Sunday, January 29, 2017

Ripple Effect #2

"The Ripples Effect" column 
Whatever you call it... act of kindness... a day brightener or finding “flecks of gold” sparkling in our lives.   Share the good things you notice.   

Lights in the night...
On a cold dark winter’s night...  on a lonely country road... it’s so heartwarming to see the multi colored lights sparkling brightly after you come off the “stupid” (my thoughts!) roundabouts on Highway 52 and cruise about a half mile down the pitch black roadway of County 24 Blvd and reach the corner of Willow Trail.  Thanks so much!
“Chain of Kindness!”
Teacher Barb Templin recalled that in the past her class in Cannon Falls had been reading the story,  A Christmas Carol.  As part of their study the students made a “Chain of Kindness”.   Each one would write a kind thing they had done on a strip of paper which would be added to the chain links and these would be hanging around the room.  (This could be fun to do in other situations all year long!

         Good neighbors...
Marv and Lois Nelson caught me at the Grow Cannon Falls meeting and enthusiastically talked about their neighbors.  One had taken care of his wife who had Alzheimers and he also picked up the mail for another elderly neighbor and when he delivers it he checks up on her being safe.  

Then there’s another neighbor who had knee surgery and now is “a fanatic about walking” to stay in shape.  As he goes about his exercise routine he picks up any debris he finds along the way... and cleans up the city parking lot too!  

Leave your phone number at the Beacon 263-3991 or email your suggestions to Rosie or drop them off at the Beacon front desk. Enjoy! :)  

Friday, January 27, 2017

Small towns impact new president...

 Small towns impact 
new president...

I didn’t join a “March”...  
(Some of my friends did.)
I didn’t trash cars or windows.
(My friends didn’t either.)
So what did I do?
I emailed the president.

Why do that?

You see, I had read on the internet that part of the Trump campaign strategy was to focus on small towns in America.  
Saleno Zito wrote in the New York Post this week that the Trump campaign went through town after town.  He saw them “worn down by neglect”.  Main Street shopping districts were half boarded up... etc.
So I wrote the president to encourage him to keep up his contact with small towns.  There are smart folks living out in the back roads or off the highways (and silly roundabouts) and our nation can’t afford to overlook this bank of talent.


I remember years ago after moving from a big city to rural Cannon Falls that one retired professor of journalism took to reading all the rural newspapers in Minnesota.
Then he would write a review and include some of the best articles he had found.
(Yes, I was pretty pleased to have him include some of mine.)
So I suggested to the new president that they have someone compile the information and ideas expressed in weekly newspapers all over the nation.
These insights might just be some of the most practical and wise pieces of advice he can get!  

But also

And I also suggested the president share his plans with these small newspapers too... but to keep his writing to “twitter-sized” columns.  
  But... I didn’t invite him to visit Cannon Falls.
We had another president do that a few years ago.
A nice enough fellow.
But it was exhausting for those in charge to make sure he was safe.

Previous suggestions

Now, do you think the president will take to heart my suggestions?  
I remember many years ago when I complained to Governor Harold LeVander about his budget.
Soon afterwards I got a large package in the mail.  It was his budget!
In other words, he was telling me to show him where to cut it!
I realized his point.
I’m still smiling.  
So if the president agrees to getting information from rural America... do I have any volunteers to help me read a zillion weekly newspapers?



Sunday, January 22, 2017

The “Ripple Effect”...
     Whatever you call it... act of kindness... a day brightener...
finding “flecks of gold” sparkling in our lives as Jessi Woken suggested... or it just feels good!
     And it gives us an idea of something to do! 
    Share the good things you notice.   
Like these:
     Great kid! 
The car parked on County 24 Blvd seemed to be in a strange place. Then I noticed a guy walking in the ditch... picking up papers. Then I saw the neighbor’s mailbox was missing!
By the time I drove up to the young fellow he was at the neighbor’s front door.
 But no one was home. 
So he explained to me what had happened... he had clipped the mailbox with his car and would bring a new mailbox. 
Of course I got his name and even took a picture with my phone! 
What a great kid to be so responsible and caring! 
And I told him that we probably all have done something like this!

     She knows but isn’t telling! 
Lil Pagel tells how pleased she has been to find fresh squash secretly left on her doorstep. But, she smiled, “I know who it is!” (I don’t think she’s sharing this information!) 

