A Hard Road Home (Part Twelve) The Gift of Heritage


Chris Schultz  Meet Connor Talon Schultz……your new master.

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Like ·  · August 19 at 10:12pm via mobile 

Sarah Kabala, Cindy Elliott Cordes, Joshua Maxwell and 15 others like this.

Chris Schultz  August 19……The greatest day of my entire life! Thank you so much Shalom.

Like ·  · August 20 at 2:05am 

Drew Kabala, Randin Joy Turner, Cindy Elliott Cordes and 19 others like this.

Chris Schultz  We have lots of pics comming soon.

August 20 at 4:08am · Like ·  1 person

Shalom Kabala Schultz   You’re still up too, huh? Lol. I just woke up & HAD to look at the pics of my little miracle again. Can’t wait for us all to be together again tomorrow. It’s all so amazingly surreal. Love you!

August 20 at 4:23am · Like ·  3 people 

Chris Schultz  Day after Connors birth and I found myself crying to this sing on the way back to the hospital lol

Foo Fighters – Walk


Song off of the Album Wasting Light.

Like ·  · Share · August 20 at 11:19am · 2 people like this.

Brandy Welvaert Great song. Totally see why it had an … effect on you! :*)

August 20 at 5:52pm · Like


Chris Schultz  Thank you all for the congrats and well wishes. I feel like in one fell swoop three lives were started this weekend. Here we go.

Like ·  · August 20 at 9:59pm 

Chris Schultz  The benchmark for all future babies. Try to live up to the new standard.

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Like ·  · August 20 at 10:22pm via mobile 

Angelia CruisinCougar Bovee likes this.

Ann Eldridge Campbell He makes it very tempting..for sure

August 20 at 10:45pm · Like

Rebeccah Davis So who wrapped him??

August 20 at 11:11pm · Like

Chris Schultz I figured it out lol

August 20 at 11:12pm · Like

Chris Schultz  Thank you Mom and Dad-in-law!

Worth the Wait

Photos: 7

Share · August 20 at 11:17pm  

Alexis Anne Gilbert and Mary Climie Schultz  like this.

Shalom Kabala Schultz  They just brought him to me cause he was super fussy, thinking he needed to feed. But as soon as he was back in my arms, he passed out again. Guess he was just missing mommy. It’s nice to be needed I guess. Then again, we did spend 9 whole months together, why should it be a surprise? Love this little guy something fierce. 🙂

Like ·  · Share · August 21 at 5:53am

Chris Schultz  He’s finally home!!!! time to wish we could go to sleep.

Like ·  · August 21 at 1:19pm

Shalom Kabala Schultz  Home at last! Somehow it is NOT the same house I left. Dogs have moved out to the kennel for the time being-way too excited/noisy. Just had best feeding ever on L side for 24 min. C passed out on breast & couldn’t get him to latch on to R. Been asleep almost an hr…should I try to wake him up soon to take it or just wait til he lets me know he’s hungry again? Trying to get the hang of this…I thought I was pretty smart before, but this is a lot to learn in a short time 🙂

Like ·  · Share · August 21 at 5:26pm

Chris Schultz  ok, getting two 50lb Siberians used to the fact that theres a baby that they are only allowed to see from a distance is going to take a while lol. I hope they calm down and stop friggin whining soon ><

Like ·  · August 21 at 7:01pm


Shalom Kabala Schultz  So, we’re both terrified to fall asleep at the same time because Connor can already easily roll himself over onto his side. We’re tempted to put him to sleep in his car seat, but I know that’s not recommended. Hoping a nice, tight swaddle will help…

Like ·  · Share · August 21 at 8:10pm

Shalom Kabala Schultz  Yes, we actually have a small play yard that he will sleep in at night (at least that’s the plan), which is right next to my side of the bed. Chris just ran out to get some newborn swaddling blankets like in the hospital. C really likes it & they do help keep him from thrashing so much. We’ll try that method first I guess & hope & pray for the best. Btw, I just have to say I couldn’t ask for a better husband to help me with this. He’s been like a foot away the whole time & so involved. I haven’t changed a single diaper yet & I suck @ swaddling while he’s become the resident expert, lol!

August 21 at 9:23pm · Like ·  5 people

Chris Schultz  ‎1:30 am—-still awake. Did I mention how much I love my new insomniatic son? 😛

Like ·  · August 22 at 1:33am 

Chris Schultz  yup, its after 4 am. Love ya Connor. >< lol

Like ·  · August 22 at 4:12am 

Chris Schultz  Its 5:20….1 1/2 hrs of sleep so far 🙂

Like ·  · August 22 at 5:19am 

Audrey Petersen LOL. Awww I just had the funniest mental image of the two of you all bug eyed blood shot with a goofy grin on your face. He looks so sweet, I can’t wait to meet him and his little cousin Donny.

August 22 at 6:09am · Like

Joseph Conklin  it has only just began:)

August 22 at 6:21am · Like

Chris Schultz  ‎6:33………………..sigh

Like ·  · August 22 at 6:33am 

2 people like this.

Don Gilbert Get used to it… No use fighting the system.

August 22 at 7:16am · Like

Alexis Anne Gilbert Welcome to parenthood

August 22 at 7:18am · Like

Don Gilbert ‎1 night down, 6,569 to go!

August 22 at 7:23am · Like

Laura Nolen Robbins Crazy as it seems, you will get used to it, and Conner will get better at sleeping longer. : )

August 22 at 7:26am · Like

Chris Schultz  I am just hopeful that he will sleep in the bassinet soon or school is going to be very difficult lol. at least Shalom got a couple hrs here and there. This is the first all nighter I have pulled without video game involvement, ha.

August 22 at 7:34am · Like ·  1 person

Laura Nolen Robbins Where did he sleep last night? You have to remember it was only his first night. I promise it will get better. I know everyone keeps telling you guys that but it really will!

August 22 at 7:50am · Like ·  1 person

Brandy Welvaert Just channel any energy you have left into patience with s, and c. It will be rough for a while but you guys are so strong, you’ve got this covered.

August 22 at 7:58am · Like ·  1 person 

Shalom Kabala Schultz  Well, we survived the first night on our own. C ended up just taking turns sleeping with me or Chris cause he didn’t like not being held. So whomever was NOT on watch duty tried to get an hour or so of sleep until the next feeding time. I know we’ll have to find a way to break him of that habit eventually, but for now tag-teaming is getting us through. Once again, I’m SO grateful to have such an amazing partner to work with 🙂

August 22 at 1:38pm · Like ·  2 people

Chris Schultz   well, for only getting a1 1/2 hrs of sleep, I feel pretty good so far. The dogs have stopped whining so much to get downstairs with us. We will move upstairs today to see if they are still crazy hyper whiny mutts. I hope no one dares to think that my posts in the middle of the night were of a complaining nature. I just figured ppl would get some humor from the first night updates. =)

Like ·  · August 22 at 1:58pm 

Trevor Kabala and 3 others like this.


Denise Eldridge Allen nope. didn’t take it as complaining. Love your facebook journal- makes me feel included in what is going on with my little nephew since I can’t be there.

August 22 at 2:39pm · Like

Amber Bailey No the complaining will come in a couple of weeks when you’re so sleep deprived you’re CRAZY! LOL! Kidding…It’s amazing and doesn’t last long enough!

August 22 at 3:12pm · Like

Chris Schultz  You’re only half kidding Amber lol, don’t lie.

August 22 at 4:22pm · Like ·  1 person

Amber Bailey  It doesn’t change when they’re 6 and 3 and sneaking in your bed interrupting your sleep either. LOL!

August 22 at 4:32pm · Like

Chris Schultz  i can’t wait lol

August 22 at 4:38pm · Like

Chris Schultz ‎  adding all the pics of Connor overtime to flickr, so check em out from time to time.

Like ·   · Share · August 22 at 5:40pm ·

Drew Kabala and Rachel Kathleen Gordon like this.

Chris Schultz  ‎*over time

August 22 at 5:43pm · Like

Chris Schultz   and yes I noticed I said time 3 “times” get over it, I’m still excited lol

August 22 at 5:43pm · Like ·  3 people like this

Chris Schultz  


 · August 22 at 7:26pm via Yahoo! ·

Ashley Paul Cooper likes this.

Mary Climie Schultz Aww, the poor baby 🙂

August 22 at 7:32pm ·Like

Audrey Petersen LOL I agree, poor baby! 🙂

August 22 at 7:47pm · Like

Rebeccah Davis And who wrapped him??

August 22 at 7:47pm · Like

Susan Bernheardt Blomberg Congratulations!!!!

August 22 at 9:01pm · Like

Denise Eldridge Allen I take it pink was all they had?

August 22 at 9:01pm · Like

Chris Schultz hand me downs lol

August 22 at 10:06pm · Like ·  1 person likes this

Chris Schultz ‎…and I told you I mastered the swaddle, Becky

August 22 at 10:07pm · Like


Shalom Kabala Schultz  Stupid blood sucking vampire doctors. When are you gonna be done poking my baby?

Like ·  · Share · August 23 at 1:00pm  

Chris Schultz   Just gave Connor his first bath and he, in turn gave mommy and daddy a shower immediately after drying. Timing is key. 

Like ·  · August 23 at 10:13pm 

Joshua Maxwell and 12 others like this.

Shalom Kabala Schultz  Hello 2 am. Just finished pumping what Connor couldn’t finish (did I mention how much I LOVE my breast pump? If only he could work that quickly, lol). SO happy, I will get a lil break come 5am meal time 🙂 This is the hardest, messiest, exhausting job I’ve ever done, but I’m loving every minute of it!

Unlike ·  · Share · August 24 at 2:10am  

Chris Schultz   I am coming to the conclusion that I need a third shift job. lol

Like ·  · August 24 at 3:26am 

Jeremiah Hall You will get more sleep trust me on this one…

August 24 at 6:29am · Like

Melissa Koontz Mangas  ‎6 weeks seems to be a magic number. worked for us too.

August 24 at 8:10am · Like

Chris Schultz   I’ll look forward to it lol. Still, I can’t think of anything better to do at 1-5am than be with the lil guy.

August 24 at 8:32am · Like

Shalom Kabala Schultz  Soooo full

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Like · August 24 at 1:11pm via mobile

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Shalom Kabala Schultz  He sleeps just like mommy. Mouth wide open & a steady stream of drool running down the side of his face, lol

August 24 at 1:29pm · Like


Shalom Kabala Schultz  lol. Eating certainly does seem to trigger the runs for C. I guess every baby is different. Some times he has trouble concentrating on nursing if he’s also ‘busy’ at the other end & if I can’t get him to calm down enough to eat I will have to stop, change him & then try to resume where we left off. It sure is interesting trying to get used to his rythms. I think I’m starting to notice that he’s much calmer during d changes if he’s fed first tho. Today, I changed him a lil later than normal & then just let him ‘air dry’ for a bit before putting his new d on. I read him a story in the mean time – he really seemed to enjoy it! Good to hear a variety of opinions from experienced mommas. Learning has never been so much fun 🙂

August 25 at 10:46am · Like ·  1 person


Shalom Kabala Schultz  Sigh… was gonna change C’s poopy d before feeding him, but wanted to wait til he was ‘done’. HE didn’t want to wait to eat tho & is now in dreamland. Hate to disturb him right now, but don’t want him sitting in it too long…Advice anyone?

August 25 at 9:30am Like · 


Shalom Kabala Schultz  Have noticed I never stand still anymore. Like I’m always swaying back & forth, whether I have a baby in my arms or not. I’ve caught myself doing it while brushing my teeth, washing dishes, eating a quick snack at the counter…am just waiting for it to happen while I’m choosing tomatoes at the grocery store as the other customers slowly back away from ‘the crazy woman in produce’.

Like ·  · Share · August 26 at 8:25am via mobile 


Shalom Kabala Schultz  My son’s 2nd biliruben test came back ‘a little high’ again & since he IS showing some mild yellowing they want to test him again tomorrow (yay more pricks!). My question is when are they gonna be done ‘testing’ and actually DO something about it?

Like ·  · Share · August 26 at 1:54pm 


Shalom Kabala Schultz   I know I can put him in the sun to help, but is there anything else besides hospital treatment? I suppose he’d have to show excessive levels or something for them to want to admit him…I just want him to be OK…NOW! Hate knowing that something’s wrong & feeling helpless. 🙁

August 26 at 1:55pm · Like

Chris Schultz   I know that when the baby sleeps you’re supposed to sleep, but I find it incredibly dificult not to just sit here with him on my lap and watch him sleep the whole time. 

Like ·  · August 27 at 11:57am 

Shalom Kabala Schultz, Randin Joy Turner, Seth Andrew Kabala and 11 others like this.

Brandy Welvaert  best status ever.

August 27 at 12:02pm · Like

Dawn Bernheardt Kler Green Looks like you haven’t reached your breaking point yet lol! It is hard and they grow so fast. Enjoy EVERY second of him. Seems like Adyson was just born and she’ll be 1 in less than 2 weeks. Time goes by too fast.

August 27 at 12:07pm · Like

Chris Schultz  Ok, I am starting to suspect that either Graco laces all their baby stuff with some sort of illegal paraphernalia or that this new swing is just that friggin awesome. They should’ve called this product “3..2..1..sleep”.

Like ·  · August 27 at 10:41pm  · 5 people like this.

Shalom Kabala Schultz  Hold the phone…I’m coming downstairs to see this miracle for myself!

August 27 at 11:01pm · Like ·  2 people


Shalom Kabala Schultz  Finally caved in & shelled out $70 for a swing (after at least 10 other fancy gadgets failed to put our fed, burped, changed, cuddled yet fussy lil guy to sleep). So…miracles DO happen. As an old boss once said, ‘sometimes you just gotta keep throwing (*baby poo) against the wall til you find what sticks’. *he used a different word, which I shant repeat, lol

Like ·  · Share · August 28 at 11:36am via mobile 


Shalom Kabala Schultz  Chris’ basement diaper changing station

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Like ·  · August 28 at 3:19pm via mobile 


Shalom Kabala Schultz   Um…honey? We need to talk. Now.

August 28 at 3:19pm · Like ·  1 person


Shalom Kabala Schultz  Connor got an A+ on his first exam. He’s getting a big, gold star when we get home 🙂

Like ·  · Share · August 29 at 1:16pm via mobile


Shalom Kabala Schultz  So, the ONE kind of nipple that Connor seems to like best is apparently not sold in stores ANYWHERE (it came in a variety pack). Similarly shaped ones in a different brand didn’t fit his bottles so I bought new bottles only to discover that ‘slow flow’ for this new brand means it will take C 2 hrs to finish a bottle. Grrr, why aren’t bottles/nipples universal like plugs for electrical outlets…or light bulbs?

Like ·  · Share · August 30 at 9:43am via mobile 


Shalom Kabala Schultz  OFFICIAL NOTICE: Breast feeding is NOT an exact science…OR a religion (in case anyone was wondering). However, starving your child IS considered child abuse. If you have nothing positive or encouraging to say to me, don’t say anything at all. Your negativity is not welcome here.

Like ·  · Share · August 30 at 3:21pm 

Don Gilbert, Alexis Anne Gilbert and 17 others like this.


Brandy Welvaert  YES!

August 30 at 3:30pm · Like

Alexis Anne Gilbert  Thank you Shalom. I am glad that you and I are on the same page. Sometime we have to give our babies formula when they need it so they don’t starve. Giving formula for a supplementation is a good thing so that our sons stay healthy and get the food they need. I love you. You’re a good mommy:-)

August 30 at 3:37pm · Like ·  1 person

Chris Schultz Anyone who dares to insinuate that my wife or sister-in-law don’t care about their baby because of the way they feed him needs to just keep their messed up ideals to themselves. Also, I love how ppl can preach to you about “God’s Way” while so obviously judging their fellow man. How pious can ppl possibly be? “I am better than you and this is why…” Are you serious?? Get over yourselves and try to realize that it is this same aggressive style of judgement that drives ppl away from you and God’s way. Trying to force your personal opinions on other ppl as law and criticizing them for doing things differently is definitely NOT God’s way. So for future reference to possible targets of this post, don’t preach to ppl in an obvious backhanded hypocritical fashion, it just makes you look foolish in everyone’s eyes. -This message was brought to you by the letter ‘S’.

August 30 at 5:29pm · Like ·  5 people

Melissa White Proctor You go Chris!!! I completely agree with you as well Shalom. I was planning on breast feeding Amelia but was in so much pain and the doc had me so drugged, that I couldn’t. Plus some blood pressure meds I was on would pass through my breast milk. So we ended up having to give formula. As much as I wanted to try I thought that as long as she was fed and content then that’s the way it has to be. I had a lady (a stranger) basically almost cuss me out in public b/c I wasn’t breast feeding. I told her to “get bent” as Lon says and told her to mind her own business. It’s whatever works best for you and your baby. God isn’t going to punish you if you don’t breast feed. And how dare anyone judge. That is for God to do…not you!!!

August 30 at 7:59pm · Like ·  1 person

Audrey Petersen You tell em shultz! I couldn’t agree with any of you more. And Alexis, that was totally sweet what you said to your sister. You both are awesome mommys…Now, when do I finally get to meet either baby???!!!

August 30 at 7:59pm · Like

Mary Climie Schultz Shalom just do what you know is best for my grandson, you don’t have to answer to anyone but Chris and God. None of my children were breast fed and they turned out healthier than most breast fed babies.

August 30 at 8:21pm · Like ·  1 person


Shalom Kabala Schultz  Just finished paying August’s bills. Not a particularly exciting thing to do, but I do get a sense of satisfaction from ‘tying up loose ends’ after living in the Twilight Zone for nearly 2 weeks. Now, if only I could manage to keep enough clean burp cloths around for more than 2 days…

Like ·  · Share · August 31 at 10:21pm 


Shalom Kabala Schultz  Connor farted so loudly in his sleep last night that he scared himself awake, arms & legs flailing everywhere. It was a proud moment for his papa.

