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  Thursday September 18th, 2014    

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COLUMNS : FRAN EDSTROM - POSTSCRIPT  (ARCHIVES)Back to Current
Tom Gibson, R.I.P. (07/16/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- My friend Tom Gibson died last Tuesday. It was a shock to all. Apparently, his heart gave out, and he died in his sleep.

I’m not sure that anyone who knew him thought Tom would die that way. I though ... 

FULL STORY >>


Into the shredder (07/09/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- Being out of a job is hard work. 

My children and grandchildren were here for the July Fourth weekend, which was tons of fun. There is always a little stress involved, as the little cousins struggle  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Big changes (07/02/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- When John and I started the Winona Shopper in 1971, we were in our early twenties. We weren’t looking for careers. We simply needed jobs. We saw other people making a living publishing shoppers and fr ... 

FULL STORY >>


Give me short grass (06/30/2014)
By Chris Rogers -- Humans are never happy. (An aside here: my granddaughter Andie told me the other day that it was “very human outside,” meaning, I would imagine, humid. The mental picture is interesting though, of wha ... 

FULL STORY >>


Thank you,  Dr. Turner (06/25/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- In a letter today, Dr. Scott Turner shares with the community, many of whom were his former patients, that his contract with Winona Health has not been renewed. Turner, who since 2007 has been in the  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Want to meet a merry wife? (06/23/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- This is the perfect year to give Shakespeare a try. If you’ve never been to the Great River Shakespeare Festival, you may not know that each season two plays by Shakespeare are staged — a comedy and a ... 

FULL STORY >>


Birthday dishes (06/18/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- A friend of mine “adopted” my flower garden and has been planting, weeding, and tending to it all spring, since I am still on crutches. Monday was her birthday, so I decided to buy her some dishes. Sh ... 

FULL STORY >>


Food magnets (06/11/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- Certain pieces of clothing are what I call food magnets. Anything white, of course, is sure to attract stains. A glob of ketchup, a kid’s muddy handprint on your thigh or shoulder, a drop of coffee —  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Gone fishin’ (06/04/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- What is it that people love about fishing? Food, yes. I love to eat fish. There’s no food from catch and release, though. Being out on a beautiful day, watching the sun play off the water like so many ... 

FULL STORY >>


A river runs through here (05/28/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- Morgan took me to look at the Mississippi River last Saturday. It was incredibly high, over the levee road, and moving very swiftly. We watched as boaters, thrilled to have a good day finally, raced b ... 

FULL STORY >>


Life and death (05/28/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- There’s nothing like being able to drive a car to make you feel in charge of your own life. I shudder to think of the day when my children say to each other, “We should get Mom to give up her driver’s ... 

FULL STORY >>


Burn those books! (05/21/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- Several recent occurrences on college campuses can not go unaddressed.

The mainstream news media has been full of accounts of prospective graduation speakers at several high profile universities back ... 

FULL STORY >>


Neighbors (05/19/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- The recycling truck was ignoring my blue bin for several pick-up dates, so I called the county, where I was given the number for the recycling contractor. I called and talked to a nice woman who told  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Another opening! (05/14/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- Even though opening night is not until the end of June, the Great River Shakespeare Festival cast and crew have arrived in Winona and are hard at work.

For the past several years, Meg Weedon — who th ... 

FULL STORY >>


Happy Mother’s Day (05/12/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- Motherhood is the gift that keeps on giving. Grandchildren are proof.

During my recovery from surgery, my daughter Morgan and her daughters have been staying with me. Andie always greets me with a sw ... 

FULL STORY >>


Fragility of life (05/05/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- Life is fragile. The difference between life and death for scores of people in Waseca last week was a matter of chance. A very disturbed 17-year-old had planned to murder his family, then set off pres ... 

FULL STORY >>


Too much (04/30/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- Where’s the line between just enough and too much? I think my grandchildren have had too much rain. The seven-year-old was heard wondering if she would have a “rain day” from school. No such luck.

I  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Facilities, again (04/28/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- We are once again having the “facilities” discussion over at Winona Area Public Schools (WAPS). No matter that there is no data to support the benefit of new buildings to school achievement, building  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Easter Bunny: an investigative report (04/16/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- Audrey called. Her four-year-old wants to know where the Easter Bunny lives and how he gets into the house to leave eggs and candy. Good question.

Little is known about the Easter Bunny (and other se ... 

FULL STORY >>


Playground memories (04/14/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- Something about the air and sky this morning made me say immediately after waking, “What time is it Mr. Fox?” as I looked at the clock on my bedside table. I don’t know if you played that particular p ... 

FULL STORY >>


Raising the minimum wage (04/09/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- Raising the minimum wage

The Minnesota Legislature has proposed raising the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour from the current $6.15 an hour. What will be the effect of such a raise?

Certainly it mean ... 

FULL STORY >>


As the geese fly (04/07/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- On Thursday, I was full of hope for spring. As I left the office, an enormous flock of Canada geese flew honking overhead, going north. Yes! As the evening wore on, and the rain pelted the roof, On Fr ... 

FULL STORY >>


College acceptance (04/02/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- I brought the mail into the kitchen where the dog-who-must-not-be-written-about was lounging on the throw rug.

“There’s a letter for you!” I said.

“Oh, oh,” he said, jumping up eagerly. “Let me see ... 

FULL STORY >>


Check this out! (03/31/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- New bank checks came in the mail today with a new design — personalized. I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be great if you really could personalize your checks? Never mind writing them in numerical ord ... 

FULL STORY >>


Armory Auto Show (03/24/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- Armory Auto Show

The photo below is one that your Packer Partisan columnist, David DeLano, found while going through things at his mother’s house. It is a picture of an auto show held in 1922 at t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Sunshine Week (03/19/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- Sunshine Week

Russia’s land grab of Crimea from Ukraine sends shivers up the spines of those of us who remember the Cold War, when the Soviet Union, run by Communist Russia, sat on a huge part of t ... 

FULL STORY >>


You're welcome (03/12/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- You’re welcome

Radio host: Thank you, Mr. Smith, for being with us today.

Mr. Smith: Thank you.

Radio host: Thank you, Ms. Jones, for also being here for this exciting program.

Ms. Jones: Thank  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Yielding (03/10/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- It seems a shame, doesn’t it, to have to spend a substantial amount of money on stop signs at every uncontrolled intersection in Winona because people don’t understand the rules of the road. Further,  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Hold the phone! (03/05/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- Now and again, I am reminded that the building I work in every day was built in 1867. Tuesday was such a day. For some reason the phone service wasn’t working, and the email was balky, too. If a perso ... 

FULL STORY >>


Accept it! (03/03/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- I am much happier now. I’ve given up on trying to tame winter. So what if it’s below zero every day? I am lucky enough to have a house, a garage, an office, a car…and space heaters.

Last fall I inves ... 

FULL STORY >>


Follies time! (02/26/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- The first time I heard about the Winona Health Auxiliary Follies was when I was a newlywed. John’s mother and aunt were involved in the production, if I recall, and we bought tickets to go. It was fun ... 

FULL STORY >>


Levee Park hazards (02/16/2014)
By Frances Edstrom --

Once upon a time, when Hal Leonard Music was on its way to becoming the largest music publishing company in the world, the company was growing out of its plant on Second Street in downtown Winona. T ... 

FULL STORY >>


Valentine’s Day, and what I miss (02/12/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- You might think that a widow would miss celebrating Valentine’s Day. No card, no flowers, no gift, no romantic dinner in a restaurant. And now that I’ve written that, I guess I will miss those things. ... 

FULL STORY >>


Kids stuff (02/09/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- My grandson, Harry, told me I am a “fancy lady.” I am sure that he wasn’t using the term in the old definition — a prostitute. Even Harry knows I would never walk the streets in this weather.

I said, ... 

FULL STORY >>


Legal notices are news (02/05/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- There is a move among city, county, and public school governmental bodies in Minnesota to discontinue running legal advertisements in newspapers and on newspaper websites, and instead post them to the ... 

FULL STORY >>


Memories (02/02/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- Every now and then someone at the Winona Post will get an inexplicable urge to clean the office. I was the beneficiary of that this week. I came into the office and on my chair (the only place in my o ... 

FULL STORY >>


Bardophobia? (01/29/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- Full disclosure: I am a member of the board of directors of the Great River Shakespeare Festival. I love the plays and events put on by GRSF, and I applaud the efforts of the Festival and other festiv ... 

FULL STORY >>


Mr. Garbage Man (01/26/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- The dog-who-must-not-be-written-about was snoozing on the carpet in front of the gas fireplace. He looked so comfortable I had the irresistible urge to wake him up. I’d spent the last ten minutes clea ... 

FULL STORY >>


Frozen River gives frack film cold shoulder (01/22/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- The Frozen River Film Festival (FRFF) has cancelled a screening of FrackNation, a film that presents a look at the fracking industry from the point of view of proponents.

A press release from FRFF ex ... 

FULL STORY >>


Harry saw it in the newspaper (01/19/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- My grandson Harry’s “other” grandfather, Bruce Ause, of Red Wing, was recently awarded the honor of “2013 Red Wing Neighbor of the Year” by the Kiwanis Club. He was honored for his pivotal role in bui ... 

FULL STORY >>


Beware scammers (01/15/2014)
By Frances Edstrom --

There’s a sucker born every minute. And a con man every half-minute. It’s hard for the good guys to stay ahead of the bad guys.

The Better Business Bureau releases accounts of current scams on a re ... 

FULL STORY >>


Give a warning (01/12/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- At the top of Hwy 43, just beyond where it meets I-90 and goes shooting off toward the west for a while, a driver can continue going straight. The road going straight ahead, however, ends abruptly at  ... 

FULL STORY >>


What about sexual abuse elsewhere? (01/08/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- The Catholic Church in the Diocese of Winona has been ordered by a judge to release the names of priests that the diocese has learned have been accused of sexual abuse. In December, the names of pries ... 

FULL STORY >>


Windom sign—again (01/01/2014)
By Frances Edstrom -- Windom sign—again

As I talked to people around town about the sign in Windom Park, it occurred to me that there is a possible compromise to be made. The issue is that some people object to the sign ... 

FULL STORY >>


The good, the bad and the ugly (12/29/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

We had a houseful for Christmas. We ate and ate. And ate. Most people couldn’t even fit in Morgan’s wonderful banana cream pie for dessert!

On Christmas Eve day, which was frigidly cold, we were c ... 

FULL STORY >>


Country Christmas (12/25/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- My neighbor and friend, Cynthia, came over to help me carry presents from their hiding places all over the house, and she wrapped them, too! I am dismal at wrapping, and she loves to do it. All her co ... 

FULL STORY >>


It’s coming! (12/22/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

My brother is getting married in Northern Vermont on New Year’s Eve. Phyllis, his bride, wants to display photos of their parents on their own wedding days. I was given the task — as oldest, and de  ... 

FULL STORY >>


It’s Christmas engagement time (12/15/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Engagement season is coming. Admit it, don’t you know someone who is hoping fervently for a diamond ring in her Christmas stocking? To ensure that engaged couples get started on the right foot, there  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Bravo! (12/11/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Theatre du Mississippi last weekend presented a “radio” show written and directed by former Winonan Steve Andersen. I went opening night, and laughed through the whole show.

The premise was that it w ... 

FULL STORY >>


The cold conundrum (12/08/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- I thought of my late husband this morning. I looked out the bedroom window on a brilliantly sunny landscape, and thought, “Oh, no. It’s cold. Very cold.” When I checked the temperature, it was 9 degre ... 

FULL STORY >>


So little time! (12/04/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- December is flying by! I have mixed feelings about that. I’m happy, because we are getting closer to the darkest day of the year, and it’s only light, lighter, lightest from there on out. I’m worried, ... 

FULL STORY >>


Bias? (12/02/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Recently, charges of bias and conflict of interest have been leveled liberally at Winona County elected officials. I find this puzzling. It seems to me that bias and politics go together like thunder  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Bob Rydman (11/27/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- We all have events in our lives that seemed to shape our generation. It usually happens when we are young, often when we are on the cusp of adulthood.

For my in-laws, it was the Great Depression. For ... 

FULL STORY >>


It’s Black Week (11/24/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Are you spending Thanksgiving Day shopping, now that the big box stores have taken Black Friday into Gray Thursday? I won’t, unless I have to run to the store because I forgot something. (Note to self ... 

FULL STORY >>


Got my buck! (11/20/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

Saturday was rainy and drizzly by turns. The already early sunset seemed to come earlier than ever, because the clouds had obscured the sun all day long. I had to drive to Rochester to pick up some  ... 

FULL STORY >>


What is a library? (11/17/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- The places of my childhood populate my life of memories. Butterworth Park at the end of our street is where my brother played baseball and we all went to the Park Rec summer programs and made bracelet ... 

FULL STORY >>


Mental Health Parity (11/12/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

The effort began thirty years ago, and has had bipartisan support from the likes of President Jimmy Carter and President George W. Bush, who signed it into law. It has just this month been enacted,  ... 

FULL STORY >>


To work or not to work (11/10/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- “You ate my checkbook!” I screamed at the dog-who-must-not-be-written-about.

“Be fair, now. Not the whole thing,” he replied.

“Enough to mess up my bookkeeping,” I said, picking up the shreds from t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Flying low (cost) (11/06/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- This year I’ve had the opportunity to fly commercial airlines several times nationally and internationally. It seems to be universally thought that air travel is not fun, a lot of trouble, and an orde ... 

FULL STORY >>


No Smooking (11/01/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- English seems to be preferred as the common language around the world, probably since efforts to establish Esperanto as a popular language have not exactly caught on.

On our recent trip, we encounter ... 

FULL STORY >>


Learning English (10/30/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Late last winter, when there seemed to be a question as to whether Spring was actually going to arrive here in Minnesota, a friend called to ask if I would be interested in a visit to the south of Spa ... 

FULL STORY >>


Levee Park designers should regroup (10/27/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- It is alarming that the University of Minnesota design team hired by the city to work on a plan for Levee Park seems to have seriously derailed the conversation. It does make sense to make sure that w ... 

FULL STORY >>


‘Peter Pan’ soars (10/13/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

Vivian Fusillo is the sort of woman who would have become an institution in Winona on her first day here. She is not to be confused with anyone else. (Except, of course, Ann-Margret, who played a ch ... 

FULL STORY >>


A gun in school (10/09/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- On Thursday evening, at 6:00 p.m., there will be a “community forum” at Winona Senior High School. The purpose of this forum is to discuss the recent incident at the high school in which a student bro ... 

FULL STORY >>


Hoarding (10/06/2013)
As I opened my bedroom closet, in anticipation of moving my summer clothes out of the way and putting my winter clothes front and center, suddenly the subject of hoarding came to mind.

I’m not a hoar ... 

FULL STORY >>


Sugar Loaf history (10/02/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Bill Wieczorek stopped by the other day, to show me a copy of an old newspaper article, courtesy of Jim Galewski. The headline is “Landmark Illuminated.” I had always thought that lighting Sugar Loaf  ... 

