Nancy Vogt, Editor
We made it through Black Friday, or the new-age version of Black Friday where sales begin long before the Friday after Thanksgiving. Hopefully we shopped on Small Business Saturday and patronized our local merchants. And let's face it, many likely took advantage of Cyber Monday and did a bit of online shopping from home or (gasp!) work.
At a conference last week, I heard a speaker talk about transformation. One of her many points was the distinction between certain words we use and the energy of words we use. One example she shared was "problem" vs. "solution." She said "problem" refers to something in the past, whereas "solution" refers to today. She talked about "problem-solving" vs. "solution seeking." That made me think of Pequot Lakes.
It seems the last quarter of 2017 marks several milestones for me. I recently celebrated 25 years of marriage, followed by 25 years of living in the Brainerd lakes area, followed by 25 years of working for the same company, soon-to-be followed by living in the same house for 25 years. Wow! Those years have been chock-full of changes, and ups and downs, and everything in between in both my professional and personal life. The constants, of course: the same husband, the same home and, remarkably, the same profession.
Tuesday, Sept. 5, marked the first day of school for most area students. Over the Labor Day weekend, I discovered what different people of different ages think of that momentous day for students, parents, school staff and - well, really everyone. For example, on my early Tuesday morning walk, my friend - whose children are older and weren't embarking on their first day of school - said she planned to leave a little earlier for work to take into account the extra traffic on the roads with school buses and teenage drivers on their way to school.
I'm assuming our newspaper front page caught your attention this week. Let me explain why we joined more than 200 other newspapers across the state - both big and small - this week to publish no local photos and no local stories on our front page. Imagine your son rushed for over 200 yards and had three touchdowns in the first high school football game of the season. Wouldn't you look forward to reading your local sports writer's highlights of your son's accomplishments? Imagine a day without local news.
"Summer is over." How many times have you heard this phrase? I have heard it all summer - starting in June! Following are two examples from emails I received just this week. One read: "What a beautiful summer day! It's hard to believe it's almost over!!" The other said: "Summer is sure flying by." And an email that came in early July read: "Where oh where did June go? If anyone finds it, can you please return it? I'm not ready for the downhill slide of summer!"
As we approach the one- and two-year anniversaries of devastating windstorms that forever altered the lakes area landscape, I'm still having a hard time seeing all the downed trees and getting used to the wide open spaces.
It wasn't a huge gesture. It didn't take much thought on my part. It wasn't difficult, and it didn't take any time. As I walked into Pequot Lakes Supervalu one day, I passed a shopper in a handicapped parking spot putting her groceries into the car. "Would you like me to take your cart in?" I asked. The shopper was so grateful and thankful. We had a pleasant exchange that left my heart full and, I think, her heart full.
The house is aglow with holiday decor and lights. Presents are purchased, wrapped and placed under the Christmas tree. Cookies are baked and toffee made. Office gifts have been distributed. The decision was made not to send cards this year, so that task isn't awaiting action. All that's left is to ponder the true meaning of the Christmas season and give thanks for family and friends we'll spend time with over the next several days.
Several weeks ago, I received that phone call every parent dreads and never wants: "Mom, I hit a deer!" The call came from my oldest daughter, and she was sobbing. Of course my mind raced as I tried to comprehend the situation. I think one of the first thoughts that quickly flitted through my head was, "Not again."