Everything Works Out Perfectly

 

We sing lots of made-up songs, my daughter Iris and I. Since she was an infant, I’ve made up silly little tunes, as I’m sure most mothers do, to teach her the steps of getting dressed or to remind her how much her papa and I love her or to just keep my worrying in check.

EWOP is one of our favorites. The concept isn’t mine, but the tune is. “Everything works out perfectly,” we sing. “Everything works out per-er-fectly.” Over and over. It’s soothing and catchy and reminds me that I don’t need to control the world because however it goes, it’s going to be fine. Continue reading “Everything Works Out Perfectly”

Grooming The Road Less Traveled

The Angle Welcomes a New $10 Million Dollar Man

 

The road to the Northwest Angle is a multi-faceted character in an epic, cross-genre novel that spans decades. The story has had many narrators over the years, from the original logging and dragline crews, to the hearty stick-pickers and early adventurers, to the Lake of the Woods county folks who’ve matured and maintained it, to the oft-traveling parents, school bus driver and local package carriers who, today, use the road nearly 260 days a year.

To know The Angle is to be intimately acquainted with its road. The only over-land passage in and out, it belongs to both Canada and the US. It sports a tarred toupee for a majority of its winding miles, but the final 18 are gravel, and that is where its bi-polar personality is cemented and made infamous. Continue reading “Grooming The Road Less Traveled”

I Will Be

A journey through the grief of miscarriage

I had the makings of a child in my womb for eight weeks and five days.

On the Friday before Thanksgiving, the pain and bleeding started, and I knew. I didn’t want to know, but there it was. It was the beginning of the end of a pregnancy I had longed for and rejoiced in. It was over before we even got to speak of it, and there was absolutely nothing I could do. Continue reading “I Will Be”

Precious

 

It wasn’t the first time he’d come to visit me in Seattle, but it was the most significant. Raw and wounded from his recent separation and impending divorce, my older brother and his young daughter made the three hour drive up from Portland late in the day on Thanksgiving and stayed only one night. It would have been the first holiday they’d spend alone, and I had insisted he come join my circle.

Continue reading “Precious”

Roseau’s Four Seasons Senior Center

A Place for Everyone

Donut Day. Live music. Lefse making. Shopping. Dancing. Fitness and nutrition classes. Cultural day trips. Extended holiday tours.

This is just a sampling of the many different activities going on each month at Roseau’s Four Seasons Senior Center. Into its 40th year now and after many moves throughout the decades, Four Seasons has been comfortably at home in their current building on Center Street since 1997. During that time, the shingles have worn through, but on the plus side, membership has grown from 120 to 228 (annual + lifetime), and the variety of adventures and educational opportunities available has increased exponentially.

Turns out, having things to do and people to be around is a pretty big deal, especially for Seniors. Continue reading “Roseau’s Four Seasons Senior Center”

Lessons in Orange

Six years ago, my first fall back in the Northwoods after a 23-year hiatus, I was out for a walk on the quiet gravel roads of our off-season when a slow-driving truck of orange-clad elders slowed beside me. They were all smiles and we spoke of nothing significant, but before driving away they cautioned me to wear hunter’s orange next time I was out and about on foot. “Even on the road?” I asked in disbelief. “Even on the road,” they said.

Continue reading “Lessons in Orange”

Wannaska survives the trends of rural decline

Rural America faces plenty of economic challenges, from the sharp decline in the number of family farms and, in turn, the small-town economies that supported them, to the disproportionate reliance on manufacturing jobs, to a severe shortage in child-care providers.

Of course, these are broad-stroke issues within a greater problem facing the country at large, but despite the gloomy outlook touted by commissioned studies, universities, and rural betterment institutes across our 50 states, there are still small community success stories happening everywhere you look.

Wannaska is one such story. Continue reading “Wannaska survives the trends of rural decline”