A Hot Time Comes To The Old Town This Summer!

Something About Nothing by Julie Seedorf -Column published in the Albert Lea Tribune, April 28, 2014

Our past, good or bad, shapes our future. This year my community will be celebrating our past as we go forward to the future.

The United South Central School District will open a new school in the fall. The United South Central community comprises Bricelyn, Kiester, Freeborn, Easton, Walters and Wells. Before we go forward into the future, we are going to celebrate our past with an all-school reunion on Kernel Day weekend, Aug. 16.

As a former Wells-Easton graduate I am excited about this weekend. It will be a chance to connect with friends and acquaintances from outside of my class of 1968. It will be a time to walk through the old school and remember our high school and grade school memories and listen to the stories we all have to tell that others might not be aware of.

It will be a time to remember those we loved who are no longer with us but whose spirits live in our hearts forever.  I have heard some comments about those who aren’t sure about attending this reunion because of past hurts or insecurities.

I would tell them that this is a time to heal those hurts and make new memories the same way our children and grandchildren will in the new school. USC  is moving into the future, not letting go of their past but embracing it and coming together so we can move into the future.

I had a conversation recently with someone who has been hurt in the past and isn’t sure about possibly reconnecting with those people who caused the pain.

My advice to this person was that they should attend. People have changed. Life circumstances change all of us, and we might miss something wonderful and moving if we continue to hold on to those old grudges. Come and make new memories that will overshadow the old. I hope they come to the reunion and make peace with those things that still fester inside of us.

I may meet the person that in 10th grade who told me I was ugliest girl he had ever met. I am sure he doesn’t remember that comment, but I do and I have let it go.

I am amazed at the weekend that the reunion committee has planned for people who will attend this celebration of the past of all our communities. The reunion committee is made up of people that have a vision. They may be looking at the past, but they are doing so with the tools of today. This committee has utilized social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and they have created an app for your phone, also.

The Facebook page “You might be from Wells if you remember” is 900 members strong, and the stories are alive in anticipation of the reunion.

The tentative reunion schedule is set up. There will be a pre-reunion kickoff at the Flame Theatre, a short program and the plans for the weekend will be outlined. This will take place on the evening of Aug. 14, a Thursday. Following the kickoff, comedian Roger Radley will perform two shows.

On Aug. 15 there will be many class reunions held. Christina Wood Wilson, a 2003 graduate, will display her work during the weekend.  Also, Led Penny will perform. “Mr. Jones,” a movie directed and written by USC alumnus Karl Mueller, will be shown at the Flame.

On. Aug. 16, it will be time to say goodbye to the old Wells school. Many memories will be shared as young and old tour the school and listen for the whispers of words of former students and teachers in your mind as you walk in the hallways, and as you pass by your favorite places and spaces that meant so much to you.

Join those from the your past and your present as we meet for the reunion lunch, gather in the afternoon to listen to the reunion pep band led by Bruce Van Bronkhorst of the class of 1962 and look at art and memorabilia from the past and stay for the variety show.

That evening, the Wells Kernel Day Parade will be alive with sentiments of the past. You will see the history unfold as the parade passes by.

I am excited to see old friends, the displays of former graduates who have careers in art, movies, books and other such things that they will display to let us all know the lives they have carved out for themselves from their humble beginnings in what is now the United South Central School District.

I will be sad to take the final walk through the old school, whose future might be in the wrecking ball of time. I will be sad that I will no longer be able to walk the old halls and sit in the old auditorium, which holds so many precious memories for me. The phrase that keeps coming to my mind is, “You can never go home again.” This community will still be home but part of what made it home will be gone.

In my sadness is excitement about remembering the past, cherishing the coming together of those who shared that past and moving on to a future in a new school that will shape the lives and the future of our young people. One day there will be a 100 year reunion for them and they will be able to see those in the past cared about their future. Who knows what the future graduates of United South Central will accomplish. We can only imagine.

“Happy is the person who knows what to remember of the past, what to enjoy in the present and what to plan for in the future.”

— Arnold H. Glasow 

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Granny (Granny Skewers A Scoundrel) is Visiting the Boneyard.

I heard from Granny today from the Fuchsia, Minnesota fame. She is going to be answering questions from her readers on May 1 at Boneyard Coffee and Tea. https://www.facebook.com/events/657668800968470

She says she is excgranny always saysited but there seem to be a lot of questions about her past. Readers are asking questions about  her former high school romances. I asked her how she was going to answer those difficult questions.

Here is what she said, “Those were the days when we weren’t supposed to kiss and tell. Now everyone kisses and tells everyone, they even take selfies while they are telling everyone. So why not. I kissed and didn’t tell for all of those years. It’s exciting that now I can tell about those kisses, of course my parents are dead and in those days the only people who talked about sex was the teenagers. Parents didn’t seem to know anything about sex. Maybe that’s why we had the no kiss and tell rule. We didn’t want to shock our parents when they didn’t know what kissing was. And……..I kissed some blurpers and some slurpers and some charmers in my time. But I didn’t tell, especially about the slurpers and the blurpers out of the kindness of my heart. I wonder if those slurpers and blurpers are still around. Wait until they find out I might tell on them now. But if you know them, don’t tell them, I want it to be a surprise when their name is now in the paper for the slurping and blurping. Perhaps they will look me up to and I can find out if they are still slurping and blurping with their kisses.

