Page 1

C1 December 23, 2017

Christmas Special Park Rapids Enterprise

In every ornament, in every light By Jean Avenson Park Rapids Can you believe it? Another holiday season is upon us... how fast the years fly. Decorations are out with everything as beautiful as ever. Strings of bubbling lights and mini lights are lit in perfect placement. The ornaments are beautiful, but somehow the lights are the real draw, maybe because we think of Jesus and how he’s the light of the world. Here is the 23-piece, ceramic Nativity set I made as a young bride...1973. My husband made a lovely wooden stable as a backdrop. He’s gone now, but the little, old stable still holds its place in my heart. I broke an angel last year so have to get it glued. A lovely 18-inch-by-20inch, counted cross stitch scene awaits hanging in a special place on the wall. It was Christmas 1981 that came into the household...a handmade gift from a very dear neighbor. I look around, all the things are in place but something is missing...my dear departed! Every one of these things came into our possession during the 50 years we were married. He loved Christmas! He proposed to me on Christmas Eve 1965. Over the years, we tried to get memorable gifts for each other, even though we had little money. Back in the 70s, he got me a beautiful, purple snowmobile

suit. The next year, my very own Arctic Cat snowmobile. (He’d made a down payment and let me to scratch up the $41 monthly payments!) As our three children grew, it was more important to spend on them than each other so I have little memory of things we got each other during those years. To supplement the storebought gifts, I made the children quilts and clothing. My husband made toys and other things desired. One year, he made a beautiful chess set that he’d welded up from various nuts and bolts. We played chess the whole school vacation. This developed into an annual family Christmas chess tournament, something we looked forward to every year. Soon, the kids were grown and it was him and me again. As his health declined, it was clear to me that we had to make his farm chores easier or get rid of the cows. That Christmas, I’d made an arrangement with John Deere to have a shiny, new JD Gator delivered out just before present opening time. The weather was cooperating...it was snowing cats and dogs! As the delivery truck pulled into the yard, he said, “Those fellows must be looking to trap on our swamp.” He went on to say, “I can tell you this: they’ll have to do a lot of trapping to pay for something like that!”

I was thinking that it will take quite a few payments off the farm to pay for it, too! Anyway, we convinced him to go out and see what the guys wanted. Asking if this was John Deere Drive, they had him sign the delivery ticket, unloaded and left him standing next to this new toy, his mouth hanging open as they drove off. That Gator gave him access to the barns, to his deer stand and nearly everywhere on the farm and turned out to be his best present ever. During that time and the years that followed, the grandchildren kept coming. I’d take him to Walmart or Fleet Farm where he could ride a scooter and have the time of his life buying toys for the little kids – things we couldn’t afford when our own were little. Christmas 2016 was our last Christmas together. He was either in a hospital bed in the living room or in a wheelchair. He could still play games with us all and kept his mind sharp. He left us in the spring, leaving us with so many memories of a lifetime and holidays gone-by. As I look around at the house all decorated up, I realize that he’s not missing. His essence is there in every toy, in every ornament, in every memory, in every light... because he’s there with Jesus, the light of the world.

service and dinner when we are back at mom and dad’s after church. These days, I drive home, and the grandkids have a sleepover, so they can sneak a peek for “Santa” and are able to dig in their stockings right away in the morning. Even as teenagers now, some of the childlike wonder and joy is still present for the grandkids, and for that, I am thoroughly grateful. It’s funny how things change. As we grew and aged, the Christmas dynamic began to change. The people you never wanted to let go of, leave in one way or another, and new life is added. Grandpa M passed away, then a few years later, Grandma M passed, too. Cousins got married and began travelling other directions for the holidays. Some of us began our own families, and added a fourth generation to the annual Whoville event. Grandma and Grandpa V moved off the farm, and