Like ·  · Share · September 1 at 12:08pm via mobile 


Shalom Kabala Schultz  Hopes that I am never the kind of ‘friend’ who can’t take it when others don’t see things my way and who writes them off completely over one disagreement. I hope I am never so proud that I feel I don’t have room left to learn anything from anyone else or that my opinions could be changed through persuasive arguments. ‘Agree to disagree’ is what REAL adults do these days. ‘Taking your ball and going home’ leads to a very lonely life.

Like ·  · Share · September 2 at 3:54pm 


Shalom Kabala Schultz  Am already sliding down a slippery slope…instead of changing out of the super-comfy sweat pants I JUST pulled out of the dryer before feeding Connor, when he puked all over them, I decided I’d rather just scrub the spot with a soapy rag so I could keep wearing them, at least for one more day. I have enough laundry piled up as it is.

Like ·  · Share · September 2 at 5:46pm  5 people like this.

Laura Nolen Robbins You’re defiantly a mommy now!!! It’s ok we’ve all been there. : )

September 2 at 6:08pm · Like ·  3 people

Chris Schultz  

Old timey Baptists can have horrible manners

Here’s a thought: If you happen to be an old school, judgmental type of Baptist who would rather focus on the fact that someone dared to wear a nice dressy hat to church and feel the need to reprimand them in front of their family rather than focusing on the fact that they have shown up for the first time since they’ve had a 10 yr in the making child that they are excited about debuting to everyone in the church….(takes a deep breath)….Just keep your thoughts, opinions and misguided translations of the Bible to yourself, and just keep as far away from me as you can! I will NOT let you ruin this for me!

Like ·  · Share · September 4 at 9:00pm 

Drew Kabala and 3 others like this.

Laura Nolen Robbins  Some people will never learn!!!

September 4 at 9:10pm · Like

Emily Bosma  I don’t visit churches like that anymore.

September 4 at 9:25pm · Like

Chris Schultz   Emily, you hit the nail on the head. That is exactly my point. Ppl like that do soooo much damage to the church. If I were a visitor or a new member it would drive me away for sure.

September 4 at 9:27pm · Like

Emily Bosma  My church is concerned about the heart, not the outward appearance.

And a hat? Seriously?

September 4 at 9:33pm · Like ·  3 people

Brandy Welvaert  This type of stuff is why I stopped attending church at the tender age of 17. I was standing outside of my church, and the kids I was hanging out with at the time started ragging on a kid who wasn’t there based on his clothes. I never went back. It was a knee jerk reaction at the time, and sometimes I regret it, but mostly I don’t. I love Jesus a lot, I just am not very much like him so far.

September 4 at 9:40pm · Like

Rebeccah Davis  Dude, I thought you looked pretty sharp this morning! And Connor is adorable!! Don’t let anyone take that proud father happiness from you!

September 4 at 9:43pm · Like ·  4 people

Brian Houston  I always wonder how faithful people like that are in their personal Bible reading & prayer. If I were a betting man…

September 4 at 10:28pm · Like

Brian Houston  Water off a duck’s back, my brother. Pay no attention to the Pharisee behind the curtain.

September 4 at 10:29pm · Like ·  2 people

Brian Houston  People like that put the “Old” in Old Timey Baptists. See, now you got me started.

September 4 at 10:30pm · Like ·  1 person

Brian Houston  Ok, one more comment on this, and I’m going to bed. One of my favorite quotes that I’ve had to remind myself of far too often is this: Christianity is NOT about Christians…it’s about Christ. Keep that in front of you, and when other Christians let you down (and I use the term “Christian” loosely, because one can be saved and not be a Christian, since “Christian” means you’re like Christ), you can move past that and focus on the One who won’t let you down. I know you already know this, but sometimes we just need a refresher course.

September 4 at 10:37pm · Like ·  4 people

Cindy Elliott Cordes WHO does that!!!????

September 5 at 6:20am · Like

Cindy Elliott Cordes  I’m sorry that happened, Chris. I tell myself in situations like that to make sure I never treat someone that way. It was great to meet Connor and your sister and family yesterday! God bless you.

September 5 at 6:22am · Like ·  1 person

Mary Climie Schultz  Chris it isn’t about Baptists, those kind of people are everywhere, and what have I taught you about bucking the traditions of men?

September 5 at 7:16am · Unlike ·  4 people

Rachel Murphy-Kline  Oh my. Ppl like that everywhere…like Brian said, “water off a duck’s back”. You can’t control what ppl think/say/do, but you can control your reaction to it. Be proud of your son, daddy!!!!

September 5 at 8:59am · Like ·  3 people

Kristin Strickler Cadwallader  I’m sorry you guys had to endure that at church of all places. People blur the line between personal conviction and biblical conviction way too often. Congrats on your new baby!!

September 5 at 10:36am · Like

Charley Kabala  Sorry this happened to you. I had no idea until I read your post. I agree with Brian, keep your eyes on Christ and draw closer to him. People will let us down, disillusion us, even make us want to quit going to church, but it is our choice to follow Jesus every day. He will never disappoint us or judge us wrongly.

September 5 at 11:07am · Like ·  1 person


Sandy Kabala  I wrote the above comment. Didn’t realize I was on dad’s fb. You’re a great daddy already and that is what matters!!

September 5 at 11:10am · Like

John Beeler  Thank the Lord, that one person doesn’t make a church…Chris you looked studly as always, and your testimony about Conner was off the hook…I am sorry not everyone has changed with our church, but I am so excited about the ones who have and the new ones we are attracting… and for what it is worth, I just don’t get those people, if they are not going to change and become like Christ, then we need there seat for someone who will…its about loving God, and loving others…and we love you guys!

September 5 at 11:12am · Like ·  1 person

Chris Schultz  Never doubted that for a second john. I love what is happening at legacy and I am proud to bring in a new member. 🙂

September 5 at 12:01pm · Like

John Beeler  Between reaching them and birthing them…we have a growth explosion on our hands :o)

September 5 at 1:42pm · Like ·  1 person

Mary Climie Schultz  Praise the Lord, I’m glad to hear that Legacy is still growing

September 5 at 6:38pm · Like

Shalom Kabala Schultz  It was a beautiful, long-awaited moment. In my 32 years I have learned that there are some people whose friendship and good opinion are worth pursuing and others whose…aren’t. I was so proud to be there as your wife, watching you introduce our much-loved son. Your sweet words will forever be etched in my memory and THAT is what I will think of always when I remember that day. Nothing else 🙂

September 5 at 7:39pm · Like ·  2 people

Mary Climie Schultz I heard Chris had to speak…wish I’d of been there for that

September 5 at 7:59pm · Like

Shalom Kabala Schultz  Since I seem to spend the better part of my day sitting in bed watching TV while feeding my son, I decided to try ‘audiobooks’ instead. Always preferred ‘real’ books, but I’m starting to feel like a complete slob and need to be able to do something productive during this ‘down time’ that doesn’t require hands. How much longer til he can hold his own bottle? lol (just kidding)

Like ·  · Share · September 6 at 6:23pm

Chris Schultz  Product: Baby’s first hand print.

Alternate Name for Product: Baby’s first mouthful of plaster.

How did we not see that coming???

Like ·  · September 6 at 8:21pm 

Seth Andrew Kabala and 2 others like this.

Shalom Kabala Schultz  Connor’s stump fell off yesterday. I cried at the realization that the last part of what attached us for 9 months is now gone…also at the small milestone that indicates my baby boy is growing & growing up. So happy yet so sad at the same time. Strange feelings… it came off in the sink while he was getting a sponge bath under the faucet…I briefly thought about keeping it, but then thought that was probably a road of super-sentimental mommy weirdness I didn’t want to go down.

Like ·  · Share · September 7 at 9:08am


Shalom Kabala Schultz  Sneaking eskimo kisses while my lil nuzzler is napping…new favorite pastime.

Like ·  · Share · September 7 at 12:52pm 


Shalom Kabala Schultz  Connor made a new record of 4 HOURS last night….of keeping me awake 🙁 But he’s making up for it by being so adorable today. Did I mention how much I LOVE coffee and LOVE God for creating it in the first place???!!! lol

Like ·  · Share · September 8 at 2:19pm  


Shalom Kabala Schultz  Crockpot chili bubbling away. Homemade apple crisp in oven, cornbread next in line. Baby asleep. Hubby relaxing on couch. For me, nothing else accomplished today but domesticated bliss & that’s enough 🙂

Like ·  · Share · September 8 at 6:23pm 


Shalom Kabala Schultz  Just going through pictures and this was one of the wall decorations for my Dr. Seuss-themed baby shower…I think I am going to adopt it as my “life verse” 🙂

Wall Photos

Like ·  · Share · September 11 at 12:34pm ·


Denise Eldridge Allen  stopping by to say hello & check in on Connor. How’s the little guy doing?

Like ·  · September 11 at 7:20pm 

Chris Schultz  stopping by the house? lol

September 11 at 7:22pm · Like


Denise Eldridge Allen  i wish (did I scare ya)! = )

September 11 at 7:25pm · Like

Chris Schultz   nah just seemed odd lol

September 11 at 7:26pm · Like

Denise Eldridge Allen  stopping by your facebook hood lol

September 11 at 7:27pm · Like

Chris Schultz  he let me sleep for almost 3 hrs last night lol

September 11 at 7:27pm · Like

Denise Eldridge Allen  progress!

September 11 at 7:28pm · Like


Shalom Kabala Schultz  Contentment is not the fufillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have.

Like ·  · Share · September 13 at 12:47pm 

CindyandEric Linder, Christine Borchardt Villalpando and 5 others like this.

Mary Climie Schultz Amen, good stuff

September 13 at 1:00pm · Like

Chris Schultz Good job reading that bumper sticker babe. lol

September 13 at 5:56pm · Like


Shalom Kabala Schultz   It was a quote from today’s devotional reading that stood out to me. Not that I’d expect YOU to grasp it’s deeper meaning :p

September 13 at 6:13pm · Like

Mary Climie Schultz LOL

September 13 at 8:01pm · Like


Shalom Kabala Schultz  This weather is only missing some fiery colors on the trees to make it perfect. I feel like…BAKING. So you know it has to be ‘something in the air’.

Like ·  · Share · September 14 at 9:22am  


Shalom Kabala Schultz  Aahhhh…it’s good to be clean.

Mobile Uploads

Like ·  · September 15 at 12:06pm 

Christine Borchardt Villalpando, Tabitha Kabala and 6 others like this.

Candace Chitwood Sweet boy!

September 15 at 1:17pm · Like

Brandy Welvaert melt my heart!

September 15 at 1:32pm · Like

Mary Climie Schultz So that’s what contentment looks like….how sweet.

September 15 at 1:40pm · Like


Shalom Kabala Schultz   He had his first ‘real’ bath today in his whale tub. I got it on video, if you want to watch it when you get here 🙂

September 15 at 1:43pm · Like

Denise Eldridge Allen Adorable! His eyes are so stinkin’ cute!

September 15 at 2:36pm · Like


Shalom Kabala Schultz   I love it when I can capture a moment like this – with his eyes wide open and happy. Usually his ‘awake’ expression is ‘grumpy old man who needs a nap’, lol

September 15 at 2:40pm · Like ·  2 people

Tabitha Kabala He’s so chubby and cute! I can’t wait to meet him!

September 15 at 4:20pm · Like

Rachel Murphy-Kline He is soooo cute!

September 15 at 5:21pm · Like

Mary Climie Schultz I’d love to watch the video

September 15 at 7:12pm · Like

Phil Kline ‎“OK, She’s relaxing. I’m gonna wait until she’s totally calm and scream in 3……2…….1.

September 15 at 7:15pm · Like


Shalom Kabala Schultz   Phil, did you plant a hidden camera in my house or something? Lol

September 15 at 7:23pm · Like


Shalom Kabala Schultz  Connor slept 6.5 hours last night, then another 2 after his 6am feeding!!! Yesterday was so awful with his crankiness, that I found myself literally ‘crying’ out in prayer for a better night and day today. Good to know God is still in the business of hearing and answering prayers…no matter how small 🙂

Like ·  · Share · September 15 at 1:49pm 


Shalom Kabala Schultz  I haven’t put together a photo album in 10 years…since my wedding. Don’t remember it being this much of a ‘challenge’ (gotta get all the pics off my camera, phone, computer in 50 different folders, my Facebook albums, other people’s facebook albums, Flickr, etc.). Kind of miss the ‘good old days’ when you had no idea what kind of pictures you were getting til you got the envelopes back from Walmart, but at least they were all there in the same place, the same size and ready to go.

Like ·  · Share · September 15 at 4:38pm


Shalom Kabala Schultz  Happy ONE MONTH Birthday, Connor!!! You sure are a cute 10 lb chunkaroo 🙂

Like ·  · Share · September 16 at 12:44pm

A Hard Road Home (Part Eleven) Reluctantly Blessed

“…wherever you are, be all there.”

                        —Jim Elliot


Shalom Kabala Schultz 1 cm dilated. 60-70% effaced. Cervix very soft. Baby very low – midwife can feel his head through opening. Hoping for good things very soon!!!

Like ·  · Share · August 12 at 2:53pm


Shalom Kabala Schultz  Sitting here, feeling perfectly fine, wishing I was in the throes of labor pains…total insanity. (sigh)

Like ·  · Share · August 13 at 3:46pm


Shalom Kabala Schultz   I know. I’ll just have to be patient. Got a little too excited at my last checkup I think. Been having such a hard time sleeping though & every movement takes such great effort anymore. If I owned a hot tub, I would live in it til the baby comes…at a safe temperature of course 🙂 Oh well, went to get checked out today, because I wasn’t sure if I was leaking amniotic fluid or not. Turns out no (which is good) but also means more waiting. Left the office feeling strangely depressed, so decided I will stop by the library and grab a giant stack of books to help take my mind off everything. Oh and an enormous bag of chocolate.

Like ·  · Share ·  August 15 at 4:58pm


Shalom Kabala Schultz   So, decided to take a long walk in the beautiful weather, hoping to maybe ‘speed things along’…got a mile away & the weather no longer felt so beautiful. Ran out of water on the way back. Now in more pain than before, but still not in labor. Think, I’ll stick to the stationary bike in the air conditioning from now on where I can collapse in a heap on the couch any time I feel like it.

Like ·  · Share · August 15 at 12:55pm


Shalom Kabala Schultz  Never had a dream about a ‘pet bus’ before – a cross between a reptile & a dog, but could grow into a full-sized bus, if need be. The whole time, I was thinking ‘how convenient, it doesn’t even need gas!’ But then the bus started feeling unappreciated & shrunk back down to dog size & wouldn’t be a bus again. Now, I know where Tim Burton gets his movie ideas. He has lots of pregnant friends!

Like ·  · Share · August 16 at 12:41pm


Shalom Kabala Schultz  OK everybody. The curtain is up!

Connor’s Room

Don’t worry safety freaks…we know we have to take all that stuff outta there before we put him in it. Sure looks cute though. =)

By: Shalom Kabala Schultz

Like ·  · Share · August 17 at 8:41pm

Shalom Kabala Schultz  So, 5 more days til due. CLEARLY he has no room to stretch and wants to come out…my stomach is taking on some very weird shapes these days. Well sweetie, ball’s in your court now.

Like ·  · Share · August 18 at 11:41am  


Shalom Kabala Schultz  Getting ready to head in to hospital…been in labor since 1am!!! Wish us luck & send up your prayers please. 🙂

Like ·  · Share · August 19 at 7:39am



Sandy was awakened by a telephone call.  Chris had decided a few weeks earlier, after watching a film of an actual birth, that maybe it would be a good idea, after all, if Shalom’s mom were there with her in the delivery room, along with him, because this looks a lot more intense than he was kind of sort of thinking.  Sandy had been more than willing to accept. 

“You’re never going to make it on time,” I said, when Sandy awakened me to tell me the news.

“Are you going to change your appointment, then,” she asked, “so you can be there?”

“No!  I have to go to my appointment,” I said.  “I have to.  It’s Friday.  I don’t want to have to wait ‘til Monday.  I know I’m going to need this surgery, and I want to get it scheduled.  We’ll just take two cars.  Look, you just get to the hospital, and I’ll come over after my appointment.  I don’t really like being there during the delivery, anyway.  Six times was enough for me.”

And that was that.  She left for the hospital, and I got ready to come in later.  I rounded up my camera equipment, and the list of questions I wanted to put to my orthopedic surgeon.  I smiled, and thought about what a happy moment this would be for Shalom and for Chris, and how the baby would know his grandpa, just as Shalom had wanted.  But then, another thought entered my head, and I just shook my head glumly. 

“So, I wouldn’t have had to miss it, after all,” I thought.  “So, why me?  Why’d this have to happen to my knee, now?  I could have had it fixed later, in the middle of winter sometime.  I could have gone on the Boundary Waters trip, AND not missed Conner’s birth.  I could have seen…met… Conner today, and still gone on the trip next week.  So, what, exactly, is this special purpose You have for me not going, Lord?”

I thought I was being melancholy and resigned, but it was probably closer to sarcastic and unaccepting. 

Surgery was set for the following Thursday.  Then, I moseyed on over to the hospital.  I was certain that the baby would have been born by then, as it was after noon, and her contractions had been six minutes apart before Sandy left this morning.  These would be sweet pictures, but I was glad to have missed the labor.

