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Prairie Notes: Take me home, country roads


Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

Last March, my older sister Jenni called, wondering what to do about our mothers dilemma. Moms recently diagnosed osteoporosis left her unable to bend or lift meant no spring cleaning without help. On a mutually agreed upon weekend, I drove to my sisters in Jordan where we traveled on to Cosmos, then to the familiar country roads which led home.

One of my older brothers, Jay, met us at the farm, already up to his elbows in sudsy water, washing windows. The house, though not immaculate, looked good because somehow my dad had slid slowly into the routine of housekeeper. But this was not just cleaning, this was Spring Cleaning. We three cleaners, washed, vacuumed, and dusted our way through the main floor, then the basement, efficiently (except for coffee breaks), professionally (at least as professional as four siblings can be), and thoroughly (other than the chores we decided to do "next time" as we giggled and shut the closet). As we drove away the next day, I prepared myself for the long stretches of asphalt to come by repeating my mothers constant end-of-the-job mantra, "Now thats done."

Somehow, I blinked, and one entire year passed! Two weeks ago, Jenni called, wondering which weekend I would choose for the cleaning brigade. I chose April 4. I chose poorly.

That Friday, many area schools called it quits early because of snow and ice. Though I had little trouble driving the twelve miles to my home, the 240 mile trek to Kandiyohi County had to wait for morning.

Roads still held islands of slush Saturday morning, but after three flirtations with deathonly one due to my own miscalculationsI met up with Jenni, then sat in the "death-seat," happy for seatbelts all the way to Moms.

Jay had beaten us home again and had apparently adopted window-washing as his job. The difference one year had made showed itself when we walked inside. Have you heard stories of people half-killing themselves to "pick up the house a little" before the cleaning lady comes? That was my mother this year. Thanks to medical treatment, my mothers health had improved so greatly that she had managed to do many of "my" jobs from last year. We found a few things to vacuum, iron, or wash, but the bulk of the day was spent taking breaks at the kitchen table.

Growing up, I took for granted the view from our kitchen window. After all, Kandiyohi County .....
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The Commute: "The Bachelor"Bangladesh-style

Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

An old student came back to see me this week. He had some big news: hes getting married this summer. Hell return to his homeland, Bangladesh, for the wedding. The exact date is not certain, but he knows it will be in July. Heres the interesting pa ..... 
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Journal Writing Project: Jamie Howe

Fri, Apr 11th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

We are off to somewhere greener, somewhere warmer. We have waited four long years to get on that motorcoach in the spring. But its finally here. The Class of 2003 is bound for Washington D.C.!

Ever since our freshman year we h ..... 
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Of People, Places & Things: Hong Kong, a city under siege

Fri, Apr 11th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

I was driving home from work a few days ago when I heard a friend of mine being interviewed on the radio about the impact severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was having on Hong Kong.  There have been more than 22,000 ca ..... 
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Journal Writing Project: Kyle Anderson

Sat, Apr 5th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

March has always been an exciting time of the year. Old Man Winter seems to lose his touch. New breeds of athletics mark the calendars in high schools. Baseball, Track and Field, and Golf teams gear up for the months to come. People pack away their w ..... 
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Township Roads: Spring Fever

Sat, Apr 5th, 2003
Posted in Columnists

By Wayne Pike

Another beautiful day. It is just barely spring, but todays weather was a complete relief from winter and an introduction to what we might hope is seven straight months of comfortable weather. Although we have had ..... 
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