Lawrence J. Schulenberg
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What happens to teachers when they retire?
For former Council Bluffs' public school teacher, Larry Schulenberg he decided to reflect upon his life, his challenges and successes by penning a short story of his life. This isn't a person who only tells of his success, he speaks of his struggles, failures, and his “snowflakes”.
"Maybe not now, but someday soon, you're going to have to decide if you want to spend your life sitting inside watching the snowflakes fall...or do you want to go out and...catch the snowflakes. If you choose to go out into the snow...you will surely fall...but that's life...we all fall... Do you want to be a part of life? Or do you merely want to watch?"
Bluntly stated, there are no guarantees in life but how you handle the challenges throughout life can make all the difference in the world.
Larry Schulenberg somehow had the misfortune of being the only person in his hometown to be affected by polio. He was fortunate to have parents who did not excuse his handicap but who encouraged him to live every moment to the fullest. He quickly learned how to be successful adult complete with a career and a family.
Even though Schulenberg appears to have led a successful life, he and has family have experienced problems as everyone finds at some point with his career and challenges for his family.
While being a well-respected teacher in the Council Bluffs School District, he discovered the problems of advancing a career within a school district. He discovered that the way to further his career was by uprooting his family. However, this path is constantly changing in a field constantly changing and he even discovers himself without a job to support his family.
In his personal life, Larry and his wife wanted a family. When that did not happen, they chose adoption through a well-respected agency, first with a boy and a few years later, a girl. What they never expected was contact with their son's birth mother.
When a well-respected adoption agency does not disclose information, there are always ways around the system. Apparently a private detective managed to be employed by the adoption agency revealing to the birth mother the identity of the family adopting her boy. Throughout the years, his birth mother had followed the family. Was she a stalker? Why does she want to be a part of his life now?
Larry Schulenberg wrote this novel to entertain but more than that, he wanted to share his lesson of life about a personal attitude and especially for those challenged with handicaps of any kind proving that each person can be capable.
To Catch the Snowflakes is an authentic reflection on a special person who looked for the best in everyone even when life was challenges. This short autobiographical memoir is best stated by what Schulenberg's father told him, "We must travel through the valleys to appreciate the peaks."