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Driving by the parking lot is almost empty and no one is seen entering or leaving the building. Compared to the usual hustle and bustle, the Fergus Falls YMCA looks abandoned. The question, “What is going on at the Y?” was asked the other day. 

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My aging dad lived alone for nearly 10 years after my mom died. But recently we all came to the conclusion that living alone was a lonely endeavor. That, accompanied by his increasing need for assistance with some things, led us to find him a new home.

There is little that grows in the land of the north that rivals the refreshing flavor of the wild blueberry.  For several days in mid-late summer, my father would awaken my brother and me, and we would drive one hour north to the large pine forests in search of these wild delicacies. These b…

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There are lots of things to love about early season walleye fishing!  For one, spring walleye angling often signals the return of open water fishing for another year.  And, walleyes in the spring are often aggressive biters and easily accessible in fairly shallow water. 

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The sound of shattering glass rings through an area. The riffs of an undeniably familiar rock song follows and a bald man in jeans comes out cursing, spewing beer and looking like a tough SOB. It’s wrestling legend Stone Cold Steve Austin strutting down to the ring. He grabs the mic and begi…

There is a giftshop in Osakis called Grandma’s Attic. Eric and I stopped in there once and it was a combination of antiques, gifts, and miscellaneous junk. Not unlike my grandma’s attic. As a kid I loved Grandma’s attic. My brother and I would carefully climb up the steep narrow stairway. Gr…

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Do you hear it? Hoof beats draw nigh kicking up dust upon arrival. Questions rise along with the dust.

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The conference call with the governor came at 8 a.m. on Sunday, March 15.  Superintendents don’t receive calls from the state on Sunday mornings.  Our suspicions were quickly confirmed - we were directed by Gov. Tim Walz to close our doors from March 18 through March 27 to allow us time to p…

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Last week I was driving home from work. This was during lunchtime and I was looking to see what my wife and kids were up to. About halfway home, I notice a van parked on ahead with a man running out with bagged lunches to deliver to the house. I knew that this was someone from the school bri…

Good for you that your financially in a “good place.” Unfortunately, many are not and the need is great. If you don’t need it take and give it to people and organizations who do. The government has asked people to close businesses; people are out of work. I think its only right they help peo…

Missing sports? I am as well. But by not having baseball, basketball or hockey on the screen, I dug into my DVDs and grabbed some classic sports movies.

Life has definitely changed recently. What we do and how we do it is no longer our usual routine. While I find myself homebound with more free time then I normally do, I have been looking for meals that I can make ahead of time. 

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I’m rationing my bubblegum. I’m talking on the phone so much the battery went dead. I’m trying out new healthy recipes. I picked some random people to play “Words With Friends” on my iPad. I’m writing this column. What are you doing to remain safe and sane during this crisis?

During the ongoing Covid-19 crisis you may have heard the phrase “we are all in this together.” Amen to that and God bless us all. 

It seems frivolous to talk about anything but the coronavirus and how it is affecting people right now.  For instance how it affects business owners, the elderly, the sick, people with children home from school who need to be fed and cared for, those with food and supplies possibly running l…

Worked your way through last week’s list of fiction selections? Well, if you have, here are a few non-fiction books that you can enjoy while hunkering down.

I’ve had a full week of playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch and it’s been a beacon of sunshine in these gloomy times. For those who haven’t played, you make a character in the game who moves to a deserted island alongside two animal friends. The three of you get set …

Every once in a while, someone will come into the Extension office with a small vial or a piece of Scotch tape with “stuff’ on it. They swear they are getting bitten by something in their house. They describe these mystery insects as having many legs, the ability to change color, and when ca…

Soon after the legislative session begins many groups converge on the Minnesota Capitol to visit their elected officials with bills they want them to consider, propose, sponsor or cosponsor. So scheduling time to see our elected representatives and senators is very important.

Last Sunday at 11 a.m. I went for a walk. Even if it’s nothing special, a walk isn’t a normal thing to do these days. But this brief walk — around the block, consuming maybe 10 minutes of my time — had a transcendent dimension to it that continues to awe me, and I’m going to do it again.

I recently visited my grands as Daddy was out of the country and Mom needed some extra help, so…Grandma to the rescue.  The oldest two, 9 and 11 could hardly wait to finish their schoolwork so we could play Monopoly.  Oh please, of all the games I played both as a kid and as an adult, Monopo…

Coming up against the culture isn’t always easy. Some people liken it to swimming upstream or going against the tide. Most often, once in the water, it’s just easier to go with the flow so to speak. That is, unless the flow takes us too far out and we don’t even realize the danger we’re in. …

Well, I am bored again as I sit in my house waiting for the pandemic to subside. I keep clicking through channels on TV but despite having over 100, nothing really is catching my eye. I reach into my closet for my DVDs (and a few Blu-rays) for something to watch.

