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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 Blagsvedt's mailbox, when I hear a car coming towards me from the north. I don't have to look at my watch to make a good guess that the driver is Jim, one of two Lanesboro rural mail carriers. Sure enough, here he comes over the hill in his red Chevy pickup with "U.S. Mail" painted on its door. He sits, as usual, on the passenger side skillfully maneuvering his truck with his left hand on the steering wheel and his left foot operating the gas and brake pedals. He comes to a halt. We often meet like this.

He looks at the binoculars hanging around my neck and asks, "What birds are you seeing?" I tell him I'm seeing hundreds, maybe thousands, of robins. They are gathering in huge flocks right now and are gorging on red cedar berries in preparation for their journeys south. Their manic calls and short erratic flights are good indications that the berries have fermented.

It's a cloudy, cold and windy day in early November. It won't be long before the snow flies we say. Usually our visits last only a minute or two, but today we talk a little longer. I ask Jim if he grew up in this area. He says his family moved here in the 1950's when he was just a boy, but in some ways, he still feels like a newcomer. I understand. We bought our land in 1972, but we are still newcomers to the people who have deep generational roots in the Big Woods.

Jim's friendliness makes me think of my grandpa Abe, a rural mail carrier in the Glencoe, MN area from 1907 to 19. Like Jim, Abe knew and visited with the people along his route. He first carried mail by horse and buggy, then by motorcycle and finally by car. During Abe's time as a mail carrier, two world wars and the Great Depression occurred. Today, our nation again faces great challenges, but of a different sort. At least my grandpa never had to worry about terrorism.

I ask Jim how he feels about the anthrax threats. He is fatalistic. He says he isn't scared--when his time comes, it comes and he can't do anything about it. I'm not so concerned about my personal safety either, but we both worry about what terrorism is doing to our country. He says he wishes the media would stop telling terrorists how to hurt and frighten us. I agree. I'm especially c .....
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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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Fri, Jan 11th, 2002
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Fri, Jan 11th, 2002
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Fri, Jan 11th, 2002
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Fri, Jan 11th, 2002
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To the Editor,

What is most interesting about publishing farm payment recipients on the web is not necessarily who gets the money. Although the fact that media stars, sports heroes and wealthy professionals are raking in the dough raises eyeb ..... 
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