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Sunday, November 1, 2015. I'm nearly caught up on 'autumn' photos.

Near the corner of Ash and South 9th: I like the clouds in this scene. (October 7, 2015)

I got a little closer, getting a better look at this tree. (October 7, 2015)

Halloween's come and gone, we re-set clocks after the seemingly-inevitable 'fall back' part of daylight savings time, and I'm getting used to the sun setting an hour 'earlier' than it did on Saturday.

Sunday, October 25, 2015. Still catching up. It's still autumn in Minnesota: beautifully clear skies followed by overcast, drizzle, and wind. Not necessarily in that order.

Fall color, just one, red. (October 6, 2015)

Looking east on South 9th, toward the public school. (October 6, 2015)

Still more fall colors. (October 7, 2015)

Halloween's coming this week. I'm looking forward to that.

Sunday, October 18, 2015. I'm back, finally. A few weeks ago, my son heard my computer's hard drive clattering, and said that it was about ready to fail. I agreed with him, so he installed a new drive: upgrading to Windows 10 while he was at it.

The process took a little over a day, after which I started re-installing software, fonts, and all that. I also took a sort of in-house vacation from my usual routines. But now I'm "back," and catching up.

Construction at St. Paul's, a few weeks back. (September 30, 2015)

Fall colors. (September 30, 2015)

More fall colors. (September 30, 2015)

Lots of pumpkins outside Coborn's. (September 30, 2015)

I found what I'm quite certain is the house being driven down Ash Street on September 25. It's now in what had been a vacant lot: the one I showed in the September 20 post.

House movers, at their destination. (October 6, 2015)

I'll try to stay current, and show a few more photos I've taken this month.

Sunday, September 27, 2015. The 'supermoon eclipse' is happening as I write this. It's overcast, and likely to stay that way, so I won't actually see it. Wikipedia has a pretty good page on the eclipse, including background on what's happening.

Other than that, and a photo I caught from my webcam, I don't have much to say this week - - -

Friday morning: a very slow moving vehicle on south Ash, seen through my webcam. (September 25, 2015)

- - - except that it's starting to feel like autumn, and some trees are changing color.

Sunday, September 20, 2015. - - - Three weeks later, not one: but I'm back with two photos.

Construction at St. Paul's: foundation in place, some work showing above ground. (September 16, 2015)

Another construction site in Sauk Centre's south side. This was a vacant with a children's park 'rider' for many years. (September 16, 2015)

I'd say 'see you next week,' but maybe it'll be 'see you later.' Either way: enjoy the end of summer-like weather while it's here.

Sunday, August 30, 2015. The school year starts Tuesday, September 1. Then, a few days later: Labor Day weekend; and school starts again on the 7th.

I took a closer look at the downtown mural this week: and noticed that the Sauk Centre in the mural has a steam engine at the depot, and a building that's not there any more, across the street. The railway depot building is still around: housing Depot Feeds.

Downtown Sauk Centre's mural: complete, apparently. (August 26, 2015)

A closer look at downtown Sauk Centre: as it was. (August 26, 2015)

A well-tended garden on Sauk Centre's south side. (August 26, 2015)

That's it for now. I'll see you next week.

Sunday, August 23, 2015. The school year will be starting soon. I've seen a few recreational vehicles go by outside, probably being driven home after the summer's: recreating?

It's been overcast and raining about half the time this week, including Friday and Saturday: when I made an unexpected delivery to North Dakota. I was filling in for my son, who wasn't able to go: and so spent a few hours visiting with the kids and granddaughter up there.

These are the last photos from the Stearns County Fair.

In the 4-H building, mostly photography displays. (August 1, 2015)

I always stop by the model rocket table, remembering when I made that sort of thing. (August 1, 2015)

Nicely-framed clouds, seen through the 4-H building's west door. (August 1, 2015)

And walking back through the midway, on my way home. (August 1, 2015)

A patch of blue sky, branches being blown about: today felt like autumn. (August 23, 2015)

After spending much of Friday and Saturday either getting as much as what I'd planned to do finished, or driving to and from North Dakota, I'm fresh out of stuff to say. For me, that's an odd sensation.

