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Local Columns

Books and Beyond

The title of the last chapter in “The Ragman’s Son” is “Thanksgiving.” It’s 1987, and Kirk Douglas has been working on his 500-page autobiography for about a year. He begins the book by telling us about his mother and father, who didn’t learn to read. Kirk has taught me to ...

Balance

Because of two early learned lessons, I realized the value of balance quite early in life. First, I learned to balance work and play — an attribute owed to my parents. Farm life was mostly hard physical labor and I was introduced to the balance of break time and work time. Yes, we worked ...

A win when we needed it

The passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, a bill which would provide permanent funding to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) through royalties generated by offshore drilling in federal waters around the United States, represents a bright, optimistic light in a time of challenge ...

The new girl

The most difficult part was breaking the news to my dearly beloved. How do you tell someone that you have found another? We have been together for decades. I can hardly remember a time when she wasn’t part of my life. But the heart wants what the heart wants. My new love interest was ...

Once in a lifetime

I just had an experience of a lifetime! For the past few weeks, we’ve been reading about a recently discovered comet that would fly by the earth, and, if looking in the correct area of the sky, one could see it. What really makes it interesting is the fact the comet only comes by the earth ...

Food waste

22% of the waste that goes into the Lyon County Landfill is food waste. While it is easy to compact food waste once it gets into the landfill, there is more to the story. So, first, what are we wasting when it comes to food waste? A recent survey of the Lyon County Landfill this past spring ...

Practice makes perfectly OK

There are few hunters that I envy. Content with the options I have close to home for the limited species I pursue each fall with the time I can muster, I enjoy the success and adventures of my friends and relish hearing their stories from far off places or lucky tag draws when we meet up for a ...

Comet NEOWISE is the real deal!

Over the last several years there have been forecasts of bright comets coming. In fact some predictions went way over the top with promises like; “Comet of the Century this Month!” or “Comet Coming Visible in Daylight!” Even this year there have been two false alarms for potential ...

A Covid wedding

For thousands of years, we humans have celebrated weddings with sacred ceremonies, solemn vows, and DJ music that’s loud enough to curl your shoelaces. So, mankind knows how to do weddings. But how do you pull off a wedding in the midst of a pandemic? This is a question that has presented ...

I want to help

Over the years, I’ve been blessed. What does that mean to you? The Italians have a phrase I like to blend into the word blessing, and it’s “Sempre Avanti!” It means Always Forward! Of course, all of us have our own definition of what being blessed means to us. For many, it means a ...

United Way of SW MN Year in Review

Executive director, United Way of SW MN Impactful. Supportive. Accomplished. These are some words that come to mind as I look back on 2019. United Way of Southwest Minnesota (UWSWMN) continues to make a difference in the lives of local people, of all ages, by investing in community partner ...

To 11

These days I drink bad coffee. Not bad, per se, but only half caffeinated, which according to the old me is bad, as in my younger years I spent much of the morning riding the lightning of a black oily brew so thick I could cut with a knife. That dosage was often followed by a battery of Diet ...

Hercules, A summer constellation, and a big time star cluster

Hercules the Hero is not the brightest of constellations, but it’s a large one. In fact, it’s the fifth-largest constellation in the sky and home to some wonderful celestial treasures. Hercules actually looks like the first letter in its name, the only constellation that has this bragging ...

Campaign trail still bumpy, but a little different

Last November I wrote about a conversation I had with Dr. Noel Collis of Hutchinson. The good doctor came calling to talk about his campaign for the Minnesota 7th Congressional District seat now held by Democrat Collin Peterson. Collis returned a week ago for another visit. Before he arrived, I ...

Hemp hoopla

My wife and I were at the farm supply store the other day when a small glass cabinet caught my eye. “Look at this!” I exclaimed as I pointed at the locked cabinet. “What will they think of next? Now they’re selling oil for citizen’s band radios!” “You dope! That isn’t CB ...

Disposing of small appliances

I like the example of a coffee pot or even other popular small appliances: blenders and mixers when giving examples of items residents ask about how to dispose of. Generally speaking, if any given consumer purchases a mid-range priced small appliance, a resident can expect to purchase anywhere ...

Beat the heat

Growing up in the upper Midwest taught me to relish the warmth of summer. Sometimes those stretches of 90-degree days spanned just a week or two in August. Other summers, the warmth seemed to highlight the entire 12 weeks we were out of school. In between backyard kickball games, ...

Books and Beyond

The book I want to tell you about is “The Ragman’s Son,” c 1988, an autobiography written by Kirk Douglas, who was in “The Vikings,” the first movie I saw in my young life. I was 15 years old. It is such a telling book about his young years, the movies he was in (over 80), the nature ...

Fireworks for the Fourth

On the Fourth of July we celebrate the declaration of our nation’s independence with picnics and fireworks and with the great American tradition of going to furniture stores and taking advantage of their low, low prices on mattresses. The Fourth is essentially an all-you-can-eat potluck ...

Mom economics

There has been much talk lately about our nation’s flagging economy. To hear some say it, the economy is like a man crawling across a vast desert under a burning sun, mumbling through parched lips, “Water! Water! But first, can you tell me whether or not this store has been restocked with ...