31 October 2010

loving every minute of this.

**enter sigh here**
I'll be the first to admit it's been a slow week for blog posts.  I apologize.  I've been busy getting ready for Plum Creek Food Coop's Grand Reopening set for this coming Saturday, November 6th from 10am-12pm.  I hope to see everyone there because Finding Windom has been busy getting ready.  We have changed the layout inside, added tables and chairs because fresh coffee will be available during store hours, painted a new outdoor sign, added some words to the outside window so passerbyers can quickly read what the Coop features, painted a small part of the exterior entrance, and added a beautiful outdoor planter (which was donated by Finding Windom). Oh, and did I mention WHEELER BREAD will now be available at the Coop on Wednesdays and Fridays.  Fresh artisan bread at the Coop--I can hardly wait to get some!  So many great things happening...

And Henrik enjoyed his very first Halloween, and has many more first holidays approaching quickly.  What a beautiful day for trick or treating!  Every day of this weather is a blessing here in Minnesota. The Chamber hosted a Fall Festival on the courthouse lawn yesterday, and it was fun to see all the little ones running around downtown, dressed up for the occasion--little ladybugs, princesses and superheroes surrounding our amazing courthouse.  What a beautiful meeting place we are blessed with here in Windom.  I can't help but fall in love with this season every single year--it never gets old to watch the colorful leaves make their graceful descend here in beautiful Southwest Minnesota...

26 October 2010

socrates vs. wind

If you are anywhere near a window in Windom right now (and I hope your aren't outside), you can hear the wind.  The wind has been rather strong today, much like any other Southwestern Minnesota day, but a bit stronger.  The gusts make the windows shake a bit and remind me how powerless I am in the grand scheme of things.  Wind is such an amazing thing because we can't see it, but we can only see the effects of it.  I guess this would be an appropriate time to compare it to passion--the reason I sit here and type these words for you to read.  I can continue to give you the logistics of Finding Windom--the bullet points of things we are currently working on and will be working on, but thats not quite as fun right now as trying to figure out where all this passion comes from...all this wind. 

24 October 2010

so much to celebrate for Finding Windom.

1. My $.02: Finding Windom the blog has officially hit the population of Windom!  This is great! We need to keep the momentum going because there is power in numbers.

2. Thursday evening I met with the Free Masons of Prudence Lodge in Windom.  They are the longest running organization in Cottonwood County and the experience and hospitality during this visit was remarkable.  I will be filling you in about this great organization in the very near future, but there is just too much I need to tell you because Finding Windom has a lot going on right now!

3. All weekend, Finding Windom has been very busy working with the Plum Creek Food Coop getting ready for the FOUND! by Finding Windom Food Coop Grand Reopening, which will be held on Saturday, November 6th from 10am-12pm.   I hope to see everyone at the grand reopening celebration to grab a cup of fresh coffee, see some quick demos and tease your tastebuds with some samples. It will be great!  It has been such an awesome experience working with the Food Coop.  They have been so willing to accept our ideas and help, and we hope this will be a positive enhancement for their wonderful business on our beloved downtown square.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU (I really can't thank you enough) to all who have helped with this project-- it couldn't have been done without you, and I admire you all for your dedication to Finding Windom and its mission.

And with all this said, I'm beat...so until tomorrow, my friends...

20 October 2010

finding purpose, finding windom.

Last night I got out some so-called journals I have written over many years.  I guess I was interested to see the path my life has taken over the past, well, 15 or more years.  I have been writing for quite some time now.  My first memory of really enjoying putting my thoughts into words was in 4th grade when we were given an assignment to write a poem using our five senses.  To a 4th grader that doesn't mean much but the literal, but as my mind grew into my heart, I started to realize the power our five senses have and will testify that a human has many more than five.  Feeling the need to write down all the beautiful and ugly things my senses take in from life, I would go through periods of writing all the time.  I would write future plans,dreams, hopes--everything I write about here--and then I would stop.  I remember in college I told my mom, "I don't write anymore, I used to write all the time." And my mom, being the mother she is by always giving me the right answer, said "it's because you are living it now."  She couldn't have said it any better.  I have always believed that when you write it-so you do it.  It was a beautiful day in July of 2010 that I started writing again in hopes that I would be living it.  As I flipped through past pages of hopes and dreams, inspiring pictures cut out of magazines taped on a random page or old photographs of family tucked so precisely into the binding of a tattered book, filled with pages of sometimes meaningless thought about finding the purpose of my life, I realized that Finding Windom has been in my heart for sometime now.

I couldn't be happier doing all these things Finding Windom is working on--building relationships with businesses, organizations, and community members, connecting with businesses and community members of other cities who strive for their greatest potential--learning from eachother and with eachother, exploring possibilities, encouraging positive changes, enjoying all the wonderful things Windom and the world has to offer.  Write on! I can't wait to keep writing about all the possibilities for Finding Windom because this has been the most amazing thing to be a part of--a true purpose.

