Why Did the Porcupine Cross the Road?

We all rode to town together on Friday. It’s an hour+ drive, so it’s no small thing. We packed the diaper bag, installed the car seats and rushed through our morning in order to leave by 8AM. The whole way to town, the 6-year old watched her tablet. the 8-month old slept, and Tony and I argued. Continue reading “Why Did the Porcupine Cross the Road?”

Sweet Sucker Punch

Without a weekly newspaper deadline, I’ve had little desire to sit at my computer and write these past two months. The sun is shining. The grass is green. The lake is warm. And we’ve been doing what people do when all those stars align.

No, I haven’t missed writing. Continue reading “Sweet Sucker Punch”

The Hard Way

There are only a handful of dreams that impacted me enough that I clearly remember them now years later.

In one such dream during my time working at Microsoft, I needed to meet my manager  on the other side of a small pond. One route around the pond was wooded and the other side was an open meadow. Continue reading “The Hard Way”

“You’ve Got to Stand for Something or You’ll Fall for Anything.”

121 columns later and this is my final piece to appear in the now-closed Warroad Pioneer, a small-town newspaper that had survived for over a century. If read chronologically, they tell the winding story of loss and heartbreak, growth and hope.

I stood a good ways back watching the huge balm of gilead before she fell. Up here, where they grow like dandelions, it’s easy to dismiss these trees as junk wood or “trash trees” as I’ve heard them called. But this peaceful old dame has healing ointment in her veins, salves for human wounds if it’s processed right. And she’s surely seen twice as many summers as I. Perhaps Iris, the graduating kindergartener, and I will count the rings later to verify. Continue reading ““You’ve Got to Stand for Something or You’ll Fall for Anything.””

A Fond Farewell

The Warroad Pioneer (the small-town newspaper I write for) is going out of business.

This column is one I didn’t want to write, so I’ll keep it brief (haha) and get it out of the way this week instead of next.

I’ve never been good at Goodbye’s. Sometimes I skip them altogether. But writing this column meant too much to me to not say a few words. Continue reading “A Fond Farewell”

One-Track Mind

The Hunt and The Birth

We marked the last day of regular firearms deer season with a dinner of fresh venison and grouse. The glass door had gotten the grouse, so no license was required there. Cut very thin, lightly breaded and fried, both meats were a hit with the five-year old.

Bow season continues and muzzle loader opens this weekend, but even though he’ll likely bring home one more deer, I should get to see a bit more of my orange-clad partner now.

We made the hour+ trip to town together one day last week, and our conversation was like one from a sitcom. Both in our own separate worlds, he was focused on the hunt and I was focused on the birth. I later apologized for my one-track mind, and he laughed. “Me too,” he said sheepishly. Continue reading “One-Track Mind”

Indigenous Peoples Day and What the Trees Say

Two years ago, Minnesota declared the second Monday of October Indigenous Peoples Day. Other states and cities have as well, and I assumed Warroad would have some official designation. Yet, last year’s school calendar read “Columbus Day”, and this year there is nary a mention of Indigenous Peoples Day. Continue reading “Indigenous Peoples Day and What the Trees Say”