Local Columns

Fall is in the air

Fall is in the air. You can see it with the leaves changing color and the harvest activity in the fields. The air turns cooler and crisper and there’s pumpkins everywhere! It is pumpkin season. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin dessert — there are lots of things we can cook and bake ...

A place of connection

Without it, life can be rather lonely but with it, we can feel pretty darn good. What I’m talking about is the sense we obtain when we feel part of something. Sociologists would call this feeling a sense of connection, and it’s important to all of us. Recently I was attending a ...

Happy to be 60

Nobody could be more surprised than I am by this development. I never expected this. It has always been a vague possibility, but I didn’t think it would actually happen. It saddens me (yet at the same time, gladdens me) to report that the rumors are true: at the end of this October I will ...

Getting trained

It happened suddenly, coming up out of a yellow-leafed draw, my lab puppy, Ole — which until that point had lazily wandered in and out of the grass, kept pace behind my boots, and attempted to bite the other dogs in our opening weekend pheasant hunting group — took off. He switchbacked in a ...

Here’s your retirement countdown

If you want to enjoy a comfortable retirement lifestyle, you don’t need to have been born rich or even to have earned scads of money during your working years. But you do need to make the right moves at the right time — which means you might want to start a “retirement countdown” well ...

Bringing in the sheaves Part II

Those who worked in the harvest fields ended up with sore muscles, blisters on their hands and black dust on their faces. There were no showers at the end of the day, unless an innovative farmer rigged up a makeshift shower in the back yard or took a dip in the stock tank to rinse off the ...

George is on the rise

How would you like a look at the third-largest planet in our solar system? This planet is at its closest approach to Earth this October, but it’s still more than 1.7 billion miles away. That’s so far away that it takes more than two-and-a- half hours for the light from George to reach our ...

Books and Beyond

Ivan Doig has been an author on my reading list for a long time. I knew he had a Ph.D. in history from the University of Washington, much of his writing was about the western United States, and I’ve liked his titles. I set “Prairie Nocturne” back on the library shelf when I chose “Work ...

Back to Minneopa State Park

When I asked about going to a state park this past Saturday, Ross was looking to go to one that was near a city with a Harbor Freight store. A couple of close ones were in St. Cloud or Mankato. I realize that we could’ve gone to Sibley again, which is on the way to St. Cloud, but we wanted to ...

On the Porch

Jacob David Eastman was born in Benton, Maine on Oct. 13, 1845. He moved to Lyon County in 1878, and he was a resident here until his death on April 23, 1922. The following information is from his obituary, which was published in the Marshall News-Messenger: In 1861, when President Lincoln ...

Making a difference just another day for pilot, nurse

The exploits of Andrew Lang and Sandy Turbes seem bigger than life itself. On many days, they are like any other hard- working Minnesota residents enjoying the rural lifestyle of Minnesota. On other days they live to make a difference. Lang has spent half his life serving his country. ...

How many flag ‘rules’ are you violating?

I had been working as the editor of the Brookfield Daily News-Bulletin when a former military police officer joined the staff. After serving in the first Gulf War in 1990, Terry returned to his native Missouri and landed a job with the newspaper he grew up reading. Terry had natural ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: I know that Minnesota has made a lot of progress for traffic safety and less people are dying on our roads but what are other states doing? Answer: The first time in nearly a decade, preliminary data from the National Safety Council estimates that as many as 40,000 people died in ...

Time troubles

Our society is about to undergo a seismic shift. This transformation will affect every man, woman and child and will cause untold amounts of anguish. No, I’m not talking about the latest iPhone updates. What I mean is the annual autumnal end of daylight saving time. In 1784, Benjamin ...

Inflection

“To put it in perspective, we’ve harvested 10 birds in the first two days of the season,” I said in response to the truck-cab recap of the first weekend of pheasant hunting, “last year, in our only walk on day four, we bagged 11.” Our group’s total was indicative of what the ...

Bringing in the sheaves

Part I This time of year is payback time for farmers, the culmination of all their hard work during the crop season. Fifty years or more ago brought the same feelings of excitement to “bringing in the sheaves” as it does today, but it demanded a great deal more physical exertion. Back ...

Marriage and money: The other big questions to pop

When getting married, the cost of throwing the wedding isn’t the only money discussion you and your significant other should initiate before walking down the aisle. It’s important to have frank discussions about finances and your views on handling money. These conversations may be ...

How did they do it without computers?

District manager More than 85 percent of American homes have some sort of computer. Millions of people rely on computers daily to access, formulate and store information. People use computers for everything from sharing family pictures to shopping to banking and paying bills. But, we ...

October stargazing is fantastic

Normally I do this monthly star map column toward the first of the month, but last week I wanted to write about the 2017 edition of the harvest moon. It’s bright light makes it hard to see much of anything very well anyway. This week we’re getting our dark evening skies back! It’s ...

Medical preparations for the influenza season

The fall and Halloween times are here, and all of us have likely begun to prepare for the harvest and winter seasons. In these times of greater medical awareness, the various media outlets have helped inform us regarding prominent seasonal illnesses and the therapeutic options available, but ...