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Dry Spell


Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Monday, August 27, 2001


This has been one hot dry summer. Over the last ten weeks we have received less than two inches of rain. I donít know if that qualifies us for a drought, but it certainly is a wicked dry spell. Even with the saturated sub-soils we started the summer with, two inches of water doesnít go very far with July and August temperatures in the nineties. I can remember a couple of other very dry summers, but I canít recall that I felt as responsible for them as I do this one. Part of that feeling comes from the way I was raised to feel responsible for lots of things that I canít do anything about.

Water is of utmost importance around the farm. One of the first chores I had on the farm was to carry water to the hogs. My job was to carry buckets of water to the hogs until they had enough. I knew they had enough when they quit drinking and started tipping over the trough. The worst part of the job was that it was often a fairly long haul. We had one sow pasture that was surrounded by an electric wire about a foot off the ground. I learned very quickly that a metal bucket conducts electricity. The bucket went flying and the water went where the hogs could lie in it. They didnít mind, but I was disturbed. I had wasted my time, wasted the water and gotten a nasty jolt besides.

My parents were always very conscious about water use around the farm. Our original water system was a windmill and cistern system that served both the house and the barn. There always seemed to be plenty of water, but on Saturday nights, before we kids got our baths, my mother often yelled out the door to have my father check the cistern to see if there was enough water for cows and baths. There always was enough water for baths, but I never had a bath with more than four inches of water in the deep end of the tub. More water than that would have been wasteful anyway.

In 1964, when that dry period was at its peak, my brothers and I got up to some horseplay around the hydrant under the windmill. The windmill had been retired by that time and we had a good underground pressure tank that could pump a lot of water. Our good times involved buckets and a hose. We were thoroughly wet when my father came in from the field. He wasted no time in coming straight to the point. It was immediately clear to us that if that well went dry it would be our fault. I donít think that he was really worried about the well going dry because it never had before .....
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A Journey West

Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Monday, September 3, 2001

June 1975

The northwest wind, gusting to 30 miles an hour, brought tears to my eyes as I concentrated on the road ahead. Huge cumulus clouds drifted across the blue skyline, playing tag with the sun. We drove ..... 
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Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Submit a Letter to the Editorhere

Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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To the Editor,
Monday, September 3, 2001

After reading the Fillmore County Journal and River Valley Reader concerning our public libraries I was compelled to write this letter. The comment made by Paula Michels (Fillmore County Commi ..... 
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Vernon H. Vigeland

Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Vernon H. Vigeland, 77, of LaCrosse, Wis., formerly of Mabel, Minn. died March 12, 2001 at the Green Lea Manor Nursing Home in Mabel where he had resided for only a week.

Vernon was born September 5, 1923 in Preble Township, Fillmore County, M ..... 
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Gladys Judith Swain

Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Gladys Judith Swain, 93, of Rushford, a homemaker, died March 7, 2001 at her home.

Gladys Judith Williams was born May 15, 1907, on the Humble farm at Highland Prairie, moved to North Dakota with her family when she was 3 months old and retu ..... 
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