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So last weekend was our deer hunting opener. Hunting buddies start talking about it a couple weeks ahead, get excited, brag about past kills, trade jibes about the good shots and hard shots. About a hard shot deer that was harder to retrieve than others like, getting that doe out of the wate…

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There is nothing like the first snowstorm of the season, especially when it’s a big one. Read more

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Woke up this morning feeling good with where we’re at after a second accumulated snow in the past three days, starting our winter early. It’s Friday, Oct. 23, six in the morning. It’s pitch dark out, low light inside with the white ash and red oak fire, bonfire-like, lighting and warming the… Read more

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I looked out this morning and the sun was gone. Turned on some music to start my day, I lost myself in a familiar song. I closed my eyes and I slipped away. Read more

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A forlorn, decrepit statue sits unmarked in a small, unremarkable chamber, water dripping down from the ceiling above. Up ahead, you find a small bin of umbrellas, appropriate, as a downpour has now started. However, there’s no reason you can’t backtrack. The statue is only 10 seconds behind… Read more

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A coworker commented to me last week that “people are so mean.” She was referring specifically to people on social media, but there is some evidence that the phenomenon goes beyond social media to interactions in general. Read more

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Because I can’t fall asleep without a good doomscrolling, Twitter memes end up pre-occupying my time in ways that could be better spent. I’m always eager to drop a hot take about how I’m not the most pretentious person in the world for putting Mamoru Oshii’s “Angel’s Egg” among my top five f… Read more

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In May 1980, a Miami, Fla., court acquited four white police officers of killing Arthur McDuffie, a black insurance executive, provoking three days of race riots. Jimmy Carter was the president of the United States. Read more

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‘Mary’ is an essential worker in rural Minnesota. She operates a farm with her husband, who does not have another job. Mary also has a part-time job with no health benefits and no paid time off or sick leave. She is one of those classified as ‘the working poor’ because she has too much incom… Read more

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So today Kathy and I are on the North Shore, lodging a couple miles south of Gooseberry Falls and a couple miles north of Two Harbors. Lodging in the evening, eating high, glass of wine, bonfire, go to bed late, visit, enjoy, get up early, have a black coffee outdoors in sweats, three course… Read more

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Growing up in the boondocks of southern Aitkin County, there’s a question that’s never had an easy answer for me: “Where’s your hometown?” If I have to give a name, I’ll usually say McGregor because 12 years of schooling there meant it was the environment I was most actively socialized in. H… Read more

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Do you ever listen to a song and remember exactly what life was like when you first heard it? Read more

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So, to start where I ended last week, it can be really comfortable to sit down with a book you’ve read before. Read more

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Celestial events like meteor showers and comet sightings tend to make a lot of people aware of how much they miss by living in places with street lights, car dealerships and other sources of night light. Where I live it is completely dark at night, so I have a nightly front-row view of the c… Read more

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The other day, biding my time walking down a familiar woods trail, I thought back to when there wasn’t a trail where I’m walking, only woods; woods with trees, saplings, ground cover, dense brush, scenery; deadfall hiding behind and beneath the brush so thick sometimes I wouldn’t see it, it’… Read more

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I am holding Emma right now. Emma is crying and so am I. Read more

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Are we creating a two-class food system? If a family has the means to purchase organic or naturally grown food and another does not, is it ok for the less affluent child to be exposed to myriad farm chemicals while others are able to grow free from that exposure? Read more

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Not long ago me and a friend were out walking a woods trail, one of us mentioned we was good pals, agreed, walked on and talked and made humor. Talked about growing up on the farm, playing, putting up hay, swimming and skating the river, milking by hand and machine. We agreed wood walks prim… Read more

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I feel a certain futility in sitting down to write a column about racism. To write it honestly, I’m inviting both myself and the other white members of my audience to go to an uncomfortable place in the vain hope they’ll meet me at least halfway. There’s the added pressure of needing to navi… Read more

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The Times They Are A Changin is a Bob Dylan protest song he did in the ’60s, a time like now when some folks, a lot of folks, didn’t think things were right, marched and protested and wanted change. Read more

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Living in a small town provides an opportunity to see first-hand the values that make it a good place to live and raise a family. The big box stores are within an hour’s drive, but as we carry out our daily work and run our errands, we come to value our small, locally owned businesses. Those… Read more

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So last weekend we had seven yards of “clean” pulverized black dirt delivered. Choice dirt! Some of the garden said last year it could use a boost. Agreed! By coincidence, an inch and a half of heavy wet snow got here the same time as the dirt. Pretty! The dirt cost money, the snow came free… Read more