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Local Columns

Let’s pretend!

For a few moments, let’s pretend. However, before our pretending begins, let’s talk about Stop, Look and Listen. I expect we all know what that means, right? I hope so! At a recent conference in Marshall, the assembly was urged to talk, listen and learn. That makes sense to me. What ...

In the distance

Except in those instances where the steelhead were running hard and fast up the tributaries of Lake Superior, or the walleyes were so thick one could nearly walk across them on Devils Lake’s famed Channel A in the spring, I’ve rarely fished in a scenario that would cause my line to tangle ...

Oh, baby

It had been a long time since I’d bought baby clothes. A huge amount of mental effort was required to navigate this unfamiliar territory, so it took a while to make my selection. Feeling as awkward and out of place as a penguin amidst a herd of elephants, I placed the merchandise on the ...

Icelanders in Lyon County

Part VII I understand that the name Hofteig comes from the name of a place in Iceland called Hofteigi (neither Hofteigi nor Hofteigur are included in the National Geographic or Britannica atlas), where my grandmother’s name was Steinunn. They crossed the ocean on a steamship and came into ...

Retirement planning 101 with Social Security

District manager Social Security benefits are part of the retirement plan of almost every American worker. If you’re among the people covered under Social Security, you need to know how much you might receive from us when you begin receiving benefits. These monthly payments may be a ...

Spring begins with heavy celestial congestion

Winter is over with next Thursday night, March 19, at 10:49 p.m. — at least astronomically. That is the exact moment of the vernal equinox, the astronomical beginning of spring. When you were young you were probably taught that on the first day of spring, the days and nights are equal, 12 ...

Making your life easier at SocialSecurity.gov

District manager We offer many online tools and services to save you time. Here are five that can make your life easier: 1.Open your own personal my Social Security account, which will enable you to request a replacement Social Security card, verify your earnings, get future benefit ...

Silence

What’s the word “silence” mean to you? Obviously, we normally think it means quiet and, of course, that’s the correct definition. However recently, I’ve discovered (Yes, one is never too old to learn!) there’s more to silence that just the absence of noise. On a beautiful ...

There’s no place like…

Over the years, my wife and I have stayed at numerous hostelries. Many of them have had words like “super” or “motel” included in their names. We’ve learned that the word “deluxe” in a lodging house’s title is often a form of irony. Sometimes — especially when someone else ...

Going deeper

A few hours of staring at unpopped flags on a small pike lake didn’t pay off a couple weekends ago for me and my oldest son, but the glare from the snow on the ice did provide my first sunburn of the season. Last weekend’s fast-melting conditions made a trip for trout with my boys on a ...

How to protect against water damage

Take these steps to help minimize your risk. Preventing water damage Whether it’s a leak in your ceiling or a basement filled with water, water damage can require a costly fix. Here are a few home improvements to make water damage less likely: Add or update drainage. Use gutters and ...

Icelanders in Lyon County

Part VI Another interesting old-timer was M.D. (Mike) Johnson. He had the experience of actually driving a yoke of oxen when a boy, and he lived to be about 95 with full possession of his mental faculties. I listened to his historical anecdotes after Masonic Lodge meetings and on other ...

A supermoon and a genuine super triangle

There’s a full moon this weekend over southwestern Minnesota but it’s not just any old full moon. It’s yet another supermoon. The only thing is, it’s not all that super. At the most it’s only 7 percent larger than an average full moon and 15 percent brighter. If you weren’t told ...

Prairie Lives: ‘I didn’t do anything special’

I recently had a conversation with a Wood Lake resident who read my columns about Kenny Schmidt’s Navy service. He thanked me for sharing Kenny’s story and commented, “I had known him for decades and never knew any of that about his time in the Navy.” I have heard similar observations ...

Books and Beyond

For my review of “The Dutch House” by Ann Patchett, c 2019, I am using the tools I learned as an English major in college. My assignment: tell your Books & Beyond readers about characters, setting, plot, point of view, theme, and style. There are two main characters — Maeve and ...

Ask a Trooper

Question: Can a vehicle with a Minnesota collector plate be driven legally in Arizona? Is it legal to drive it too and from both states? Answer: The general rule is states honor the registered vehicle and registration laws from the state the vehicle is registered. So as long as you’re legal ...

Confusing!

Why are things so confusing? I know that’s a very simple, yet complex, statement, but darn it, why/who makes things so darn confusing? All I wanted to do was talk to someone about my Internet service and it became this ridiculous dance with the company’s website. I’m not entirely ...

Late ice lessons

I can recall the sun rising over the eastern waters of Devils Lake as I headed to the hotel to meet my parents for a weekend of early spring fishing on the just-opened channels of the north end of the sprawling lake. The rays shimmered on the lightly rippled bay and dulled as they fell nearer ...

Is it spring yet?

At this time of the year, most people are ready for winter to be over. Winter has become like an old college buddy who dropped by unexpectedly and ended up staying for several months. It was fun at first. Getting reacquainted, recalling those adrenalin-charged sled rides down Busted ...

Icelanders in Lyon County

Part V Pastor Guttormsson was also a good singer, he could play the organ, and he had a wonderful sense of humor. He did not pressure his parishioners. One time when Joe Peterson and I were discussing him, he said, ‘Pastor Guttormsson was the nicest fellow who ever came down the pike, but he ...