Talking with Mike and Karen pt.2

Photo by: Kate Szrom
"We realized that we weren't afraid anymore."
Karen Schimpf

Today, I spent another afternoon with Mike Stewart and Karen Schimpf.

Before Mike and Karen got together in 2007, Mike lived in the woods near Chesaw in a 16 x 48 cabin he built himself. 

For Mike, life in the woods was solitary but peaceful.  He only had to account for himself.  He didn't have a lawn to mow or a television with the full allotment of  stations.  He's still getting used to living in what he calls an "electric house."

The divorce rate among veterans has been well documented.  Both Mike and Karen have been married twice. They both said they were scared to commit to another relationship after so many years of being alone. 

"You get used to being alone," Karen said. "We were both alone for a long time, too long."

One day last September, the two Vietnam veterans woke up in Mike's cabin  and realized that they weren't afraid anymore. Being together made sense.  They will be getting married at their home in late August. They say they want a "small wedding and big party."

They won't have a typical honeymoon (they've been travelling a lot this summer), but the two hope to make a trip to a place that has special significance to them next year: Vietnam.

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