Second installment of Thrive Anesthesia Services mind blowing and incredibly engaging blog. Let’s be clear right from the start. I, Kelli Gabel, am a creative procrastinator that has mastered the art of diversion when I don’t want to do something. That is exactly what has left you all pining after my witty translation of who Lura Jo Spears is. I have been wondering for weeks how I can accurately introduce you to the one person who is connected to every aspect of my life. Well, be prepared for a wildly over descriptive ride for this creative writing assignment.

It was April 27, 1983. Pretty sure if Lura was telling this story she would confidently claim that THIS was the most significantly joyful day of Larry (Larski) and Kristy Haisley’s life. It was the day of her birth. Born into an era of land lines, VCRs, stretch pants (not to be confused with yoga pants or leggings) and probably the greatest boy band of all time, WHAM. Back then you actually had to use a camera with a flash bulb and film to show off what your momma gave you (which for Lura was an exponential amount of luxurious dark brown hair).

Born and raised in Bismarck, N.D. by not only her loving parents but also “Pud.” Some would assume this refers to a babysitter, a beloved neighbor, a big brother or a stuffed animal. Nope. “Pud,” as most people knew him (in fact I am not 100% sure of his real name), is Lura’s uncle, Larry’s brother, who was a burly man with a gentle soul that showered all of his family & friends with more love, kindness, and presents then most of us have ever seen in our entire lifetime. I do feel it’s important to mention that in this small but gregarious family, Pud affectionately provided everyone with a good laugh and a nickname. In January of 2017, Lura “Smurfer” Spears and many others lost this great man to the highway to heaven. He will be eternally missed, loved and celebrated by all.

The years flew by for Lura as she was gifted many things which greatly enhanced her already charmed life. One happened to be her sweet baby sister, Teha, and many dogs. Lura exceeded all expectations academically, was widely popular with all who met her, became a Century Centahna in the late 90s and graced the soccer field for the Century Patriots. Ok. Ok. Ok. I can’t imagine her playing soccer either but let’s give her the benefit of the doubt here, people.

From Century High School, she went on to rule the school at the University of North Dakota, she was very well known at the Chester Fitz Library and Tabula scene. Turns out that paid off because she only spent 4 years there (unlike most people I knew when I was there) and graduated at the top of her Baccalaureate nursing class which earned her a coveted spot in the Intensive Care Unit (alongside me of course) at St. Alexius Medical Center, back to Bismarck, and eventually to attain her Master’s is Nurse Anesthesia!

Prior to returning to her old stomping grounds she managed to tranquilize, tag and eventually marry a lanky, northern Minnesota brown bear, Karl Spears. Over the years, I have come to find that Karl has not only mastered the qualities of a bear such as hunting, fishing, climbing, protecting and surviving (which is a real skill sometimes at the Spears’s household) but he is also a generalized wizard that can literally accomplish anything. He is the seasoned captain of the “Big Bertha Douche Canoe” and he has the best laugh of all time. However, his most endearing quality is the fact that he is also the Lord Commander of the “Quarry Lane Wall”.

The “Quarry Lane Wall” is the thwarter of all intrusion, wanted or unwanted, into the Spears’ family home. It is a gauntlet of bicycles, skate boards, tree stumps, table saws, 2 x 4s and rummage sale treasures galore. You know, your standard garage……. which no one dares to enter unless its daylight, someone knows your coming and you are tethered to either your car or the entrance door to ensure someone can find you if you don’t make it alive.

Now let’s get to the best part about Lura ….. the boys. Ajura, age 11, and Ahmi, age 9 are Lura and Karl’s boys. They are biological brothers from Ethiopia that became a beloved part of the family in May of 2012. They have grown so fast and changed so much over the last 6 years. Specifically, communication has become much easier even though we know the universal language of boys is a grunt or a giggle.

Ajura has grown into a full-sized man…. for real. He may be 11 years old but he more similarly resembles a tight end for the Minnesota Vikings. He is built for strength not speed. I think it’s his big heart that slows him down. He is a kind and gentle giant who loves country music, basketball, football and the family dogs, Nali and Kinde. Ajura is also the lover and protector of all things Crosby (his 1 year old cousin that he adores). He is a pre-teen so he also lacks the need and want to pursue personal hygiene or household tasks. If things continue to go this way I think Ahmi will have a roommate for life!

Ahmi is a sleek little gentleman of few words, unless he is laying down some master rhymes or beat boxing. Ahmi is still in the amateur stages of football and basketball but he is a true “beast slayer” and master of the most graceful “exits” that I have ever seen. He has a great smile but never let it fool you. It is NOT an invitation for a hug or snuggle of any kind. Under no circumstances does he want a hug, except maybe on a holiday or YOUR birthday and even then he is going to make you work for it!

Well it’s time to wrap this up but I have just a few more things to add about my friend and partner in not only business but almost all shenanigans. Lura is complex. She is dedicated, stubborn, elegant, sincere, ironic and intelligent. In just these few short pages I cannot begin to introduce you to the women who has supported me, encouraged me and dared me to take risks, follow my passions, and put my heart into greatness instead of financial security!

She is a woman of many surprises. She can rock a pair of leggings and a sleeve of tattoos to pretty much any event or outing imaginable. She loves her nephew Crosby, her dogs and a lizard named “Corndog.” She claims to be a winter enthusiast and lover of the great outdoors which is a lie on most accounts. She truly prefers to spend winter in her house wearing her tie-dyed onesie, on a beach, or visiting friends in Haiti. I will give her credit in the sense that she will usually try anything twice. Except camping – no camping, at all, EVER! This is clearly an issue she bamboozled Karl on. Let’s just be honest, she straight up lied to him about this fact until the marriage licensed was signed.

The moral to all of this gibberish is that they say most people require many friends to provide all the basic needs of “friendship” and you can’t get it all in one person. Well I did.

  1. The funny friend – you guys already read installation one of our blog so I think you get it.
  2. The shopping friend- I feel this needs little explanation. Most humans know Lura & I have a problem. Specifically, with Lululemon, however we don’t do yoga…?
  3. The motivating friend – this is situational & subjective. She is a Taurus so when she decides something is worth our time & resources…. you best get out the way because we are doing it.
  4. The lazy friend – she is not actually lazy but if I haven’t cleaned my house in a month I am certainly not going to frantically clean it up before she comes over.
  5. The old friend – going on 13 years so I no longer feel a need to fill her in on endless back stories of my shenanigans nor explain my poor life choices.
  6. The artsy friend – one month ago I would have assured you that this is where Lura falls short…. and then my daughter got a personally hand-crafted knitted beanie from her for Christmas.
  7. The out-of-town friend – normally this would apply to that friend who you only see on occasion because they live in some elusive amazing place that you can only imagine because you live here. You are always HERE. This applies to Lura only because I feel she spends ¼  of her year out of town or out of the country. Immigration has verbally stated that she is “almost Haitian.”
  8. The crazy friend – well she is vegan…enough said. HAHAHAH. For real, she’s the one who talked me into wake skating (or rather wake face planting?), she dragged me to a Ludacris concert in Vegas, and we have shared many a karaoke microphone sessions at her prompting.

All in all, we, as well as our families, have gained and learned much together. Life skills like the kids teaching each other how to tie their shoes, how to catch fish with canned corn, free a ski rope from jet boat with a paring knife and a needle nose pliers, but most of all that it takes a village to make life work. Our village looks more like a smattering of rugged wildlings most days but it has made this life amazing….so far.

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