Young Vilt’s advice: ‘Enjoy the fulfillment of life’

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 14, 2000

Tuesday, November 14, 2000

"Everyday is good because I get to enjoy the fulfillment of life." – Skyler Vilt, age 11

Leave it to a fifth grader to say that. It makes me wish I was in fifth grade again.

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Skyler, our youngest, and I are pretty good about asking each other how their day went. Actually, Sky has been more earnest than I have in this endeavor.

The other day we were on our way to do some grocery shopping and Skyler asked how my day had been.

I answered the usual – "Some good, some bad, most of it was so-so."

"How was your day?" I asked.

That’s when he came back with the statement, "Everyday is good…" quoted above and then added "that’s coming from a guy who loves football and enjoys rock and roll."

"That’s great," was my response. "I’ve got to write that down." A big grin slid across his face as I scrambled for my ever present notebook that is always in reach to record what I think should be recorded. I use a notebook to record what people say when I’m reading, or when I overhear a comment someone says in person or on the radio, perhaps in a song and, since the kids came in to our lives, I recorded a number of ‘famous lines" the three of them have said over time.

Casey, in his very early years announced to me that "rain came from bugs lying on their backs spitting up in the air."

When we were visited a Dells park with storybook characters our eldest, who shall remain nameless to perhaps alleviate some embarrassment, and who was much younger then, met Miss Bo Peep with her sheep. However, as we roamed the park we discovered Bo Peep’s sheep without Miss Muffit. Our daughter had just seen Miss Muffit minutes before, in another part of the park, looking for them.

Duty called and we had to cross the park so she could point out to Bo Peep where her sheep were and reunite them before leaving the park.

It was a sweet and tender moment, and life was good.

Now with the elections behind us, life is still good for each of us in some way.

Norma Wangen was excited when she dropped by a letter to the editor encouraging citizens to vote no on Ordinance 450 – "Won’t it be something if it doesn’t pass," she said with a big smile. "It would be a victory for the people."

For Norma and many others in the community election day was good at least in that respect.

Sometimes though, the fulfillment of life, even though it good for some its hard to realize the ‘good.’

If you read Jana Peterson’s column last Wednesday you read that she, Franny and Brady are moving to Idaho as another chapter opens in Jana’s life.

She will be missed in Austin by the many that have appreciated her work here at the Herald which I would describe as the "people’s reporter" where she was willing to display her heart in this day and age when the heart is often overlooked. She not only writes well, she cares.

She will certainly be missed by our family.

In her column Jana failed to mention a couple of other events in her life from days gone by – how she came to Vilt’s Valley with her family when she probably Franny’s age and how she used to wake about 4 a.m. screaming every night she was there.

Nor did she tell of the time her uncle babysat her and her brother in Indiana so their mom and dad could go out. Eric was a prince but Jana had me against the ropes, so to speak, before Carol and Pete were out of sight.

As she mentioned, Jana was always good about coming back to Minnesota to visit Dad. She also made it back 11 years ago to watch the kids when Skyler was born – a payback for the hours in hell she put me through in Vincennes perhaps.

It was most gratifying to me when she purchased the old homestead and brought her merry ways to Austin. This included introducing her "Uncle Bob" to the new world of friends she developed here.

She also let me accompany her on our own "London Dash – after dark" when she returned to London to "shore things up." She showed me the sights one might never see on one’s own: we cried together at the play "Blood Brothers," celebrated Thanksgiving with her American friends and tromped through London’s every bookstore trying to find plays by Vaclav Havel, and almost landed us roles as extras in the movie "Eyes Wide Shut" with Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise.

C’est le vie or as the Czech’s would say Sponya Boheim (God be with you), or as Skyler would say, "Enjoy your fulfillment of life."