×

Local Columns

An informative library website

Do you know all that Kendall Young Library’s website has to offer? We have many tools, policies, databases, and information to make your lives easier, The website provides general information and links to further information such as hours, address, phone number, current event information, ...

Saying good-bye to Mom’s house

It’s final. As the executor for my mother’s estate I signed the papers earlier this month handing over my mother’s house to a new owner. Mom died at age 91 in late November leaving behind six children, six in-laws and a host of grandchildren and great-grandchildren who are all slowly ...

Iowa has many unique attractions

It turns out that there are plenty of unique attractions in Iowa, according to the book “Oddball Iowa, A Guide to Some Really Strange Places.” For about ten years I got to do some traveling around our state when I wrote features for an Iowa magazine. It was fun, and that's when I ...

Ice fishing memories

Boy oh boy what a change: When the new year started a couple of months ago we were looking at a very mild winter. The ice wasn’t as thick as it usually is at that time of year, and there wasn’t much snow around either. Flash forward to early March and there’s plenty of ice and too ...

God be with you: A better way to say goodbye

The English-speaking world’s most common expression of farewell, “goodbye,” originated in the 16th century as “God be with you.” Through a series of metamorphoses over the next two centuries it became the contraction we use today. Its history notwithstanding, I dislike the term. ...

Traveling to see Iowa’s history

When I was in sixth grade, we took a class on Iowa history. I don’t remember how often we had the class, but I do remember that at least once a week my whole class trooped down to the lunchroom in the lower level of the old Stanhope school building to watch a program on public television ...

Good Samaritans all around us

The last two weeks have been harsh — weather-wise, that is. Mother Nature gave Hamilton County and Iowa in general much more than our share of snow and cold. It’s often during these difficult times that we realize the goodness and generosity of people in our community. You know, people ...

The changing world of fishing

On a recent or past episode of Fishing the Midwest television depending on where you live, we talked about some of the changes that have taken place in the world of fishing. I’ve been fishing for a little more than 5 decades and have seen many changes. Most of those changes have been for ...

Gone fishing

There are lots of fishing seasons and ways to go fishing. In some parts of the world right now it’s ice-fishing season, but in others it’s open water season. In some places it crappie season, in others it’s perch season. In some places we go spinnerbaiting for bass or jigging for ...

A simple act of kindness

So there I was, standing in a short line at a busy convenience store waiting to pay for the cup of coffee I was holding. The customer in front of me was purchasing an energy drink and a tin of chewing tobacco, so you know he is decades younger than me. For some reason, his was a lengthy ...

Outgrowing your dream

At a monthly luncheon with a group of other aging baby boomers, a conversation with a few old friends turned to the matter of unachieved goals. Now in retirement, what life goals did we not achieve during our younger years? I quickly identified my unachieved goal: learning to fly. As a ...

Must have tools for fishing

Some fishing friends and I got into a conversation recently, and as usual, the talk turned to fishing. We talked about ice-fishing and we talked about open water fishing. We talked about techniques for fishing and we talked about favorite places to go fishing. After exhausting all those ...

Jumpstart spring indoors

Spring. Are you counting down the days? Why not bring a breath of spring indoors by forcing flowering branches. The term "forcing" in horticulture terms is a method to speed up plant growth by artificially controlling heat and light to encourage early flowering. With branches from ...

Just how cold was it?

The recent cold snap generated a lot of “I remember when it was so cold…” comments. Most of us who have been around Iowa for a while can remember periods of sub-zero temperatures and how we coped with them. My first few years were spent in Kossuth and Winnebago counties up on the ...

Warm sweaters and cuddly cats

Having a cat in your lap is something like putting on a sweater to chase away the chills of a frigid January like what we’re suffering through. The same could be said for a cool fall day, too. This is the time of year when my cat Maxine and her habit of quietly leaping onto my lap is ...

Houseplant hints

During the cold winter weather, there is not much gardening to do outside. But for those with houseplants, we will take a look at the importance of water, as a variety of water quality factors should be considered. Water plays a role in transporting nutrients from the soil up through the ...

The best method of snow removal

It was about 9:15 on a recent Saturday morning. We had received three inches of snow the night before, the outside temp was 12-above and I was working up the ambition to go outside to remove snow from our driveway. Comfortably (and warmly) ensconced in my recliner I was watching Iowa ...

School memories

One of the reasons I like to read obituaries is because I get to see where the deceased went to school. If they were in their 80s or 90s when they passed, it’s a chance to see the names of Iowa schools that no longer exist. In fact, it’s not unusual for some of those towns to no longer ...

Mid-winter yellow bass

I just completed an ice-fishing trip that I had really been looking forward to. Kevan Paul and I had been trying to make plans to get out on the lake that he guides on, Clear Lake in north central Iowa. In mid-January everything came together. We wanted to headquarter out of my CORE ICE ...

A most productive open-water technique

Ice-fishing so far this ice-season has been strange. First the ice in my area of north Iowa is safe, then it isn’t. I haven’t been out much, which means that I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about fishing, through the ice and otherwise. Awhile back I shared two of my favorite ways ...