Weekly Columns
What I like about Thanksgiving PDF Print E-mail

FROM MY BACKYARD

By Byron Higgin, Mascot Publisherbyronnew

Thanksgiving may be my favorite holiday.
What do I like about it?
Well, let’s just skip to the chase and say I love Pumpkin Pie. Hey, what’s not to love. It tastes creamy and goes down smooth. Ymmmm!
But there’s so much more.
I like waking up late in the morming, then turning on the TV to watch the annual Thanksgiving Day parade.
Originally known as Macy's Christmas Parade, it always gets me excited, as it does about three million others who attend the annual parade and another 44 million who catch it on TV.
Maybe it’s that giant Snoopy Flying Ace that keeps showing up overhead ... but whatever it is, I like it!
Then, of-course, I like the fact they play football all day.
It works well, too! You eat turkey and all the trimmings until you can’t see straight, then about that time the Detroit Lions (who have one win this century, I think) play and you won’t miss much if you curl up on the couch and go to sleep.
By the time you wake up the Cowboys are on playing somebody else and that’s a lot more fun.
Detroit has played on Thanksgiving Day since 1934, and despite the fact I’ve missed many of those games, well, I can’t recall ever seeing them win.
OK, back to what I like about Thanksgiving.
I like the cranberries.
I like the smell of the turkey in the oven.
And after it’s all over, well, I like leftovers.
On day I began to wonder how many United States towns take their name from the word “turkey”.
I found that answer on the internet.
You see, there’s:
•Turkey Texas (population 465)
•Turkey Creek, Louisiana (population 363)
•Turkey, North Carolina (population 270).
By the way, did you know how Thanksgiving Day became a national holiday?
A lady named Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor and author pushed it through as a national holiday in 1941.
OK, thats great, but I bet you didn’t know it was Sarah Josepha Hale who also wrote, “Mary Had A Little Lamb.”
Hey, by telling you that I kinda felt like Paul Harvey, and “now you know the rest of the story.”
Oh, except for one more thing.
I like Thanksgiving because my family will be together. My grandchildren will jump on me and ask me to play with them. It doesn’t get better than that. Happy Thanksgiving.

LAUGH A LITTLE:
It was the first time the young girl was eating Thanksgiving dinner without her family. Trying to re-enact the tradition, she prepared a dinner for herself alone. The next day, her mother called to see how everything went.
"Oh, mother, I made myself a lovely dinner, but I had so much trouble trying to eat the turkey!" said the daughter.
"Did it not taste good?" her mother asked.
"I don't know," the blonde said. "It wouldn't sit still!" —from ahaajokes.com

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK:
As my Ole Pappy used to say: “Don't bother to give God instructions. Just report for duty.”
Ole Pappy was a religious sort of guy. He always thought it was better to let God do it than to try and do it ourselves.

 
Reminiscing about the two tournaments PDF Print E-mail

OUT AND ABOUT

By Gayle VanVooren, editorgaylev

It’s very quiet in town this afternoon.
It’s Thursday, and the girls will be playing volleyball in just a few minutes. Even we folks who have stayed in Minneota are keyed up and ready for the action to get started.
It’s amazing how the nerves and emotions can get all riled up when one isn’t even in the building where the action is taking place. Just thinking about it is enough for some of us. Let’s get the action started!
It was hard to work and pay attention to the volleyball game back here at the office. I personally thank our young ladies for making such quick work of it.
Their game against Parkers Prairie took about an hour, and it was a riveting experience. Listening to the cheering in the background, one could just imagine the fans jumping to their feet at the excitement of a kill, and drifting down when a play went the other way.
It wasn’t as much fun as being there, but I was very glad to have the radio to listen to. It was a great win, and we look forward to more action tomorrow.
Here it is, Friday, and the nerves are warming up again. Our volleyball team is to hit the court at the Xcel Center again in fifteen minutes, and if they are as nervous as I am, they should be ready to hit that ball very hard.
It’s Lake of the Woods today, and while knowing nothing about their team, I am sure that our girls are ready to go out and play the game as they have all season — with intensity, with aggressive serving, and with a team effort.
While the girls are in the midst of so much commotion, the streets back home are vertually deserted. It seems kind of sad until you realize that most folks are now either in St. Paul or are sitting near their radios to catch the game. I have a feeling that even our farmers have their radios tuned in to hear how the team is doing.
The girls played another great game on Friday, taking three straight from the Lake of the Woods team. It was not an easy contest, and our girls had to work very hard, but they pulled it out.
And now, on to the State Finals.
This must be the dream of every high school athlete — to make it tothe State Finals in your team’s sport. Think how many youth have this dream at the start of the season, and how many really get to experience it. Very few!
Our team had its hands full with Bethlehem Academy, but they never backed down and continued to fight until the very last point was scored.
And when it was over, a very classy group of young ladies claimed their second place trophy, holding their heads high. They had achieved a goal, and they knew they had done their best.
Did they slink back home to wallow? Absolutely not. They hopped on their bus and headed to the boys’ football game in Morris. Here they yelled like fanatics from the sidelines, encouraging their peers to do their best.
The volleyball team may have lost that final game, but they turned into mighty big winners in my book.
And the boys, our football team — they went on to win big in Morris and were thrilled to be heading back to the Metrodome for more games. That takes many of us in the community “back to the good old days” when we won State Championships three years in a row.
Thanks, young men, for getting us back there again.
It’s just exciting to live in a small town and feel this common bond between neighbors and friends. And to think it sometimes starts with our high school teams.

