April Ziemer

April Ziemer

It is hard to believe that we are half way through 2021 already. June has been a busy little month so far. Because our daughter is on the Miss Amery court, we are entering our full-swing parade season and of course there have been grad parties galore.

As I have been sitting at the various grad parties recently, I have been thinking about what the future holds for these youngsters entering the big scary world. I have stood at these gatherings, looked through 18 years of adorable and awkward stage photos and admired their medals and awards. I have mentioned before that I hope they do not get too discouraged if life doesn’t go exactly as they have planned. It is common for life to have twists and turns.

I started thinking about kids who have actually experienced the opposite. While many bubbly students have an array of awards to present, medals to display and photos with friends that could fill a gymnasium, there are others who do not.

There are some who never really found their niche in school. It was like climbing Mount Everest to get to Graduation Day and honestly for some of them, it might have come right down to the wire. 

Some of them had teachers and families who fought for them and did everything in their power to make graduation a reality and others did not. There are some of these kids that many people hold very little expectations for concerning the future. 

My hope is that these kids go out there and show people what they are really made of. Though some classmates or adults may consider them to be “weeds”, like a dandelion, someday those naysayers just might be makings wishes on them.

I know how much my husband Josh loves it when I write about him in the paper, so here is another tale. Josh hated school. He had a close-knit group of friends and other than that, he paid no attention to who anyone else was or what they were doing. He played a little football in his early high school years, but he was a wild one and sports, clubs and even classrooms were not his cup of tea. He loved to live on the edge and push boundaries.  

One time Josh was running as fast as he could away from New Richmond High School, trying to skip class without being noticed. A staff member did notice and it happened to be a track coach. He called Josh into his room the next day and told him he saw him running and proposed they could keep the skipping their little secret as long as Josh signed up for track. I know what you are thinking…this is a pivotal moment that turned things around for my hubby…not the case.

The smart aleck student asked if they got “smoke breaks” at track practice and long story short, it led to another stint of detention for Joshua. Like track, there were no smoke breaks in detention either.

My husband has said most people didn’t have much hope for him back then. It took a little while longer before pivotal moments turned things around. I know for a fact, had I known him then, I wouldn’t have looked twice at him and I am sure his feelings would be mutual. 

He teenage angst caused him to learn a few lessons and he used them as a catalyst. Is this some amazing story about the “bad boy” finding a cure for cancer or walking on the moon? No. It is the story of a rebel turning into a hard-working husband and loving father who volunteers in his community and would give you the shirt off his back. 

He tries to steer his kids in the opposite direction of where he headed in his younger years. He traded in his early year shenanigans for golfing and fishing.

He was never stupid, just not a conventional classroom setting sort of guy. Whether the category is “The Bible”, “Physics” or anything in-between, he can kick butt in Jeopardy.

He ended up being married to a girl who loved every minute of high school, who was voted “Most Likely to Succeed.” That girl can easily say her life with that wild New Richmond boy has been her biggest success.

Don’t get me wrong; my hubby is no saint. He is both a little hellfire and holy water. Which happens to be a perfect flavor combination.

I beg of you, don’t count those unconventional high schoolers out just yet; you might be amazed at what the future has in store for them.

I enjoy sharing my thoughts with you and look forward to readers sharing their thoughts in return.

Feel free to email me at editor@theameryfreepress.com, write me at P.O. Box 424, Amery WI. 54001 or I can be reached by phone at 715-268-8101.

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