Category Archives: Marriage and Family

Merry Christmas 2015

“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out shouting, ‘Oh my God, what a ride.’” It has been that kind of year filled with many activities. Instead of being in beautiful snow laden MT this Christmas, we are home because of Larry’s meniscus knee surgery and our involvement in a Nativity play with Jonahre Foundation. We are gearing up for our last performance this Saturday at Egg Harbor Restaurant in Barrington. It’s a live nativity with a camel and lots of sheep. Larry and I didn’t like the scripts we saw on line so we wrote our own. This experience has brought us back to the theatre days at Cary Grove High School where we teamed up directing the school plays.


The year 2015 was a whirlwind of activity beginning with New Years in MT with Aaron, Lynelle and our three grandchildren—August, Jasper and Isaak. August loves aviation and had a chance to fly a real plane. Jasper loves physics and playing his cello. Isaak is very athletic and loves his French horn.

Elliot and Natalie drove out to MT with us this past summer so we could have a cousins’ reunion. It was so exciting to have them all together along with their Aunt Deborah. Elliot and Natalie are amazing readers. Elliot loves soccer and Natalie has been in several recitals playing the piano and singing.

One of the highlights of the year was our trip to Costa Rica with International Teams last March. We worked on building projects on their lovely campus filled with flowers and fruit trees. My job was to teach English classes to a couple Latin American women. What a wonderful way to make international friends for life.

I continue to keep my connections with District 155 by subbing when needed and Larry spent a lot of time volunteering with Love INC and Conference Point, a camp on Lake Geneva. Whoever said retirement is boring? We wake up to our coffee and ask God this question,”What do you have for us to do today?” There is always something. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10.

We hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. Remember life is more than going through the motions of making a living, etc. You are unique just like your fingerprints and created for a purpose. Jesus said, “I am come that you may have life and more abundantly.” John 10:10. Go for that abundant life and don’t settle for anything less.

Welcome growing older and in Larry’s words remember the following, “Old age and treachery will always win out over youth and vigor.” So smile at the future. We love to post our pictures on Facebook under Sue Schuerr and Larry Schuerr. We also have a blog called Please stay connected and stop in and visit when you are in the area.

Love, Sue and Larry Schuerr/Christmas 2015

Home is Where the Heart Is

We had been married for ten years with three beautiful children but


no home of our own. We finally qualified for a loan in 1978, but the interest rate was high. Our construction loan was 12%—a sign of the times during Jimmy Carter’s presidency. I longed for a home for my children—Deborah, Julia and Aaron. Just like the woman in Proverbs 31 who bought land, I traveled from West Chicago to Algonquin and saw the quaint town with the Fox River flowing nearby. I stopped at a real estate company telling him I was interested in buying a lot for our future home. We bought a lot in unincorporated Fox River Grove from a 90 year woman for a very low price. My brother Bill, a lawyer, wondered if it was under water. It was on a downhill lot filled with trees. We would need to clear it and put in a well and septic.

We rented a house in nearby Crystal Lake and worked in the evenings clearing the lot. I gazed longingly at our land and dreamed of the house we would soon build. It was a long wait before our home materialized. In 1980, the bottom fell out of the economy similar to what happened in 2008. There was very little work for my contracting husband and even though I helped support our family of three with homebound tutoring and subbing jobs, we could no longer afford to rent a house while building our own home.

Summer passed and we were staying in a camper at Buffalo Park in Algonquin. I drove the kids to school and then went to my tutoring jobs. Aaron, our son, was asked to draw a picture of his house. He said to the teacher, “You mean our lot.” He didn’t have a house yet. But even then as a young artist, Aaron could accurately draw his house which was just a frame with a ladder going up to the window. Today he is a noted plein air artists. See

Winter came and we moved into the garage and kept warm with our wood burning stove. Larry read C.S. Lewis stories around the fire. We identified with “Little House on the Prairie”. We were regulars at the YMCA where we had membership. In fact on Christmas Eve the staff told us the pool was closed. We said, “That’s OK. We just need showers,”

From the garage, we continued to complete the house. Larry struggled while putting the heating ducts in by himself. In frustration, his language became rather colorful. “I never heard Daddy talk like that,” said Debbie. I quickly shuffled the children off to bed saying we need to pray for daddy. Each day after school, the kids huddled around the radio and listened to children’s programs on Moody radio. I often remarked, “We have a loving home but no physical house to put it in yet.”

