As I reflect on the true meaning of Palm Sunday and Easter and God’s Great Gift of Salvation, I have several thoughts and memories. I think of the events recorded in the Bible, the sorrow of Christ’s suffering and death, the disciples and other followers who mourned, then the joyousness of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead!  How thankful I am.

 I remember all of the years that our churches shared a Good Friday Service with the ministerial association being involved.  The location was rotated from year to year between the churches, musical numbers were shared, the various pastors took part  in the messages and scripture readings.  All of the business closed for two hours in the afternoon so that their employees and customers could attend.  

 For a number of years, there were choir cantatas which various choir directors would lead, with choir members and people from all the churches who just enjoyed singing present.  There would be several scheduled rehearsals on the weeks leading up to Easter.  The presentations, often on Palm Sunday, would be well attended by the area people.  In addition to the message of music, it afforded many of us the opportunity to sing with a larger group than in our own churches, as well as spending time with and getting to better know our neighbors, or make some new friends. 

 I remember coloring eggs as a child. Growing up on the farm meant we had fresh eggs. The kits with the coloring came with a little handle to remove the eggs from the dye batch, the smell of the vinegar which was added to the cups of different colors, and the paper transfer picture that we would ad to the eggs after they were  colored. They were displayed in a basket that contained green artificial grass.  They tasted yummy for breakfast, in egg salad sandwiches (my favorites to this day) and the very tasty potato salad my mother prepared.  I suppose we had some Easter parties at school, but I do not recall anything specific.

When our children were young, we also colored eggs, but we had to buy them at the store.  The eggs were hidden in various places for the kids  to find. One year, they evidently missed one as quite  some time later we experienced an awful rotten egg smell; the missing egg was discovered and removed from the house!  Needless to say, we opened windows and worked on ridding the house of that undesirable “perfume."

 When my older grandchildren were young, they took piano lessons from  a very busy, talented lady who made Ukrainian Easter eggs.  I had the opportunity to go to her home with my daughter, Carol and her family to learn the process.  I am not particularly artistic, but I was pleased to try my hand and learn the technique.  It is quite a process as you use a special tool  to cover various parts with the wax, then dip a color, then continue until you achieve the design you want. Of course, the egg products have been removed from the shells  so they are quite fragile.  Denise finished them for us and the better artists’ eggs turned out quite nice.  It was an enjoyable time to work on a project with family.

 When my daughter, Carol, was in high school, she took ceramic lessons from our neighbor, Adlaide Hyppa and made some very beautiful ceramic eggs.

Now my younger grandchildren enjoy coloring eggs.  They also like to eat them.  It is nice that this fun, but sometimes messy project, is done in their own home.

 Then, there are the Easter egg hunts, all the candy and “stuff” to purchase at the store.  People in Easter bunny costumes running around.  Easter meals together with family and friends, restaurant ads for brunches.   All that can be fun, but …..

 …….. the best, true, important meaning of Easter is reflecting on Christ.  The Palm Sunday service with the children marching in waving palm branches, singing about Jesus and God’s Love,  Reading from God’s Word, singing together, then the solemnity of the Maundy Thursday service and Good Friday.  Then there comes the joy of Easter Sunday as we with celebrate with the music, the flowers, the joy to help us remember that the stone was rolled away!  Jesus rose from the dead, the resurrection of our Lord!    We all have the opportunity to experience God’s Love because of this marvelous event which took place 2000 years ago!


Election 2016, has finally arrived following a very vocal election on a number of fronts!  I have a number of memories going back to my childhood and through the years.  I recall going at a young age to the polling place with my parents.  I am not sure what year, or who the candidates and winners were!  Mom and Dad always voted. Dad, being born in Sweden, arriving in our country at the age of seven,  was a naturalized citizen.  (I have often wished  I would have had enough sense to ask him what traveling on a ship all those days was like. I can imagine three young boys must have caused his parents some moments of concern).

I remember Dad, was always interested in listening to the news, reading the papers,  then television reports in later years. Mom also kept herself informed. Some of the first presidents I remember a bit were F.D.R. Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower. I do remember shaking hands with Harry Truman when he came to Hibbing, I assume to campaign for someone, during the Korean war years as my brother was home on leave in his army uniform.

My husband’s parents always voted also, as did Don and I when we reached the eligible ages. We felt, and I still feel, that is a privilege to exercise this right, as well as to be informed on the issues as much as possible.  Many have fought for this right, and people in many countries do not have this opportunity.