I was directed to the maternity floor, and after being admitted, they pointed me to a room down a long hall.  As I entered, I saw Shalom seated on a big blue bouncy ball.  She was leaning over the end of the bed, having a contraction.  It would be another ten hours.

None of us knew that, of course.

Being invited into the inner sanctum of a child birthing moment is not on my list of favorite activities.  It is hard work for the woman, with many, many points of no return.  Hospitals, in our country, have come a long way since the days when the whole procedure was arranged for the convenience of the doctor.  Our firstborn, Shalom, was born in such a fashion. We had just finished our last Lamaze class the night before, when labor began, but it was of little use in the hospital, where her mother had to lie flat on her back, feet elevated and spread into “stirrups”, so that she would have to push against gravity to give birth. 

The next decade saw “birthing rooms”, with subdued lighting and breakaway beds, and nurses trained to support wives and husbands who chose breathing techniques over medication.  In that decade, three more of our children were born, featuring one harrowing sixty-mile race to the hospital, going eighty miles per hour, honking at trucks to get out of the way, while a husband recited breathing cadences to a wife who “needed to push”, despairing when the sign said fifteen miles to go!

By the 90’s, we had decided that hospitals meant well, but they were all about the hospital.  Birthing rooms, and subdued lighting aside, eeverything was done on the hospital’s terms, and the woman was more often viewed as a product ot be processed than as a person to be praised, honored, and supported during her high calling.  Lost somewhere in our efficiency was the madonna/child magic.  And so, when Drew and Trevor came along, we chose to forego two fully-paid hospital births, and instead to pay full out of pocket for two lay midwives for pre-natal care and homebirth deliveries.  Drew very nearly had to have his shoulder broken to be born, and Trevor was a stargazer whose cord was wrapped around his body. 

When Drew was born, each of the other children were given responsibilites to serve their mother. Tabbi fed her ice chips.  Alexis kept a cool washcloth for her forehead.  Seth kept an occasional cracker ready.  Shalom operated the video camera (for a video we have never watched).

Jaime and Pearl were the most gentle and affirming, yet knowledgeable and capable midwives we could have wished to find.  I was to do the delivery.  To feel the head crowning, to watch his face appear from a foot away, and then to catch his bloody, slippery body, and hold it for even a moment, while they suctioned his mouth, and wiped him off, before laying him on his mother’s bosom was a defining moment of purpose for us—our moment—our family.

Now, it was Shalom’s moment, and we were here to serve her.  It was not how I would have done it.  It was not how Sandy would have done it.  But, we had not waited ten years for a child.  This was their moment.  This was their way.  All others were there to serve. 

I left the hospital to get something to eat.  I was gone about ninety minutes.  Still no baby.  Eventually, Shalom consented to an epidural.  I left the room.  I am told it is an awfully big needle.  Shalom had been making slow progress, but the hours were taking their toll.  I watched from my seat by the window, as the monitor graphed the intensity of the contractions.  My heart went out to her as she struggled and moaned through the peaks.  She was getting tired. 

But, now, after they had consented to both the epidural to block the pain, and pitocin to speed up the contractions, I sat mesmerized by the graph on the monitor.  The frequency increased, and the intensity rose to nearly double the levels seen before the medications, but she was not crying out.  She practiced her breathins, and sat on her bouncy ball, and Chris sat behind her, massaging her, and bringing her water between contracions.  But, the room was quiet.  I was amazed. 

“If she only knew what she were missing,” I marveled.

In the late afternoon, with things looking like the baby could still be hours away, Chris made the decision to leave in order to take care of the dogs.  He thought he would only be gone for half an hour.  When it took longer than expected, however, and Shalom’s contractions began to speed up, we called Chris on his cell phone to tell him not to delay.  He was stuck in traffic.  The call only make his anguish worse.  When he walked back through the door, about ten minutes later, it was clear that here was a man who was totally surrendered to this moment.  The furrows in his brow melted into compassion for Shalom, and into relief  that he had not missed being there He went immediately back to rubbing Shalom’s back, holding her hand, talking gently with her—in short, being whatever she needed at this time. 


Chris’ Page:

Chris Schultz  8 cm, here we go! 

Like ·  · August 19 at 6:33pm via mobile

Cindy Elliott Cordes and 3 others like this.


Brandy Welvaert  Hang in there, Chris. It’s a wild ride! Enjoy every moment of it.

August 19 at 7:46pm · Like



This was a side of Chris I’d seldom seen, but knew was there.  I had been afraid that the spirited toying with each other that they were known for, would potentially erupt into words spoken in anger, and misunderstanding elevated into regrets.  But, I needn’t have worried.  There was never a cross word between them, only a oneness of purpose.  Even the nurses noticed, and were moved.

I shouldn’t have been surprised though.  Despite their outward personas, Chris is fiercely protective of Shalom, and she of him.  Once, just days before their marriage, I had overruled Shalom regarding a last-minute change she had wanted to impose on the wedding.  It had upset her, but I had stood my ground.  Chris then took me aside, privately, and with great courage, vehemently took her side.

“I will not see her hurt!” he ended.

“Chris,” I had said, after some thought, “there are two things I want you to know right here, right now.  First, in just a few days two people who love each other will be leaving their homes to cleave to each other.  At that time, all the authority and responsibility for loving, protection, and nurturing will be passed from the father to the husband.  That day is not here.

“But, secondly,” I added quickly, “ the passion and fury you are demonstrating right now gives me great confidence that I can let go.  You will be a great husband for Shalom.  I am certain of it.

“I will not back down from this, Chris. We are not going to make that change.  But, I want you to know something…when you are married…neither will I interfere.”

Ten years later, I was glad I had given that blessing.

I left the birthing room, just before eight, because I knew the fift shop would be closing soon.  I purchased a blue bear and an “It’s a Boy!” balloon.  I left them at the nurses’s station, to be delivered after the baby was delivered.  When I got back, things had changed somewhat.  Shalom had moved past transition, and needed to push.  There nurse-midwife, who had been in and out several times, decided she needed to stay from here on out.  Shalom was moved to the bed, new trays of equipment were wheeled in, rubber gloves were donned, and special lights were turned on and aimed.

The epidural was not as effective now.  Pushing is hard work.  Exhausting work.  She changed positions a few times, and Chris was right there with her, coaching her.


Shalom’s Page:


Shalom Kabala Schultz  8 cm. Feeling TONS of pressure (through my epidural-the best invention on earth…lasted 16 hrs without, but I’d be dead by now otherwise). Finally getting some rest in time to push soon. Doc says probably another hour or two. Coveting your thoughts and prayers! Love you all!!!

Like ·  · Share · August 19 at 6:46pm

Christine Borchardt Villalpando, Joshua Maxwell, Jenny Liagre and 10 others like this.


Angelia CruisinCougar Bovee  Hang in there lil momma! Love and prayers from me and Becca!

August 19 at 6:58pm · Like


Audrey Petersen  Your having the baby??!!! YA!!! I want pictures!!… Umm when your done LOL

August 19 at 7:00pm · Like

Brianna Northrup Etzel ur doing awesome!!!

August 19 at 7:02pm · Like


Jim Moens Almost there…

August 19 at 7:18pm · Like


Amy Grace Cordes-Seward  It’s show time…

August 19 at 7:31pm · Like


Joel Kabala  All right Shalom!!! (this is your Aunt Sue posting). Prayers and hugs your way………..

August 19 at 7:44pm · Like


Brandy Welvaert  He is gonna melt your heart and wipe away all your pain as soon as he makes his appearance!

August 19 at 7:46pm · Like ·  2 people


Laura Nolen Robbins  Awesome job Shalom!!!!

August 19 at 7:52pm · Like


Cindy Elliott Cordes  We are praying!

August 19 at 8:22pm · Like


Alexis Anne Gilbert  Praying for you. Let me know when my nephew is here. I don’t care what time it is.

August 19 at 8:31pm · Like


Hannah Lister Linden  Once you hold him against your chest, all the pain will be erased. Keep strong. We can’t wait to see pictures!!

August 19 at 8:48pm · Like



 Sandy helped stroke her legs, as they began to quake between contractions.  I observed, watched the monitor, and sat by the window.  An hour passed.  During push after push, Shalom would groan continuously, releasing pressure through her nose.

“Don’t waste it,” I began saying.  “Hold that breath.”  This was something I remembered from child birthing classes of thirty years ago.

After three of four times of saying this, however, Chris turned to me and said, “They told us you groan through the contractions in order to keep the blood vessels in your face from breaking.”

“Oh.  Well, don’t listen to me, then, Shalom,” I said.  “Listen to him!”

Sandy was supposed to be videoing the birth, but she was needed for the quaking legs, so she handed the camera to me.  I stood back in the shadow, out of everyone’s way, and recorded a video the will probably never watch.  There were faces to watch.  And there were groanings to hear.  And there were skilled professionals.  And there was a devoted husband.  And there was a loving mother.  And I watched my firstborn give birth to her own firstborn.  A cry was heard.  Tears flowed.

I handed the video camera to Sandy, and picked up my Canon.  Some of the best pictures a photographer will ever take are called “happy accidents” that result simply because they were in the right place, at the right time.  I had not wanted to be there at all, willing to settle for tidy newborn poses.  Instead, I was an involuntary servant in someone else’s joy, and for that I was rewarded with the great privilege of capturing a mother’s first kiss, a couple’s “we did it” kiss, and a new father’s “I have……a son” tear.  Gifts to a new family.

It wasn’t all about me, and my broken knee, at all, and I couldn’t have been more satisfied.


A Hard Road Home (Part Ten) Broken

The reunion was over.  Detasseling was over.  Drew’s summer jobs were ending.  In another week, he would be going off to the University of Iowa.  Shalom’s and Chris’ baby would be due on the 24th.  I would have to miss it.  I would be in the middle of the Boundary Waters, canoeing, camping and contemplating the Milky Way. On the Wednesday evening following the reunion, when the rest of the family was at church, I got home late, and decided not to go.  Earlier in the day, I had made a phone call to the outfitters, in Ely, Minnesota, because I was concerned about something I had noticed on the invoice for the first night’s lodge stay, ahead of the actual canoe trip.  They assured me that it was okay for a ninth person to be in the room, but he would have to sleep on a couch.  I was okay with that, but then they started asking me questions about that ninth person.  I told them that one member of our party was bringing a kayak, and that we had two canoes, and that we might need to rent a couple of canoes from them.  Were they available?  Well, yes, they are, was the reply, but the party I had just described was not allowed in the Boundary Waters.  It was true that the campsites were cleared to accommodate up to nine persons, but each party is allowed only four watercraft.  Nine campers, or four watercraft, whichever comes first.  For a group of nine, at least one of the canoes would have to be a three-man canoe. 

Wow, I thought as I hung up the phone.  This changes things.  It’s a good thing I found about this before we got there.  Either Brian is going to have to leave his kayak at home, and three guys go in a three-man canoe, or if the kayak comes along, then six guys are going to use three-man canoes.  This is not going to go over well with the guys.  I’ll have to send out an email, or tell them on Sunday.

    When I got home, I was still pondering this new information while I laced on my running shoes, and got on my recumbent bike for some exercise.  But, I didn’t want to ride indoors.  I wanted to get outside.  So, I took to the road for a brisk walk instead.  But, I didn’t want to walk, either.  I wanted to run.  Never mind that the last time I had run, my knee was sore for weeks.  I needed to find out if I would be able to withstand portages with a canoe.  So, when the road started going downhill, I started ramping up into a jog, just testing.  I hadn’t gone 40 paces like this, when my right knee completely buckled, and I went down in a heap in the gravel.  It felt as if a dagger had just been thrust into the inside corner, just below the kneecap, while the outside felt as if a rubber band had snapped within. 

It’s hard to describe all that goes through the mind in an instant.  I knew this was bad.  I knew it would need surgery.  I knew I was not going to work in the morning.  I knew I was going to have trouble getting back home. 

I knew I would not be going on a Boundary Waters canoe trip. 

I grimaced and rolled around on the road, trying to straighten my leg to alleviate the sharpest pain.  It would not relent.  I rolled to where I could get up using just my left leg.  I tried to put some weight on my right leg.  At first, it could not bear it, and started to buckle again.  Another knife wound feeling.  I stiffened the leg, and took a step.  Maybe I could walk through this, and keep going, I reasoned futilely.  I limped on, another hundred steps away from the house.  It did not improve. 

I noticed far up the next hill, that people were gathered in the cemetery, most likely mowing.  I did not want to call out, to let anyone know of my injury.  Perhaps, they had not seen me fall.  But, I was limping, and it hurt.  So, I turned around, more out of pride, than defeat.  I did not want to be helped.  I did not want to admit brokenness.  Maybe, like a newly sprained ankle, it would be possible to keep going for a while until it swelled.  I limped, hobbled, and hopped back up the hill.  As I approached the driveway, I heard a car rumbling up the road behind me.  I quickened my pace, steeled against the stabbing, and made it halfway up the drive before a car slowed and then moved on past.  I did not turn back.  Surely they had seen that I was alright.  Everything was fine, right?

The four stairs to the deck side entrance presented a new problem.  They could only be negotiated one at a time, using my good leg, while clinging tightly to the railing.  I stumbled through the house, and sat down.  Despite what I already “knew”, I kept trying to reason my way out of it.  Maybe it’s not that bad. Maybe it won’t swell (it was already swollen).  Maybe tomorrow, it’ll bear weight, and I won’t limp.  Nobody has to know.  I should see if I can handle any low impact exercise, even now.

So, I got on my recumbent bike, and pedaled.  For fifteen minutes, I pedaled.  Then, I stopped.  I got off.  I could not walk.  Not a step.  I needed to lean on something  at all times.  I got down on my hands and knees.  Curiously, this was the only position that did not hurt.  I could put this kind of pressure on my knee and crawl, but I could not stand on that same knee for a second.  So, I crawled.  I needed an ice pack. 

I spied a 2×4, that we use as a burglar block when locking the sliding door.  It became my cane.  I learned a new skill.  Canes work best held in the opposite hand from the injured limb.  Never knew that before.  But, now I could walk—sort of.  I got an ice pack from the freezer, hobbled to the living room, positioned my knee up on a cushion, iced it, and waited.

I had to tell Sandy what I had done.  I had to call work to say I would be “out for awhile.”  I could not find a single comfortable position, so I did not sleep well.  The next day, the orthopedic surgeon pumped my knee full of cortisone, and said, “Hmmm.  Boundary Waters, huh?  Ah……..no.” 


            Cortisone is a great enabler. 

            “I feel better already!”  I said on Saturday.  “Maybe I’ll be able to go to work on Monday, after all.  In fact, I’m going with you tonight.” 

            Seth had a gig that night, singing and playing the piano, at Mojo’s.  Mojo’s is a coffee shop area of the River Music Experience, a music heritage museum in downtown Davenport, where talent can get experience before a live crowd.  Drew would be playing guitar for Seth on several numbers.  Sandy had agreed, weeks ago, to play guitar for him on one song called, Somebody’s Praying.  Of course, I had agreed to play bass for him on that same song, but with the reunion and everything, well…

            “In fact, I’ll bring along the laptop, and livestream his show,” I said.  “I don’t really need these crutches.  I’ll bring them along, just in case, and we’ll just see how it goes.”



 “Uh, this doesn’t look good,” said Bill, when I walked into church on Sunday, using crutches.

            “Nope, it’s not,” I admitted.  “It’s going to need surgery.  Sometime this week, I expect.  But, I do have some good news, believe it or not.  I won’t be going on the trip.  That’s true.  I’m thinking God’s got something else in mind for me that week.”  I smiled, and then continued, “but I did find out something about the trip that you guys need to know about.”

In the most positive manner I could muster, I told them about the four watercraft limit.

“But, with me not going, you can do it with four two-man canoes,” I said.

“Whoa, I didn’t know that,” said Dave, who had spear-headed the trip.  “I mean, I’m sorry you can’t go, and everything, but that would have been really tough to find out when we got there.  I guess I didn’t think to ask about something like that because last time, it was just three of us, and a guide.”

“Well, God’s got something else in mind for me,” I said again, hoping they would buy it.  “There’s always another time.  Maybe then, I can go with my real friends.”

They laughed.  But I, or should I say God, had just solved a dilemma for them.

Now, what exactly was it that He did have in mind for me?  I had spent quality time with Shalom, before the accident, hadn’t I, when I took her belly shot pictures?  And hadn’t I just spent quality time supporting Seth, just three days after the accident?  Why did He have to take away my time with the guys?

An MRI, on Tuesday, confirmed a complex meniscus tear.   Surgery would be the following week.  So, Sandy carted me and my crutches around, while I made peace with my circumstances.  She drove me around, that day, to visit many of the old neighborhoods I had grown up in, and I hobbled around and took nostalgic pictures.  We finished our day with a Harris pizza—as good as ever.  I took a picture of that, too.  


“Knowing is not enough; we must apply.  Willing is not enough; we must do.”    



 Life’s lessons have a nasty habit of just sticking on the page.  It has always been easier to read a book, or watch a movie, or listen to a sermon, and say, “That is so right,” than it is to put wisdom into practice.  One day, I’m a great grandpa.  The next day, I ignore my sons.  Soon, the opportunities pass, and there are no more next times.

I have always been saddened when one of our children goes off to college.  But, you learn to steel yourself against the emotions.  Driving away from Pensacola, Florida, in 1997, was awful.  We were leaving our firstborn daughter a thousand miles from home.  I was sick with heartache.  This year, it was Drew’s turn. 

