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I am from where the green grass grows and where corn pops up in rows, yes, cue Tim McGraw.  I come from these two beautiful people, Kenny and Kathy (Kuhlemeier) Bushbaum, will celebrate 48 years of marriage on this coming Tuesday.

They met at the local roller rink! Someone dared my dad to go ask Kathy Kuhlemeier to skate with him.  He took the bet and went and asked her by skating smack into her and knocking her down.  When he went to help her up he asked her if she wanted to skate.  Smooth operator and a man of few words he is, but I guess it worked as I don’t think they have been apart since that late night skate.

I come from determination. Dad saw what he wanted and went after it.  My mom is the same way.  When I was in elementary school she decided she wanted to go back to school.  She started with a business degree, but didn’t stop until she was student teaching during my senior year of high school.  She began teaching during my first year of college. When I think back to the determination that it took for her to complete her degrees while working full time, raising a family, keeping our house in shape, and being a farm wife I cannot fathom how she did it all.  I think she did it because she was determined.

I come from strength.  If you have seen my parents lately you know by watching my dad walk that he currently has a pair of knees that are pretty much bone on bone. He has the strength to power through pain like no one I have ever met.  He had a valve replacement in 2010 and handled open heart surgery like a champ, barley touching a pain pill the entire time.  This past fall he tackled 40 radiation treatments for prostate cancer without missing a beat during harvest. He is strong in body and mind.  My mom might say I get my stubborn “strength” from him.

I come from a man who speaks few words, but a woman that has lots to say.  My mom is a writer and has a creative gift. She makes beautiful quilts and used to write amazing poems, stories, and papers when she went back to school.  I remember watching her paint on barn doors and shovels as a kid.  I like to think that she gave me my gift of creativity and my desire to share things with the world.

I come from a John Wayne lovin’, western show watchin’, cattle lovin’ cowboy. Just ask me, I can quote just about any line from the Duke.  I get my love of the cowboy way and cattle from my dad.  I cannot imagine him any other way.  I have read a lot about the cowboy code and way of life and I think they are the finer points that my mom and dad instilled in us:

1. Live each day with courage

2. Take pride in your work

3. Always finish what you start

4. Do what has to be done

5. Be tough, but fair

6. When you make a promise, keep it

7. Talk less and say more

This brings me to the end of the 3 part series of where I come from.  There is so much more I could write about so many amazing people in life that are “where I come from,” but these last 3 posts are where I biologically come from and the mix of all of them creates the DNA that drives me to be the best version of myself that I can.  I don’t want to be a disappointment to any of them and I don’t want their struggles and challenges to be something that are easily forgotten, I will carry all of them each and every day of my life as I dream big and huge!

Where do you come from?

Jen

All because 2 people fell in love...

4

If you haven’t read part 1, go back and read that now!  This is part 2 of where I come from. This post is the result of wanting to make sure that I am living to my FULLEST potential because I am here on this planet for a purpose.

I come from Horace (Pat) and Patricia Kuhlemeier. They married when she was 17 and he was 21.  They met in Rockford when Patty was a house keeper for Pat’s mother. They made their home in that same house for 42 years until my Grandma passed away.

I come from fun. If there was one thing I know about my maternal grandparents is that they had FUN with a capital F.  We have copies of my great grandmother’s diaries and they were always talking about going to the movies, taking the train to Mason City, playing cards until the wee hours of the morning, and I have even seen a few black and white reels of fun parties that they had at my aunt and uncle’s house.

I come from a fighting Irish Woman (born on St. Patty's Day) and struggle. My grandmother's last name was Bahnsen. She passed away in 1984 from complications of alcoholism. She struggled in private for many years, not a social drinker, but a private drinker.  I don’t know much about this time, but I know this was a painful struggle for my family. I know that my mom lost her mom at a young age and I am sad that I didn’t get to know my Grandma like my older cousins did.   Addiction is a horrible disease that can rip families apart, although, I was too young to remember much of this I know that the struggle that my Grandpa, mom, aunt, and uncle endured didn’t rip them apart. I am proud of them for what they made it through in this scary, rough, and painful years.  I have many special pieces of memorabilia from my Grandma, my most special piece is this ring that my mom gave me on my 16th birthday, and it is the diamonds from her wedding band.  I wear it every day as a great reminder that I come from struggle and love.

I come from white t shirts and rides in the truck.  Many of my favorite memories include wearing my Grandpa’s big white t-shirts when we stayed overnight at his house.  I loved standing over the big vents on the floor beside his chair and letting the t-shirt puff out.  He would laugh and then let me sit in his chair with him while we watched tv.  Our nights watching tv usually included popcorn and a malt.

Although it is no longer bright white, it is special to me because my Grandpa wore it.

My grandpa had HUGE hands and a giant heart.  He would let us ride in the truck with him on trips to Hofler’s Seed Company.  He had a trucking company with my other Grandpa.  I collect Hofler’s seed sacks and memorabilia to this day, someone asked me why those sacks are so important to me the other day.  I think they are important to me because I know how much my family enjoyed the people that worked at Hofler’s and worked hard to deliver their product where it needed to go.  Deep down inside sometimes when I walk by the sacks hanging in my house I wonder if just maybe one of my grandpa’s touched one of those sacks.

I come from starting again. In 1989--- my Grandpa remarried and started again as a newlywed with Luci. They made their home in Hubbard so I didn’t see my Grandpa as much, but when I did see him it was always fun.  We played SkipBo, played with Luci’s makeup, and made trips to the Dayton Rodeo. We never left Grandpa and Luci’s house without a bag of MaryKay AND I bet he is probably one of the only old time farmers that could tell you what the new spring colors were in the Mary Kay line or what each moisturizer was meant to do.  You see, when he started new again, he didn’t leave the business and finance “stuff” that he loved with farming and running a trucking operation. He just moved on to something different, which just happened to be makeup because Luci was a director with MaryKay. 

So, not only do I come from love, strong work ethic, and kindness. I also come from fun, struggle, big white t-shirts, truck rides and starting again. ALL of these pieces make me who I am today. I truly believe my fun loving spirit comes from these two people and I am blessed to have had them in my life.I believe the things they lived through were for me to be who I am today.

From the Gravel Road-

Jen

Part 3 tomorrow!

Items from my Grandpa Path and Grandma Patty.
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