Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season with its focus on giving brings to mind a favorite book -- Shel Silverstein’s “The Giving Tree.”
BEMIDJI—The year 1968 had been a turbulent one for the U.S., beginning with the Tet offensive in Vietnam, protests across the country, the assassinations of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy, race riots and the largest number of deaths (more than 16,500) of American soldiers in Vietnam of any year of the war. In December, the most optimistic report from Vietnam was that the death toll for the third week of December was the lowest in five weeks—just 151 Americans killed in action and 838 wounded.
Autumn teased me with memories of Indian summer days, sun catching the scarlets, rusts, and golds of maple, oak, and poplar and cloudless skies warming a sweatshirt-clad back to just the right comfort zone. One fall, when the kids were still in grade school, Gary came home with a 1986 Winnebago. The one previous owner had taken good care of it. The camper had been to Alaska and back, among other places.
Let me preface this story by saying that I am not afraid of spiders. I like spiders. They are helpful creatures that do their best to control pesky insects. They weave artistic, transparent tapestries that capture morning dew and catch the light to reveal their intricate construction. Frequent readings of "Charlotte's Web" when my children were young convinced me to relocate rather than destroy spiders.
A pretty common thing happened the other day at a local establishment: I used a $20 to pay for something that amounted to about seven bucks. The young clerk put the bill into the cash drawer and read the register's amount as to how much change to give me. She struggled to get the change and bills to add up. Then she told me the amount the machine had told her and handed me a wad of bills and coins.
Editor's note: The Beltrami County Historical Society is partnering with the Pioneer on a series of monthly articles highlighting the history of the area. For more information about the Historical Society, visit www.beltramihistory.org As students, teachers and staff head to school, many for the first time, there will, no doubt, be challenges and adjustments, but in the early days of Beltrami County, the teacher's job had its own unique challenges.
Recently my 9-year-old great niece Libby spent a few days with us. It's been 18 years since I've lived with a 9-year-old, so I was a little rusty. Libby's mom had left a Ziploc bag with three glitter-coated dollar bills. "Libby lost a tooth today," she explained. "She knows only the sparkly bills are authentic Tooth Fairy (TF) currency. I put in extras in case she loses another tooth while she's here."
A flower garden runs the full length of our house and beyond. With several varieties of hostas and daylilies, spirea, thyme, cone flowers, salvia, and two or three varieties of sedum, the blooms of these perennials lure bees, butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden. Daisies and Johnny-jump-ups creep in and fill empty spaces. In June, the peonies open like elaborate pop-up tissue paper decorations. Delicate pink and white bleeding hearts line the stems of the plant between the peonies.
The first mowing of the season means that for the next few months, I’ll spend several hours each week on the seat of the riding mower. By the end of the season, cool autumn temps and early sunsets will leave me stiff and cold when I climb off the Dixie Chopper and head for the hot tub to thaw my blood. But in May, the first few mowings are a welcome task of spring and summer.
Editor's note: The Beltrami County Historical Society is partnering with the Pioneer on a series of monthly articles highlighting the history of the area. For more information about the Historical Society, visit www.beltramihistory.org Last weekend, Bemidji High School's commencement ceremony honored the 116th graduating class of BHS with more than 300 graduates.