NEW RICHLAND-HARTLAND-ELLENDALE-GENEVA AREA

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On Friday, November 2, Genie and I left Albert Lea and headed north on our annual fall sabbatical (I refer to this as “Deer Hunting,” Genie refers to it as “Extended Socializing”).

The sabbatical was from November 2 through November 19, with deer hunting allowed 16 of those 18 days. I hunted two to three hours in the morning for nine of the 16 mornings. Thus, you can see we did some extended socializing.

We stayed at the Palace Hotel outside of Cass Lake, Minnesota (325 miles from Albert Lea). The facility has a snack bar, a non-smoking dining room, a smaller casino with both fast and regular Bingo, and an 80-room hotel with a swimming pool, all under one roof. 

The rates are very reasonable. The food is excellent with good-sized portions. The employees all have that ability to make your stay enjoyable and they shine in doing just that.

Genie attended the Saturday “Does Only” Champagne brunch at Patrick’s in Longville with Sandy Roscoe, a former resident of Albert Lea.

We drove to Grand Forks, North Dakota to visit with Alex and Jack Knudson and had lunch with them at Perkins. They are both graduates of Albert Lea High School and students at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

We visited the Heidi DeBois (nee Morreim) family in Moorhead for lunch. (Hubby Isaac was at work and daughter Alianna was in school). Son Hutton showed us his new sister of eight months, Lainey, plus their well-mannered dog, “Bob.”

We drove to Baudette, Minn. for lunch with Carol Edstrom and attended the Holiday Craft and Vendor Extravaganza at Lake of the Woods School where she is a teacher. We brought her snacks to feed all the deer in her front yard at night. (Thanks to farmer Tim Toft of Beaver Lake for the corn on the cob deer food.)

We attended some of the Cass Lake Veterans Day November 11th activities. While in Cass Lake we attended the Lions Dinner at the Senior Center. The motto of “Land of the Free, Because of the Brave” gave this old veteran water in his eyes.

We attended Trinity Lutheran Church on Highway 2 just west of Cass Lake. They are most certainly a TLC church (Tender Loving Care). Wayne, the great organist, just before one service, played “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” A member of the congregation, in a loud voice, said “Play ball!” and the service started. If you want to visit a non-stoic Lutheran church, Trinity is a must.

Mom and Dad members of TLC asked us if we knew their VIP wrestling coach son at NRHEG High School living in Ellendale. Shawn Larson, we look forward to the complimentary passes to a wrestling match this season.

Grace and Charlie, TLC members, invited us to go along with them for dinner at the Big Fish Supper Club on Highway 2 by Bena, Minn. The food was excellent and it turned out that I knew the hubby owner from years of deer hunting in the area. (He is part of the gang from Sleepy Eye, Minn. who helped us out of the woods during a blizzard.)

Charlie and I enjoyed reminiscing about the Big Fish back in the 1950s and 1960s. Did you know that Genie and I are stars on the Ron Schara TV show about the Big Fish?

Tom and Heidi in Housekeeping; Vernae in Bingo; Toni at the Gift Shop; Bill the casino tech; Rodney the casino floater; Becky the casino host; Christopher the casino cashier; Rickey in Guest Services; Kristin in Security; Josh, Robert, Reggie, and Sheryl in the Dining Room; Jason, Rebecca, Karin in the Snack Bar; Charlie, Jessica, Chris, Betsy, Kelly and Kortney at the hotel desk. Who are the aforementioned people? They are some of the many Palace employees who are all encompassing, providing courtesy to all the guests. I guess you could say they are the ambience and the amenities of the Palace.

A summary of the deer hunt is “no deer.” My little buddy Fritz visited me while at my deer stand. He sat up, talked to me in his squeaky voice, and enjoyed the birdseed I fed him. Fritz is a small mouse about the size of the end of my thumb. In conclusion, “One year closer to getting a deer.”

———

Bob is a retired AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) agent, currently working on his master’s degree in Volunteering. His wife, Genie, is a retired RN, currently working on her doctor’s degree in Volunteering. They have two children, Deb in North Carolina, and Dan in Vermont. Bob says if you enjoy his column, let him know. If you don’t enjoy it, keep on reading, it can get worse. Words of wisdom: There is always room for God.

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