I was not of much use with the physical move, because of my knee.  But, I came along.  You always want to be there when your children leave home.  It is chaotic, moving into the dorms at the University of Iowa.  Drew was moving into Rienow Hall, we were using two cars, and you are given a card allowing just so much time in the make-shift grass field turned parking lot, to unload items and carry them over, under, around, and through to the dorms.  I could not do any of the carrying parts, so I volunteered, when the first car was emptied, to “follow these simple directions”, and drive to the off-campus lot and take the CamBus back.  Only the simple directions took me to a lot that was three miles from the dorms. And the shuttle bus only came every half hour. And it wasn’t labeled “shuttle bus to the dorms”.  So, I missed it. 

My indignant macho self wanted to scream, “Fine, I’ll walk!” But, I had not brought my crutches to Iowa City.

“Don’t be stupid!” my knee shouted back.  “And just how far do you think you’re going to get in half an hour at broken knee pace?” 

So, I waited for the next bus.  And brooded.

Self-pity is a choice that leaves regret, though.  I was not entirely self-focused from that point on, but enough so, that opportunities passed.  Often, when I have been peeved by something, it leaves a scowl on my face that I don’t even know is there.  People leave you alone, and so you are, well, alone. 

Sandy was having a great time.  Her sister was also in Iowa City, leaving her only son on campus, and they had now found each other in Drew’s room and were chatting merrily away.

“Are you alright,” Sandy asked me, taking me aside.  She was legitimately concerned about my knee. 

“Yeah, I’m alright,” I complained, and began to complain about my inconvenience.

“Well, how about notifying your face, then?” she whispered encouragingly.  Suddenly, I was back in Drew’s world.  With a little face stretching, back of the neck rubbing, and a good deep breath, I was able to pull myself out of my funk long enough to see other people again. 

Once Drew was settled in, and Sandy said goodbye to her sister, we actually did do some walking around the campus with Drew. And we talked.  There were no awe-inspiring words spoken.  Mostly, it was Sandy and I pointing out little things about the campus to Drew, since this was, after all, our alma mater.  I had the sense that Drew was simultaneously anxious for us to leave, and anxious for us to stay.  I remember that feeling. 

It was slow walking, of course.  And, it turned out to be a bad idea.  Not bringing the crutches had been dumb.  I had had no intention of walking in Iowa City when we left Lost Nation, but here we were walking.  Iowa City is not flat.  We bought dinner downtown, and started walking back to the dorm, but two miles of Iowa City hills had been quite enough by then, so we waited for a bus. 

I was melancholy on the trip home.  Sandy probably was too, but she tried to be positive.  There was still plenty of daylight left, and she kept suggesting that we journey down some road we’d never been on before, just to see what’s there, but I kept saying, “no.” 

The next morning, Friday, was the day I would find out the results from Tuesday’s MRI .  I had an appointment for 10:00 a.m. 

A Hard Road Home (Part Nine) Belly Shots

Sandy and I stayed in town, and slept at Seth and Amy’s house, following the reunion dinner.  It was nice to begin seeing them and the grandchildren again, without distraction.  We spent the next afternoon with Chris and a very 37 ½ weeks pregnant Shalom.  After dinner, she handed me her older point-and-shoot camera, and asked if I could take a few “belly shot” pictures of her and Chris, to remember this moment in their lives.  I had a better, professional camera in the car, and thought about getting it instead, but for once, I realized that it would be rude to do so.  This wasn’t about me.  She hadn’t asked for studio prints that I would be proud of; she’d asked only to remember this moment in their lives.  I took the camera.

Then, she decided to dress up─in black.  And, she wanted the pictures backlit, in front of a window.  And, I knew this camera, with its tiny onboard flash, was not going to cut it.  I excused myself, and went out to the car.

During the preparations for the reunion, I had found I would need a light source for the faces of the people using the livestream camera.  The hall did not have anything I could use, so I had gone out and bought a cheap, clip-on lamp, and an extension cord.  I brought these into the house now, disabled her camera’s onboard flash, used the lamp to direct fill light where it was needed, and took pictures.

“Oh, I had wanted to wear my wedding ring in these pictures,” she lamented, “but I can’t get it on my swollen finger anymore.  Maybe we could Photoshop it in later.”

“I don’t think you’ll really care, Shalom.  You look beautiful,” said Chris.



Shalom Kabala Schultz My awesome dad created miracle shots today with my ancient camera and only my living room as background. Moments to remember forever. Thanks daddy!!!

Belly Shots

‎37 1/2 weeks. Big day is just around the corner!!!

By: Shalom Kabala Schultz

Photos: 10 Like ·  · Share · August 7 at 6:26pm · 

Christine Borchardt VillalpandoJenny LiagreJoshua Maxwell and 9 otherslike this.


Angelia CruisinCougar Bovee I love these photos!

August 7 at 6:36pm · Like


Jim Moens So that’s what love looks like. Beautiful pics.

August 7 at 7:51pm · Like

Sharon Boyd Lovely . . . . . and loving, pictures!!!

August 7 at 7:55pm · Like


Denise Eldridge Allen Beautiful! Won’t be long…

August 7 at 8:36pm · Like


Brandy Welvaert You are so beautiful, Shalom. I’m sending you much love for the good work you are about to do. 🙂

August 7 at 9:47pm · Like


Mike Kabala I dedicated my morning meditation to you today. Hope your discomfort is short and the joy of a new child comes soon.

August 7 at 10:33pm · Like

Mary Climie Schultz Beautiful pics hon…Conner is very handsome:)

August 8 at 6:07am · Like


Jennifer Young Laging Those are amazing!! You look so happy and beautiful!!

August 8 at 6:48am · Like


Heidi Hess LOVE THEM!

August 8 at 11:38am · Like


A Hard Road Home (Part Eight) Searching for Derwood Twigg

When I started building a class website, one of the reasons was because of all the hassle involved in using the other sites.  It did not seem like any one site was going to ever be the gathering place, ala Facebook, that any of them had envisioned.  I became convinced that most people joined a reunion site out of curiosity, but were quickly disillusioned, because there were very few of their classmates that had joined before them, and the majority of those that had had left no updates, stories, pictures, or contact information.  What I saw was competing websites competing for one thing: our money. 

On one site, classmates.com, I got particularly tired of messages telling me that “Fourteen women in Lost Nation are looking for a man like you!”  One is not likely to find fourteen women in Lost Nation on any given afternoon, let alone fourteen who want to meet a man like me.  I also am not interested in playing games with chickens and farms, building a make-believe agricultural empire, or seeing if I can capture all the jewels.  I don’t want to go back to school to learn medical transcription, or apply for any unclaimed scholarships for a career in law enforcement or paralegal training.

Because I had already made one master list, of names and last known contact information, for our class, it also quickly became apparent that the 600+ from my class, that classmates.com claimed they had registered, was really 600+ from every graduating class that had ever graduated from Davenport West.  When I narrowed the search down to just 1971, I found that the remaining list still contained too many people.  There were people who had graduated in different years, and people who had graduated from Waterloo West, Sioux City West, and even from Davenport Central!

I found all this out by going one name at a time, looking to see who had left any stories of what they had done since high school.  I wanted to produce a document of stories for our 40th reunion.  Unfortunately, very few people (less that five percent) had written anything, and many of those who did had gone to one of the “other” schools. 

One of the most interesting entries was made by Derwood Twigg.  I did not remember there ever being a Derwood Twigg at Davenport West.  The name was certainly one I would have remembered, from producing the master list from the yearbook.  I almost skipped over it without opening the “details” screen.

Derwood Twigg had gone to Davenport Central, and graduated in 1971, and he had left a rather lengthy entry about his life after high school, and how he had ended up in the Twin Cities, Minneapolis/ St. Paul area.

“Why can’t members of my class leave entries like this,” I thought.  “Well, let’s just do a little internet search on Mr. Derwood Twigg, then.  I love that name.”


Written by Derwood Twigg, father

As a youngster, David loved swimming and gymnastics.  At 8 ½ years old, David swam 5000 (yes─five thousand) yards continuous freestyle.  That’s 50 football fields…swimming!  It was for a fundraiser.  When he was 10, he was the state champion in the Breaststroke.  At 11, he swam a breaststroke time at a zone swim meet that was 19th in the nation.  His performance in gymnastics, while not as exceptional as in swimming, was up to the national level.  He also was playing jazz and blues saxophone, bending notes, sliding from note to note, and making that “gutty” or raspy sound.  It was so much fun to listen to.

After graduating from high school, the Navy would not guarantee “Search and Rescue” (SAR).  So to his older brother Jim’s dismay, David joined the USAF Pararescue (PJ), which is the Air Force’s elite team with the sole mission of rescue of those in peril, wherever and whenever needed.  PJ’s train just like the Navy SEALS do and it is very brutal.  During David’s PJ training, he sprained his ankle, pulled a groin muscle, and broke his wrist, none of which stopped him.  In fact, he insisted on only taping his wrist because a cast would have pulled him from training.

When he was in deep water traini, he drowned and was revived on deck, NOT an uncommon event during any of the elite force training programs. David told me that this happens to someone every 2 or 3 days.  When this happens, the trainee is given the choice of leaving the service, finding a new job in the branch enlisted in or getting back in the water and continue training.  This shows how only extreme elite can become a member of the Special Forces.  Keep in mind that only a select few can pass the test to start PJ training, and less that 10% of those pass the course.  When this happened to David, he decided that, because of his injuries, he needed to switch to a new job.  But, he vowed that he would return one day to complete his PJ training and fulfill his aspirations to become a member of the world’s elite rescue team, the USAF Pararescue.

That is when David decided to switch to Fire Rescue, also a very intense training program.  He transferred from Lackland AFB to Goodfellow AFB at Christmas time in 1999.  He was able to come home for 3 weeks at that time.  Then, he returned to Goodfellow AFB inSan Angelo,Texas, a world-renowned fire fighting school.  His discipline from sports and PJ training served him well.  He was 110% gung-ho USAF Fire Rescue.  David was a very vocal motivator, and an inspiration to all that met him.  “We could be returning from a long hump on a really hot day, and Twigg would sound off a Jody that brought us back into camp with as much energy as when we left.”  David had a strong reputation for his anti-drug and anti-alcohol position.  “When we formed these men up in the middle of the night to search rooms for contraband, we simply walked by when we came to Twigg’s door and smiled as we heard him sound off to the roll call quite unlike anyone else… While most were half asleep and groaned a response, Twigg always burst out his response… and then some!”  David was loved deeply and highly respected professionally by all on base.  “If I went into a fire, I would want Twigg at my side.  If we ran into trouble, Twigg would bring me out or die trying!”  David was also very active in the community and popular in the high school where he was helping with the gymnastics training.  Local businesses knew him and loved him, too.  “David always brightened the whole room as soon as he entered”, commented the owner of the dry cleaners that David used.  Having completed all qualifications for his Fireman’s badge, David had flight orders to deploy to Ramstein AFB inGermany.

But, on 11 June 2000 at 0200 hours, Lt. Col. Furs of the USAF visited our home.  He informed us that at 1500 hours of 10 June, 2000, the previous day, our 18-year old son, Airman First Class David Andrew Twigg, “had been involved in an automobile accident that killed him.”  Two days later, David’s Fireman’s Badge was presented to us at a memorial service at Goodfellow AFB.  I will never forget the sight of theUSflags at half-staff in my son’s honor.  Everyone at the base and fromSan Angelowas so warm and sincere as they expressed how deeply our son had touched their lives.  Goodfellow AFB sent a Master Sergeant to escort our son home for his funeral and burial.  David was buried with full military honors atFt.SnellingNationalCemeteryon 16 June 2000.

It is so painful and difficult to struggle through each day, and try to do my best to stand tall to honor my son’s commitment to USAF Fire Rescue.  Each day he woke, David sounded off his motto,



In the desert, there is a blooming season.  For most of the year there is only protection and potential.  There is always a beauty within, but it is starkly hidden, hard to discern, held back to preserve life, in the midst of meager circumstance.  But, when the rains fall, there is enough.  It is time for feasting.  All creation shares an abundant elixir of purpose.  Today, we shall celebrate!  This day, we fulfill our destiny—to have survived!  And so, we sing of glories past, and forever after.  Renewed.  Refreshed.

It does not last long.  The rains stop, and barrenness returns.  Life will be hard again.  Worlds contract.  Survival reigns.  Many will wonder, “will this be the last blooming season?”

Our Reunion was a success, by outward measures of attendance, etc.  I had not chatted with as many of my classmates as I would have liked, because of “busyness” with techy things (i.e. video streaming).  I wondered, when it was over, if the nostalgic lure would continue online, or would this have been a momentary respite from each one’s present reality.  Soon, however, the expressiveness of things remembered, things nearly lost, did fade.  Visits to our group page diminished.  Days would go by without a single entry.  We were back in our own stories now.

Some returned to stressful situations, family hurts, and personal trials too deep to share in a shallow diversion.  We have a common thread, and sometimes a common angst.   We can feel for the Derwood Twiggs among us, but, I don’t think we “reunion” in order to commiserate.  We are looking to feel good.

I was turning very introspective.

Nostalgia is mostly wistful, I thought.  It satisfies, like a dream.  It is therapeutic, at best, like replaying a favorite movie.  But, it does not move us to come alongside in the way true friendships do.  There is a bond, and I think it grows stronger, not weaker, with time.  But, how strong and how deep would our compassion be, if sacrifice were involved?  For that, don’t we need family?  Are we a family?

When one of our members lost everything in a fire this year, a fund was established, and classmates from across the country contributed.  Family? 

When another of us was laid up in a nursing home for rehab following yet another fibromyalgia surgery, I went to visit her.  I had a marvelous time, hoped I cheered her up, and promised to help her fiancé with her wheelchair at the reunion because she would still be in a cast.  Thing is, I was already in town for something else.  Would I have visited otherwise?  

A third classmate had surgery at an Iowa Cityhospital.  I went to see her, as well, after a few days, but she had already checked out that morning.  Thing is, I was already in Iowa City with Drew for his freshmen orientation, and he wanted to go to the hospital to see a girl who was there for leukemia treatments.  Drew and his friends had already visited their friend several times before.  I had never visited my classmate before, and made no effort to see her after that day, either, even though I ‘m sure she can’t live more than forty miles away. 

I have seen well-intentioned, churchgoing people commit parts of their lives, and portions of their treasures, in effort to help lift someone who was down-and-out.  But, I have watched those same “philanthropists”, when the object of their assistance returned to their former lifestyle, piously renounce and condemn them, as if the givers were somehow owed eternal thanks for their benevolence.

Is that what Jesus would do?  Is that what I would do?  I know how bristling it felt when people would come up to me, and ask how Alexis was doing, when she was struggling the most with her anorexia, instead of going to her to offer a shoulder.  You hypocrites!  You cannot feign compassion, and say, “Go, be warmed.  Be filled.”  You soothe your own consciences.  You sacrifice nothing. 

I’ve sensed that there are those in my class that have great hearts for compassion.  Nevermind my classmates; how real am I?  And, when you don’t have a history of being particularly compassionate, how do you convince people that you really are now? 

Or…would this, too, pass?

A Hard Road Home (Part Seven) Derecho!

 On July 11th, a straight line wind storm, known as a derecho, began in southern Story county, Iowa, and blew all the way to Detroit in about nine hours.  It peaked at 105 miles per hour, in central Iowa, creating a five mile wide path of destruction, flattening crops, uprooting trees, downing power lines, blowing off roofs, and overturning vehicles.  No one was killed.

Derechos are sudden, unpredictable, and powerful.  With windspeeds in the range of category I or II tornados, yet spread over a wider area, these storms can inflict great damage.  On July 4th, 1999, a 1300 mile long derecho left over 100 million dollars in damage across the U.S. and Canada.   Fueled by thunderstorms and downbursts, it roared for twenty-two hours from North Dakota to Maine.  Early in its path were the Boundary Waters of northeastern Minnesota.  Tens of millions of trees were blown down.  Because it was a holiday weekend, the area was filled with campers.  Scores were injured from falling trees.  Many of those had to be rescued by floatplanes.  Four people died. 

Trevor had already left for the detaselling fields— Cornelius Seedcorn, twenty-one miles to the northeast, on the morning of our derecho.  They had winds, and rain in the fields that day, but avoided the path of the high winds.   It was a day of summer squalls that brought short-lived relief from the heat and humidity in the rows, but left them more humid and more muddy when they had passed.

I was up, sitting at my desk, checking on 40th Reunion details, before work. The day was dawning, the windows were open, and I was enjoying my morning coffee.  In a short span, however, the skies started  to darken.  I decided to check on the weather, but before I could call up a weather channel on the computer, the power went out briefly, and the house was suddenly inundated by a torrent of wind. 

I slammed the windows shut.  Fearing “tornado”, the three of us, Sandy, Drew, and myself, headed for the basement.  Before we got there, the wind had already died down to something more normal.  When I left for work, shortly after that, I could not get past the cemetery ridge because of a downed tree.  As it turned out, three of the four directions from our house were blocked by downed trees and branches.  I took the Whoopie hills.

When I reached 136, the landscape changed.  All of the crops, on either side were horizontal.  “These will never recover,” I thought. 

By evening, I knew that this had been a derecho, and I scanned the landscape carefully on the trip home.  It was strangely curious to see what had been the exact path of the wind.  From hilltops, I could see channels through fields, where on one side all the crops were still lying flat, and on the other side there was no damage at all.  I could see where it had climbed hills, crossed 136, and raged through the next field.  I could see where it had snapped the tallest tree at the cemetery.  I could see that the cemetery had been along the northern edge of the derecho that morning.  A large cottonwood on the road west of our house had snapped.  I had marveled that the two old elm trees next to the house had not come down.  Our house had been spared a direct hit by less than a thousand feet. 



Alexis’ Page:

Alexis Anne Gilbert  At home with no power. Three candles lit all different fragrances and a sweet baby to keep me company. God is good and I am going to stay in a great mood despite what is happening outside. Stay safe everyone.

