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lori sorenson

  • By Lori Sorenson, editor
    June 22, 2021
    I stood at the bottom of the inflatable water slide with my cell phone camera pointed at the kids tumbling through the spray and landing in a laughing heap in a puddle at the bottom. I was there on official business as the Star Herald photographer covering Hills Friendship Days, but the kids didn’t know this. A few of them looked sideways at me as they pivoted their bare feet in the muddy grass…
  • By Lori Sorenson, editor
    May 25, 2021
    Hunting season is upon us, and I don’t mean pheasants or deer. I’m talking about asparagus — spotting it in its natural environment, camouflaged in roadside ditches and grassy field driveways. Asparagus hunting involves special wild game hunting instincts not utilized with big game or birds. It requires an eagle eye and heightened peripheral vision in order to spot a single green stalk among tall…
  • By Lori Sorenson, editor
    May 04, 2021
    There’s a reason music therapy is popular in nursing homes. Songs have a way of stirring memories that carry us back in time, often to happy moments of our youth. Today’s 85-year-olds still enjoy the “big band” sounds that they once danced to, and 75-year-olds may smile to hear Elvis Presley or Johnny Cash. I’ve thought about which songs would stir happy memories when I’m older and needing some…
  • By Lori Sorenson, editor
    April 13, 2021
    Gray, rainy weather, combined with some minor sleep deprivation, prompted a recent pity party in my honor. Why does metabolism slow to a crawl after 50? For that matter, why is gravity so ruthless and gray roots so stubborn? Are my children happy? Was I a good mom in the fleeting years when I had a chance? Had I been a good daughter and made the most of those final days with my parents? And there…
  • By Lori Sorenson, editor
    March 16, 2021
    The community received long-awaited news last week from the Sheriff’s Office that suspects had been arrested in connection with the holiday vandalism at the city park. Businesses, organizations and individuals had put careful, creative consideration into their lighted displays, not to mention long hours and personal expense. And it paid off in a big way. Anyone who showed up for the fireworks and…
  • By Lori Sorenson, editor
    February 23, 2021
    While recently signing farm paperwork for my late parents’ estate, I came across some documents with both Mom’s and Dad’s signatures that were dated decades ago. I ran my finger lightly over the ink they had pressed into the paper, and my mind briefly wandered to their younger years when conservation reserve acres were part of their farm planning. Their side-by-side signatures were neat and fluid…
  • By Lori Sorenson, editor
    January 25, 2021
    In my early days at the paper, my friend and fellow writer, Carole Olson, wrote a Star Herald column about the NIMBY phenomenon — Not In My Back Yard. I don’t remember what the issue was — perhaps the airport runway expansion, and the nimbys had been articulate. They supported the project in general, as long as it didn’t affect them directly. The words in Carole’s column gently reminded us that a…
  • By Lori Sorenson, editor
    January 05, 2021
    My sisters and I met Sunday afternoon at the farm for an impromptu social gathering. There are five of us, but only four could make it on short notice, and it was just us — no husbands, no kids, no grandkids and, of course, no Mom and Dad. Mom died in September of 2019, and Dad died in August of 2020. The sisters and our families spent a lot of time at the farm last fall going through things in…
  • By Lori Sorenson, editor
    December 15, 2020
    We have a leg lamp on display in our western Rock County neighborhood, proudly illuminated in a highway-facing window. It was a highly-anticipated mail-order gift, and the neighbors (our friends) documented its delivery in a series of group text images. First came a photo of the “major award” assembled and plugged in. Then, to prove its authenticity, came a photo of the delivery box with large…
  • By Lori Sorenson, editor
    November 10, 2020
    A group text among my sisters typically makes the rounds during holidays: “When and where will we gather?” and "Who’s bringing what for food?” But this year we’re asking, “Should we gather?” And if so, “How can we safely gather?” There are five of us sisters, and with our growing families we’re about two dozen people. We love each other dearly, and with both of our parents recently passing,…
  • By Lori Sorenson, editor
    October 20, 2020
    On Friday I’ll turn 52. It’s not a landmark birthday, but it feels like more of a landmark than birthdays 40 and 50 combined. My dad died in August within a year of my mom’s death last fall. It has been “quite a year,” as a friend noted in the grocery store last week. Yes, it has. In more ways than one. I contemplated my reply when she asked how I was doing. “You’ve sure had a lot,” she said…
  • By Lori Sorenson, editor
    September 22, 2020
    My kitchen smelled amazing Saturday. The stovetop was a happy place of simmering aromatic good stuff from the garden. Not from my garden. I don’t have a garden. But you wouldn’t know it judging by the abundance of garden produce that accumulates regularly on my countertops and in my fridge. Cucumbers and green beans in the spring. Potatoes and tomatoes midway through summer. And squash in the…
  • By Lori Sorenson, editor
    August 25, 2020
    My grade school report cards surfaced during a recent cleaning at my childhood home. The yellowed paper told the story of a good student, with mostly As and some Bs, but she had trouble following instructions. In the section for teacher observations, the line, “Listens well to instructions,” sometimes was noted with a minus sign rather than a satisfactory plus sign. It used to annoy me, but it…
  • By Lori Sorenson, editor
    July 28, 2020
    I returned to the Star Herald office Monday after a refreshing vacation in the crisp dry air of the South Dakota Black Hills. The 80-degree, 70-percent humidity weather that welcomed us home was hard enough, but Monday was Day 1 of Minnesota’s indoor mask mandate. I hate to complain, but it was a bit of a struggle, especially considering the outdoor breathing I’d grown fond of on the ATV trails.…
  • By Lori Sorenson, editor
    June 30, 2020
    A “novel” virus is, by definition, a new virus, not previously identified. When it emerged six months ago scientists knew nothing about it, except that it was highly contagious and could kill people. Today we know a little about it, like how it’s transmitted and what it’s capable of. But mostly, it seems, the more we learn, the less we know. Things at first believed to be true about it (like, it…
  • By Lori Sorenson, editor
    June 02, 2020
    More than once in the past several days, I’ve opened my mouth to say something profound, but stopped short, realizing that words aren’t enough. There simply are no words to describe the occurrences of the past week in Minneapolis and their ripple effect statewide and now in cities across the nation. There are no words to explain why a police officer would lean on the neck of an already handcuffed…
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