Beautifully Human / Laurie Bathke

As we continue our series today, Beautifully Human...


We focus on the beauty of humans and the power in their stories…


Through telling their stories we hope to connect this world. To spread some love and humanity...


To show a common thread of beautiful humans…


This week we go to Basalt, Colorado with Laurie Bathke to hear her incredible story...


Laurie is my partner Lindsey's grandmother. I have met her one time earlier this year and she is so delightful. Her joy she has for life is unbelievable.

I love how supportive she is. She is enriches every life she touches...


Let’s all be beautifully human…


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Beautifully Human is now a podcast! Tune in to hear more beautiful stories!

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#beautifullyhuman #lauriebathke #wanderlustmoonduo #stayhuman

Laurie Bathke / Basalt, Colorado

Story that shaped your life...

- I come from a family of artists, gardeners, farmers, musicians, animal lovers, nature lovers, readers, politicians...

Growing up around family in the Midwest, not realizing all “that” was already in my bones and blood, I’ve somehow always had the feeling that I could accomplish just about anything (Nieve) I set my mind to.  I believe this came from having a mom and dad who listened to our dreams and supported all five of us.  We don’t arrive with instructions, you wing it.  They helped me buy my first bike, and I still love riding.  They instilled a love of gardening, and I still enjoy it.  Our farm carpenter gave me a collie pup when I was born, Rex.  I’m still caring for a dog, all of these making up my lifestyle, some 80 plus years later.

Tell me a story that could have ruined your life...

- Just into my pre-teens, polio was the pandemic.  I succumbed to a minor case, was quarantined, and treated at home after having bronchial pneumonia.  Thankfully the penicillin worked, and I recall the delirium, and then learning to walk all over again.  My Mom, a voracious reader and teacher, nursed me back to health and I became aware just how precious life is.  We were quarantined several times during childhood with measles, mumps, chicken pox, so it’s not completely new, just longer, due to the horrifically bad “political management.” We were quarantined because there were no vaccines developed yet.

Tell me a story of something that enriched your life...

- When I was a young teen, Daddy came home one day with a bronco from North Dakota, which a horsey friend of his had rescued and properly broke.  This was after years of conversation about my sister and I getting a horse.  We named him Apache Paint (Patchy),  being a pinto gelding, and for many years was our constant companion.  We didn’t just ride on week ends.  We rode daily, and had a neighborhood horsey-girl posse.  Even riding our horses in the lake.  Getting through my teens was made easier sharing everything with my horse and dog.  I’d highly recommend it. 

Tell me a story of how you enriched another life...

- My maternal Grandfather lived with us in our big old four square farm home, and my paternal Grama lived in the next valley over, so grandparents were very much a constant source of love and nurturing.  We cared for Grampa daily after he was no longer able to help in the household.  My Uncle lived a few years there too, providing never ending comedy.  “Unky” was my Mother’s brother, and they played practical jokes on each other.  Once Unky put salt in the sugar canister, and the resulting lemon meringue pie tasted unbelievably salty.  Even to my boyfriend, (Lindsey’s Grampa).  We were going through the “Great Depression” when I was little, and my city cousins thought we must be wealthy, as we had a dark room in the basement full of garden produce, and a freezer like locker full of pork and beef, and chickens laying eggs.  If they’d been older they would probably have tapped into Grampas’ home brew.  My Grama was awesome.  Her sugar cookies and coffee (half cream) were my favorite treat at her house.  Her flower and veggie gardens were a sight to behold!  From her back porch where she washed clothes in the summer, you looked down a tier of lawn onto the tops of her flower plants, my favorite view.  She farmed all her life and raised a beautiful family of seven children.  Who all turned out white haired like her, as they aged.  I followed in her footsteps, 5 children, liked cooking, baking, gardening, animals, washing clothes and hanging them on the line, and even turned white haired in my thirties.  We added so much to each other’s lives.  I too, find my glasses on top of my head, and have to smile, remembering how we found her glasses for her, on top of her head.  I love my grandchildren, just as she did, too. 

Story of Crazy Life...

