Waseca County Pioneer 111 W. Elm Ave.

Waseca, MN (507) 837-6767


Things that made me smile

Things that made me smile on my drive to work:
When I turned on my car, the airflow from my air vents was impressive. My husband had done me the favor of changing the “cabin” air filter, and it made an amazing difference.
The hummingbirds on my yard were buzzing around the feeders; they’re still here–or at least, some of them are. Hummingbirds always make me smile.
Driving toward Waseca, I saw a small flock of turkeys as they ducked into the grass along the roadside. 
A few moments later, there was a group of pheasants. Some of them were half-grown at most, and seemed utterly confused how to respond to the passing of my car. I couldn’t help smiling at their innocence.
The geraniums outside Trinity Lutheran Church of Wilton, which I pass on the way to Waseca, were still blooming. The church was outlined beautifully against the crystal blue sky.
A rustic-looking farmer was driving a rustic-looking tractor along the road ahead of me. He smiled and waved as I passed.
I thought of my interview with Caleb Penic, operations manager with Cathedral Crafts, a stained glass window company located in Winona. Caleb spoke with me while working on a refurbishment project at All Saints Catholic Church in New Richland. I could not help smiling as I thought of his dedication to his craft, his deep appreciation of the craftsmanship in All Saints’ windows, and the fond memories he expressed of Father Michael Cronin, who initiated the window work in 2018.
Thinking of sweet people, I then thought of my interview with NRHEG school counselor Liz Stiernagle, who chose to be a “gestational carrier”--sometimes phrased “surrogate mother”--for a Minnesota couple. I had to smile as I remembered the motive she named for taking on the year-long task. The simplest way to phrase it is, she wanted to help make the world a better place by helping an infertile couple become parents.
As I passed a cemetery, I thought of some of the people I know who are no longer with us, and all they have meant to me.
Stopping at a convenience store for a glass of soda, I smiled at the sound of the ice landing in the cup. It is a summer sound, and since it’s not September 21 yet, I like to think of it as still being summer.
Walking into the Pioneer’s new office, I smiled at how pleasant it looks, and remembered the time, work, and people it took to get it looking this way.
Sitting down to write, I smiled thinking of the many opportunities I have to learn people’s stories and write them.
I smiled at the idea of writing a column about smiles. We are all truly blessed; we should never fail to recognize the positive and beautiful things that happen all around us.


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