FULL STORY >>


All downtown (09/29/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- We all have family stories that are told over and over, and chuckled at no less at the latest telling than at the first. In my family, one such story was about a neighborhood friend back in Framingham ... 

FULL STORY >>


The exam (09/25/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- The annual physical, a mere annoyance when you are young, hangs over us like a specter when we reach a certain age.

Blood pressure. Is the medical community ever happy about blood pressure? It’s eith ... 

FULL STORY >>


Out walking (09/22/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- On Old Homer Road near the Winona Middle School, about 4:30 p.m. last Thursday, I came across a group of kids walking along the side of the road in a long, irregular line — with the traffic to their b ... 

FULL STORY >>


The reunion (09/18/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- High school reunions exist to keep you humble. Even though you are perfectly content with your life and accomplishments, you can’t help but compare your life’s trajectory to your erstwhile classmates. ... 

FULL STORY >>


Jo Edstrom, R.I.P. (09/15/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- The first time I met Jo Edstrom, I liked her. And she liked me. Of course, I was ignorant of the fact that she had expectations of me, even at that early point in our relationship. She thought to hers ... 

FULL STORY >>


Memories (09/08/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

My sisters and brother live in New England, which is where we all grew up. They don’t live in our hometown, though. Jay lives in Lyndonville, Vermont, and my sisters (and one of my aunts) live i ... 

FULL STORY >>


No school for him (09/04/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- No school for him

Tuesday was a hard day. The minute the dog-who-must-not-be-written-about heard the school bus turn the corner onto our road, he was scrambling to get to the end of the driveway. H ... 

FULL STORY >>


Suicide rates up (09/01/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- The message from the Minnesota Department of Health this week is that the number of adult suicides in the state has increased. The latest numbers are from 2011, and show a 13% increase from 2010.

Thi ... 

FULL STORY >>


What dream? (08/28/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Fifty years ago, today, Martin Luther King gave his “I have a dream” speech, which has become about the only thing many people know about him and the civil rights movement.

Slavery was outlawed in 18 ... 

FULL STORY >>


Back to school (08/25/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Back to school! My grandchildren have been back in the classroom for nearly a week, which seems too soon to me, especially when the weather is so steamy and they could be swimming their way through th ... 

FULL STORY >>


City life (08/21/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- A trip to St. Paul for Harry’s birthday gave me the opportunity to visit former Winonans Jan and Bernie Wagnild at their home in downtown Minneapolis. I’ve lived in Winona for a long time, and grew up ... 

FULL STORY >>


Latsch or not? (08/21/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

A letter to the editor appears on this page today, signed by Dana Johnson and Mike Cichanowski, both members of the Port Authority. They take exception to an article that was published in the Winona ... 

FULL STORY >>


Zoning uproar (08/18/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Impartiality of members of the Winona County Planning Commission has become a hot topic, discussed both at meetings of the commission and in letters to the editor. The County Attorney’s office has wei ... 

FULL STORY >>


Maryland wedding (08/14/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- My nephew Luke was married on August 10 to beautiful Katie at her home in Maryland. The Edstroms turned up en masse. Auntie Nan played piano and organ. Cousin Morgan sang. Little kids Peyton and Andie ... 

FULL STORY >>


Ugly bridge (08/07/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- I am disappointed by the City Council’s response to the horrible bridge design proposed by Mn/DOT to be built next to the current bridge that crosses the Mississippi at Winona.

Winona has a reputati ... 

FULL STORY >>


Snowden’s bi-czar deal (08/04/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

Edward Snowden. Remember him? He leaked a bunch of information about the National Security Agency’s secret program to collect the phone and Internet records of its very own U.S. citizens, among othe ... 

FULL STORY >>


The guard (dog) business (07/31/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- “What does it feel like to be retired?” I asked.

My companion, who had been sleeping under the coffee table, roused himself, yawned broadly, and mumbled something I didn’t quite hear.

“Could you rep ... 

FULL STORY >>


Out of town (07/28/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

A week ago, my daughter Morgan and I took her two girls to the Mall of America (shudder) for lunch at the American Girl store there. This trip was not going to be Fran’s usual budget weekend. I am p ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lake Park savior, and saving our city park land (07/24/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Sometimes living in Winona feels like being in an Indiana Jones movie. Just when you relax and think you’re safe, something jumps out at you and makes you scream.

Of course, in any city there is a na ... 

FULL STORY >>


Fortune smiles on Winona (07/21/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Do we ever realize how fortunate we are to live in the Winona area? How about this for an example: people I know are complaining that there is too much to do this summer, and they can’t do it all!

I  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Build it right (07/17/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

Mn/DOT has spoken. The Hwy. 43 Interstate Bridge in Winona will be ugly, will stymie river beautification projects, will obstruct our views, will be cheap, will spoil the locations of businesses a ... 

FULL STORY >>


‘Fran Day’ (07/14/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

It was “Fran” day Thursday at the Winona County Fair. Not just Fran Edstrom Day! One of the first people I ran into was Fran Plank, whose brother was receiving an award, and then I had a surprise wh ... 

FULL STORY >>


You want what? (07/10/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

A few years ago, my purse was stolen from my car, which was parked in my driveway. The young man who stole it didn’t find the $100 I had tucked away for an emergency before he threw my purse in a ne ... 

FULL STORY >>


Light show (07/07/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- I love the Fourth of July. So few of our holidays are celebrated on their actual day, instead relegated to the nearest Monday. Then there are Christmas, New Year’s Day, and the Fourth. It’s not conven ... 

FULL STORY >>


Are you ready? (07/03/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- An out-of-town friend said to me this past weekend, “You guys have such an amazing social life here!” It’s true! Winona is the perfect place for people who like to have a lot to do and good friends to ... 

FULL STORY >>


The chip (06/30/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- I got a new car. New to me, that is. It came with clean everything. I even left the plastic wrap on the floor mats. I just love a clean car! It makes life seem so calm and organized when the car is cl ... 

FULL STORY >>


A year later (06/26/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- hen he died, I wondered where I would be in a year. I knew I couldn’t replace his knowledge of the business and his razor-sharp and insightful editorials. I wondered, though, if I could adequately tak ... 

FULL STORY >>


Finally, the river (06/23/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

I am a river rat, if not from birth, like my husband, then from adoption of Winona as my home. My boat has been ready for weeks to get out there, but the weather and river didn’t want to cooperate w ... 

FULL STORY >>


Spy on you (06/19/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Spy on you

How do the power-hungry of the world gain control over others? How do tyrants maintain control? By knowing as much as they can about those they wish to repress.

When Hitler came to powe ... 

FULL STORY >>


No tests? (06/12/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- In a page one story today, Sarah Squires reports on the news that the state’s public school teachers will not be required to pass a test to teach in our schools. Up until now, prospective teachers had ... 

FULL STORY >>


Sonnets (06/10/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Maria Faust died in late 2011. To honor her memory, and her love of the arts, her husband, Ted Haaland, approached the Great River Shakespeare Festival about a collaboration on GRSF’s annual sonnet co ... 

FULL STORY >>


Get out! (06/05/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- June 8 is my oldest daughter’s birthday, usually a day well suited to a birthday party. Happy Birthday, Cassidy!

It is also National Get Outdoors Day, an effort begun in 2007 to get people off the co ... 

FULL STORY >>


Or else! (06/02/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

You think you’re stressed? Think of Mother Nature, who has to do March winds, April showers and May flowers all in one week! She barely made it before the June deadline. And, by the way, M.N., since ... 

FULL STORY >>


Eew, cicadas (05/26/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

The next time some East Coast hipster sneers at you for “hailing from the great state of Minnesota” (story coming up) you can remind him of the coming cicada invasion of that same East Coast about w ... 

FULL STORY >>


Abuse of power (05/22/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

President Obama’s administration has crossed a line that has, since the inception of this country, protected a most fundamental freedom of the press.

You may be sick of hearing about freedom and th ... 

FULL STORY >>


The familiar enemy (05/19/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- My earliest memory of talk about camps for prisoners of war is the embarrassing old television show, Hogan’s Heroes. I liked the show — it was funny. I had no idea, however, that very often real priso ... 

FULL STORY >>


High schoolers need more time with teacher (05/15/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- The Winona School Board will discuss on Thursday the possibility of changing the daily class schedule at the high school. The impetus, apparently, is to improve our high school students’ success on th ... 

FULL STORY >>


Hey, inventors (05/12/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

Lazy people such as I am must be an inspiration for inventors. We’re always looking for ways to get out of work, or find a short cut to complete a task.

We’re the types who get excited about new in ... 

FULL STORY >>


A book review (05/08/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- One of the perks of working at a newspaper — besides knowing before anyone else who was arrested for shoplifting — is that quite often book publishers and self-publishers will send advance copies of b ... 

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Levee Park (05/05/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

I am usually an optimistic person. I look on the bright side. I have faith in human resources.

However — you knew that was coming — I am experiencing some rather strong feelings of fruitlessness ab ... 

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Brief Spring (05/01/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Briefly, we hail Spring. Little red buds adorn the trees, green shoots spring from the ground, the lawn is covered with sticks and branches from the last winter storm, and a mine field of dog doo has  ... 

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Who’s a bully? (04/28/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

A new “bullying” bill is in the Minnesota Legislature, under the guise of “education reform.” It is yet another example of government posturing designed to convince the people that, yes, those in po ... 

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Legislation on welfare checks (04/24/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Rep. Steve Drazkowski put forth a bill that would require welfare recipients to submit to drug testing. He was pilloried for the mere suggestion. According to the Star Tribune, “‘You should be ashamed ... 

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Boston (04/21/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- People often ask me how I can think of something to write about twice a week. I tell them that there is so much going on in life that I am never at a loss.

Today, though, it is not that I can’t find  ... 

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Boston bombs (04/17/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Patriots’ Day is a state holiday in Massachusetts and Maine. It also marks the start of the one-week spring vacation for school children. And, as we all now know, the third Monday in April is not only ... 

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I-90 expansion (04/14/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- On the cover of today’s Post is a story about the current status of development at the I-90 and Hwy. 43 interchange. It is proposed by the Winona Area Industrial Development Association (WAIDA) to dev ... 

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Two women (04/10/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Two women died this past week who helped define the last half of the 20th century. At first glance, they couldn’t have been more different. Margaret Thatcher was an intellectual, a political heavyweig ... 

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Legislators give good, bipartisan budget advice (04/07/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

At an “Eggs and Issues” meeting sponsored by the Winona Area Chamber of Commerce held last month, legislators were invited to give those in attendance an update on what is happening at the Capitol.  ... 

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The garden (04/03/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Vicki Englich’s column, The Urban Farmer, begins today, despite the fact that overnight lows left a covering of ice on our gardens. Spring will come!! Don’t give up hope!!

Vicki writes about her gran ... 

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Old stars (03/31/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- I didn’t watch much television prior to this winter. This winter was such a succession of long, cold, lonely nights I decided to tune in to a few shows to see if I was missing anything. I’ve found a c ... 

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No grad tests? (03/27/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

It was bound to come to this. Ever since the state instituted graduation tests, the public school complex in the state has worked to get them thrown out. Now, with a pro-teachers union governor and  ... 

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Waiting for the bird’s arrival (03/25/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- These old red brick buildings harbor more than the history of Winona. Our building, which was erected in 1865, was once home to a John A. Latsch wholesale grocery concern, as well as hat shops and mus ... 

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Don’t charge citizens for info (03/13/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Bell, California, owes the fact that it is not bankrupt to a newspaper. Not a local newspaper—they don’t have one—but to the Los Angeles Times. Two Times reporters began by writing an investigative re ... 

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A mind is a beautiful thing (03/10/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Minds are funny things. Sometimes if we’re “of a different mind” from another person, we secretly think, “Gee, what an idiot!” Sometimes we even say it.

We do tend to give a little slack to the very  ... 

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Amtrak (03/06/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- In a recent article in the online magazine Slate, Matthew Yglesias opined on the economic viability of Amtrak. With typical East Coast bias, Yglesias dismissed passenger rail service to any destinatio ... 

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Good news from Mexico (03/03/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Dramatic changes in the public education system in Mexico being enacted by President Enrique Pena Nieto could be very good news for us in the U.S., and for the struggling Mexican people.

Pena Nieto’s ... 

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Warmth at last (02/27/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- In my journey through widowhood, I have resolved to revisit some of the places that were constants during my forty-two-year marriage to John. I started small, with trips to our cabin, out on the river ... 

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Governor’s plan bad for our area (02/20/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- here are many things about Gov. Dayton’s budget plan to dislike. But allow me to discuss one of his proposals that could sound the death knell of business in small communities all over the state—Winon ... 

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Blondes (02/17/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Cassidy and Angie were in town to see me say my five lines in “Angels in the Trees.” Perhaps that seems a little egotistical, but that’s what got them here, and they were glad they came, as they enjoy ... 

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Bad decision (02/13/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Boundary disputes are among the most contentious of all litigations. After all, they are very often about people’s homes, a topic that can elicit a visceral response.

In Winona County, a dispute over ... 

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Gerald (Tony) Brown, R.I.P (02/10/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- In August 1969, John and I were married, and in September he was to start his job as ninth grade English teacher in Winona. That summer, as we both recently graduated from college, he was living at ho ... 

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For sale (02/06/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Actually, I may give it away—one slightly used…um…torture agonizing girdle miserable piece of…um…shapewear. I know I’m older than many of you. (I saw a play poster at the coffee shop, and thought it s ... 

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Rehearsal (02/03/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- I’m sitting in the Masonic Theater, waiting for rehearsal to begin for “Angels in the Trees: Rockwell Kent in Winona.” There are two younger people—maybe SMU students—on stage, putting together a plat ... 

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Raise class sizes (01/30/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- The Winona Public School district finds itself in the age-old position of having to cut jobs and programs due to falling revenue. For parents new to the way school finances work, rest assured this hap ... 

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Kids (01/27/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

I am writing from my hotel room in Minneapolis, or maybe it’s Bloomington. We are here for the Minnesota Newspaper Association annual convention, and the Minnesota Free Paper Association board meeti ... 

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House rules (01/23/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

“Well,” I said to the dog-who-must-not-be-written-about, “I think it’s time for your annual review.” He didn’t lift his head from his pillow, although his eyes were open.

“I don’t remember this hap ... 

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The Plan (01/20/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- “We are going to need to work on making access to mental health care as easy as access to a gun.” President Barack Obama

I think, for many reasons, that President Obama’s “gun control” plan is misg ... 

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Schlumbergera (01/16/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- My poor Schlumbergera. For those of you who threw out the encyclopedia set but are without access to Wikipedia, that’s the species to which your Christmas cactus, Thanksgiving cactus and Easter cactus ... 

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What should board do now? (01/13/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

I find it disturbing that the full Winona County Board has not been receiving key facts from their staff. The Winona Post, under the Freedom of Information Act, requested to view any and all emails  ... 

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Winter fog (01/09/2013)
By Frances Edstrom --

Not everyone lives in a place where the drive to work is not only a lesson in natural science, but a sensory pleasure. We do. Each morning my drive to work brings a new experience. This morning, on  ... 

