You hear the word hero a lot lately. I just heard it on the news tonight. “He’s my hero” or “she is my hero”. That got me thinking about the heroes in my life. I had never really given it much thought about who my heroes are. So I hope this blog gets you thinking about who your heroes are.

What is the definition of a hero?  Webster dictionary defines a hero “as a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievement’s or noble qualities”. “Regarded as a role model”.  My heroes became role models of noble qualities that I admired. These people have shaped my life.

I study the Bible and read it on a daily basis. It is fascinating to me. I enjoy especially the New Testament; I really admire two people.

Jesus is my hero. Why? He set an example for me on how to live my life. He is the greatest teacher of all time! He changed the world. Paul is also my hero. Why? He met Jesus one day and his life was changed. After persecuting Christians and having them killed for their faith, he became a Christian and was one of the greatest preachers and teachers of the Gospel message. Paul was martyred for his faith. They are my heroes.

Other people I admire and consider to be my heroes are Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther, Jackie Robinson. I admire people who were like me, just a regular guy who came up with an idea that changed the world. Like Mark Zuckerberg creating Facebook and Bill Gates, Microsoft. Bill Gates and his wife are now giving billions back to make the world a better place.

On a personal level, I have a couple men who are my heroes. My grandpa Raymo and my dad are two such people. Both taught me to treat other people the way I would want to be treated. I really looked up to them and wanted to be like them. Sure they had their faults, we all do, but they were very kind men. Both were outstanding people and loved their families and friends. 

Mr. Foxwell, my theater arts teacher in high school is my hero. He believed in me. He saw something in me that nobody else did. He encouraged me all the time. He told me that I have a gift. He taught me to think out of the box. To explore new things. To live life to the fullest. I will always remember him.

The real heroes that I have in my life are family and friends that are firemen, police officers and, EMT’s. They put their lives on the line for us daily. Thank you! Think about your heroes and how they have affected your life. If your hero is still around give your hero a thank you or hug today.


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I often get teased for saying that winter is my favorite season. Sometimes when I tell people that, I get the same look from them as when I tell them I voted for Trump. Like I’m crazy or something and not in my right mind. I am very proud of the fact that winter is my favorite season. I absolutely love the winter season for many reasons.

I spent twelve days in Hawaii in October. The weather in Hawaii stays the same basically year around. How boring is that? While in Hawaii, I often told my wife, that I don’t think I could live in Hawaii because you cannot experience the four seasons. I think that is what makes living in Minnesota exciting, interesting and fun; the vast difference in all the four seasons.

I think the reason I like winter is that I enjoyed it so much as a child. When we lived in New Ulm, I remember the neighborhood kids along with my brothers and sisters playing outside in the snow all the time. We lived across the street from a huge sledding hill. Well it was huge to a child. Now when I drive by that hill it does not seem that big. We spent hours and hours sliding down that hill on toboggans, wooden sleds, and rubber inner tubes.

I don’t know how many winter forts we made in our backyard. My dad would push up a huge pile of snow in our backyard with a front end loader. Then my brothers and sister along with the neighborhood kids would dig tunnels through that huge pile of snow. Some really became big. After it was done, we had our own igloos. If you did that today, it would be considered a little dangerous to have kids crawling in tunnels under a large pile of snow.  

Every winter, you could count on us Raymo kids to make many snowmen in our yard in New Ulm. Some of them were pretty creative. I also enjoyed a really good snow ball fight on the school grounds. Making snow angels, eating snow, shoveling snow, it’s all good to me.

When I was a teenager living in Madison, I could not wait for the skating rink to open. I spent many hours playing hockey with my friends. I remember many kids coming to the rink. Playing hockey with my friends was fun, but skating with my girlfriend was better. Roxie was a good ice skater.

Now as an adult, the first snowfall is still exciting to me; I love it. I appreciate the beauty of winter as I grow older. The white snow on the ground, the bright full moon, the cold. It is all good. If I ever move from Madison, we are moving way north, like Northern Alaska, or I could easily become a Canadian living in the Rockies. When you say that winter is your favorite season, you are instantly put in the weirdo category and I am okay with that.  