By Georgia Nolting Park Rapids It was 1976, and the house was decorated from the top to the bottom; the handmade decorations made by our nieces had the front and center places on the tree so we could all admire and remember each and every one of them, who made them and how old the creator of each ornament was. Now for our guest to arrive, and a great day of celebration would begin. Our family arrived, and Mom was with them. She had just celebrated her 67th birthday two weeks before. In they all came, and the house went from very quiet to having explosions of laughter, talk, and coffee being poured. Presents were unloaded and put under the tree. There were so many and they were so tempting that the little people could not help but pick up each one and give it a little shake as they tried to read the tags on each package and try to figure out what it might be. The kids were 10 and five. Our oldest niece was into tape-recording songs off the radio and listening to them, so a new tape recorder was the gift of choice for her. Instead of the traditional wrapped box, we placed the recorder under the couch near where one of us would be sitting and ready to push “record” without anyone being aware of it as everyone was involved with toys needing to be assembled. Mom was so excited being with the kids, having uncounted hugs and kisses going her way. What a celebration we had that year, with the sounds of joy filling the house. Mom was excited to have the new coffee pot and anxious to try it out on us the next evening. Oh, how quiet it was in the house again, although now it looked a bit differently than it did 12 hours ago. We were excited to listen to the tape of the day, so we dug out our old recorder and sat quietly, coffee in hand, ready for a restful moment. The recording brought tears to our eyes as we relived that entire day. The tape was a gem that caught conversations many of us were unaware of, like mom sitting with the little girls listening to their excited voices ring out with all of the “thank yous” to Santa for the gifts. We caught Mom saying that this Christmas was the very most precious, loving Christmas

FUNNY: Page C5

PRECIOUS: Page C10

It’s funny how things change By Kaaren Mikus Park Rapids It’s funny how things change. My earliest memories of Christmas include Grandma and Grandpa M and Aunt Kaye pulling into our yard on Christmas Eve afternoon with a vehicle full of gifts, going to late-night Christmas Eve church, and travelling up the road to Grandma and Grandpa V’s farm on Christmas Day. There was an abundance of Jesus, family, fellowship and food, surrounded by childhood wonder and joy. There was nothing better than spending time with family, opening gifts and seeing the church cheek pinchers. There was never a shortage of excitement. With three younger brothers under foot, how could there be? There was also never a shortage of ham and lefse and all the trimmings on Christmas Eve, or chili and sweet rice with all the trimmings on Christmas night. It’s funny how things change.

The memories of the annual signing and dating of the tablecloth after Christmas Eve dinner (so it could be embroidered), singing “Silent Night” while lighting individual candles in church, and squealing with glee while joking and playing with the siblings and cousins are very fond and kept close to heart. It was always an experience to cram grandma and grandpa, all the aunts, uncles, cousins and our family into the already packed living room for our family Christmas program. There were readings and singing that took place before gifts could be distributed by “the elves” and opened. We had our own Whoville, right there in grandpa and grandma’s living room. It’s funny how things change. Ham and lefse are still a staple for the Christmas Eve meal, though, we no longer use the tablecloth with all the signatures from years past. We no longer go to the late-night Christmas Eve church service. These days it’s the evening

A precious Christmas recording

Every year entrants in the annual Park Rapids Enterprise Christmas story contest share their gift of writing. Some inspire, others make us laugh. Grab a cup of cocoa, find a comfortable chair and enjoy this mix of creative fiction, personal essay and memoir. We received a record number of stories this year. Thank you to all our contributors!

C1


Christmas Special

C2 December 23, 2017 

Park Rapids Enterprise

Season Greetings

As we gather in warm, festive homes to celebrate this special time of year, we would like to thank all of the men and women who are serving our country in the Armed Forces this holiday season away from home.

It is with deep respect and admiration that we honor and thank you for your valor and service to our country. We appreciate the great sacrifices you choose to make for our freedom. We would like to wish you and your families the very best during this holiday season and all throughout the year! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 001663404r1

Larry’s

Hydraulic Hose

001662602r1

HYDRAULIC HOSES FROM 3/16” TO 4”

622 23rd St. NW, Bemidji, MN • 218-759-9686 Larry’s Machine Shop • Larry Raddatz - Owner

203 Henrietta Ave. No., Park Rapids, MN 56470 (218) 732-3364 • Fax (218) 732-8757 • www.parkrapidsenterprise.com

OPEN 6AM-11PM 7 DAYS A WEEK

TRUCKING Inc.

