A 50th Anniversary Gift We Will Treasure

The Book of Us
In June of 2015, our daughter and her family gave us a wonderful gift for our 50th wedding anniversary, five months before the anniversary date.

“We couldn’t wait,” our daughter Heidi, said.

“We knew it was the perfect gift as soon as we saw it,” our granddaughter Sarah, said.

The gift is The Book of Us: A Journal of Your Love Story in 150 Questions, by husband and wife Kate and David Marshall. Five sections cover the span of a relationship, with prompts rather than questions. Each prompt is allotted only one page, so answers

Pappy and I: A Mini-memoir


John Cawlfield
By John Cawlfield

The Battle of the Argonne Forest was the last major offensive of World War I. Considered the largest battle in United States military history, 1.2 million American soldiers took part. One of those soldiers was Christopher D. Cawlfield. He was a machine gun operator for the American Expeditionary Forces. He would also become my grandfather thirty-five years later. I knew him as Pappy.

Four weeks prior to shipping out to France, he was a nineteen-year-old private first class who went AWOL. When he returned, he was thrown into the brig. After being asked the reason for being AWOL, his commanding officer released him and said, “I wouldn’t give you a plug nickel for a soldier who didn’t put family first.” He was busted to buck private and sent overseas.

Pappy in his 
WWI uniform
Pappy never talked about his experiences in France, except once. We were in his shop, a rectangular building behind his house in Ash Grove, Missouri. The south wall was lined with wood work benches. Tools lay scattered about. Light was provided by a single bulb hanging from the ceiling. Along the north wall was a potbelly stove and old tool chests. The floor was dirt and the place smelled of oil and wood smoke. I was fascinated by one object sitting on one of the work benches. It was an old artillery shell fashioned into a lamp. Welded to