Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Pastor's Eulogy

We are gathered here mostly as family to mark the passing of our husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle.  He was quite a character and he meant so much in so many ways to all of us.  Our feelings are overwhelming and intensely personal.  I'm not sure I can articulate my own, let alone reflect for the rest of the family.

But, as my Dad journeys on, it is also appropriate to remember and to contemplate who he was and what he meant to the world beyond our family.

Donald Schoewe was a pastor.

He had little time for the presumptuous or haughty and was seldom comfortable with successful saints.  But when it came to the sinners, the underdogs, the hurting sheep in his flocks - his care and attention were boundless.

My mother and siblings all remember a night in Port Washington when a bedraggled, obviously troubled and pretty scary looking man turned up at the door of the parsonage.  He had nowhere to go.  But for this pastor, God's house is somewhere anyone can go at any time and under any circumstances.  He slept in the church.

With five growing children to feed and clothe on a minister's salary money could be tight.  My mother reasonably felt that in those circumstances honorariums might best be used by the family.  But my Dad saw more pressing needs and recalled Matthew 6:26&27: "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them.  Are you not more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"  Most of the honorariums went in the collection plate along with his tithe.  And here we all are, well fed and fully clothed, so I guess it does pretty much work out that way.

One Thanksgiving in my twenties, I came to Lake City from Chicago, bringing a young woman to meet my parents for the first time.  After arriving late on Wednesday she disappeared late morning Thanksgiving Day. I was a little nervous when I found out she had been enlisted by the pastor she had met only hours before to help serve Thanksgiving dinner in the church basement to the elderly and infirm with nowhere else to go.  From that moment my wife Robbin, who often understands these things more quickly than I do, loved and respected Don.

I had drifted away from church after high school.  But with the miracle of children returned and we joined an LCMS congregation in Colorado.  Having some experience and ability with numbers, I was soon roped into the role of Treasurer and a position on the church council.  I imagined my father would be pleased I was attending church again and perhaps even more excited that I was actually engaged enough to take a role on the council.  And my father was very pleased I was back in church.  But, his reaction to my council role seemed more muted than I expected.  Reflecting on this I realized that for Pastor Don, while council work, budgets, etc. where necessary work in a church, they were not what was exciting, important or impressive about church.  That came in the nitty-gritty work of helping the needy, comforting the sick and counseling the troubled.

There were times when this approach caused him trouble.  Jesus said, "The poor will be with you always."  So too Pharisees continue questioning why a pastor would choose to spend more time communing with sinners than saints.

But Pastor Don never changed.  For him the examples from Jesus' life were never just words to be talked, but a way to be walked.

Last fall some of our family had occasion to be in Port Washington, Wisconsin and we attended St. John's where Pastor Don served 30 and more years ago.  After the service, we were surprised at how many people wanted to greet us and show us around.  Most of all Pastor Don.

I noticed that some would seem to wait for a semi-private moment and then they would take his hand, lean a little toward him and say something.  By this time he was quite hard of hearing.  So, a few also sought one of us out and repeated the ritual.  Just a few words.  Some versions of: "Your father is a wonderful man.  He helped me so much when.....
  • When my father died
  • When I was having a tough time
  • When my mother went to the home
  • When my brother got cancer
  • When my wife left me
  • When my son was killed in that crash."
Don was not perfect.  He wrestled with demons only he fully understood and at times he struggled with his calling.

But he always remained a pastor to the day he died long after officially retiring.

He wouldn't want people to talk about him and I doubt if he would approve of my words today.  After all he would recall words from the Sermon on the Mount: "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them."

He would also likely find it a bit presumptuous to try and define even a bit of a man's life in a few words and minutes.

Still, I want to thank my Dad for the examples he showed me.

And, I also know there are so many in this broken world who would want to recognize him for doing his best to touch the places that hurt the most.

Donald Schoewe, thank you for being a pastor.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Donald D. Schoewe Obituary

Donald D. Schoewe - February 7, 1933- June 11, 2014

Reverend Donald D. Schoewe (Don), 81, of Roosevelt, MN died at 10:54 pm Wednesday June 11, 2014 at Altru hospital in Grand Forks, ND surrounded by his loving wife Dianne and their five children Nicholas, Claire, Martin, Matthew and Peter.

The funeral service for Reverend Donald D. Schoewe (Don) will be held at 4:00 pm on Sunday, June 15th at Zion Church, Hoosier Ridge, MN with Pastor Scott Hirssig officiating.  Burial will follow immediately in the Hoosier Ridge Cemetery.  A memorial and celebration of life service will follow in the weeks to come at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Warroad, his home congregation.

Don was born on February 7th, 1933 in Plainview, MN to Reverend Theodore Schoewe and Clara (Klatt) Schoewe.  He grew up in Plainview and attended Immanuel Lutheran School and Plainview High School where he played football, basketball and baseball for the Plainview Gophers.

