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”

Warroad Alum walks 50 miles to help raise $405K for MS Research

At mile 49, physically weary from two and a half days of walking in 90-degree weather, Abby Wilmer stopped and gathered with the others to honor their purpose. 231 walkers, their families and the many volunteers of the Challenge Walk MS had all come together to raise awareness and money for medical research and support programs for people living with multiple sclerosis.

The gathering was emotional, and near the end, Abby and her team “Bee the Change” – named for her family beekeeping business and a forward-looking hope for the future of MS treatment – were invited to the front. Continue reading “Warroad Alum walks 50 miles to help raise $405K for MS Research”

Angle Outpost Resort Celebrates 60 Years

From its very foundations, family has been central to Angle Outpost resort. Through four sets of owners, 17 children have been (or are being) raised there, beginning with Harold and Irene Peterson’s five.

Peterson’s Camp was formed as a hunting and fishing outpost in 1957. That was in the pre-electricity days of the Northwest Angle, before there was much for indoor plumbing or even a road to get there. Raising a family and running a resort in those hardworking times took fortitude. “Money was pretty scarce and I ‘worked out’ eight hours a day,” Harold said of the early times, his faded yet still musical Norwegian accent catching on the hard consonants. Continue reading “Angle Outpost Resort Celebrates 60 Years”

Togetherness: the greatest milestone

Joyce and Melvin Ortmann have known each other forever. Before there was 62 years of marriage. Before there was world travel. Before there was a quiet, shared grief upon losing their only daughter. Before there was a legacy of nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Before all that, they cross-country skied the snowy fields on the outskirts of Warroad while their parents visited over coffee. They played as kids do, tracking the snow, sliding the haystacks, coming back into the house wet and red-cheeked in their childhood joy. Continue reading “Togetherness: the greatest milestone”

#Me Too

(This is the unedited version. Trigger warning)  I publish this despite my many misgivings and trepidation about its reception in our small, tight-knit community. The brave editors at the Warroad Pioneer worked with me to change the graphic descriptions, edit it for length and they also included the following note – see image. I feel grateful and a certain sense of pride in writing for a rural community paper that doesn’t shy away from issues such as these. 

Column 70 Me Too Editors Note

Walking home from middle school one day, I passed a driveway where three men were working on a car. They made some sort of catcall that I didn’t understand, but the intent was clear so I hurried along. After a few minutes, I noticed they were following me. It was a long straight stretch before my neighborhood and I didn’t want to show them my fear, but they were gaining on me and calling out. Continue reading “#Me Too”