It Takes a Village to Raise an Adult

Mental Health in our Rural Communities (Part 2)

As children, we are dependent on our parents, and as aging adults at the end of our lives we are often dependent on our children. Conversely, the chapter between those two phases is characterized by independence. And yet adulthood is actually the time in our lives when we experience the most hardship, the most intellectual challenges, the most loss, and the most mental anguish.

For a large majority of us, we were never prepared to deal with these situations. No one teaches us how to go through divorce, handle depression, support a family member through addiction, bury our parents or worse, a child and keep on living through the grief. Continue reading “It Takes a Village to Raise an Adult”

The Happiness Project

Stepping up to own my Happy

How happy are you, really? Do you have a general sense of optimism even when life throws you lemony curveballs?

Me…I love lemony everything, but I’m grumpy a lot. At big things. At little things. At all the things. I go through bouts of deep soul-searching sadness too, when nature can’t reach me and people seem against me and trying seems pointless. I yell at my four-year old for doing four-year old things, and then Continue reading “The Happiness Project”

What’s Eating Rural America?

We are Northerners. We are small-town Americans. We come from hearty stock. Our backs are strong and our wills, even stronger. We don’t like handouts. We work. We live. We persevere. We are mentally tough and emotionally ready.

Or at least we’d like to think so.

Despite being far from the speed and the bustle of the city, regardless of our clean air and pristine water, even with our close-knit communities and disproportionately large numbers claiming faith, we rural folk are not immune to the stress of the modern-day world. We still fall prey to Continue reading “What’s Eating Rural America?”

The Minimize Minute

Challenge: Grab-A-Box

Here’s a challenge for you in 2018! Join me each week as we undertake a specific project aimed at simplifying our lives and minimizing our households. Write in and tell us how it went for you! MinimizeMinute@gmail.com

Week 1: Grab a box and walk around your house, finding 5-10 things that you don’t use, need or love that you can comfortably and permanently get rid of. Take the box to a donation center, thrift shop, or straight to the trash. You can also package up the items and ship them to a donation center for free by printing a label at http://www.givebackbox.com. Continue reading “The Minimize Minute”

Joan of Oak

I met Joan Undahl only six years ago when she invited me to lunch at Sportsman’s Oak Island Lodge to gracefully hand over the involvement she still had in The Angle’s annual Blueberry Festival. We laughed and talked, and I’m sure I must have seemed naive and yet oddly familiar in my fresh-from-the-city attitudes. Over the years that followed, I saw her many times at luncheons, when she needed groceries delivered or the rare boat ride to Young’s Bay. She was always sending me letters with random ideas for The Angle she had saved over the years, and I was honored to have been chosen in her eyes as someone who might carry-on those dreams. Continue reading “Joan of Oak”

Cultivating a New Kind of Crop

Some new farmers moved to town last year. You might have noticed their first crop lit up in yellow and green along the Warroad River as you cross the Highway 11 bridge. Avis and Bill Kennel, the owners of the house with the palm trees, certainly wouldn’t label themselves farmers, but indeed they have planted a crop, and it will bear fruit. Already has, in fact. Continue reading “Cultivating a New Kind of Crop”

When Life Doesn’t Look Christmas-Card-Perfect

 

Every year I “want” to be the type who gets family photos taken in the beautiful fall colors so they can be perfectly printed and ready to send out in early December. I want to write a witty Christmas letter that details our year and makes people chuckle and sigh. I want to send personalized cards and gifts right on time wishing friends and family a joyful season.

But as it so happens, I rarely get around to doing any of those things. Continue reading “When Life Doesn’t Look Christmas-Card-Perfect”