Skip to main content

on second thought

  • By Lori Sorenson, editor
    October 26, 2021
    Carson and Gracie carved a Jack-o-lantern one crisp autumn day in early October. They selected a well-shaped, nicely textured pumpkin with a well-positioned flat spot for optimal display. On a Saturday between college homework, they scooped out the innards, baked the seeds and carved a toothy smile that they illuminated with a battery-powered votive candle. And life was good. It grinned proudly…
  • October 05, 2021
    It’s time to organize my Star Herald plans for 2022. I know this because our month-at-a-glance, 14-month spiral-bound 2022 calendar planners were distributed this week at the office. Did I prefer a teal- or raspberry-colored plastic cover? I didn’t care. My planner is propped open on my desk so the cover is never visible. “Pick one.” I chose raspberry, but it looked more like cranberry. Not that…
  • By Lori Sorenson, editor
    September 14, 2021
    Don’t tell anyone, but I miss our old sports guy. By old, I mean he was the only one left there who’d been there longer than I had. I’ve been at the paper for 28 years if that tells you how old he is. I used to tell people we were like an old married couple. Our desks were next to each other with a short divider wall between us. He could hear me munching on snacks, and I could smell cigarettes…
  • By Lori Sorenson, editor
    August 17, 2021
    As a first-year gardener I’ve made plenty of rookie mistakes this growing season. … Planting too late in the spring, spacing plants too closely together, and not reading the directions on the seed labels. Actually, the garden wasn’t intended to be a garden in the first place. It started as a swath of dirt our neighbor turned over for us with his tiller. “How big do you want it your garden?” he…
  • 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
    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
    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
    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
    December 17, 2019
    Mom wasn’t a fan of Christmas. She didn’t raise her children to believe in Santa and our tree didn’t go up until well into December. Mostly Mom despised the commercialism of the holidays, openly cringing at the first Christmas ad on TV or first decorations to show up on store shelves. Of course, it didn’t help that the ag economy crashed when she and Dad had five children looking forward to gifts…
  • By Lori Sorenson
    September 17, 2019
    My husband’s parents, Arden and Mary Ellen, said good-bye this week to their little house on the banks of Split Rock Creek. The rolling green pastures, lush farm ground and thick grove of trees are deceptively tranquil considering the destructive force of the river in high-water years. For decades, a closely monitored sump pump kept flood damage at bay — until last week when an 8-inch deluge 30…
  • By Lori Sorenson, editor
    April 09, 2019
    “Sweet dreams,” “Living the dream, “Man of my dreams,” “In your dreams” … all imply that dreaming is a good thing. But my dreams are mostly weird. Like the ones that find me in my childhood home in the kitchen with yellow linoleum, rooster-patterned wallpaper and a black-and-white television on the counter.  There’s no real significance to the stories that play out in those dreams. They’re mostly…
Subscribe to on second thought

You must log in to continue reading. Log in or subscribe today.