And what I learned is that we are all Pinocchio: We begin our life, waving to our mother and father with out schoolbooks in hand, hoping to do well.  But we are turned this way and that.  We make mistakes, we move from our course, we falter, flounder, and may suffer remorse, rebellion, or a sense of defeat.  We seem to lose our way. But no matter! If we keep our little flame alive, our first feeling of enthusiasm of who we are, without the influence or intervention of others, we will prevail.  And like Pinocchio, despite all his transgressions, find the courage to reunite with our little flame and be rewarded.  And the reward is this: We become ourselves.

In my life I have made many mistakes.  Sometime I was careless and inconsiderate of others...But through my family I learned the final lesson of Pinocchio--what it is like to be human.  And always through everything, through sacrifice and success, I have tried to stay close to my little flame, reminding me of who I am.

The cricket tells Pinoccio, "Always let your conscience be your guide." These words, by a small, insignificant insect, give us all we need.  The best person to tell you who you are, what you should be, is ultimately yourself.

--Patti Smith

18 October 2010


Finding Windom is half way there to be known as Finding Windom, Inc.  We are a short step away from non profit status and are very excited about the doors this will open for the Finding Windom mission and our community.  Thank you to Ron Schramel for donating his knowledge, time and money to help make this possible.  Finding Windom is very blessed to have such support.  We hope to be an official non profit organization very soon!

We are also excited about the monetary donation from the Kiwanis Club and the Pankonin family of North Mankato.  Wow, things just keep getting better for Finding Windom!  We couldn't do this without your support!

Much love,

17 October 2010


Like many people, I enjoy the possibilities a weekend can hold.  I try to spend my weekend catching up on things around the house and wandering around Windom enjoying its beauty and thinking about all its possibilities.  Well this weekend started with a bang.  On Friday night, my husband and I drove to Mankato.  I know, you are probably thinking "what does this have to do with Windom?"  So let me continue... 
On Friday night, Windom's very own David Strom had an art show opening reception at the Twin Rivers Art Gallery in old downtown Mankato.  As we walked into the little stone building which housed a wild appreciation for all aspects of art, I was pleasantly surprised to see a room full of Windom residents supporting a fellow community member, friend and artist in a city 70 miles away from their own and some strangers (to me) as well.  It was just plain cool. After taking in David's artist's point of view, we decided to have dinner at a little cafe in old downtown, which was just a few blocks away from the art gallery.  As we sat in this comfortable cafe, among dimly lit lights and a small band setting up mic stands, plugging in their guitars and doing sound checks for a night of entertainment, I told my husband how I could get used to such a Friday night. We went to an art gallery at 7:30 at night and had dinner at a small cafe.  It was something so simple and yet so enjoyable.  I would love to do it in Windom sometime.  Thanks for the evening out Mankato--you are an inspiration.

Oh the possibilities we have Windom...I will find you...


14 October 2010

Larry's closet.

I know you have all been waiting to buy your very own Finding Windom t-shirt, well, you won't have to wait long...more are coming and in black!  Look for them coming soon! You will definately be able to purchase one at the Plum Creek Food Coop's Grand Reopening on Saturday, November 6th since the Coop will be FOUND! by Finding Windom. We are looking forward to bringing our ideas and passions to life with the Coop and can't wait to share it with the community at the Grand Reopening.  Watch for more reopening details coming soon--I know, you are thinking November sounds like months away, but its not...

Don't forget...Larry B. wants you to have your very own Finding Windom t-shirt...only $12...

12 October 2010

if i could bottle it and sell it.

When you put yourself wholeheartedly into something, energy grows.  It seems inexhaustible.

-Helen De Rosis

10 October 2010

gunfighter ballad.

Today I took Henrik and my husband for their first applepicking experience, and Henrik was so excited he slept through it all. As we made our way through the seemingly endless rows of Honeycrisp trees, their roots surrounded by fallen tender apples, I was brought back to the moment I decided I wanted to come home--to Windom.  I'm going to be honest, I never wanted to make Windom my home.  Of course I was always going to think of it as the place where I grew up, important, but I really thought I was a big city girl. I was going to live in the heart of New York City.  Boy was I wrong.  Never say never...

