132 YEARS OF SERVICE to Southern Minnesota
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I go fishing with the guys to Northern Minnesota for a week; Genie goes to a ladies-only retreat in the Tree Mountains of Arkansas for a week. As you can see, we are most certainly following what that Lutheran pastor in Clear Lake, Iowa said many years ago, “A good marriage must have equality, as you are now one.”

An old adage, “When the cat’s away, the mice will play,” came to mind as Genie drove away for her one-week ladies retreat in Arkansas. I decided my playing would be going out to eat at least once every day at a different location for the week while the cat (Genie) was away (me being the mouse).

The following helped me gain six pounds, even though I walked three to five miles by Fountain Lake every morning except Sunday (I weighed myself the Wednesday morning Genie left and the next Wednesday evening when she got home):

• DQ $5 meal with a small Blizzard

• Arby’s French dip sandwich with a small Jamaica shake

• Taco John’s meat and potato burrito followed by a Caribou coffee

• Hy-Vee Chinese take-out dinner (while watching the Twins win—yes, win!!)

• KFC original chicken $5 meal with a chocolate chip cookie 

• Trumble’s healthy fish batter fried dinner followed by a McDonald’s vanilla ice cream cone

• Wendy’s baked potato with toppings, then a drive around Big Island State Park to view the wildlife, followed by a Cold Stone “Like it, love it, gotta have it” ice cream creation.

(Note: Many of the above were purchased because Henry Eggum sold us a $20 Albert Lea Youth Basketball packet.)

Annual flight breakfast at the Albert Lea airport with live entertainment—the trio played the sing-along type music heard in piano bars during my college days in Mankato. The three guys were most certainly in their nostalgia youth days as they played by ear to 1,200 heavy eaters at the event sponsored by the Cloverleaf Lions and Lakeview Lions (the age of the trio was 70s, 80s and 90s). Thanks Lion Meg for giving me the paid meal ticket.

Do you know what happened on Father’s Day, June 21, 1992? We spent most nights at our cabin on Beaver Lake and I would walk around the lake early in the morning. As I was walking I noticed blades of grass that looked whitish. In running a blade through my fingers, there was ice. Yup, ice—it froze! The cornfields that had been cultivated survived as heat from the ground prevented frost. The uncultivated fields suffered major damage, as the record low of 35 degrees was set that day. (This is a coffee hour topic of yesteryear.)


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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