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According to Ecclesiastes, there is a time for everything. It is time for another one of my hopscotch columns. (A running of the words.)

When you live on a lake, you always fish on the other side of the lake. Mark Kath lives on Geneva Lake and is a very good fisherman. Does Mark fish on the other side of the lake? Oh, no! He does most of his fishing on Fountain Lake in Albert Lea.

We have a big welcome sign in our basement. “Welcome earwigs – first you will get a good squeeze and then a swim in the toilet bowl.” Genie and I can’t believe the enthusiasm shown by so many earwigs to take advantage of our welcome sign.

Genie and I attended the Farm and City Days pancake breakfast in New Richland, Saturday, July 11. We got in line, with about 400 others, to get good pancakes with lots of conversation from the two flipping sommers brothers. (The young man serving beverages truly knew and gave excellent service.)

We toured the tractors and cars on display. Of special interest was the 1959 Silver Hawk, shown by fellow columnist Mark Bernard, as it was identical to the Silver Hawk Studebaker at one time owned by the parents of Genie.

I was told (because I have a yellow Shine-fest T-shirt) by my CEO to be the greeter at the door when the Shine-fest tractor parade arrived at Central Freeborn Lutheran Church. My job was to announce rest rooms to your right, refreshments straight ahead. It was a big job, but I pulled it off. (I was surprised with how many of the tractor drivers were ladies.)

I also learned that the black Farmall tractor, shown at Farm and City Days in New Richland, came off the assembly line in true Farmall red color.

In doing a crossword puzzle, the clue was a stone high at the top of a castle near Cork, Ireland.” The answer was Blarney. I did a Google search and found that if you climb to the top of the stone stairs in the castle and hang upside down while kissing the Blarney Stone, you will be blessed with the Irish gift of giving sincere flattery while speaking to someone. (Sincere flattery is both parties feeling good after talking to each other.)

The search went on to state that some people were blessed with sincere flattery even though they hadn’t kissed the Blarney Stone. It further stated one could submit no more than 15 of the first and last initials plus the area of residence and one would receive back a yes or no if they were blessed with sincere flattery.

I submitted M.B. and L.E. of New Richland; R.T. of Waseca; D.A. and N.J. of Beaver Lake; D.S. and L.H. of Albert Lea; M.S. and W.T. of Geneva; A.B. and V.T. of Hartland: A.B. and B.M. of Ellendale; O.J. of Manchester; and J.H. of Bath Road.

The answer was yes, all the submitted names were blessed with giving sincere flattery and there was no difference between male and females.


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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