Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

Sunday, May 30, 2010. Memorial Day weekend.

Let's not forget. Memorial Day, 2010.

There's more to Memorial Day, than grilling outdoors (which I did) and getting out on a lake (which quite a few other folks did). I've written about that today, and yesterday, in one of my blogs.

This also is a way of observing Memorial Day. May 29, 2010.

This week's Sauk Centre Herald had a piece about Minnesota's Main Street Program on the front page. I missed the Thursday event - so I'll have to read about it in the paper, next week. My family and I have been coughing less, and breathing through our noses more - so I'm looking forward to getting out more and enjoying this summer.

Mass at Our Lady of the Angels, Memorial Day
weekend. May 30, 2010.

More rain came this morning: but it had soaked in by noon, so I was out grilling - and hope to do the same tomorrow. Then, since this is a three-day weekend, Monday will serve concurrently with Tuesday, and business as usual will resume.

I still plan to get out and enjoy the sunshine, though.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Coming Next: Memorial Day Weekend

Wednesday, May 26, 2010. We had a full rainbow, near sunset yesterday. Toward the north end, it was a double. I posted a couple more photos on the Sauk Centre Journal Blog yesterday.

Rainbow, near sunset: double in a few places. May 25, 2010.

This week's Sauk Centre Herald has a little more detail about that plot of land near the Interstate, where the Chamber of Commerce offices and the Sinclair Lewis Interpretive Center are now. Looks like there will be some strings attached. Or, as the paper put it, "criteria" for whatever outfit buys the property.

Looks like whatever's built there will have to be "for retail commercial purposes only." Also that whatever's going to go there has to start going up within a year of the sale's closing: and get finished two years from closing - with an option for the city council to give the developer some wiggle room. So far, so good, as far as I can see We wouldn't want somebody picking up the property and doing nothing with it. (maybe in hopes that Sauk Centre real estate prices will skyrocket?)

From my point of view, those conditions are good for the city - and, indirectly, everybody who pays city taxes. What came next looks like good news for the Chamber of Commerce and Interpretive Center.

Whoever buys the property is supposed to help the Chamber of Commerce and Sinclair Lewis Foundation relocate. I hope the city council specified some specific - and meaningful - amount. City hall's thinking, though: if the first buyer re-sells the property, those conditions apply to the next seller, too.

I'll admit that I'd been concerned about the Chamber and Interpretive Center. Not as concerned as those folks were, of course. It's still going to be a lot of work and stress: but moving doesn't seem quite so impossible now.

That's more like it: This looks like summer. May 25, 2010.

The weather forecast I saw says it'll be almost disgustingly nice weather, right up to Sunday, when we may have some rain, lightning and thunder. About a one in three chance, anyway.

Still, it looks like we'll have a nice Memorial Day weekend. The (City Street Department, I think it is) has flags up on Sinclair Lewis Avenue and Main ("The Original Main Street," I should say).

Two days to go before Memorial Day weekend: and the flags are already up. May 26, 2010.

The Sauk Herald has a nice writeup on Father Sylvester Kleinschmidt, who'll soon be celebrating 60 years in the priesthood. The article tells how a young Sylvester Kleinschmidt got the idea of becoming a priest when a priest came to bless his family's farm. There'll be a special Mass with him a week from tomorrow, June 3. Two other priests in town celebrate their 25th and 26th anniversaries of ordination, on June 1 and 2. It's going to be a busy week.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Near sunset today, I saw a full rainbow - double in spots.

Near sunset, from my back yard. May 25, 2010.

Same rainbow, from a few yards over. May 25, 2010.

Same rainbow, south end. May 25, 2010.

Sunset, a few minutes later. May 25, 2010.

I don't know that the rain we got amounted to much: but that rainbow was spectacular.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Wal-Mart, 'Immigrant' News, and Summer Storms

Sunday, May 23, 2010. One more week, and it's Memorial Day weekend: the unofficial beginning of summer. Between thunderstorms last night and a warm and humid day, it already feels like the warm season.

Another photo from that band concert. Some outstanding seniors were recognized. May 17, 2010.

That dreary succession of rainy days had at least one good effect: The lawns in town are magazine-cover green. The weeds in our yard were flourishing, until we gave the lawn a somewhat-overdue spraying. The trick now will be to mow the yard - or wait a little while, and harvest the hay. I think we'll opt for mowing.

Each time I see that sign, I think of 'take out' food - but that's not what they mean. May 19, 2010.

The Wal-Mart Superstore on the south side of town has been open a for a little more than three years now. (April 18, 2007) Some of my more earnest and serious online acquaintances were
convinced that Wal-Mart would "destroy" this small town. Hasn't happened so far.

On the other hand, we've got another employer in town - that's drawing folks in from the Interstate.

I'll say this, though: our Wal-Mart doesn't look like those 19th century pictures of 'Small Town America' you see now and then.