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Disaster! (01/06/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- January and February can be slow months for many people, especially those who don’t ice fish, ski, skate, snowshoe, snowmobile, or shoot coyotes. And darkness can curtail most of those activities.

B ... 

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Smile! (01/02/2013)
By Frances Edstrom -- Happy New Year!

Among today’s letters to the editor is one about dental health. The writer, Dr. Michael Flynn, who is president of the Minnesota Dental Association, says that he has seen the bad eff ... 

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Happy New Year (12/30/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Working on your New Year’s resolutions? I’ve decided to give up resolutions once and for all. I think the one-day-at-a-time approach to changing my bad habits works best for me.

Take food. (Please!  ... 

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Merry After (12/26/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- We had an early deadline for today’s newspaper so that our mail room and carriers wouldn’t be working on Christmas Day. So I’m writing this column before Christmas Day, and you’ll be reading it after  ... 

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Still here (12/23/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Well, the world didn’t end. Did it? I’m actually glad, since this is the first time in my life that I have had my Christmas shopping done this early.

In our family we have the Fable of the Box of Ch ... 

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Newtown (12/19/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- When I heard about the killing of the little 6- and 7-year-olds at a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school, I was at St. Mary’s Church. About thirty little kindergarteners, with bright faces and dre ... 

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Budget cuts (12/16/2012)
By Frances Edstrom --

Soon, the Winona Public Schools administration will address budget cuts. Part of that presentation will be about information gathered from the public in the recent survey conducted on the school dis ... 

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Heere’s winter! (12/12/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Well, here it is: winter. Not even the weatherman can prepare you for that first snowfall. Sure, they show you the picture of the cloud with the little snowflakes coming out of it, and tell you that t ... 

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Family hero (12/09/2012)
By Frances Edstrom --

I especially like it when something happens in the news that connects long-abandoned synapses in my brain, and old stories come rushing back to me. Such happened Friday, the anniversary of the attac ... 

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World travel (12/05/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Think of the world’s great migrations. Last Saturday morning, I felt that I was undertaking one of the most difficult: getting two adults and two children out of Winona and to Minneapolis for an 11:00 ... 

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Happy Birthday (12/02/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Is anyone else in a panic about 2012 being almost over? It seems 2012 has somehow become both one of the longest and one of the shortest years of my life! If this is what aging does to a person’s perc ... 

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The tree (11/28/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- I said I’d never do it, but I did. I bought an artificial Christmas tree. I know, I know! And after forty-two years of real trees, I can tell you it is definitely not the same thing to come down the s ... 

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Year ‘round (11/25/2012)
By Frances Edstrom --

Modern public education tends more and more to throw the baby out with the bath water. If the system works for the majority of the students, we tend to ignore that fact and panic over the minority.  ... 

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Black Thursday (11/21/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- The health of the retail community is important to me and the Winona Post, as well as to you. We like to see new businesses open, in spite of the recession. We like to help local businesses draw custo ... 

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Two women I will miss (11/18/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Two women I have admired for many years died recently, and they deserve to be remembered.

I credit Virginia O’Brien, who died on November 7, with giving my children a first grade experience that bec ... 

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Pick a number (11/11/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- I read somewhere that little kids have no compunction about cheating at games. After all, the whole point of a game is to win, right? It supposedly isn’t until they turn 5 or 6 that they understand th ... 

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Let’s recycle the contract (11/07/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Someone in the Winona County government should be reprimanded, and consequences exacted, for the mishandling of the county’s new, “ground-breaking” recycling system.

The company with which the county ... 

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Francesism (11/04/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Remember the excitement of your approaching birthday: Will I have a party? Will Grandma give me that ballerina doll, or will she send pajamas again? How about the first day of school: Will Mrs. Smith  ... 

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Dumpster dives (10/28/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- I called my sister in Massachusetts to see if they had any action yet from the hurricane blowing around the East Coast. Not yet. Last year at Halloween, they had a huge snowstorm that sent trees and l ... 

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Tough pumpkin (10/24/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- I baby-sat for my granddaughters last Friday night at my house, where we had a “sleep-over.” We went out for dinner—grilled cheese and a small pepperoni pizza. Yes, I know, most people make those thin ... 

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Mystery solved (10/21/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- The mystery is solved in a rare moment of candor at the Winona Area Public Schools school board meeting.

The reading public now knows why it is that Supt. Scott Hannon is well-loved by his faculty an ... 

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Reunion (10/17/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- This past weekend was my college reunion. It may seem odd to have a reunion at a college that no longer exists, but College of Saint Teresa alumnae are lucky that their campus still exists intact.

W ... 

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Holy Dog! (10/14/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- I went to St. Paul to deliver something to my daughter Cassidy last weekend. It wasn’t the perfect weekend to visit, although there is never a bad time to see them and my grandson, Harry.

They are r ... 

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Suicide talk (10/10/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- In 1995, our 14-year-old son, Jake, died by suicide. In the aftermath of grieving, we desperately wanted to save other parents from the nightmare and profound heartache of losing a child to depression ... 

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Cruelty behind the keyboard (10/07/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- When a La Crosse television news reporter recently spoke out about receiving an email in which the writer called her “obese,” we talked about it in our own newsroom.

Sarah Squires, who has been a new ... 

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Try this for a birthday feast (10/03/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- I see in the paper today that October 4 is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. Naming and celebrating feast days is a Catholic tradition. Saints of the Church are remembered on the dates of their  ... 

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Camp wedding (09/26/2012)
By Frances Edstrom --

The son of friends was married last weekend. But it goes beyond that. Jacob Woodworth and our late son, Jake, were best friends during their grade school and middle school years. I have many memorie ... 

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You gotta have hope (09/23/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- At the risk of having you think I’m losing it, I am going to tell you about an experience I had on Wednesday morning.

I had an early (6:30 a.m.) appointment at the Mayo Clinic for a physical, to see ... 

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We never learn (09/19/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- The headline in the Star Tribune of Sept. 15 read, “Search comes up empty in porn case vs. coach.”

In the early ‘80s, in Scott County, Minnesota, Kathleen Morris, the county attorney, opened a case ... 

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Does board have an ‘agenda’ (09/16/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- There is an interesting debate going on among the members of the Dist. 861 school board, and some of the district’s administrators.

The question is, should school board members be members of various  ... 

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The Ball (09/12/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- I wasn’t quite ready to attend the Birthday Ball without John. I heard it was a spectacular night, but that was one of those things that we did as a couple. It might be more accurate to say that it wa ... 

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Lighthouse Road, a review (09/09/2012)
By Frances Edstrom --

Minnesota author Peter Geye’s latest book, The Lighthouse Road, tells a story that is hard to like. But in its favor, the book is good on several levels—as a history of logging at the turn of the 19 ... 

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Technology (09/05/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- The last few weeks have been technologically challenging for me. Luckily, I have two daughters who are whizzes at all that stuff, and they came to my rescue.

First, we couldn’t figure out how to fast ... 

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Blue Moon (09/02/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Last Friday, August 31, there was a full moon. Depending on how you define it, it may have been a Blue Moon. According to Starwatch, which we run in the Post each month, there were full moons on Augus ... 

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Finally, a bridge (08/26/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- When I was a college student here, I never gave much thought to the Interstate Bridge. I suppose that was because I lived on the Minnesota side, and didn’t have to cross the bridge unless I was going ... 

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4-alarm party (08/22/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Last weekend we drove up to St. Paul for grandson Harry’s third birthday party. I have a natural suspicion of children’s birthday parties, having been both a host and guest so many times over the year ... 

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Council should decline to vote on resolution (08/19/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- On the Winona City Council agenda for Monday night’s meeting is a resolution, which, if passed, would put council members on record as in opposition to the proposed Recognition of Marriage Constitutio ... 

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Goodbye, car (08/15/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- I sold my car. It is a vanilla white 2006 Chrysler 300 sedan with a hemi engine, all-wheel drive, and leather seats. Whoa! It is a great car. The front of the car is intimidating and always reminded m ... 

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Walk facing the traffic, please (08/08/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- I just have to write about the way pedestrians walk on busy streets that don’t have sidewalks. Back in the olden days, when children were allowed to walk places, their parents and teachers taught them ... 

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Is this the same Mississippi? (08/05/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- My sister and I went to visit a friend in Brownsville who lives on the banks of the Mississippi. The view from her house is mesmerizing, the river flowing endlessly downstream. Every now and then the  ... 

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Stop ignoring it (08/01/2012)
By Frances Edstrom --

The reaction to the mass shootings in Colorado that killed 12 and wounded 58 people was one of horror. Life can be like a frightening fun-house. One minute you’re on solid ground, and the next, the  ... 

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Sweating the small stuff (07/29/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- The political season is heating up. John was in love with politics. He’d stay up all night after the polls closed to find out who won an election. He loved election parties, so he and his cohorts coul ... 

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A hairy tale (07/25/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- A hairy tale

Since I stopped chemo earlier this year, my hair has been growing back. Slowly. Hair is supposed to grow at the rate of half an inch a month. Today at work, Chris and Rickie measured min ... 

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A drought (07/22/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- A photo I saw on the New York Times website the other day sent me on a trip back to 1956. I was ten years old. On Sunday, the paperboy, with whom I was in love from afar (he was in high school), had d ... 

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The mystery of the bridge (07/18/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- The story of the Interstate Bridge connecting Winona to Wisconsin is a mystery. A political mystery, or rather, a mystery written by politicians for their own benefit. The only trouble is, all the rum ... 

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Learning to dive (07/15/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- I remember our first child, Cassidy, learning to climb up on the couch. John and I were watching TV, and Cass, our only-precious-most-wonderful-smartest-in-the-world first child, climbed up on the cou ... 

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School disconnect (07/11/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- In the July 8, 2012, St. Paul Pioneer Press, there appeared an article entitled, “State looks to boost college readiness.” The article, about the cost of remediation at colleges and universities, bega ... 

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Hugging injury (07/08/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- I don’t think of myself as a widow, even though I certainly am. I feel as though I’ve emerged from a long sleep, like Sleeping Beauty, only I’m not a beautiful princess in a castle. Everything I do se ... 

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Thank you (07/01/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Thank you to all of our friends, readers, customers, and family for all you have done for us since John’s death. I never thought it would be so important to have so much support. I like to think I am  ... 

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Tennis, anyone? (06/24/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- The chutzpah of the Winona schools administration is without bounds. Or perhaps it isn’t utter nerve, but utter lack of organization that leads administrators to bring things to the school such as the ... 

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Dancing (06/20/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Surprise! I bet no one thought they’d see my face here in Fran’s spot. For those of you who don’t recognize me, I am her daughter, Morgan Gish. I have to be quick about this because I told my mom the ... 

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A good Dad (06/17/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- It isn’t easy being a father. And it’s not just the kids…sometimes it’s their mother. John and I have been married almost 43 years, and I am just now able to make the admission…I was a difficult mothe ... 

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Where have all the students gone (06/13/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- The Winona Area Public Schools (WAPS) Board is struggling with falling enrollment, some of it due to falling birth rates, and some to parents having more public school choices — charter schools. It’s  ... 

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Compromise (06/10/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Recently, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Club in downtown Winona wanted to make a change in the exterior of their building. In order to do so, they had to present the plan to the City of Winona’s  ... 

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Way to shoot, Jason Edstrom (06/06/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Being an aunt is a strange thing. Here are these kids, who belong to your family, the children of your brothers, sisters, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, but they’re not really yours to raise or boss ... 

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The Real Housewives of Shakespeare (06/03/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Five days a week, I am on the computer — e-mail, checking websites, doing research, editing. So in my off-time, I’m more than likely going to be reading newspapers and books or doing crossword puzzles ... 

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When you’re 64 (05/30/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Someday when you are old enough, your doctor will suggest a bone scan, to detect bone weakness and how likely you are to break your bones. It’s about the easiest test there is. You just lie on a table ... 

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Small town vet (05/27/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- John asked me to take his hunting dog, Gator, a mild-mannered Black Lab, to the vet for his annual checkup. Since we sold the old house, Gator has been living at the farm down the road in a very nice  ... 

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What size? (05/23/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Among the “dress up” collection I have put together for my grandchildren are dresses that belonged to my mother and mother-in-law when they were in their thirties and forties. There is a beautiful pin ... 

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Company (05/20/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- We have lots of company this weekend. I’ve written about my sister Susan. Now my other sister, Mary Ann, also from Massachusetts, has come to visit. She is eight years younger than I am and is a Posta ... 

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The ‘hood (05/16/2012)
By Frances Edstrom --

Our friends in the old neighborhood gave us a going-away party Monday night. We closed on the house on Tuesday. We are caring for our granddaughters while their parents are out of town, so we packed ... 

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Find a cure (05/13/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- For the record, I don’t approve of bullying — of anyone at any age.

But I can’t help but be disappointed that bullying has become a rallying cry in our schools. Certainly schools must address bullyin ... 

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Feeding baby (05/09/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- My daughter Cassidy and I were hefting an old desk into the back of John’s car so that I could deliver it to her house. As we removed the drawers, under the very bottom drawer we found a piece of pape ... 

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Number, please (05/06/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Our three-year-old granddaughter, Andie, is discovering letters and numbers. This is a good thing. Previously, I worried about her, since she seemed actually averse to learning such basic things as th ... 

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Marriage, home (05/02/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- We have finally finished moving out of our old house. The last of the things we can’t move to the new house will go to the Winona Health Auxiliary Garage Sale which is this weekend in the Winona Healt ... 

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Peerless Chain (04/29/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- There is a nice story in today’s paper about Peerless Chain, a Winona-based company that has grown to first place in its market share. I feel a certain pride in that fact, not just because Peerless is ... 

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Love cow! (04/25/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- I wouldn’t put all my trust in the computer and Internet quite yet.

My sister is a knitter. She’s just finishing a pair of socks in rather wild colors, but as she showed me on one of the Internet kni ... 

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Reading (04/22/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- First grade at St. Stephen’s School featured Sister Rosaline, who looked to me as a five-year-old like one of those “apple dolls” you find in old country store gift shops. She was not much taller than ... 

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Small towns (04/18/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- My brother and his fiancée, Phyllis, are visiting from Vermont. They arrived last night after a pretty grueling trip from Burlington, Vermont, to the Minneapolis airport. However, Phyllis, who loves t ... 

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The ‘Public Copy’ debate (04/15/2012)
By John Edstrom -- The difficulty in dealing with Winona County government is determining who to go to directly for corrective action when procedure is not in accordance with the Minnesota Open Meeting Law (OML). But re ... 

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Is it bed time? (04/11/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- I had my last weekly chemotherapy treatment (Taxol) last Thursday. Now I have to continue to go every three weeks for a year to receive Herceptin, a chemotherapy developed since I last had breast canc ... 

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What school board should advise about (04/08/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- In a curious exchange at the last Dist. 861 school board meeting, several board members questioned the need to set up a retreat to set their direction for the future. Administrators and teachers take  ... 