Like ·  · July 11 at 7:59am via mobile ·

Hope Bredeson storms in the area, I guess…be safe

July 11 at 8:02am · Like

Sandy Kabala We had a bad storm this morning. A tree fell over the road down at the cemetery and caused a power outage. The farmer moved the tree and the power is back on. Glad you’re ok. Call me later.

July 11 at 9:24am · Like

A Hard Road Home (Part Six) Priorities

if you eat bananas, the mosquitos like you.

Not long after the blizzard, my right knee began to get a little “catchy”.  I had been building up endurance, all winter long, on a recumbent exercise bike.  Sandy, and I began taking long walks outside, in the Spring, but I was eager to begin jogging again.  Each time, however, there would be nagging pain and soreness after a run of any length.  I attributed it to the knee surgery that I had undergone in 2009, and which I assumed, therefore, had been unsuccessful.  Later in the year, when I was examining the knee for the arthroscopy scars, I realized, “Oh, yeah, he operated on the other  knee!”   It’s a good thing I wasn’t the surgeon (“Uh, ma’am, I couldn’t remember which part to amputate, so I took out his brain.”).

            My left knee was now solid.  The right knee, I now knew, would someday require the same surgery.  But, I wanted to put it off.  Several men of the church had conspired to leave their wives and their children behind, and go on a man-trip.  We would leave toward the end of August, and spend several days canoeing and fishing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, north of Ely, Minnesota.  I had never been there.  I envisioned pristine forests, clear clean waters, crisp dark nights filled with the glory of an unmasked Milky Way, the camaraderie of friends, and NO cell phone towers.

Mosquitoes Beware!!

* Use Bounce Fabric Softener Sheets…Best thing ever used inLouisiana…Just wipe on & go…Great for Babies

* Bob, a fisherman, takes one vitamin B-12 tablet a day April through October. He said it works. He was right. The odor the tablet gives out through your skin (YOU can not smell it) repels mosquitoes, black flies, no seeum’s, and gnat’s. It does not work on stinging insects. Hasn’t had a mosquito bite in 33 years. Try it. Every one he has talked into trying it works on them. We suggest taking a multiple B vitamin to get the best results (since we have heard conflicting sources on the type of B-vitamin plus they work better together).

            But, there would be portages.  I was assured that they wouldn’t be very long, about 400 yards for the longest one.  So I convinced myself, based on past experiences, that I could pretty much endure any physical activity, or job requirement, long enough to get it done. 

“I’d rather carry the canoe and the backpack, deal with the pain, and get surgery later, than get surgery now, and not go,” I would say.  “Pain, and swelling only come on after I stop an activity”

* Ken said NPR reports that if you eat bananas, the mosquitos like you,something about the banana oil as your body processes it. (Maybe they need the potassium too) Stop eating bananas for the summer and the mosquitoes will be much less interested.

* “Tough guy” Marines who spend a great deal of time “camping out” say that the very best mosquito repellant you can use is Avon Skin-So-Soft bath oil mixed about half and half with alcohol.

This was not true, of course, as there was still the problem of the catchiness, or clicking, in the knee.  Several times, over the summer, the knee had come very close to buckling beneath me.  By the end of July, I had given up running, at all, as a conditioning exercise, and stuck mainly to the exercise bike.

Ah, well, at least I’d given up bananas.

Mix your own:

  • 20 drops Eucalyptus oil
  • 20 drops Cedar wood oil
  • 10 drops Tea Tree oil
  • 10 drops Geranium oil
  • 2 oz. carrier oil (such as Jojoba)

Mix together in a 4 oz. container. Apply to skin as needed avoiding the eye area. Keep out of reach of children. Test on a small area of skin for sensitivities. Experiment with different percentages of essential oil.

* One of the best natural insect repellants is made from the clear real vanilla (not the grocery store vanilla extract which is mostly alcohol). This is the pure vanilla that is sold inMexico. It’s cheap there if you know of someone that lives there or in theUSclose to the border. If not, health food stores usually carry it or can order it for you. Use it half vanilla and half water and find that it works great for mosquitoes and ticks.

 “When do we get some of your time?” Sandy asked,

“That’s really not fair, you know,” I’d protested. 

“You’re always on the computer.”

“I am not always on the computer.”

“Just about.  When do you ever take time with Trevor?  Or with Drew?  Or me?”

“I…I’ve been busy.  You know this reunion thing is important to me.  I don’t know why.  It just is.  But, it’ll be over soon, so what’s the big deal?”

“The big deal is Trevor needs you, now.  Drew’s going to college soon, and Trevor says you spent every night on the computer when I was in Rockford helping with the baby.”

Blackflies Beware!!

* Build a smoky fire. For centuries this was the only way to escape flies.

* Wear yellow. The flies are definitely attracted to the darker shades of darker colors. Brown, red, green, purple, and blue (including blue jeans blue) make the flies’ job of finding you easier. Yellow stands out as the least favorite color with orange as a second choice.

* Wear reflective clothing. The rough matte finish of wools and flannels are more appealing to the flies than highly reflective synthetics. Flies are drawn to the most prominent part of a silhouette, which explains why the pests always seem worst around our heads.

* Bring vanilla. Same as above with the mosquitoes – the real clear vanilla mixed half and half with water.

* Repellents. Although DEET is reported to deter Blackflies, most repellents seem notably less effective on these pests than they are on mosquitoes.

When all else fails, get a frog!

That was true, of course.  Alexis had given birth to baby Donny on June 3rd.  We were unable to be there because Drew’s high school graduation party was the next day.  I spent wa-a-ay more than I intended to on the party, but it was nice to hear some of his classmates say, “I like your house, Drew.  It’s …. homey”

We did go to Rockford, on Sunday, but I came back the same day. Sandy stayed for two weeks.  While she was there, I used the opportunity to put in a great number of hours working on reunion stuff. 

Fool proof tick removal…

This is great, because it works in those places where it’s sometimes difficult to get to with tweezers: between toes, in the middle of a head full of dark hair, etc. Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and let it stay on the tick for a few seconds (15-20), after which the tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away.


I missed a lot.   I had to read about it later. 

Don Gilbert Friends, please pray for Lexi and I. We are going to the hospital now to start the induction process, and will hopefully have our little Donny by tomorrow. I can’t wait! Lexi is nervous and a little scared, and to tell the truth, so am I, but I know that God is with us and so are all of your prayers. Thanks!

Like ·  · June 1 at 5:06pm · Trevor Kabala, Don Gilbert and 11 others like this.

Wendy Olchawa Good luck!

June 1 at 5:21pm via mobile · Like


Gladys Barreto Wow. I can’t believe its time already! Time sure flys! Good luck and much love… one hint, use the mirror when she is pushing. That way she can see her progress. Especially if she has an Epidural.

June 1 at 5:28pm · Like 

Joshua Berndt I prayed, brudda! Pray for his salvation.

June 1 at 5:38pm via mobile · Like

Lori Brandon Blaisdell Good luck guys! Be sure to post pictures of the little one when he gets here!

June 1 at 6:29pm · Like 

Lori Brandon Blaisdell Love yas!

June 1 at 6:30pm · Like 

Amanda Ellinger Praying!! Can’t wait to hear of his arrival!!

June 1 at 7:13pm · Like 

Ben Briggs Goodluck!

June 1 at 7:16pm · Like  

Bryan McCaffrey Will do, good luck and let us know how it goes!

June 1 at 7:24pm · Like 

Don Gilbert Thanks everyone!

June 1 at 7:45pm · Like 

‘Clifford Williams Praying for you buddy! Little Don’s Ipod Touch is already packaged up and WILL be sent tomorrow. Sorry for the delay. I have been pulling my hair out with new claims all day.

June 1 at 8:26pm · Like 

Eddy Trinklein U got it Don!

June 1 at 9:16pm · Like 

Don Gilbert Thanks Eddy! How have you been?

June 1 at 9:28pm · Like 

Eddy Trinklein Busy, but good I guess. Defending my MS on Friday

June 1 at 9:30pm · Like 

Paul Miller Your in our prayers!

June 1 at 9:46pm · Like 

Dee Brandon God is there but I’m praying for ya both. Now tell her hurry up. We are all waiting. I’m so excited, for you both but for us too. Give her my love and love you too. G-ma

June 1 at 10:33pm · Like 

Mitch-Joy Gowan Any news yet?

June 1 at 10:36pm · Like 

Don Gilbert Contractions have started without the need for pitocin. Let’s hope they stay that way.

June 2 at 7:43am · Like 

Mitch-Joy Gowan Yeah! I will pray! I guess you guys have had a long night…I’m sorry.

June 2 at 7:56am · Like 

Giles Prill Praying!

June 2 at 8:50am · Like 

Don Gilbert She’s 60% effaced now and 2cm dilated. Great news since the Cervidil was only supposed to soften the cervix, not necessarily start contractions. Please pray that we won’t have to use the pitocin to continue labor. The doctor said we won’t unless her labor slows down a lot.

June 2 at 10:07am · Like 

Sandy Kabala We’re praying continually for Lexi’s labor to progress steadily so little Donny can come into this world soon.

June 2 at 10:38am · Like 

Don Gilbert Lexi just had dilladin given to her for the pain. she’s a little loopy on drugs. lol – she’s feeling great!

June 2 at 10:55am · Like 

Alexis Anne Gilbert Thanks for loving friends. Brandi Richardson was kind enough to bring me her iHome so I could listen to my iPod in the room, and then she ran to the store and got me all natural popsicles. Love you Brandi!

Like ·  · June 2 at 2:42pm via mobile ·

Sherina Winslow, ‘Clifford Williams and 8 others like this. 

Marie Mann Praying and praying

June 2 at 2:50pm · Like

Larissa Bier Will u do a C-section if they say u maybe should?! I understand if something is ‘wrong’ but if they just ask u- will u do it

June 2 at 2:54pm via mobile · Like

Alexis Anne Gilbert was tagged in Don Gilbert’s photo

Mobile Uploads

She loves her boppy pillow and her labor recliner.

June 2 at 3:28pm ·

Don Gilbert Nope. She doesn’t want to do a c-section unless all other options are off the table.

June 2 at 3:55pm via mobile · Like

Larissa Bier Yeah: well that’s great!! Back in the day they didn’t do em!! I hope u guys have some one who knows what they r doing in natural deliveries…. Soaking in warm water…. Standing up!!! NO LAYING on UR BacK!!!!!!!!!!

June 2 at 4:00pm via mobile · Like

Sandy Kabala I’m sure everything will progress just fine and that Donny will be here soon. You can do it , Lexi!! You’re so strong.

June 2 at 4:35pm · Like ·  1 person

Don Gilbert She’s on a birthing ball now, and before that was in the labor recliner. she’s holding her own.

June 2 at 5:15pm · Like

Kathy Luther Fowler Natural? Huh? She’s going natural?

June 2 at 5:21pm · Like

Don Gilbert Getting ready for the epidural now.

June 2 at 5:29pm · Like ·  2 people

Don Gilbert She is 5cm dilated now and 80% effaced. They are getting everything ready to do the epidural soon.

June 2 at 5:30pm · Like

Kathy Luther Fowler Smooth sailing from here on out! 😉

June 2 at 5:31pm via mobile · Like

Kathy Luther Fowler DON! DON’T WATCH! This is the part where Will almost passes out 🙂

June 2 at 5:33pm · Like

Jenn Helsper We are praying for you

June 2 at 5:40pm · Like

Larissa Bier Ohhh man!!! Ill get that before I get a spinal tap again… I am sooo glad I was able to hold my moms hand– my doc showed me the ep needle… Lol its not Very Small!! Lol… Better than 2 spinal taps, sitting all Alone…. Uhhhh that’s great!!! I do wish I looked into giving birth more than I did- and said just wait- when they asked to have the C section…. But my baby was Healthy!! So we will pray that Mommy and Baby r healthy, and not in pain, and daddy won’t pass out 😉

June 2 at 6:15pm via mobile · Like

Don Gilbert Epidural in with no problems whatsoever. Catheter in so she’s peeing in a bag now. lol. She said for everyone that was giving horror stories about the epidural and the pitosin that they were wrong. It wasn’t bad at all.

June 2 at 6:23pm · Like

Larissa Bier The epidural and Potocin isn’t bad!!! Lol she should have talked to me!!!

June 2 at 7:25pm via mobile · Like

Hope Borchardt Meyer Glad to hear! She is right, I had a fine experience too with epidural and pitocin. Tell her to push just like they tell her, give it everything she’s got and he’ll be here!! Good luck!!

June 2 at 8:18pm · Like

Sandy Kabala Hang in there you two. It won’t be long now before you are holding your baby. I wish I was there to see him be born, but I am with you in prayer and love.

June 2 at 8:45pm · Like

Don Gilbert Thanks mom.

June 2 at 8:47pm · Like

Marie Foster Routh Still praying!

June 2 at 9:12pm · Like

Karen Phelps By the time you receive my message, you’ve probably had the baby already. 😛 Wishing you all the best. Will be praying!

June 2 at 9:14pm · Like

Don Gilbert Not yet. Just resting now. Hopefully by tonight or early morning.

June 2 at 9:30pm · Like 

Don Gilbert Alright! We got 7cm dilated now and 100% effaced! May be sooner than we think. She went 2.5cm in just an hour!

June 2 at 10:17pm · Like 

Don Gilbert And we are now 8cm and the head is moving closer to the vaginal opening. It’s at +1 for those of you who that might mean something for.

June 2 at 10:36pm · Like

Don Gilbert Getting very very close. This’ll be the last update until Donny is born. Please pray.

June 3 at 12:28am · Like 

Don Gilbert Thanks to everyone who prayed. Baby Donny is 8lbs 5.5oz – we don’t have a length on him yet, but should before too long. Born at 3:33am.

June 3 at 4:15am · Like ·

Larissa Bier Ohhhhh hope she’s doing good!!! Its been like a day and ahalf now….. I’m praying!!!

June 3 at 7:36am via mobile · Like 

William Wayne Fowler

I wrote a poem about your son since I know you like to write poetry, but are busy right now. So here it is:

The Journey of Will Fowler

– A Manchild Is Born

Posted by willfowler on June 3, 2011 | Notes

A young lad with Father’s name is come into our view,
He reminds us God’s mercy every morning is brand new,

Years to come his every move will bring you both delight,
You’ll enjoy his laughs & prayers at tuck in time each night,

Through the years he’ll change so fast like a living work of art,
At times he’ll make you proud, at times he’ll break your heart,

He’ll share his mother’s love for song and musicality,
He’ll share his father’s passion for all things technology,

Better yet he’ll share their love for God, His Word & Prayer,
His gifts & passions will help him God’s love to others share,

He’ll need a mother’s love for broken bones and broken heart,
He’ll need his father’s guidance to know in life where to start,

His Mother’s life can show him how to pick & treat a woman,
His Father’s life can teach him how to be Christian & a Man,

A child is a gift from God that shows His love like no other,
Cherish everyday the gift of being a Father and a mother,

-Pastor Will Fowler

Like ·  · Share · See Friendship · June 3 at 12:54pm

Don Gilbert and 2 others like this.

Don Gilbert Wow, thanks a lot Will. It means so much. I’m going to repost it on my blog.

June 3 at 1:24pm · Like

Don Gilbert For those of you who read this and don’t know, the first thing that my friend and mentor Steve Curington, who died last October, said when I told him Lexi and I were expecting was, “I pray ye sire a manchild.” We did Steve, we did.

June 3 at 1:26pm · Like

Amy Tucker-Breeze Crying,,,and wow, Will amazing words.

June 3 at 1:52pm via mobile · Like

Monica O’keeffe great poem!! Im going to keep it too. hope thats ok:-)

June 3 at 5:15pm via mobile · Like

Kim DeWees Chatman That was beautiful Pastor Fowler!

June 3 at 8:23pm via mobile · Like

Wendy Ketner Wow…that was awesome

June 4 at 2:52am · Like

They all came to Lost Nation for Father’s Day weekend. 

This was, of course, a miracle birth.  Alexis should not have been able to bear children.  For six years, we gazed into the hollow, zombie eyes of an anorexic daughter.  No amount of persuasion could change what she saw.  She saw fat.  It ruled every step.  It colored every thought. 

“Fat is bad.”

“I’m fat.”

“Fat equals calories.”

“Food contains calories, so I’ll eat less.”

“I’m still fat.”

“Everything I eat must be ‘small’,  ‘half’, ‘thin’, or ‘tiny’…a small apple, a half a sandwich…”

“I’m still fat.”

“I won’t eat at all.”

“Exercise burns calories, so I will exercise.  More exercise, means more calories.  Standing is better than sitting.  Holding something while standing is even better.  Doing isometrics, while holding something, while standing is even better.”

“When I check myself by pinching my skin between my fingers, I can feel the fat.”

“When I look at my profile in a mirror, I can see fat.”

“A wrinkle in my skin means I’m fat.”

“I will pinch myself.”

“I will pinch myself.”

“I will pinch myself.”

“I will check myself in that mirror… and that mirror…and that one…and that one…and that one.”

She had been to hospitals that had forced her to eat.  She would lose the weight again.  She had been to counselors, secular and sacred.  She had been to Twelve Step programs.  She had been placed on medications.  She could not change the girl in the mirror. 

Slowly, agonizingly, she descended within the stronghold grip of her addiction.  She could not keep a job.  She had several minor accidents, falling asleep at the wheel, as a result of being placed on anti-psychotic and anti-depressant medications at the same time.  She fishtailed, and rolled her car, one summer, down the same road I later struggle upon in a blizzard.  The car avoided a potentially fatal impact into a creek embankment, and rolled on into the ditch beyond, finally landing upright across a fence. 