12411 US Hwy. 71 Menahga, Mn 56464 Steffes Off-Peak Heating Systems

HANSEN ’S ELECTRIC, INC. 218-732-3818

218-237-0037

OTTO HENDRICKSON POST 212

001651692r1

001663437r1

BETTIN

FOOD & PHARMACY

American Legion Club

209 West 1st., Park Rapids

Charitable Gambling BINGO Thurs. Night License #A00220-001 Hwy. 34 E., Park Rapids • 732-5238 EARLY BIRD 6:30PM

732-0182

WWW.COBORNS.COM

REGULAR 7:00PM

001496966r1

001651599r1

• Residential • Commercial • Farm 001647933r1

1307 1ST ST. E. PARK RAPIDS, MN • 218-732-4465

Licensed, Bonded, Insured • MN Lic. #EA006419 • Lance Hansen • lancehansen@live.com

• Heavy Duty and Super Duty • Car Haulers • Golf Carts • Utility • ATV • Garden Tractor • Motorcycles • Horsetrailers • Stock Trailers

300 W First St., Park Rapids, MN 56470 - www.cnbbank.com

(800) 362-6308 • (218) 732-3393

Expert Legal Services • Local Knowledge Sara Swanson, Roger Zahn, Trent Wilcox, Matt Enger, Zachary Johnson 120 N. Main Ave., P.O. Box 87, Park Rapids, MN 56470 Telephone: (218) 732-7236 001651659r1 001648750r1

iler sales Gary’Cus stoTra m Trailers eds

Built To Suit Your Ne

732-3941 • 800-630-8638

Parts & Accessories 12 mi. north on Hwy. 71 to Two Inlets Rd, then 7 mi. west

218-751-3847

Bemidji

218-751-4023 001452751r1

8am - 8pm

(218)224-2202 (218)224-2202

Certified Service

001445347r1

(218)732-3347 or 800-457-2438 Hwy. 34 E., Park Rapids

001499653r1

Downtown DowntownLaporte Laporte

www.thielenmotors.com

serving the area since 1976

Sat. Sat. & & Sun. Sun. 8am - 8pm

801 S. Park Ave. (S. Hwy. 71) • 732-1431

CUMBER

001523081r1

001664920r1

1401 E. 1st Street (Hwy. 34 E.), Park Rapids

www.itasca-mantrap.com

COMMERCIAL, RESIDENTIAL, REMODELING

George Darchuk Sr.

218-732-0026

PO BOX 730 • PARK RAPIDS, MN

Tim Ulvin

Licensed, Bonded, Insured

SEBEKA OFFICE: 218-837-5171 PO Box 311 • 115 Minnesota Ave. W. 001663408r1

Hauling Refrigerated & Frozen Foods

218-252-9350

www.parkrapidselectric.com

“Proudly Veteran Owned” RANDY AVENSON

Licensed • Bonded & Insured

BACKHOE PETE “Have Tractor Will Travel” Septic • Sewer • Water • Lot Clearing Basements & General Excavating

Kari Wiese & Andria Nordick

Full Service Excavating 218-639-2198 Owner: Lee Hendrickson

MENAHGA CONCRETE PRODUCTS, INC. Hwy. 71 N.

564-4432

FREE Estimates

Try a Faster Speed Today!

Announcing the all new 1 Gigabit Fiber Optic Internet. That’s 1000 Mbps....100x FASTER than regular broadband.

That’s the Giglife. www.wcta.net/giglife

800-945-2163 | 218-837-5151 | www.wcta.net

Independent Agents

732-4241 • 1-866-722-5205

1303 S. Park Ave. • insurez@unitelc.com • northwayinsuranceparkrapids.com

ARNIE’S TIRE SERVICE SERVING THE AREA FOR OVER 30 YEARS REPAIRS & SELLS - FARM, TRUCK ON-FARM TIRE SERVICE

Menahga

16164 Cty. Rd. 6, Park Rapids • 732-5880 001496960r2

MN Lic. EA700072

AVENSON ELECTRIC

Park Rapids, MN

001661704r1

Park Rapids, MN

732-5154

Licensed • Bonded • Insured

001496901r1

218-732-1389

County Road 4

Call Dave (218) 732-8889 OR (218) 255-1215 (cell)

Serving the lakes area for over 20 years!

www.communityfirstbankmn.com MENAHGA OFFICE: 218-564-4171 PO Box 250 • 21 Main St. N.E.