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County woes (04/04/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Winona County just paid $14,500 for a consultant, Dave Unmacht, to make a general review of the county’s Community Services consolidation efforts, including technical and managerial strengths, operati ... 

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Get it? (04/01/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- My sister and I were in the elevator at the Mayo Clinic one day last week, riding to the lobby. As we approached our stop, there were only four of us in the elevator — my sister and I and an older mar ... 

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Kolter’s funds go to right dept. (03/28/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- The bequest from Dick Kolter to the Winona Area Public Schools came at a great time. Math and science, often the least showy and last departments to attract funds, are finally being recognized for the ... 

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Cats and birds (03/25/2012)

Two weeks ago, the first Robin showed up in our yard — DOA. Presumably, poor Robin Redbreast flew into our window and that was the end of his Spring. But other birds are returning and the early morn ... 

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The bald truth (03/21/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- I didn’t think Spring would come so soon. As you might have read, I am going through chemo and as a result my hair “thinned” (as health care personnel like to say euphemistically). It thinned so much ... 

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Mysteries (03/18/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- We often meet our kids and grandkids for a bite somewhere, and last Tuesday we met them at Ground Round. The kids meal there comes with a little bag of gummy fruits, which are the dessert, and which t ... 

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Open meetings (03/14/2012)
By Frances Edstrom --

It is disheartening to be continually faced with the reality that Winona County does not always comply with the Minnesota Open Meeting Law. We even went so far this winter as to send a copy of the l ... 

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Bring on nature (03/07/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- I was in need of a sign, and I got it. The temperature soared into the 60s, the drive-ins advertised opening for root beer and ice cream, and there’s hope that soon the hills will be sporting a green  ... 

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Why? (03/04/2012)
By Frances Edstrom --

I find myself having more questions than answers the older I get. It seems when I was in high school and college, I knew all the answers, or at least enough to get an A or a B. Then I had children,  ... 

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‘80s fashion (02/29/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Have you ever made a serious fashion mistake? Buying a Nehru jacket, or a Rudi Gernreich monokini (remember the topless swimsuit — for women?) absolutely counts as a fashion mistake. Most of us make l ... 

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Chemo (02/26/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- My sister has been driving me to my chemotherapy sessions. At Winona Health, patients have their own little room with a TV, huge recliner/lounge chair (people always say they feel like the Lily Tomlin ... 

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The collector (02/22/2012)
By Frances Edstrom --

After my mother died, my sister packed up my share of the “pitcher collection,” which mother had inherited from a good friend and fellow faculty member of my Dad’s, Marjorie Sparrow. (I know, great  ... 

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Search aborted? (02/19/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- It’s easy to spend someone else’s money. Just ask the Dist. 861 school board. They just spent $11,000 to have the Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA) conduct a search for a new superintendent fo ... 

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The secret to a long marriage is… (02/15/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- I loved reading the “How I Met the One I Love” stories in today’s paper (see pages 9a and 10a). What struck me was how many of the stories were about a very short, by today’s standards, courtship befo ... 

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NCLB out (02/12/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- he response of the president of the state’s teachers union, Education Minnesota, to the waiver granted Minnesota from No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is unfortunately typical of the thinking of much of th ... 

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‘How I met the one I love’ — writing contest (02/08/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- In honor of upcoming Valentine’s Day, we’d like to hear how you met the one you love. Three lucky writers will win gift certificates!

When I meet a couple for the first time, I often will ask how the ... 

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Hands off (02/05/2012)
By Frances Edstrom --

You hang around in hospitals long enough, and you find it’s a different world. Take the bathrooms, for instance. Who ever thought that a bathroom could be a “hands off” kind of place? But it is.

Yo ... 

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Hair today… (02/01/2012)
By Frances Edstrom --

Sunday morning as I showered and washed my hair, large chunks of the hair fell out, and some loose gobs got stuck in the hair that was still attached to my head, creating gigantic snarls. My hair ha ... 

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Getting to know you (01/29/2012)
By Frances Edstrom --

My sister is visiting, and she and the dog-who-must-not-be-written-about-the-second have been, let’s say, getting used to each other. At home, my sister has five cats. Cats (not kittens) are pretty  ... 

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Lights on snow (01/25/2012)
By Frances Edstrom --

Back in the days before two fake hips entered my life, John and I were avid downhill skiers. We signed up for a YMCA program that bussed us and 38 other people to Mount Frontenac one night a week. T ... 

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Trust (01/22/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- I read that the Italian cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of Tuscany has shifted dangerously and that rescue attempts may have to be halted. Not yet found is a Minnesota couple, 1963 Saint Ma ... 

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Christmas sock (01/18/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Christmas sock

This past Christmas marked a first for me. I didn’t forget anything. I didn’t find candy a month later that was supposed to go into the stockings. I didn’t find a gift in the bottom  ... 

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No Hostess? (01/15/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Wow, I thought when I read the news, Hostess cupcakes could disappear? Tell me it isn’t so!

That was the news on the Chicago Tribune web site, though, right there in black and white. Hostess Brands j ... 

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He’s a doll (01/11/2012)
By Frances Edstrom --

I got all three of my grandchildren dolls for Christmas. Peyton’s is blonde, like she is. Andie’s, like her, has dark hair with bangs and pigtails. And Harry’s is dark haired with a hair do that loo ... 

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Bill Laehn, R.I.P. (01/08/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- Bill Laehn, R.I.P.

Winona loves its characters. We just lost a man who was not only a character of the first class, but a successful businessman in a profession traditionally dominated by women. Bi ... 

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Old Blue (01/04/2012)
By Frances Edstrom -- One of the dubious perks that comes with running a small business is that every now and then an account that owes you money will go out of business. Did I say “perk”? It only becomes a perk, and as I  ... 

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Happy New Year (01/01/2012)
By Frances Edstrom --

It’s odd, isn’t it, how much faith we put in the mere turn of a calendar page. Not since I was in eighth grade, baby-sitting on New Year’s Eve and watching the ball come down at Times Square on the  ... 

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The best gifts (12/28/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- This year we did Christmas presents differently. All of us have houses that need lots of work, so our children, instead of giving us expensive presents, gave us a future weekend of work, the time and  ... 

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Giving — and saying thank you (12/25/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- We’ve watched this year as a smoldering class envy has been stoked in Washington and spread throughout the country. It is the 99% against the 1%, and we are supposed to be full of hatred for that 1%. ... 

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A case for not wrapping (12/21/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I made the mistake several years ago of telling a friend that I do not wrap gifts for children on Christmas, it being a long family tradition not to do so. This friend, who is wild about wrapping, was ... 

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What do I do? (12/18/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- What do you do all day? I’ve been asked.

It’s a fair question from people who have never had major surgery. I mean here I am, out of the hospital, and I’m not in the office, I’m not at the grocery st ... 

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Visiting Santa (12/14/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Visiting Santa used to be as easy as going to downtown Winona, where there was a little Santa House set upon the Plaza.

The Plaza, for those who missed this misguided era in Winona’s city planning h ... 

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This could be heaven, or… (12/11/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Much of the last few weeks has been a blur, which I blame squarely on drugs, and not my age. In fact, I can’t imagine why people would choose to take the drugs I have been given, although I am told th ... 

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Home from the hospital! (12/04/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- No matter how good the treatment, the hospital is not my favorite home away from home, although it might not be a bad place to go sometime when I’m not sick. Still, the noise of the machines and const ... 

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What should we say about marriage? (11/23/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- A friend gave me a copy of a book written by her niece, Jamie Patterson, called Lost Edens. It is a memoir, a story of the breakup of her first marriage (she is young, with no children, and I am assum ... 

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No butts! Just quit! (11/20/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I’m a little late in writing about The Great American Smokeout, which was Thursday, November 17. “Butt…”

I’m a reformed smoker, having taken up the nasty habit in college, because it was fun to gathe ... 

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Looking at colleges? (11/13/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Governor Dayton has declared this “College Application Week.” “In order for Minnesota to continue to be a leader in education and economic development, experts and business leaders agree on the need t ... 

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Let them dig sand (11/09/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- As a nation, we are anxious to free ourselves of dependence on foreign oil, especially since the foreigners we buy it from don’t seem to like us very much. We’ve taken some steps towards practical gen ... 

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What happens in Winona does not stay in Winona (11/06/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- The Great River Shakespeare Festival (GRSF), just off its eighth year in Winona, will hold its first ever “Stakeholders Meeting” on Monday, November 7. It will be held at the new Winona County History ... 

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Halloween in the ‘hood (11/02/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- We went back to the old neighborhood and old house for Halloween, John’s favorite holiday. The new place doesn’t lend itself to trick or treaters, being at the end of a long drive, and there are preci ... 

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So… (10/30/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- So…

How often we begin a thought with a word like “so,” perhaps as a delaying device, or a chance to telegraph that we are about to express ourselves but want our listener’s full attention. I was una ... 

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Should record follow you forever? (10/26/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I have a problem — a newspaper problem. I think I have made up my mind what action, or inaction, I should take, but before I do, I’d like to ask our readers what they think.

As our news has become r ... 

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Stop wasting that fat! (10/23/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- If I were a young doctor who wanted to make my mark in the world, I would try to find a way to transplant fat from one person to another.

Since I wrote about not having enough belly fat to reconstruc ... 

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Here we go again! (10/19/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- This is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, in case you haven’t noticed that the entire country has turned pink for the occasion. But I am, unfortunately, a little more aware of breast cancer than I had be ... 

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What makes a friend? (10/16/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- My husband has good friends. They’ve got his back. One of them, a Rotary member, recently delivered a dozen red roses to my desk, saying, “Here, Frances, these beautiful roses are from your loving hus ... 

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What I want in a superintendent (10/12/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- The Winona Public Schools Dist. 861 is asking the public for input on what we want in a new superintendent. The Dist. 861 teachers are also being asked what they would like in a new leader. What would ... 

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Steve Jobs, R.I.P. (10/09/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I was sorry to hear of Steve Jobs’s death, and at such an early age. I have only seen the man on the Internet in some of his famous rollouts of new Apple products, but I owe him a great deal. And you  ... 

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The wedding (finally) (10/05/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Last Friday night we drove to Ripon, Wisconsin, for the wedding of my college roommate’s youngest son. According to my roommate, Gayle Viehman Kirkman, Andrew was finally getting married. In his mid-t ... 

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Things the house needs (10/02/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- There’s an advantage to living your whole life in your home town. And that is that when your old classmates who were too cool to stay in Winona come home to visit family, they will often look you up.  ... 

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One more way to steal (09/28/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Just when you think there’s nothing new under the sun, someone pops up to surprise you.

John and I were in a neighboring city for errands and decided to have dinner at a restaurant there. Unfortunate ... 

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These guys are nuts! (09/25/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Now that I actually have “drive time” to and from the office, I am noticing all sorts of things I used to ignore when I lived three minutes from downtown.

First, of course, I notice the trains switch ... 

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Pumpkin time is here (09/21/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Our neighbor is selling pumpkins and winter squash in his front yard, rows of big pumpkins all lined up neatly in rows and the little squash taking a back seat to the king of the autumn garden.

One  ... 

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Why did county remove records? (09/21/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I thought Mena Kaehler was just musing out loud several weeks ago when she asked the other county commissioners if they should remove all the agendas and minutes of meetings from their web site that w ... 

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What to do (09/18/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- No matter what it is you like to do, you can bet you can do it in the upcoming weeks.

Duck hunting opens Sept. 24. Youth waterfowl day was September 10, and our friend Abby Luhmann got three ducks o ... 

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Weddings and such (09/14/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- It was a wedding weekend for us. First on Saturday at Merrick State Park, our own Sarah Elmquist married Chris Squires. The park is a beautiful one, upriver from Fountain City, and the campground wher ... 

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Ten years later, the scars remain (09/11/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Today there are several letters to the editor (page 4A, 5A, and 4AA) concerning the terrorist attacks of 9-11-2001. Newly released tapes of flight attendants, air traffic controllers and civil and mi ... 

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Beware pitfalls of redistricting (09/07/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- The school board must be aware of stepping into something nasty as they wade into redistricting elementary school boundaries in the district. Redistricting is the big, bad relative of school closure.  ... 

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My old home town news (08/31/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I like to keep up with doings in my old home town, Framingham, Massachusetts. It is home to Cushing Hospital, a WWII military hospital that was where the Framingham Heart Study was begun in 1948. The  ... 

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Food for thought (08/28/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- My two granddaughters just returned from a week in New Jersey visiting their other grandparents, Barbara and Andy Gish, who live in a retirement community in Barnegat, a town on the Jersey shore north ... 

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The river is finally coming down (08/24/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- The river is finally coming down toward normal levels — in August! The high water that we had all summer made river recreation somewhat different from usual. Many sandbars were under water, beaches we ... 

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Switch drinking age, age of majority (08/21/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- If the first week when college students are back in town isn’t a good reason to lower the drinking age to 18 and raise the age of majority to 21, I don’t know what is.

Think of it. If kids could drin ... 

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A fine day at Ashley for the Arts (08/17/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- It was a beautiful Saturday for Ashley for the Arts, even though it did rain like crazy in spurts throughout the day. Any day is a beautiful day to drive to Arcadia, surely one of the most beautiful t ... 

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He won’t grow up (08/14/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I invited the dog-who-must-not-be-written-about 2 into my study for a chat, one of our periodic reviews of his performance as house pet.

“Well,” I said, “I have been generally pleased with your behav ... 

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The grass is not always greener (08/10/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I don’t claim to have a green thumb, but a person who has lived with various lawns during a lifetime should be able to grow grass, don’t you think?

All I remember about the grass at my childhood home ... 

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Board needs to retain authority (08/07/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Two things from recent County Board of Commissioner meetings beg for comment.

First, Board Chair Mena Kaehler, who is on a committee charged with redesigning the county’s website, asked if past meeti ... 

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Vaccinations prevent death and disease (08/03/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I would hate to think that my grandchildren and their children would live in a world in which childhood mortality due to disease would be on the increase. When my mother-in-law was born in the early 1 ... 

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The mystery that is mental illness (07/31/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- On July 22, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people, most of them teenagers and young adults at a summer camp. His lawyers are expected to ask the courts to certify that Breivik is insane.

On A ... 

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Lighten up (07/27/2011)
Here we are at the end of July, the Beethoven Festival is over, and this is the last week of the Great River Shakespeare Festival. The state is open again. The river is high, the gnats have retreated, ... 

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A short life of crime (07/24/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Strange memories surface when your body is inactive for a period of time. I called my sister in Massachusetts to see how they were handling the heat and humidity that has finally left us and is settli ... 

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What to do about the heat (07/20/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- We hosted about forty of the (mostly younger and less apt to faint in the heat) Shakespeare actors, apprentices, interns and crew last Tuesday on the river. Our neighbors Sherm and Lori Smith offered  ... 

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Thieves make for bad day (07/17/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- This is one of those days that I am having trouble getting started on my column. It began badly, and I just can’t shake the negative feeling.

I met a friend at nine. He was going to clean our river c ... 