Dazed, but alive, she was found by a farmer and his wife, who brought her up to the house, where he proceeded to demand that I call the sheriff right here, right now, to report this accident, or he would do it himself, and what was I going to do about his fence!  His wife looked embarrassed.  I made the call.  They sent an ambulance. 

The EMTs immobilized her head and neck, as a precaution, before transporting her to a hospital.  There she recovered and was released, but the episode failed to serve as a wake-up call.  Alexis descended deeper into her myopic view of her body.  Her counselors, and doctors concurred.  She should be institutionalized.  There, she could be “managed” with drugs.  We were asked to sign papers.

We did not sign.

The wrenching anguish of a parent watching a child self-destruct is a torment that does not end when papers are signed.  Vacant eyes where once there was joy.  Expressionless lips where once there was laughter.  “Classroom management” drugs producing a numbing slowness of motion, and a mind shrouded in fog.

People don’t know what to do when someone is desperately needy.  At church, many would ask Sandy and me how Alexis was doing.

“Go, and ask her,” I would say.

Most wouldn’t.

One man told us of a church he knew, in Rockford, Illinois, where they take in men and women with drug and alcohol addictions.  He gave us a small brochure about a ministry called Reformers Unanimous.  It was started by Steve Curington, a former drug addict who based his approach not on convincing people that they needed to accept and believe in themselves, but on the simple premise that all strongholds can be overcome by the persistent and consistent application of God’s Word.  There was more to it than that, of course, but I was intrigued and sent for some of the materials. 

I was expecting another rendition of a Twelve Step program, but this was clearly different .  Rather than pick out scriptures that support the process, this seemed (to me anyway) to be a process written by scripture, beginning with the first “principle” in the program: “If God is against it, so am I.”

Alexis agreed to let us apply to the women’s home.  When they accepted her, we knew it was with some reservations.  We were told that, if she failed the program, we must be willing to come and pick her up with one day’s notice.  But, Reformers Unanimous was our last hope.  As we walked away, in Rockford, we left behind a frightened little lost girl trying her best to be courageous.  And enveloped in fog. 

Two weeks into her stay, I was called by Steve Curington, who began by telling me that he didn’t think RU could help Alexis.  When they agreed to take her, they didn’t think her obsessive compulsive diagnosis would be a problem, but he now believed that she had more problems (masked by medications) than they could deal with.  We would have to come and pick her up. 

I reminded him that in his own curriculum he had stated that it takes four to six weeks of consistent application of the RU principles, based on scripture, to break the cycle of an addiction.  I told him that one of the things that had given me great hope, had been the concept that this curriculum had been written by God, using Steve Curington, rather than by Steve Curington, using scripture as a salve.

He said he would try a little longer.

For the next seven months, I worked a lot of eighty-four hour weeks paying for Alexis’ stay at RU.  We visited her only twice (by program design).  When we did, we got to see the heart of North Love Baptist Church, where RU began.  It is a singular congregation, unlike any other I’ve come across.  While in many churches, if they even have a prayer meeting, the prayers would be directed towards “hearts, and lungs, and livers, and gizzards”, I have seen people at North Love stand in the midst of their peers, and say, “Pray for me, I’m having difficulty in my marriage,” or, “I have an anger problem.”  And the people don’t shy away from the needy.

After Alexis graduated from RU, clear-eyed, and medication-free, she stayed on to help others.  She knows she will always have to be aware of her addictive tendencies, but she knows how to apply truth to overcome lies.  She has learned that there is a different girl in the mirror.  For her graduation, I wrote her this song:

The Me God Sees

Words and music by C.A.Kabala © 2007.


When I see the way God sees,When my eyes can clearly focus

By the light sent from above,

That’s when I know the truths God shows,

And I can grow in revelation,

And revel in His love.


Yes, there’s a wound; there is a veil.

Beyond that wound, God never fails.

It’s where I gaze at my reflection,

And I see the me God sees.


I am renewed, restored, redeemed, reborn;

Returning to the glory of His covering―recovering.

I’m a resurrection story.

Reconciled, reunited,

I can be the me God sees.


I was deceived.  I now believe

I am a child―forever wanted;

And I know I’m not alone.

I can be strong, turn from wrong,

Join hands in celebration,

And share what I’ve been shown.


Release the wound!  Remove the veil!

Beyond that wound, God never fails.

It’s where I gaze at my reflection,

And I see the me God sees.


I am renewed, restored, redeemed, reborn;

Returning to the glory of His covering―recovering.

I’m a resurrection story.

Reconciled, reunited,

I can be the me God sees.


God does not surrender any ground.

I am not discarded; I am found!


Renewed! Restored! Redeemed! Reborn!

Returning to the glory of His covering―Recovering!

I’m a resurrection story.

Reconciled, reunited,

I can be―

I can be―

The me God sees.

 Now, in the summer of 2011, I found myself wrapped up in my own addiction: busyness.

Father’s Day.  Independence Day.  Birthdays.  Baby Showers that Sandy attended.  A visit to Kansas City to see the one daughter who was not going to have a baby, but who was going to Oaxaca, Mexico for a medical missions trip (we were not going to run that half-marathon together this summer, after all).  Preparing for the Reunion.  Planning for the Boundary Waters.  Trevor busy detasseling.  Drew busy working two summer jobs.  Busyness… everywhere.   

A couple of weeks before the Davenport West, Class of ’71, 40th Reunion Celebration, I added yet another item to my plate.  I decided to turn the dinner/dance into a livestream videocast on the internet for the sake of those around the country who could not make it to Davenport.  It was well-received, I guess, but one more thing to take up all my time. 

Sandy was not pleased, again.  I had made myself noble, but the family had suffered.  The days leading up to the reunion were stressful. To see if I was even listening, she posed a comic twist,  “Do you ever take time to just stop and smell the music?”

“Of course, I do,” I insisted, “Wait…What?”

A Hard Road Home (Part Five) Boundary Waters

            Paddles dip, bloop, swish.  A soft gurgle laps against a canoe as it glides smoothly across a quiet lake.  Relative silence is broken only by chattering birds, the far off call of a loon, buzzing dragonflies, crickets, and the occasional leaping fish.  Quiet, still, by comparison.  No traffic.  No clamor.  Serene. 

My favorite part of canoeing in a northern lake is navigating around a bend in the shore.  When you cease paddling for a moment, and just glide, the spires of spruce, and pines that line the bend, move in three-dimensional counterpoint to the slower moving spires on a distant shore, and differently still from the protruding ranges that climb the next bend on the opposite shore.  Mirrored on a glassy lake, the illusion deepens—a dynamic symbiosis of perspective.  Converging, flowing, drifting—like passing through the entrance to a new and beckoning world.


It would be a busy summer.  With one new grandchild due in June, one in August, and a third in September, my vacations were being planned out for me.  Two of the girls would be having their first child.  But, there were other things I wanted to do, as well.  My high school class was going to celebrate its 40th Reunion.  And, some men in the church were planning a canoe trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, north of Ely, Minnesota.  It would be hard to fit them all in. 

By the end of March, I had verbally committed, along with seven other men, to participating in a canoe trip, scheduled for August.  We later expanded the group to include a ninth member.  That was okay because we were assured that the camping sites allowed nine, but no more.  Only later did I realize that the dates chosen would conflict with the due date for Shalom’s baby.  I considered backing out, at that time, but Sandy was certain that Shalom would not mind—after all, I would be going with eight other men, and there weren’t likely to be any blizzards in August.   Besides, Sandy thought I needed the fellowship.  We had just squeezed in a long-needed couple’s weekend at the Radisson, and she was in an encouraging mood.

It wasn’t long, however, before I found myself falling back into my old pattern of compartmentalization.  I knew I should focus on “carpe diem” and such, and prioritize family relationships, but I had always been vulnerable to project-driven blindness.  I would often go without eating, and without stopping, when I’d get into one of my boxes, and say things like, “I’m almost done,” or, “I’ll be right there.”

I was finding myself increasingly fascinated by my own past.  Although my high school class held reunions every five years, I’d never been to a single one (never even answered a single request for information).  High school was not particularly fun for me, not being part of any crowds, let alone the “in” crowd.  But, when a classmate I had known since the 4th grade added me to the newly created West 40th Reunion group page, on Facebook, the previous December, I was intrigued.  There were only a couple of dozen members (out of a class of nearly 700) at the time, but it quickly grew to 60, and peaked at around 100.  It was fun.

Most people, even when you knew they were online, didn’t say anything.  Sometimes, it felt like two or three people talking, and ninety-nine flies on the wall.  But, that was okay.  Stories began to be told.  Stories about the past.  Stories about my past.  Stories about people and places I didn’t recognize.  Sometimes, I was the storyteller.  More often, I was the fly. 

We shared memories about Davenport.  Memories about growing up.  About grade schools, and teachers, and neighborhoods, and part-time jobs.

My Page:

Charley Kabala Hey! I just realized that all the people on this site are old people!!

Like ·  · Unsubscribe · December 28, 2010 at 4:05pm

Sheryl Sievertsen likes this.

Pat Carter Reinhart Brain a little slow, Charley? hee hee

December 28, 2010 at 4:42pm · Like

Pat Carter Reinhart If I make it to the reunion, I expect to see a lot of old people I don’t recognize … of course, I will be one of the old ones. 🙂

December 28, 2010 at 4:43pm · Like

Charley Kabala Wait a minute…. I resemble that remark! 8-{D 

December 28, 2010 at 5:04pm · Like

Larry Seibel Hey who you callin old? Old is all RELATIVE right? He He He

December 29, 2010 at 12:22am · Like

Debi Tucker Boland What? Where?

December 29, 2010 at 9:03am · Like

Linda C. Kelty How old do you really feel?

December 29, 2010 at 11:10am · Like

Pat Carter Reinhart My mind doesn’t feel older, but my joints beg to differ. 🙂

December 29, 2010 at 12:42pm · Like

Larry Seibel I hear ya Pat 🙂

December 29, 2010 at 2:21pm · Like

Linda C. Kelty I bet you’d get a second on that from all or at least most parties. Wouldn’t it be great to have the vigor of youth with the wisdom of age? Sigh….

December 29, 2010 at 2:56pm · Like

Charlie Adkins At least we’re not parents of old people yet.

December 29, 2010 at 2:59pm · Like

Pat Carter Reinhart LOL, Charlie!

December 29, 2010 at 3:51pm · Like

Jeanie Quick Murphy just get the joints replaced and keep on truckin’

December 31, 2010 at 11:30pm · Like

Charley Kabala ROTFL I’ve been close to that. Had arthroscopic surgery in 2009. Am hoping to run a half marathon this year, with my daughter (the longest distance I’ve run since college). 8-{D

January 1 at 8:31pm · Like


Date: Fri, May 6, 2011 at 9:34 PM

Subject: Gear list

Mailed-by: aol.com

Men of Strength,

Here is another list to get an idea of what we might need. We will need 4 Canoes Total and I have two that we are borrowing. Four Guys will have to split the cost of two more Canoes. We can rent them right there at the outfitters when we get our permits and remaining gear ( lifejackets) Bait etc.

Also I have already Paid for the bunk house in Ely the night before we go in. it came out to 25.00 per person. You can pay me the $25 whenever you get a chance. I have also paid for 2 permits as required by the outfitters. These will be for Scott and I. The remaining permits will be due the morning we go in. I believe this is $16 a person. This is good for the 3 days we are there. Three months to get in shape and geared up. The first day will be about 10 miles of canoeing, 1 mile of it will be broken up with portages. Let me know if you need anything. Thanks

Dave Dawson


Nostalgia, I discovered, is not necessarily about shared memories of specific events.  It is more of a fascination with an era.  I certainly did not share any party memories or romantic memories with my classmates.  I had no old flames.  I do half suspect that, for some, the fascination is about the rekindling of past passions, and reconnecting with those you used to date, remembering the back seat, or prom night, or the drive-in movies, or the ferris wheel at the fair, or that time, or that kiss, or any number of stories and secrets known only to lovers, though time and circumstance have brought different roads.  I imagine there are those who return for “what might have been”, or to re-survey the field of the once-conquered.  But, I had none of those old memories.  Although there were a few people on the group page that I knew, and a handful that I’d always wished I’d known, most members I did not know at all.  But, the stories…

I found myself drawn to an era.  Here was a group of people who had walked the same streets I had walked, shopped in the same stores, listened to the same radio station, eaten at same eateries, and recalled the same iconic trivia from growing up in Davenport, Iowa, in the 50s, 60s, and 70s.  There was a bond.  We had all aged alike, mostly past the time of comparing and measuring our successes and failures.  In that sense, we were age-less.  So, whether we knew specifically about Roosevelt Elementary, making the special sauce for Sandy’s Hamburgers, teen night at the Draught House, Harris’ pizza, or life on the westend, there was a commonality.  We were all familiar with the landscape.


John & Lynn O.Kane Web: www.VNorth.com

Owners & Operators Email: vno@vnorth.com

1829 E Sheridan StPH/Fax: 218 365 3251

ElyMN55731800 848 5530                            

 Preparing for your Canoe Trip

 You have begun the preparations to take one of the most memorable canoe trips of your life. You will travel through crystal clear northern lakes and follow trails that were once used by the French Voyageurs. You will see wildlife, feast on freshly-caught fish and view an evening.s sky full of stars. You.ll sleep out in tents, prepare meals over an open fire and be able to drink the water out of the lakes.

Use the information below to help you get ready for an enjoyable trip into our wilderness canoe area.

What to bring

We suggest that each person in your party bring:

  • Two sets of clothing (one to wear and one as a spare.)
  • Two pair of trousers (lightweight for summer or wool for spring & fall)
  • Shorts and/or swimsuit (for summer)
  • Two long sleeve shirts (one cotton & one wool)
  • Two sets of underwear
  • Three pair of thick socks (wool is best for spring & fall)
  • One lightweight pair of socks (as liners)
  • One pair of tennis shoes & one pair of sturdy shoes (or hiking boots)
  • One sweatshirt
  • One wool or fleece jacket
  • One set of good rain gear
  • A cap with a visor or wide brimmed hat
  • Extras for cool weather: wool cap, gloves, long underwear, rubber boots, insulated jacket or vest

Also take Along:

  • Toiletry Kit (towel, toothbrush/paste, mirror, chap stick, skin lotion, comb, etc.)
  • Pocket/sheath knife, duct tape (for repairs), First Aid kit
  • Sharpening stone, waterproof match case, sunblock (SPF 30)
  • Flashlight, water bottle, insect repellent
  • Camera, film, batteries, disposable lighter, sunglasses
  • Compass, 50 . 100 ft rope (per party), sewing/repair kit
  • Water filter

Some essentials for fishing:

  • 2 Fishing rods (1 for trolling 8 . 12lb test line & 1 for casting)
  • Variety of lures & tackle, small tackle box, fillet knife, needle-nose pliers
  • Minnow bucket,  leech storage locker, stringer, landing net

Our bait & tackle shop carries a complete line of BWCA/Quetico proven lures and bait to help insure your fishing success, plus knowledgeable employees and Guides to help answer any questions you may have when you arrive for your trip.


I was so drawn to this new “reconnect with the past” theme, that I spent hours upon hours working on it.  I started by doing internet searches for people I hadn’t seen in years, and got pretty good at it.  Then, I started looking for people that other classmates were looking for, even if I didn’t know them, just because I could.  Sometimes, however, I uncovered little known stories or facts about people that I was pretty sure they would not want shared with others.  I would be fascinated.  But, I began to feel like an intruder.  So, I backed off.  Just because I could find out, did not mean I should.

Because of the work I’d done so far, I was asked by the Reunion Committee to take on the job of being the official registrar for the class.  This meant keeping track of updating all the known lists of classmates, and their last known contact information.  I agreed to do it.  It was daunting.  List after list of unmatched, uncorroborated data.  When I finished tabulating them, the list had grown to over 850 classmates, because married names were not tied to maiden names, and some had been married several times.  Since we now live in an online world, I wanted a data base where classmates would do a lot of the updating themselves.  I decided to create a new website, specific to our class, where it would be safe to reconnect with those with whom you wanted to reconnect, to keep contact information private from those with whom you did not want to reconnect, and where, simply by being members, the classmates themselves would do the updating of the data base for the benefit of the Reunion Committee. 


To LEGACY men of Strength,

I hope to give you most all the info you will need for the trip in this letter.  But if not, just call or e-mail  me or Scott and ask.  I am very pumped  for this trip. If it works out maybe a couples retreat would be in order. (men will discuss)

What to Pack:  (limit yourself to one backpack. Packs can be rented at the Rock island Arsenal in case you don’t have one— Also pack a separate duffle for showering and changing when you come out the last day)

A.) In fanny pack or on outside of backpack or at least in pack with easy access:

  • Camera, extra film, or Digital w/ extra memory & batteries
  • binoculars ( if you want, and preferably, for your sake, if they are lightweight )

B.) Tent (Note:  We can see who might have tents in this case 2 or 3 in a tent is good – less tents for us to haul up there!)

  • needs to be tied securely to your pack
  • a ground cloth, tarp ( not to big, just big enough to cover the bottom of tent )
  • make sure you have it all; tent, rain fly, poles, etc.