Following high school he attended the University of Minnesota.  His college years were interrupted when he volunteered to serve his country in Korea in 1953.  Following Korea he returned to The University of Minnesota and graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy.

After university Don was called to the ministry and attended Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN and Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO.  It was in Fort Wayne that he met Dianne Doctor who would become his wife on September 30th, 1960 and remain so until he died.  Over the years Don and Dianne would lovingly raise five children Nick, Claire, Marty, Matt and Pete.

Donald Schoewe was ordained as an LCMS minister in August 1963 by St. John’s Lutheran Church in Lily, WI and served that congregation as well as St. Matthew’s in White Lake, WI through 1968.  He continued his ministry for 33 years also serving Hope Lutheran Church in Arcade, NY, Peace Lutheran Church in Antigo, WI, St. John’s Lutheran Church in Port Washington, WI and Bethany Lutheran Church in Lake City, MN.  Following his retirement in 1996 he and Dianne move to Roosevelt, MN where they have been active members in Bethlehem Lutheran Church.  Don has also regularly served as vacancy pastor at Bethlehem and other congregations in northern Minnesota.

Don loved sports, children, gardening, tinkering in the garage and fishing.  He was preceded in death by his sister Genevieve and brother Gregory.  He is survived by his wife of 54  years Dianne, his brother Reverend Theodore Schoewe of Winona, MN, four sons and one daughter: Nicholas (Robbin), Winnetka, IL; Claire (Jeff) Heikkinen, Ridgeville, SC; Martin (Tawnya) International Falls, MN; Matthew, Chicago, IL; Peter, Oakland, CA; as well as six grandchildren and ​two​ great grandchildren​.

Sympathy cards may be sent to Dianne Schoewe, 28413 675th St., Rural Rte. 1 Box 238, Roosevelt, MN 56673.

Memorials can be sent to Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lake Street NE, Warroad, MN 56763 or your local congregation.

A memorial Service for Donald Schoewe of Roosevelt, MN will be held on Sunday, June29, 2014 at 3:30PM at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Warroad, MN.

Grandpa - by Dana Schoewe 12-June-2014

It’s really too bad grandpa isn’t here today. I know for a fact he could do a better job giving a nice prayer on behalf of himself than any one of us. It might be a little long-winded, but it would be eloquent and appropriate. I know because I’ve seen him do it a thousand times at Thanksgiving. Although, I suppose for once it wouldn’t end with, “Come Lord Jesus, best our guest. Let these gifts to us be blessed. Amen.”

However, since he is not here with us, I will try to say a little prayer for him in my own way.

Life is linear. Each of us is like a horizontal line on a plane, our lives stretching across the axis of time, and each line has two endpoints. My line ran parallel with grandpa’s line for only 20 years, which really in the grand scheme of things, is a very small slice of time. I want to thank him for being there at my first endpoint, to baptize me and bring me into this world.

I also want to thank him for teaching me something very valuable in our 20 parallel years: sometimes it’s okay to be stubborn as heck. Being stubborn means sticking to your convictions, Grandpa Schoewe-style. It means standing on the mantle belting out Christmas carols at the top of your lungs, even if you get most of the notes wrong. It means sticking your head in the snow and building a snowman at 75 with the childlike spirit of a 10-year-old. It means doing all of this and not caring how anyone else will respond, because you are being true to yourself.

Ironically, the stubbornness I learned from grandpa may have backfired on him. There is one thing I never admitted to anybody, not even grandma (even though I’m pretty sure she asked me point blank about it.) So, grandpa, I need to clear my conscious and confess one last thing to you, now that you have reached your second endpoint. It was I who stole your pipe and threw it in the trashcan as a kid. I was persistent and stubborn and used to hide your pipe from you, and one time I threw it away. I’m sorry. I wanted what was best for your health. I was too stubborn to understand anything, save my conviction that smoking was bad. 

That’s what you get, though, because you taught me to be this way, and it’s a good thing. Especially in these first 20 years along my line, when people and peers have constantly pulled me in all different directions. The truth is, no one should be coerced into being a sloped vector, and my line has continued to stretch forward strong and independently, just like yours did. Thank you for showing me that it’s okay to do my own thing, to keep my head down and stick to my gut and live the way I want to live. Hey, that it’s even okay stick my head in the snow if I want to.

I won’t forget you and your admirable headstrong ways. I hope they have a nice pipe for you up in heaven. Amen.

Dirt on Dad

On Dad's 80th birthday I temporarily subscribed to a newspaper archive service and downloaded these pages to send to him.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

I know some of you were curious and we were talking about Nicaragua over break, and I just went back and was looking at some of the emails I sent and I thought I'd post a few in case anyone wants to read them. They are in reverse-chronilogical order so if you're interested in reading them maybe start at the bottom.