It was during this time of the year eight years ago, I was in my second year of college at the Univeristy of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and I was absolutely loving it. I came home to Windom for a weekend.  I didn't come home for the weekends often because of the long distance and lack of interest to be in the place I had been running from since graduation, but my grandpa's days were numbered this year.  The doctors gave him 6 months to live and these 6 months were going fast and coming even faster. During this weekend home from college, my mom and I took my grandpa apple picking.  It was a gray and cold day, but it was a perfect baking day none the less.  My grandpa never showed me how much pain he was in, but it was getting harder and harder to hide.  As we drove among the fields just west of town, going up and down shallow valleys of autumn rusts and oranges, it looked as though a quilt had been laid across miles of land, he took it all in.  He sat in the front seat, leaning forward, like a little boy experiencing the humbling enormity of earth, its gifts of beauty, for the first time.  This was his favorite time of year.  He was a hunter. In 5th grade he helped me with my elementary bird report.  He borrowed me his birdwatching book and knowledge so I could learn and write about all the facts about my favorite bird, the Goldfinch.  But of course I ended out learning about all the birds found in his backyard (which was only 3 blocks away from mine) and all the birds hunted in Southwestern Minnesota, but he was always good for a lesson.  While I watched him take in the view, it was silent in the car until Marty Robbin's "El Paso" came on.  An old favorite, the volume was turned up, and I watched him take in the melody too.

We made it to our destination and started picking apples.  The bitterness of the cool wind and lack of warmth from the sun took a toll on his aching bones, but he managed to put some apples in our pail.  We didn't say much.  I think I was in fear of showing any sort of emotion of truth--the truth of time and pain.  It was a blessing just to share this day with him and my mom.  That evening the house smelled of warm apple pie. Nothing is more comforting than the fragrance of an apple pie on a cold autumn evening and, even better, a piece of warm apple pie on your fork.

Needless to say, it was an even longer drive back to Milwaukee on Sunday afternoon.  I played Marty Robbin's Gunfighter Ballads over and over again thinking about my grandpa and how much he means to me and how much he taught me.  As I passed each white dash in the middle of Interstate 90, I kept thinking about how much I wanted to turn around and be with my family, sharing all the beauty and hurt of life together. Family meant home to me. It was then, somewhere in Southern Minnesota on I90, among the dust of freshly harvested fields on a cold autumn day that I wanted to come home to Windom and stay forever. 

And I was just reminded of that again today with my husband and my son among those long rows of beautiful Honeycrisp trees and smell of fresh applecrisp on an October evening.

07 October 2010

47 years later.

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

--Mr. Bob Dylan

05 October 2010

To cheer yourself up, cheer someone else up.

Tonight there was a reveal at the Women's Night Out--this was after an amazing day of pampering.  It was wonderful to have the team of sylists at The Hair Hut give me such attention. I could think of a million people that deserved this day much more than me, but I did very much appreciate every relaxing moment. I'd have to admit it was an odd feeling to really have nothing to do for a few hours but sit--I'm not used to that (like a lot of people I'm sure). Not only did I have a great day, but the evening started with a great meal followed by and even better motivational speaker, Gaye Hanson.  She had us laughing and crying and thinking...all the things she promised us.  Among all of her wonderful, heartfelt stories, she said something tonight that stuck out to me most, she said how lucky we are to live in this small community.  I couldn't agree more. We should never take for granted the relationships, the opportunities and the power we have as a small community.  Ms. Hanson made a very important point tonight when she talked about the choices we make and how our attitude directly affects our lives and others.  In this small city, our attitude can have a big impact on many things, from fellow community members to kids and more, we all play an important role.  Attitude is definately contagious, I just hope we are spreading a positive one.   

03 October 2010

not all who wander are lost.

Man, it seems like I was just here talking about the beauty of carefree Sunday afternoons and here I am, Sunday night, another week passed.  Does life go this fast for everyone?  It is a scary thought to really think about how fast time goes, all the more reason to live for the days as they come so quickly and go so quickly.  I have to admit things are real busy for not only me in my personal life, but for Finding Windom as well.  We have a lot of things we would like to accomplish (but you already knew that). I do wish we had a few more months of summer warmth, but we are starting to make a list of to-dos for our winter months, and this will keep us quite busy as well. I'll try not to use the word "winter" until it actually happens, so I hope I didn't offend anyone by mentioning the "w" word.

I'd have to say I've been noticing some great things happening around town, like the new Loopy's window and some residential areas looking better than the day before.  I hope others are noticing it as well and are able to see what a difference it makes in our community.  I love fall and there is no better time to wander than during this time while the trees are making beautiful pictures for us.  I could write a whole book on the beauty and warmth (despite the dropping temperatures) of a Southwest Minnesota autumn, so it is nice to see these nice things happening while I take a Sunday stroll or drive around town.

Merry leaves are falling...

02 October 2010

I can see clearly now.

We have all been waiting for this for some time now--waiting to once again see through a real window.  I'm so excited and glad to see Loopy's has replaced the unsightly plywood with such a lovely, lovely window! Thank you!  It's is wonderful to see these small things make such a big impact in our city.

Also a few shout outs: thanks to Dick's Welding for making a Finding Windom sign to be used at all Finding Windom events, thanks to Kathy Hiley for donating an awesome Cricut machine, and thanks to the Trotter family for donating flower pots, grapevine wreaths and baskets for the Finding Windom project.  All these things will be used to enhance and beautify our community.  Thank you for your donations and wonderful support!