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SENTINEL ,TRIBUNE Wednesday, November 27, 2013 Page 4 BETWEEN THE LINES "Stories from the BaH Cave" ByTom Merchant- Sentinel Tribune -- tmerchant@ncppub.com Marital bliss It wasn't right that they had a My wife and I were eating in a medium if they didn't have both a nice restaurant. It had menus that Thanksgiving the last commercially untouched Bill Egar of Bozeman, Montana small and a large. Without a large, were hard to read because of the holiday? told me that he snores loudly but the medium, no matter what size it low lighting meant to provide an his wife never hears it. She takes truly was, became a large, ambiance that encouraged ambi- I ordered a medium iced tea. tious spending. I pointed to an In the past I wrote how nice it was that the Thanksgiving Holiday her hearing aids out when she goes Ties that bind older couple seated across the was relatively untouched by commercialism. Aside from the fact that to bed. He has to yell sweet noth- I bought shoestrings for the fast restaurant from us and said to my grocers have always had Thanksgiving geared grocery sales, ings in her ear. time in years. I replaced old ones wife, "That's us in ten years." For sometime it has been a tradition with some families and indi- He does what he cane viduals to participate in Black Friday sales. At first it was just most Cheryl McRoberts works at the that refused to wear out. I didn't My lovely bride glanced in their retailers would hold special early openings on the Friday following American Bald Eagle Foundation like the old shoelaces, so they direction and replied, "That's a Thanksgiving. While I have no interest in it myself, I have no prob- would have lasted forever. The new mirror." lems with it for those who enjoy it. in Haines, Alaska. She had been troubled with fluid on the knee. laces tied tighter and more securely Clever cat However, due to competition, the retailers that have done it also A visitor forgot his walking cane than their predecessors. The shoe- I watched the cat sleep. It sleeps have been creeping up with their opening time, at first it was around 6 there. When he returned to retrieve strings turned my old shoes into 23 hours a day because it's sleep- a.m. then it gradually crept earlier until it reached midnight the night his cane, he saw Cheryl limping, new ones. As I laced my shoes, I ing for 9 lives. It was the middle of before. Not satisfied with their gluttony for more sales, several of the He gave her the cane, saying that couldn't remember the last time I'd the night and the world was quiet. big retailers have moved up their opening for Black Friday to she needed it more than he did. broken a shoestring. A boyhood Suddenly, the cat's head pops up. Thanksgiving Day! what's next open on Christmas Day? The mail must go through shoelace had numerous, ugly knots Its eyes were wide and the feline why not just move Thanksgiving to Saturday, that way the stores Our rural mail cartier is Brad to keep it in one piece, had that "Oh, no!" look. I rose can move their Black Friday Sales up to all week before Thanksgiving. Spooner. Each morning he bundles Show and tell from my chair and looked out After all Thanksgiving is not tied into any specific event date. the mail for each of the owners of Charlene Lincoln of Frost was a the window to see if I could pick I was listening to the old timers station, WCCO, and there were a a mailbox on his substantial route, teacher for many years. One year, something out of the darkness that lot of people calling in saying they were not going to even participate. He ends up with a car filled with she had a grade school student the cat's keen ears had detected. I They said when it was just on Friday, Black Friday participants would an assemblage of mail. He drives bring a Cool Whip container filled saw nothing. I returned to my book get together and plan their strategies to get up early Friday morning to the route, stopping at each mail- with wood ticks. Charlene must to find the cat sound asleep in my go in hot pursuit of bargains, box. Driving from the wrong side have had a certain look on her face chair. Of course one of the problems with them being open on these spe- of the car, he opens a mailbox, as the child said, "Don't worry, I know hymn eial days is someone has to take time away from their families do it. grabs its bundle of mail, and stuffs Mrs. Lincoln, I punched air holes I was at a funeral, when a neigh- In some cases it is voluntary, and other times it is not. At the very least it into the mailbox. He closes the in the cover." bar, Ran Bartness, told me, "Times those people that are asked to work on these holidays should be paid box and moves onto the next mail- Tales from one marriage like this remind us how important no less than time and a half or double time. Of course there are those box. There, he repeats the process Harold Mac of Roseville told me neighbors are." who would welcome the extra hours, and they should be used on a vol- by putting the next bundle