July 12, 2012

Hey there,

I had to come to the "ciber" to finish up some work so I figured I'd send you one last email. Although the majority of my emails were sent to you in times of frustration and therefore, probably seemed pretty negative, right now I'm feeling content. Yesterday, I had my final interview with Steve and we talked for a long time. I'm really pleased because he said that he's seen a lot of personal growth, particularly in the area of confidence in me and he told me I am one of the most positive and flexible interns they've had. He is happy to write a recommendation for me in the future at any time and said that he probably shouldn't say this, but if he were my parents he'd be really proud of what I've done. So I know this is bragging, but I figure since it's you it's okay. It just made me really happy to hear how good he feels about my time in Nicaragua.

I've built relationships here. That's what stands out to me; it's not the group meetings or the sustainable work, although that's important too, but getting close to individuals who know nothing about my world. When I leave they'll have no idea where I am, what I'm doing, but when I picture the people here I know their lives will be virtually the same. I can't get over that. At the beginning I knew nothing about their world either, but I think I succeeded in taking a deep breath and jumping into it. I remember at our first meeting, the women were skeptical of me. They had been working a little with another intern Bert and were used to having a guy around. Not to mention I was intimidated to take over his project given that he has been out of college for two years and worked for an investment banking firm. They hinted that it was going to be hard to gain my trust. In order to make our work together productive, I had to go behind their lines. Partaking in their softball practice, waking up at 5 am to ride on the back of a motorcycle to go milk a cow, taking a bus for two hours to buy a giant freezer, learning swear words, and making peanut butter banana sandwiches for them were some of the keys to making our project work. Only with these keys did they learn to listen to my ideas and accept me as an insider, one of them even gave me a massage as we were waiting outside one day. Now, they are planning my goodbye party for tomorrow in secret and my family keeps asking me when I'm going to come back and stay with them again.

On Tuesday I met a group of surfers/mission trip people and they invited me to dinner and go to a concert. Well, not really a concert, it was one man sitting on a stool and playing the guitar. I realized how absorbed I am in the local culture when I was wowed by their Americanized vacation-like house with an Argentinian cook with whom they tried to speak local Spanish to. Also, I had no idea the restaurant where the concert was, let alone any restaurants existed around here. They were all impressed by my ability to speak Spanish to their cook and by the amount of time I'd been here, but most of all by the fact that I was living with a local family. It's hard to describe, but when I was with them I realized how blind they are to real life in Nicaragua and it sort of frustrated me how blazé they were about everything.

The bottom line is I'm glad I did this. I think I've always felt a need to really get out of my comfort zone and know something different of the world. And this is the time in my life to do it. Now I feel like I do and I can speak from firsthand experience about issues I used to not care or know anything about. Thanks for letting me come. Part of what makes this so good is that I now get to come home, back to my own family, friends and culture. I can't wait.

Xoxo, have fun in Montreal and see you Sunday,


July 4th, 2012

Today is a day I am certainly missing the US. I ate almost a whole watermelon this morning in honor of our traditions but otherwise the 4th of July will pass this year unnoticed, which is a little depressing. I felt this way when I was in Spain two summers ago also, it's just part of traveling but it is a bummer. I guess it's just disappointing that I feel pride for my country today and there's no one to celebrate that with.

It's been over seven weeks here; it's funny how perceptions of time change as you get older. I remember my first experience away from home: Camp Mishawaka for just under two weeks, and boy, sometimes that felt like forever. Now, the two weeks left here feels like nothing. My journey home is just over the horizon and I can't wait to be back! Recently I've really been craving our American consumerist culture too...is that bad? Obviously I miss mom's cooking, being with the family, the comfort of a home with AC and real beds and multiple stories and indoor bathrooms...the list goes on, but I also miss my own clothes and way of presenting myself, along with Chipotle and Whole Foods and Walgreens and Sunset Ridge and driving around in BMWs with satellite radio. 

There are very few people who live year round here that are originally from the states, and truthfully most of them are kind of crazy. I've talked to Steve about this. There is one woman, Amie, who lives in Nicaragua six months of the year and the other six months in Seattle. She says it is to maintain a level of sanity. I think sometimes we don't realize just how much consumerism we are used to and giving that up permanently, along with a sense of real American luxury, would be enough to make me a little crazy. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what is missing here, but the absence of large pristine buildings and any signs of advertising certainly feel like a part of it.

I guess what you trade that for is natural beauty of the environment. It's cool because in America we have both natural beauty and constructed beauty at our fingertips, although at home you only can drive so far (even in the West) without reaching some form of comfortable, civilized society. That doesn't bother me, and it probably reassures most people. It makes me think about our Western frontier 100 or 200 years ago. Obviously Nicaragua is more developed than that (although in the Northern Autonomous regions I'm not so sure) but being here makes me think people like the first settlers really had some nerve to stick it out. Ultimately, we have them to thank for our conveniently-placed drive-in Starbucks' today. 

