December 12, 2013 | Vol. 117 -- No. 34

One cruise led to many for the Van Kurens

Once upon a time there was a husband who said to his wife, "I want to buy you a hot tub." His wife said, "I want a cruise." It was their 25th wedding anniversary. Ruth Van Kuren packed her suitcase. Lawson Van Kuren packed his suitcase. They enjoyed the cruise and began to plan for another.

Ruth and Lawson Van Kuren
Ruth and Lawson Van Kuren have made seeing the world via cruise ships a habit.

Ruth Van Kuren said, "We went every other year. We started going on 61 day cruises." Their plans and dreams began to grow. They studied Singapore, Malaysia, Cape Town, and Casablanca in Morocco. They talked about Cape Town, the capital of the Republic of South Africa. They discussed exploring the city for three days then rejoining the ship.

Next year the Van Kurens will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.Another cruise? Of course. Spain and Belgium are on the agenda. So is India and Dubai. If all goes well they plan a visit to the Taj Mahal. "And we will fly home from London," they said.

Antarctica is also one of the areas the Van Kurens have explored. They have been to about 100 countries. Visiting the city of Jerusalem in Israel became a challenge with so many tourists herded together in cramped lines. They were there during the Feast of Ramadan, which added to the crowding. Armed guards checked each person.

During times at home Ruth Van Kuren worked for Cheney Travel. She was urged to become a cruise specialist. In 1991 Ruth learned to sell cruises. She said, "Often 20 people at a time booked for a cruise, sometimes as many as 27. Many of them were people on a class reunion. Some came from Texas. Some were groups of friends. One man, a grandfather, paid for all 11 people in his group. Many people have been referrals from other clients." Ruth now enjoys her work as cruise specialist for Artistic Travel.

Cheney residents will remember the Van Kurens as very active in high school athletics. Lawson said, "We met at a state B basketball tournament in high school in 1959." Cheney knew a good man when they saw one and he began to coach track. He said, "In 1972 Ruth and I started (Cheney) Track Club. We guided the kids in track for 35 years." The Van Kurens rose to national level. Ruth became Youth records chairman and Lawson was national youth field event referee.

In case you're wondering, the Van Kurens did get that hot tub we mentioned in the beginning. A hot tub is a good place to relax while you plan another cruise. Just ask Ruth and Lawson Van Kuren.

Luella Dow is a Cheney-area author. She can be reached at lotsaplots1@aol.com.

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