Sunday, August 16, 2015. Another week has gone by, we've had sunshine and rain, the school year is lurking on the calendar, and I didn't take any photos.

There are, however, a few from the Stearns County Fair that I haven't shown yet.

The two smaller critters are leopard tortoises. The big fellow, imitating a rock, is an African spurred tortoise. (August 1, 2015)

Deer are fairly common here in Minnesota. Patagonian cavys, not so much. (August 1, 2015)

Those pictures were taken in the Conservation Club building. The critters are from the Hemker Park and Zoo, north of Freeport, about 15 minutes down the road: a family-run outfit that's been around since 1977. I've never been there, but members of my family have: and say it's a nice place.

Sunday, August 9, 2015. Last month I talked about the Ding Dong Cafe's owner getting ready to retire. The Ding Dong will, I'm confident, still be around when a new owner's found.

Pride of Main Street Dairy, not so much. This week's Sauk Centre Herald top story, after Jeff Otte's deep fried cheese curds and other Stearns County Fair fare, was "Pride of Main Street Dairy closed indefinitely."

The headline says it all: "Pride of Main Street Dairy closed...." (August 6, 2015)

Sounds like Lifeway Foods, an Illinois-based company, is moving the production processes Main Street Dairy handled to Wisconsin or Illinois. That's put 11 of the 13 folks who worked at Main Street Dairy: out of work.

Someone's working in the office, and another doing building maintenance; the building's up for sale, and the small retail dairy store that was in the building is gone. I remember seeing Pride of Main Street Dairy's skim, 1%, 2%, whole and chocolate milk; and a few ice cream flavors; in Coborn's.

It was nice having locally-made dairy products, and looking for work is anything but fun: my experience, anyway. But I understand that change happens.

On a happier note, I don't think I shared these photos from the Sinclair Lewis Day parade, week before last.

Someone noted that kids scooting out to pick up goodies thrown from Sinclair Lewis Days Parade units reminded him of chickens going after corn. (July 18, 2015)

Sauk Centre's fire/emergency response department: new equipment - - - (July 18, 2015)

- - - and anything-but-new equipment. (July 18, 2015)

I've probably got photos from the Stearns County Fair, too: but those will wait until next week. Or the week after that, or whenever. That depends partly on whether I get any nifty pictures.

Monday, August 3, 2015. Stearns County Fair ended yesterday. I was feeling very relaxed yesterday, which is why Sunday's entry is showing up on Monday. It's a beautiful day, by the way.

The midway: it's noisy, fun, and maybe the most colorful end of the fair. (August 1, 2015)

Oddly enough, Stearns County Fair's midway is at the west end of the fairgrounds. (August 1, 2015)

I like Saturday afternoon and early evening at the fair. It's when you'll see the most families. (August 1, 2015)

The north lane - I don't know if that it's name, or if it has one - where the 'real' fair starts. Vendors and exhibitors are in booths by the lane, and in the buildings. The white roof, at the end of the lane, is one of the livestock buildings. I didn't get that far this year. (August 1, 2015)

There's more, but I'm saving those photos for next week.

Sunday, July 26, 2015. Stearns County Fair starts next week, and I've still got photos from last week's Sinclair Lewis Days parade to show.

Some folks get quite imaginative: like this furry unit. (July 18, 2015)

A tip of the hat to the River City Rhythm, for a particularly lively performance. They did a very good job. (July 18, 2015)

Here's the head of the parade, coming back past the corner of Ash and South 9th. (July 18, 2015)

And one of my favorite parts of the parade: the Coborn's grocery cart. Make that grocery carts this year. (July 18, 2015)

Next week, I'll have photos from the Fair. That's the idea, at least.

Sunday, July 19, 2015. It's been an interesting few weeks for the family. Among other things, my son-in-law and son have been designing and programming an industrial robot for Spiral Light Candle. That brought me and the other Sauk Centre Gills to North Dakota earlier this week. It's not quite 'life in Sauk Centre,' but — I'm a proud in-law/parent.

Spiral Light Candle factory, after hours. (July 13, 2015)

Meanwhile, back in Sauk Centre, the downtown mural on Sinclair Lewis Avenue is getting closer to completion.

