Archive - 2003


November 5th

Book Business

Nothing more fun than selling books. Have had orders for 110 in the past three days' mail. Packaging them up and sending them out is a festive process.

This morning, I attempted to register the new book with Ingram Books, the supplier which sells to Barnes and Noble, B. Dalton and Waldenbooks. Ingram takes 60% off the cover price. No profit at that rate, but you have to be in those stores.

In line at the referendum

A referendum to pass a levy on property taxes for the Fertile-Beltrami school was held yesterday. Voting took place at the school. When I arrived, there was a long line to vote. Lots of jokes about getting flu shots, since the line looked a little bit like we would all get pricked at the front. After the snow of the past few days, I think it was a nice break for people to get out of the house and have an excuse to stand in line with people you seldom have a chance to talk to. I know it was for me. Talked to dozens of people. Lots of laughs.

November 4th

Wild Rice Church

Planted a tree down at Wild Rice Church yesterday. It is several miles southeast of Twin Valley, a mile off the main road running to Waubun, right along the Wild Rice river. It was cold and windy. The spade crunched through a little ice on the way through the sod, but the digging was easy. Sandy soil. Good for trees.

4 wheel drive weather...Tucson beckons

Okay, its not that bad. I wouldn't have had to click it into 4-wheel drive to get over to the nursery this morning, but it was nice to have the stability provided when the front wheels pitch in. The roads aren't plowed, so the pickup billowed through the fluff. Fresh snow changes the sound of things, makes everything muffled. When I walked out of the Morton building after parking my pickup there, I got buzzed by a flock of low-flying geese, honking away, skimming underneath the low overcast, completely unruffled by the snow.


Its been huffing and puffing out all night. Snow pelting the window. Gusts of wind that seem to shift the house. The house cracks in the falling temperatures.

This morning, opened my eyes to an unnatural light in the house which means the ground is covered with white. The wind is from the north, so puffs of snow fall off the roof on the south side as if thrown down by an assistant on a set of a bad movie. Too much! Make it look more natural!

November 3rd

Science, Uncertainty and Serenity

I don't worship science, but I sure enjoy it. Anything which sheds light on how little we know automatically has my ear. For every major discovery made by scientists, it seems that a whole new world of the unknown is opened up.

November 2nd

Saving churches (this week's newspaper column)

A couple of years after closing its doors, a local country church held an auction recently to get rid of the tables, chairs, pews, fixtures, anything movable of value, in preparation for the destruction of the building.

Country churches have been closing at a fast pace for the past twenty years. It usually is only a couple of years after services stop before the building falls.

Gassing up in Twin Valley

Most gas stations around here have cleaned up their act to the point they are antiseptic. Spotless uniforms, clean floors, bright lights, every last bit of wall space covered with "product." It's fun to see well-run businesses, but it is also fun to find a place where the past lives on, like the BP (formerly Amoco) station on the north end of Twin Valley.

Pumpkin Patch

The annual Pumpkin Patch celebration in Twin Valley, a meatball dinner benefit and variety show for the Nursing Home auxillary, was held in the Twin Valley high school gym last night. At least a couple of hundred people were in attendance.

November 1st

A subtle time of year

Just drove to town and back, and was reminded of how much I enjoy the scenery this time of year. At times it is dreary, at other times it is rich and subtle.