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As we approach the autumn season I have noticed a hint of what lies ahead in the air. It’s kind of funny how even on a fairly warm day I will get that certain feeling that tells me fall is almost upon us. The smell of the new season is starting to make itself known and there seems to be a hint of coolness in the breeze, even on the warm late summerlike days.

As a kid growing up north of town I always loved the smell of fall, which was somehow enhanced by my mom and my Aunt Ruby because of the big garden they planted behind our house each year. Our breezeway seemed to be the perfect place for ripening tomatoes and it’s also where they kept the squash, cucumbers, dill and other veggies they grew. If I close my eyes it seems as if I can still enjoy the smell of those vegetables ripening in that breezeway. Canning was a way of life back then and they canned everything from tomatoes to dill and refrigerator pickles. I have to say the refrigerator pickles were my favorite and my mother had this big old jar that took up half of the top shelf in the ice box (which is what we still called it).

I guess I could date myself a little and tell you that I remember the ice box my grandparents had when they lived on Bridge Avenue. The Albert Lea Ice Company was located on Main Street in the vicinity of where Godfather’s is now and that is where you could get ice for the ice box. I wasn’t very old before the ice box became a thing of the past; I still have an ice pick with their name on it. I can also remember when the coal man would bring coal to the house. Their house had a coal chute and a bin for storing the coal that was used to heat the house, and I can remember watching my grandpa as he shoveled coal into the furnace. I had to take cod liver oil for a while so my grandma would give it to me with orange juice, but that didn’t change the fact that it still tasted awful. Orange juice was a treat in those days because you had to squeeze the oranges with a “juicer” to get the juice and you didn’t even have to look for a made from concentrate sticker. Grandma’s kitchen always had the delicious smell of fresh baked bread and buns as they were taken piping hot from the oven. Then there were the fresh baked made-from-scratch pies, cakes and cookies that make my mouth water just to think about it. Yes, baking was a big part of life back then and as a kid I’d wait patiently for those goodies to come out of the oven, hoping to get a little sample before company arrived and put a huge dent in it.

I guess that must be a part of the “good old days” folks often refer to.

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Bucks-only management strategy applies to archers, youth, and disabled hunters

As archery hunters prepare for the Sept. 13 Minnesota archery season opener, the Department of Natural Resources reminds them to become familiar with this year’s hunting regulations.

One change in particular may be a surprise to archery hunters, youth hunters, and hunters with disability permits: a bucks-only management strategy may apply to them as well.

In a bucks-only harvest area, all hunters may harvest one legal buck – no matter the hunter or the weapon used. In a lottery area, archers, youth and disabled hunters may harvest an antlerless deer without being drawn for an antlerless permit.

“It’s important that hunters review the hunting regulations handbook each year for changes,” said DNR Conservation Officer Sarah Sindelir. “Hunters play an important role in deer management, so as the state’s strategy changes, so do the rules for harvest.”

This season’s conservative approach to harvest is intended to protect more antlerless deer, which will likely reduce the statewide harvest and allow the population to rebound.

Hunters should consult the 2014 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook and deer season/area map for additional information. The handbook can be acquired at most electronic licensing agents, on the Minnesota DNR website at, or at a local Minnesota DNR office.

Until next time; fall is a great time to take a walk around the lake, do some fishing or just spend a day at one of our many area parks.

Please take a little time to remember those who served and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we are able to enjoy all the freedoms that we have today. 

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