C.) Sleeping equipment

  • sleeping pad, small blanket
  • sleeping bag  ( needs to fit securely to pack or in it )
  • stocking cap ( if your concerned about cold weather, 50% of your body heat escapes through your noggin, and most of that through your forehead – although,  it shouldn’t be a problem this time of year )
  • separate sleeping clothes if you wish

D.) Personal Gear and Clothing  ( Don’t pack like a normal trip, i.e.  bare minimum to keep the weight down ) The general plan here is to bring what you’ll wear on first day plus 1-2 extra sets of clothes.  Jeans are bulky and heavy (try to avoid them)

  • 3-4 changes of underwear and socks
  • 1-2 T-shirts
  • heavy shirt, sweatshirt, jacket ( Preferably a fleece jacket – layer your clothing then you can peel if need to )
  • swim trunks ( if you want )
  • pants and shorts ( both, don’t count on warm or cold weather )
  • raincoat or poncho ( the more your protected the longer you can stay out and catch the trophy )
  • hat (for sun protection)
  • flashlight, extra batteries
  • Boots and sandals or whatever you want to bum around the campsite in, but I don’t think you need more than two pairs of shoes.  Note too, you will get wet feet , so plan accordingly. ( it is a good idea to have sandals to swim with )
  • cards games in case you can’t handle that much fishing or exploring
  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses
  • insect repellant
  • toilet paper, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush
  • towel
  • washcloth
  • soap ( biodegradable kind )
  • a few personal snacks  ( a Few, Jim!!)

E.) Meal Kit

  • insulated plastic mug or camp cup ( for coffee or hot cocoa )
  • water bottle ( if you have a hand water purifier bring it. you can buy tablets too.
  • knife, spoon, fork, plate and/or wide bowl  (we will have soups so plan on that)

F.) Fishing Gear

  • 1 or 2 rods and reels
  • your own tackle
  • filet knife ( If you don’t have one or don’t want to bring it that’s fine we will have a couple at least)
  • needle nose or hook puller ( you don’t want to stick your hand in a pike’s mouth)

G.) Other

  • multi-tool knife or pocket knife
  • duct tape
  • camp rope or clothesline wt. rope
  • extra heavy duty garbage bags

Note:  You need to get extra large ziplock bags to pack “everything” in.  Get the 2 gallon size for clothes and bigger items.  1 gallon is good for most other things.  Get freezeer quality if you can and DONT buy the off brand. Get Glad or Ziplock ( Dow ).  Everything you put in your pack should be in a ziplock.  Fill the ziplock then compress the air out, like vacuum sealing it.  And it’s a good idea to line your pack with a large garbage bag before packing.   Remember too, everything you take you have to carry so pack as light as you can and get it all either in or on your pack.

If it is not listed you don’t need to bring it.  We will have all the cooking items and meal prep stuff and most campsite needs.  We will take care of our meals.  If you doubt or have any questions, just ask.

Our Schedule: August 23-27 

I have talked with Pastor and have put together a tentative itinerary for something to shoot for.  Of course the trip is flexible but this will help you know what to expect.

Tuesday (Noon):

Meet at Church.  We will shoot for leaving the church by 12:30 PM.  We should be able to have Supper around Duluth around 6 or 7 PM.  We will head north inland to the Ranger Station before 8 PM for permits, etc.  We should arrive at an Outfitters near our entry point to camp the first night before we go in.


Up and at ’em.  We’ve got a long travel day  ahead.  Lots of canoeing and portaging.  Nothing too harsh though, but this is our only travel day besides coming back out.  We plan to make Lac La Croix by afternoon and set up camp.


Fish, explore, enjoy!  There’s a lot of neat day trips besides or along with fishing; history, waterfalls, etc.


Up early, pack up and head back out.  We may camp one more night before coming out.  (yet to be determined)


We will load up the van, and head for home.


As best as I know, this is how it works out:  Plan on about a minimum of $150-200 for the trip itself.  That includes the trip, gas for traveling, meals on the way, etc.  We will let you know more specific costs soon.  When we know who all is going we can determine how many Canoes we will need.  Please let Scott or I  know if you have any questions about anything; like how to pack your pack, or “it won’t all fit, now what?”, anything.

In Christ,

Dave Dawson




Building a website during the winter, using special templates from a webhosting site, took hours, and hours and hours.  I pre-populated it with all currently known data I had on classmates, on pages that are not available to search engines on the internet.  I then digitally cut, cropped, and pasted every single senior picture from our yearbook, and added them to the site, one, by one, by one. 

Sandy was not happy with me.  I thought I was dedicated and persevering.  She thought I was obsessed.  Either way, building a website, and beginning to prepare for the Boundary Waters were both keeping me from doing more with the family.  

A Hard Road Home (Part Four) Blessings


A week before I took my blizzard stroll, there had been a birthday party—another grand parental blessing day, when Will, our first grandchild, turned five.  His mother, Amy, has a special gift, when it comes to birthdays; they are never an afterthought.  This year’s celebration was themed for Thomas, the Train, and the house was decorated with colorful train crossings, and tracks, made from electrical tape, winding through the carpeted rooms and on the wood floors.  That turned out to be not such a good idea, when the floor finish came up with it, but if that’s the worst that happens while making memories, life is good.

The cookies, too, were decorated like crossing signals, and then, there was the cake.  Fresh from the rush of Amy’s family’s annual Gingerbread House Derby, Amy poured herself into creating a cake in sections.  The train engine, she labeled “Seth and Amy”.  The second car was “William”.  The third was “Katrianna”, and the caboose said, “Under Construction”.

Caboose?  I didn’t see the cake at first, but Sandy did, and said, “Amy?”

Amy smiled, and nodded.  “We just found out, and we’re so happy.  We gave away all our newborn stuff when we moved though, so we’ll be starting all over.”

Sandy took me aside, and said, “Did you see the cake?”

“No, why?”

“The last car says, ‘Under Construction.’”

“Yeah?” I said, clueless.

“Amy’s pregnant.”

“You’re kidding?……. What’s that got to do with the cake?”

“She put these little signs…Oh, just go look at it.”

So, after being clued-in by my wonderfully observant wife, I too gave Amy a big hug, and joined in congratulations all around.  But, my heart was with Shalom. First, her sister, at Thanksgiving.  And now, her sister-in-law……again!

None of us would bring up childbearing (or adoption, for that matter) with Shalom, unless she brought it up first, and then we would mostly just try to listen, and not offer suggestions, or fixes.  But, at the same time, she seemed to project such outward joy each time others were blessed, and they were bypassed.  They had determined for themselves that they would not shrink away as victims, but embrace the life of the families to which they belonged.

“Oh, Lord,” I prayed silently, “Won’t you, please, bless Shalom and Chris with a child of their own? Surely there is one out there that needs their love.  They seem so ready.  Even so, Lord, make them strong.”

A week later, when I was struggling in the storm, the vision of my two unborn grandchildren was one of the visions that sobered me to press on for two and a half hours, without stopping.  I never, ever, felt like I was in any grave danger, but when you’ve overstepped any endeavor you’ve tried before, and know that you not prepared for anything truly unexpected, there is a little core in your being that you silence, and will not allow to speak, that wants to say, “What if…”

I’ve known the adrenalin high of a choosing to be in the front of a raft, on a class IV rapids, of experiencing the exhilaration of the point-of-no-return, where the raft tips over the edge of the highest wave and plunges straight down into a swirling vortex, and your only choice is to reach straight ahead into the abyss, and paddle.  A blizzard is not that kind of exhilaration.  On most of the things with which we dare ourselves, others have gone before. The danger is there, but it is not unknown.  It is calculated, and proper equipment has been employed.

There is a machismo factor to the unknown, that grunting, can-do, tough guy syndrome, but a blizzard is not a novel.  There is no plot that says, after the tree fell, and he broke his leg, the hero crawled through the brambles, swam with his arms in the icy river, until he went over the waterfall, crashed on the rocks, avoided the bears, caught salmon with his bare hands, ate it raw, sucked snake venom from his own leg, made a splint from tree limbs, navigated by the stars, …..and survived.

The belief that we are somehow invincible is not limited to the young.  I knew, for instance, that no one had “rescued” me; that I would have been fully capable of finishing the last quarter-mile on my own.  I knew that that hardest part of the journey was the earlier ascent through the snow in near total darkness, and I had triumphed in that endeavor.  But, that was not the point, and my wife knew it.

Sandy’s Page:


Sandy Kabala Why do some people stubbornly stick by their decisions, even when others try to tell them they were not wise?  Especially when those decisions could affect many very adversely.

February 7 at 2:06am · Like

Shalom Kabala Schultz Pride goeth before a fall.

February 7 at 7:28am · Like

Sandy Kabala  Yes, and often we take others with us when we fall.

February 7 at 9:23am · Like

Sandy Kabala Deference to someone’s reasonable request is not weakness, it is wisdom, because it opens a heart rather than disregarding it.

February 7 at 9:59am · Like

Mike Kabala It’s a little thing called free will. We can’t force other people to think like we do, even when it’s for their own good.

February 7 at 11:09am · Like · 1 person

Sandy Kabala Free will exercised in indifference to others’ concerns or needs is called selfishness.

February 7 at 4:28pm · Like

Mike Kabala True, but lack of free will is called slavery … or prison. When a person exhibits selfishness in his exercise of free will, we can pray that the Holy Spirit speak to his heart, but we must be patient and let God direct our actions.

February 7 at 4:50pm · Like


People who think they know everything

 are especially irritating to those of us who do.

“You think you’re always right.”

“No, I always think I’m right.  There is a difference.”

“You never think you’re wrong, then.”

“I’m not wrong.”

“See what I mean?”

“I could be wrong, but I’m not.”

“Same difference.”

“How many people do you know that go through life, saying, ‘I bet I’m wrong.  I bet I’m wrong’?”

“You’re missing the point.”

“Which is?”

“People love you.  You’re not listening to that.”

Here lies the body of William Jay,

Who died maintaining his right-of-way.

He was dead right, as he sped along,

But he’s just as dead as if he were wrong.

It bristles a man to think of “settling”.  We want to do things, to be approved, recognized, and made to feel significant.  Mostly, though, we want to be right.  Unshackled.  In our drive for  independence, we dismiss others, and their feelings.  It is nothing new.  King of the hill stuff.  Grunt, grunt!  But, we also have thisManCavething we do, wherein we process life’s experiences.  Over the next several days, I did some internal reflecting, attempting to balance independence with responsibility.

Poring over the many Facebook posts, regarding my adventure, I noted that the consensus among friends was “You da man!”  But, the consensus among family was “Please don’t do that again.”  Surely, there had to be a bridge somewhere.

I was reminded of one of the most memorable passages (to me), from Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, where he chose to NOT prove he was right.


I was attending a banquet one night… and…the man sitting next to

me told a humorous story which hinged on the quotation “There’s a

divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will.”

(He) mentioned that the quotation was from the Bible. He

was wrong. I knew that, I knew it positively. There couldn’t be the

slightest doubt about it. And so, to get a feeling of importance and

display my superiority, I appointed myself as an unsolicited and

unwelcome committee of one to correct him. He stuck to his guns.

What? From Shakespeare? Impossible! Absurd! That quotation was

from the Bible. And he knew it.

The storyteller was sitting on my right; and Frank Gammond, an old

friend of mine, was seated at my left. Mr. Gammond had devoted

years to the study of Shakespeare, So the storyteller and I agreed to

submit the question to Mr. Gammond. Mr. Gammond listened, kicked

me under the table, and then said: “Dale, you are wrong. The

gentleman is right. It is from the Bible.”

On our way home that night, I said to Mr. Gammond: “Frank, you

knew that quotation was from Shakespeare,”

“Yes, of course,” he replied, “Hamlet, Act Five, Scene Two. But we

were guests at a festive occasion, my dear Dale. Why prove to a

man he is wrong? Is that going to make him like you? Why not let

him save his face? He didn’t ask for your opinion. He didn’t want it.

Why argue with him? Always avoid the acute angle.”


            I got it.  The issue wasn’t that I had been trying to prove myself right, at all.  It was that I had been trying to prove everybody else wrong!

I stopped focusing on the bravado theme, of “I didn’t need anybody”, and began considering, “You know what?  Maybe they need me.”

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

               —John Donne

Amy’s Page:

Amy Christine Kabala  Somebody wore herself out this morning.

Mobile Uploads

Like ·  · February 2 at 3:48pm via mobile ·

Mike Kabala and 3 others like this.

Barbara LaTour She’s so adorable!!!

February 2 at 4:05pm · Like

Randin Joy Turner Sooo cute!!!

February 2 at 5:22pm · Like

Shalom Kabala Schultz What was she doing?

February 2 at 8:08pm · Like

Amy Christine Kabala She and Will were running around like crazy people all morning playing. When I came back down from taking a shower, she was asleep.

February 2 at 8:20pm · Like

Ann Schipper So precious!!

February 2 at 9:55pm · Like

Andrea Downing Mullins Oh my word, Amy – that is a precious picture!

February 3 at 8:08am · Like

Sandy Kabala She’s my little sweetheart all curled up!

February 3 at 8:15am · Like

Amy Christine Kabala  Taking an afternoon nap is impossible with a five year old and three year old running around…unless that is you are into two second naps. 🙁

Like ·  · February 7 at 1:21pm via mobile

Seth Andrew Kabala and Alexis Anne Gilbert like this.

Alexis Anne Gilbert I hear ya. I babysit for a four year old and a 2 year old and I feel like naps are never going to happen for me. I hope that you get one and that the kids let you soon.

February 7 at 2:12pm · Like

Heather Karl Put in a movie!

February 7 at 3:08pm · Like

Ann Schipper I used to do story time and when we all got comfy, we’d fall asleep!! I miss those days!!!!

February 7 at 3:40pm · Like

Amy Christine Kabala Heather – I thought about that but felt too crapy to get up…I’ll have to just bite the bullet next time. 🙂

Ann – I wish that would work with our kids…unfortunately, they just keep going back for more books until my voice wears out. 🙂

February 7 at 4:28pm · Like ·  1 person

Heather Karl Too crappy to get up to put in a movie…wow, you are sick!

February 7 at 4:34pm · Like

Sandy Kabala Amy, I would like to take the kids for a couple of days so you can get some rest. I remember those days when I was pregnant with Lexi. Shalom was 4 and Seth was 2. Let me know, ok?

February 8 at 9:12am · Like

Amy Christine Kabala Sandy – Thanks so much.  It will be nice to sleep in and relax.  How about this coming weekend? 🙂

February 8 at 11:01am · Like

Sandy Kabala My pleasure.  We’ll talk.

February 8 at 11:02am · Like


Grandpa K poured himself into the weekend with the grandkids.  I love to play with them “at their level”, so they are not always looking up at me.  Get down on the floor (literally down-on-the-floor, so your eyes are not above theirs), and see how the change in perspective changes your perspective.

Sometimes we’d send toys home with them, but other’s had to stay at our house, so they would have to visit.  Giant waffle blocks and Lego people (having survived twenty years of sibling-cousin adventures) would stay here for the next generation of imagination exploration.  And, they were always used. 

There is a mobile of the solar system in my office, and a remote to make the planets rotate.  There is a floor-standing globe that lights from inside.    There is a recumbant exercise bike.  Balancing one child on one foot, and the other on the other, Grandpa pedaled, and “started the rocket ship”.  Little bodies bounced, and bobbled, and wiggled, and giggled, and hearts were laughing.

Spinning the globe, I sang, “Round, and round, and round we go.  Where she stops, nobody knows.”  Then, I brought down my finger somewhere on the globe.  “The Sahara Desert!” I cried.  “Have you ever been to the Sahara Desert?”

Then we stopped for a while, and played ‘desert’.  “Oh, it’s so hot!  I’m thirsty!  I’m melting!  We’d better get back on the rocket ship.” 

And, we were off again.  “Round, and round, and round we go…”  It was not the most original tune or phrase, but once I started it, I was stuck with it.  Every time I tried to change it, I’d be reprimanded. 

“No, no, no!….not that!….round, and round, and round we go…”  So, round and round it was, over, and over, and over again.

The intent of the ditty served its purpose, however.  It gave me a frequent break from the constant pedaling of a bike, with a child on each foot.  Soon, we’d been from the Sahara, to the Amazon, to the Outback, to the Alps, and back again to Iowa (…in the summer).  Soon, we progressed to leaving the rocket, for brief explorations (and more rest), enlisted the assistance of variety of stuffed animals, and began interplanetary travel by starting up the mobile.

“Have you ever been to Neptune………?”

Then, Sandy came to my rescue (hmmm, did I just say that?).  She decided we should all make home-made Chef Boy-ar-dee  pizza for lunch.  She had laid out the ingredients for a hands-on experience.  Oil the pan, knead the dough, spread the sauce, and complete it with the “home” touch—a giant bag of pepperoni and a giant bag of extra mozzarella.  Grandpa’s job would be to take pictures.  Grandpa was glad. 

After lunch, there were snow forts to build, and tunnels to dig.  And more pictures.  And more memories.  And connectedness.  And awareness.  Thankfulness.  Love.  Time.

Sandy’s Page:

Sandy Kabala It is so wondrous and exciting. All these little lives that God has entrusted to us.

February 14 at 10:16am · Like ·  1 person

Sandy Kabala added 18 new photos to the album Cooking with Will and Anna.

Cooking with Will and Anna

What better thing to do, on a cold winter day, than to learn to make PIZZA!

Like ·  · Share · February 13 at 6:54am via KODAK Share Button ·

Angie Franklin likes this.


On Sunday, after church, we took them back to Seth and Amy…….who were rested.   We couldn’t stay, as we usually did on afternoons like this, because we had been invited over, by Chris and Shalom, for Sunday dinner.  What a weekend this had been.  This year would be plenty busy with the arrival of two more precious heritages.  We’d been praying for some time that the road to adoption would be cleared for Shalom and Chris.  Perhaps they were planning an announcement of their own.  But  I remember imagining specifically that day, that wouldn’t it be nice if only Shalom could ….   Oh, Lord, bless this couple, I pray.

