132 YEARS OF SERVICE to Southern Minnesota
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Call me "Whiney." No, don't call me "Whiney." Call me frustrated, discontented, or Kathy.

What brought this on? I wonder why I am paying a lot of money to watch commercials that have gotten so overwhelming. They sometimes overlap and are often so strange you wonder when one commercial ends and another starts. Once upon a time, commercials were sometimes more interesting to watch than TV programming. You not only have to wonder about the content of commercials – and whether they are appropriate – but whether they are effective. Did the commercial inform the buyer? Did it make the buyer want the product? Have you ever watched a commercial, then asked, “What was that company selling?”

It is hard to believe that we can have hundreds of stations available on cable or on Dish, but there are few things worth watching on our television sets. Obviously, SOMEBODY must watch some of the offbeat channels, but I resent them being packaged with popular shows. I question whether people would actually pay to subscribe to these channels.

At times like that, I shut off the television and listen to the radio. Not always great, but I can at least get the news and weather – and like the newspaper — it is LOCAL news of interest.

They get you coming and going. Unlike the fact that many good changes have come out of refusing to buy food with ingredients you feel are undesirable, with TV they could care less if you turn it off. The big companies still make their money and you can't coerce them into changing because you shut it off.

Get what I am saying? I know it is confusing, but it sort of upsets me to think I am paying big money for commercial programming that is already making big money to use television as an advertising outlet.

Sort of a double take and at the consumers’ expense. If you turn off your television, it is really no problem for the business. I can appreciate they all want to make money, but I feel they are taking advantage of the consumer.

Are there good things on TV? Of course, but is it enough to put up with the junk that contaminates and influences our lives and our children?

The television content that parents are supposed to supervise and remove so their children aren't influenced is difficult to block. It is pretty hard for parents always to be there to change the channels, especially so when the advertisement for the garbage can come on at any time. Children shouldn't be glued to the TV without adult supervision, but it would save a lot of time and trouble if it wasn't there in the first place.

Enough about television, but writing something out on paper, or on your computer, helps me cope with what is bothering me. Misery loves company!

There has to be something better to share with you than my frustrations.

The weather? If there is never anything to talk about we can always talk about the weather. We may not be able to do anything about it, but it is always a topic of conversation. 

We have had an eclectic winter this year. The weather has been so varied day to day, but I won't complain. I can only feel empathy and concern, and pray for those all around us who have had more than their share of weather conditions out of their control.

Living in Minnesota and its often frigid state, we are at least more apt to realize and cope with even unseasonable or unreasonable conditions.  Weather here shapes us – who we are, how we approach life. We take precautions when summer or winter storms approach. When weather gets TOO bad, we simply hunker down and wait it out. It makes Minnesotans prepared, accepting, stoic, well-mannered, and believers that there are some things in life too large for us to control. When the bad weather passes, it gives us greater enjoyment for the good weather that follows.

When my uncle was serving his country in the New York area he used to laugh about how tragic a small amount of snow was to New York drivers. They had never learned how to drive under those weather conditions. And of course they didn't have the equipment or knowledge needed to minimize the effect on the area.

So what else is new, or old, but needs to be thought about? My heart goes out to anyone who has suffered from cancer or other health problems. I especially think about the parents of children with health problems who have had to suffer with their children. Currently, Connor Weckwerth especially comes to mind.

It is heartwarming when we hear of young people who have taken up a share of love to help others. They don't have to, but often live under adverse conditions to help give faithful service to others, as Hannah Lundberg recently did.

I asked the ladies in the church kitchen what will happen when those older “standbys,” and those who do all the things they do, are no longer with us. They said they didn't know because today’s generation is so busy with jobs and other activities. Perhaps as they get to that stage of life they will slip in quietly and fill the vacancies.

Heroes aren't always honored in the headlines. They can be found washing dishes, making coffee, knitting or crocheting afghans, making quilts, collecting food and providing help for the needy. They often are doing it so quietly and so often we just take them for granted.

Don’t hesitate to give them kind words of appreciation.

Birthdays and annivsaries:

• Thursday, March 10th: Julie Stieglbauer Dahl, Sue Misgen, Aaron Callahan, Travis Johnson, Michelle Olson Bedney, Tom Vavra, Heidi Mattson LaFave, Chuck Hanson, Gayle Dummer, Douglas Schmidt, Linda Anderson, DeLynn Johnson Rohrbacher, Hannah Emily Brunsen

• Friday, March 11th: Arielle Lynn McClaskey (2011), Elsie Jacobson, her 3rd; Marian Mast, Carolyn Flesche, Leroy Folie, Kari Thostenson, Jon Carlson, Michelle Meyer, Larry Richards, Tim Simon, Joan Ahlstrom Diderrich, Tanya Swearingen, Tom Arbogast, David Callahan, Dean Lembke, Spener Sebastian Sommers, his 12th; Doug Blouin, Wendell Kuehni, Paul & Shirley Nelson

• Saturday, March 12th:  Sadie Jaymelynn Arends, David Paulson, Jason Bowman, Terri Engel, Robert Hall, Harla Stanley Malz, Spiering Brody Sundbland, Gary & Barb Paulson, Jack & Virginia Jensen

• Sunday, March 13th:  Joanna Ver Hey, David Mangskau, Lynda Kruckeberg, Darla Waltz, Jessica Liverseed, Craig Lunning, Tony Tonsing

• Monday, March 14th:  National Potato Chip Day!; Laura Katherine Worrell, Connor Duane Klemmsensen, his 8th; Sierra Christine Krause, her 6th; Brian Cerney, Brent Huber, Marcia Hutchins, Lee Loverink, Mary Finch, Kathy Molenaar, Trevor Titus

• Tuesday, March 15th:  Angie Haberman Lyman, Marvel Beiser, Andy Ditlevson, Robin Jepson, Judy Lunning, Tim Phagan, Steve Clausen, Tony Motl, Julie Peterson, Don & Cindy Gould

• Wednesday, March 16th: Ava Pospesel, Blair Pospesel, Al Batt, Cortnee Langlie, Judy Waage, Tyler Lewis Hagenbrock, Jackson Taylor William Churchill, Harold & Pat Wayne, Hugh & Karen O'Byrne

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

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