A woman from church invited us to stay at her home for a couple weeks while they were vacationing. “That would be wonderful,” I said. I try to remember how important hospitality can be. We had no choice living like this while we were building. There just wasn’t income—contracting had dried up and our interest rate was almost like the interest on our credit card.

From the garage we moved to the basement and established a kitchen similar to my Italian high school friend, Adelina Gina Maria Sangineto. The Italians I knew growing up cooked in the basement during the hot summer. Then after dry walling the bedrooms, we set up the bunk beds Larry made for Deb and Julie. The telephones were installed before the dry wall was completed. Unfortunately, someone stole our telephones and we had to replace them.

Our showers at the YMCA came to an end when we installed the bathtub. That was a momentous occasion. We took our first baths by candle light before the drywall was completed. It was pure luxury. I appreciated every step forward to the completion of our house.

Finally, the day came for our final inspection. We were very nervous because we still had major things to complete. The sink and one of the toilets was not functional yet. But we passed and shouted “Hallelujah.” I’ll never forget those difficult days and I’ll always have compassion in my heart for those in need. I was able to get a job teaching full time and I helped finance Larry’s education so he could complete his degree and become an Industrial Arts teacher. We knew we had to look for a more secure financial situation for us and our family. We were hard workers willing to take the opportunities to advance—- life then got much easier for us.

We have been in our home now for over 30 years and the walls reverberate with the voices of our three wonderful children and now our five grandchildren. Pictures of our odyssey from our lot to our home fill our walls. We love opening our home to friends for potluck dinners. A day doesn’t go by when I don’t thank God for our wonderful now paid off home. It has high ceilings and windows on the roof. It is decorated with tropical plants and large windows. Our wooded lot is surrounded with plants and trees. I love looking out the window watching the birds sing, the trees swaying in the wind or the snow glistening. Occasionally, a deer or a fox will make a quick appearance. I will always remember our times of struggle and our times of plenty. It is part of the tapestry of our lives


How to Make a Relationship Work

“Life is not measured by the breaths we take; but rather by the moments that took our breath away.”

CR photo

As I was walking through the field house at Northern Illinois University, I felt a large, warm hand on my neck. It was Larry who I had recently begun dating. There was something about his touch that was protective and secure. I turned around and looked up into his beautiful eyes. He walked me to my dorm and pretended to slip and slide on the icy terrain bumping into me and causing me to laugh heartily. Three years later, I began my ‘Life with Larry’. Our almost 47 year marriage has been filled with humor and adventure. Practical jokes abound. Each night I get up around 2 AM. Just before I rest my head down, my pillow may often go sailing down the hallway. I get even by filling his pillowcase with shoes and other odds and ends.

Our marriage is far from boring. Larry is my trailblazer setting us off on one adventure after another. Our partnership has included a tandem kayak and a tandem bicycle. We have a deep love that conquers all. That love has grown by serving one another, by putting one another above ourselves and by forgetting who is right or wrong in matters. We try to follow what the Bible says. “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.” Many times we just agree to disagree. We can both be very stubborn.  But the Bible continues to be our source for guidance because it never changes unlike the latest counseling advice. Laughter fills our home and we miss one another when we are apart.Laughter is an instant vacation.” – Milton Berle

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

Calling you to A North American European Experience


Bonjour from Quebec City in 2012!  Going to French Canada is a low cost European experience. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and experience a different culture. Don’t get in a rut and take the same boring vacations—enjoy a new experience. The most fulfilled people know that experiences offer more happiness than things. Make memories with your family and friends. Take your bikes along and camp.

All the signs and free handouts are in both languages. The signs are in French/English. You’ll be using the metric system and shopping at unique stores. It will be a wonderful education for all.

We took off for Canada through Michigan and traveled through Sault Saint Marie toward Sudbury. The currency is close to the same—-97 cents to our dollar with the Canadian advantage. We camped with our small trailer and cooked most of our own meals—eating healthy most of the time.  Taking a tour with others along the French River by boat was exciting. An eccentric older man wearing a beret  was our guide.  He took us on a hike pointing out various plants and then he jumped off a 15 ft. cliff inviting us to join him.

