A time of grief

May 11, 2009

by Herald Journal & Enteprise Dispatch Editor Lynda Jensen

Last week was marked by bittersweet moments from a number of different angles. It made me think hard about life and remember to slow down.

• I learned my aunt has been moved to hospice with pancreatic cancer (age: early ‘60s). She’s tough as nails, and overcame a lot of hardship in her life. It’s hard to believe that cancer overpowered her like that.

• April 19 was the one-year anniversary of the death of June Skalberg of Dassel (born at Albright Mills in Wright Co. to Grant and Josephine Combs).

She was a dear friend and beautiful woman. Tough as nails, too. To know June was to know a gentle, strong, and courageous woman in a small package. Her first job was at the Universal Laboratories ergot plant in Dassel.

During World War II, June worked as a welder at the Northern Pump Munitions Plant in Minneapolis, and also was employed at a railroad roundhouse in Minneapolis, greasing railroad wheels and axles.

I was privileged to obtain 17 recipes from June’s recipe boxes, thanks to Bob Skalberg, and their daughter, Kathy Sorenson.

We enjoyed reminiscing about June and her cooking while looking through the boxes. The recipes will go into a cookbook for the Dassel Church of Christ, which will be sold during Red Rooster Days. The proceeds will be used for missions. I offered to donate my “carbon suprise” recipes, but nobody wanted them.

• As many of you know, the little 2-year-old from Cokato, Madison Kautz, may lose her battle with brain cancer. Her mother, Amber, has really gone through hell.

As a mother, I can’t imagine what she has gone through, and hope I never find out. In fact, it was hard for me to write a column about Mother’s Day because of her anguish and hardship. Therefore, one was not written last week.

Coincidentally, my little 4-year-old was really acting up last week and being very naughty. It occurred to me that Amber and grandma Kathy Kautz of Cokato would give anything to have an overly active daughter/granddaughter.

So, I was extra patient with Brianna, and I have been paying extra attention to my daughter.

God is good, all the time.

So all these things come together and suddenly, you enjoy the spring flowers more. You look up at the stars at night and sigh an extra breath of fresh air. And you thank God for good health, friendship, love, and friends.

A treat in Litchfield from the Civil War

Ken Borrell of Waverly stopped by the newspaper office in Winsted to drop off some awesome nature shots, which can be seen on the Outdoors page this week. He captured pictures of egrets, goslings, and all kinds of things.

While I was downloading pictures, I noticed extra shots of what turned out to be the Grand Army of the Republic Hall in Yankton, SD. Apparently, he visited there recently.

We started talking about GAR Halls; with the local version of them being in Litchfield just off Highway 12.

If you want a true treat, jump in the car with your kids and visit the local GAR Hall in Litchfield.

Litchfield’s hall is packed with every kind of Civil War something you can think of, and there are thousands of things to look at there.

It’s full of remarkable, one-of-a-kind things. The GAR Hall has artifacts from the pioneer days of the county, including an actual 1868 log cabin, which you can walk through.

The GAR Hall and the museum are open, free to the public, every day of the week from noon to 4 p.m., except Mondays.

Quote of the week

“You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body. ” – Christian author CS Lewis