Work in progress: the mural on Sinclair Lewis Avenue, at the corner of Sinclair and Main. (July 15, 2015)

Road work near the Interstate. (July 15, 2015)

It's an old joke. Minnesota's four seasons: fall, winter, spring, and road work. There's something to it.

Sinclair Lewis Days is over now. The parade route went by our house twice: which took a bit of coordination, letting an  outbound unit through the intersection while a returning one waited for its turn. It worked out fine, though.

Sinclair Lewis Days parade begins. (July 18, 2015)

Someone observed that the kids running out before another unit came, to pick up candy, reminded him of chickens going after seed. I see his point: and they were having fun. (July 18, 2015)

Sauk Centre fire/emergency department has at least one new(ish) vehicle - - - (July 18, 2015)

- - - and one that's very vintage. (July 18, 2015)

I've got more photos from the parade: but will spread them out over the next few weeks: along with pictures from the county fair. That's the plan, anyway.

Sunday, July 12, 2015. The Ding Dong Café has been around for 69 years, this week's Sauk Centre Herald says. It is not, the current owner says, going to become a bicycle shop: according to the Herald. Amazing, the rumors that get started. It is, however, for sale. The current owner, Judy Bailey, says she's getting ready to retire: after 20 years as owner, and four before that working there.

The Ding Dong is a cultural/community landmark here: small wonder this news made top story on the front page.

Ding Dong Café: front page news. (July 9, 2015)

Lots of lightning, thunder, and rain. From my webcam. (8:46 p.m. July 12, 2015)

A big thunderstorm has been rolling over Sauk Centre, and a large swath of central Minnesota. There've been reports of wind damage in Albany, St Joseph (Semaphore traffic signal down): and trees down here in Sauk Centre. Still, it could have been a lot worse.

Sunday, July 5, 2015. There's a severe thunderstorm/flash flood watch on for a swath from eastern South Dakota to Minnesota's arrowhead region. One line went over a bit earlier, but it looks like there's more behind that one: so I'll be up for another hour or so, at least. It's an 'abundance of caution' thing.

St. Paul's construction/expansion continues. That's a huge project.

Construction at St. Paul's continues. That "Road Closed Ahead" sign was on the street west of the church. (July 1, 2015)

I'm glad to see a new roof going on the old Vocational Biographies building. (July 1, 2015)

Sign announcing/advertising a Holy Family School fundraiser. The drawing will be at Greenwald Pub, August 14. (July 1, 2015)

I was glad to see a crew on the old Vocational Biographies building roof, putting a long-overdue new set of shingles on. That's a fine old mansion/funeral home/office building: with a remarkable fraction of the original woodwork intact.

That Holy Family School fundraiser sign caught my eye. It's in the Our Lady of Angels parking lot: a logical place, since the St. Paul's lot is part of the construction project. Folks in the two parishes cooperate pretty well.

That's all I've got this week: and more than I remembered, when I started writing it. Next week: who knows?

Sunday, June 28, 2015. It's an old joke. Minnesota, the land of four seasons: fall, winter, spring, and road work.

Construction at St. Paul's. The house that was in that lot has been moved: where to, I don't know. (June 24, 2015)

Construction St. Paul's, most likely. Probably setting up new connections to utilities. Or maybe something else. (June 24, 2015)

The mural downtown is nearly finished. (June 24, 2015)

One of several days with rain. (June 26, 2015)

I see that next Saturday is the Fourth of July. Oddly enough, Sauk Centre's big fireworks display is during Sinclair Lewis Days.

Sunday, June 21, 2015. I took it even easier this week, so there's no photo. It's been a beautiful Father's Day here; I had a fine time with my family, including two calls from the out-of-town kids; and otherwise sat back and relaxed.

Speaking of Father's Day, fatherhood, and all that, here's something from a few years back; a guest post on my A Catholic Citizen in America blog:

Next week, I'll probably have more: almost certainly will, I'd say.

Sunday, June 14, 2015. I'm taking it easy this week, so there's just one photo.

Construction around St. Paul's. (June 10, 2015)

The parking lot behind St. Paul's church, and the lot next door, is a construction zone. I'm told that will continue through the summer, at least.

