa decided to build a small pool where he enjoyed watching his fish while cooling off.  The boys loved it too. But it would not contain the water so eventually Grandpa replaced the water with sand and in the winter, the Indians filled it with snow. Now the war game was to jump off the roof and land in the pit.  If they missed it, they would be hurt by the surrounding concrete blocks. Little Mary, while watching her big brothers jump said, “I want to try it.” She managed to climb to the top of the roof and holding her breath with fear and trepidation, she successfully jumped into the round sandpit.  But once was enough for Mary who had proved herself in the eyes of her big brothers.

 

 

 

 

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Sweet Delusions/Comedy

It was a cold winter morning and we decided to grab a cup of coffee at Panera before heading off to church. We finished our second cup while perusing the Tribune. I looked at my watch and said, “It’s time to go.” Larry promptly refilled his takeout cup of coffee with five creams and five teaspoons of sugar. I followed him to our gold Honda Odyssey van where he promptly set his coffee cup in its secure home. He was surprised that the door was not locked and the rug was moved but he attributing it to seniorities.

I made my way to the passenger door and noticed two big gashes. I yelled out, “How did this happen?” Larry came over to inspect my door and said, “Someone really banged it hard. Look how deep these gashes are. ”

I opened the door, sat down and saw an electronic device. “Larry, when did you get this?” I said.  Larry has a habit of buying things on sale and then quietly sneaking them into the house out of my sight. Our house is filled with plants. He just can’t pass up a deal on a plant or one in its death throes he thinks he can resurrect.” So my accusatory tone was well within reason.

As I lifted the electronic device to examine it more closely,  Larry yelled with a frantic voice, “This is not our van.” I quickly put down the device and slammed the van door. We scurried off to our vehicle two cars down while looking over our shoulders for the owner or worse the police.  When we were on Rt. 14 and safe from apprehension Larry, moaned, “My coffee, I left it in the other van.” Now I imagined the owner, who forgot to lock his door, settling in and being welcomed by a cup of hot, steaming coffee saying, “Where did this come from?” Sure hope he likes his coffee very, very sweet.

Sweet Delusions

It was a cold winter morning and we decided to grab a cup of coffee at Panera before heading off to church. We finished our second cup while perusing the Tribune. I looked at my watch and said, “It’s time to go.” Larry promptly refilled his takeout cup of coffee with five creams and five teaspoons of sugar. I followed him to our gold Honda Odyssey van where he promptly set his coffee cup in its secure home. He was surprised that the door was not locked and the rug was moved but he attributing it to seniorities.

I made my way to the passenger door and noticed two big gashes. I yelled out, “How did this happen?” Larry came over to inspect my door and said, “Someone really banged it hard. Look how deep these gashes are. ”

I opened the door, sat down and saw an electronic device. “Larry, when did you get this?” I said.  Larry has a habit of buying things on sale and then quietly sneaking them into the house out of my sight. Our house is filled with plants. He just can’t pass up a deal on a plant or one in its death throes he thinks he can resurrect.” So my accusatory tone was well within reason.

As I lifted the electronic device to examine it more closely,  Larry yelled with a frantic voice, “This is not our van.” I quickly put down the device and slammed the van door. We scurried off to our vehicle two cars down while looking over our shoulders for the owner or worse the police.  When we were on Rt. 14 and safe from apprehension Larry, moaned, “My coffee, I left it in the other van.” Now I imagined the owner, who forgot to lock his door, settling in and being welcomed by a cup of hot, steaming coffee saying, “Where did this come from?” Sure hope he likes his coffee very, very sweet.

Laughter is the Sunshine that Drives Winter Away

Larry and I love to laugh. No matter what trials we have faced, we can’t stay blue for long. And that is a good thing. “Laughter is good medicine.” Physically, laughter triggers the release of endorphins that cause a sense of well-being. Studies have demonstrated that children laugh on average more than 300 times a day. We adults only laugh a dismal 15 times a day. No wonder grandparents love to hang out with their grandkids.

Did you know that 85% of what we worry about never happens; and if the problem occurs, our excellent coping skills help us to manage successfully?