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The last couple of months I have questioned my driving ability. Twice I pulled out in front of people almost causing an accident. Lately, I went the wrong way in a parking lot garage. Most recently I was daydreaming while approaching a roundabout going sixty miles an hour and had to lock the brakes up!

 I’m not really sure at what age you are considered a senior citizen. Or what age or condition you need to be when they take your driver’s license away from you. I’m only 60 years old for crying out loud. I have been told by people that I need to pay attention to what I am doing!!

 I’m not going to continue to write about my mishaps on the road, but instead focus on the responses I have received from other drivers that I have offended. I have gotten mad and sometimes really upset at people driving on the road in the past. Never have I given the finger to someone, or followed them, or honked my horn for five minutes.  To my complete surprise, I was shocked at how upset people were at me. I made a mistake. It was my fault.

For example, I was in Marshall driving down main street. I was set to merge in the left lane at the intersection of Main Street and East College Drive. The corner of Varsity Pub and Bello Cucina’s. It was my fault, I will admit. I failed to check my blind spot and I turned my blinker on the same time as I started to merge into the left lane. Well “crazy pickup man” had beaten me into the left lane and I did not see him as I was turning left into the lane.  So “crazy pickup man” laid on his horn as he backed off and let me in ahead of him. Well, I got up to the stop light and “crazy pickup man” would not let up on his horn!  I looked into my rear view mirror and he let me know I was number one! Really?

Second example. As I was in Montevideo, I was taking a right off Main Street and merging onto Highway 7. As you can see I have a problem with merging. As I was coming down the ramp and merging onto highway 7, a vehicle and I met at the same time and neither of us would give up, so i went faster and ahead of him. Once again I got the finger, but this time he followed me with every turn I took. I was just about to call the police on my cell phone when he backed off. He looked to be a smaller man, so if it came to blows outside of our vehicles, I could have taken him. I think.

Thirdly, I parked in a parking ramp across the street from US Bank Stadium during the state football tournament. After the game I got back into my car, backed out and started up the ramp when I noticed the arrows were pointing the other way and some vehicles were coming at me. Well, the man in the front seat with his whole family in the car started honking and once again I got the finger while waving his hands violently at me.   I mouthed “I’m sorry” which didn’t matter to him. Crazy people…huh?

Well there you have it. So the next time you see me in my car, and I pull out in front of you or don’t let you merge, please smile and wave nicely. Please don’t give me the finger, because I really don’t know what that means anyways. What is it with the middle finger? I am just a senior citizen trying to survive on the road. Be kind to one another, especially me.

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Some people go hog wild putting Christmas lights up. Outside their home, inside their home, on garages, barns, trees, just about anywhere. Of course, when I think about Christmas lights on homes, I always think of Chevy Chase’s house in the movie Christmas Vacation! Now that was awesome!  Realistically that would be a lot of work to do.

 In previous years we have put lights on the outside of our house. Not this year, we were too tired. That is our excuse. The weather has been fantastic for putting up outdoor lights, but my wife and I have no ambition to do so. I think we are turning into Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis in Christmas with the Kranks. We finally put up our tree last Sunday and found it to be quite a chore

Actually, putting the Christmas tree up in your home should be a festive event. It should look like a scene from a Hallmark movie with Christmas music playing, people sipping hot chocolate, and everyone enjoying the moment. That didn’t happen! Lights were tangled, the tree stand broke, and we argued over the lights. She wanted white lights, I wanted blue lights. I thought we had enough lights on the tree, but she said we needed more.  It was a fun afternoon. That is how our marriage works, we disagree and still have fun and enjoy each others company. It’s weird I know. Top it all off my hot chocolate wasn’t hot anymore. Merry Christmas

Before I am accused of being a Grinch, I will say I do really enjoy most Christmas movies. Christmas Vacation is my favorite. I can watch that movie over and over again and laugh every time. The characters are funny. The story is great, and one of the best characters in any movie ever is cousin Eddie. Randy Quaid plays that part very well. His quotes in the movie are spectacular, “You serious Clark,” “If you scratch his belly Clark, he will love you till the day you die,” “You glad to see us Clark?”

