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Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 is my favorite part of the Bible. It tells us there is a right time for everything. For example: a time to fish, a time not to fish. A time to be born, a time to die. A time to say hello, a time to say goodbye.

On Thursday, January 22, Ross Heilman, Paul Proft and I decided it was time to go ice fishing. We drove to Ortonville, MN where we rented a fish house from Artie’s Fish House Rental on Big Stone Lake – the hottest perch factory in Minnesota.

The fish house had everything: bunk beds, LP thermostat-controlled heating, indoor toilet, stove and oven, six fish holes, AM-FM radio, generator-powered electricity – the works.

After 24 hours we realized it was not the time to go fishing. We had three bites and caught one sunfish.

Donald K. Batt – a time to be born: January 15, 1933. A time to die: January 13, 2015.

Presiding at the service on January 24, 2015 was Rev. Shawn Stafford. He used Ecclesiastes as part of the service. A banner hung on the wall, stating “I have called you, Donald, and you are Mine.” The American Legion and VFW honor guards honored Don for his service in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. The Hartland Fire Department was well represented, with members plus a uniform and boots with a ready fire truck in front of the Hartland Evangelical Lutheran Church in honor of his 30 years as a volunteer, 25 of those years as Fire Chief.

Donald, at his time to die, was honored not only here on earth but also by the banner on the wall in the church.

A time to say hello, a time to say goodbye.

About eight short years ago I said hello to Captains Jim and Lee Brickson of the Salvation Army when they arrived in Albert Lea.

On Sunday, January 25, 2015 I said goodbye to two of God’s great people, as they are each taking a position in Brooklyn Park. Yes, I will miss talking to the walleye ice fisherman who is just a bit better fisherman than I am.

A time to celebrate my birthday of January 23 was January 27 at the Old Mill Restaurant in Austin. A delicious meal with a birthday sundae and two spoons was enjoyed by Genie and me.

As we were leaving, so were Jerry Olson of Rochester and Virgil Thofson of Hartland (both New Richland High School graduates) and their lovely CEO-spouses. Small world, isn’t it?

This column most certainly proves, as Ecclesiastes states, “There is a right time for everything.”


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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