For a number of years I have had the privilege and responsibility of being an election judge.  In the earlier years that I served in this capacity the names and information for eligible voters in our city were kept in a card file.  As new voters came in, we could add their file, if we knew of deaths, we were allowed to note that. Of course, we had to have the voters sign in as we do now. At the end of the voting hours we had to open the voter boxes, account for the proper number of ballots, etc. Then we had to count, yes every ballot, every office, and every name in each office.  If there were multiple ballots, for example, federal, local, each ballot was a different color. The polling place in the city of Cook was in the what is now the library, then was our city Hall, Fire Hall, and a small library. 

Some of the election judges I have served with over the years were Elaine Fox who later retired to Arizona, several have  passed on including Elva Gustafson, Dorothy Soderberg, Ken Storm, Russ Pascuzzi, Earl Soderberg, and others.  Others  I recall serving with have been Carol Johnston, Verdella Musech, Reuben Rosnau,  and many more. The years Don was on the ballot for city offices I could not serve, as family members are not, understandably, eligible to be judges. I count it a privilege to have been entrusted with this opportunity.

Many things have changed. A few years ago the polling place moved to city hall, it has now moved again to a larger facility, the new Cook Community Center at Doug Johnson Park.  We have a ballot counter where the voters place their completed ballots. This year our required training was held at the Cook library where we each had the use of a computer to do the training at our own pace. Each area of information had to be answered correctly before the program would allow one to move on to the next section. The manual we each receive with our training is very beneficial on election day as any questions come up.

We can no longer mark a note on the voter roster if someone has moved away, died, etc. After a voter has signed the register, or has had to register as a new voter, or has moved, and signed the register, we issue a voter receipt, which is then given to the ballot judge who will give the voter a ballot which has been initialed by two judges, you vote, then deposit your ballot in the ballot counter, received your I Voted sticker and go on your way.

At the end of the day, more work begins! We must be sure all counts match up with our voter receipts, roster, all ballots accounted for, ballots sorted, etc,. and various reports filled out, ballots and other materials placed in the proper envelopes, sealed, initialed by judges  across the seals.  When it is over, we head home, then check the news or with our loved ones at home to learn what the results may be.  There have been times when we were very surprised by some results as we are not to have any news, election information and, of course no one has been  allowed to campaign in the polling place.


July 26, 2016

Summer time! Camp time! What a great  time to enjoy making new friends, learning new skills, swimming, and all that goes with a week or however long at camp. There are many different camps for all ages:  Bible Camp, Scout, 4 H, language, sports camps, family camps and more. There are the sleep away camps, day camps, close to home camps and some that take you a distance from home and the familiar surroundings and family. Some camping experiences are rustic, some have the modern conveniences. 

I first remember attending Bible Camp in the 40’s (I remember one of my friends becoming so homesick she was literally sick in her bed for a bit, but she stuck it out for the week). The camp was located at the location of what is now the Laurentian Environmental Center. Our Range Baptist Churches worked together, rented the camp for the week, a pastor from one of the churches would be the organizer, another would be the camp pastor for the week, we sometimes had missionaries come to be with us to tell us about their work, and provide some of the Bible lessons, the members of the various churches would be the cooks, nurses, life guards, activity directors and counselors.  Later, the change was made to a camp on Lake Esquawagama, near Biwabik, continuing with the same organizational and volunteer makeup as we had in the past. Our kids attended there also. Later, when my kids were teens and times changed, transportation to a greater distance and vehicles made the camp at Trout Lake near Pine River more accessible; they attended there. Now my grandkids have and are traveling there. As adults we had, and still have retreats available for adults. A number of our adults over the years, and continuing now, volunteer their time and talents in building and whatever is needed.

Voyageur’s Lutheran Ministries has a camp and camp headquarters on our own Lake Vermilion. They have recently done some building there also, with lovely facilities and camping programs.

Lifelong friendships can be and are being made at camp! I know of couples who met at camp as teens or young adults and have been married for a number of years.   Whatever camping experience you may have had in the past and/or continue to have, may the memories you carry with you be good ones.