Shalom enjoys decorating, and Chris enjoys cooking, and together they create a unique ambiance for their visitors.  Good food.  Good company. 

And then, there are their dogs.  Frisky does not describe Drago and Kane, a pair of huskies, one brown and white, one black and white.  They have boundless energy, when they are released from their basement confinement and allowed to check out the visitors.  It’s one thing to watch an excited beagle or terrier bouncing off the walls of one’s home.  It’s quite another to experience two fifty pound huskies leaping, wagging, sliding, and twirling, and never knocking over a single thing.  They are amazingly aware of their surroundings. 

Drago is a master magician in the art of stealing people food without leaving a trace of what has just happened.  Kane has a high-pitched “I’m excited” bark that could probably shatter glass.  They both have mastered the fine canine art of the you-are-going-to-pet-me stare, and its companion, the paw-of-reminder.  For Shalom and Chris, they have been their babies for many years, and they run the place, or so they think. 

But, this day, they were not allowed upstairs.  After dinner, I was lounging under the warm yellow glow of a winter sun filtering into the living room, when Shalom said she wanted us to listen to a recording on her cell phone.   She began playing it.  I have ears that have struggled since grade school, and her recording sounded to me like a few muffled voices, lots of static, and a rhythmic pattern that sounded to me like old bedsprings. 

“Hmmm, I wonder where this joke is going,” I thought.  Over time, I have assembled a whole catalog of things I’ve said after I misheard something, such as when she told me she had gone to the “park and saw” the Wilhites, I responded with, “Who’s moving to Arkansas?” 

But, Sandy was straining to make it out too, as I looked to her for a clue. 

“Alright, bed springs,” I said, taking the bait, if it was a joke.

“Bed springs?  No. Wow,  you guys are as bad as my mom,” said Chris. “When we played it for her over the phone, she said it sounded like a helicopter.”

“What do you think, Mom,” said Shalom.

“I… I’m not saying,” said Sandy, practicing advanced sensitivity training.

“You’re just afraid to say it, aren’t you?”

“Maybe,” said Sandy, beginning to form a smile.

Then, Shalom turned to me, and said softly, “It’s a heartbeat.”  As I cupped my still clueless ear closer to the phone, she added, “…a baby’s heartbeat.”

My heart skipped.

My hand reached instinctively to cover my dropping jaw, and my eyes began to leak.  The magic of that moment of recognition is as precious to the hearer as the joy God must feel over each moment of conception. 

How long have you known?  Why didn’t you say anything? You mean, you knew at Christmas? 

We were afraid, after wanting something for so long, and being denied.  We were afraid of being too overjoyed.  It’s like you think maybe God has been mad at you all these years, and now He’s relented.  You think—you know it’s wrong, but you think it—you think, maybe if you’re too happy, God will take it away, and your pain will be too great, if you’ve already invited others into your celebration.  And so, we kept it to ourselves.  But, it’s real.  It’s really real.

And then, she turned to me and said, “Do you see now, Dad, why I was so upset with you for walking home in that blizzard?  I want my baby to know his grandfather.  You’ve known our struggles, and you’ve known your daughter’s sorrow, and you’ve been there.  You’ve both been there.  If you had died…” her words began to choke, “you would have never known…”

With that she came over and sat down, with a box full of tissues, and we cried.  And we hugged.   While her cell phone “I’m pregnant” announcement had needed a little extra to get through the line of consciousness, this “you would have never known” moment was priceless.  The tissues were soft, and this man, whose eyes leak watching reruns of the Andy Griffith Show, needed them all.


Life, as human relationship, begins when we are first aware, and ends only when we hear.  If someone passes, but we don’t know, they are yet alive.  For such is the best measure of a human life; that it be measured in relational time, instead of chronological time.  This is why we remember those we love, or have loved, not by birth and death, but by where we were when we found out.  This is why we remember the good times. 

This is why the legacy of a diary or a journal is of such value to the ones left behind.  They are the treasures of life.  Imagine losing someone very close, only to discover that they had left behind something of great value for you—not an inheritance of money or things (though they might leave these, as well).  No, what they have left for you is a letter.   Perhaps, they’ve left a recording.  Instantly, they are alive again! 

Any unsaid sorrys, or missed I love yous, can be uttered then, and again, if necessary, and again, because such is the gift of a relationship.  It allows.  You can say goodbye as many times as you want, or need, and have closure.  Yet, when a memory is sparked by a melody, or a phrase, or even a déjà vu moment in the most ordinary of circumstances, you are also allowed to say, “Hello again.”


Quietly, in my daughter’s warm living room, on a pleasant day in February, far removed from recent fury, a relationship I would not have known was now known.  It was time for a first “hello.”

Lord, as I have been blessed, help me to live while I am alive, and when it is time, to leave behind a legacy of blessing, and not of sorrow.

Sandy’s Page:

Sandy Kabala Charley and I are looking forward to three new grandchildren this year! Shalom and Chris are expecting, praise the Lord! We are so excited for all these heritages to come!

Like ·  February 14 at 1:51am

Randin Joy Turner, Karen Mohs, Alexis Anne Gilbert and 3 others like this.

Cindy Elliott Cordes Praise the Lord!

February 14 at 7:09am · Like

Hope Bredeson what an exciting year for U 2….I was so thrilled when I saw Shaloms post….& of course I am excited about my new great grandchild/Lexi & Don….now Seth & Amy….WOW…Jabez prayer…enlarging borders

February 14 at 8:50am · Like ·  1 person

Karen Mohs Yay,Sandy! Three more Kabala grandkids on the way. How fun!!! The cousins will have a blast playing together! 🙂

February 14 at 10:08am · Like ·  1 person

Sandy Kabala It is so wondrous and exciting. All these little lives that God has entrusted to us.

February 14 at 10:16am · Like ·  1 person

A Hard Road Home (Part Three) It was blue

Two days before Christmas, my son-in-law, Chris, got up before dawn, to get ready for one last day of work before the holiday weekend.  Shalom was already up, and standing quietly before the bathroom mirror.  But, she was not getting dressed.

Christmas would be at Grandma Jo-Jo’s, this year, and if their car didn’t have another close encounter with another idiot downtown Davenport driver before then, Shalom was looking forward to spending the weekend with her relatives.  All the presents were bought, and brightly decorated with her typical artist’s flair.  Her online Etsy business, as shalomscottagehome.com, was doing really well, this season, and she was truly enjoying her new day job in Early Childhood Development.  But, this morning, she was just staring.

“Sha…Shalom?” he  enquired, as he shook the grogginess from his head, wiped the crackle from his eyes, and looked at the sink. “Wh…what does this mean?”



Hi, I’m Shalom. I create modern art and stationary for shalomscottagehome.com. Enjoy my blog!


Infertility is an ugly word

We like to put people, situations, stages of life into neatly labeled “boxes” because as a society we are uncomfortable interacting with those who’s lives do not match up to our own ideals – giving them a “name” helps us to decide where they fit in (or don’t), what we should or should not do about them.

There are certain people I’ve learned to avoid because their view of the world consists of:

1) Women who have children: good
2) Women who don’t have children: bad

They’ve viewed the world for so long through such a divided filter that it is impossible to squeeze a thought into their brain that doesn’t fit neatly into one of these two categories. Attempting to try is like trying to block machine-gun fire with your own body. Not a good idea. Also, not worth your time.

Then there is another set of people who see the world through similar filters as above (though softened a little with something called “compassion”) which look like this:

1) Women who have children: good
2) Women who don’t have children: sad

Into this category, falls nearly everyone else you come in contact with. Doctors, family members, co-workers, acquaintances and even close friends. They are the ones who, when they find out that you don’t have children yet, are either “sorry” or offer to “pray for you” or want to give you advice on where you can get “help” to rectify this undesirable situation in your life. They are very well-meaning and you can’t fault them for feeling empathy toward you. But at the same time, it is comments like these from people you admire and trust that strengthen the walls around the box you have unwillingly and unwittingly found yourself in.

The word “infertility” (which means NOT-fertile, as in the complete absence and lack whatsoever of) is a medical term used to diagnose couples who have been trying unsuccessfully for over 1 year to become pregnant. This is based on statistical data which says that most couples (about 90%, depending on which site you read) who eliminate contraception will become pregnant within a year’s time. Everyone else is deemed to be “infertile”. Yet, the literary world abounds with stories of couples who tried for years before finally becoming pregnant – some after getting “help” and some by sheer luck. Also, there are many different biological factors which may affect either the woman’s or the man’s ability to contribute to the fertility equation. In most cases, it is simple a matter of decreased chances of becoming pregnant and not an actual fact that it will never, ever happen. But never mind all this. If it’s been a year and you aren’t knocked up, girls, you are INFERTILE! Happy?

Of course not. Who wants to walk around with that kind of label over their head? Especially if you are just starting out in your quest to have children and the topic is still very sensitive. Nothing like a prediction of failure to keep up your morale, while all around you people seem to be popping out babies left and right without giving it a second thought (never mind those who don’t even want the children they so effortlessly conceived).

But more importantly, since WHEN did your ability (or lack thereof) to have children become the most important defining element of your life? While, mothers are wonderful and necessary people, why are they automatically lifted onto a societal pedestal just because their bodies were able to perform the basic act of reproduction? Before, I start getting hate mail, let me explain that I am referring to the biological definition of a “mother”.

Unfortunately, because of this imbalance in human perception of “worth”, those who don’t fit the mold experience isolation and segregation which all-too-often leads to bitterness and depression. A silent “war” persists in the minds of the “haves” and the “have nots”. And it will rage on until you realize that the only person you can change is yourself.

Before this gets too deep, I want to say that my point in writing this first blog post about my own experiences with the I-word is to open up a conversation about the “box” I found myself in, nearly 5 years ago and how I broke out of it. I will be honest and I will be frank. I may post snippets of journal entries and the memories I recall may be laced with bitterness from time to time, but I ask anyone who decides to read them to keep in mind that my experiences are my experiences and that my ultimate goal is freedom, acceptance and happiness.

You don’t find clusters of women chatting about the I-word around a cafe table . It’s not a popular or fun topic and those unfamiliar with it personally are also uncomfortable with it in reality. But it exists and so, for the silent sufferers around the world, I write to let you know that you are not alone. Life is beautiful and so are you!


The ‘Joneses’ Syndrome

They used to cluster together at social gatherings and discuss husbands, work, shopping and everything else. Rarely a weekend went by that they weren’t mingling as couples at someone’s house or apartment, admiring new paint colors, swapping recipes and sharing the joys and trials of being newly married. It was the best time of their lives and as the next year and a half passed by, this group of friends grew very close. No topic was off limits. No secrets between them.

Then one day, A noticed B advancing across the foyer in a hurry.

“Hey, girl?” A smiled at B. “What are you doing this aft–”

“Guess what? We’re pregnant!” B announced with a flash of perfect white teeth and a little bounce.

“Oh…wow,” said A. “That’s wonderful! So…have you guys been trying for a while, then?” Wow, she never mentioned anything, thought A.

“Um, well, we just decided that we would go off the pill and see what happened. And something did!”

So soon? “Wow, so how far along are you?” A hoped, this was what she was supposed to ask next.

B glanced up at the ceiling behind A and squinted for a second. “I am 8 and a half weeks!”, she declared with a tiny nod of affirmation.

Wait, what? 8 divided by 4 equals 2. So, OK. About 2 months. Why didn’t she just say that? “Awww. That’s so great. I’m really happy for you,” A beamed and stepped forward to give her friend a quick hug.

“Thanks!!!” B squealed before moving on to work the rest of the room, skillfully eliciting exclamations of joy from every female in it.

A watched her friend go with mixed feelings of bewilderment and foreboding. She and her husband hadn’t even begun to discuss (or really even think about) the possibility of children yet and there was certainly no room for a “baby” category in the couple’s monthly budget at present. But, she had never seen B so happy…maybe they should talk about it. Maybe the right time was sooner rather than later. Maybe all the little nagging details that told her they shouldn’t would just dissolve into nothing if she got pregnant too. Maybe nothing else in life really mattered as much as…having a baby!



FRIDAY, MARCH 12, 2010

Who Knew?

Just over 6 months ago, while sitting at my desk in a relatively respectable job as a hotel receptionist, I found myself thinking, “I just don’t feel like I’m living up to my potential.” I didn’t have much to complain about – I had a decent boss, regular hours that worked around my schedule, I wore nice clothes to work and when the long nights got to be boring it was perfectly permissible for me to while away the evening on the internet. I told myself that it was a great job for someone like me who was trying to launch their own business and didn’t need extra work stress. But as night after night wore on, the sense of “guilt” grew heavier and heavier. I began to casually browse the “want ads” for openings. That was when I found the advertisement for an assistant teaching position in a Head Start pre-school. Based on my experience volunteering with the children in my church, I knew it was a job I would be good at and enjoy and that would also come with better hours and benefits. I applied and was hired.

Fast forward to today…shortly after becoming a government employee, I learned I would have to earn something called a CDA by summer 2013 in order to keep my position in early childhood education. It would involve gathering 480 hours of work experience plus 120 continuing education credit hours, masses of paper work and a final test and interview before being awarded the nationally recognized credential. Pause for breath. So, OK. Wow. Suddenly I found myself going back to school AND working part time AND running a business, but…absolutely LOVING it!

Looking back at my life (nearly 31 years of it), I see a pattern of decisions I thought I was making for completely different reasons than what they turned out to be and which have also led to vastly different outcomes than I had envisioned. Yet, strangely enough, I have found happiness in the midst of painful times and been moved by the waters of change when I thought I was planted for good in a place I didn’t care for. All evidence, I believe, of the love and faithfulness of God who cares about the smallest details of our lives.

To illustrate my point, I want to share the “autobiography” I wrote today in class as part of my CDA paperwork. I have to admit that the final message of it both surprised and thrilled me:

Hi, my name is Shalom Schultz and I am an artist. Growing up, I was always creating in some way, whether sewing Barbie clothes, drawing pictures of my best friends in ball gowns or helping my mom paint and redecorate the living room. When I went to college, naturally I pursued an art degree and have since worked as a graphic designer as well as started my own art and stationary business. Soon after marriage, my husband and I purchased a lovely little yellow house, surrounded by trees and flowers, and lived a quiet, happy life there together with our dogs for the next several years. To the casual observer, I was living my dream and yet I still felt as if something was missing.

Then, one day, in response to a need in my church, I volunteered to lead a class of 4 and 5 year olds for a couple hours each week while their moms met for coffee. Within minutes I fell in love with teaching and the opportunities it allowed me to share my creative skills by investing in young lives. Children possess an exuberance for life and an eagerness to learn that is absolutely contagious. The more time I spent with them the more I realized that my calling in life hadn’t culminated with the earning of my art degree and I began to see a whole new world of learning opening up for me.

After gaining several years of volunteer experience, I decided to apply for a position as a Head Start Education Assistant, both for the chance to work more closely with children and for the personal education opportunities. Since then, I have enjoyed the challenge of reaching toward my CDA and after obtaining it plan to pursue a teaching degree – the ultimate goal being to head my own classroom where I can continue with even greater skill to to help children discover the world around them.

Of course, everyone always wants to know where “children” fit into my life plan and while it used to bother me (both because I wanted them and couldn’t as well as because I hated being made to feel inferior), I can now with total honesty say that I have faith in God’s plan for my whole life. He has shown me in so many ways that while my own sandcastles may be washed away, it is He who created the entire earth and I need not fret over my ability to form my own future. All He asks is that I diligently use the tools he has given me.

Am I giving up on the dream of expanding my business? Certainly not! Don’t I realize that you can’t juggle children plus 2 careers plus a home and husband at one time? Absolutely, which is why I am at peace with the opportunities I have been given now and have faith that when the time is right for my husband and I to start the adoption process, God will give us the green light on that too.

It’s a wonderful relief to to realize that while my hands may be on the steering wheel, I don’t have to be the navigator as well.



Until next time,



Chris and Shalom had stopped attending church on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.  Every year, people without a clue would make the same clueless comments regarding children, and when were they going to have some.  Shalom had grown up with three brothers and two sisters.  Chris’ brother had five girls.  Shalom’s brother had one of each.  And now, a month ago, at Thanksgiving, her younger sister, married less than a year, announced that she was pregnant.

They are strong individuals, uniquely in love.  Their rapid-fire form of bantering and taunting, which some interpret as chauvinistic acrimony, is really just a love song persiflage between two people who are totally comfortable with each other.  Chris cares deeply about whatever wounds Shalom, and she cares deeply about him.

Our capacity to love is limited only by our concept of love.  Adoption is a joy that breaks the mold of our prejudices.  While it takes awhile for a childless couple to embrace this concept of love, Shalom and Chris were there.  Shalom’s business would eventually allow her to work entirely from home, and her Head Start work would continue to nurture her mothering instincts.  Chris, they had mutually decided, would return to school to work on his computer science degree.  The high-end computer he had built from scratch last year, had so motivated him, as he had researched all the component hardware, that he had been inspired to start researching the other side of the keyboard: software development.  It would take a few years, but they would make themselves ready.  And then, they would adopt.


“Sha…Shalom?” Chris enquired, as he shook the grogginess from his head, and held the pregnancy test strip, two days before Christmas.  “Wh…what does this mean?…..It’s……..blue.”

For a long, lingering moment, they were speechless, unable to believe.  They had been disappointed so many dozens of times before.  The test was routine; the result so unexpected, each was trying to fathom the other’s response first: are you happy, can I be happy, what about our new…..plans?

And then, they melted.  Tears flowed.  They embraced.  They cried. They kissed.  They cried.  And, they thanked God.  And, they had no more questions about “plans”.

In the shower, Chris bawled.

All these things they kept to themselves.