Our goal was to eventually visit Quebec and immerse ourselves in the Canadian-French experience. I saw the St. Laurence River for the first time and got emotional thinking of my grandfather who traveled that route to Wisconsin from Norway as a child.

I purchased a phrase book and began to practice phrases I remembered from college.  It was interesting to listen to the radio playing French tunes and giving the weather reports as 21 and hot today. A local stopped and talked with us about  the Black Hawks and Michael Jordon. He then talked about how he knew important people in the government and how he secretly still hoped Quebec would sucede.

Quebec City was spectacular. It dates back to 1607 when Samuel de Champlain settled the area. Notice the age and quality of the building below.


It was rare to hear English except in  the stores and restaurants.  It’s not uncommon to hear French spoken in Canada; but when you get to Quebec, it’s all in French. So go back in time and get the European experience for a lot less money and time.

We drove home through Montreal and the New York entrance. I have to say as much as I enjoyed being in a European atmosphere, I was ready to be back in the USA where English was spoken. We took the back roads home through the Adirondacks—stopping at Lake Placid, the site of the 1932 and 1980 Olympics.  It’s a beautiful city.


Escaping your comfort zone can make you happier, smarter, more confident, and more satisfied with life, while strengthening ties to the people you love. Talk with strangers. Don’t over plan. Leave some room for new experiences and trust that things will work out for you.

And remember when diving  off a 15 ft. cliff on the French River to take your Canadian money out of your pocket. Au revoir

How I Met My Soul Mate

 “The Eyes are the Window to the Soul”

Being a child of the 60’s, I remember vividly a group of students and teachers hovered around a radio with the news of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I came home from my school on the south side of Chicago that evening to my family in tears as we watched the news. It was the beginning of woes—soon after Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were shot. The world was a different place—-the rug of security was pulled out from under us. But life goes on for a girl on her way to the university.

 My best friend Carol and I set out for Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL. We were roommates in the first coed dorms, Lincoln and Douglas. We actually made a list of rules for ourselves which included no kissing on first dates. The other mission in our collegiate life was to visit various churches in our search for meaning and independence.

 With our meal ticket in hand, we stepped into the coed lunchroom ready to refine the art of flirting. Carol was a master. Eating dinner, by the way, was a secondary activity.

  “Looks don’t matter to me,” said Carol, “I’m more interested in dating a man with intelligence and personality.”           

In contrast,  I felt rather vain as I pointed to the picture of my dream stud muffin pinned on the wall by my desk. Glancing at George Hamilton made for a good study break. He was tall, dark, muscular and handsome—all my required ingredients in a man.  I had my eye on a collegiate who fit that description. Eventually, Rick asked me out.  But his handsomeness palled when he opened his mouth. I guess Carol was right. I needed to look beyond my poster dream boy.

 Pledge time came; I watched intensely as  Carol put her eyeliner on with a sharpened pencil; I was afraid she’d poke her eye out. We dressed in our best attire; piled our hair high and went to sorority teas. It was an adventure we could not afford. Sororities cost money we didn’t have; when we were invited back, we said “thanks” but we wanted to remain independent of any particular group. 

 After the tea, we went to the Union where students gathered nightly to dance. Looking to my left, I saw a tall and handsome young man. His engaging smile spoke volumes about his love for music and dancing. I dreamt of peering into his thoughtful, romantic eyes with lashes that would be the envy of any girl. OK, he didn’t have dark hair; he was blonde like me. I imagined myself encircled by his muscular arms. Other than that, he was my poster boy. Now there is someone I would like to meet, I thought. But the evening evaporated and Carol and I sauntered back to our dorms before opportunity knocked.

My rigorous and difficult classes kept me busy and often overwhelmed. I was thrown into advanced French with a Parisian teacher who spoke very little English. I survived my math class by rewriting my notes over and over again.   Now speech was my specialty. I joined the speech team at NIU and was confident in my abilities. But I was disappointed in my first speech performance. It didn’t go well. I began my dialogue with God while gazing at the beautiful pink setting sun canopied in purple. 

 “I don’t know if you are there or not, but if you are—- show me you exist by making something wonderful happen. Right now, I wish I were a cloud floating along carefree. But if you are there, you can have my life,” I cried out.

 My older brother, Bill, and I had many conversations on summer nights as we sat on the lawn looked up at the stars.  

 “There is no way we could ever know if God exists or not,” he said. I really valued the opinions of my intelligent older brother. 