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Sisters (07/13/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- My sister Susan is on the plane, flying back home to Ayer, Massachusetts, where her cats are eagerly awaiting her. We are very sad to see her go, but no one is sadder than the dog, who has been horrib ... 

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Thanks to Dick Lindner (07/10/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I am trying to think of the first time I met Dick Lindner. But there are just some people who are such a part of the fabric of the community that you probably heard about them for years before you act ... 

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Two on the Fourth (07/06/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Morgan and Dan were invited to a wedding reception in Lincoln, Nebraska, over the Fourth, and we were called upon to baby-sit the four- and two-year-old granddaughters. Friday night came, we picked up ... 

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But it’s practically brand new (07/03/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- One thing about getting older, you find out how foolish you were in your youth. We don’t have room here for all my transgressions, but I must share one with you.

Today, while I was scouting my desk d ... 

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Midsummer Night’s Dream dazzles (06/26/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- The Great River Shakespeare Festival kicks off its eighth season with A Midsummer NIght’s Dream, directed by Alec Wild. The play is one of Shakespeare’s most delightful, combining romance, fantasy, an ... 

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Treat students better than this (06/22/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- In a story on page one today, we find that Winona Senior High School has lowered its grading scale. This is after only three years of using the last change to the grading scale, in 2008. Rightly, I be ... 

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Remembering my Dad (06/19/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I called my sister to tell her it is Steamboat Days, just to make her jealous. There is nothing like our annual celebration where she lives. She subscribes to the Winona Post, and had been reading abo ... 

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Watch out, it’s almost June 21 (06/15/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Now that it’s almost summer, June 21, there are things we have to remember how to deal with all over again. So here’s a refresher course.

1. Sun. Summer often comes with sunshine. Sunshine is everywh ... 

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The Seven Ages of Woman (at Steamboat Days) (06/12/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- It’s almost my favorite time of year. Steamboat Days! beginning Wednesday and ending on Monday, the 20th. Home and Community Options’ play, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, opens June 16, ... 

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Summertime, and the livin’ is HOT (06/08/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I should have been a meteorologist. I could have told you a week ago that it would be horribly hot on Monday and Tuesday, hot and muggy on Wednesday, and on Thursday, the temperature would plummet. Yo ... 

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Why is sign different now? (06/05/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I like the Steamboat directional sign at Huff and Hwy. 61. It does a couple of things really well. It sets our presence on Hwy. 61 apart from other cities whose highways are lined with similar car dea ... 

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By the dawn’s early light (06/01/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- On Friday night after work we were expecting Cassidy, Angie, and the most wonderful grandson in the world, Harry, for dinner. It was a hard day for me, getting home late, so we were going to go to our ... 

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Lincoln lives! (05/29/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- The school district administration should take a math class at the high school. They have apparently forgotten the rule that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

After the sch ... 

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The mating call (05/25/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Since we moved to the country — actually I should say the township, since the city continues to crawl out into the countryside — but, since we moved out here, people often say, “Oh, I bet it’s nice an ... 

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Well, did it happen? (05/22/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Well, did the Rapture occur?

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, an 89-year-old California (where else?) man named Harold Camping has predicted that the end of the world would begin May 21, 201 ... 

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Four-wheelin’ (05/18/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I went four-wheeling for the first time this week. On Monday, a beautiful day — sunny and pleasant — I got a call from a neighbor who asked if I’d like to go four-wheeling after work. This seems to be ... 

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Winona Community Foundation dinner spectacular event, fundraiser (05/15/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- On a business trip a few years ago, my husband was taken to a Brazilian churrascaria, or steakhouse. He was extremely impressed with the experience, and even promised to take me there sometime (a prom ... 

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They started it! (05/11/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- The first really warm day, a hint that summer just may be on its way, arrived at the same time that the 2011 company of the Great River Shakespeare Festival gathered in Winona to begin rehearsals. New ... 

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I love you, Mom (most of the time) (05/08/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Ah yes, Mother’s Day is here again. We are all going to be thinking fondly of our mothers, sending them cards and flowers, going to dinner or brunch, serving breakfast in bed. We’ll be really, really  ... 

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bin Laden and the end of evil (05/04/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Maybe I wish I were one of those who don’t believe that Osama bin Laden has been killed. Then I wouldn’t find myself suddenly transported back to that horrible day in 2001 when we turned the televisio ... 

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The wedding is over (05/01/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Well, the wedding is over, now on to the honeymoon.

Several weeks ago, I thought I had gotten an invitation in the mail, but it was just an invitation to buy dishes with pictures (and not very flatte ... 

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What’s the magic word? (04/27/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- It seemed almost miraculous that the sun was shining on Easter Sunday and we didn’t have to wear our winter coats. It made the family day that much more wonderful. All three of our grandchildren were  ... 

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Board shows frustration (04/24/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I have great sympathy for the Dist. 861 school board after Thursday’s meeting. We have all at one time or another served on a committee where we feel we are actually performing a service. But now and  ... 

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April ‘snowers’ bring… (04/20/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- This is it! This is one of the longest winters I have ever lived through, or at least can ever remember. And why is it that when it snows in April, people can’t wait to tell you how much snow is on it ... 

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Save Concerts on the Green (04/17/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- The daffodils are making an appearance, lawns are greening. A friend of mine told me how excited she was to go out into her back yard two weeks ago and find the Creeping Charlie showing its hardy gree ... 

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The roommate visits (04/13/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- My college roommate came to visit. She and her husband made a slight detour on their way home from the Mayo Clinic to Lake Holcombe, Wisconsin. Denis, her husband, presented me with a cane he had made ... 

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Clarifying comment policy (04/10/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- “Okay,” I said to the dog-who-must-not-be-written-about, “sit down, we need to talk.”

He always takes his time sitting, as if the messenger relaying his brain’s transmission to his butt has discovere ... 

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Go ahead, write a poem (04/06/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- April is National Poetry Month, kicked off with April Fool’s Day, probably because trying to write a poem has made fools out of a lot of us. Even blank verse can be a difficult proposition, and trying ... 

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Why are we reporting? (04/03/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- One of the tactics detractors of the Winona Post use to try to criticize our news coverage is to insist that our reporters “Interview the person you are writing an article about before printing,” (Rut ... 

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Teach to the test (03/30/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I would like to know what is wrong with “teaching to the test,” a phrase bandied about — mostly by politicians and teachers union officials, but by many others as well — as a societal ill on the natur ... 

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Glamorous movie stars (03/27/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Poor Elizabeth Taylor, dead at 79. It must have been hard to be a legendary beauty living the life of a glamorous aging movie star. You’d better make your money while you’re young, because movie stars ... 

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Bring on the roundabout! (03/23/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Highway projects are not something I usually look forward to. But this year is different. First, I’m looking forward to trying to get around the highway trucks and workers who are going to fill all th ... 

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We have right to criticize gov’t without being attacked (03/20/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- An incident at the last Winona public school board meeting on Thursday night highlights once again the lack of understanding by many elected officials that they are public figures, and therefore open  ... 

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What’s under all that snow (03/16/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- The receding snow has uncovered a number of things I had been trying to forget.

The deck furniture, which came with the house and was in pretty bad shape last fall, looks even worse now. There might ... 

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What are those things? (03/13/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- “So,” said the dog-who-must-not-be-written-about, “are those cats?”

“Cats?” I asked. “Are what cats? We don’t have a cat. But I saw a cat under the bird feeder.”

“I thought that was a squirrel,” he  ... 

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My babysitting job (03/09/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Last Friday we drove upriver to Hager City, where we met several friends from the “olden days” at Donna and Leon Nesbitt’s home there on the banks of the Mississippi River backwaters. Nesbitts and two ... 

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Did she mean what she said? (03/06/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I read with astonishment the following statement made by Winona Middle School principal Sharon Suchla concerning the choice of a calendar for the public schools for the upcoming year: “Suchla advocate ... 

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Countdown to Spring (03/02/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- As I walked out of the WSU men’s basketball game last Saturday (heartbreaker!) it was dusting snow. A woman next to me said, “Isn’t it beautiful?” I thought, “Wow. There’s a person who looks at the gl ... 

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What I didn’t do on vacation (02/27/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- John and I just returned from a week away from work, our first vacation in three years, and it felt really good. But I’m finding I don’t vacation the way most people do. We met up with an old friend o ... 

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Thanks for the Follies fun! (02/16/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Who knew ads could get such laughs, and not even cost millions of dollars like the ones during the Superbowl?

The Topsy Turvy Television Follies, chaired by Nancy Iglesias and Sue Degallier and spons ... 

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Love and romance (02/13/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, and as usual, my thoughts turn to love and romance. Now love is very hard to define, as evidenced by the number of poets, songwriters, novelists, essayists, scientists and ... 

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Before you decide, take a closer look at district’s magnet numbers (02/09/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I have always told new reporters and readers who wonder why I question government decisions — “just look at the numbers.” Whoever controls the input controls the output, and whoever controls what the  ... 

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It’s Girl Scout cookie time, no waiting (02/06/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I was born too soon! Finally, I get my wish, but I would have enjoyed it more if I had gotten it when I was nine years old — and then again when I was in my mid-thirties.

We don’t have to wait for G ... 

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Worry about everything! (02/02/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I called my sister, who lives in Massachusetts, under the guise of concern about them because of the enormous snow storm that was forecast to hit there. But deep down in my heart, I wanted to rub it i ... 

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Good behavior (01/30/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- “Sit,” I said.

“Now wait a minute,” he said. “When you’re talking to your other friends, you don’t say ‘sit,’ you say, ‘have a seat,’ or ‘please, sit down.’ I know, because I’ve heard you!”

“Well,  ... 

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Our kids need better education (01/26/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Now we have not only Governor Pawlenty’s, but also Governor Dayton’s Commissioner of Education, Brenda Cassellius, saying that Minnesota is falling behind in education.

“The NAEP science scores are o ... 

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Who thinks it’s cold? I do! (01/23/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- When I arrived in Winona to attend the now-defunct College of Saint Teresa (no “h” please!), it was during one of the driest winters ever, and temperatures were relatively mild, although I didn’t know ... 

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Paying attention (01/19/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- After I wrote about how dry things get in the winter — especially skin — I came to work to find that one of my coworkers had given me a tube of hand cream and a tube of lip balm. Great! I thought.

T ... 

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This grandparent thing (01/16/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I baby-sat my four-year-old granddaughter the other day while her mother was at work. We started our day with a bowl of cereal — she had two — and then had several hotly contested games of Candyland.  ... 

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What does blame accomplish? (01/12/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- Why are we so quick to lay blame for tragic actions such as the alleged Jared Loughner shooting of eighteen people, wounding a member of Congress and killing a federal judge and five others?

The Ne ... 

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New year, new way of governing? (01/09/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- It’s a tad early in the year to be making predictions, but how about some observations? It isn’t often that so many new players appear on the local government scene at the beginning of the year. But h ... 

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Who needs resolutions? (01/05/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- I must look like a person with a lot of problems. For a week now, people — some I barely know — have been asking me if I’m making any New Year’s resolutions.

I cleaned my desk (I do this twice a ye ... 

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Happy New Years can be stressful (01/02/2011)
By Frances Edstrom -- “I don’t think I like this New Year thing,” said the dog-who-must-not-be-written-about II.

“It doesn’t look to me as though a new year makes much of a difference in your life,” I said. “You still che ... 

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Follies casting call Tuesday, January 4 (12/29/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- On Tuesday, January 4, the Winona Health Auxiliary will once again be holding a casting call for the newest of its stage productions — The Topsy Turvy Television Follies. The 2011 version of the popul ... 

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Fantastick news! (12/26/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- The Great River Shakespeare Festival has secured the rights to “The Fantasticks,” a musical comedy first staged in New York in 1960. The play is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and as far  ... 

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Bev Douglas, R.I.P. (12/22/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- We lost someone dear to us last week. Bev Douglas, half of the duo of Bev and Fred of Freddie’s Fishing Float, died of bone cancer at the young age of 71.

We are a river family, and from nearly day o ... 

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Stop the money hoarding (12/19/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Winona County decided recently not to give dollars from their 2011 budget to the Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). One of the reasons for that action was the fact that SWCD has amassed $400 ... 

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‘Zat you, Santy Claus? (12/15/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- I have a series of photos of my children sitting on Santa’s lap, screaming their heads off as though being tortured by the much-hyped operatives of Dick Cheney. One or two of those were taken in downt ... 

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Snow on his dupa (12/12/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- The dog-who-must-not-be-written-about-The-Second wants to be adopted by another family. I returned home from work the other day to find that he had broken out of the pantry, where he is sequestered (w ... 

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Why is city raising taxes now? (12/08/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Winona City Council members Tim Breza and Deb Salyards should be thanked for their positions against raising the 2011 property tax levy for Winona city residents. Their work was ultimately futile, as  ... 

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Better plan for old age (12/05/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- It’s just the way your fifth grade teacher said it would be. If you don’t plan ahead, pretty soon you find yourself so far behind you can’t catch up. And then there’s trouble. My fifth grade teacher,  ... 

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Why not do it right? (12/01/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- The Dist. 861 School Board will be again taking up the question of whether or not to search for a new superintendent, or to offer another one-year contract to Interim Superintendent Scott Hannon, as s ... 

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Tales of shopping trips (11/28/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Friday morning I had a moment of trepidation when it occurred to me I might have eaten so much Thanksgiving dinner that I wouldn’t be able to zip my Jeans. But I was able to leave for work fully dress ... 

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Is that turkey I smell? (11/24/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- The dog-who-must-not-be-written-about 2 (or II, or Junior, I haven’t decided yet) will turn seven months old next Monday. He is a daily reminder that I am not as young as I was ten years ago, the last ... 

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Will full body scanners really help? (11/21/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Whenever I fly somewhere, and go through the airport metal detectors, the buzzers go off. I am then ushered aside, where I must stand with my arms out to the side, and an agent runs a metal detector w ... 

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The Great Race resolved (11/17/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- I feel like I’ve got my feet in the blocks, and am just waiting for the starter’s shot. How could I have gotten this old without learning that November and December are crazy months, and I should have ... 

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Thanksgiving old and new (11/14/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- My favorite holiday is coming quickly! Thanksgiving — totally ignored by the retail community. The minute Halloween costumes go on deep discount, the Christmas decorations go up, and Thanksgiving is s ... 

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What’s the word? Thunderbird! (11/10/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- For a brief time after college, I lived in Minneapolis, in a white stucco fourplex on Grand Ave. South. The apartment, which I shared with my friend Shuggie Speltz from Altura, was on the second floor ... 

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Bicycle friendly? Watch out! (11/07/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- The city of Winona has applied to be named a “Bicycle Friendly Community.” The review committee for this honor gave the city an honorable mention, saying they were “impressed with the potential and gr ... 

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It was a busy Halloween (11/03/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- We’ve seen thirty-one Halloweens on Washington Street. Each Halloween is a snapshot of the demographics of Winona, embodied in the little costumed people who stand on our front porch chanting “Trick o ... 

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Friends recommend books (10/27/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- First, my friend Dennis recommended “Freedom,” by Jonathan Franzen, “It’s pretty good,” he said, which is high praise from him. I started reading it, and it has a lot to recommend it, especially his c ... 

