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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.

This week I had the opportunity to go see Rachel Hollis live in Cedar Rapids.  I took half of the day off to drive by myself, in 50 mph winds, to go see her speak and it was well worth it.  So many things that she said sparked things inside of me, but there were a couple points that she made that I can’t stop thinking about so I decided that I needed to do what I know best…write about them, so in my next 3 blog posts, I am going to tackle one of her points.

Rachel’s point #1: Where do you come from?  There is a REASON that you, yes, YOUare here on the planet today.  Where do you come from?  She mentioned that her great, great, great, great Grandmother was born on a ship on the way to America.  Her parents died on the ship and her uncle raised her.  Had she not survived that boat ride to America and been raised by her uncle, there would be no Rachel Hollis today and if you think about the ripple effect that occurred from that little baby being born on a ship on her way to America all of the way to Rachel Hollis who is taking personal development by storm, it is pretty darn amazing.

So here goes nothing, in 3 parts over the next 3 days, I am going to tell you where I come from.

I come from love, strong work ethic, and kindness.  I come from my paternal grandparents, Marvin and Janice Bushbaum, married and wildly in love for 44 years at the time of my grandma’s death.  They married in 1948 at age 15 and 18 (if I have done my math correctly) and were parents not long after that.

As I am typing this, I am learning that I wish I would have asked more questions or learned more about how they met.  My dad is one of four boys, so my guess is that how their parents met wasn’t something that was talked about often. I asked him how they met, but he isn't sure if my Grandma's brother introduced them or if they knew each other and then my Grandpa and Uncle Beryl started working together. 🙂 BUT what I do know is that my Grandpa used to walk on the railroad tracks from the country in to town just to visit my Grandma when they were dating.  I know as a 10 year old kid as I sat in the back of their car on a drive to the Grotto and watch them hold hands like they were age 15 and 18 on a first date. They loved hard and I know in the depths of my being that they are the reason I love as hard as I do today.  Loving this hard means that there is deep pain, too. My Grandpa and Grandma lived through the loss of an infant son, a grandson, parents, and siblings but they made it and they loved each other through it. My grandparents did not have much, but they didn’t need much either. They had each other and their family.

A living room filled with love!

I come from a strong work ethic.  My grandparents never turned away from a tough job and even as a young kid that was evident. I remember Saturday’s helping cut wood to fill their basement with logs that would serve as fuel to keep their home warm and welcoming, I remember bottomless glasses of Bubble Up from the Family Café and hamburgers with buttered buns, and I remember CB calls from the JackRabbit to the Bushy Tail Base, where he would talk to Cotton Tail.  Have you ever heard the Alabama song, Roll On?  Sometimes I imagine that was how my Grandma felt.  When she wasn’t in the truck with him in the later years of life, she was back home holding down the fort that was filled with grandkids.  My grandparents did everything from working in factories, to cooking, to running a café, to running a trucking business over the years. They loved hard and worked hard every day of their lives.

M&P Trucking (Both of my grandpa's) and Grandma, me, and Christopher(their first great-grandchild) whom they adored!

I come from kindness. My grandparents were kind and thoughtful, truly neighborly people. I remember helping clean out some upstairs bedrooms in their house after they had passed away. In one box we found receipts from what looked like an order pad that a waitress would use. In fact, they were, they were receipts or “tabs” that had never been paid.  Remember I said my grandparents didn’t have much? They didn’t, but they sure would have never thought of letting someone go without, especially a child.  Those receipts were from a family that I am positive never paid, but I am positive never went hungry thanks to my grandparents.

Former site of the Family Cafe

Because of Marv and Janice Bushbaum I have a strong work ethic, I am kind, and I love hard. Because of what they went through to make sure that my dad was born and raised to be a strong man, he met my mom.  Because my dad met my mom, I am here and I will be damned if I am going to let the ripple that my Grandpa and Grandma Bushbaum started stop.  Because of where I come from I will continue to work hard, love hard and be kind to all I meet.

From the gravel road-

Jen

P.S. Part 2 Tomorrow

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