The beauty here is magnificent, though. It's a virgin beauty. In the US we struggle to find spots on the beach that aren't already laden with toys, chairs and towels...let alone a flat piece of sand where nobody has dug some giant hole or built a castle. Where I am, the beaches are gorgeously desolate, some stretches you can walk without seeing a single individual or beachfront house. That, I think, is a rare gem in this world. Just forest and sand and the roaring Pacific. Someday, they will probably all be developed, in fact I'm surprised no one has already taken advantage of the many investment opportunities here, but for now they are mine to enjoy.

One advantage to living with locals is they know the best spots to adventure. I don't think my best memories from this trip will be from the times I travelled like a tourist with the other interns, but with my family here and the group of women I work with. As a side note, I've discovered that the way into the heart of a family here is through the mother. Get close to the mom and you're in, because she will praise you to the rest of the family and trust is formed. Anyway, the locals definitely know the best spots that are virtually untouched and the best ways to get around. A week ago, with my brother and sister I ventured to natural ocean pools formed by giant rocks when the tide comes in. We had to walk across long stretches of beach and climb over a lot of rocks, but it was worth it. Hopefully some of the pictures come out well. 

I CANNOT WAIT to be home. Happy 4th!

June 14, 2012

Hello hello, 

I hope all is well at home with everyone, including my puppies. I miss them! Thanks for the pictures, mother. That sounds like an interesting business that Janice has, and yes, drive and ambition are slow here as always. I'm still waiting for my fund of $300 to arrive, Ramiro should get it next week and then I can start construction and buying materials for the school. I went to the school three afternoons this week and taught them my frogs (of course) and how to make cootie catchers (big hit) and let some play with legos. I like working there because now when I walk around town random kids will say hi to me and they are always full of big smiles when I arrive at the school. A lot of the kids are very curious and follow me around or peer into my classroom. It's funny because I have no idea what I'm doing but on Tuesday another teacher came to observe me and wanted me to teach her my origami so she could use it in her classroom. Sustainable, eh? Except I have no background in teaching. However, they all sort of follow my lead and think I know a lot more than I do. I need more craft ideas for next week! On the other hand, the bakery is slow as usual.

In general, I am becoming more well-known around town, and I really like it. In the beginning, random boys would shout what I'm sure were semi-rude things when I was walking around because they didn't know me and just assumed I was passing through. It was more negative attention. Now, I am beginning to see familiar faces and instead people and young men come up and talk to me or wave enthusiastically across the park, etc. They actually want to get to know me, and of course they are curious too because I look so different. On my way to the office and the school I have to walk by the butcher shop/convenience store where some of my extended family works. I used to just pass by without saying much, but now I stop and chat sometimes and today we even played with a volleyball in the street. I thought I was playing the game well but they kept telling me I lost...so apparently I didn't understand the rules of their game. I don't think they're used to having a girl play with them either.

You'll be happy to know also that last night there were about seven people on my front porch using my newly purchased mats (that are actually for babies but I use them to stretch and do yoga). We were exchanging ab exercises and stretches and having push-up and sit-up competitions. We would all laugh when someone could only do a few sit-ups or something, and it was quite the show watching everyone try, especially my host dad. Although afterwards he told me he wants to use my mats every night now to do ab exercises and eat less at dinner. So I am ACTUALLY influencing them. I felt so elated observing everyone struggle and participating in the competitions with the kids and parents alike. 

Also interesting news...I went on a "date" with my uncle this week! Don't be scared it wasn't my creepy uncle, but his younger brother who is only 21 (instead of 40) and really nice. Except sometimes I can't understand him because he talks really fast. Anyway, I think he likes me because he always come to our house to sit and talk to me on the porch and this morning he offered me a ride to work on his motorcycle. I wouldn't mind spending more time with him, plus rides are convenient and he invited me to go to the beach this weekend. He works at the butcher shop with the rest of his family but he is also in school to become a lawyer. The catch is that I think he has a girlfriend, but  my host mom noticed that he likes me and keeps hinting that we should get together because apparently they fight all the time and she is really clingy. I guess we'll see what happens.

The interesting thing about all of this is that apparently no one (ie my two uncles, all the kids in our extended family) have taken this much interest in an intern before. My mom told me that my younger uncle has never tried to get to know and intern and she was really surprised that we're becoming friends because there have been a lot of other interns at their house in the past, some very attractive. My older uncle has never, either. Also, I don't think anyone has played with the kids and taught them exercises/goofed around this much before. Everyone in my family tells me I'm very easy to get along with, which I am so happy to hear! Instead of the projects I am working on, I actually feel most proud of the fact that I am truly at ease with them and embracing their culture.

That's all I have for now, I hope none of this scared you. I definitely feel like I have a more established life here now. Oh, and our retreat was postponed by Steve until next weekend.

Love you lots,

June 7, 2012
Miss and love you,

Hi there,

I hope Amanda's graduation was a blast and Kaitlin's finals have gone well thus far. I had a meeting with the bakery today so I actually have a much clearer view of what I am going to try to accomplish now, which is good. I'll let you know how it's going once I've actually started. The school is on a field trip at the mayor's office this afternoon so I came to the office instead to use the internet.

