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Prairie Notes-On the Road


Fri, Oct 25th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

Turn down any country road in Fillmore county. Choose one that you have driven often in the past, though it may have been awhile since you passed that way. If you happen to choose that road early in the morning, say 6:30 or 7:00, or later in the afternoon, say 3:30-6:00, you may be met with a surprise: you no longer are the sole driver on that road. Though our concept of heavy traffic may be laughable by I-35 standards, the rise in the number of vehicles headed in all directions so soon after sunrise—or shortly before it, this time of year—signals change for all of us. And the change had better bring an awareness that we rural drivers may have lost.

This morning on my commute along highway 30 toward Peterson, a silken mist draped itself over low pockets in partially picked fields; dried chocolate-colored stalks stood guard over the remains of green ditches; and four thick pink stripes announced the sun’s arrival. I think that way as I drive, putting together descriptions as little mental exercises just to see if I can do it without overdoing it. But, simultaneously, public radio relays the news as my eyes dart to the speedometer, the "big picture" I’m supposed to be watching ahead, and the ditches, to spot signs of little critters, turkeys, or deer that may come skittering, flying, or leaping in my path. I could create a challenge worthy of any video game enthusiast if the van contained a cup of coffee, a cell phone, or a traveling companion. Remember, #30 has no shoulder and plenty of horizonless hills that mask whatever might be turning onto it—especially with the rising sun in your eyes, and you have the makings of a bad accident. But this morning’s "big picture" brought more possible hazards: I either met or followed nine other vehicles. Nine. We sat two-deep at the stop sign just to cross or enter onto the highway, and none of the vehicles were the tractors, semis, or combines which will appear from now until Thanksgiving.

Twenty years ago, I began driving this route to school. Had I seen nine vehicles in the morning I would’ve thought I was in a funeral procession. Even five years ago, when a four-car morning was typical, nine would’ve brought surprise. The I-35ers are allowed to chuckle, if they wish; but the change does have meaning for me as well as my driving habits.

I pride myself on my driving record, even though none of the other members of my family allow me to drive when they’ .....
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Journal Writing Project-Jamie Howe

Fri, Oct 25th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

When you open those glorious high school doors for the first time as a freshman, you feel it. You feel the power, the responsibility, the status, the freedom, and you feel the real life as a teenager. Or should I say, the artificial life you lead for ..... 
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Notes from a Country Kitchen

Mon, Oct 21st, 2002
Posted in Columnists

Fall is my time of the year, pretty leaves, nuts on the ground, smell of burning leaves and weather . . . sometimes raining, sometimes beautiful , and sometimes really windy. We see all the big combines harvesting the corn and beans, neighbors gettin ..... 
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Journal Writing Project-Kyle Anderson

Mon, Oct 21st, 2002
Posted in Columnists

Deadlines are like rainy days. They show up everyone once in a while and nobody likes them. Deadlines make people sweat, make them nervous, and make them shake in their boots, but they also give people order. Deadlines are those unpleasant reminders ..... 
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Township Roads-This old tractor

Mon, Oct 21st, 2002
Posted in Columnists

A tractor followed me home a couple weekends ago. It wasn’t exactly a stray. It was a tractor that I had known for a long time.

The tractor that rode on the trailer behind my pickup was a Farmall H. My dad bought it new back in ..... 
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Notes from a Country Kitchen

Fri, Oct 11th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

I just looked up the word "cooperation" and this is what it said, "a joint action or undertaking," and that it was for us out at Big Spring on our Chicken Dinner on Sept 29th. Everybody knows we all have to work together as our membership is getting ..... 
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Journal Writing Project

Fri, Oct 11th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

Over 1000 years ago, on a cold, windy day (all days are cold and windy on the North Atlantic) a lone wooden ship landed on the coast of North America, probably somewhere on Newfoundland. The men who disembarked were expert sailors and explorers led b ..... 
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Of People, Places and Things- The Journal's Birthday

Fri, Oct 11th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

Overheard at Wheelers Bar & Grill in Harmony a few weeks ago:  Two older men are having lunch. One of the men asks another man who has just come into the restaurant what he has been doing all morning.  [Read the Rest]

Notes from a Country Kitchen

Fri, Oct 4th, 2002
Posted in Columnists

Today my column is dedicated to the gentle man whose body was found Saturday evening Sept. 21st in a ditch just north or Prosper. Isn't it terrible we wait till someone is dead before we can say something good about them. Kris Olson director of Sunri ..... 
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