 If God did exist, I thought, couldn’t he communicate with me, a human being? Couldn’t he reveal himself in some way?

 My roommate, Carol, had a date the following Friday. Determined not to spend a Friday night in the dorm alone, I shyly ventured to the Newman Club for the Valentine Day dance alone. The band was in high gear when I looked across the crowded room of dancers. There he was, my poster boy, the very same one I had noticed at the Union the week before. He would stand out in any crowd. “You’re going to meet him tonight,” I heard but wondered where the inaudible voice came from. Fat chance I thought. He had a girl pasted on each side of him.   When I came out of the bathroom though,  he was standing alone. It was now or never to make a move before the pasted sisters returned. His picture was in the newspaper that day along with a comment on his views of the Vietnam situation. I starred at his picture for a long time earlier that afternoon peering into those mesmerizing eyes. 

Like Cinderella, I had very few clothes and a very limited budget.  However, my fashionable roommate was out to change my image. We went shopping the morning of the Valentine dance; she talked me into buying a bright red sweater with drawstrings that gently dangled over my breasts and a red and white checkered skirt.      

 “Red, unlike drab blue, will compliment your blonde hair and capture a guy’s attention,” she assured me.  

Here I was a few feet away from my dream man. I was not going to let this opportunity pass by. I boldly walked up to him turning as bright as my red sweater and said, “What do you think of the Viet Nam situation?” He laughed knowing that I was making reference to his picture in the paper. He looked down at my five-foot frame and in a deep voice said, “Aren’t you Sue?” I was ecstatic that he knew my name. He had seen me for the first time that morning walking with his friend, Graham. He had me confused with a fast-moving girl named DeKalb Sue who was dating Graham.   I melted when he asked me to dance to a medley of Beatle songs and even the cramp in my foot didn’t stop me.  At the end of the evening, he asked if he could walk me back to the dorm. We held hands on the long walk back to the dorm. Girls had to be in by midnight on the weekends. I’d be grounded the next weekend if I was even a minute late whereas the men had no hours at all. At last, we arrived with minutes to spare. Placing me a step up, Larry starred into my eyes and they melted into mine. “Can I kiss you goodnight?” he asked. I very much wanted to be kissed by my prince charming. I don’t remember saying “Yes,” but Larry remembers and it was the softest gentlest kiss I had ever experienced. “I can’t believe you kissed me,” I said. I then remembered my vow to not kiss on first dates and this wasn’t even a date. It was a pickup. But Cupid’s bow had landed in our hearts and I ran down the hall shouting, “I’m in love; I’m in love”—-knowing that at 18 years old, I had found my soulmate.  Yes, I do believe in love at first sight. Shakespeare was right when he said, “The eyes are the window to the soul.”

 He called later that evening and we talked about our families. “Would you like to go out next weekend?” he asked. I held my breath hoping he would say Sunday instead of Saturday since I already had another date. “How about going to the Hootenanny on Sunday night at the Union?” Our dating relationship and mutual love for music began.            

 As I found out later, Larry was majoring in Dating 101. He had dated 32 different girls and still reserved Friday’s for pickups like me. He was making up for all the time he missed as a shy, overworked young man in high school. Larry’s classes were getting little attention. When people asked him where he would be living next semester. He would say, “Off campus,” Yes, I thought, way off campus. He later joined the Marines as an air controller.

There were ups and downs in our ongoing relationship. Larry was afraid of getting serious at nineteen years of age. I was very upset when he quit calling. When someone else asked me out, I said “yes” and ended up at the Newman Club dance yet again. It was Friday—Larry’s pick up night. He saw me with my new date and danced right next to us. My heart was throbbing uncontrollably.  About 12:30 AM that night he called saying,” I didn’t like seeing you with that other guy.  I think I’m falling in love.” We spent the next day talking, laughing and enveloped in each other’s arms. We knew there was something very special about our relationship and we didn’t want to lose each other.

 God had answered my prayers by making something wonderful happen in my life. As a result, I gave my life to Christ and soon after Larry did as well. We know that we are gifts to one another and even after many years of marriage, the flame grows stronger. There is a God who designed us for one another and each Valentine Day is special to us.