Sunday, June 7, 2015. St. Paul's church had a groundbreaking ceremony for an addition: earlier this week, I think. The construction site was occupied by heavy machinery today, when I stopped by to take photos of the Corpus Christi procession.

Today's Corpus Christi procession, approaching their first stop. (June 7, 2015)

A larger version of that photo, and eight more, are on A Catholic Citizen in America, one of my blogs.

The parishes in town will have a second collection next week, for Catholic Relief Services -- helping with disaster relief in Nepal. Those folks are going to be a long time, recovering from the earthquakes earlier this year.

Sunday, May 31, 2015. Another week, and I don't have much to show, apart from these photos. The lilacs are almost through blooming.

Not many lilac blossoms left. (May 31, 2015)

The spirea is pretty close to its peak. (May 31, 2015)

I don't know what they're called, but they come back every spring. (May 31, 2015)

Next week I may have more: or less.

Sunday, May 24, 2015. Memorial Day Weekend. Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer's vacation season. It's also a time to remember folks who died while serving in this country's military.

The weekend has been overcast and damp so far. These photos are from Wednesday.

The "house with no 'front yard' " is on Sauk Centre's north side, near the water tower. It sits behind two newer one-story houses, with only a driveway connecting it to the street. There's a story behind that: but I don't know what it is.

A house with no 'front yard.' (May 20, 2015)

Lilacs. Again. (May 20, 2015)

That's it for another week. I'll be back next Sunday, most likely.

Sunday, May 17, 2015. We had a tornado watch yesterday evening, so I'll call this the start of summer. I've heard that pollen levels have been unusually high lately - which would explain the way I've been feeling.

On the other hand, all those blossoming trees and bushes sure look nice: and photograph well.

Trees in bloom near St. Paul's. (May 13, 2015)

These folks have a fine flower garden each year. (May 13, 2015)

Lilacs: after one of today's showers. (May 17, 2015)

That's it for this week. Next week there'll be more. Probably.

Monday, May 11, 2015. Mother's Day was yesterday: a grey, rainy day. Today, around noon, the street is still wet here at the corner of South 9th and Ash: damp, anyway. Wednesday, in sharp contrast, was picture-postcard weather.

Sauk Lake and the Rotary Club display. (May 5, 2015)

Sunshine, a brightly-colored umbrella, and clear skies at the lakeside park in Sauk Centre. (May 5, 2015)

I'm pretty sure something's happened over the last week. If it's interesting, and I hear about it, I'll mention it next week.

Sunday, May 3, 2015. Finally: rain, sunshine, warmth. Trees are beginning to leaf out, lawns are turning green.

This is what spring is supposed to be like. (April 29, 2015)

A breezy spring afternoon. (May 3, 2015)

This is what spring is supposed to look like.

Sunday, April 26, 2015. It's rained, which resulted in a few dreary days: and very welcome moisture. In town, lawns are perking up and trees starting to sprout leaves.

A duck, napping on the lake access dock. (April 22, 2015)

Lilac buds. (April 26, 2015)

Green grass: Finally! (April 26, 2015)

The local Knights of Columbus council had our annual "Tootsie Roll" drive: it's called something else, and we give the money to Special Olympics, but that name stuck. We offer Tootsie Rolls to folks who contribute.

Anyway, I was at Coborn's, down the street, yesterday afternoon, and we had K. of C. members at the doors at church this morning. I haven't heard how much Special Olympics gets this year: not yet.

The three clustered parishes had First Communion this afternoon at St. Paul's. I didn't go: my guess is that with all the families gathered, it was packed.

I'm either feeling more like getting outside now: or less like staying indoors. Either way, it's a nice change of pace from winter.

Sunday, April 19, 2015. We got a little rain this morning: but not as much as forecast, or hoped for.

I've heard that Nick's, downtown at the corner of Sinclair Lewis and Main, has a new owner.

Monday afternoon, Sauk Centre public school. (April 13, 2015)

Blessing a billboard last Sunday, from the Sauk Centre Herald. (April 12, 2015)

Billboard blessing got pretty good coverage: front page, and back of the 1st section. (April 12, 2015)

The 'Divine Mercy' billboard near Interstate 94, east of town between here and Melrose, got blessed last Sunday. I wasn't there, but the Sauk Centre Herald did a pretty good writeup on the event.