Father’s Day is June 19, 2016 this year.  I was curious about the origin of Father’s Day so checked it out a bit. Here is a little of what I learned. On July 5, 1908, the first commemoration that I found in the U.S. was held at Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal  Church South, organized in Fairmount Virginia as a special event to honor 360 men, most of them fathers, who had died seven months earlier in a coal mine explosion. I also found a celebration to honor fathers was held at the YMCA in Spokane, Washington in 1910.  President Calvin Coolidge made it a national event in 1924, . In 1966 president Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June. It was signed into law in 1972 by President Richard Nixon. Father’s Day varies by country - example, New Zealand celebrates in September.

I think of several fathers today beginning with my own dad, Peter Anderson who was born in 1896 in Sweden, the youngest of seven children. He, along with his parents and several of his siblings immigrated to our country by ship in the early 1900’s, settling in Isanti County in Minnesota. One brother died at a young age in Sweden, the oldest brother came ahead to get established in the “new country”. Dad always had a Swedish accent. .He was a good, hard-working farmer who loved the Lord and his family and enjoyed people! I have good memories of working on the farm with him (and Mom) and learned much. He only had a fifth grade education, but he spoke Swedish of course, English, and had to learn a bit of Finnish when he hauled milk from the farmers who spoke mostly Finnish in the Alango, Angora area. He loved to learn and would at times look up the meaning of words in the dictionary as he read the paper and other information and kept up on what went on in politics and around the rest of the world. He also worked for a time one winter on the construction of the Alaska Highway in early 1940’s. (Mom and my brother kept the farm going). Dad passed away when I was 23 and we only had three of our five kids. His grandchildren were very special to him.

I never knew my paternal grandfather as he passed away when Dad was in his late teens. I do have many good memories of my maternal grandfather, John Edblom, as he and Grandma visited often and we visited their house often as well, as they lived only a couple of miles away.

My father-in-law, Jesse Simonson, was also a big part of my life for many years, as well as the lives of our children. He would say that he could call his grandchildren great-grandchildren as they were ALL great. Now there are many greats and great-greats that he never had the opportunity to meet.

I am thinking of my husband, Don, the father of my children. He was a good husband, hard-working, loved the Lord and loved to study the Bible. He had more patience with the kids than I did! I am certainly thankful I did not have to be a single mother and raise the  kids alone. I would either have been reluctant to let them do things that made them more independent and capable of life, or perhaps I would have been too lenient with important things and lessons of life. Thanks, Don for our many years together. I miss you and thank you this Father’s Day.

Then, there are the fathers of my grandchildren. I thank the Lord for each of them. The dad of my oldest grandchildren, the late Dan Greiner, is not here for me to say a personal “Thank You” to for the love and personal time he gave to his family. My youngest son, Dave is a good, loving dad in Arizona to his two kids. My son-in-law, Eric, next door is a busy, very active dad to his daughters and a good loving husband. They can also celebrate a second Father’s Day in September. as he is originally from New Zealand. Knowing the girls, they like any excuse to make greeting cards, bake a cake or make a special breakfast.

I am also very thankful for my  loving Heavenly Father. Thank you God, for loving me enough to give your son, Jesus to provide for my salvation and for the strength you give me to get through each day.



Recently there have been a number of events that have brought music to my mind. I discovered a couple of very old hymnals in my church mailbox which brought back childhood musical memories to me from church, school and home. I was remembering  some of the songs and choruses we learned in Sunday School and church, such as Jesus Loves Me, This Little Light of Mine, The Wise Man and the Foolish Man, etc. One I remember is Brighten the Corner Where You Are, only I thought it was BRIGHT in the corner! We also learned the books of the Bible in song. Among a number of songs we sang in school one I really liked was Yippie-I-okiayai, and of course, we learned the A,B.C.s in song. While jumping rope there were a number of songs to recite.

When I was a little older there were piano lessons. My mother taught me some basics, then I walked from school to what was the Congregation church parsonage with the pastor’s wife as my teacher. Later, Mae Fritz (Mrs. Ansgar) Refsdal gave lessons in her home. Ann Jacobson Krueger and I played a duet for a recital, I don’t recall the name of the piece. There was the flutohopone for potential band members , I think they might call that a recorder now. A number of friends and class mates played in the band for recitals, and basketball and football games.

There were the Christmas programs at church. and school. Mrs. Wurzel (Coral) was our school chorus director. Her husband was Kenneth, they had the Wurzel’s Dairy Bar where we would go for ice cream and burgers. A number of local high school kids worked there over the years. The Wurzel’s had their home in the basement. Their son Jake was in our class of 1956.  This building is now Dream Weavers Salon.