So find people that make you laugh.  Play with kids. Pass around decent jokes.  Be like the Proverbs 31 woman who smiled at the future. Here’s a question. Have you ever mistakingly gotten into the wrong car? See my post.  Sweet Delusions And tell us about your laughable moments.  “Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.” Victor Hugo

A Daddy to Remember

Hawaii 157Father’s Day was yesterday and we celebrated by going to church and then to the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Carmina Burana. If you have never heard it, google it.

It’s with fond memories that I look back at our time as parents. We had very little money but a rich life. We did a lot of camping at Kettle Moraine, WI. We would play hide and seek with our kids and  the game of “It” at the playground.

It was a warm summer with no rain when we went up to Devil’s Lake. We had an old used pop up camper but Larry said,” It’s such a nice night, let’s sleep under the stars. We did that for two nights and then we made our way up to Peninsula Park in Door County.  I said, “Don’t you think we should put up the camper.” “No,” said Larry. “It’s such a beautiful night, let’s just sleep out under the stars.”  About 2 AM I heard the sound of chewing. I looked up to see a skunk nibbling on a Brillo pad I left on the picnic table.  I didn’t know what to do. To throw something at it would guarantee a smelly spray. I watched as it finally scurried away. Then I said, “Enough of this star-gazing. It’s time to put up the camper. We are in the wild up here and I don’t want my children to lose their fingers.”  Yes, lifewithlarry  has always been an adventure. Happy Father’s Day

Larry and his Fight Against Wood Lust

larWhile writing this entry,  I’m sitting downstairs in front of a roaring fire in our wood burning stove which feels good today considering it is November 15th and we woke up to 18 degree temperatures. Not exactly what one would expect this early in the season. But that has not deterred Larry.  For the last two weeks, he has been gathering and cutting wood. We have enough wood for the next three years;  but he just can’t control himself. The free wood is calling out to him,”Come get me. I may never come this way again. ” Yes, the power company in the Fox River Grove/Barrington area has been cutting down whole trees under the power lines. This may not happen again for another 10 years.

Now Larry not only cuts wood for himself but for the elderly neighbor across the street and people he doesn’t even know on Lincoln Avenue. He just can’t stop gathering and cutting. What should I do? Is there any therapy for WOOD LUST??

Do I Smell Coffee?

fall 2012 026I woke up this morning to the strong smell of “no” not coffee, but Bruce’s Hard Wood Ever Ready Polish. Larry had difficulty sleeping, so he decided to polish the living room floor. I bet there are a lot of wives out there who would love to wake up to the sight of their husbands polishing the living room floor. I am blessed with a 6′ 2″-240 lb.husband who is much more domesticated than I am. Larry cleans, cooks, and sews.  Did I mention that he built our home? When I woke up at 8 AM Sunday morning, I thought I was smelling shoe polish on some very large shoes. But instead, he decided that our cleaning equipment was old and out of date, so he went over to Menards and purchased a new mop and broom. The house looked pretty good by the time I woke up. Feeling a measure of guilt,  I took off to play tennis with a friend while he went to war against spiders and box elder bugs who have made their residence with us. The wood burning stove has been going all day making the house cozy with branches he cut down this summer. The neighbors call on Larry to cut down trees and branches—which means wood for the stove.  I sure hope he sleeps tonight, but then again maybe I’ll wake up to the smell of fresh paint instead.

 

Beef Jerky Montana Style

 

We just got back from a family reunion in Glacier Park and it reminded me of a previous summer in the wild West.  Larry bought a kit at Cabellas for making his own beef jerky. He spent an afternoon making some pretty tasty jerky for our hikes out in Montana. We eagerly looked forward to a family reunion. Our son, Aaron, rented a newly built rustic cabin tucked away in the woods and surrounded by rivers, hiking trails, and the Crazy mountain range beckoning us to adventure. The spacious Bennett Cabin outside of Clyde Park in Montana is a work of art. Its sturdy 80 year old logs are accented with green cedar shingles. It’s very reasonable to rent since it’s devoid of plumbing which means a 2 AM run to the outhouse.

