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78


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Survival


Sun, Jul 2nd, 2000
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Monday, June 12, 2000

May 31, 2000: Beaver Creek, crystal clear and studded with watercress, looked like a long winding jewel as Dana Gardner and I walked its shores in search of birds. An Acadian Flycatcher, the first ever for Dana, performed perfectly. A Cerulean Warbler, another first, sang from the treetops. A Veery and a Black-billed Cuckoo sang from deep in the woods. Birdsong surrounded us, the temperature was right and the sky was partly blue. Suddenly, it became dark as if someone turned out the lights. Then the rain started and didn't stop until the next day.

Here in the Big Woods, rainfall totaled five inches for the second time in two weeks. The rain carved deep ruts into our driveway and destroyed a culvert on our township road. Tree trunks lay on the road and the South Fork was over its banks for the first time anyone can remember. I wondered about the birds here and at Beaver Creek. How many nests were destroyed? How many birds died? Was Beaver Creek as muddy and angry as the South Fork?

As I walked down what remained of the road, I thought about other storms. One in particular stood out:

It is late afternoon, July 1997. Lightening flashes. Rain and wind pummel the woods. Suddenly, we hear a crash that isn't thunder and a giant White Oak falls into our yard. The next day, when we begin to cut the tree for firewood, we count over 230 growth rings and realize it must have been a sapling in Jefferson's time, supple then, twisting in the wind, its survival uncertain.

In our more supple years, we heated our house entirely with wood that we cut ourselves. I remember aching backs, sawdust covering us from head to toe and slashes in Art's jeans from the chainsaw blade that barely missed his knees. Back then we cut trees that didn't fall neatly into our yard. When branches tripped him, he blamed me for not pulling them away soon enough. I cried and blamed him for expecting too much. His rolling eyes said, "Just like a woman." On this day, he stumbles over a branch without a word, without rolling his eyes. I don't cry. I see blood rolling down the side of his face.

The giant tree leans against a young White Pine bending it to forty-five degrees. We want to save the pine, so Art pushes a chain under the oak while I climb through Prickly Ash to the other side, reach underneath, grab a thistle, then find the end of the chain and wrap it around the trunk. When he starts the tractor, then waits for me to clim .....
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Root River Blues Revisited: In the Wake of the Flood

Sun, Jul 2nd, 2000
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Monday, June 26, 2000

6:00 a.m. Thursday June 1, 2000: The South Branch of the Root River, small, clear and perhaps somewhat low for this time of year, placidly meanders and winds its way through Lanesboro towards a merger with the mighty Miss ..... 
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Dreaming of sushi

Sun, Jul 2nd, 2000
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In a perfect world, I would be a travel writer. My passport would be scuffed, worn and filled with stamps and illegible signatures. I would have a carry-on suitcase, just the right size for a plane’s overhead compartment. It would always be packed an ..... 
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Flight

Sun, Jul 2nd, 2000
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Monday, July 3, 2000

On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright flew a powered aircraft for twelve seconds. Their flight covered a distance of about forty yards at a speed of almost seven miles per hour. Six years later, the Wright boys s ..... 
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Start with the courthouse

Sun, Jul 2nd, 2000
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Monday, July 3, 2000

Start with the courthouse. That's my advice to the soon-to-be appointed Facilities Evaluation and Planning Committee that was created by the county board last Tuesday. The evaluation of the shops and other facilities can w ..... 
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Upside Down Dinner Casserole

Sun, Jul 2nd, 2000
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1/2 pound bacon
11/2 pound hamburger
2 medium onions, sliced
1 pound carrots, sliced
2 tablespoons flour
5 to 6 potatoes, sliced
salt & pepper
1 can cream of mushroom soup
• Cover bottom of casserole dish with bacon slices. ..... 
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Monday, July 3, 2000

Sun, Jul 2nd, 2000
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To the Editor,
On behalf of the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, I wish to thank you for your wonderful hospitality in helping us launch the University of Minnesota sesquicentennial in Lanesboro. The outpouring of support for the ice cre ..... 
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Sun, Jul 2nd, 2000
Posted in

Sun, Jul 2nd, 2000
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