Was there ever a gift under the tree that you thought was going to be one thing, and it turned out to be something entirely different?
It might have been an item that wasn't even on your Santa list, and when you opened it you were initially disappointed, but you came to appreciate it over time.
Perhaps it was more useful than you ever imagined. Maybe it even became one of your most treasured possessions. Or maybe it was an unexpected event, that provided fond memories for years to come.
Around a dozen Edgerton Elementary 4-5-6th-grade choir members made a surpise caroling visit with Cecilia Gresback, a 97-year old Maplewood resident Dec. 16. Next, the singers were off to the Maplewood Mall for a singing engagement. (Linda Baumeister/Review)
Carolers sent from across the country
The scene: following a fresh sprinkling of snow, 14 young carolers from Edgerton Elementary School file into Cecilia Gresback’s living room, filling her Maplewood home with song and good tidings. The 97-year-old rocks her chair back and forth and claps her hands, keeping tempo with the carolers as they sing “Holly Jolly Christmas” with a keyboard accompaniment.
Her daughter, Rita Shor, sitting by her side, can hardly keep her eyes dry.
Nancy and Rodney Brown dress as Santa and Mrs. Claus, welcoming thousands to their extravagant holiday setup from Thanksgiving to the first Sunday in January in Inver Grove Heights. (Submitted photo)
Inver Grove Heights couple are ‘Santa and Mrs.’ to neighbor kids, light-show fans
Santa Claus lives on a quiet street in Inver Grove Heights.
At least he does according to 2-year-old Brady and 4-year-old Gabriel.
Their neighbors, Nancy and Rodney Brown, not only dress up as Santa and Mrs. Claus every night for more than a month during the holidays, but they set up thousands of dollars worth of lights in their yard.
The wind blows the cranberries to one side of the marsh at Glacial Lake Cranberries in Wisconsin Rapids. (Photos by Pamela O’Meara)
Wisconsin’s state fruit is a must-have holiday ingredient
Ever since I met up with my former college roommate in Cape Cod several years ago and we went to a cranberry festival, I’ve wondered how the tart red berries are grown, harvested and processed both in Cape Cod and Wisconsin, which grows even more cranberries.
Last month, I learned the answers when I visited part of the 50-mile Cranberry Highway in central Wisconsin. The state grows about 60 percent of the nation’s and the world’s cranberries.
Gordy Carlson, a World War II veteran and Oakdale resident, was one of a group to receive a Fort Snelling National Cemetery Memorial Rifle Squad Lifetime Achievement award. Carlson has volunteered 9,000 hours over 30 years with the rifle squad. Carlson has also volunteered 60 years at the VA Hospital, 22 years as representative, and and has helped with recreation programs from Bingo to bowling. (submitted photos
The St. Clair ore freighter passes through the Soo Locks on the St. Mary's River in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. The ore freighter is similar to the Edmund Fitzgerald, which sank Nov. 10, 1975, and is the subject of local programs and a special beacon lighting at Split Rock Lighthouse in Two Harbors this month. (Photos by Pamela O’Meara/Review staff)
When the gales of November took down the ore freighter
For years I’ve heard the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior in a storm but I didn’t know the details until my recent trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where I went through the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, visited two maritime museums along Lake Superior and heard lots of stories.