As I get to know my family better, I have begun to inquire more about their lives. Yesterday, I went to Rivas (commercial hub/town) to find something resembling a yoga mat with my host mom, Maricela, and six-year-old brother, Diego. I ended up finding those giant squishy puzzles that preschoolers use. Anyway, spending more and more time with Diego and his mom has brought some interesting questions into my head. Is is possible to be poor and spoiled? My conclusion is yes; definitely yes.

In the toy store yesterday, upon seeing the plethora of toys, like any boy of six, Diego was overwhelmed. He jumped around looking at various action figures and pulling them off the shelves to show to his mom. He started whining. "Mom, mom,I have to have this. I want this!" At first, his mom shrugged him off but he became more and more persistent. One of my pet peeves is the kind of whining he began to do. On the verge of a tantrum, he stomped he feet. I could see the tears building up. Maricela had already said no, but in order to avoid a full-on scene she finally have in and bought him the junky plastic toy. A mistake a parent should never make.

After living in the closest proximity possible (i.e. a one story, 4-room house including the bathroom) for a few weeks, the inner workings of my family are much clearer. I know now that without a doubt, Diego is spoiled. His self-discipline is non-existent. Although he is only six, that is no excuse. He can be pleasant sometimes, is cute and fun to play with, but also fundamentally spoiled like one of those demanding American kids nobody wants to babysit. He constantly cries when he doesn't get his way, is always sneaking soda or asking for sweets and food, and today he didn't go to school because he didn't want to. He rarely wants to, and school here is only a half-day for everyone.

His behavior may very well be attributed to a lack of parenting. In fact, his lack of self-discipline most likely stems from the same absence of self-discipline his parents possess. Don't get me wrong, I love his parents and I think they are very nice people who are easy to talk to, but they, and a lot of people in Nicaragua have a problem: they cannot control themselves and have a very poor idea of management.

The easiest and most natural example of this is their eating habits. I myself sometimes over-indulge with too many sweets, etc. but here there is no limit. Three meals a day, lots of oil/frying and sugar, and the plates are enormous. We think America has a problem with portions? We aren't the only ones who have that problem. Not only that, but between meals people eat. Last weekend, my family and I went on a short 2-mile bike ride to a different neighborhood. The kids and mom brought soda "gaseosa" and Maricela filled her purse with little cookies, which they snacked on all afternoon. Two miles! I wanted to laugh. They also walked their bikes up the tiniest hill. Later, Maricela complains her pants are getting tight. I told her she should just try to go a week eating smaller portions. She said, "But I can't. I get too hungry, Dana." It's called self-control, and maybe this is an awful thing to say, but sometimes their lack of self-control motivates me to have more of it.

I often find myself thinking how depressing the future is here. The kids, Diego and Sindi, are very skinny (like all kids here) and have potential to improve their lives in this early stage. They won't though. I think about how there is no escape for them, how I loathe the idea of returning here and seeing them lazy and obese and poorly-educated in 20 years. A few weeks ago, they had three days off of school for Mother's Day (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) and nobody, including Maricela, bothered to send their kids to school on Friday. In her words, "What's the use of one day? We won't bother."

Two nights ago, I was sitting out on the porch talking with the parents (because this is what we do every night) and they were counting money bills. This is a frequent practice here, along with constant obsession with prices. It occurred to me to ask them if they have credit/debit cards. No, they don't. Money in the bank? No. Oh, but some kind of savings, you know, money in case of an emergency? No, Dana, we're poor. Well what would you do in an emergency? God knows.

As a side note, luckily for them, there are no property, state, or federal taxes here.

Here, they literally live day by day, or payday by payday. This is something incomprehensible to me. They don't have savings to spend on vacations, special things, necessary emergencies, or anything, because they don't have savings. They also don't have much to look forward to. Each day is melancholy, and talk of the future is seldom; it is more about current gossip and current prices. In "Devil, take the Hindmost," there is a quote from Ronald Reagan that says, "the difference between an American and any other person is that the American lives in anticipation of the future because he knows what a great place it will be." I really think this is true. I personally live thinking about how I want things to be a year from now or a month from now. I get through a rough day by always having an event or something that's on the horizon that I can look FORWARD to.

So...to clarify, no savings. Money is spent impulsively on 2 liter soda bottles to go with dinner and useless plastic toys for whining children. This money could be in the bank, but it's not. Not to mention the money they have by not having to pay taxes (think of how rich Americans would be!?) My family is poor for sure, but they are spoiled. Spoiled ROTTEN in the most literal sense. Without self-discipline, they are rotting their teeth in sugars, rotting their money, and rotting their own bodies away, also day by day. Diabetes is a huge problem for many elderly. The worst part is, there's almost no escape from being spoiled rotten no matter how old you are.

Just something that's on my mind today. Sorry this was so long.

Have a great day, I love you.

