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
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
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
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.
REMEMBERING THE FATHERS IN MY LIFE
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
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
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
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.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL THE HARD WORKING DAD’S OUT THERE!
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
REMEMBERING LOVED ONES & FRIENDS
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.
REMEMBERING MY COUSIN, “DICKIE” EDBLOM
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
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
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.
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
My grandparents homesteaded in the Leander community where the seven younger
children were born at home of course, with midwives assisting the young
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
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)