Warm hearts beat cold winds

Well, the weather is getting chillier, friends, and it’s not going to quit doing that for a while yet. I wish I could tell you our winter was going to be like the Game of Thrones winter, which lasted for about two episodes, but sadly, it ain’t so. A Minnesota winter is coming. I received a seasonal prediction from accuweather.com the other day, and I am afraid it doesn’t sound pleasant. According to them, we might get milder-than-usual weather through December, but then a “particularly strong” polar vortex is supposed to kick in sometime after that, with snowfall coming in right around the average (which is 36 inches in Minnesota). Our snowbird readers will likely be smiling a bit wider when they turn to the weather box page in the Pioneer and check out the January temps up here. For the rest of us, it’s probably time to invest in some good, thick long underwear – or a new winter coat.

And once you get that new coat, we’d sure appreciate it if you’d bring the old one to the Pioneer. Once again this year, Tahsha Lundberg, our community-minded sales representative, is leading our annual “TEAM UP TO WARM UP” campaign. We will be taking donations of new or gently used winter clothing (scarves, gloves, boots, coats and hats) here at the Pioneer office (405 2nd Ave. SE) , with a tentative distribution date of Nov. 3. This was a great project last year and we were able to offer a little help to a lot of people. So bring us your used winter gear, won’t you? Because it’s going to get pretty cold out there.

Now, I shouldn’t be complaining about the cold (although I do, yes I do) because my job is pretty cushy most of the time. Sure, I have to get out and around town, but most of the time I sit in a heated office and peck at a keyboard. The real heroes of the newspaper industry are out there on the road making sure you get all our news and stories.

I’m talking, of course, about our newspaper carriers.

 Every week, rain, snow or shine, our carriers are out there delivering the Pioneer in Pine City and the Advertiser all around the region. It’s not an easy job, and they rarely get the credit they deserve. But Oct. 12 is Newspaper Carrier Day, which makes this a great time to offer our gratitude and appreciation. So thank you, Douglas and Shannon Cunnien, Kelly Cox, Bob Hughes, Emily James, Derek Rousu, Julia Skogheim  (recently retired, but not forgotten) and Mary Tilden. Thank you to Ron Dick, who does our route maintenance, our intrepid van driver Paul Venhuizen, and Brenda Charles, who makes the whole thing work.

As the October winds blow a little colder and a little wilder it’s also a reminder that Halloween is going to be here soon. Now, I’m a bit skeptical of ghosts and the supernatural, but I’ve heard many stories from thoughtful, reliable people who tell me that they’ve seen ghosts in and around Pine City – with one of those sightings taking place just a few yards away from where I’m sitting writing these words to you. Spooky!

So, would you please help us with a fun project for our Halloween edition of the Pioneer? Send us stories (to our office at 405 2nd Ave. SE or by email at editor@pinecitymn.com) of ghosts you have seen, known, or heard about in and around the Pine City area. As far as possible, we’ll put all those stories into the Oct. 31 edition of the Pioneer. I’ve got a feeling it’s going to make frightfully good reading.

Mike Gainor is the editor of the Pine City Pioneer. Contact him at editor@pinecitymn.com or 320-322-5241.

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