By Trooper Greg Evensen
    August 23, 2013

    I will pledge my life to protect these that our home stands as a shelter for when the storms arrive. It is why I lean into the wind and stand watch alone, if necessary, while the children sleep.

    To: Our children: Rachael, Nathan, Jessie, Ben, Jessica
    Our grandchildren: Chloe, Rory, Pyper, Gabriel, Ayva,
    Sophia, Gavin, Trey, Gavin W., Olivia and another coming.
    Our in-laws: Bill, Brandon, Ashley, Alicia and Chris

    When I remarried after the death of my wife Yvonne, I told my childhood sweetheart Liz, that there would be no “steps” in our blended family. All of our children and grandchildren would have grandma and papa to lean on, to be there for them and to keep the roof on during holidays when all were present. Liz is the consummate home fire keeper and I watch the woods and approaches to our drive day and night. The kids gather in the winter around the 1923 Montgomery Wards “Admiral” wood cook stove that has been carefully brought to full glory and renovation after 90 years of use on a farm where I found and purchased it near Ironwood, Michigan. I understand “hearth and home.” My mind centers on the moments warming one’s hands over the stove face. I know that the aroma of bacon, eggs and hash browns drives you to sneak a fork full while Liz is flipping English muffins over the firebox. The kids know the treat of the day is an apple for each sitting on the stove railing leaning against the hot surface slowly cooking. When it splits open from the heat, cinnamon and sugar are sprinkled onto our apple trees fall fruit and life is pleasant and joyful.