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”
(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.
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”
First time ever – my four year-old requested vegetable soup for lunch. This was after I told her three times that No, she could not have the leftover waffles from her breakfast. I offered her my home-canned tomato soup and she countered with vegetable soup. I’ll take it.
She helped get everything out of the fridge, chopped, stirred and seasoned the soup. It was SALTY, but when we sat down to our quiet lunch, she was engaged and made up a blind tasting game where we had to guess which vegetables were on our spoon just by taste.
It was a good way to get a daily dose of bone broth into her, and I haven’t enjoyed such a peaceful meal in quite a while. She ate well.
Resorts are shuttered or getting close to it, now. Traffic has slowed. Boats are being pulled. And the leaves fall like manna for hunters and 4-year olds, though the end of our fall color is already nigh. We raked the biggest pile simply for her diving delight one day, and within minutes I found myself in it as well. I have fond memories of playing in the leaves as a child and it seemed only fitting to give her that same experience.
The portly black bears are braver now, scavenging closer and closer for their final meals. We smiled one morning to see our compost pile dug through and muddy black paw prints across our deck.
Walk into Bear and Bean Coffee Company, Roseau’s cosmopolitan yet decidedly hometown coffee shop, and you might forget for a minute that you’re in Northern Minnesota.
But that’s not exactly what owners and Roseau residents of six years Keith and Tom Pringle are going for. Yes, they’re tapping into the warmth and funk of a trendy spot in St. Paul or Seattle – where Keith hales from, but it’s also an atmosphere that makes you feel right at home in your own north woods. From the man reading his Bible by the fireplace to the insurance agent meeting with an old farmer to the groups of Roseau students and Polaris employees, Bear and Bean makes it clear that everyone is welcome in their living room. Continue reading “Rural America Rising – Roseau’s Bear and Bean might just change the face of rural communities, for the better”
(Published in the October 3, 2017 issue of the Warroad Pioneer)
A century from now, our descendants will travel the widened yet familiar section of Highway 11 that runs at a diagonal from Lake of the Woods to the North Dakota border. When they reach the small but thriving community of Badger, someone in the vehicle will inevitably say, “Watch for the Wall!”, and as their vehicle slows, all eyes will strain towards a small green space a block beyond the highway. What they watch for is eye-catching even on a gray day, when the light through the clouds still plays with the colorful hundred-year old glass shards, thousands and thousands of them, painstakingly cut, set and cared for over the years by loving fingers that have long since returned to the Earth.
Representatives from the Warroad VFW Post 4930, Jeff Ploof and Gordon Heurd, journeyed to the Northwest Angle on Saturday, September 30 to present a $600 check to the Angle Inlet School. The funds are earmarked for a new flag pole, installation and lighting. The existing pole is a rough cut log and no longer has a pully system attached. When it was functional, it tore the flags to shreds in a matter of weeks. Mr. Ploof and Mr. Heurd met schoolteacher Linda LaMie for a tour of the one-room school house and shared stories about community history and the new updates to the building.
The donation came about as a result of the school fundraising efforts at this past summer’s Angle Days event. Community member Deb Butler reached out to pulltab auditor Gail Haugen, who then involved the VFW’s gambling manager Dan Demolee and the rest of his team.
On behalf of The Angle community, teacher Mrs. Lamie, paraprofessional Mrs. Shoen, and all “The Angle Kids”, THANK YOU to the entire group at the VFW and to everyone involved. Also, a big Thank You to Mr. Ploof and Mr. Heurd for making the trek all the way to The Angle.