Columns

From the New York Times, Time magazine, and the complete Chicago Tribune syndicated columns

The true story of last weekend’s blizzard

A yuge blizzard descended on Minnesota over the weekend and all of our people who went south for the winter got back home in time to experience it. It was truly yuge, a fabulous blizzard and the snow was up to the housetops and the highway patrol said, “Stay in your homes. Do not drive on account of rabid wolves and jackals running loose.” But some of us went out anyway because that’s how we are. America was not settled by the timid.

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A walk down the aisle

There is a long aisle at our grocery store with soda pop at one end and tea and coffee at the other, which my love and I get to after the butter and eggs and 2% milk. We come to the beverage aisle and she selects the coffee, dark ground, with names like Swan Lake and Machiavelli. I notice the can of Maxwell House percolator grind and think of Mother and Dad. And there between the coffee and the soda pop is an extensive collection of waters.

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A remaindered sermon from Easter Sunday

I’ve been reading a fine book for Holy Week, Short Stories By Jesus, by Amy-Jill Levine, about the parables in the Gospels, and thought how much better Sunday School would’ve been had it been taught by a Jewish scholar rather than the rigid joyless fundamentalists of my youth. Jesus was Jewish, He wasn’t a Protestant, for God’s sake. Levine covers the whole string of them, the runaway boy, the tardy workers, the kindly alien, the good CPA, the mustard seed, the rich man and Lazarus, and respects the mysteries they represent.

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Looking at snow, thinking of crocuses

Late March is a time of rare unanimity here on the northern tundra when everyone — socialists, monarchists, anarchists, humble peasants, mighty tycoons — is ready for the snow to melt and green grass to appear and a warm breeze blow through the open window, which is unlikely to happen anytime soon and so we must live with the fact that the world is beyond our control.

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We were wrong and we should say so

Now that the 17th is behind us, the pipes have stopped calling from glen to glen, Danny is gone until next March when the valley is white with snow, I look at my calendar and don’t see much to get excited about. Easter is two weeks away and what with church membership in decline, the day is more about jellybeans and less about the Resurrection of Our Lord. And ladies don’t wear big hats as they used to do.

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Too much information, baby, I love you

Stormy Daniels is going to tell her story and if it is true that she whispered in her lover’s ear to meet with Kim Jong-un and talk about denuclearization and if steel tariffs were also part of the discussion, it’ll be news for a week and then something else will come along and she will be forgotten.

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Press firmly and I’ll go away

The beauty of Facebook, to my way of thinking, is the ability to unfriend people and make them disappear from your life. I wish we had a button on the steering wheel of our car that would do that. The people in the red car waiting to enter the parking lot at the concert Sunday who didn’t understand the basic principle of Taking Turns: one click and they go back where they came from.

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What’s that shaking in my pocket?

There is a power imbalance between the president of the United States and me, and so I am loath to criticize him lest he smack me down. Same with my mayor and city council, who could, if I offended them, send dump trucks full of snow and make a mountain at the end of my driveway and I might spend hours shoveling it and then collapse with a major coronary. So I am going to write about telephones instead. With all due respect to you in the telephone industry.

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Firing 30 rounds at a wedding cake

We’re all waiting patiently for the Supreme Court to decide the Colorado wedding cake case, whether a baker can be required to bake one for Adam and Steve–as he’s baked them for Solomon and his 700 wives, though the baker says his religious beliefs tell him homosexuality is an abomination unto the Lord.

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Time passes, lovers still welcome

Back at Benson School, Mrs. Moehlenbrock had us make valentines for everyone, no exceptions. You couldn’t just write them to Eloise and Marlys, you had to give them to Daryl and David too, the boys with red knuckles from pounding on other boys. In the fourth grade, love was universal, not selective, and nobody should feel less loved than anyone else, though of course we knew otherwise.

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