 
Friends call Minneota a very nice town PDF Print E-mail

FROM MY BACKYARD

byronnewBy Byron Higgin, Mascot Publisher

Last week two of my friends from Grantsburg, WI came to Minneota.
Greg Peer made a presentation to the Minneota Rotary Club concerning his visits to Haiti on behalf of a project to bring water wells and latrines to this very backward country.
Peer also received a $250 donation from the local club to help with the water project.
While in town, he and friend Brent Blomberg, who came along for the ride took a tour of two Minneota Churches, St. Edwards Catholic and Hope Lutheran.
They were astonished at the architecture at both churches and the beautiful windows at St. Edwards.
At Hope the rock structure outside the building really is unique and they loved it.
We also took a tour around the community.
Greg and Brent also came along with me to the Veteran’s Services at both the Minneota High School and at the St. Edward’s School.
They enjoyed it very much and felt right at home. “You have a very nice service,” Greg told me about the Veteran’s services.
It was great to have my friends come and visit and see where I hang my hat these days.
Even though we are far apart, friendship can continue if you just give it a try.
I was also proud to show off my new community to my friends.

LAUGH A LITTLE: An elderly woman went to her local doctor’s office and asked to speak with her doctor. When the receptionist asked why she was there, she replied, “I’d like to have some birth control pills.”
Taken back, the doctor thought for a minute and then said, “Excuse me, Mrs. Glenwood, but you’re 80 years old. What would you possibly need birth control pills for?”
The woman replied, “They help me sleep better.”
The doctor considered this for a second, and continued … “How in the world do birth control pills help you sleep?”
The woman said, “I put them in my granddaughter’s orange juice, and I sleep better at night.”

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: As my Ole Pappy used to say, “I think I've discovered the secret of life — you just hang around until you get used to it.”
Thanks Ole Pappy, we’ll hang around for awhile.

 
Oh but this is an exciting week PDF Print E-mail

gaylevOUT & ABOUT

By Gayle Vanvooren

Oh  my, has this been exciting!
Having two teams in the state high school tournaments has been just an amazing situation.
I think of our students, their parents,  the entire school community, and the schools’s budget. There are just so many sides to this fantastic story.
These wins take me back to the Gerhard Meidt days, when we were in the football championships for three years in a row. Our boys (men now) still talk about those good times, and look at tapes they have collected on the championship games.
The important part of it all is the team work that was needed. No one person could attain this high level, it took a team.
And perhaps that’s one of the most important lessons to be learned through the athletic experience.
There will always be people who work harder than others. For we are all wired a little differently.
But when you get a team together, and put a goal in front of those young eyes, everyone has to work so that one area does not lag behind. And there comes a team.
Golf, cross country and wrestling all have the individual aspect to the sport, but most would say they want “the team” to get to the highest level.  Individual placers in these three sports have the ability to compete at a higher level, while the team cheers them on.
Some will say that there is too much emphasis put on sports in our high schools. But as the mom of three men who have been there, I would soundly disagree.
Having your kids involved in team sports is a great learning experience. They have to train, to listen, to share the spotlight, and sometimes sit on the bench. But they are
still part of it all.
This concept goes even further. It reaches into the clubs that our school and community has, and out into the very world. What these students are learning now will be with them for years to come.
Not everyone gets to be in the shoes that our football and volleyball teams are in right now. It doesn’t happen every year, so when it does, we have to relish every moment.
For along with the accolades the students are getting, our little town of Minneota is also being recognized. And this time, it is a positive slant because of athletics.
The Section tournaments were such fun. The “fans in the stands” had the thrill of victory and bragging rights for years to come. And now, it’s on to the State level.
Whatever happens in the tournaments, our students have already claimed their reward. They have worked as solid teams, and have reached a goal they set at the start of their seasons.
It’s all fun from here.

 
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