Nancy Vogt, Editor
"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."
In less than a week we should know who will lead our country for the next four years, as well as who will serve in judgeships, federal offices, state offices and local city council, school board and township positions. Have you done your part to be sure the best people are elected? Assuming you've educated yourself on the candidates for all offices on your ballot, it's never been easier to vote. You don't even have to wait until election day - Tuesday, Nov. 8 - any more.
Welcome to the 76th anniversary of National Newspaper Week, Oct. 2-8. This annual observance celebrates and emphasizes the impact of newspapers on big and small communities across the nation. While it may not be of interest to some people, it's vitally important to us newspaper folk. As you know, our industry has undergone numerous changes over the years, even in the 30 years I've been part of the business. From the way we gather the news, to the way we design news pages, to the way you get our news, the changes have been constant.
As anyone who reads newspapers - or watches TV, or listens to the radio, or collects mail from the mailbox, or notices billboards along the highways - knows, election season is in full swing. We voters are being bombarded with information. We read stories in the newspaper and online. We see political advertisements on TV and hear them on the radio. We pull flyers and pamphlets from our mailboxes along with the regular bills and junk mail every day. We see smiling politicians in giant size on billboards. It's up to us as voters to decide what to do with all this information.
Reflecting on my school years, I have fond memories of good ol' bus 7A. We students in the Crystal Lake neighborhood were proud to ride the Lakeville School District's only flat-faced bus. It was especially fun those few times each year when we convinced our bus driver to drive the route in reverse on the way home. I don't think that would fly these days.
What could be more fun on National S'mores Day than taking a tour of Minnesota's S'More Capital - the Whitefish Chain, conveniently located right in our own backyard? Echo Journal staff took on the challenge Wednesday, Aug. 10 (yes, that day actually was dubbed National S'mores Day). We didn't have to twist anyone's arm to participate, and it turned out to be a sugar and ice cream filled day. None of us complained about that.