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(“To Barbara on her 40th birthday”)

How swiftly by the years do fly – to make us older you
and I
It seems not so very long ago – we took our friends to
the window to show
Our first born and pointed with pride
To the cutest baby they had inside
The nursery in her little bed
Not much hair upon her head
No it seems not so long ago
You played with dolls
And dressed them so
Then off to school and the years flew by
Elementary and Jr. High

After high school years you said goodbye
To home and went out to try
Your wings to see if you could fly
Then came your home and nursery
As you began your family

You watched them grow up and now you sigh
How quickly by the years do fly
As you know they’ll soon be gone
To establish for themselves a home

And with this information
There is at least this consolation
Life begins at forty, or so they say
So this really is your natal day

(“For Paul Lamm for his birthday 2-1-02”)

Hope when you rise on
Your birthday you can tee
Off on a round of fun as
Good as a hole in one would be

The day will not be in the “rough”
and you will be able to avoid all
“hazards.”  The “bogey” man will
let you along, and a “birdie”
especially an “eagle” set the
tone for the day and all day you
are on the “fair way.”

(“For Nancy”)

It was the 3rd of November in 54
We had two daughters, about to add one more
I had hoped for a son but knew it was chancy
And sure enough we called it Nancy

As a baby Nancy sure was a beaut
Mama especially thought her button nose was so cute

She tried the drug scene before she was two
Had her stomach pumped before she was through

Nancy was good at saying things her own way
Going to the park on a picnic, if she had her say
Was just going on a parknic
And then she didn’t ask mom to make a sandwich for me
It was “put peanut butter on bread and bend it” you

Nancy grew up and the time came to leave
So off to college she went very ???
To some young girls that might be menacing
She took it in stride and called it “Dennising”

She did volunteer work at jobs some wouldn’t have
Cleaning kennels at the dog pound for one

She kind of went to the dogs with dog shows and
training daily
With Charlie, Brigita, Benson, Cody and Bailey

Nancy doesn’t look as old as the calendars show
But if she is that old she’s sure a nifty fifty

(“For Suzanne”)

It was in 1956, in Nebraska, in Tilden
We added to our number of children
There were three daughters so a son was planned
But we kept the baby and named it Suzanne

She was kind of cute so I figured one day
We would get the boys in some other way
So we settled for girls and my thinking was right
Several boys succumbed with hardly a fight

Growing up can be hard and soon Suzanne learned
If you play with fire you just might get burned
She looked pretty bad, but it wasn’t long
Till you could hardly tell there was anything wrong

Then came the days of the scratching of strings
And the screeching and sawing that learning brings
For into her life a viola came
From then on it was never the same

Screek and scratch was now the rule
Quiet only in bed or when at school
But ‘ere long pretty sounds came out of the thing
For Suzanne soon learned to really handle those strings

She played the viola at school and went from there
To Minnesota All-State Orchestra – first chair
Then on to college with music still the theme
When all at once Curt appeared on the scene

Handsome he was, a real head turner
Music was pushed to the back burner
He could truck, and fly, he also could farm
And I guess he could really turn on the charm

He crooned, she swooned, and had it so bad
Couldn’t even wait to be married by Dad
Marriage for them proved to be a sonata (music again)
For there was Drew, but first Renata

Now you are 40 and your life is begun
But don’t let them fool you, it’s really half done
It’s what you do with the part that remains
That will determine whether it was loss or gain
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To Amy On Her Fortieth
(January 26, 2002)

How quickly by the years do fly
To make us older, you and I
From nine pounds to – oops, I better not say
The years sped by quickly until today
Many memories could be called to mind
And sorting them out, somewhere we’ll find
A baby who came because of her brother
We didn’t want to quit with him, we wanted another.
When some things come, it’s best not to know
Until it happens, and it was Amy Jo.
Two things pleased you, one was to eat
The other when someone was rubbing your feet.
You could talk your little sister into wanting to do
Whatever it was you wanted her to,
Like going ahead of you up the stair
To see if it was safe for you up there
The promise of money for tickling your toes,
How much you owe her the Lord only knows
Then quite quickly came a change in toys
From playing with dolls you found out there were boys.
Well, the years have passed quickly away
There was much sunshine, but some rainy days.
With 5 sisters and 2 brothers, one waiting up there,
With parents who love you and good friends galore,
With a husband and 5 children, how could you ask for a
whole lot more?
Besides this a lot of talents were given to you
And a good sense of humor to help you get through
Times like this when you wanted to cry
“I’m getting older and about to die!”
But older ones say, “You’re just getting started,
Life begins at forty so why heavy hearted?
So drag out that humor and not your regretter
Say “I’m not just getting older, I’m getting better!”
So, here’s to forty!  Take it and shove it!
I’m just getting started and I’m gonna love it!

(“Dale’s 40th")

40 years, it’s been a while since you came to bring us joy
We both were very happy when told “It’s a boy”
As parents we were very proud
A daughter and a son
A girl for Mom and a boy for me
But there were more to come and come and come

A chubby boy called Smiley, full of giggles and of glee
We wondered if he would turn out to be a prodigy

We never dreamed on your first day of school
Just how long it would be
How many years would go by
Ere you got your last degree

You grew and grew to 6’ 2”
We thought that you would stop there
But no, you had to keep it up till
You grew right through your hair

Twas said you wore tennis shoes to run from girls who
came to play
But the tennis shoe went flat when Linda came your way

You learned in school that by the rule one and one
made two
But experience is a teacher too, that there are
exceptions to that rule

For marriage has a little trick
Of changing that arithmetic
And 2 plus 2 makes 4 or more

Events combine to make time fly
And age us as the years go by
And we’re not so young and sporty
But for you there’s hope
So don’t you mope
They say life begins at forty

(For Rebecca’s 40th)

40 years have come and gone
Since God sent you into our home
So like a doll with 10 fingers and toes
A little bundle we called Rose

Though it doesn’t seem that could be so
The evidence will let us know
Too much water under the bridge has passed
And 40 years have gone so fast

Of evidences there are 3
Aaron, Gillian and Emily
And now with them almost grown
We know just how much time has flown

Sometimes the road’s a little rough
And we want to cry out “enough!”
Sometimes we fail to understand
And veer off into sinking sand

But we keep on going and eventually find
We have what we need for peace of mind
A family to love and treasures galore
Just how much there is in store

As more time passes it will reveal
What is to come but for now we feel
Thankful that God had chose
To give us our Rebecca Rose

My Valentine

It’s been some time since I asked you
If you would just be mine
Many years have gone but I’m still glad
That you’re my valentine


(He drew hearts all over the paper too, one with a
Cupid's arrow through it)