Local Columns

Homesteading on the great plains

Part II Most of the first dwellings were built of sod because of the lack of trees. The only trees that grew in this area were along the riverbanks and the lake shores. There is a fine example of a log cabin at the Lyon County Museum, which was built in 1872 by Peter Flume,who constructed it ...

Sharing Security with Mom on Mother’s Day

District manager Spring is upon us, and it marks two very popular annual events: Mother’s Day and the release of Social Security’s baby name list! There’s no better time to share some security with the people you love. While spending time with your mom on Sunday, May 13, you can ...

The lion of spring is still hanging in there

Most of the 66 or so of the constellations we see around the Marshall night sky require you to suspend any sense of reality and turn on the imagination big time. I always tell folks that constellations are like little kids dot-to-dot puzzles, but a lot more challenging. Not only do you have to ...

Trying to win a rigged game

For one day this last week, newspapers throughout Minnesota perfectly mimicked each other with a variation of the exact same headline: “MnDOT ignores Highway (fill in the blank) corridor.” Here in Marshall, the blank read 23 in relation to several funding requests for projects along the ...

The value of working an extra year or two before retirement

To retire or not retire — that is the question many baby boomers are pondering as they approach the traditional age of retirement. On one hand, they want to enjoy the retirement they worked so hard for, yet on the other, they may not be ready to leave the workforce and live off their savings. ...

Books and Beyond

Where to start, as I tell you about my recent reading of “Shoeless Joe,” by W. P. Kinsella, c 1982. It might help if I share the book’s epigraph with you first: “Some men see things as they are, and say why, I dream of things that never were, and say why not.” — Bobby ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: Can you talk about motorcycle safety? Answer: With spring upon us and motorcycles once again sharing the highways, this is a great time to provide motorcycle crash facts and safety tips. We currently have had two fatal motorcycle crashes this year. In Minnesota, over half of ...

Parks, rocks and song

It was yet another beautiful couple of days this past weekend, so Ross and I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and hit a couple of the local parks. We headed to Independence Park Saturday afternoon after lunch. Quite a few people had the same idea — the playground equipment was ...

Waiting in the waiting room

We have lately been spending some time in waiting rooms waiting for my wife’s medical appointments. My wife has innumerable fans (probably more than me), so please rest assured that we’re just dealing with some ordinary arthritis. For the most part, her docs are doing the types of things ...

Nutrition, cancer and a snowstorm

What do nutrition, cancer and a snowstorm have in common? At first glance you would think not much, and until recently I did not find them related either. The weekend of April 13-15 brought those three topics together in an unusual way. I had the opportunity to attend a symposium on April ...

Flexibility

There are moments in life when we must face a challenge to our “normal” and be flexible. Of course, we all know facing that challenge can be a bit scary and it can even take us to the dark side of our emotions. For example... Along with a yoga pro colleague, I was invited to ...

See what’s hatching

As an angler that enjoys a variety of styles of angling for a number of species, I’ve often talked about “matching the hatch” in order to find success, no matter how or where I’m presenting a bait, lure or fly. Truly originating in the world of fly fishing, the term has come to mean ...

Winter’s curtain call in the west; summer’s opening act in the east

This is your absolute last chance to see what’s left of the brilliant winter constellations in the Marshall western sky. They’re just about lost below the western horizon at the end of twilight, not to be seen again in the evening until late next autumn when they re-emerge above the eastern ...

Happy Older Americans Month

Every May our nation observes Older Americans month. The theme for this year is, “Engage, at Every Age.” Wow! Remember that you are never to old to partake in activities that can enrich your physical, mental and emotional well-being. With so many opportunities offered every month at the ...

Blue Mounds State Park

As the sun starts shining brightly again and the snow melts, it was high time to hit the trails at one of Minnesota’s state parks. The last time Ross and I walked in Blue Mounds State Park, it was early March and the area had received several inches of snow earlier in the week. Hiking the ...

On the Porch

It wasn’t until the Willmar & Sioux Falls railroad track was laid through Russell that permanent settlement and the establishment of the town began. The Willmar & Sioux Falls Railroad was built through what is now Russell in the fall of 1888. The railroad was built by E. A. Sherman ...

Even old cash registers can still ring up big bucks as time goes on

History, of course, always repeats itself. Especially when walking into the little shop on Third Street in Marshall. It was a cold Friday afternoon and I was looking for a story. Not only did I find a story, I found many inside Mary Louise vintage & Resale Shoppe. The old TV set from ...

A new kind of sideshow for the 21st century

While you may have missed it, Marshall hosted a circus Monday night. Oddly though, the sideshow rolled through town the previous Friday. Its been a while for the traditional sideshow, which enjoyed its pre-television heyday in the 1920s and 30s when circuses not-so-coincidentally were ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: I noticed that the horn on my vehicle does not work. Is there a law that that says a vehicle must have a working horn and when it can be used? Answer: According to state law, your vehicle must have a horn that’s “in good working order and capable of emitting sound audible ...

My thanks and appreciation to the readers of the Independent

In 2003, Dana Yost, editor of the Independent, began the weekend edition of the Independent, which he named The Weekender. At that time he asked me to write weekend columns related to medical topics and information that would facilitate optimum patient understanding of their medical needs and ...