NEW RICHLAND-HARTLAND-ELLENDALE-GENEVA AREA

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Five years ago we attended a wedding in Algona, Iowa where all the male participants wore flip-flops. The reception was held at the Wild Rose Casino in Emmetsburg, Iowa. While there, I filled out a form and the casino gave me a deck of cards.

Just before my birthday, I got a nice letter from the Wild Rose Casino in Emmetsburg stating they missed me, as I hadn’t been there since my first time there five years ago.

The letter went on to say if I would come back on a certain date, they will provide a free buffet meal to me and a guest of mine.

All of my fellow Norwegians (plus most of the rest of you) know a true Norwegian will travel miles for a reduced price meal. If the meal is free we will really travel miles – like about 110 miles to Emmetsburg. Genie and I did just that and enjoyed a very good meal – even coconut cream pie with a marshmallow sundae on the side.

As we entered the restaurant we were told that because they expected 105 birthday invitees plus guests, they would like us to sit with people we didn’t know. Genie and I said O.K.

We were escorted to a table of six. After sitting down, we introduced ourselves to the other two couples. Both couples said they were from Iowa. Genie replied that she was originally from Clear Lake, Iowa. One man said he was originally from Clear Lake also.

The conversation was very interesting between them. He lived on a farm, Genie lived in town, as they both attended and graduated from Clear Lake High School (Genie was three classes ahead of him). They both left Clear Lake for further schooling. Both of them came back to Clear Lake to get married at the same Lutheran church by the same pastor. Both left Clear Lake because of their jobs.

I learned two things from all this:

1. Small World!

2. There is no free buffet, as I counted how much money I had as we left the casino versus how much I had when we entered.

Time for 10 short shorts:

1. What appears on the lower left hand corner of the Star Eagle newspaper front page?

2. When the politicians left Iowa, the temperature dropped 18 degrees. (The politicians took all their hot air with them.)

3. Presidential caucus summary in Iowa: “You think the only good candidate is the one you voted for, but you’re not certain.”

4. “Charter” is now “Spectrum” for most area cable TV customers.

5. When was the last time you saw a jackrabbit in Southern Minnesota?

6. A little more than 9,000 people entered the ice fishing contest on Gull Lake outside of Brainerd, Minnesota in February.

7. A flock of (about 20) robins is hanging around Good Samaritan Center just north of Albert Lea.

8. A flock of (about 30) mourning doves is hanging around Betty and Bob’s (as you drive into the Albert Lea Dump – the place on your left).

9. Duane Aitchson has been seen hanging around Beaver Lake a lot since February 2, 2016. (He believes the groundhog).

10. If you don't know the name Carlie Wagner, you don’t know NRHEG land.

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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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