22 July, 2017


After months of house hunting and still living in our trailer, Eric and I walked into a home we love.  We loved it so much we didn’t want to leave.  It is right by University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.
We scheduled a 2nd showing.  And before we could go inside we decided to take the kids by to look at the yard.  The owners were home, so I knocked to see if it would be okay to take a peek in the back yard.   The owners are a recently retired professor couple.  Carl answered the door.

We visited a bit, and he invited us inside.  Again we loved the home… and our kids loved their cat! We talked for sometime.  And when we were leaving I asked “Carl, what is your last name?”
“Barrentine”, he replied.

“I know a Barrentine”.

Carl looked at me quizzically.  “There are not many Barrentines”, he said.

“She was my first grade teacher back in Idaho”.

A moment of silence passed.

Carl's kind eyes became serious as he looked right into mine and asked, “Did you go to Indian Hills Elementary”?
Chills shot up my spine and tears filled my eyes.  We had not spoken at all of living outside of North Dakota/Minnesota.  How could he know?  With a quiver in my voice I asked “Is this Mrs. Barrentine's house?”

Indeed it was.  And we are buying the Barrentine residence.  I could not be more thrilled. 
Mrs. Barrentine was my Angel in first grade.  How I loved her!  She had long brunette curls and smiling eyes.  Her classroom was a happy and safe place for all who entered.  Her positive energy permeated her classroom.

Carl, dialed Mrs. Barrentine on his phone and soon we were speaking.  We met as soon as we could.  Picture albums,  memories, hugs and more tears.

It was a glorious reunion with my favorite teacher.
She shared her photo album of 1981-82 first grade class.  She is amazing.  She remembers names and told me stories.  We laughed and cried over these decades old memories.  What a treat to be in touch with such an amazing person.  What an impact she has had on so many lives.

Thank you Mrs. Barrentine (Now Dr. Barrentine).  What an a amazing legacy you leave.  

From top left:  Heather Christensen, Steven Rock, Jenny Anderson, Heidi Lamb, Heather Rademacher, Michael Lenroot, Lynisa Nalder, Rachel Benson, Jarrod Matthews, Nancy Grail, Jimmy Riley, Matthew Ormond, Ryan Grayson,
Next Row:  Joshua Fichel, Phillip Redd, Lance Berry, Benji Souza,
Front Row: Marc Schmidt, Michelle Gayhart, Whitney Gaved, Kristopher McGee, David Jensen, 

Enrique Nacho Tigre Fernandez Castillo de Jesus

I love this cat.  So much.   He is our family therapist, our entertainment, and my mid-life motherhood fulfillment.  And he is naughty... ...