Dana :)

May 19, 2012

 Well, regardless, with such a wide audience I feel like I should try a little bit harder with the emails. Plus I will most likely appreciate it later, on the off-chance I am ever bored enough to return to them or if they have future usefulness. Let me switch it up.

A few things I have noticed, or things that have occurred to me:

1. Lack of mirrors.
I don't think of myself as particularly self-conscious or focused on my appearance; however, here I only come into contact with a mirror at most once per day (there are no mirrors in most bathrooms). In the U.S. we are constantly looking at ourselves, perhaps as much as we look at anyone else. Public restrooms, mirrors at home in bathrooms, bedrooms, closets, etc. In Nicaragua, I rarely see myself, which oddly enough makes me feel more at ease and comfortable with my appearance and moreover, I do not wear makeup. Go figure.

2. The words "chele" and "gringa."
Walking down the street I'd be willing to bet my right hand I'll hear at least a few cries of one or both of those words. In Nica, all foreigners are referred to as "cheles" and U.S. people, or those particularly light-haired and skinned are called "gringos." I guess the fact that at home we don't have any slang words for specific types of people makes us truly a melting pot. Nobody drives down the streets of Chicago yelling out the windows at pedestrians "foreigner! Black person! Asian!" Here, that's the norm. And no, it's not offensive nor provocative, just a way of identifying those of us who are different. It doesn't bother me.

3. Yesterday, a monkey tried to grab my camera...and my face.
No I am not making this up. He was only about one foot tall but he was feisty. Luckily there was a cage separating us, but when I tried to stick my camera inside to get a good picture, his little hand came between the bars at me and he bared his tiny teeth. Afterwards I let him play with my water bottle and he attempted to unscrew the cap, so we did make friends in the end.

4. Mangoes fall from trees.
As much as this should seem like a natural occurrence, I really can't get over it. It's mango season right now and I can't get enough of them. The fact that I can walk down the street and pick up a perfectly ripe mango to peel and eat on the spot is an oddity even though it shouldn't be. Of course fruit grows on trees.

5. The man with the machetti.
Mom, please don't freak out, but yes, you had a point when you told me there were people here that carry them. I was walking home yesterday and a man with one passed me on the main street. I admit I was a little unnerved at the possibility that he could have sliced my head off in one go right there, but no one else seemed bothered so I kept my cool and passed by without a look or word and nothing happened.

6. Los Microbuses
Transportation is extremely easy and extremely cheap. To get from town to town, you simply start walking down a main road and every few minutes a van or bus with an official logo passes. To hop on, you just stick out your hand and they'll pick you up. Most of the time they are packed to the brim with passengers. It's also convenient that they can drop you off wherever, too, provided you have the Spanish to get that right. It's only about 25 cents or 6 cordobas to the next town, and they travel pretty far. 

Okay, those are all the amusing little bits (or not amusing...knives) I have for now. I thought this would mix it up a little for you. Tomorrow morning I'm leaving this place, which is kind of a shame. 


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fun fact: Amanda was a chicken for Halloween when she was four years old!

~Amanda and Dana

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Schoewe Reich

Seems like many Schoewe ancestors (i.e., Klatts, Hensels, Schoewes) lived in the Posen area, some perhaps originating from the Mecklenburg area.  Not being quite as up on my Reich history as I might be, I thought it was interesting to see visually how all that area from Stettin (Pommern) east, roughly in a line south down the Oder to Frankfurt and then down further to what is now the Czech Republic has subsequently become Poland.  Indeed, the old Prussian heartland is Poland.  I think I knew that before, but maybe forgot. (For the technical minded, yes, excepting Kaliningrad and points north/east, which is generally Russia/Lithuania now.)

In other words, according to Google Earth, looks like we are generally Northern European Plains people.

Friday, September 7, 2012


I have a friend who recently told me he is doing a free trial on Ancestry.com. It sounded interesting, so I decided to try it, too. Unfortunately, I got stuck pretty early on, as it struck me, somewhat sadly, that I know very little information to even start with. I told my friend, well, I know there are some Klammers and Klatts I have heard of. Pretty sure the Klatts are Dad's side and Klammer's Mom, but that's about all I know. Something about Frankenmuth, Michigan, right? And, of course, Minnesota. Can anybody do better than me? I did find that Grandpa Schoewe had to register for WWI.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Schoewe sisters on a hike!
 Yampa, CO on the way to a hike.
Mt. Zirkel Wildnerness

Nick the boat driver
Hi there! This is Dana and Amanda. We just returned from Colorado and we are excited to contribute to the Schoewe Blog! Amanda and Kaitlin have tennis tryouts tomorrow, so everyone wish them luck. Dana is headed to a friend's lake house for a few days then back to school on the 18th. Boy, summer does fly! We'd like to share some photos from Colorado with you all, can't wait until the next time you guys come out. It starts to feel like our real home out there more every time. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Still Waiting For Dana Update!