Aaron and his wife Lynelle climbed out of their van with our three energetic grandsons August, Jasper, Isaac and their trusty chocolate lab, Gracie. Family fun would now begin. But it didn’t take long for Gracie to discover a strange substance she enjoyed chewing. She also rolled into some foul smelling pond and only a bath in the nearby stream could get rid of the stench.

We shared Larry’s delicious beef jerky with the family while hiking along the stream. But after a half hour or so we were stopped by fallen trees that were the result of a June tornado that swept through the area. That evening, we came across the journal where visitors describe their time at the cabin. We were told to look for a fantastic view of the stars, a visiting owl, and an occasional bear sighting. But what caught our attention the most was an entry from the previous week. It went something like this.

Entry 7/8. We were sitting around enjoying coffee and conversation when a very polite forest service man informed us that our serene time was coming to an end. A downed tree caused by a tornado killed a cow and now they, meaning the forest service, were going to have to deal with it. Yes, they were waiting for an expert to arrive from Bozeman who would help them with the situation as a resident bear had discovered the beast which made it unsafe for cabin residents like us. More trucks began to arrive— some seven or eight of them donned with helmets and chain saws as they cut through the tree. They then covered our cabin windows with plywood and asked us to park the cars behind the cabin suggesting we take a hike. We went toward Target rock over fallen trees not knowing what to expect. Soon an explosion ripped across the mountain—-an earth shattering and auditory resound of military impact. What we were hearing was the sound of an exploding cow. An exploding cow! It took a legend to blow up one single cow. There was enough gusto to take down a herd of cows. Any resident bears must have fled completely out of the Crazies for good——with need of therapy. We went back to our cabin and were greeted by a considerate and good humored forest service employee informing us that the danger was now over. I felt it was my duty to walk to the gate where the deed was done to investigate. The dirt road was strewn with clumps of red meat the size of salmon servings and flies were swarming in mass. The smell was prehistoric. I was witness to something that looks simple, but is complex. Now little critters will nibble the bits. As for bears—the therapy continues.

Now we understood why Gracie was having such a feast. The mysterious substance was nothing other than—Montana beef jerky. Her last treat resembled a cow’s ear—Yuk! Coming from Illinois and chewing our own beef jerky, we knew we were witness to the aftershocks of an event done only Montana style.

Old Camera 12 012

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I’m Married to a Turtle-5/18/11

A green and white neck brace encompasses Larry’s 171/2 in. neck making him look like a turtle. He does the impression quite well. His large head pokes in and out like a Sesame street character.

His speech is sometimes garbled, but I’ve always had to interpret for Larry whose original language is mumble. The neck brace doesn’t allow for much mobility. Although his neck fusion happened in January, 2010, he continues to wear the brace occasionally to deal with yet another problem: swallowing his tongue.

Yes, I controlled his every move for a month or so. I was the Siren in charge of his destiny. Even if I’m not quite five ft. and he is six-two and-a-half, he cringes at the thought of me driving his 4×4 testosterone laden King cab pickup truck. It has a special button to raise the pedals enabling me to drive. This is good because Larry refuses to add blocks with electrical tape like my dad did when I rode my first tricycle. I have to adjust the side mirrors which I haven’t quite mastered. Scary, since the rear view mirror is useless. He has to submit to my wonderful driving techniques. We had a Fox River Grove policeman as a neighbor who would stop me on the way to school telling me my stops were totally sloppy and what was he going to do, give me a ticket? For some reason, I was always in a hurry.

Geoffrey Chaucer
Larry’s neck brace

When we take off, Larry holds his head; otherwise it might fly off and topple to the ground like the headless horseman in a future horror flick. I threaten to push him out in the snow if he complains one more time. I have waited years to get even. This is the man who, while laughing, throws my pillow down the hallway a half a block when I get up at 2 AM. My secret desire has been to exchange weights and heights for at least a week to get sweet revenge.

Every once in awhile, he takes off his neck brace and turns into a frog hopping from one activity to the next. Maybe if I kiss the frog, he’ll turn into a handsome prince. But the doctor’s orders are that he remains a turtle for at least a month.

So now I eat with a turtle

I sleep with a turtle

I drive a turtle around town

If he doesn’t behave, I threaten to turn him into turtle soup. Control over men is what Geoffrey Chaucer has said every woman desires.