All Worn Out

Northlander alert:  Bus to the Minneapolis IKEA and Eagan Outlet Mall leaves Family of God Church, 4097 Martin Road, Duluth, at 7:00 A.M Thursday, November 10. Cost: $32.50, paid with reservation—no refund if cancelled. Call Eileen Hagen ASAP for detail: 728-8905 or 340-1956. Space is limited. Reserve early.

Last Thursday daughter-in-law Tena drove me and Norma to Viroqua, Wisconsin for our third Grandparents’ Day at Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School. Ethan, Norma’s grandson, attends grade six. His mom Nan serves on the staff.

My appreciation for Pleasant Ridge grows with each visit. This quote by Waldorf- system founder, Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner (1861-1925), gives the reason: “There are two motivations for stirring students to learn—fear and love. I prefer love.” We observed love between staff and students throughout a Friday morning hopping with activity. I’ll write more about Waldorf education is a later post.

Norma’s son Jim and Nan hosted us for the weekend. Friday afternoon we hit the Viroqua farmers’ market. We picked up fresh veggies for a feast at home and Amish-woven crafts: heart-shaped table basket for Norma; a rowboat wall hanger for me. Following the farmers’ market, we checked out Viroqua’s stunning new library; remarkable for a small community.

Saturday afternoon we toured Organic Valley’s brand new service center in nearby Cashton. Jim is one of 400 workers. Outside and in, the staff-friendly, farm-motif blew my mind, including a three-story silo. An ancient Co-op farm tractor had been disassembled, its parts decorating the spiral stairway.

Organic Valley has grown from a local co-op founded in the 1980s by a handful of farmers to an international company with 700 employees. Last year’s sales topped a billion.

Following the service-center tour we drove to La Cross for lunch at the HoHot Mongolian Grill–a unique experience, including marshmallow s’mores roasted at the table. Ethan loaded up on pancakes.

Jim and Nan include Ethan in practically everything they do. He’s a fun kid, easy to be around. He teamed with me on evening table games. When conversation strays from kid interest, Ethan retreats to the couch with a book.

The drive down and back was Wisconsin autumn beautiful, lifting the spirit.

Life is so good, I get all worn out.

Old Grandpa Lloyd


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