In the meantime, here's a shot of how I get to work these days.  I have to walk around the other side behind that blue covered fence in front of Walgreen's.  Seems sturdy enough when you walk over it, but not especially confidence inspiring from this view.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ma and Pa

Another cool pic of the folks. I suppose everybody who might see this already has via email, but I figured you'd probably want to see it again.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

More Nexus: Lane Tech

I've been in this neighborhood going on two years now, I walk by every day, and Lane Tech still fascinates me. Maybe because it looks like I imagine an old-fashioned factory would, but it is a high school. You may notice a bit o' finger in one--photography is not, it seems, entirely compatible with dog walking.  Using zoom, you lose definition pretty quickly.  So, standard camera phone in my experience.  Overall, I can't say that I'm wowed, in the sense that this is hugely, or any, better than the Behold II.  Not so as I notice, anyway.

Nexus Practice Pics

West side of Lane Tech. To the left is one wall of the sports stadium. It always seems like they might be about to construct something in this area, but nothing has happened yet. To the right is a street leading back to DeVry (DeVry is straight back in the pic, but you can't see it--lots of construction at present there that scares Rainey), and across that street is a park I go to fairly often with Rainey (see butt sticking from tree pic, below) along the Chicago River. Behind is Addison, where the McDonald's is.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Another Favorite Rainey Activity

The guys in the background were not Rainey's biggest fans.
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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Rainey's Idea Of Fun

If you can't see her, click on the photo to enlarge.  She is at the base of the tree.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Nuggets (translated) from "Jerusalem Zur Zeit Jesu" by Jeremias

From the eastern Nile Delta came the transparent linen garment which the High Priest wore on the morning of Atonement Day. p.41.
On the evening of Atonement Day the High Priest was clothed in a garment from India. p.39.
In the gruesome history of the Herodian family poison played a great part. It was imported from Egypt. p.41;
A woman suspected of adultery was bound in the temple square with an Egyptian rope.p.41
Pottery forbiden in Jerusalem because of the smoke?p.5
Regarding the olives from Perga they would be would be pure after being transported through heathen territiory if pressed in Jerusalem.
It is not impossible that the youth mentioned in the arrest of Jesus in Gethsemane is the composer of the Gospel of Mark. The family of the same dwelt in Jerusalem a spacious house which later came the assembly place of the Christian community. Acts 12:12.p.7
The wood of Jerusalem consisted of cinnamon trees from which when heated gave a pleasant odor. p.7
Check this in the ancestry names of  Joseph, said to be father of Jesus; The numerical equivalent of the Hebrew
"David' is 4-6-4 = 14 and times the three letters of David 3x14= 42.Or the 70 (according to some MSS) names = the ten periods of world history . With the birth of the Savior we are in the eleventh day or period. Will give page citations from Jeremias: JzZJ. pretty soon. about 18,000 priest in Judaea and Galilee at the time of Jesus. Jerusalem's population about 600,000. Few hundred priests needed to wash the hanging to the front court of the temple.Levites number about the same as priests.pages 232-252/
Re:Eunuch in Acts 8: Unusual for pilgrims to travel on vehicle. Walking thought to be meritorious. Eunuch not full (complete) Proselyte due to being an Eunuch?
Among the lowly regarded by the echt Israelites includes shepherds and physicians. Why? Shepherds were inclined to adulterate herds with pure stock. No buying wool or milk from them or those mixed with goats.
Physicians cater to the rich and neglect the poor. (pages 61,67,68) .Some thought both occupations should be kept to the Vorhof of the Temple area.Pontius Pilate did a good thing once by bringing a water pipe into Jerusalem. What were barbers doing in the Temple court? Taking of the Nazarenes who had completed their vows, taking care of the newly ordained Levites and cleansing of the lepers.Pontius Pilate ran a much needed water line into Jerusalem but a riot ensued after it was learned that PP raided the temple treasury to fund it. Required 30 soldiers to put down the unrest. Sounds like they did  pretty much like to Jesus.
Caesar Augustus (29-14 B.C.) gave the 400 personal guards of Queen Celopatra who died in 30 B.C. to Herod. The guards were from Gall and Cleopatra gave them to Augustus. Herod allegedly had Gallisch soldiers let his brother-in-law, Jonathan (Aristobul) drown in a bath in Jericho. page 72.
Mischna says King permitted to have 18 wives, at the same time, and the Talmud gives two ancient opinions that 24 and 48 could be permitted. Herod the Great had 10, 9 of whom were living at the same time.Rhoda and Malchus were non-Israelite slave. Malchus is a Nabatean Arab name. See Acts 12 and John 18 respectively for Rhoda and Malchus.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Geting Started

Matt I finally am going to try a post - so we will see how it goes. Hope all readers are doing well and enjoying the fall. Looks like I learned to add photos too - some pelicans haning out on Rainy Lake- think spring ! OK I guess its a little too early for that.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Blogs? Dodo?

Same fate?  I thought it must be, since Dad is all about Twitter and Facebook now!

Google+ too?

