Our Story

Explore our story by clicking the previous/next buttons below or by dragging the timeline and clicking on the dates. Dates of particular interest have special dots. And yes, the timeline is to scale.

  • October 1980

    Medora Elaine Gruber is born to Dale and Dianne Gruber in St. Cloud.

  • April 1981

    Joel David Schou is born to Steven and Kathleen Schou in Minot, ND.

  • August 1993

    The Gruber family makes a visit to Medora, ND. Medora comes home with more personalized souvenirs than you could possibly imagine.

  • June 1999

    The Schou family moves from Granville, ND to Dickinson, ND — putting them barely half an hour from Medora (the town, of course).

  • August 1999

    Medora and Joel arrive at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, respectively, putting them barely half an hour apart (unknowingly, of course).

  • September 1999

    Medora and Joel meet through Joel’s floormate Tony Hoeschen, who played clarinet with Medora at Cathedral.

  • September 1999–October 2001

    Medora and Joel cross paths regularly on both campuses.

  • October 27, 2001

    Joel and his roommates and neighbors throw the Halloween party of the year in Seton 13. Medora and several of her closest friends attend. Pictures were taken; some of which exist, others of which are merely apocryphal, all of which are hilarious.

  • November 2001

    After being somehow wooed by incoherent emails/phone calls, Medora agrees to go on a date with Joel. He treats her to Bo Diddley’s, dresses badly, and shows her the office where he worked off-campus. This date happened for reasons long considered mysterious, but can now be ascribed to predestination, divine intervention, or just plain luck.

  • Spring Semester 2002

    Medora flees to London before Joel can talk her into a second date.

  • March 1–3, 2002

    After a Spring Break visit to Cork, Ireland to see Brendan, Joel and his buddy Tim go to London for a few days. Medora is Joel’s point of contact. Unfortunately, their flight was nearly two hours late and Medora was in class when finally they arrived on her front stoop. Fortunately, Joel and Tim found their hostel and met Medora shortly thereafter.

  • March 2002–Fall 2005

    Senior year comes and goes, graduation and the real world happens, and Medora and Joel stop crossing paths regularly, though it does happen a few times. Johnnies and Bennies have a way of running into each other.

  • September 2005

    Medora and Joel collide at The Fine Line in downtown MPLS at a Panoramic Blue show. Here is how Joel recalls their goodbyes at the end of the night:

    J: If I were to ask for your number, would you give it to me? M: Maaaaybe.
    J: If I were to call it, would you answer? M: Maaaaybe.
    J: If I were to ask to take you out, would you say ‘yes’? M: Maaaaybe.
    J: So, could I get your number? M: Yes.

  • September 2005–September 2006

    Joel chickened out. He didn’t use her number.

  • September 30, 2006

    CSB|SJU Homecoming. Medora and Joel run into each other at the game and make small talk. They inquire if each is going out that night in St. Joe. Both plan to. BOTH DID. Thanks to the magic of Sal’s, Medora and Joel reconnect. They talk, laugh, and dance. Joel unexpectedly meets Medora’s mom, Dianne, when she comes to pick up the girls from the bar. Initially having lost his friends, he arranges a lift to the Waite Park Motel 6. A well-timed text message from Gavin results in a three-block ride to Gary’s Pizza instead.

  • October 3, 2006

    Joel actually calls. It goes well.

  • October 9, 2006

    Second first date, The Happy Gnome, St. Paul. Joel dresses better this time, but still not great.

  • November 9, 2006

    Joel emails Medora for the first time. It begins, “Hey Medora, Sorry for the unexpected email…” It ends…with a date!

  • January 27, 2007

    After more dates, and despite much more bad clothing, Medora and Joel declare themselves “official.”

  • March 4, 2007

    Joel meets her sisters, Rachel and Meghan. Medora meets his brother, Andy. Joel shows off the snow castle built with Gavin, Tesch, and Andy.

  • March 25, 2007

    Joel meets Dale and Dianne (officially).

  • April 4, 2007

    Medora starts Joel’s fashion makeover with his birthday gift: non-tapered jeans.

  • April 19, 2007

    Medora meets Joel’s dad, Steve. Everyone enjoys the Indian food.

  • June 8, 2007

    Badlands with Medora
    Medora goes to North Dakota with Joel and sees Granville before heading to Dickinson where she meets Kath. They all take a trip to Medora and enjoy the Badlands, the town, the Pitchfork Fondue, and the cheesiness that is the Musical.

  • July 4, 2007

    Medora takes Joel to the family lake cabin for the holiday. It is his first time staying overnight with the Grubers. The experience introduces them all to early morning sleepy Joel.

  • July 23, 2007

    Joel takes Medora on their second long road trip, this time to his grandparents’ lake cabin in Michigan. The two take Kath with them, who impresses everyone with 6 hours of driving through the night on a single Diet Coke.

  • October 6, 2007

    CSB|SJU Homecoming, one year after the big reconnection. Joel celebrates by pouring water and beer on himself in an uncomfortably warm Sal’s. Medora puts up with him like the saint she is.

  • October 7, 2007

    Medora takes Joel up to Pierz for a Gruber family function. There were better ways for him to make a first impression upon grandparents, aunts/uncles, and cousins!

  • December 22, 2007

    Medora and Joel celebrate their first Christmas as a couple. Medora gives Joel more highly fashionable clothes. Joel gives Medora… snow tires. And a necklace!

  • January 27, 2008

    One year together!

  • Spring 2008

    Joel enlists Medora’s help in shopping for a house.

  • Summer–Fall 2008

    Still house shopping. At some point in October, Medora and Joel reach triple digits in houses toured, 2/3 of them with the same very patient agent. At least four offers were written, with Joel outbid or rejected on them all.

  • October 29, 2008

    Joel and Medora intend to tour a little place near Minnehaha Creek. The key doesn’t open the door, so Joel has to come back the next day solo.

  • November 2, 2008

    Offer submitted.

  • December 9, 2008

    Offer accepted!

  • December 10, 2008–February 11, 2009

    Complications too numerous to list.

  • February 12, 2009

    Closing day!
    Homeownership! And so begins the work.

  • June 9, 2009

    Joel has the most nervous lunch of his life, having driven up to St. Cloud mid-day to take Dale and Dianne out and ask their permission to propose to Medora. Space Aliens will always be a special place.

  • June 10, 2009

    Medora and Joel go for a walk along Minnehaha Creek after her last day of class and make plans to go to their favorite wine bar to celebrate. Before leaving, Joel sits Medora down on the sofa to present an end-of-the-year gift — a small jewelry box made from a branch trimmed from the 100-year-old maple in the back yard. Inside the box is a ring made from that same branch. He kneels and asks through tears of joy. She says, “Of course, yes!” The ring fits perfectly.

  • August 27, 2009

    Jumping out of a plane
    Medora and Joel voluntarily jump out of an airplane, strapped safely to instructors.

  • July 17, 2010

    The entire reason you are reading this site. Hooray!