Two times the love


Two times the love

By Joanie Buettgen

Copyright 2010

Volunteering is a big deal in Minnesota. At Waconia Ridgeview Medical Center, we take our commitment seriously, but we like to have fun too.

Recently, I’ve become a volunteer at RMC, and I’m glad I did. I work at the Maternal Child Health Reception Desk and will be contributing to the newsletter as a Writer.

This is my first newsletter article, and I wanted to share a story for Father’s Day.

Jeff Prieve, a Home Care/Hospice volunteer shared his story with me. “When my daughter Rozz was 18 months old, she had a fascination with water…particularly in the toilet bowl,” he said. “She would sneak away and splash around in there to her heart’s content. We tried to discourage her. One particular afternoon, while we were busy, she managed to sneak back to the toilet-again. This time we heard screaming. Shell, my wife, rushed in to find Rozz with her feet stuck in the bottom of the toilet. Shell yelled for help. Being a sympathetic dad, I immediately started laughing and suggested we ‘flush’ a few times, an idea that wasn’t received well by my wife. Then, I offered to get the camera, which was frowned upon. For several weeks, my daughter avoided the bathroom. Later on, she was right back at it, swirling in the toilet water-again. I guess the trauma wasn’t so long term after all!”

As a grandfather Prieve had another cute story to share about his grandson.

“After speaking with my daughter, I found out one more interesting tidbit, said Prieve. “I guess it’s genetic, because she can’t keep our grandson, who’s only 1-year old, out of the toilet-either.”

Even doctors will tell us that humor is the best medicine. “I regularly tell my clients that the more senses that they are able to utilize while solving a dilemma, the greater their success will be,” said Beverly L. Copeland, MS, LMHC. “Whether it’s pain control, depression, grief and loss, the aftermath of divorce or even chronic illness, humor is always a beneficial part of the healing process.”

I wanted to know a slice of Prieve’s background. This is what he shared. He grew up in Mound and graduated from Minnetonka High School. It was there he met his high school sweetheart, Shell, who later became his wife. They’ve been married for 27 years, and have two children, Nicholas 26, and Rosemary 24. Both are married. Rosemary has two kids, Violeta and Eduardo. 

Things really have changed since we were kids, especially since many of us are grandparents.

“One thing that’s changed is how kids play,” said Prieve. “We spent all of our time outside, playing neighbor games like: baseball, Capture the Flag, war, Red Rover, or just playing with friends, all day long. Now, it seems like TV, video games, or some form of entertainment has taken the place of that. People don’t seem to spend as much time together as they used to.”

Volunteering at the hospital can be a rewarding experience when we share our lives with each other.

“Some of the people I’ve meet have amazing lives,” said Prieve. “Each time I meet with them, I pull a little bit more out of their memory, and learn more of their story. It’s been interesting to hear what they’ve been through, what they’ve experienced, and what they’ve learned. With age comes wisdom, and each of them has something to share with me along the way. I treasure their memories and their lives. I’m grateful when they take time to share their lives with me.”

Happy Father’s Day.

Joanie has been published in: Minnesota Moments Magazine, Carver County Historical Society, Kansas City BBQ Society, Carver County News, and the National Barn Alliance.

Memberships: National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Toastmaster’s, Minnesota Newspaper Association, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop attendee.

Social Networking: Blog:,, www.linkedin/com/in/joaniebuettgen.


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