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Township Roads: An Advil afternoon


Fri, Oct 17th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Its football season, so what could be more appropriate than a rousing game of touch football? Maybe sitting in a soft chair and chatting with the other mature folks. Well, sitting in the chair might have been the wiser activity for me last Sunday, but the game sounded like a good idea at the time.

My family was meeting at our aunt and uncles place for their sixtieth wedding anniversary. That was certainly cause for a victory celebration, but the very youngest among us thought that we needed some outdoors activity. A five-year-old has great influence in that regard. Soon, two of my boys, a niece, a nephew and my little brother still in only his fourth decade of life and I went out to play.

My boys had a football in the car, so the game was football. Had they brought a basketball the game would probably have been the same. We chose sides as evenly as we could. Each side got a child, each side got a teenager, and each side got a well-seasoned veteran of many a touch football game.

With the sides chosen, we set out to define the playing field. In classic pick-up game style, we pointed out a dead tree on the northwest corner of the lawn to denote one goal line with the big rock on the southeast corner the other goal line. The cornfield was the south sideline and an imaginary line between the corner of the house and the green tree in the woods was the north sideline. The playing field between these markers was shaped something like an elongated gourd or a fat banana-shaped water balloon sitting upright on a table. The field had no square corners or straight lines. It was far from a level playing field. I estimate the slope at about five percent in the other teams favor. I was always running uphill.

I had a bone to pick with the groundskeeper, too. I have played tackle football on Astroturf and found it softer than this lawn. I suppose Uncle Karl might have been reluctant to pump water on his lawn just in case we were coming to play football, but it would have been nice. The footing was firm, but the thin layer of grass made it slippery. Needless to say, I came home with grass stains like my wife hasnt pre-treated in years.

A sports analyst would have thought that I could have stayed on my feet throughout this knockdown drag-out game of touch football. Only my little brother was larger than me, and I sensed that we meticulously avoided coming withi .....
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Another One From Flaherty: The Outcasts of Flabbergast

Fri, Oct 17th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

I like to re-read books that I read when I was in high school and I get more out of them after the second or third time around. One was the Pickwick Papers, the account of The Pickwick Club. I told my wife that I would like to form such a club here i ..... 
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Journal Writing Project: The youth of Fillmore County need a skate park

Fri, Oct 17th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

The kids and teenagers in Fillmore County have hardly anything to do on weekends, so I thought that a skate park outdoors or indoors could be built. They are not all that expensive to build and they are a place where the youth of the county could jus ..... 
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Notes from a country kitchen

Fri, Oct 10th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

It just doesnt seem like its time for the combines to be out getting the corn and beans harvested. I know it was a terrible dry summer but I also know its yields are better than some expected. I can remember when I was a kid, dad hired a man to hu ..... 
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Of People, Places and Things: Another year older

Fri, Oct 10th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

In the hurry to meet our daily obligations it is easy to lose track of the milestones that document our progress along the way. Such was the case with the Journal a few weeks ago, when we completed our 18th year of being in business. Birthdays are n ..... 
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At Home in the Woods: The Tortoise and the Hare

Fri, Oct 10th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

One can learn a lot about a marriage by watching how a couple works together.   My husband Art and I just finished gathering our winter supply of firewood. At the beginning, we were nervous about our cranky backs because ever ..... 
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Journal Writing Project: Perseverance

Fri, Oct 10th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

It began in the early nineteenth century, with a game called Hare and Hounds. One group of runners would create a random trail with small pieces of paper, and the second group of runners would follow in pursuit of the lead group, following the pape ..... 
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The Commute: Culture clash

Fri, Oct 3rd, 2003
Posted in Columnists

I really love humor, and its a nice feeling when someone tells me they laughed at something Ive written. But every once in awhile I crumble under the pressure to be funny. (Admittedly, the pressure comes only from myself.) Some months I sit down to ..... 
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Township Roads: By Hand

Fri, Oct 3rd, 2003
Posted in Columnists

My dad pointed out to me an article in one of the regional farm magazines. The article was about a contest where the contestants picked corn by hand. It was amazing that people still had an urge to do that kind of thing for fun. Any time you have to ..... 
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