Local Columns

Fall for walleyes

You’ve heard it before and I’m guessing you’ll hear it many times in the future: The autumn months are a great time to go fishing, for a wide variety of fish. However, for many anglers across the Midwest, autumn is the time to chase walleyes. Spring and summer can be very good, but ...

Just what my bike needed

As a youngster I was an enthusiastic bicyclist. Not only did I love to ride my bike, I loved to adorn it with accessories. An incident last week reminded me of my childhood penchant for bike accessories. Let me explain: After wearing out my first bike, a used 26” balloon tired model, at ...

Repainting the barn quilts

The first time I got acquainted with a barn quilt I was standing next to a big, old, weathered wooden barn as a woman painted a barn quilt directly on the faded hay mow door. A scaffold was set up so she could easily cross from side to side with her brushes and paints as she went carefully ...

Last roses of summer

With the arrival of autumn, area rose gardeners are enjoying a new flush of fall blooms. After a long, hot summer, most roses will produce a new batch of flowers in response to the less stressful environment provided by cooler days of the season. Interestingly, Irish poet Thomas Moore was ...

Aspiring to be a lifelong learner

The older I get, the more important I think learning is to being a well-rounded citizen of the world. Especially, in this day and age of “fake” or “alternative” news, one must be careful where that knowledge originates. Think about how times have changed since the 1960s or 1970s. ...

Enjoying a meal as a family

September is National Family Meals Month, I just discovered, designed to encourage families to share meals at home together. This promotion asks that families commit to eating just one more meal together each week. There is lots of research that shows the benefits of having family ...

Welcome to the Dieters’ Comedy Club

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Dieters’ Comedy Club. This is the comedy club for people who feel they need to diet but would rather just laugh about it. Boy it’s been a long, hot summer, hasn’t it? I think Climate Change is shrinking my shirts. All those ...

Doodlebugs and dancing

It’s been another busy week here in Webster City and the weekend is shaping up to be busier still. We’ve had individuals scooting in from across the country for the WC Doodlebug Club of America’s 31st Annual Reunion. I’m sure many of you have seen the red motorized vehicles traveling ...

‘Mums’ the word

A not so "secret" plant which serves as a great addition to the fall garden, is the chrysanthemum. Available in a wide array of color, form and sizes, hardy mums provide a splash of color to brighten an otherwise browning Iowa autumn landscape. Hardy garden mums are available as perennial ...

Fall for trophy walleyes

To many anglers across the Midwest, walleyes are king. Folks who fish like to catch walleyes. Walleyes are great on the table, and although some say a walleye’s fight is sluggish, on proper walleye gear, marble-eyed fish represent themselves very well. They may not jump like a smallmouth ...

The legacy of friendship

As I age, I have come to realize that my parents taught me many life lessons, but in our house there wasn’t a lot of verbal instruction. They taught by example, and I learned without even realizing it. One of those lessons was how to make friends, how to be a friend, and just how ...

Discovering unemployment benefits

Ten years ago at this time I was unemployed. My situation was my choice. Seven years earlier I had made what I thought was an excellent career move. I loved that job but for the first time in my career my boss and I didn’t get along and that’s a polite description of my dilemma. Two ...

Scooting right along

The ‘Bugs are back! And no, I don’t mean the little critters flying and crawling about, I mean the Doodlebugs! Every September a piece of Webster City history is remembered and celebrated by locals and visitors. For the last 30 years, the Doodlebug Club of America has been meeting in ...

Common milkweed – friend or foe?

Do you remember decades ago when “walking beans” was a common way for area youth to earn pocket money, by removing milkweed and other weeds from soybean fields? Pulling, hoeing or corn knives were among the arsenal used. Next came the era of “riding the sprayer” involving sitting on ...

Communicating in the language of the heart

A family member who serves as a Christian missionary in Africa recounted in a recent Facebook post how the ability to communicate in a native language is helpful. She and her missionary aviator husband needed quick access to an airport hangar to secure essential parts but they were in their ...

A trip to remember

I went fishing to one of my all-time favorite places recently, Lake Kabetogama in the Voyageur’s National Park in northern Minnesota. I’ve been to Kab many times in the past fifteen years. I go there for several reasons, but mostly because it’s a world class fishery for a variety of ...

An ode to the arts

This week the downtown ArtSpace bid farewell to its first-ever Artist in Residence, Cord McMahon. McMahon has been working on his art medium of mixed media collage during his time in Webster City. With a passion for dogs and collage, individuals who passed by his studio over the last few ...

An invitation to ride

In 2014, a 60-year-old, white woman boarded a bus in Des Moines, Iowa, bound for Chicago, Ill. She was terrified at the prospect of having to travel on a bus full of “scary” strangers to a crowded, even scarier place. She had spent the last 20 years, leading a sheltered life in a small ...

Beautiful day in the neighborhood

I really miss Fred Rogers. Fred Rogers, aka Mr. Rogers, has always been a personal hero of mine. He had such a kind and reassuring way of talking to children. He stressed the importance of play to learning, being kind to one another and was a great proponent of accepting diversity. I ...

Sedum – fabulous for fall

A great plant that has stood up to this summer’s drought and heat in Iowa, and now providing fall blooms for pollinators, is the versatile and easy-care sedum. Adaptable to most growing sites, sedum is an excellent choice for fall color in the garden, with low-watering needs and comes in a ...