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The Commute


Fri, Oct 4th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

When I was a child, we had portraits in our home of the Pope, former president John F. Kennedy, Harmon Killebrew and Tony Oliva of the Minnesota Twins. So it should be no surprise that I hold baseball players in high esteem.

The portraits of Kennedy and the Pope belonged to my parents; Killebrew and Oliva adorned the walls of the room I shared with my little brother. They were 8 x 10 reproductions of oil paintings, or, at least that's what they looked like. They came free with something ...cereal? Oil changes? I can't remember. The Minnesota Twins shared a pedestal with "God" and "country" in my young mind.

Not one of the people who know me would call me a sports fan. But I do enjoy baseball. I'll confess to being a bit "fair weather": I really find my "inner fan" when the Twins are in the play-offs. As I write this, they're 1-1 with Oakland, having one amazing come-from-behind win, followed by a sound thumping. By the time this is published, they'll either be in or out.

I really hope it's in. I've found there's nothing like a run for the Series to take my mind off the heavier issues I sometimes brood about.

My dad took my brother and I to a Twins game at Met stadium when we were very young. I don't remember much beyond the blue seats and the excitement of being in the Twin Cities. (which I assumed God had named after the baseball team)

After determining that my brother and I could EACH have a hotdog, my dad casually held up the requisite two fingers to signal the distant vendor that we were in need. I was so impressed with his big city knowledge. In a ritual to rival anything I'd seen at church, two silver-foiled treasures were passed hand to hand toward my brother and me. I remember the pleasant steam as I unwrapped this "city" dog: a delicious Schweigert Tender-bite, swathed in mustard.

I hated mustard. But I assumed it must be common fare in the city, so, wishing to match my father's savvy, I ate it with aplomb. I've loved mustard ever since.

I have clear memories of the 1987 World Series, the Twins' first ever, when they defeated St. Louis. I watched the seventh game at the home of a friend who lived in St. Peter. I can't speak for the rest of Minnesota, but I know that at the moment the Twins won that night, church bells rang throughout St. Peter.

The 1991 Series, Twins v .....
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Township Roads

Fri, Oct 4th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

I have noticed that a lot of people I know are married. My wife and I are married. Her parents are married. So are mine. Most of our aunts and uncles are married. Most of our friends are married. People we know who were married quite a while ago and ..... 
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Another One From Flaherty

Fri, Oct 4th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

Just about everyone knows what Columbus did in 1492, but almost no one knows what Heathcliff Hammarschlagg did in the year 845. What he did was, he discovered America is what he did. Both North and South and with only one ship, the Torsk, Heathcliff ..... 
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At Home in the Woods

Fri, Sep 27th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

It's a relief that 9/11 has come and gone with no additional terrorist attacks. But, it seems that there is still a lot to worry about--impending war with Iraq, more attacks, West Nile and other exotic viruses, the lagging economy and climate change. ..... 
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Prairie Notes-For Richer and Poorer

Fri, Sep 27th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

Itís been raining wedding invitations lately at our house. Thereíd been a drought for a few yearsójust long enough for this guest to gain a few years in age, if not in wisdom. Iím not much on ceremony, but weddings interest me. Like many people, Iíve ..... 
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Does It Matter?

Fri, Sep 27th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

I donít normally write about national politics, but I have been troubled by recent events in Washington, in particular the move by the Bush Administration to seek Congressional approval for the President to take military action against Iraq. & ..... 
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Notes from a Country Kitchen

Fri, Sep 13th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

This is our invitation for us cousins that I talked about last week, up to my sister Dolly's in Goodhue. Chocolate is a vegetable!

Chocolate is derived from cocoa beans. Beans = vegetables. Sugar is derived from either sugar cane or sugar ..... 
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Notes from a Country Kitchen

Fri, Sep 6th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

Annabelle Kvam Monday, September 9, 2002

You wonít believe me, but I was gone again this week, two days in a row. Wednesday our cousins (ladies only) met up at sister Dollyís in Goodhue. There was nine of us plus Dollyís two girls. We chatted ..... 
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Notes from a Country Kitchen

Fri, Aug 30th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

Annabelle Kvam Monday, September 2, 2002

A tribute to teachers

God gave to you
the rarest gift
an understanding heart.
A gentle kindly manner
your wisdom to impart.
Oh, some men build
with steel and iron
to pave ..... 
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