Other Christmas movies that I enjoy. It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, and Elf. Yes, I do enjoy Elf because I am a big fan of Will Ferrel. I don’t care for Miracle on 34th Street. Home Alone is ok.

As for Christmas music, I can listen to a few songs, but not all day long! Some radio stations play just Christmas music in December. I want my regular oldies songs. I get teased for not liking Christmas music. Does anyone else feel this way? Now when I say Christmas music I’m not talking about the old church hymns, but songs like I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus or Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. It feels good to get this off my chest. I feel better now.

I know I sound like a big Scrooge, but I am just not into the Christmas spirit yet. Maybe we need some snow on the ground. I guess I need to focus on the real reason we celebrate Christmas. I know that will get me excited about the season. It always does. Focus your thoughts on Jesus this holiday season and things will be just fine. He is the reason for the season.

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I am now 60 years old and am the oldest of five siblings. I recently read an article in a parenting magazine that was fascinating. I would like to share some of the information in my blog today. I have a lot of respect for Dr. Kevin Leman. We listened to his video’s at our Bible studies a few years ago. He is a very funny guy and very smart. I love listening to him and reading his books.

Are you the first born in your family? How about the middle child? Or the baby of the family. Might you be an only child. Dr. Leman believes the secret to sibling personality differences lies in birth order. Whether you’re a first born, middle, last born or only child, and how parents treat their child because of it.

My brothers and sisters are really different people from me. Yet we all were raised in the same house, by very loving parents. So how can we be so different? I think the same way with my own children. I often say to my wife, how can our kids be so different in personalities, and beliefs about certain things, and what’s important in life and priorities and yet they all were raised under the same roof.

First born people like me, always have the most pictures taken, and the last born child, you maybe can find one or two pictures of them. What really disturbs me about parents and parenting is how parents treat the last born child! They treat them like babies their whole life. My opinion 🙂

Here is Dr. Lemans assessment of the birth order.


As the leader of the pack, firstborns often tend to be:

  • Reliable
  • Conscientious
  • Structured
  • Cautious
  • Controlling
  • Achievers

Firstborns bask in their parents’ presence, which may explain why they sometimes act like mini-adults. Firstborns are diligent and want to be the best at everything they do. They excel at winning the hearts of their elders.

Middle Child

“The middle child often feels left out and a sense of, ‘Well, I’m not the oldest. I’m not the youngest. Who am I?'” says therapist Meri Wallace. This sort of hierarchical floundering leads middle children to make their mark among their peers, since parental attention is usually devoted to the beloved firstborn or baby of the family.

In general, middle children tend to possess the following characteristics:

  • People-pleasers
  • Somewhat rebellious
  • Thrives on friendships
  • Has large social circle
  • Peacemaker

Last Born

Youngest children tend to be the most free-spirited due to their parents’ increasingly laissez-faire attitude towards parenting the second (or third, or fourth, or fifth…) time around. The baby of the family tends to be:

  • Fun-loving
  • Uncomplicated
  • Manipulative
  • Outgoing
  • Attention-seeker
  • Self-centered

Only Children

Being the only child is a unique position in a family. Without any siblings to compete with, the only child monopolizes his parents’ attention and resources, not just for a short period of time like a firstborn, but forever. In effect, this makes an only child something like a “super-firstborn”: only children have the privilege (and the burden) of having all their parents’ support and expectations on their shoulders. Thus, only children tend to be:

  • Mature for their age
  • Perfectionists
  • Conscientious
  • Diligent
  • Leaders

Is this information correct in your family? How do you feel about the birth order you are in? I think it is fascinating, the birth order and how it affects you.

  • How Birth Order Affects Your Child’s Personality and Behavior By Jocelyn Voo from Parents Magazine
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