Small town America, 2010: a Wal-Mart superstore is part of this small town: Not exactly the Currier and Ives look, but it works. May 19, 2010.

I didn't know what to expect when I saw that headline on this week's Sauk Centre Herald front page: "Gimse's bill could help local police with immigration." The bottom line seems to be that there may be an opportunity for Sauk Centre's police to take a four-week federal program in how to work with Federal Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) officials. Sounds like a reasonable idea. I opined about that, and related topics, in one of my blogs. (A Catholic Citizen in America (May 18, 2010))

Our Lady of the Angels church: I've got a few words about the financial situation elsewhere. (A Catholic Citizen in America (May 23, 2010))

Today's evening thunderstorms are moving away from us - can't say that I mind having missed them. We had a bit of a light show around 2:00 this morning: which I slept through. I got a report of them from my oldest daughter: who was up then, dealing with a cold.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

High School Band Concert, and Lilacs by Lake Wobegon Trail

Wednesday, May 19, 2010. The big deal for me, so far this week, was the high school band concert, Monday night. My son's in one of the bands, you see.

This year they tried something a little different: a massed band, with all the high school bands playing at once. Someone had arranged some of the pieces so the younger members could join in. Besides the bands, there was flag-waving going on in the aisles: with the house lights on so we could see what was happening.

I'm pretty sure it's not called "flag-waving:" but you see what I mean:

Massed high school bands and banners. May 17, 2010.

The householder who set up a sort of wooden sculpture garden in his front yard, back in 2006, started another project. Here's what the place, on State Road near the school, looked like yesterday. It's unconventional - but I like what I see developing there.

Someone's doing major work on their yard<. May 18, 2010.

I walked down to Wall-Mart today, to get a printer cartridge. It was the sort of day that seems to make up for that long dreary run of rain we had. We needed the water - but day in, day out: for that long?

Oh, well. Today was bright, clear, warm, just enough wind to let you know you're outside.

Lilacs by Lake Wobegon Trail, near Ash Street. May 19, 2010.

Nice, isn't it?

There's more, including an item or two I read in the paper: but that'll all wait for Sunday.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunshine, Fishing Season, Health Care, and Rummage Sales

Sunday, May 16, 2010. Fishing season has started - a few of Minnesota's many fishing seasons, actually. I wrote a little about that yesterday, in my Apathetic Lemming of the North blog - and linked to the MN DNR's list of this year's seasons

The head cold - or allergies - or whatever it was - that had me sleeping through most of Tuesday and 'way below par the rest of the week is gone. Maybe it was the weather. That long , drawn-out, dank, dreary drizzling rain ended - giving us a fine 'fishing opener.' Oh, right: I already mentioned that.

Another week, another Sauk Centre Herald. May 11, 2010.

This week, generally, it's like Will Rogers said: "I only know what I read in the newspaper." That headline story about our health system caught my eye. One example of the "integrated" health system was a suggested merger of St. Michael's Hospital, Lakeview Clinic, and St. Michael's Nursing Home.

They'd still be three facilities - but they'd be financed and run as one unit. Makes sense, the way it was put in the paper.

I learned that St. Mike's Hospital and Nursing Home are owned by the city, and the clinic is owned by the attending doctors.

Whatever happens won't be done for a while, it looks like. Just as well, I think: That gives folks time to think over the alternatives. I'm just glad I'm not in a final decision-making position for this. No matter what's done, someone's not going to like it.

All that time that the skies were leaking over Minnesota, it wasn't just the sunshine that I missed. When trees and people don't cast shadows, there's something missing from the scene.

Well, we got our shadows back in time for the weekend.

Rummage sale and - b>sunshine!. May 14, 2010.

Memorial Day is coming up, a sort of unofficial mark of the beginning of
summer. Another summer feature is already here: rummage sales.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

April Showers Brought May Showers

Thursday, May 13, 2010. Before anything else: Have you seen this cat? The poster in Coborn's grocery didn't give the name, but someone obviously wants this black and white cat back.

May 12, 2010.

The family I grew up in had cats: They're fine creatures, by and large. May 12, 2010.

Coborn's has bright yellow "Sauk Centre" T-Shirts. They come in orange and light blue, too. I don't remember seeing those before.

Sauk Centre, an All-American town. Well, we're entirely within the 48 contiguous states. That's not what it means, of course. May 12, 2010.

It's been raining. Also drizzling, dripping, and then raining again. Followed by more rain. Also dull, dreary, dank clouds oozing across a viscous sky.

On a cheerier note, yards in town are green and flowers are budding: Some have started blooming.

Lilacs. May 10, 2010.

I hope to be back Sunday night, with a more complete entry..

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I've Been Worse: I've Been Better, But I've Been Worse

Wednesday, May 12, 2010. Sorry about this: I came down with something late Monday, slept most of Tuesday, and thought I'd have a Sauk Centre Journal entry done today. I was wrong.