And yes, that's a slingshot they used to deliver the holy water: in a balloon. That billboard is a long way from the ground.

Sunday, April 12, 2015. It got up to 70, roughly, today: lots of wind, and a few blades of grass are turning green. I think maybe, just maybe, summer will happen. Eventually.

No photos this week. Maybe next Sunday. Then again, maybe not.

Monday, April 6, 2015. I'm feeling better: finally. Whatever it was, I'm pretty sure it wasn't strep. Someone else in the household had that. My guess is that quite a few folks in town are feeling better. Regular visiting hours are back in effect at the nursing home.

Let's see, what's happened? Spring is here, or maybe summer. Either way, snow is finally off the ground: and I figure the grass will get around to turning green when there's some rain.

Happy -- April Fools day? (April 1, 2015)

That's more like it. A tip of the hat to neighbors, for a bit of seasonal humor. (April 4, 2015)

Easter Sunday at Our Lady of Angels, Sauk Centre. (April 5, 2015)

It's about 6:00 in the evening, it started as light hail, and now — it's snowing. Or maybe it's sleet. Oh, well: this is Minnesota, after all.

Sunday, March 22, 2015. Spring is officially here, although today looked and felt a bit more like a dreary autumn day.

I heard that the nursing home isn't allowing any visitors: so I figure there's a bug going around town. Again. That would explain the way I've been feeling.

Still, it could be worse. It could be better, too: any I trust that it may be by next Sunday.

Sunday, March 15, 2015. Whoops. I missed last week's entry. Sorry about that.

We've done the 'spring forward' part of federally-mandated jet lag, which didn't help what I think was a slight almost-a-cold I caught.

Never mind. I'm back, almost awake, and have some photos.

Spring is here, by the way: warmish weather, no snow on the ground, everything.

Monday: snow is melting. (March 9, 2015)

The boat landing, near downtown. I've no idea what we're looking at. Maybe someone did a 'polar bear plunge,' and thoughtfully plugged the hole. Or maybe something else happened. (March 11, 2015)

The bridge and band shell, lakeside park. (March 11, 2015)

Now I really should try to get some sleep.

Sunday, March 1 2015. Days are getting longer, a snow flurry almost happened this afternoon, and that's about all I've got.

Neighbors on the corner opposite our house are set for St. Patrick's Day. (March 1, 2015)

Next week I may have more. Then again, maybe not.

Sunday, February 22, 2015. Depending on a person counts the days, this is the first Sunday of Lent, the 22nd day of February, or 53rd day of the year, according to the Gregorian calendar.

It's also a day when a wind chill warning became a mere wind chill advisory by evening. Can't say that I'm disappointed. reports that "a record low maximum temperature of -2 degrees was recorded today at the St cloud Airport. This easily retires the old record of 1 degree set in 1965."

I stayed inside all day, and plan to do the same tomorrow.

Chaplets, a crucifix and knotted cord worn around the neck, before Ash Wednesday Mass and Our Lady of Angels. (February 18, 2015)

Last year's palm fronds, now ashes. (February 18, 2015)

Chaplets being handed out, after Mass. (February 18, 2015)

And, of course, the ashes. (February 18, 2015)

This week's Sauk Centre Herald reports that Centre Lumber closed its doors for the last time Friday, February 13. The Herald says Phil Pfieffer started Centre Lumber in 1998, and that it was owned more recently by Ken Arens.

Rob Polipnick, who owns Steiner Lumber, bought Centre Lumber, but doesn't plan to move to the Centre Lumber site. We'll see what happens to Centre Lumber's building.

I haven't talked a whole lot about Centre Lumber, but I did take a picture of their sign in August of 2008.

Centre Lumber has a new sign: at least, I hadn't noticed it looking this fresh before. August 21, 2008.

Another, not so happy, time I mentioned that business was in my July 24, 2003, post. Dennis "Whitey" Hoeschen, co-owner of Centre Lumber, had died in a traffic accident.

That's about all I've got this week. Next week, I hope I'll have more. I also hope that I get over the its-not-quite-a-cold I've got by then.