- I’ve been privy to traveling abroad with my grown children.  One such trip with a rental van in Italy b/4 GPS, and searching for our rented Villa in Tuscany, we ended up down in a gully with barking watchdogs, finally getting turned around, and making our way back up to the (turned around) sign at the cross roads at the top of the hill.  We thought we were going to tip over at one point.  It was almost as bad as when our son picked up the car that same morning in Rome...We waited...and waited...and waited in our thousand year old hotel at the top of the Spanish Stepps.  When he arrived, there was a scrape all the way down one side of the van.  We were about to ask what happened and where he had been, when he just said,

“Don’t ask, just get in.”  It had been just the one way-narrow streets in that neighborhood of Rome.  I think he had to make his own route back to us.  When we arrived in Venice, there was no one at the rental place.  Just a big closed gate, where we threw the keys in.

Our first day at the Villa in Tuscany we were exploring what looked to be an ancient abandoned stone village which Hitler had invaded long ago.  The story goes that he had called townspeople to the village church and proceeded to kill all of them, with the exception of the hidden few. 

It was so quiet as we walked the village streets.  As we were almost leaving the village, we came upon a ️ street sign advertising meals.  We knocked on the door to ask if it was a restaurant, and were fed the most amazing lasagne meal we’ve ever had. 

(Five) Stories of hope...

- 1-The children were playing, and one son was hit squarely in the eye with a hard thrown ball.  We rushed him to a neighborhood Ophthalmologist, where he was examined, his eye covered with a bandage, and proclaimed, “it should be fine in a day or so”, and it was.

2-Kids were playing right in the garden in the back yard, and a 3-tined fork got thrown and went right through another’s lower leg.  Living close to the clinic, no permanent damage.

3-Another time a child was stung by a bee, and soon it was nap time.  I happened to hear a strange tight cough from upstairs, ran and checked, and rushed him to the clinic where tests were run finding him allergic to bee stings.  He, and his family, it turns out, are mostly allergic. 

4-We’d just moved to a new community, when a child got his finger- end cut slickly off in the hinge side of a door.  We wrapped it up, and took it to the clinic where we met his new doctor, who sewed it back on.  He was so impressed, watching the whole procedure. 

5-Another son had his arm severely damaged playing football, and our Chiropractor put him back in the game soon, in good working order.  He became a Chiropractor.

Raising a big family is not for the faint of heart.  It’s traumatic!

What you want the world to know about you...

- Life is a process...after living through some of this, I realized that I had a long lifetime to accomplish all the things on my bucket list.  I went to airline training school in Minneapolis, loving it there. 

Hired out to Piedmont Airlines in North Carolina, married my high school sweetheart, had a long, interesting, happy marriage, and raised five healthy well adjusted good children, in that order.  We took our time with them, we knew how we wanted them to turn out.  Independent, healthy, and well educated, and worked to that end. 

Each person you meet, each book you open, and every time you travel, it’s another opportunity to open your mind and learn something new. 

Owning and running a Merle Norman Cosmetics and Skin Care Business was a lifetime goal.  After four of our children were in higher grades in school, we started our business from scratch.  They helped raise the fifth child, as we got the fledgling business off the ground. 

Going to work there for 30 years, was as great as I had dreamed.  Loving it, made it successful enough to be asked to be a member of the Merle Norman Board of Directors in L.A.  They inquired how it was so successful with such a small population, not realizing the big area our mall drew from.  And the fact that I loved sales, loved make up and skin care, and I still love color.  In retirement I happily use this color application in Oil and Watercolor paintings.

What brings you the most joy/smile the most...

- Our kids and grandchildren, and the memories of our beloved family, including pets, still bring me much joy and smiles.  No one can take that away.  Photos are an amazing reminder.  Photography and painting have become a joy to me, almost daily.

What brought you to where you are in life today...

- Loving and raising our family, then enjoying seeing our grandchildren grow up into beautiful human beings, and enjoying all their lives, even virtually.  Also my beautiful collection of friends scattered around the world. 

Traveling to experience other cultures and cuisines has been a priority.  Having been with family and friends all my life, I continue to be, and feel so blest and fortunate to also be healthy.

Parting words of advice...

- Be gracious, be grateful, and go high.  (Jamie Rosen)

As my Buddhist friend Amy says, Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.  (Mark Twain)

Connect with Laurie...

Facebook... Laurie Bathke

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