in it. that when he headed to Europe as Someone sang "I Come to the untary basis. He arranges the bundles so that a soldier during World War II, his Garden Alone." Well, people like to complain about these things, but as long as father warned him to look out for "I come to the garden alone. they are in an order matching the French girls. While the dew is still on the roses. people show up it is likely to continue for a long time. These business- sequence of mailboxes. There is no Harold brought home a German And the voice I hear falling on my es wouldn't do it if it didn't help their bottom line. In the end that is truth to the rumor that if someone bride, ear. The Son of God discloses." the only thing that matters to them. on Brad's route gets no mail on This year it would work for Best Friend and I, as we are celebrat- a particular day that the mail for His father had not warned him I have heard that hymn 100 ing Thanksgiving on the Saturday before at son Joseph and his wife everyone down the line is one mail- about German girls, times at 100 funerals, and cried 100 Michele' place. On the real Thanksgiving Day we will probably relax box off. No truth at all. Dying to be there times. at home and have spaghetti for supper. I like to think we are very Caf6 chronicles Deb Kenison of Ellendale said blessed and thankful for our family and everything we have in our I asked the waitress for a large that she once asked her father if he A1Batt 2013 lives, iced tea. was going to a man's funeral. Her 71622 325 St. I sincerely want to wish each and everyone of you a blessed "We have only small and medi- father replied, "No. why should I? 1-1, MN 56042 Thanksgiving. He's not going to go to mine." http://albatt.net/ Have a great week and do good! um," she said. And from another O U rna IS a curse .... By Glenn Mollette band lost everything but they clung The fast Thanksgiving was sur- to each other because they still had rounded by life's hardships. The each other." In the middle of losing early settlers were bombarded with everything they were grateful for extreme weather, hunger, sickness each other. The Philippines were and death. Those who had survived almost wiped off the map because believed the best they could do was of the most horrific typhoon ever to stop and give thanks, recorded. Those people are suffer- Too many throughout America are ing. looking past Thanksgiving. Either We don't want pain and suffer- we don't want to think about it or ing. Yet, it's almost impossible to we are looking to black Friday, live very long without experiencing Christmas or just trying to get both. A man in the Bible by the through the year. The aggravations name of Job lost everything. He of the world often drive us to feeling lost his children, his entire wealth beaten down and we become bitter and his health. Job suffered and and resentful instead of thankful, lost everything. His wife told him When we live with gratitude our to curse God and die. Job looked to lives are more peaceful. Gratitude his creator in spite of circumstances. is a great stress reliever because we He never lost his sense of gratitude are looking to God and thanking toward God even in the blackest Him. A thankful life is a healthy hours of his life. He said, "Though life emotionally and physically. In he slay me, yet will I hope in him," Gratitude we focus on the positive Job 13:15. In his last years of life instead of the negative. We focus on Job ended up with more than ever the giver of life and not everything before. Gratitude was the beginning that is wrong with life. step to a new life for Job. How well we know that life is You may not feel life is going filled with suffering. Tornadoes your way. Stop and give thanks. destroyed towns throughout the Giving thanks is often the first step Midwest last week. Thousands of to better days. Glenn Molletteis an people were devastated. One eve- American columnist read in all fifiy states. ning news sound bite was a woman Contact him at GMollette@aol.com in tears saying that she and her hus- Letter Policy "We welcome your participation, whether in letters or commentary. If possible, please make your submission by e-mail to sentrib@ncp- pub.com. Conventional mail address is Sentinel Tribune, P.O. Box 98, Westbrook, MN 56183. Our Fax number is 507-274-6137. We require submissions be original in our market area (no form letters please). All must include writers name, address, and day time telephone number. Letters should be brief, up to 250 words, other submissions should be no longer than 500 words. Original items can not be returned unless the writer would pick them up at the office or send self addressed stamped envelope. No items will be kept longer than 30 days. We reserve the right to edit or refuse publication of any submitted letters or stories." Thanking people/groups/organizations has to be run as a Thank You ad and will not be run as a Letter to the Editor. By Lee H. Hamilton trends. As a whole, media outlets Which brings us to Edward are less interested than