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Local author to present at Library (10/24/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- In 1998, Nancy Evanson and her husband, Ray, were on their way to China, the dream trip of a lifetime for Ray.

I had known Nancy for quite a while. Our kids were classmates, and I volunteered in her ... 

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Central already has ‘renters’ (10/20/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Poor little Central School, arguably the most aesthetically pleasing of our public school buildings, has been under attack for what seems like years. A natural fallout from attack and threats to close ... 

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Mental illness and suicide: Let’s talk (10/17/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- A person attempted suicide this week in Winona by jumping off the Interstate Bridge. Luckily, he was rescued and did not die. Two ninth graders died in a murder-suicide in Lakeland. We read of suicide ... 

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Thanks to police, Humane Society (10/13/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Big thanks to the Winona Police Dept. and the Winona County Humane Society for their help last Saturday in finding Gator, John’s Black Lab, who escaped from the yard through a side gate that we never  ... 

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Wanna be in my book club? (10/10/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- My friend Mae, also our former prufe reeder here at the Winona Post, is a voracious reader. Before she retired and moved to Edina, she kept us in the loop on new books and good books. The last book sh ... 

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Let’s get it right (10/06/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Readers can’t help but notice that letters to the editor have spilled over from the Opinions page to another — and sometimes a third — page in the last several issues. This is not unexpected in an ele ... 

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Don’t take my Kodachrome away (10/03/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- My aunt, my mother’s sister, brought with her when she visited recently a box of letters, photos, and other memorabilia that had been among their mother’s things. In the box were letters from my mothe ... 

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Nashville rocks! (09/29/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Due to my extended relationship with doctors, nurses, lab techs, physical therapists, cardiac rehabilitators and other medical professionals, including my local pharmacist, John and I haven’t been out ... 

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The relatives (09/22/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- My Aunt Kay, Uncle Paul and my cousin Mary came from Omaha for a visit last weekend. Naturally, it was too cold for the river, and even for golfing. It was too cold to be in the house, too, since the  ... 

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Clothes make the woman…poorer (09/19/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- This morning, my car thermometer read 57 degrees as I drove into town. I stopped for a pedestrian downtown, an exotic-looking black woman, perhaps a student at WSU. She was dressed in a diaphanous bla ... 

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Holdorf joins Hall of Fame (09/15/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- I’ve known Dick Holdorf for a lot of years, first meeting him when I played softball. (Real athletes, some of whom were my teammates, cringe when I mention I was actually allowed on a team). I first p ... 

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County, get serious (09/12/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- There is something unsettling about Winona County deciding for its employees what they will do in the privacy of their own hotel rooms. The County Board recently voted to demand that when county emplo ... 

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I hope you are happy! (09/08/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Well, I hope you’re happy. You know who you are. You’re one of those wienies who complained all summer about the HEAT and the HUMIDITY. So now it’s COLD and HUMID. Do you like that better?

All over t ... 

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Show me the money! (09/05/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- The good news is that after the Winona school district was forced to pay a hefty fine because the teachers union would not negotiate their 2009-2011 contract, the teachers union has apparently come ba ... 

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The season kicks off! (09/01/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Today marks the beginning of football season at the Winona Post and in the Edstrom family, with the kickoff of our annual contest, of which we’ll mark the 35th year. See pages 6 & 7A.

It all started  ... 

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The noise of time (08/29/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- I wonder how many clocks I’ve had over my lifetime. There must have been one in the bedroom I shared with my sister in elementary and high school. My parents were great believers in personal responsib ... 

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Arcadia and Ashley for the Arts — A+ (08/25/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- John and I made the drive, certainly one of the most beautiful in the world, from Winona to Arcadia last Saturday. We used to be in Arcadia on a regular basis when my college roommate Gayle Kirkman li ... 

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Roadblock (08/22/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- I had a nice long lunch hour on Friday, not by design. It took me forty-five minutes to get from one side of Hwy. 61 to the other on Hwy. 43. I had a lot of company, too. And, I had a lot of time to m ... 

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Change of city zoning bad idea for city businesses, taxpayers (08/18/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- I have grave misgivings about the City Council’s recent change to the Light Industrial zoning rules. It was first presented as a way to boost downtown business, which it definitely is not. City planne ... 

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Tomato time tribute (08/15/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- If I had a vote, I’d choose August as one of my favorite months. It’s the month in which we got married, 41 years ago, but as spectacular an occasion as that was, it isn’t the reason I love August so  ... 

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Fat rolls (08/11/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- I wonder if Michelle Obama is having much luck with reducing obesity. I am watching it closely, because there are a few other things that have been getting bigger and bigger and need attention.

We bo ... 

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Bronkless Kites (08/08/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- My granddaughter and I have a language barrier. Usually we can work it out.

But this one has us all stumped. “Bronkless Kites.”

It is apparently what I, her grandmother, told her the area near the  ... 

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Where does GRSF go when it’s gone (08/04/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- On Sunday afternoon, a friend and I attended the final production of the Great River Shakespeare Festival’s seventh season in Winona. We were laughing throughout the play — A Comedy of Errors — but at ... 

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This is living! (08/01/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- A friend who works at a local university was moaning way back before the Fourth of July that the summer was half over. It was just getting going for me, but then I don’t have to face students in the m ... 

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What are you going to do about those state test scores? (07/28/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- I had an argument with a friend of mine about what the state education test scores mean, and whether or not mass testing is a good way to find out what students are learning, or not learning. Her take ... 

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Who wants to be sheriff, and why (07/25/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Everything I know about law enforcement I’ve learned from books and television. I was a big fan of Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and especially Hopalong Cassidy, because until I learned how to read and foun ... 

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Chair’s claims way off the mark (07/21/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- The Winona Post and education reporter Cynthya Porter were taken to task by Dist. 861 board chair Stacey Mounce Arnold in the Saturday, July 17, Winona Daily News for an article that ran in the Winona ... 

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Oh heavens! Or, oh hell! (07/18/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- I caught part of a radio program the other day, an interview with a woman who wrote a book about heaven. The big question — other than whether or not you believe in heaven — is, “what is heaven?” Is i ... 

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We are the future (07/14/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Today on page 5A you will find responses to questions posed by the Winona Post from the candidates for the at-large position on the Dist. 861 public school board. It should be obvious to all of us tha ... 

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More country adventures (07/11/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- First, an update on the coyote problem. And thanks to the people who sent me articles about how to live peacefully with coyotes, since that is probably what I should be planning. But the litter under  ... 

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How we help (07/07/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Our dock on Pollywog Slough succumbed to the raging flood waters of the early spring this year, probably caught by a chunk of ice and torn from shore. John wrote earlier about going in pursuit of the  ... 

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Why do we fly the flag? (07/04/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- When our Brazilian exchange student, Sabrina Gini, came to live with us, she was quite puzzled about many things. One of the first was why I would be so crass as to touch the bread on my sandwich when ... 

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Opening weekend a hit (06/30/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Opening weekend of the Great River Shakespeare Festival was everything I anticipated. The Festival’s directors have long stressed that GRSF is more than plays, encompassing this year two of Shakespear ... 

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One hundred years (06/23/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- My mother-in-law is now officially 99 years old. “Only a year to go to 100!” she said gleefully. Or it sounded gleeful until she said, “If I make it that long.” Not to be morbid, but I imagine that wh ... 

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‘Cinderella’ is charming (06/20/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- The annual Home and Community Options musical is something many of us look forward to each June. This year’s production is Cinderella, based, of course, on the familiar fairy tale and adapted to a mus ... 

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Hop on the Merry-Go-Round (06/16/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Everyone at work is grumbling that there is no place to park; all the lots surrounding our office are cordoned off in preparation for Steamboat Days. So I have to keep quiet about my secret delight as ... 

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Saving family history (06/13/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Sarah Elmquist wrote a wonderful story in today’s paper about the Shakespeare Festival’s musical for this season, The Daly News. There was one sold-out production of the musical last year, so the Fest ... 

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Can interim superintendent pass a levy referendum? (06/09/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- I am confused about the Dist. 861 school board’s recent action in choosing a candidate for an interim superintendent. There is a page one story today about the process by which they chose Academic Af ... 

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Babysitting (06/06/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- “Babysitting,” after “jumbo shrimp,” is the biggest oxymoron in the English language. After a few days of taking care of a three and a half-year-old and a sixteen-month-old, I swear there is very litt ... 

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Wile E. Coyote (06/02/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Now I know why I don’t see any rabbits at our new house. We have sighted a coyote three times now, walking leisurely across our lawn. Now that I’ve seen an adult, which looks to me a lot like a small  ... 

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Remembering on Memorial Day (05/30/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- For many people, Memorial Day is first a chance for a long weekend, a chance to camp, visit family, prepare our houses for the summer, or just rest. It began May 30, 1868, as a day to decorate the gra ... 

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Another sticky one? (05/26/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- The heat and humidity of…May? It took me a while, but once I got used to the idea, I’m enjoying the irises in bloom, standing tall, lithe and graceful like beauty queens, and the peonies, blowzy old g ... 

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The house of blue (05/23/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- We bought a new house — new to us, that is. It was built in 1950 on seven acres of pasture land leading up to a knoll. Over the years the pasture has become woods, and now the house sits on a nicely s ... 

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It’s GRSF time! (05/19/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- There have been sightings all over town. “Gee, that guy looks familiar…” “Isn’t that the woman who…”

The troupe of actors, directors, and technical experts who make up the Great River Shakespeare Fes ... 

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The drivers test (05/16/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- I accompanied daughter Morgan to the Dept. of Motor Vehicles last week to take her behind-the-wheel test in order to trade her Illinois license for a Minnesota one. It was a strange feeling to be repe ... 

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Think you should run for public office? (05/12/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Democracy is such a hopeful way of governing. No matter the rancor that elected officials can elicit after they make decisions that will affect our lives, we know we will have the last word. And the p ... 

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Where did mystery e-mail come from? (05/09/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- As part of our job following local stories, we often read newspapers from other cities. After Thursday’s school board meeting, we followed a story about Supt. Paul Durand to the Journal Times in Racin ... 

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Hmm. A second career? (05/05/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- I had an idle thought the other day (no, wait, I’m not finished). I had an idle thought about a second career. I know there are those out there, notably my coworkers, who might question if I have a fi ... 

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I rock, you rock, he rocks (05/02/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Last week, I took my granddaughter to swimming lessons at the YMCA. On our way in, we saw that someone had been busy with sidewalk chalk, and we slowed briefly to look. Sidewalk chalk is one of our fa ... 

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Change the driving age (04/28/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- The news brings it all back — the paralyzing horror at what the doctors are telling you, the struggle to accept it, the heart-wrenching job of telling relatives and friends the horrible truth, the fol ... 

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The question remains — why? (04/25/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- In a move that was as anticlimactic as the opening of Al Capone’s secret vault, Winona Public Schools Superintendent Paul Durand opened his personnel file. Much innuendo, more than a few outright lies ... 

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Spring too early for you? (04/21/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- The lilacs are nearly bursting into bloom. So now what do I get my mother-in-law for Mother’s Day if I can’t pick her a big bouquet of her favorite flower? The tulips have about gone by, as have the d ... 

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Putting the WOW in history (04/18/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- The face of downtown Winona has been going through a gradual change in the last couple of years. Some things are gone, others rising up new.

Being in the news business for so long, I have watched a  ... 

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Learning to recycle (04/14/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Andie (AKA Sister Destructo), at the age of fourteen months, has discovered recycling. It works this way. She sits in her highchair, and anything she doesn’t want, she throws on the floor. Her mother  ... 

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The Queen’s purse (04/11/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- “We need money,” I said to my sister as we left the house the other day. I was hoping to get a cup of coffee or an ice cream cone — anything. I’m still in withdrawal from not shopping.

“Tell me about ... 

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School closing and ‘Educational Impact Statement’ (04/07/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- The ongoing argument over whether or not to close Central Elementary has been a painful one for the community, no matter on which side of the question your sympathies lie. If you read statewide or eve ... 

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Trying for the right note (04/04/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- This time of year always brings to mind my connection with the Congregational Church, even though I’ve never been a member.

Years ago, when I was in grade school at the decidedly Roman Catholic St.  ... 

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Rhubarb’s up! (03/31/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Each spring I am amazed all over again that without me lifting a finger, I am given the gift of rhubarb, which grows in the sun along the neighbor’s garage, and next to it, chives and lavender.

It’s  ... 

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Watching them grow (03/28/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- It’s fun to watch my grandchildren grow. Cassidy brought Harry down for a visit last weekend, combined with her attendance at her Aunt Nancy’s bridal shower. He’s seven months old, and still doesn’t m ... 

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The poodle farm (03/24/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- After our dog, Max, died, we waited an appropriate length of time — 24 hours — before thinking about a new one. We had each, unbeknownst to the other, looked on-line, hankies in hand, and discovered t ... 

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Think harder about supt. contract (03/17/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- When Dist. 861 Supt. Paul Durand was hired in 2004, I wrote an editorial wondering if he would bring a “sea change,” or merely a “seat change” to Winona Public Schools.

His tenure here has been a def ... 

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Something’s stirring in here and out there (03/14/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- There are signs. Snow gone from the roof. Bare spots on the lawn. Birds, squirrels, rabbits coming out to sniff and peck and paw, making sure it’s real, that spring might be upon us. I swear the big c ... 

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We believe (03/10/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Several years ago, I served on a state Department of Education task force charged with finding ways to implement the new No Child Left Behind legislation in our schools. I was the lay person on a comm ... 

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Goodbye, Maxim (03/07/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- The-dog-who-must-not-be-written-about has died. Of cancer, in a matter of weeks. He certainly felt discomfort, but did not complain of pain. When the veterinarian operated, he found that the cancer ha ... 

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The blame game (03/03/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- It is a good lesson — one that I hope will remain in my mental history book — to read about the aftermath of the earthquake in Chile.

Chile is a democratic nation with a solid economy and enviable u ... 

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My security blanket (02/28/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- I don’t remember having a childhood “security” blanket or special soft toy that I absolutely had to have in order to fall asleep. But that might be a result of being the first of six kids. “Excuse me, ... 

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Open a book, open a gift (02/24/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- A friend brought me a book — Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader, by Anne Fadiman — about a woman’s life as a bookworm. She is the daughter of Clifton Fadiman, author, intellectual, etc., and as ... 

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Coincidence? (02/21/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- On a beautiful, sunny day last weekend, I suggested we go for a road trip. We took off cross- country for Dodge, Wisconsin, where the Sportsmen’s Club was holding its ice fishing contest. I haven’t be ... 

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A message from Sabrina (02/17/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- About fourteen years ago, John and I were approached to host a high school student from Brazil. We had lost our son only a year earlier, and didn’t know if we were quite the place for a youngster to m ... 

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Big changes coming — what do they mean to you? (02/14/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- This Thursday, the Dist. 861 School Board meets, and there are two items they will be considering that are of great importance to taxpayers. One is whether or not to close Central School. The other is ... 