Music has basically a few notes which are put together in so many combinations to make  up such a vast array and varieties of music. Country with Grand Old Opry, Gene Autrey, Roy Rodgers, Patsy Kline. The boys known as the Beatles arrived from across the pond with another kind of sound, Elvis, Ricky Nelson, Bob Dillon. Just last week Prince passed away. There is gospel, blue grass, blues, jazz, classical, etc. Something for everyone’s taste.

And, oh, what a variety of instruments! I won’t begin to name them. We hear mention of them way back in the Bible. Recently at a concert sponsored by Northwoods Friends of the Arts in Cook, Qing Lie, masterfully played her violin from the 1750’s. She told us it is called the “poor man’s Stradivarius”.

Music is for all ages. The Northwoods elementary and high school band presented their spring concert this week.  Last week-end in Virginia The Mesabi Sympathy Orchestra was joined by Voices of Reason from our area and Two Rivers Chorale from the twin cities to present A German Requiem, composed by Johannes Brahms.

Over the years there have also been many forms of technology to enjoy all the music. When I was a child if we did not have live music we had radio which did not always have good reception, phonographs, etc. Now so many varieties of music can be down loaded, recorded, enjoyed quickly by entering a phrase, title, artist, whatever into whatever device one has.

These are some of my musical memories from childhood to now. We are never too young or old to enjoy and appreciate music. Whatever your musical interests or taste I would encourage you to make your own musical memories!



          Life Is Full Of Changes!!

I am remembering our son-in-law, Dan Greiner who passed away two years ago, April 8, 2014. Dan was a handsome young fellow when he came into our lives and family with the marriage of our eldest daughter, Carol on June 23, 1979. They gave us five grandchildren which they cherished and raised together. We came to know and love him. He worked hard, loved to fish and hunt, loved his family and the Lord. He (they) challenged and lived with his cancer, but the day came when the Lord released his body from illness and pain. I miss you, Dan!

          Life Is Full Of Changes!!

Over the years each one of us  experiences loss of loved ones, friends and acquaintances. Each person is unique and interesting, with their own personalities. There are the quiet ones, private ones, gregarious, boisterous, selfish or giving ones! Some are well-known, respected, others may be well- known, but not as easy to like! Some people are not known by many. We may attend a funeral where there are only a very few who gather to pay  respect and remember, others have packed churches or funeral homes with many floral displays. I think of the many loved ones, extended family members, good friends and acquaintances who have experienced their final moments on earth. The thing that matters is not how beautiful, handsome, wealthy, well-known they were, but what matters is their relationship to our maker, and their eternal destination.

We recently celebrated Easter remembering the suffering and death of our Savior, Jesus Christ and his great sacrifice of bearing our sins, then His resurrection - the gift free to all who acknowledge and seek His forgiveness of sin.



I remember my younger cousin, Richard “Dickie” as a little kid being I was 13 years older than he was. Dickie was number 11 of 12 children born to my mother’s brother Rudolph “Rudy” & Ann (Mravinc) Edblom, living in the Leander community south of Cook. It was always fun to go to their home to visit as there would always be cousins of all ages to play with.

Dick graduated from Cook High School in 1968. He married Joanne “Jo” Haxton and they raised five children, living for a time in Minnesota, then for several years now in Kentucky. Dick was always interested in family history. He and Jo, along with their children and other family members, were talented musically.

Dick has seven sisters and two brothers, all in Minnesota. A brother, John, died many years ago as an infant and his sister Kathleen, one of the twins, died in 2014. Both of their parents have passed away. Several family members attended his funeral in Kentucky.

It is interesting that there were three Richard “Dick” Edbloms in the relationship: our uncle Richard (Rodney’s dad), Dickie, and Dick Edblom (Arvid’s son) who now has a home in Cook. Arvid was a cousin to Richard, Rudy, my mother and the rest of the John Edblom family.

For obituary, go to Dixon-Atwood &Trowbridge Funeral Home in Kentucky.



“Ruthie” was a well-known, much loved and respected gal from our community. She was always a cheerful, outgoing person. She and her late husband Sulo worked together in a variety of ventures. She missed him very much when he passed away. They had three children.   She was a school bus driver for many years and a very active member of the little country church, St. Paul’s Lutheran .