An Irish Blessing... 
Pat LeVesque’s women’s clothing store was nearing closing time when three gals came in. They had just finished practicing singing with a group. They are happy gals and all had just been to Ireland so they decided to sing an Irish Blessing on the owner of the store.
Then they noticed that one clerk was missing... working in another room... and so they all went there and sang it for her too!
And we can enjoy the thoughts it expresses too

May the road rise up to meet you. 
May the wind be always at your back. 
May the sun shine warm upon your face; 
the rains fall soft upon your fields

and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

The choices we make...

  It's your choice!
         You made a choice.
         Now you're thinking you'd like to change it.
         But you can't.
         You're in a plane that is taxiing onto the runway getting ready to take about 100 other people to their destination.
         But you're afraid of flying.

         You could name whatever situation you might be in after you made your decision!
         So I told myself:  You might as well make the choice to like it.
         In other words, you made a choice and it's an appropriate one... so stop melo-dramatizing it and decide to dwell on the good things it can bring.
         I don't always take my advice.  But after I considered the option of focusing on what I might feel when crashing... I settled back in my seat and closed my eyes to relax.

It was a dark and quiet night

         It was a night flight and in the dark it was easy to relax... for awhile.
         About two rows ahead of me was a young couple with two small children, a boy about 4 and a girl about 2 or younger.   Neither child was enthused about staying in a seat or being held.
         After the flight attendant kindly talked to the boy he settled in his seat.  But the baby girl screamed and fussed and might have had an ear infection or something that led to a period of quiet desperation by her parents.
         They traded turns holding her... feeding her... talking to her... standing in the aisle bouncing her...
         You parents know the routine.
         They were successful for short times.
         Other times the rest of the passengers quietly kept their thoughts to themselves.

At the end of the flight

         I was relieved to get off the plane but I thought I'd like to share “a thought from a grandma” with the young couple.
         Since we just happened to be walking off the plane together I commented as I was passing them: "Just remember: You will survive!"
         They understood the meaning of my comment and immediately shared their frustrations with me.  As we walked to the waiting area, the young wife said: I love them so much and I had thought I wanted another child - but not after this!
         I smiled understandingly and the husband spontaneously agreed that two were enough!
         As we walked to the entrance of the terminal they talked enthusiastically about their plans for the future, a new job... moving to another state, etc.
         Then I saw my daughter waiting to pick me up and we separated.

A smile...

         But I still smile as I hope that although I couldn't help with the problem of their crying child... I could help with their frustration.

        And I wouldn’t be surprised to find out someday that they reconsidered and  added another child to their family!


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

 You remember 

it differently! 

Does it matter?

Sometimes you may not remember things from your past the same way someone else does. But it may not really matter anyway!

Except: what if they don’t even know you anymore? So maybe you just laugh and enjoy the moment you are having now.

It could be embarrassing! 

I recently was in contact with a fellow I knew back in elementary school... over 60 years ago.
I recall we “liked” each other back in 5th or 6th grade.

The reason I was looking him up now was because he was the editor of a newspaper in a large city where I found a story I thought was important and he would be interested in.
I “Googled” his name and found out that he had been quite “busy” in the past years. His Facebook page explained he was: “Married 30 years to my fourth wife.”
Four wives?

But would he remember me?

I emailed him at his newspaper. I didn’t explain who I was ... in case he didn’t remember me.
I wrote: I thought you and your readers would be interested in this project... etc. And I signed it: Bye for now, Rosie Hertzer Schluter. (Yes, my maiden name would be the one he might remember.)

The editor replied: “Please keep us informed on this story as it develops. Are you the Rosemary Hertzer that graduated from Roosevelt in 1956?”
I replied: “Yes. I also went to John Ericsson Grade School.”

He responded: “I didn't know you were in the City. I heard you were upstate somewhere. Best Wishes, Ed”.
I replied: "I'm a little south of the Cities. Cannon Falls. I still know you as 'Eddie'!”

He responded: “... and I still know you as Rosemary Hertzer who lived on 27th Avenue near the corner of 43rd Street.”
I replied: “You’re right about the address -BUT I’m not Rosemary... I’m Rosemarie!” (I recall that Rosemary was another little girl who was probably a nice kid but not one of my friends.)

We continued… 

So... it looked like he remembered me and in his next email he wrote: “I'm in Hawaii from October through April. But it would be lovely to have lunch sometime this summer if you're up in the City.”
I replied: “Hawaii? You are a wimp!”
He responded: “Yes, ‘wimp’--I'll admit it. Can't take the winters. But still love Minnesota--mostly in memory and reflection.”

He continued that he did recall me -and my name Rosemarie. Then he added: “The first girl I ever kissed. When we were about six.”
Well, he did remember! 
And so did I.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Warning: this may not be 
   politically correct 

but we're friends!

