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My typical Christmas


Fri, Dec 18th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

I don't know exactly when it started, but the holiday season is here in full force. Decorations are everywhere, people are frantically shopping for gifts, and holiday music seems to have taken over. I recognize the true and wonderful meaning of Christmas. I am thankful for family and friends. However, at the same time, I have a dark secret - I'm a bit of a holiday scrooge.

Take Christmas carols for instance, not everyone is fond of them. This music is played incessantly on the radio, in the stores, in elevators, in restaurants, on the streets, at work, and in restrooms. To me, it's as if someone took a sledgehammer, beat those songs flat, and then mixed them all together. They have reduced them to an audio jumble, a mind-numbing noise. It's, "Deck-the-halls-ring-a-ling-a-ding-dong-ding-in-the-meadow-we-can-build-a-Fa-la-la-la-la." Or " O-Christmas-Tree-have-yourself-a-merry-little-Jack-Frost-knocking-chestnuts-roasting-holly-jolly-Christmas."

Don't get me wrong. There are some wonderful and elegant thoughts expressed somewhere in that music. But it never stops. Not one minute of the day from Thanksgiving through Christmas does it end - I have caught myself grinding my teeth in tune with the music while Christmas shopping. Some radio stations play nothing but carols everyday - and to me it's all just too much holiday spirit for too long of a time.

I keep finding toy catalogs and shopping inserts everywhere - it's amazing how much junk mail is generated during this season. Magazines are full of recipes, gifts, plus decorating and entertainment advice so that we can all have the perfect holiday. Christmas is a joyful time, or so we're told, but a person gets tired of enforced merriment, especially when it's mainly department stores and credit card companies reminding us to get motivated and spend.

Each holiday season I have good intentions to decorate the house, string lights outside on the trees, bake lots of cookies, get my Christmas shopping done early, and send out Christmas cards. But, it is the last week before Christmas and I still don't have my shopping done, still no cookies baked, and I can't seem to find the Christmas cards I bought last year on clearance. I have a nice picture of my husband, Bob, and me to send out with the cards, but then I have to find the time to sit down and print them out. Then, I find myself rationalizing my procrastination - no one will really mind if they get cards from us after Christmas .....
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One Moment Please - Lutefisk, it's what's for dinner!

Fri, Dec 18th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

By Jason Sethre

Publisher of the Fillmore County Journal, cell phone number 507-251-5297

On Sunday, December 6, Christ Lutheran Church, located in Preston, hosted their 20th annual lutefisk dinner, which boasts an average of 900 to 1,1 ..... 
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You've got mail

Fri, Dec 11th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Computers and internet communication are still a marvel to those of us who remember when a long distance phone call was a huge deal and reserved for announcing a death in the family. Long distance rates were lowest in the evenings and on Sundays, an ..... 
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One moment, please... Yeah, that'll happen when pumpkins fly!

Fri, Dec 11th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

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Another one from Flaherty - The Dance

Tue, Dec 8th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

When I walked into the Owls, Archie called me over to the table and informed me that the Owls were going to have a dance - whether they wanted to or not.

"Well, if you don't want a dance, why are you having one?"

"We don't have anyth ..... 
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One moment, please... Tourism involves everyone

Fri, Dec 4th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Over the past several months, I've had the pleasure of sitting in on a number of meetings along with experiencing what I consider to be significant influences on the future of each individual community collectively recognized as the sum of our parts ..... 
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What it looks like when Congress does its job

Fri, Nov 27th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

If you've ever wondered what members of Congress do to earn their keep, the current health-care debate on Capitol Hill should give you a good idea. This complex legislation, placed on the congressional agenda by President Obama but shaped by the int ..... 
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Daily newspapers, once the backbone of the free press, on life support

Fri, Nov 20th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Are daily newspapers, including the New York Times and many others large and small around the county, going to survive in this digital age? I still prefer paging through and reading a newspaper that is physically in my hands. However, in this electr ..... 
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Whatever their tone, we need town hall meetings

Fri, Nov 13th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Years ago, when I was still in Congress, I pulled up one day to address a public meeting in a remote and very rural part of Indiana. The sheriff, a friend of mine, met me outside the small volunteer firehouse where I was to speak. "The Ku Klux Klan ..... 
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