Her love for the Lord and others came through during her memorial service. Her pastor spoke of just days before she passed away when he visited, read from God’s Word and prayed with her. She took his hands and also prayed for him. That was her - always concerned about others.  She lovingly cared for one of her sons in her home when he was dieing with cancer. A nephew spoke of his time with her and this dieing cousin and what an impression Ruth’s loving care had on him  A grandson spoke about the time he lived with her as a late teen, young adult. He would come home from his evening youth group sessions, she from her Bible studies and they would visit and have discussions for a long time.

“Ruthie” was also a driving force behind “Ruby’s Pantry” which monthly makes food available for anyone for a nominal fee. Many volunteers are needed to help make this work. She was a great organizer. She is missed by so many for many reasons.

The first time I was fortunate enough to meet her was in the summer of 1955. She was chosen to go to “Girls State’ from Orr, and I was given the opportunity from Cook. We met at Ardin’s bus depot in downtown Cook. Remember when we had Greyhound service here?  Ardin’s was several things, with a rooming house on the second floor, small business, etc. The building was located at the corner where Russ Hyppa now has his accounting office. .

Girls State was a very interesting and worthwhile week for these two teen age “country girls” where we met other girls representing their communities from the entire state. We stayed at the State Fair Grounds, if I remember correctly, we were housed in the 4-H building. We spent a day at the capitol where we sat in the chambers and met with some of the official Minnesota law makers as they spoke to us to help us in this learning experience concerning state government. Girls “ran” for the various positions such as governor, lieutenant governor, other representatives and offices and presented  bills they would like to bring forth  We voted and our “elected” girls then conducted a “session” in the chambers.  I have sometime wondered if some of these young people went on in the years since then in government work.  I do not recall for sure, but I thing it was the American Legion Auxiliary that sponsored this program.

A year ago in February when my husband, Don was in our local hospital his last day or two on this earth, I talked with Ruth as she was dealing with her health difficulties and had been at the lab for some tests.


March 29th

My mother, Hulda Elizabeth (Edblom) Anderson was born 120 years ago today! Her birth occurred in Soudan, Minnesota at the home of her Aunty Emily Noren. (Husband William Noren). Mom was the third of ten children born to John and Emma (Johnson) Edblom who had each emigrated from Sweden in the late 1880’s then met and married in Soudan. I have a newspaper clipping of their wedding being held in the Soudan Baptist Church with 50 guests in attendance. 

My grandparents homesteaded in the Leander community where the seven younger children were born at home of course, with midwives assisting the young pioneer mother.
They worked hard building a farm and raising the large family. The children all learned to work at a young age. Their work ethic continued all their lives.

When I was growing up, the last week of March was very busy in homes along the Leander Road as there were birthdays every day, with a number of them being relatives.. In those days each birthday was celebrated in the birthday person’s home on their special day. Men, women, young and old would gather for coffee and what went with it. Generally everyone served some kind of sandwiches (home-made bread  of course), birthday cake, often jello fruit salad or glorified rice. Kool-aid for the kids. Now I believe the only one sill with us on this earth is Helen (Carlson) Edblom who is residing in the Spectrum Assisted Living in Cook. It is her birthday tomorrow. No more coffee/birthday parties in Leander this week!

My young, growing up years were great in so many ways, but this is one special memory. Thank you Mom  (and Dad)







By Muriel Anderson Simonson

     I remember Ken Hill from Cook high school class of 1953.  He was a few years older than me, so I did not know him personally at that time, but I knew who he was as he was always involved in athletics.  He never lost his love and enthusiasm for sports.

    In the 90’s we would see him at our grandsons’ football games and track meets as the three boys attended Eveleth-Gilberts His School. He would also e-mail photos to Don that he had taken at the events. Our grandsons’ mother, our oldest daughter, was a classmate of Ken’s oldest daughter. 

     For several of the later years now, he would come by after ice fishing with a gift of fresh caught, cleaned, ready to cook fish. Don really enjoyed the fish! Ken would sit at our table over coffee and visit about a number of things with us. He was an interesting fellow.

For a few years Ken would arrange for a 50’s Cook school classmates get-together/mini reunion, but you did not necessarily need to have attended school in Cook or in the 50’s. Those who had an interest in attending and renewing acquaintance could just show up. 

     If Don were still with us he would have current photos of Ken as well as of his school days and further info for you, but these are some of my memories of Ken.

Click on  Mlaker Funeral Home for his obituary