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Stapled in front of my father's class notes (ca 1910)on Catechetics is a pamphlet of 25 pages titled Abriss der Katechetik by J. Schaller which he says is a summary of J.Schmarjes Das katechetisch Lehrverfahren auf psychologische Grundlage. Further Schaller says his summary will demonstrate that Schmarjes manner of presentation was too difficult for our seminarians. Wonder what the seminarians thought of that?

The word katechesieren and its derivatives comes from the Greek katecherin, which literally has a negative tone but translated to orally teach, instruct , without reference to the subject matter.In the New Testament the word katechesieren is in the following verses: 1 Cor.14:19; Rom.2:18; Acts 18:25; Galatians 6:6.
In the ancient church the word has a narrower sense and signifies first: to instruct in Christianity, and later: Beginners and Adolescents to instruct in the saving truth. It is the origin of the following derivatives:katechet; the instruction; -katechumen-the instructed one; katechumenat-churchly office to instrcut the beginners. The teaching form (e.g. question and answer) was not indicated by this word. The word Katechismus indicates first the handling of instruction, then up until Luther the doctrinal content ; Luther first uses the name for a book which contains the doctrinal matter.

Katechesieren is namely then originally simply instruction, and Katechese or Katechisation is actually nothing further than a lecture, which according to the rule of the catechetical teaching manner actually given or presented in written form. The prevailing form of catechesis in ancient times without doubt was the coherent lecture (the akromatische form); yet the catechesis must also use question that its student rightly comprehended the lecture (the erotematische form).

After the middle ages in spite of the previous efforts of Charlemagne instruction was entirely disregarded and in decline,, but again raised up by the Reformation and made yet in the 17th century further progress by Pietism.In the following period of Rationalism two important fundamentals were applied, namely: 1. all instruction must include discussion of the opinion, and 2. that concepts must be developed in instruction. Both were not only in religous instruction required but in all instrcution matters and so developed the modern concept of Cathehesis as the as the question-developing teaching form, which not bound to any teaching-content but can and should be applied to all areas of instruction.

It should not be forgotten that in many ways now yet that the concept of catechetics is narrowly conceived. One understand under it a churchly activity, which only deals with church doctrine, which has only to do with with church-teaching and pursues the goal of having the student brought to a certain degree of Christian confession. That is the theological catechetics; that concept includes not only a teaching form but also a definite teaching content. Thereto we take here the concept of catechetics in the sense that it embraces all instruction matter and yet according to the paedagogical basis the development of the student is brought through question and answer to a self-standing inner relationship to the content of the teaching.
The paedagogical catechetics is this; Its concept includes only the teaching form with out consideration of the teaching content.

Chapter 2-The psychological bases;

The formal purpose of education is thus defined as the " formation of the powers which lie in the human nature"; the material purpose must be keep in eye "moral ideal" as which we true Christianity can designate.
The educational development should as also the instruction as a means of education chiefly as developmental instruction. The laws for developmental instruction however must be the same which mainly are the basis for the development of the soul. (In this sense Comenius says: "instruction according to nature". (Unterrichte naturgemass).

Hereupon rest the following fundamental statements: 1. The teacher must reckon with the position which the child brings and proceed from there. 2.The first and most necessary learning-activity is the discovery of the perceptive-circle of the student. 3.Only when the old related ideas are in consciousness can the apperception (perception?) of the new succeed.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Still hot and humid in Chicago and about to get worse.  Hope it's better up north!

Maybe we should all share our fondest memories of Mother...

I didn't know what to do for Mom, so I thought what might be nice might be some flowers,

a pleasant sunset by the water,

and a little calm reflection.

Reformation Letters: #2072-Recommendation-writing for an Oriental Eccle...

Reformation Letters: #2072-Recommendation-writing for an Oriental Eccle...: "There is with us in Germany Herr Michael Aethiops (an Ethiopian?, an Arab?), Deacon, whom we have have confidentially conversed with himon C..."

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Violating Rule #1: No Pictures Of Matt

But I thought maybe we could get Marty interested in the blog...

As you can see, I am nearly flawlessly executing the fisherman's trick of holding the fish away from your body, so it looks bigger in the photo.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Twitter And Stuff

Those of you who are social media savvy will probably recognize that some Twitter feeds have been added to the sidebar. They are designated by the "@" symbol. For those who don't know, rbehs is Pete, mrschoewe is Matt, DonaldSchoewe is...well, self-explanatory I guess, and diupnorth is Dianne.  If you have a Twitter account and want to be added to the blog here, let us (Matt and Pete are probably your best bet) know, and we can help get your feed on there.  Or, if you know what you are doing and have Administrator privileges, by all means, go ahead and help yourself!

The stuff...you may have also noticed we have updated from "classic" (old) blogger to the new blogger (which is actually several years old now).  The new blogger has much greater functionality.  For example, you may notice that some longer posts (like this one) are now truncated on the home page of the blog and have a link that says "read more," that links to the entire post on a separate page.