I hope you'll bear with me: There should be something here, by late Thursday. That's what I'm planning, anyway.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day Weekend: A Little Rain, a Little Snow

Sunday, May 9, 2010. Mother's Day. A little rain, a little snow, a little more rain: It was a pretty good weekend, anyway.

Agribusiness is a big deal around here: You'll see sprayers like this, livestock trucks, flatbeds with hay bales downtown.May 6, 2010.

I goofed, back on April 28, 2010. I said that Marc'ette Floral was adding a bed and breakfast to their operation. Bed, yes. Breakfast? Not so much. Breakfast? Not so much.

This sign, in Marc'ette Floral, just about says it all. May 6, 2010.

This is about as close as Marc'ette Place will get to being a bed and breakfast, it looks like. May 6, 2010.

All that rain - and snow - got the grass growing. Also a marvelous assortment of - ah, wildflowers - on the berm in front of my house. Actually, much of the front yard is not just grass. The volunteer growth is thickest were Ash Street Project dug up the soil.

Along the berm, it's so thick I'm tempted to claim tat the area is a botanical diversity project, and say that we mustn't disturb this yard.

Fire hydrant and - a weed, or a wildflower: depending on how you look at it. May 6, 2010.

Dandelions: There always seem to be dandelions. May 6, 2010.

So, we're spraying this year.

It's not all weeds, of course.

Lilac flower buds. May 6, 2010.

I had a good time at a family get-together this weekend. I hope you had a good Mother's Day weekend, too.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Accident Near Wal-Mart, Sirens, and Snow in May

Wednesday, May 5, 2010. The sirens went off today, right on schedule, just like they do on the first Wednesday of each month. I did a little checking, and found that quite a bit of the Wikipedia article on "Civil Defense" sirens for America was - several decades out of date. That was a groovy trip down memory lane for me.

Here's information that's from this century: "Preparing for tornadoes and severe storms," Severe Weather Awareness, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. I've glanced over it, and intend to read it later. There's a pretty good description of what to listen for - and when to head for shelter instead of listening.

I haven't heard what happened at the corner of Ash and South 12th, near Wal-Mart, yesterday afternoon. A fair portion of the Sauk Centre Fire Department was out, along with police and at least one wrecker. I'd have gone in asked what happened, but something in the manner with which I was waved off told me that the emergency responders were as focused as they looked.

It took a while to untangle that accident at Ash and South 12th. May 4, 2010.

Which isn't to say that Minnesota is doing entirely well. I checked, and as of Tuesday, the Arrowhead region could still use more water.

I haven't heard what happened at the corner of Ash and South 12th, near Wal-Mart, yesterday afternoon. A fair portion of the Sauk Centre Fire Department was out, along with police and at least one wrecker. I'd have gone in asked what happened, but something in the manner with which I was waved off told me that the emergency responders were as focused as they looked. May 5, 2010

April showers bring May snowfall - in Minnesota. May 5, 2010.

Toward the end of the day, today, rain falling on my window was freezing. I checked, and: sure enough. We're likely to have snow Friday.

I'll say this for Minnesota: Our weather is not boring.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Rain, a New Life Link Base, and Places to Walk

Sunday, May 3, 2010. We've gotten more of those "April showers that bring May flowers." Can't say that I really enjoy this sort of weather: but it photographs fairly well: and I haven't seen that "fire weather" announcement for a while.

One of the first steps is setting out those barrels. This was a mile or three west of Melrose on I94, eastbound. April 29, 2010.

Which isn't to say that Minnesota is doing entirely well. I checked, and as of Tuesday, the Arrowhead region could still use more water.

More from the Sauk Centre Herald: As of April 21, there's been a Life Link III base in Alexandria. Before that, it seems the closest one was in St. Cloud. That should reduce the time it takes to get a helicopter to someone who urgently needs medical help, and get that person to "definitive care," as the article put it.

Life Link base in Alexandria: definitely front page news. April 27, 2010.

Another, less vital, item caught my eye: the Sinclair Lewis Day parade is going back to it's old route. We had it on the west side of town for the last two years, to accommodate the Ash Street Project. I'm rather glad it's back on the old route: not so much because of hallowed tradition, though. I live on the old route, and enjoyed watching the parade go by, without having to go far.

Besides, this way I should be able to show the parade in streaming video, on the Small Town America: Minnesota webcam.

The Marian garden, by Our Lady of the Angels church: A nice place. April 30, 2010.

I've been able to walk more lately. Sauk Centre's new Ash Street sidewalks make that easier. One day, I walked to Wal-Mart. Don't get me wrong: I trust my neighbors, but I enjoy walking a little more when there's a curb between me and vehicular traffic. It works both ways: When I'm driving, I'm more comfortable when there aren't pedestrians sharing the lane with me.