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Latest New Richland, Minnesota, weather

I love the Hartland windmills. I don't know why, but there is something about these quiet, seemingly slow, moving giants that is mystifying. It is relaxing, and the seemingly unhurried behavior is like a reverence. As their mighty limbs lift to the sky, it is as if they were in tune with God and offering their strength in prayer.

Also, what a difference a woods makes. Yes, I am still talking about that mighty little oak woods just west of Ellendale that the tornado decided to thin out. It still will be a nice spot, open and pretty, but it just isn't the same. It was like a sanctuary.

I think of the various wood lots that are no more, some taken down for progress.  Sometimes it is hard to remember where they were. Trees are so necessary to our existence and enjoyment. People don't often plant oak trees anymore because they are considered a slow-growing tree. Maybe they are, but I've seen a few that didn't really take that long to grow, which makes me suddenly realize how fast the years have flown by. It is always picturesque to see a lone oak or several, perhaps, in the middle of a field. Obviously the farmer thought it was worth the extra work to work around them so it could stand there in all its beauty.

This past year was not a good year for acorns. Normally, I would say that was an indication of a nice winter. Ha! Science would probably say we should calculate like the native Indians did. Nature knows when to produce to save its species.

  You have to like black walnuts to harvest the edible parts. My dad used to run them through the old corn sheller. Then he would rinse them off before he cracked them so he could harvest the nutty part inside. They stained one’s hands real good if you didn't wear gloves. I remember he quit harvesting black walnuts when we realized my mother was allergic to them.

My mother has never been fond of willows because they throw off so many sticks, which get in the way of the lawn mower. However, she says she will never forget the willow trees we had at the lake. Gold finches, by the hundreds, would stop and feast on those seed tails and sing. They would sing the most beautiful songs imaginable, and the world around them became an enchanting cathedral.

There is something to be said for all trees. The oak is so strong and sturdy, but too much stress can cause even it to break. On the other hand, the willow tree, true, tall and slender, can bend with the wind and pressure, lose limbs and live on.

Trees are beautiful.

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Birthdays and anniversaries this week:

• Thursday, March 31st: Jinny Nielsen, Hannah Haroldson, Melissa Collins, Carson LaShawn Ray, his 5th; Jill Anderson, David Hemingway, Ross Johnson, Shane Johnson, Doug Hunt, Mike Misgen, Joanne Neuhart, Mollee & Joseph Tscholl, their 4th

• Friday, April 1st: April Fools Day!  Madison Hanson, Irene Paulson

• Saturday, April 2nd: Harold Wayne, Leanna Burns, Luke Miller, Joyce Tufte Sorenson, Sonja Larson, Teresa Jensen, Kaleb Smith, Dwight Schewe, Greg Nelson, Matthew Halla, Genevieve Wayne, Bill & Pat Draayer, David & Shelly Mangskau, Brian & Lois Nelson

• Sunday, April 3rd: Solveig Sorenson, Linda Goodnature, Joanne Christensen, Randy Kronberg, Patty Slatter, Jase Dean Knudson, Kevin Born

• Monday, April 4th: Daryl Paulsen, Jena Richards Thompson, Erik Smith, Rachael Nicole Rhoades, Erin Elaine Peterson, Nathan Spande, Richard Krause, Theresa Kasper, Danny Larson, Don Larson, Ann Michelle Larson, Diane & Dave Broskoff

• Tuesday, April 5th: LaVada Jensen, Colette Bauers, Samuel Thompson, Alyssa Hareid, Brian Shultz, Duane Nelson, Mike Johnson, Gary & Sue Hunnicutt, Dick & Judy Wacholz, Dale & Nancy Kelly

• Wednesday, April 6th: Skip Cromwell, Spencer Kubat, Eric Crabtree, Duane Lembke, Cheryl Sauke, Dean Westrum, Andrew Hareid, Paul Underland, Ross Anderson, Laurie Wayne, Paul Highum, Chris Phillips Carlson

• Thursday, April 7th: Bev Farr, Janye Villarreal, Janice Jensen Skovera, Ron Christensen, Lou Hanson-Vu, Katie Lembke, Michael & Kari Ingvaldson, Gary & Sonya Peterson

• Friday, April 8th: Sarah Collins, Ivy Obermoller, Dick Tracy, Nick Vreeman, Tim Stollard, Mark Hemingway, Sherri Carlson, Karen O'Byrne, Bob Donovan, David Pitcock, Alice Grosland, Dale & Vivian Dulas, Paul & Karissa Dolan

Surprise somebody. Call someone. Send a card and make their day. Little things mean a lot.

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