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Traditions


Fri, Jan 11th, 2002
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Monday, January 14, 2002

Holiday shopping, concerts, caroling, and before you know it Christmas, New Years and vacation has once again passed us by. With all of the preparation, it just all flies by too quickly. Yet, each and every event leading up to the holidays and following the holidays will always hold a special place in my heart.

One of the best things about the holiday season is tradition. For as long as I can remember we have attended a Christmas Caroling Party hosted by Jim and Karen Gray of Spring Grove. This is the milestone of the season, it holds everything; friendship, goodwill, compassion and tradition.

The Grays have graciously opened their home for the past 27 years. The preparation must take weeks, the driveway and the lawn is decorated with roping, ribbon and lights. Karen decorates every corner of the house. The brick home is as interesting as the finest museum, but it is always with an outpouring of hospitality.

We arrive at 6:45 p.m., sheet music is handed out as we bundle up in our Norwegian sweaters and scarves. When everyone is ready, we load two busses and head for our first two indoor destinations. We sing Christmas carols at Tweeten Lutheran, the Manor and then we split into two groups. Each group has a list of 8 or 9 locations to stop at. Its cold and the wind whips past as we sing four or five traditional melodies at each residence. The look on the faces of the shut-ins where we stop, warms your heart. Our cheeks are rosy, our fingers and toes are frozen, but theres a feeling inside that keeps us warm enough to finish the mission.

As we head back to the Grays, were welcomed by the smell of homemade chili and a variety of baking. The entire house is lit with candles of various sizes and shapes. The elegant table settings will seat more than one hundred people. The ambiance is breathtaking! There are a lot of special memories that are attached to each holiday season, but few compare to the Jim and Karen Gray Annual Christmas Caroling Party.

Shopping list seem endless, but watching family and friends unwrap the gifts is always fulfilling. Finding the perfect tree for our living room is always a difficult task, but it wouldnt be Christmas without one. School concerts and church services also remind us about the reason for celebration. Exchanging gifts with friends at school, and traveling all around Winona with our show choir performing at holiday parties and attending the G .....
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The impertinence of being earnest

Fri, Jan 11th, 2002
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Monday, January 14, 2002

It has been brought to my attention that I may have, however inadvertently, stepped on some toes here and there over the years. It has always been my credo that knowledge should be shared and not locked up in some cran ..... 
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A Rant and a Rave

Fri, Jan 11th, 2002
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Monday, December 31, 2001

Last week, in this very paper, there appeared a quote from Garrison Keillor where he extolled the value of true newspapers: those that report crime, uncover scandal, and feature a few "irreverent columnists." This tr ..... 
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Are You Game?

Fri, Jan 11th, 2002
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Monday, November 19, 2001

The NBA season is fully underway. Youd have to live under a rock not to have seen MJ, his Airness, firing away for the Wizards. After all, TNT and NBC plan on having the lowly Wizards on the tube whenever possible; t ..... 
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Neither Snow nor Rain nor Dark of Night

Fri, Jan 11th, 2002
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Monday, November 26, 2001

On my usual late morning walk down our Big Woods road, I cross the bridge over the South Fork, pass the road to Jaymour Larson's old place, round the big curve and am nearing the tall post that once supported Pancake ..... 
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Turtle Dreamtime

Fri, Jan 11th, 2002
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By John LevellMonday, December 10, 2001

While long winter naps certainly seem appealing, a cold weather snooze lasting some five or six months is just a tad bit excessive. Factor in not a breath of fresh air or single bit ..... 
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Check out the heirlooms

Fri, Jan 11th, 2002
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Virginia CooperMonday, January 7, 2002

Even in the midst of winter there is always something to say about gardening. It's time to check out those catalogs and order your seeds for this year's garden.

What is open pollinated?

Wha ..... 
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The Compass Never Tells the Truth

Fri, Jan 11th, 2002
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By Wayne PikeMonday, January 14, 2002

I am somewhat skeptical of those directional compasses that you buy to keep in the car. My grandfathers compass that he had in his 19 Ford was the last one that I knew of that worked properly, with the po ..... 
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What about Fillmore County?

Fri, Jan 11th, 2002
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Monday, December 24, 2001

When I arrived at my office last Monday, there was a copy of the Sunday Winona Daily News waiting for me in the entry way. Under a front page story Published farm subsidies stir up debate, which listed the top 20 Wi ..... 
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