Local Columns

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 ...

Panfish in the fall

Most anglers are pretty open-minded when it comes to fishing. Some have their favorite species of fish and they concentrate on that specie. Other anglers, in fact most anglers, just want to have something pulling back on the end of their line. They would rather catch a bunch of bass than ...

Murphy’s Law extended: Huisman’s Laws

Most everyone knows about Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” It is the cynical law which supersedes all other cynical laws. After more than a half century of observation I have compiled a list of other cynical laws ̶ all sub-parts of Murphy’s Law. Here, ...

There are good people everywhere

So there I was in Ames, a few weeks back on one of those blistering hot, sunny days. I was running errands and had to stop at just two stores before I had an appointment downtown. Then, I figured, I could just go home and get out of all the concrete and cars and heat. As I exited my car ...

A really ‘grape’ day

I had quite the Thursday. I got up at the crack of dawn (okay, more like 6 a.m.) to prepare for my first interview of the day. As I am the opposite of a morning person, this in itself was truly a feat. I made my coffee, organized my thoughts and headed out the door. I was just to my garage ...

A new school year begins

Today’s the first day back to school for Webster City students. I don’t know about the rest of the kids in town, but my son was ready to get back into the regular routine, see his friends and enjoy all of the activities. This is the second-to-last first day of school for our family. My ...

The basics of composting

With the garden season starting to wind down, now is a great time to think about creating a home compost pile. Many gardeners consider compost as good as gold when added to garden soil. Compost tilled into the garden helps to improve drainage, adds moisture and nutrient retention, plus ...

Some ideas for catching more fish in clear water

Autumn is quickly approaching, and in many areas, the water clears up in the fall. This is due to several things within the ecosystem, but the reality is, autumn waters can be clearer, and that will affect how we the fish react. And how the fish react should have an impact on how we react to ...