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My Valentine card list (02/10/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- I can’t quite pinpoint when it happened. When did my Valentine’s Day become less about romantic love?

When I was cleaning out the attic, I came across a picture of a young man who looked vaguely fam ... 

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I am getting sleepy… (02/07/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Thank you to all my readers who have sent cards, flowers and well wishes. I guess the words “open heart surgery” strike a chord with us all. When you think of someone, even a very talented surgeon, fi ... 

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Closing elementary school today means building big new school tomorrow (02/03/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- There is a letter today from Kelly Herold, former school board member, that makes several valid points concerning the repercussions of closing a school.

But let us add to that this: closing a school  ... 

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With all my heart (01/24/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- I am writing this anticipating that when you read it, I will be ensconced in my hospital bed (it apparently has my name on it) and finally feeling better after open heart surgery. I am writing this tw ... 

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Here and Haiti (01/20/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- My sister drove me to Rochester early Monday morning. It was my final exam. We had to leave home not terribly early, but earlier than I had been used to being up and at ‘em while on crutches.

It was ... 

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Put on your accounting hats! (01/17/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- In what is being called the “Greatest” recession our generation has experienced — with 10% unemployment nationally— and at a time when the state government coffers are bare and there is talk of replen ... 

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Reality is crutches …but not for long (01/13/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- Less than a week, and I get rid of my hip brace (with which I have scratched up some nice wood chairs just by trying to sit in them) and my crutches. I’ve been keeping these crutches around since 1994 ... 

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The numbers prove it (01/10/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- It’s always gratifying to find that our speculations are in fact proven by empirical evidence. I’m feeling vindicated, and school board member Ted Hazelton should be, too.

We have said on these pages ... 

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Be prepared! (01/06/2010)
It’s so hard to make realistic New Year resolutions. Agreed? So I will make one for you: Prepare to die! (Just kidding.)

Actually, I’m only partially kidding. As part of my job, I read obituaries. An ... 

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War on Terror fought by civilian citizens (01/03/2010)
By Frances Edstrom -- I guess you could say things have improved in the first decade of the twenty-first century. In G.W. Bush’s first year in office, 3,000 American civilians were killed by a handful of terrorists. In Bar ... 

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The three ages of baby (12/30/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- My new roommate — the dog-who-must-not-be-written-about — and I were relaxing the other afternoon in our bedroom. He and I are sharing the family room, which used to be his alone. It’s quite comfy if ... 

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Over but never done with (12/27/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Well, it’s over. All that shopping frenzy, the last minute panic attacks, the wringing of hands on Christmas Eve, the whooping it up Christmas morning. Done for another year.

Our most beautiful Chris ... 

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The last Christmas tree (12/23/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- I begged, cajoled, whined and generally made myself so obnoxious that John finally agreed to take me along to get our Christmas tree. It really wasn’t a smart thing to do, as I had to be helped — by t ... 

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When a saint goes Christmas shopping (12/20/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- My sister Susan (childhood nicknames Sukey, LuLu, and Susu — Susu stuck and we still use it) came out to help me in my recuperation from recent hip revision surgery. Friends and longtime readers will  ... 

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Another one bites the dust (12/16/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- I was not surprised to read that the City Council turned down the Parking Committee’s suggestion to sell parking permits to residents in the neighborhoods surrounding Winona State University. The idea ... 

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Helpless, or living the life of Riley? (12/13/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- When I first saw the movie Gone With the Wind, it amazed me that women could be so helpless that they couldn’t even dress themselves or get themselves a glass of water.

But here I am. Helpless. And i ... 

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Sparky and the Tiger (12/09/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- The dog-who-cannot-be-written-about was glad to see me come home from the hospital, I think. We know better now than to relocate his dog bed or food bowls, so most of the time he doesn’t even notice w ... 

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The Mayo groove (12/06/2009)
By John Edstrom -- Fran returned from the Mayo complex in Rochester Friday morning, and will probably not resume writing until next Wednesday. I stand in for her once again, thrilled with the enlarged readership garnere ... 

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Surprise! (12/02/2009)
By John Edstrom -- Surprise! This is not really Fran, only John Edstrom, standing in for her this week or so while she is in Rochester at the Mayo complex getting a new hip. It is unfortunate that old ones have no trade ... 

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Ironing out holiday problems (11/29/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- For a lot of us, this is going to be a Christmas gift season unlike those previous. We might focus our buying power on a few good things and forego the mounds of “extras” we used to think were part of ... 

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Why is Central our business? (11/24/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- An article I read in our last issue piqued my interest, and reminded me that it has been a while since I have written an explanation of how decisions are made about news coverage in the Winona Post.

 ... 

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Letters, letters (11/22/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- I got a nice note this week from a reader, Alice Schultz Hoffman, who lives at Lake View Court at Winona Health.

First, as I am writing this about lunch time, I’ll pass along that she reports that,  ... 

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Where’s my bulldozer? (11/18/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- I read a story in the Star Tribune about a road in suburban Wayzata, Bushaway, that Hennepin County wants to widen, citing increased car traffic, and the desire to accommodate walkers and cyclists. Th ... 

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Water on the moon! (11/15/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Well, finally they’ve discovered water on the moon. Now we can establish a lunar base, and set about totally ruining the moon for nearly everyone. What will kids be thinking when you read them “Goodni ... 

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We’re here for you (11/11/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- For a brief time on Tuesday, our land lines went out, and no one’s cell phone would work, all of us on different provider plans. We briefly panicked, and then things started working again.

But I won ... 

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Sick of news about the flu? (11/08/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- The news about H1N1 flu is confusing at best, and frightening at heart. We are told there is a new strain of flu, that it will kill young people, pregnant women, and that people over the age of 64 don ... 

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An international week (11/04/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- This has been my international week.

First I received a call from our Brazilian exchange student of ten years ago. She is craving pancakes. Apparently pancakes are not a staple in Brazil. So, I am s ... 

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Through these windows (11/01/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- This morning, it occurred to me once again how much I love our bedroom. (I hope that’s not too weird a topic for a newspaper column.)

But it has two windows, one facing southeast and one facing south ... 

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Buying a bulldog? Beware!! (10/28/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- I love the Internet. I can fully understand why those airline pilots overshot the MSP airport if they, as they have admitted, were on their laptops. Surfing the Net just makes you lose track of time.  ... 

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Death on the tracks (10/25/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Ernie Streng’s death on the railroad tracks, as well as other accidents of that nature in Winona in the last few years, brings from the recesses of my mind a story from my childhood. My hometown had s ... 

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Bluff ordinance: time to be done (10/21/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- People who follow Winona news from afar will often e-mail us to ask why it takes Winona city government so long to make a decision. Why all the committees? Why all the delays?

I fully expect a few e- ... 

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Sisters, sisters (10/18/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- I’m glad I have sisters. They help me to keep active a little bit of my pre-Edstrom individual self. When John and I married, we thought our families were quite similar, and we felt comfortable in tha ... 

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Happy ‘green’ Halloween? (10/14/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- I read a lot. I’d never make a good meditator, because if I find myself sitting somewhere — a waiting room, a restaurant, a bus stop — where there is nothing to read, I begin to get antsy. You can tel ... 

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Don’t close Central without checking the numbers (10/11/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- When Cynthya Porter came into my office waving the Worner study, which the school board commissioned last year, and the Wold study, which was done five years ago, I couldn’t imagine what she was so co ... 

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I’ve seen that face before (10/07/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Baby Harry came to visit with his mother. We were celebrating granddaughter Peyton’s third birthday, but my back went out, so I had a lot of time to sit with Harry, and watch Peyton and her sister, An ... 

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Tell us your October story (10/04/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- It’s October, and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I don’t need a special month to be aware of breast cancer. I think about it every month of the year. And so do a lot of my friends, women and men, thos ... 

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Local author writes mystery novel (09/30/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Winonan James Allaire has recently published a mystery novel, Costly Grace. The novel is set in a place much like Winona and its surrounds on the Mississippi River, and involves an academic — college  ... 

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What does an editor do? (09/27/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- I received an e-mail from a college student who is interested in becoming an editor. She says that whenever she reads, she notices grammatical and spelling errors. (I am gratified to hear that such a ... 

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Shuffling and dancing (09/23/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Rivertown Shuffle and Birthday Ball raise local funds

Rivertown Shuffle

Last weekend was a busy one. Friday night was the Rivertown Shuffle, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society held ann ... 

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MnSCU strikes again (09/20/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- MnSCU, the governing body of our two public higher education institutions — Winona State University and Southeast Tech College — this week announced it paid performance bonuses to its college and univ ... 

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My car is psychic (09/16/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Shortly after Barack Obama was elected president, I wrote that he and I had something in common — a Chrysler 300. He sold his as his campaign was gearing up and bought a more fuel efficient model, but ... 

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Time for sensitivity training? (09/13/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- We were talking this morning about the 9-11-2001 terrorist attacks on the U.S., and how even as short a span as eight years removes that tragedy from the memories of many, many people.

Some have forg ... 

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I love life! Or, using up exclamation points (09/09/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Here it is Tuesday after the Labor Day weekend. The kids are back in school. The bus stops at the corner again. Foggy mornings give way to warm sunshine. Fall rains are on the way. Poor me. I was stil ... 

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Make underage drinking fine a meaningful amount of money (09/06/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- I know most people don’t pore over the police blotter each week. But I can’t help it, it’s my job! I couldn’t help but notice that after school started at the colleges and universities, there was a mu ... 

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Go team… (09/02/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Ah, yes. The joys of autumn in a household with a football nut. Breakfast, lunch and dinner must be scheduled around the GAME. Every television in the house (two in our case, even though we watch noth ... 

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The Summer of I Don’t Know (08/30/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- There I was, in the middle of the what…Summer of Love? Summer of Evil? Summer of One Giant Leap?…and what was I doing?

I do remember the Walk on the Moon. I also remember the television network repo ... 

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Hope it’s a health care myth (08/26/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- “Well,” said the dog-who-must-not-be-written-about, “I’m hearing a lot about health care lately. I’m wondering when the President’s Domestic Animal Plan is going to be released.”

“Hmm,” I said. “You  ... 

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Ordinance should prescribe actions, not other way around (08/23/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- The following passage in a story today about the Winona County Board of Adjustment, under Sarah Elmquist’s byline, gave me pause.

“Board members did seem to agree that there was a procedure in place  ... 

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No waffin! (08/19/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- I love weddings. Counting the bridesmaids, assessing their dresses. Watching the bride — is she beaming, on the verge of tears, looking frightened? — come down the aisle with her father (grandfather, ... 

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Excessive speed (08/16/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- The mayor wants to talk about “excessive speed” on the bike path.

Before I share my “excessive speed” bike path stories, let me editorialize a bit. In a bigger city, we would probably have separate  ... 

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A (blank) is in my future? (08/12/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- I didn’t think I was a superstitious person. But why, then, can I not shake this feeling that I have a lack of fortune.

I’ve eaten in Chinese restaurants a fair number of times in my life. (I am in a ... 

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Where’d this rain come from? (08/09/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Here it is Friday afternoon, and the rain is streaming down the window panes in my office. It’s dark, gloomy, and chilly.

Of course! We are expecting company, John’s oldest brother, Lee, and his wif ... 

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The bitterness of death (08/05/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Funerals, even when we call them “celebrations” of a person’s life, are sad. I went to two last week. One for a 91-year-old woman who lived a full and happy life, mother of two grown and accomplished  ... 

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August, the beginning and end (08/02/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- I have mixed feelings about August. Although it is birthday month for a couple of family members, and our (40th!) wedding anniversary on August 16, its proximity to September colors my feelings for it ... 

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Feed the streams of the GRSF (07/29/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- I came home Monday night after work, and there was something different about my front lawn: The Great River Shakespeare Festival sign that had been there the past several weeks was gone. The Festival  ... 

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$360,000 salary and bonus, too? (07/26/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- At a time when many of us are losing jobs, or having salaries cut, MnSCU, the governing body of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, has raised tuition 5% (because of one-time federal stimul ... 

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Sucking the life out of Levee Park (07/22/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- And the winner of the longest running ad hoc committee commissioned by the city of Winona is…

My vote would go to the people who have signed on to the redesign, reuse, renovation, restoration, reinv ... 

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American Dog? (07/19/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- When I walked into the family room, there was the dog-who-must-not-be-written-about on his pillow. But when he saw me, there was a great deal of commotion and rustling of paper.

“Are you hiding somet ... 

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Aux salades, citoyens! or, Let them eat pissaladier (07/15/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- My sister-in-law, Nancy Edstrom, and her newly betrothed, Steve Bachler, invited us last weekend to help them celebrate Bastille Day and Nancy’s birthday. Bastille Day, July 14, is a little bit like t ... 

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Whose face was good to go (07/08/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- My granddaughter is in the verbal stage at which she can repeat long, complicated phrases verbatim, although on occasion she gets a word wrong here and there. She also is into singing.

The singing a ... 

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Party, party! (07/05/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- John and I volunteered to host an event for the Great River Shakespeare Festival that they are calling After Will. It will be a little party after the July 11 Saturday night performance of The Tempest ... 

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An evening on the river (07/01/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- We think that it’s imperative for summer visitors to Winona to see the river from the river itself. So we invited about 40 of the Great River Shakespeare Festival company to enjoy a bit of June on the ... 

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‘Love’s Labour’s’ lots of laughs (06/28/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Love’s Labour’s Lost would have had a much different title had it been written for modern audiences — something like “It Was Just A Summer Love,” or “Love Letters in the Sand.” Because at heart, Love’ ... 

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Good idea, but wrong place (06/24/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- You have to admire Michael Majerowicz, the recent WSU grad who asked the city to rezone the old Middle School auditorium so he could establish an alcohol-free nightclub and commercial storage facility ... 

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PEEVED at PETA (06/21/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- “You humans are the most interesting animals,” said the dog-who-must-not-be-written-about.

“I think so,” I said.

“I use the word interesting in its abnormal sense,” he said. “I simply cannot underst ... 

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DaDa! Or, What are you doing up there? (06/17/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- We again thoroughly enjoyed Chocolate, Shakespeare and Champagne, a Winona County Historical Society fundraiser held at the Alexander Mansion. The B&B, owned by Fred and Lynn Ihrke, is a grand place,  ... 

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Who doesn’t love June? (06/14/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- I think this may be my favorite time of year. I love holidays (even the very cold ones) when the family gathers. I love April and May, the coming to life of the flora, the budding of lilacs, bridal wr ... 

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Life’s milestones (06/10/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- I met a man at my niece Katie’s graduation party this past weekend who said he doesn’t like to read my columns about dogs or grandchildren. So, this is for you: Stop reading right now.

It was a weeke ... 

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Too many graduates will be left behind (06/07/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- The Minnesota Department of Education this week sent out the statewide results of the graduation requirement results. The overall results are really rather dismal. If your own child brought home such  ... 

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What sort of grandma can I be (06/03/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- You know the old saying that we grandparents like to throw around: You can just love ‘em and spoil ‘em and when they get cranky, you can send ‘em home.

