Vogt's Notes: We just experienced an Easter like no other

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Nancy Vogt, PineandLakes Echo Journal Editor

This past year has been filled with personal … challenges, for lack of a better word.

When my daughter’s boyfriend (now fiance!) suffered a traumatic brain injury and nearly died in a motorcycle accident last May, I don’t think I’d ever prayed so hard in my life as I did through those first critical months of recovery.

I prayed for him, my daughter, his family, the surgeons, the doctors, the nurses.

When my father-in-law was hospitalized last August, leaving us to believe he might not make it home, again I prayed. I prayed for him, his family, his doctors and nurses.

When my dad died in January - you guessed it - I turned to prayer for him and my mom, as well as my sister and me and our families.


I found myself starting my prayers with an apology for being so selfish and always asking for so much, especially when I added more and more people as the months went on. I’d end up asking God to remember those people I’d forgotten in my prayers, because I knew there were some. Too often I’d fall asleep mid-prayer.

This past weekend, from Good Friday through Easter Sunday, I kept my prayers short and sweet. I figured it was time I stopped asking for so much, and instead gave thanks for all Jesus endured because of his love for us and to forgive us our sins.

I know everyone can relate when I say this Easter was like no other. I watched a livestream Mass from St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Denver (my sister’s family’s parish) on my cell phone, using ear buds, on Easter Sunday. I sat on the couch and I stood. I recited responses and prayers out loud in my living room, by myself.

Easter is a day to gather with family and rejoice. My husband and I decided to grill a ham we found in our basement freezer (even after noticing a 2017 date on the ham). We made cheesy hashbrown potatoes and wrapped bacon around asparagus spears. I baked banana bread.

We divvied up all this food into containers, and we made up Easter baskets complete with rolls of toilet paper and/or paper towels.

Then we hopped in our truck to deliver the meals and baskets to our two daughters and my mom. Do you know how difficult it is to see your family, but not be able to hug anyone or even get too close to them? Of course you do.

I repeat, it was an Easter like no other. These times are like no other.

Now we look to the future - the fishing opener, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, high school graduations, scholarship pageants, turtle races, duck races, Fourth of July festivities … the list is endless. We don’t know what any of these events will look like.


As our vital tourism season approaches, let’s keep believing - and praying - that life as we knew it returns. Soon.

Until then, we’ll persevere. This past year has had its bright spots as well, including a granddaughter born in July. I can’t wait to see her - and the rest of my family and friends - again.

Nancy Vogt may be reached at 218-855-5877 or Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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