Sunday, February 15, 2015. We've had a few light snowfalls, the latest one touching up the ground - and making driving a little more interesting this morning.

Arvig's antenna farm, near Main Street and the Lake Woebegon Trail. (February 11, 2015)

This is the last Sunday before Lent, so I brought last year's palms to church this morning. They'll be burned, and used as ash on Ash Wednesday.

Last year's palms at Our Lady of Angels church. (February 15, 2015)

That's all I've got for this week. I all I remember tonight, at any rate.

Sunday, February 8, 2015. I'm still feeling better, but not convinced that I'm feeling "good." Or is it "well?" Anyway, I got one photo this week: of our across-the-street neighbors' yard. These folks have a nice variety of lawn decorations: including a Valentine's Day set.

Next Saturday is Valentine's Day. (February 8, 2015)

My son couldn't wait any longer, and took his bike out a few days ago. It was — seasonably — warm, and he had a fine time.

Sunday, February 1, 2015. The flu left town, so the nursing home is back to its usual visiting times. I'm feeling better, myself.

I'm not happy about the number of 'for rent/sale' signs in empty storefronts downtown. But we've been through this sort of thing before.

Main Street and South 4th: the corner building's been used as offices most recently. Now it's bleakly empty: or ready for new tenants, depending on your viewpoint. (January 26, 2015)

Left to right, a for-rent storefront; Centre of Attention, a new-to-me fashion store; and Centre Floral. (January 26, 2015)

The corner building, at one time home to Winter's drug store, is for sale. (January 26, 2015)

The old mansion that housed Vocational Biographies for the 20 years I worked there has been for sale for some time. Driving by this week, I noticed something new.

Tax forfeiture property. Not exactly a cheerful sign: but one of my kids pointed out that this means there's a better chance of someone buying the place. (January 26, 2015)

I'm old enough to start being a surly old coot, constantly kvetching about newfangled — everything. Never could see the percentage in that. Besides, I've got a pretty good memory, 'good old days' weren't, and that's another topic.

Downtown was a tad empty in the mid-1980s, when my family and I moved here. Things picked up a few years later: and I'm pretty sure that will happen again this time around.

Sunday, January 25, 2015. The folks at my house and I are getting over whatever's been going around Sauk Centre. We haven't really been all that ill: but it's taking quite a while to get over whatever it is. For want of a better name, I'll call it "flu."

A larger version is in "With the Lemming at Aunt Ida's," Apathetic Lemming of the North. (January 23, 2015)

That's why "the Lemming" is back. From the looks of it, the imaginary chap is feeling a tad better than we've been.

This week was better than last: which is good news.

Sunday, January 18, 2015. The bug is still making the rounds in town, so the nursing home has restricted visiting: family, kids over 12 I think. I'm on the mend, happily, but still haven't gotten out much. And the one time I remembered to take a camera along, clouds promptly covered the sun.

A larger version is in "Chicken Soup and the Lemming," Apathetic Lemming of the North. (January 16, 2015)

That's why I decided to have 'the Lemming,' my imaginary stand-in on Apathetic Lemming of the North, be under the weather, too.

Next week should be better. I sincerely hope so.

Sunday, January 11, 2015. There's a bug of some sort going around town. The nursing home and, I think, hospital are restricting visiting to -- I think it was immediate family. I'm not feeling all that chipper, myself.

A larger version is in "A Tale of Two Birds," Apathetic Lemming of the North (January 9, 2015)

It's below zero outside, but our furnace is working. Getting a new one helped. That wasn't a planned purchase. Our old one finally gave up this week.

Sunday, January 4, 2015. I'm still writing and typing "2014" as the year. Experience tells me that this will probably keep up for another week or so. Maybe a month.

Happy New Year, 2015! A larger version is on Apathetic Lemming of the North. (January 1, 2015)

Between holidays and not-quite-having-a-cold, I don't have much to say this week: except that it's 10 below outside, with a wind chill advisory; but should be warmer tomorrow. Not warm: "warmer." I gather that means it'll be above zero in the early afternoon.

There. That's all I've got. Next week I'll probably have more: or less.

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