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The Cracker Barrel

November 11, 2017
At dawn we pushed on toward Idaho and the glory of Coeur d'Alene Lake, still astonished at the sights revealed at every curve and mountain pass. We'd been through all these places before, but never been struck so strongly by their natural beauty. PineandLakes.com Illustration
The Cracker Barrel: A lovely land
November 11, 2017 - 3:30am
October 29, 2017
The Cracker Barrel: Just plain lucky
October 29, 2017 - 9:30am
September 17, 2017
That maiden year the first big snowfall started on Thanksgiving afternoon. As fallen autumn leaves were laid to rest beneath a shroud of white, we belatedly came to realize how ill-prepared we were. We lived a couple hundred feet into the woods off a sand road; a road, as luck would have it, that was not high on our township's list of plowing priorities. PineandLakes.com Illustration
The Cracker Barrel: The woods and us
September 17, 2017 - 7:30am
September 2, 2017
The Cracker Barrel: Surprising numbers
September 2, 2017 - 8:30am
August 22, 2017
The Cracker Barrel: A place for people
August 22, 2017 - 7:30am
August 5, 2017
The Cracker Barrel: Midsummer magic
August 5, 2017 - 5:30am
July 22, 2017
The Cracker Barrel: Lost in translation
July 22, 2017 - 5:30am
July 8, 2017
The Cracker Barrel: Unexpected delight
July 8, 2017 - 7:00am
June 24, 2017
The Cracker Barrel: 'On Being Human'
June 24, 2017 - 8:30am
June 10, 2017
The Cracker Barrel: The year of the boat
June 10, 2017 - 8:00am
May 27, 2017
As things turned out, we didn't actually accomplish much building that first year, only managing to assemble one wren house and a robin platform. By the time we got the houses up, most of the returning wrens and robins had already made nesting arrangements. But later in the summer a pair of robins put the platform to good use, and that made both of us happy. PineandLakes.com Illustration
The Cracker Barrel: Emergency birdhouse
May 27, 2017 - 8:00am
May 13, 2017
A healthy garden, bursting with nourishing foods, is a wonderful hedge against economic uncertainties. For the person wary of chemical additives, it is a source of clean, uncontaminated food. Tending a garden gives you lots of fresh air and exercise, and provides you with plenty of sunshine. PineandLakes.com Illustration
The Cracker Barrel: Consider the broccoli
May 13, 2017 - 6:30am
April 30, 2017
Forty-four years ago, as winter turned slowly to spring, our part of the world was abuzz with talk about the Minnesota experimental city. Called MXC for short, the proposed city would have been built from scratch on land in Aitkin and Cass counties. PineandLakes.com Illustration
The Cracker Barrel: A city that might have been
April 30, 2017 - 5:00am
April 16, 2017
Earth Day was the brainchild of former Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson and generated lots of excitement, especially among the young. For the first time in history, millions of human beings joined hands to publicly acknowledge two growingly obvious facts: 1. They were all children of Mother Earth; and 2. they'd been mistreating their own mother. PineandLakes.com Illustration
The Cracker Barrel: Our place
April 16, 2017 - 5:00am
February 21, 2017
Then came TV. At first there weren't too many programs. Early morning watchers had to content themselves with staring at a test pattern, waiting for something more exciting to appear. But little by little the programs begat more programs, and after a while there was something playing on the three network channels 24 hours a day, and a lot of families got in the habit of leaving the TV set turned on continuously, thus presenting their brains with an alternate reality that begged for some attention.
The Cracker Barrel: Paying attention
February 21, 2017 - 10:10pm