But being a grandparent is more than that. App ... 

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Memories interrupted (05/31/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- We are in the process of selling our house, which we have lived happily in for thirty years. It is emotionally wrenching, remembering the years past in the house and in the neighborhood. It is difficu ... 

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Life without a wallet (05/27/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- So are you ready for more whining about my stolen purse? Well, here goes. I was really happy at first because my neighbors actually found my purse in their trash can, and returned it. And in it were m ... 

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Lessons learned after purse theft (05/24/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Last weekend we had an out-of-town guest. He owns the newspaper in Luverne, Minn., a small town on the western edge of the state not far from Sioux Falls. He parked his car in our driveway, and then a ... 

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Save the time, money at Levee (05/20/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Seven thousand four hundred dollars is a lot of money. But when you take that seven thousand and try to buy enough perennial plants to pretty up the site of the Wilkie steamboat replica, which was tor ... 

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The Morel Mushroom: is it true or False? (05/17/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- I received a call from Dave Dorn, Post reader and avid morel hunter and gatherer. He wondered if we would repeat an article we did a while back on the wonderfulness of the morel mushroom (or mushrump, ... 

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GRSF arrives! (05/13/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- My summer has begun! The cast and crew of the Great River Shakespeare Festival have arrived in Winona, a little like the swallows returning to Capistrano, I like to think. All these exotic birds aligh ... 

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How I survived the Open House (05/10/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- “Open House.” Innocuous words on the face of it, aren’t they? Well, there are open houses and open houses. There’s the Open House invitation. It’s a graduation, anniversary, Christmas party, picnic, t ... 

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It’s getting to be Shakespeare season! (05/06/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- John and I just finished up the Great River Shakespeare Festival (GRSF) Collegium, which is a fancy word for a group of people who are studying something. In this case, we read, studied and discussed  ... 

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Moving on out (05/03/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- I was deep into my closet, ferreting out evidence of my past bad taste and reliving mistakes in judgment, when the-dog-who-must-not-be-written-about came up behind me and scared me half to death.

“Ar ... 

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The busy month of May (04/29/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- May is a month of celebrations. Americans love to celebrate the things they love. And one of the things they love the most is the place they emigrated from to come to America (or more precisely, the U ... 

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Four things to consider before closing a school (04/26/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Charter and private schools fulfill an educational and societal need in certain families in the greater Winona community. Public schools fulfill the same needs in other families.

The Dist. 861 Schoo ... 

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The ‘80s are over (04/22/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- I think I’ve told you I am Garage Sale Aversive, so when the Winona Health Auxiliary announced its annual sale in conjunction with the 100 Mile Garage Sale, May 1 and 2, I was thrilled. Someone else w ... 

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Our historic neighborhoods and university: not mutually exclusive (04/19/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- There is now a new group appointed to study the 30% rule, instituted several years ago to alleviate some of the problems created in neighborhoods adjacent to the university by a proliferation of renta ... 

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The thrill of the egg hunt (04/15/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- We enjoyed an Easter Sunday that actually seemed to offer the hope of redemption, renewal, and new life — even in a secular way. It was refreshing to be able to walk freely, abandoning the fear-of-th ... 

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But where’s the chocolate bunny? (04/12/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Here we go, another “Harvard Professor” in the news. (Anyone remember Timothy Leary?) This time, instead of “dropping,” the professor is promoting “whiffing.” But, perhaps in keeping with our new obs ... 

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A mother’s tears (04/08/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- My birthday is December 2, as a kid usually a special day. But my birthday in 1958 marked the first time I remember seeing my mother cry.

We lived in a middle-class neighborhood. We had everything I ... 

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School Board: look at what you have (04/05/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- In the news this week is word that Supt. Paul Durand has been job searching. This comes as no surprise to those who follow news of the Winona public schools and the makeup of the school board after la ... 

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Say no to free autos for Venezuela (04/01/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in a press conference early this morning asked President Obama to consider sending free Detroit automobiles to Venezuela.

In the press conference, which can be seen  ... 

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Old age needn’t be tragic (03/29/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- It’s always dangerous for a columnist to write about sensitive issues, especially ones that are divisive, personal, and in this case, about fears that we bury deep inside.

I read articles in the Twin ... 

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Spring storms and other challenges (03/25/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- It happens every year on the first mild day — robins are in the yard digging worms, nuthatches are at the feeder, my neighbor is tuning up his lawnmower, and I am rummaging in my closet. I’m looking  ... 

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Cuts that don’t hurt (03/22/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- People say it’s “hell” getting old, but they are usually referring to the way the body tends to break down with age.

When I think about that statement, I think of such things as how many times I’ve  ... 

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What Olson’s release means (03/18/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- The news stories about the recent release from a California prison of sixties radical Kathleen Soliah, aka Sara Jane Olson of St. Paul, are the sort you hope will resonate with a younger generation on ... 

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But where is the river? (03/15/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- The city of Winona, lately, has been exceptionally good at only one thing: getting rid of assets, with no good plan to replace them with anything of value, or in most cases, anything at all.

The late ... 

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Fran tells all! The inside scoop on the 2009 Great River Shakespeare Festival (03/11/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Despite the snow on Sunday, and WSU basketball losses on Saturday, last weekend was the harbinger of better times coming soon.

The Great River Shakespeare Festival directors, some actors, and designe ... 

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Did you smell the dirt? (03/08/2009)
By Frances Edstrom --

One of our sales reps, KC Saxon, came in the other day and said, “I love it outside, it smells like dirt!” It’s been a long time since I’ve smelled dirt, the real kind that you can grow corn and bea ... 

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The Big Apple bites back (03/04/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- We were at a newspaper conference over the weekend, and ran into a guy we hadn’t seen for several years. He’s from Dubuque, Iowa, and was at the conference in the capacity of representative of one of  ... 

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My House of Unconditional Love (03/01/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- My friends ask me how my two-year-old granddaughter is handling the interloper, the adorable Andie, who is now five weeks old.

Well, the answer is that she is doing well. But watching her adjust to t ... 

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Wilson I-90 zoning will change our future (02/25/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- The Wilson Township I-90 exchange is suddenly a hot topic. Until now, that land has been rural in character, corn and bean fields interspersed with a few homes, the Wilson Fire Department and Town Hal ... 

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Deciding who shall suffer (02/22/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- The dog-who-must-not-be-written-about wandered sleepily into the kitchen, where I was doing some figuring on my calculator.

“What on earth are you doing?” he asked, “And what is that machine?”

“I’m  ... 

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The science fair (02/18/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Friday is the regional science fair in Winona. Our family tends more towards the literary side of things rather than science, but our kids always gave it the old high school try for the annual science ... 

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Revelations (02/15/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- The snow melted, the ice cap receded, and once again, Winonans found themselves walking erect, heads held high, looking forward. They are now noticing the greater world around them. Aha! A revelation! ... 

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We can have student rental housing and look good, too (02/11/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- The “30% rule” is a divisive subject. Thousands of young people coming to Winona for an education presents us with a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is great for our economy in many ways: dire ... 

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Stimulating enough for ya? (02/08/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- I need a stimulus package. I’m thinking it would be very stimulating to take a trip to Mexico, or Costa Rica, or maybe just St. Louis, where as I write this it’s sunny and sixty. All this cold and sn ... 

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What Winona has needed (02/04/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- I bet you don’t know what Winona doesn’t have that hundreds of other cities have?

Give up? (Maybe you had a few guesses, but not the one I’m thinking of.)

Before I tell you, let me say that I had a ... 

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At your service…sometimes (02/01/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Whenever you think you’d really like the government to run health care, just remember the U.S. Post Office.

The latest moneysaving idea is to deliver mail five rather than six days a week — great! Af ... 

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Waiting for Kiddo (01/28/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- As I was waiting for news that we have a new grandchild, I became more and more nervous about my role in all this as the grandmother charged with the duty of informing Peyton, our first and only grand ... 

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What’s on your ‘In’ list (01/25/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- All the big city newspapers run an “In-Out” list in January telling their readers what’s “so 2008” (that phrase was out in 2002, I think), and what will be HOT in 2009, and nowhere did I see the words ... 

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Pat Lucas, R.I.P. (01/21/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- I first met Pat Lucas, and her husband, Jack, at a cocktail party. We struck up a conversation about an all-out effort at that time to replace the Winona public library building. We found that we wer ... 

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One degree of separation (01/18/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Just as our new president is to be inaugurated, I find that he and I have something in common. Or had. We both owned (I still do) a Chrysler 300. Mine has a few more miles on it than his, which is sti ... 

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It’s Girl Scout cookie time! (01/14/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Just when the winter seems bleakest — two to four inches of snow, blowing snow, 30-mile-an-hour winds and a windchill of 20 to 30 below! — a little sunshine comes into my life.

It’s Girl Scout Cookie ... 

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For all of us to gain, all of us must feel the pain (01/11/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- It’s sad and disheartening to read about layoffs and closures at area businesses. We empathize with families who suddenly find themselves without a job in a market where there seem to be fewer jobs av ... 

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The miracle of adoption (01/07/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- Friends of ours, Bruce and Margaret Johnson, late last month became grandparents when their son Hansi and his wife, also a Margaret, adopted a son.

Baby Tae was born in Korea, and is about ten month ... 

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Election problems? Not with my system (01/04/2009)
By Frances Edstrom -- I guess it is about time for me to once again propose my idea for filling what are now elected positions all over this great country of ours. It’s pretty obvious that there are major problems with the ... 

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Happy New Year! Really! (12/31/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- Just as I was sitting in a gloomy funk watching the snow fall — yet again! — outside my office window, an e-mail came from Michele at Ivie Popplewell Trucking letting us know that our book documenting ... 

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Best gift was hand-me-down (12/28/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- We had a delightful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day gathered with our little family. Especially wonderful was watching our granddaughter’s reaction to the lighted and decorated trees, the festive meal ... 

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Nix the arena, but a bike what? (12/24/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- The city and Mayor Miller, citing economic reasons, have aborted the recreation referendum, suspended plans for redesigning Levee Park, and now put the skids on the all-encompassing arena planning. Th ... 

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The purse snatching (12/21/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- My Aunt Kay and Uncle Paul live in Omaha. When I think of Omaha, I think of hot, humid summers, big brick and stucco houses on large lots, streets lined with mature trees, many parks, and an interesti ... 

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But where are the shoes? (12/17/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- I know I’m supposed to embrace the diversity of other cultures, and most of the time I think I do a pretty good job. My advice to others is to start small, things like pizza, sushi, curry, and bier co ... 

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150 years at WSU and counting (12/14/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- In November of 2000, I was asked to be on the planning committee for Winona State University’s Sesquicentennial celebration. Umm, I said, Isn’t that like, eight years from now? Well, yes, they said, s ... 

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How about a book for that stocking? (12/10/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- Back in 2002, the tiny town of Hudson, Wisconsin, was the scene of the murder of two men working in a funeral home owned by the family of one of the men. Police suspected that a young priest was the m ... 

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Four-period day still a bad idea (12/07/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- White Bear Lake public schools became the latest in Minnesota to switch from the four-period day to a six-period day. Others have changed to the old and venerable seven-period day. We hope this trend  ... 

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Feminists can’t wait to trash Obama — Michelle! (12/03/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- Poor Michelle Obama. No sooner does she become First Lady-Elect than feminists (Hillary supporters?) begin carping at her. She made the egregious error of saying in front of an audience that her firs ... 

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How do we support the arts? (11/30/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- I am puzzled by the city’s attitude towards the funding of arts organizations in Winona. It has spent $2.1 million extending sewer and water to a new housing development in Pleasant Valley which, whe ... 

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Meeting Santa (11/26/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- I asked my daughter and son-in-law if they minded if I took the granddaughter to a place where she would see Santa Claus. They, rightfully, wanted to be the ones to first put her on Santa’s lap, and I ... 

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Introducing Twila’s List Save money on holiday gifts! (11/23/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- Today we are kicking off something we hope will be of help to you this gift-giving season. We are calling it Twila’s List. Twila is the head of our Classified Department, and she thought she’d make a  ... 

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Mike Pellowski, R.I.P. (11/19/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- It’s hard to believe that Mike Pellowski isn’t going to come to my office anymore with that big smile on his face and a handful of tickets to a chicken Q or a pork dinner or a fish fry to benefit one  ... 

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Let’s teach kids how to walk (11/16/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- We need to teach kids to walk. I don’t mean from chair to table, or hanging on to daddy’s fingers. I mean out in the world, where they must maneuver on sidewalks and streets. The vast majority of kids ... 

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What to do with old shoes (11/12/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- For a while my daughter worked at Nordstrom Department Store. They were not a good fit. It wasn’t that she couldn’t sell. She was good at that. But she was better at buying. I have talked to other par ... 

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What do seniors really want? (11/09/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- The report on a survey of middle-aged and older Winonans asking if they would like a new senior center was quite telling.

The representative of the company hired to find out what seniors want in term ... 

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What time is it? Check my magic clock (11/05/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- I am one of those insufferable people who prides herself on being up on things, on time, on deadline, all that stuff. So, in the interest of full disclosure, I feel I must share my daylight saving sto ... 

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Halloween means winter is not far behind (11/02/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- This is bar none my husband’s favorite time of year. Mostly, I think, it’s because it’s hunting season, followed by cross-country skiing, and if he can get the thing started this year, snowmobiling. B ... 

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Something missing (10/29/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- It doesn’t take much to upset my routine. But as a creature of habit I am nothing compared to my dog — the indoor dog. John and the outdoor dog have been gone the last couple of days on a quest for th ... 

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Nothing to wear? (10/26/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- It’s getting to be that time of year, when all I wish for is that I lived in a country ruled by a benevolent monarch. If only there was some way to get down to the basics and answer the only question  ... 

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Learning to talk (10/22/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- Language fascinates me. My granddaughter fascinates me. Put the two together, and I’m surprised I have any room left in my life for anything but watching her language development.

I’m not a linguist ... 

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Man’s inhumanity (10/19/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- I usually glance at the Minneapolis and St. Paul papers on a daily basis. This past week, a story particularly struck me. Four men and one teenaged girl are accused of kidnapping, torturing and leavin ... 

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Pandora’s Box (10/15/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- When I was a kid, I read a version of the Pandora’s Box story written for children. Every now and then, the story pops into my mind.

Pandora is from Greek mythology, and in most versions of the story ... 

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‘What about my letter?’ (10/12/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- During the “political season,” (which sometime seems to be all year every year), people have a lot of questions about letters to the editor. We ask that simple letters of endorsement be around fifty w ... 

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A trip to Trout Valley (10/08/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- I’m always conflicted about fall. On the one hand, it is the front door of winter. But on the other hand, it’s beautiful, and when it’s good, it is very, very good.

Last Saturday was one of those ver ... 

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There are already homes near proposed McNally high-rise (10/05/2008)
By Frances Edstrom -- “Porter seemed mixed. He said he’d be more comfortable if there were a broader plan for the riverfront, and if the city worked with all of the property owners in the area on a cohesive plan for redeve ... 

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