Whoops, I can’t do that. What would Franklin say? Stop by and visit with me on May 1. Check out the website for Boneyard Coffee and Tea or Latte’ Da in Champagne, Illinois. And I must tell you, Franklin is not a blurper or a slurper when it comes to kisses.”

See you soon,

It is always so interesting to have a conversation with Granny. Her conversations are all over the place. I guess I will have to join the conversation on May 1 to see what she has to say.

What is Written on That Bathroom Door?

Something About Nothing by Julie Seedorf – published April 21, 2014 Albert Lea TribuneToilet Master

What happens when you take a country granny and put her in the middle of a big city? I don’t know about other grannies, but I know this granny had many laughs on a recent weekend visit to the Twin Cities.

I mention occasionally that those of us older folks who live in rural communities need to look for ways to expand our world. I feel if we don’t take the time to look beyond what we are comfortable with and familiar with, we might miss out on wonderful experiences.

However, I never thought of the tiny way the world is changing as being in the definition of those experiences. I feel I must highlight some of the changes that are taking place in larger communities. If we don’t take the time to learn those changes, we older folks might not be able to navigate society easily. They always say changes come to bigger communities before they appear in the rural area.

One of the things I have noticed happening even in some of our smaller communities, are changes taking place in the bathrooms of retail stores, gas stations, restaurants and schools. I would imagine the bathrooms in the new school that will be opening in the fall of 2014 in my community might have some of these features.

Many of us are used to flushing toilets. We push the lever, the toilet flushes. Imagine how scary it must be for some when the toilet ghost appears and flushes the toilet automatically as they are standing up, scaring them so much that the cellphone that people are always holding, even in the bathroom,  drops out of their hand, falls into the toilet and follows the toilet ghost down the drain. Make sure when you visit the big city and use the restroom always check to see if there is a lever or an eye. Secure your cellphone tightly.

Another confusing place for this old grandma is finding how to dry your hands after washing them. It takes a clever eye to decide if you should swipe, roll, pull or tap the paper dispenser. It is fun to watch the number of people who have this problem. It would make a great “Funniest Home Video” and definitely it would be worth the $10,000 prize.

While visiting the Cities I attended a dance competition in a city high school. Another Grandma and I visited the restroom at the same time. We were the same age, and we couldn’t help but reminisce about our high school days as we saw the ad on the back of a door in the high school bathroom.

When we were in school, teachers weren’t allowed to talk about sex; parents didn’t talk about sex. Sex was a subject only high-schoolers talked about to each other, since parents and teachers didn’t seem to know much about it.

It was shocking for us oldies to find an ad giving five tips to avoid STDs. If you other older folks don’t know what that is, look it up. The high school set evidently knows. It used to be an abbreviation for standard in the olden days. Five tips to be standard? We have come a long way in society or not.

My next dilemma happened at a restaurant. They had a new pop machine. Usually you put your cup under the right flavor of drink and push your cup in on the lever and your drink is dispensed.

This time there were icons such as you have on your tablet computer. I looked at it and didn’t see any icon for water. I asked my granddaughter and with a swipe of her hand she moved to the next menu and the water icon was there. So if you are looking for a drink, remember you might have to swipe instead of push.

My daughter-in-law had to go through the drive-thru of her bank. I am used to a drive through with one lane. There were six lanes at the drive-thru. I couldn’t see anywhere that was enclosed to hold a cashier that could push out the drawer.

We pulled up next to a small screen with a tube that went into the sky. It reminded me of “The Jetsons” cartoon. The money went in, someone talked, it flew up the shoot, flew back down the shoot and had a grape sucker in the tube. I thought that was a great exchange. They say there is a sucker born every minute.

The real reason I was in the Cities was for a grandmother/mother/daughter tea. It is always a fun time.

I donned my extra conservative dress, my only dress that fit, I might add.  Every year I am reminded there is a difference between how big-city grannies dress and rural grannies dress.

The big-city grannies had spiky high heels, and, yes, they were my age, short skirts, some tight-fitting skirts, some of the colors were flamboyant and most were today’s style. Many had long, flowing hair cut in a smart style, and they looked pretty darn good for someone who was my age. I might add that I love the way big-city grannies dress.

I always expect to experience something new when I go on a fun adventure to the Cities. I never thought the things that would make me smile would be toilets and how they flush, towel holders that need a quick eye to be able to wipe your hands, getting a drink becoming a learning experience, laughing because “The Jetsons” has come true and admiring the different fashions that are worn in different settings and communities.

I learned something from every experience. It might have been small but imagine what is out there for us, if we take the time to open our eyes and look beyond our back yard. It might be a world of wonder and joy.