May 13, While on the road, this year Mother’s Day provides much opportunity for reflection and warm feelings. Our original intent was to document Earl and Ethel’s 1937 honeymoon and share it in printed version with each of our adult children. Never did we dream early on that we would set out on the road and follow the western roads and visit the same places that they did 81 years ago. Both of our children were to be married in 2016 and our goal then was to introduce them to grandparents they never met. Earl and Ethel both passed on long before our children were born.
Lynn mentioned in the excellent newspaper account of our trip by Kent Tempus in the Oconto Reporter that the research gave me an opportunity to learn about my parents as well and see them as young vibrant adults with hopes and aspirations for their future. That was not my goal but it certainly was the result.
My mother Ethel died when I was four years old. My memories of her are few and brief. Now I am chuck full of memories of her and new joy as each destination is encountered on our route. In the small town of Oconto that I grew up in I had many mothers. There was Fritze, Aunts Arlene, Peg, and Erma, Grandmas Minnie and Effie, and good neighbors, friends, and teachers too many to list that supported me. Later at my father Earl’s passing, it was my sister-in-law, Sandy who stepped in until I was off on my own. All knew Ethel and reflected her aspirations for her son in the guidance they gave. To all these mothers and especially now, Ethel, I send these heartfelt “thanks.”
And to Lynn, my wife now for 35 years tomorrow, May 14. Most times in conservation I call out to her as “mom” though this has nothing to do as my stand-in mother. It is a carryover from when our children were young and every time I say it now, it is because she is the mother of the two wonderful children she brought into this world and nurtured to fine adults. For that I am forever grateful too.