The Book of Revelation brings laughter?

Who would think you’d hear so much laughter when studying the book of Revelation in the New Testament?  It’s full of such gruesome details. 

Approximately 15 women and men, from different Christian denominations, gather at Wangen Prairie Church every week.  There is no hesitancy about sharing their opinions!  Or their laughter!

And each scripture verse gets a “going over”.

The book of Revelation is filled with symbolism and horrible descriptions of pestilences that will be released on the earth at the “end of days”.

As the group progressed in their study, they came to an interesting point in Revelation 8:1. It stated: “When he opened the seventh seal there was silence in heaven…”

They all became very quiet when pondering this serious thought: “silence... in heaven”? 

But then one gal spontaneously quipped: “Guess that means none of us will be there!” 

The laughter bounced off the walls!  I think it’s even possible it could have broken up any “silence in heaven”!

Can you handle not being “politically correct”?

The volunteer board of directors at the local public library was discussing the plan for the staffs’ vacation days for the Christmas holidays.  

It wasn’t until I had heard that religious reference several times that I realized we were not all Christians here. 
I began wondering if maybe we should rather be using the term of winter holidays or something.

At that point I looked at the board chairman and said: Oh, I just remembered... you’re Jewish!

He retorted: “But I put up my stocking!  I accept presents!”
And he had me laughing!

How delightful that we can share moments of humor and comradeship even though we have differing concepts in our beliefs.

(Now I’ve got to figure out what kind of celebration Hanukkah brings that I can enjoy too!)



Saturday, November 19, 2016

The "Ripple Effect"...

“Pass it on!”

The idea of “acts of kindness” has been popularized in recent years. Before that - folks just did it naturally I guess!
Last Sunday was even titled: “World Kindness Day”! (I don’t know how well that came across in some areas on this planet!)
Anyway... I got this suggestion from my son, Scott:  Can acts of kindness be like a pebble dropping in the water and causing a good ripple effect?  He explained: “For all the people pissed off about the election - this is a perfect time to use their ‘pebble’ (meaning themselves) to cause a positive ripple in the ocean in which we all live and positively affect someone near to them.  
“Do what you can... do the right thing for someone of a different color, or religion, or economic status, or just out of spite if that helps motivate you, and begin by creating that ripple.  This is the perfect time, with our problems out in the open, to begin with our own little ripples.”

So here goes my "Pebble - Ripple"...
So I’m starting a new column in the Beacon with some of the good things I’ve seen and I hope you’ll share your stories with us in the future.   

Oh oh!  Warning light in car...    
The warning light in my car came on and showed that I needed to get the oil changed.  My husband had recently died and I couldn’t find any records on when he had last done this.  So I brought it to Soulfisher and they explained their charges.  Go for it, I said.
A short time later, owner Mark Norton came out to the reception area and explained that they didn’t need to do anything.  Everything looked good and all the fluids were at the correct level.  
They had checked on the internet and found the oil had been changed but it didn’t say where.  They think the previous time the mechanic just didn’t reset the button.
It could last another 5000 miles.
I looked at the rust on my old car and wondered if it would even last that long!
But I was good to go - at no charge. 
Keep in mind that I would never have known it was OK -  if they hadn’t taken good care of me!

 Whoops! I hadn’t remembered the price!
Then there’s the time I was getting apples to slice up and dehydrate for the grandkids.  I’m not a grandma who makes cookies... but the kids seem to like these apple slices!  
So I headed out to one of our local orchards and brought a tiny bag of my dehydrated apple slices from last year as a treat for John Zimmer, the owner of the Sogn Valley Orchard.
 I was planning to select some of the softer apples that are easier for me to core.  But the price was a higher than I expected and I must have looked a little disappointed because John asked me: is that OK?  What were you thinking?  
I had been thinking about $10 less. 
He said, OK.  
And I replied, No... you do a lot of work to produce these apples.  Just give me what the normal charge would be.
He smiled and headed to the back room for the apples.
When he came back I questioned him... is this what you normally sell for that price?  He just smiled again.  
I said, “OK, I’ll pay more.”
He refused.
He said my gift of dehydrated apple slices was worth the difference!
(Sometimes it’s really hard to do business with the local folks!) 

Now it’s your turn!
So Pass It On!  Start new “Ripples”!  Share your good stories by emailing them to Rosie at or call the Beacon, 263-3991 or drop them off at the Beacon front desk.

And by starting a "ripple effect" by the good things we see or do... we might help make the world a little kinder - every day!