Herald Journal Columns
August 6, 2007 Herald Journal

What can you do?

By LYNDA JENSEN

As a native of St. Cloud, I am familiar with crossing bridges over the Mississippi River. In fact, one of three bridges that received an emergency inspection ordered by the governor last week was the Division Street bridge in downtown St. Cloud; one that I’ve crossed a thousand times before as a young person. The other two are in Sandstone and Osceola.

All three are very similar in design to the I-35W bridge that collapsed Wednesday in the heart of Minneapolis during late afternoon, bumper-to-bumper, rush-hour traffic. The disaster killed at least five people (as counted so far), and injured about 79 people. There are many yet to be accounted for and those numbers will probably go up.

Like everyone else, I have been watching with grief and concern over the news of the I-35W bridge collapse, wondering about the victims and their families.

What can you do?

First thought: pray. Prayer works! Prayer moves the hand of God. Remember, that in this broken world, prayer is the balm for your pain.

Second thought: What can I do for the victims? Hit the bloodmobile! Yes, the American Red Cross needs blood, and that same essential fluid that courses through your veins could help those people.

The bloodmobile will be in Winsted Wednesday, Aug. 8 from 1 to 7 p.m. at the fire hall. This is your golden chance to donate something that will mean something.

Go ahead and drive there, even if it’s a ways for you. It’s easier than driving to downtown Minneapolis, and that’s where the blood ends up anyway.

‘This only happens to me’

Changing the subject, we’ve had our usual family antics, including a tangle with a big, fat snapping turtle and our teenage daughter attempting to drive through the Dairy Queen drive thru.

First the visit with a hunk of prehistoric nature (a snapper turtle) a week ago.

Do you think turtles are cute, floppy green things? Well, they aren’t.

Some varieties happen to be hunks of crocodile, and this snapper on our deck about as big as a large serving dish. It was crabby, too.

Of course, my husband was gone on his two-week annual training. This meant that we needed the services of the nearest man knowledgeable in turtle extrication. (On second thoughts, I could actually see Jennifer Gallus remove one of these things – and with three inch heels on, too.)

Well, we needed the intense and noble service of Roger Gilmer in Dassel, again, who is retired from any kind of paying job, but frequently gets snagged for lots of free work.

After the third phone call from a hysterical teenager, I called Roger and explained the need for turtle removal.

He arrived, and tossed the monster in the back of his pickup, but not before it climbed on top of a fully inflated tire in his pickup box. It was delivered to the nearest swamp.

Next, I get to tell the story of our daughter driving through the DQ drive thru with permission from my good-natured daughter.

She just recently received her learner’s permit. She is a good driver, but the drive thru in Cokato proved tricky.

Getting to the speaker required backing up twice, but the car didn’t get scratched. No problem.

Then, she rolled smoothly in front of the window, but jerked the brakes by accident and we lurched just past the pickup. She backed up.

So now, every once in a while I’ll walk by her and say “I’d like a small blizzard (lurch forward a bit), a small cone (lurch again) . . . and a dipped cone (lurch).

Something to remember

Said George Gallup, world-famed statistician, “I could prove God statistically! Take the human body alone. The chance that all the functions of the individual would just happen is a statistical monstrosity!”

– Knight’s Treasury of 2,000 Illustrations by Walter B. Knight

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