Archive - Mar 2006

March 26th

Faaberg interior

Lance and I went over to Rindal just as church was getting out in hopes that we could take some photos inside. I love the old country churches, and I think Faaberg is one of the prettiest around.

The stained glass behind the altar was glowing in today's sunshine.

The 100-year-old pipe organ is a thing of beauty, and it has a nice sound as well.

On the road

Yesterday, I spoke to about 170 gardeners in Alexandria at the Douglas County garden seminar put on by the master gardeners there. It was a lively group in a very good auditorium.

March 24th

Potting perennials

Leo's getting used to the cold. Although the greenhouse is heated, it isn't exactly cozy--and here Leo is in a T-shirt potting perennials. The fact that Leo knows how to work does a lot to overcome the language barrier. He's taking to nursery work like a duck to water.

Orpha was also at the potting bench. She returned this week for her 42nd spring at the nursery. I can keep track of it because she started the year I was born, 1964.

March 23rd

Character education

When I first heard that the kids to whom I was going to speak today were part of a "character education" program, I was a little taken aback. Shouldn't all education be "character" education? Shouldn't the basic virtues of honesty, integrity and the Golden Rule be emphasized in all subjects?

They should be, but they aren't. And so, I think the idea of education in matters of character is important. The kids seemed to be picking up on some of the basics. It was fun to see them comfortable discussing virtues in the abstract.

Schoolkids and Lions

Went to Gary, MN today to speak to elementary school kids as a part of their "character education" program. I had no idea what I was going to say, figuring I'd wait and see how things panned out. I am always more intimidated by children than by senior citizens or other groups.

March 22nd


When you find a decent-sized hill with a view in northwestern Minnesota, you stop, get out of the car and take a picture. At least I do.

When I came upon this scene, I congratulated myself on getting lost enough to find something new. What a view! It was made better by the fact that I didn't know where I was. Somewhere south of Clearbrook, I figured.

Well, it turns out the road at the bottom of the hill is US Highway 2 which I probably travel 20 times per year. I wasn't that lost after all.


Drove to Clearbrook this morning to speak and sing to a "Lifelong Learning" group. It is an educational program meant for senior citizens.

The gentleman who introduced me said right away that he thought I would be "longer in the tooth," given my columns. Once again, I will take this assumption that I am elderly as a compliment, although it still puzzles me.

March 21st

Big blue church in the vale

Brand new Brazilian

Drove to Fergus Falls this afternoon to pick up Leonidas, a Brazilian exchange worker who will be at the nursery for the next few months. He will be occupying the guest room at my house.

"I am your new Cassio!" he announced right away, meaning, I found out later, that his English is still in the early stages, as Cassio's was when he first arrived in the United States. By the time Cassio arrived here at the nursery, however, he was in good shape, and I am confident Leonidas is going to have no problem whatsoever.

All for the best

Today was the day for Aunt Olla to pick up her taxes. We went up town and thank goodness there was no ice on the sidewalks. We went in for the tax trauma--something seems funny when a 94-year-old on subsistence income has to pay in--and then headed out the front door.

Of course, like a good Norwegian, I stood with the door open to leave talking with the people inside. You can't just talk and then leave, no, you have to get half-way through the door and then discuss things. Unfortunately, Olla was already out the door and headed to the pickup.