they used Let's start with the obvious: A Snowden's revelations to the press to be in accuracy, objectivity, and democracy needs intelligence agen- about the National Security Agency solid coverage, and more interested cies. It needs to know what's hap- and its vast efforts to monitor cam- in advocacy, persuasion, and enter- pening in the world -- and under- munications. Around Washington, tainment. Even at the largest papers, stand the plans of allies and enemies Snowdenis routinely excoriated, and cutbacks have reined in their ability -- to keep the nation prepared and he's none too popular in the country to cover the world and to launch secure, at large, either. But whether he's expensive investigative work. The If intelligence work is going to a hero or a criminal in your book, recent rise of alternatives -- such be effective, much of it has to be there's no question that because of as the non-profit ProPublica and the done in secret. "National security" him, we know far more about the investigative reporting venture just is not merely an excuse for keeping surveillance our government has announced by eBay founder Pierre intelligence activity under wraps: been carrying out. The expansion Omidyar- may go some distance often, the only way to protect our of government power that the leaks toward recovering what's been lost, collective well-being is to pursue reveal is without precedent in the but they're also an acknowledge- many national security activities, modem era. Technology, along with ment that we have lost ground. including intelligence-gathering, in the surveillance and monitoring it And we've done so precisely at the dark. enables, has clearly outnm the poli- a time when we face a real chal- But that's if they're legitimate- cies to deal with it. lenge in constraining the reach of ly in the national interest. All too government into our lives. Its paw- often, governments use secrecy to Although many commentators have ers of monitoring and surveillance protect themselves politically or raised questions about Snowden's are astonishing and are being used to shroud activities that, seen in leaks, the journalists who have aggressively. It is classifying secret the cold light of day, their citizens dug into the NSA files he provided information wholesale, it is vigor- would reject. This is why secrecy are doing the job that democracy ously seeking to prosecute leaks, in government can be dangerous, depends on them to do: getting and it is trying to intimidate jour- and should be subject to the checks information that details govern- nalists: all of these are signs of a and balances of our constitutional ment actions and prompting a badly national security state that is deter- system, needed debate. It's one of the most mined to bulk up. However legitimate secrecy may important ways to hold govern- Congress is only now beginning be, though, there is a limit to how ment accountable for the use of its to stir; until recently it has beeri a much a democracy can stand. As power. Our ability to judge whether passive and willing participant in ordinary citizens, we need informa- it acted appropriately or abusively secrecy. At a moment like this, we tion about what our government is and to act as responsible citizens have to depend more than ever on up to in order to make informed and is buttressed by journalists who are the curiosity, skill and determina- discriminating choices about politi- skilled at finding and keeping con- tion of good reporters to spur the cians and policies. Joumalists and fidential sources, who know how kind of debate we should be hav- their media outlets are indispensable to dig through copious records or ing as our society tries to strike the conveyors of this information. The amounts of data, who have learned right balance between security and work of the journalist, who often how to build a story from a tip or a freedom. presses for a more open, account- leak, and who are accurate, honest, Lee Hamilton is Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a able government, creates tensions rigorous and fair-minded, member of the U.S. House of Representatives with a government set upon guard- Now, I don't want to whitewash for 34years ing state secrets. But it's a healthy, what's happening in the media right much-needed tension, now. There are plenty of worrisome .L (ISSN 8750-3905) Thomas Merchant Managing Editor Junette Merchant Office & Production Joan Spielman Ad Representative & Office Published every Wednesday at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 Periodicals Postage Paid at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 SUBSCRIPTION PRICE FOR THE SENTINEL TRIBUNE WILL BE: In the following counties: Cottonwood, Redwood, and Murray $42.00 per year Elsewhere in Minnesota $46.00 per year. Out of the state $52.00 per year. Canada and foreign countries inquire at the Sentinel Tribune Office. If wrong amount is submitted subscrip- tion will be pro rated accordingly.. 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