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On Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015, I attended the funeral services for a great lady named Arlene Miller. She was most certainly an example of Minnesota nice. In fact, I wonder if the person that coined the phrase, “Minnesota Nice,” didn’t get the idea because of knowing Arlene.

At the service of celebration, Pastor Matt Griggs gave a children’s sermon from the book, “The Giving Tree.” It was an example of how Arlene was one great giving lady, as was the Giving Tree that was also a female. (I have never experienced a children’s sermon before at a funeral — it was just beautiful).

In my career as an AAL agent, I got to know most of Arlene’s immediate family. Many great memories were renewed at her funeral. One such great memory was when the Miller family would host Sunday morning church service at their Beaver Lake cabin.

Another great memory was the family of Terry and Cindy Vaith (her daughter) water skiing on Beaver Lake on the 15th of December in 1988. (This is the latest I am aware of. Santa Claus water skied on Fountain Lake Dec. 3, 1988).

Genie and I attended the August birthday party at Oak Park place in Albert Lea. Thanks to Phil and Neta Jensen for inviting us to Phil’s birthday party.

The entertainment was Jonny Bird from Geneva (The Man of Many Hats). He brings back your memories of famous singers as he sings their song while sounding like the famous singer.

We went to the annual senior summer picnic in Albert Lea. Once again Jonny Bird was excellent as the entertainment.

Genie and I attended the Steele County Fair in Owatonna. We danced the night away on the grass in front of the Fair Square Stage. After attending two county fairs, I think it would be fair to say, “August is fair month.” (By the way, Jonny Bird also entertained at the Owatonna fair).

A certain retired conservative banker from Geneva is concerned that I’m never home. I’ll leave the concerning to him.

Brian, our regular mailman, is very good. His replacement admits he is better, but she is prettier. On my morning walk I saw her walk into a ladies restroom in long pants and came out with shorts. She says, “Go ahead, make my day!” I did, with a wolf whistle!

Trivia question: Who has the best buns in New Richland? Nancy Jane’s Bakery, that’s who.

Short Shorts

A. Monday, Sept. 21 — The area social event of the year at Central Freeborn Lutheran Church (also known as “Soup and Pie Supper”)

B. Per our crystal ball, Genie and I will see snow on Tuesday, Sept. 8.

C. That same day (Sept. 8), we will see temperatures in the high 80s — per our crystal ball.


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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