Trees were a blessing for our local pioneers, like my grandparents who came over here from Norway in the late 1870s. Before they could plant crops, they had to clear the forests. But nothing went to waste. There were logs for building cabins, slender trees for fence posts and wood for the st…

Question: What is the proper technique when there is a zipper lane?  For example, coming off of 35 onto London Road, there are two lanes, but everyone merges over to the left lane immediately upon getting onto London Rd.  I learned to drive, and spent most of my driving years in Washington S…

We are in the midst of unparalleled change in our society, something unimaginable just a few days ago, and it alters everything — how we shop, where we socialize, our schools, our health and our finances. Everything. 

It’s been a pretty wild week, hasn’t it? I saw on Twitter the other day someone wrote, “Want to feel old? This morning was TODAY,” and I feel like that has applied every day this week. Somehow we’re still in March. I’ve only been getting about 3-4 hours of sleep before anxiety wakes me up. M…

Last summer, Bunkey dug up all his phlox. He got tired of spraying them for powdery mildew one week just to see it come back the next humid week. He had stopped planting monarda for the same reason, even though he really liked both plants. This spring he can plant both phlox and monarda (bee…

Most of us have all heard of fake news. In fact, it gets thrown around like some kind of joke. However, the reality is that fake news in a time of uncertainty can be dangerous and cause major concern or even panic. 

Deb Forstner of Fergus Falls says she feels blessed to say that her family, the Forstners, and the Roger Maris family are friends.

I want to urge all residents of Fergus Falls to remain calm as we go through these trying times. Rather than panic, let us work together. I also want to reassure our citizens that the city of Fergus Falls is taking every possible precaution to ensure that the resources needed to meet this ch…

I’m just a simple ER physician, not a virologist or epidemiologist, but I figured I’d offer a few thoughts regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus) since I will be working at the front lines of this pandemic if/when it hits our area at anywhere near the levels that experts fear. I’ve been avoiding c…

We are all adjusting so much in these days. Just think how different life is today than it was even a week ago. Had any of us ever used the phrase “social distancing” before?

When I was 7 we went to Disneyland.  One of the displays we toured was a futuristic home where the children’s  bedrooms were furnished with computers.  The tour described a day when students use computer to attend school at home.  My dad said that would happen someday.  While I have two teen…

The word contrite has been spinning round in my mind as of late. For the past several months now it’s come aboard my train of thought.

A favorite time of the entire ice fishing season for many anglers is the last few weeks of the season before safe ice eventually gives way to open water.  The weather is often warm, the days are longer, and panfish really go on the bite during this time!

Saturday was the first day where I began social distancing myself. Because many of the things that I enjoy doing where canceled, rescheduled or weren’t really worth the risk, I found myself at home with 12-plus hours to fill.

Leadership means someone’s got a plan, motivates his people to act, provides consistency not confusion, knows he or she’s in charge, demonstrates strong team spirit of “we” not “he,” and can deal with the worst case scenario.

As the spread of Coronavirus within the U.S. sparks deeper, long-term concerns about the American economy’s ability to handle a pandemic, the Trump administration has introduced several economic relief proposals. Most of the ideas so far, however, shamefully ignore the Americans most likely …

The past few days have been a whirlwind for us at Rothsay School. We have gone from having normal school days and looking forward to spring to the COVID-19 pandemic. It seems the only thing we can be certain of at this time is that nothing is a certainty.

There are people who sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and may not even know they have a TBI. Lack of self-awareness is a common trend with concussions and how they are related to a TBI. If someone has a traumatic brain injury (TBI)/concussion, his or her symptoms may not appear right a…

Dr. Brian Monahan, attending physician of Congress, told a closed meeting of Senate staffers this week that 70 million to 150 million Americans — a third of the nation — could contract the coronavirus. Dr. Anthony Fauci testified that the mortality rate for COVID-19 will likely run near 1%.

You might have been hearing the words “social distancing” more and more in the news these days now that the World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. You’ll see lots of events being canceled as measures are taken to stop or slow the spread, as well as indivi…

In a perfect world, every senior pet would spend its twilight years surrounded by loving humans. But sadly, senior pets that end up in shelters often don’t get that chance. Approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide each year (down from 7.2 million in 2…

When the landscape is white, we are especially appreciative of our beautiful green pine trees. Remember, pines are the ones with the long needles. However, like every other tree, pines are susceptible to diseases. Dothistroma needle blight, or red band disease for those of us who don’t speak…

Stay calm, this is the word of area leaders and echoed by many regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus). I agree and cannot say it enough, stay calm! I think clear evidence of people beginning to panic is the amount of toilet paper being purchased at area retailers. Why is that? Does it cure illness…