 The fairytale romance blossomed into marriage and the rearing of three children. Presently we have five grandchildren and we have had many foster children. Regardless of circumstances,  our prevailing state is happiness. The scriptures say that “Two are better than one.” That has certainly been true in our lives. Larry built a beautiful high ceiling home for us filled with our son’s artwork, family pictures, and plants too numerous to count. We are so blessed and about to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary July 6th, 2018. 






New Year’s Commitment 2015

CIMG5143“Life is not measured by the breaths we take; but rather by the moments that took our breath away.”

As I was walking through the field house at Northern Illinois University, I felt a large, warm hand on my neck. It was Larry who I had recently begun dating. There was something about his touch that was protective and secure. I turned around and looked up into his beautiful eyes. He walked me to my dorm and pretended to slip and slide on the icy terrain bumping into me and causing me to laugh heartily. Three years later, I began my ‘Life with Larry’. Our 46 year marriage has been filled with humor and adventure. Practical jokes abound. Each night I get up around 2 AM. Just before I rest my head down, my pillow may often go sailing down the hallway. I get even by filling his pillowcase with shoes and other odds and ends. Our marriage is far from boring. Larry is my trailblazer setting us off on one adventure after another. Our partnership has included a tandem kayak and a tandem bicycle. We have a deep love that conquers all. That love has grown by serving one another, by putting one another above ourselves and by forgetting who is right or wrong in matters. We try to follow what the Bible says. “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.” Many times we just agreed to disagree. We can both be very stubborn.  But the Bible continues to be our source for guidance because it never changes unlike the latest counseling advice. Laughter fills our home and we miss one another when we are apart. “Laughter is an instant vacation.” – Milton Berle

We have experienced many of the same problems other couples face like financial woes, differences of opinions, and accidents. But we always have lived life to the fullest. Somehow we were certain we could overcome any trial we faced with our own ingenuity and God’s help. We learned to forgive and forget, to concentrate on the positive actions of our spouse and to hope for the best. Larry will always forget to shut doors and leave a pile of clothes by the bed. I will fail to turn off the bathroom light and mess up anything mechanical. But we accept one another with our weak and strong points. We normally go on volunteer trips together. We have volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Samaritan’s Purse and Love INC and currently, American Blind Skiing Foundation.  But this time I will be staying home. Larry will be going to Galena, Alaska with Samaritan’s Purse to rebuild homes destroyed by the flooding of the Yukon River. They want people who have expertise in carpentry which I do not have. I hope by sharing our secrets to a happy marriage, you also will find wisdom to build a strong marriage as well.

A Cold Get-Away/ And Christmas Past

Gardinerski 005 Merry Christmas Everyone!   It’s Christmas 2014 in Fox River Grove, IL this year. But I remember a  few years back when we traveled to Yellowstone to celebrate.

There’s nothing like seeing a bison come ambling down a hill behind you as you cross-country ski on Tower Falls Trail in Yellowstone at 6278 ft. elevation and – 6 degrees. Yes, Life with Larry has given me another first time experience with extremes. Our son, Aaron Schuerr, is a chip off the old block. He arranged the two night winter get away at the Yellowstone Institute in the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park. When I heard that it was predicted to be bitterly cold, I assumed we would be canceling.  But the word cancel is not in the Schuerr vocabulary.   I was comforted with the fact that the cabins we would be staying in were heated; nevertheless my bottle of water turned to lumps of ice by the morning. I tried to negotiate with my bladder at 1:10 AM telling it to shut up and let me sleep. But it persisted so I grabbed my fleece coat and gazed at the breath-taking stars that filled the dark sky until I remembered that I had to be on the look out for stray buffalo who often wander into the camp. I heard the sound of a coyote in the distant and hoped it was not hungry for a short squat Norwegian-American. Finally, I made it to the bathhouse 50 ft. away which doesn’t sound like much of a feat, but it was -28 degrees.  “But it’s a dry cold,” they say.

After a hardy breakfast, we covered nearly every inch of skin and donned our cross-country skies to face the -6 degrees. I didn’t want to get out of the truck until August, my 10-year-old grandson said, “Suck it up Grandma,” ——such inspiration.  I shut the door on the van as my thumbs were the first thing to freeze and my toes felt like frozen peas. But soon the constant activity, lack of wind and beautiful sunshine warmed me like slow pouring heavy syrup. “It’s a dry cold,” Larry would remind me. When we got to Calcite Springs, we poured cups of tea and nibbled on Cheesites. A hot toddy was what I had in mind. But that would have to wait.

