Waseca County Pioneer 111 W. Elm Ave.

Waseca, MN (507) 837-6767


Memories, time, slippling by

One school graduation in our area down, two more to go.
I always knew Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton graduated its students earlier than most schools. However, I didn’t realize NRHEG graduated in June like Waseca.
Another school year passed by in no time. It only felt like two months ago that we were covering Waseca’s homecoming and I did the Jay Walk. But no, that was late September into early October.
We are nearing a year since the Waseca Pioneer established itself as a newspaper. And what a year it’s been. Covering all the theater productions has probably been my favorite part of starting this paper and covering the city of Waseca. Oh, and covering hockey regularly is an absolute plus.
As we make the official push to summer, things will start picking up again. There will be a lot of fairs, outside events, and a bunch of other things to cover. The big events for Waseca will be Lakefest and the Waseca County Free Fair.
Last year, our paper worked hard to let everyone know who we are and what our priorities would be. The county fair was an excellent opportunity to do that. It fared well for us, as we had a lot of interested people sign up for our paper while half of the following week’s issue was strictly coverage of Waseca County Fair. Meanwhile, we had a photo booth where people could dress up in funny Vikings hats, wear weird glasses, and strike a pose on the throne.
I’ve enjoyed some semblance of a break from a demanding work schedule. You may notice that this week (and somewhat last week) has a lot less of my name on stories than usual. Part of it is because we got Jonah Stafford back earlier in May and Amelia Roessler has joined us once again after studying abroad in Spain. Another part of it is because I’ve focused more on family matters.
As many of you may remember, my grandma passed away in November. Around this time last year, she was diagnosed with stage five dementia, meaning that she had the most difficult time remembering things.
That led to her not only buying things she didn’t need, but doing so repeatedly. This past weekend, we had an estate sale, and we couldn’t even fit everything into the garage. Honestly, we probably needed two garages to fit all the stuff she had. To paint the picture, we had a dresser rack, a picnic table, and a coffee table full of just clothes from the past ten to 20 years. Never mind the several jackets my grandpa owned that were sitting in the closet since his passing in 2019.
Also, many people pointed out the dozen reading glasses grandma gathered throughout the years. She nearly had as many glasses as Visionworks…okay, maybe not that much. But there were at least three dozen pairs of glasses.
It gave me pause. We already knew she was going downhill fast: 2022 was a tough year for my grandma. But we never truly realized how bad her memory had become until we saw that she had a tote full of office supplies she didn’t even need, which included 50 packages of Post-It notes. I don’t know anyone who goes through one package in a year, let alone 50. Seeing all of her stuff in the garage was overwhelming.
Eventually, my mom will be selling my grandparents’ house, and the place that we all knew for so many years as a second home will no longer be in our family. I think it’s finally starting to sink in. The den where I hung out with Grandma, the family room where I watched Johnny Bravo with Grandpa at night and watched Top Cat in the morning, and the garage where we always spent time together as a family…all of that will be nothing but memories: We will no longer be able to reminisce while surrounded by the house itself.
My grandparents built their house in 1966 and finished it in 1967. It was a rural getaway from Mankato until about a decade ago, when their neighborhood was annexed by the city. And now, another change will come. Someone else will own that place, possibly start a family, and make their own memories.
Life goes on. But I will hold those memories with me forever. We’ll still have a few weeks until the house is for sale. Until then, I’ll take it all in as much as I can.
I am saddened to hear the news of Blair Nelson’s passing. Anyone who knew him knows he was a great man who was sometimes stubborn but was always hard working. He was a part-time comedian.
Perhaps you know that the County Pioneer office is behind the ReMax business Blair and Blain have run together for decades. I mean, you had to literally walk though ReMax to get to our space. Because of that, we had many opportunities to shoot the breeze. I think out of everyone in the office, Blair and I shared the most similar political views, so the debates and talks we had were hilarious and thought provoking. I often saw his family around the office and around town, which was a bonus. We talked a lot about football and hockey, especially the latter since his granddaughter is part of the Waseca girls’ hockey team and his son-in-law is the head coach.
It’s tough to think about him being gone and put it into words. He was one of the more active men in his sixties, that I knew. I can only hope he is in a good place now, talking with someone about politics or the Minnesota Golden Gophers girls’ basketball team. Rest in peace, Blair. God bless.


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Waseca, MN

(507) 837-6767


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