Archive - 2003


December 1st

Have you started packing yet?

No. I am planning to leave for Arizona at the end of the week, so I will start packing the morning of departure. I have not yet figured out how people can start packing for a trip a week, or even a day, in advance. Don't you need the things you are packing to function in the meantime?

Last year, I took too much stuff. Extra stuff. Stuff I didn't wear. Stuff I didn't use. Feels stupid to load all that stuff back into the pickup before you come home again. What was I thinking when I packed that?

Turkey crisis resolved

Although the perpetrators of the turkey theft on Thanksgiving day have not been caught, the healing process has begun. Aunt Ede is bringing some turkey and dressing in Cool Whip containers to town today. She will be parking at an agreed-upon location, near where she has an appointment. I will come to town and take the turkey and dressing from her vehicle, and stow them away until tomorrow morning when I take them down to Aunt Olla's. We are taking every precaution to avoid a recurrence of the turkey theft.

November 30th

This week's newspaper column

The attempted abduction of a teenaged girl in Fertile, MN, my hometown, one week after the disappearance of Dru Sjodin from the parking lot of Columbia Mall in Grand Forks, has people people around here on edge.

The world, even the small-town world, is a dangerous place, and always has been. Recently, I was shown an account in the local paper nearly one hundred years ago of a girl who was etherized and raped by a railroad crew which passed through town.

Stargazing on a winter night

Sister came up to visit this weekend and brought her friend Tiffany, an inner-city girl, out to the farm. One goal: To show Tiffany the stars, since you don't see them in the city.

We decided to go to Winger for supper last night. I brought the binoculars along in case the sky cleared enough for some star-viewing.

November 29th

Abduction attempt coverage

Several far-away relatives and friends called today. It is not often Fertile is in the national news, so they wondered what was up. Or, in the case of my friends in Jersey who originally hailed from here, they knew more than I did due to their connections in town.

Foiled abduction in Fertile

Heard this morning that a girl was abducted outside of Al and Laura's grocery store last night at 7:30 pm. It sounds like it is related to the disappearance of Dru Sjodin in Grand Forks, but nobody knows yet. The girl jumped out of the car on the Winger road and ran to a house near the nursing home. She was injured. They called 911.

Just got back from town. Everything appeared normal, although there was a WCCO cameraman in the gas station buying Mt. Dew. A crowd of cars at Al and Laura's, but no law enforcement vehicles.

November 27th

Turkey caper

I was originally supposed to go down to Twin Valley this morning to pick up Great Aunt Olla and bring her to Aunt Ede's for Thanksgiving dinner, but Olla had a bad cold so she backed out last night. However, she wondered if I wouldn't bring a little dinner down to her after we were done with festivities at Ede's.

Over the river and through the woods, to Ede's house we go

Its a pretty Thanksgiving morning! Upper teens. A little frost on the swamp willows. Am going to head over to Lee's for a dinner by Aunt Ede. No danger of going hungry there. Mom and Dad are in Arizona, sister isn't coming up until tomorrow, so brother and I will head over to Lee's, where the hospitality is always warm and the food delicious. A house full of cousins and their kids, always a good thing.

November 26th

Rewind to 1991

Pulled out the old video of the 7th game of the 1991 World Series between the Twins and the Atlanta Braves tonight and watched the last five innings.

The 1991 World Series was very dramatic--possibly the most dramatic seven game World Series ever played. Every game was tight. Game Seven went ten innings with no score. Yet, the Series has been largely forgotten now just 12 years later. When people talk about great World Series, 1975 is still the one they mention first.

Another missing person case

The disappearance of UND student Dru Sjodin is dominating local news. We always say things like that don't happen around here, but the fact is they often do. A girl in Hallock disappeared a few years ago. Her body was found in a gravel pit. Jacob Wetterling disappeared a few miles to the south. He was never found. A woman disappeared from Twin Valley two years ago. Her body was discovered north of Fertile. Her husband was finally convicted of killing her this fall. A little girl disappeared in Underwood, MN, not so far from here, about 15 years ago. Her father had killed her.