Montana winters didn’t bother Larry.  He must have been born in a deep freeze.  He even made himself a Frostline tent when the kids were little.  We had a lot of snow that winter so he built an igloo in front of our house on Rt. 31 in Crystal Lake, IL.  It was Larry and our St. Bernard dog.  But he came in at 5 AM in the shape of a cramped pretzel. That night he was testing the quality of his sleeping bag. “My sleeping bag is only rated to -20 degrees.” he said—-his excuse for coming in early. These days we are happy for cabins.

I made it to 2:30 AM before my second trip to the distant bathroom. As it turned out, the temperature improved to a balmy 10 degrees the next morning so we put on snow shoes, a first for us, and became Louis and Clark explorers. By 1 PM Grandpa and Grandma said good-bye to the hardy campers and headed to Chico Natural Hot Springs in Pray, MT to thaw and recuperate knowing that tonight we would sleep in a real bed with real heat.

It was an adventure, I’ll never forget.

Gardinerski 003


Fishing for Grandpa Owie

dadA favorite place for us to camp when we are in the Bozeman/Livingston area is in Hyalite Canyon. In the springtime when the water is high, there is a spot in Chisolm campground where our grandkids August, Jasper and August like to fish with their Grandpa Lou. It’s a place where the creek comes in and it’s a supermarket for catching large cut-throat trout. Now the grandkids are fortunate because they have two Grandpa’s who like to fish—–Grandpa (Owie) Larry is a fly fisherman and Grandpa Lou is a spin casting “dirty worm dunker”.

We were out on our summer visit to spend time with our Montana grandkids. The oldest, August, hit a snag and didn’t want to snap off the hook. “I’ll wade out and clear the snag,” said Grandpa. It had been thigh deep which is perfect when wearing waders. “ I started to walk out and found out why there were so many large fish congregating,” said Grandpa Larry. “I took another step and discovered the second reason why the fish were so large. On the third step, I discovered the second most important reason why the trout were hanging out there when I went from knee deep water to water that was frigid and over my head. Trout love deep holes and I found a very deep hole. The first was the in-coming creek which washes in insects that the trout feed on and the second was With one step, I went from knee deep to water over my head. Fortunately waders have a waist belt and an elastic cord around the top of the waders. Both are designed to keep the water from rushing in. But regardless, as I crawled my way to the shore, frigid water began to trickle into my waders and ran down into feet. Whatever water comes in stays in. My grand kids roared with laughter to see my demise. But all’s well that ends well.


Daddy’s Home


In honor of Deborah Lynn Schuerr’s birthday on October 24th, I share my next Life with Larry story. One afternoon, I was giving Deb a piano lesson. Getting her to practice was like getting a fish to swim in water.  She loved playing. I sat next to her on the piano bench as she was playing a classical song. Then all of a sudden, we were interrupted by a loud boom that shook the house. We looked at one another and  said, “Daddy’s Home”. Yes, Larry had pulled into our down-sloped driveway and threw the clutch into what he thought was park. But somehow he missed the gear. The van was on a run away course and quickly picking up speed. “My first instinct was to try to stop it,” said Larry.  “But I soon realized  tangling with a flying van was not going to make me the winner. I watched helplessly. Fortunately, a newly planted evergreen slowed down its momentum and it clipped  the side of our attached garage with a two foot gash in the wall.” Being a builder/carpenter at the time, Larry cleverly turned the gash into a plant holder. It ended up being a life lesson for the family. Life can throw us some curves but we can always learn and grow from them.

Today Deborah plays not only the piano but violin, and many other instruments. Deb teaches music part time at Headwater’s Academy in Bozeman, Montana and gives music lessons to 48 students.

My mother, Alice Gram, was a music teacher and organist at the Lutheran church we attended.  She inspired our love for music.  On Thanksgiving and Christmas, we would gather around the piano and perform Fiddler on the Roof.  I would play the piano and Deborah played the violin and Julie the flute.  My brother Bill, who has a voice like Frank Sinatra, would  top off our occasion singing “The Old Man River”. He now says,” I am the old man river”.   Aaron would sit at the piano and play jazz while Larry played his favorite instrument—the radio. Happy Birthday to our first born—Deborah Lynn. May the love of music continue through the generations.