Construction Inc.

001496913r1

001500005r1

001648725r1

License# PM63832

INC.

Located in the Industrial Park, Park Rapids

Fabrication & Stainless Steel Works - Complete Machine Shop (218) 732-1427 • www.darchuksfab.com SPECIALIZING IN POTATO PROCESSING EQUIPMENT

001500008r1

www.ulvinplumbing.com 001665315r1

P.O. Box 192; Park Rapids, MN 218-732-3377 or 1-888-713-3377

• Stainless Steel • Carbon Steel • Aluminum

Cabin Opening And Closing

001651808r1

SALES & SERVICE

732-3451

Quality Black Dirt, Earth Moving, Sand & Gravel

001661823r1

Mon.-Fri. Mon.-Fri. 7:30am-7:30am 8pm 8pm

WARREN’S TIRE & AUTO 807 1st St. East • Park Rapids, MN 56470

218-732-4274 001662601r1

Total car care


Christmas Special

Park Rapids Enterprise 

December 23, 2017 C3

Betty Rose and Rudolph’s red nose By Larry Crandall Nevis Our mother, Betty Rose Dyck, passed away on Nov. 8, 2017, and we want to tell her story of how she came to know Rudolph the RedNosed Reindeer and passed it on to her children and, hopefully, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Mother was born at the beginning of the Depression, on Feb. 4, 1930, the oldest of three to Walter and Rosetta Corliss, on their rented farm east of Sharpsburg, Iowa. Mother, brother Don and younger sister Jean were all about two years apart. Grandpa and Grandma Corliss where farmers and lived almost their entire life in Taylor County in southwestern Iowa. Grandpa was easygoing, but Grandma was more strict. She loved her children very much, but made sure they toed the line. Grandpa and Grandma worked hard, and Mother and her siblings had plenty to eat, clean clothes and a

sound roof over their heads, but there was little money. Christmas, at their home, was a time for family, good food, a few presents under a cedar Christmas tree and church. It was the Christmas of 1939 or 1940, when Mother, Don and Jean first learned of Rudolph. Grandma had taken all three to the town of Corning. In the late 1930s, it was a big community that had its own Montgomery Wards. Mother told us that Grandma had taken them to Corning to go Christmas shopping. Montgomery Wards was doing a promotion to introduce Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer that they had created by giving each child a free book about Rudolph’s adventures. All three of them received their own little book to keep and cherish. Christmas came and went till on a cold Christmas morning in 1943, Grandpa had gotten up, and had started a fire in the wood stove. He then outside to

the outhouse and when he came back, the house was on fire from a wall lamp. Grandpa got Grandma, Mother and Jean out of the house, but Don was sleeping in a back bedroom and Grandpa when back to get him. Not finding Don, Grandpa was forced out by the smoke and flames, resulting in burns to his face and ears. Don awoke to the fire and couldn’t get out the door, so with a feather pillow over his face (this same pillow, our grandmother kept till the day she died almost 50 years later), he jumped out the window. Going around the house, Don found the rest of the family was safe. Gone was everything – their Christmas presents, their house, their furniture – everything except what they were wearing, no shoes, and the pillow. Grandpa loaded them into their car and off they went to Grandma Duey’s for Christmas Day. Lost, but not forgotten was Mother’s, Don’s and Jean’s little

Rudolph books from Montgomery Wards. Many years later, in 1964 or 1965, Melvin Crandall, our Father, and Mother were raising their seven children on an 80-acre farm outside Gravity, Iowa, a stone’s throw away from where Mother was raised and the town of Corning were she got her Rudolph book. Dad worked out during the week on construction and Mother stayed home and ran the farm, milked the cows and cared for their children. We made do with what we had, never wanting for the necessities of life but with little left for many desires. For a Christmas tree, Mother would cut down a cedar from the ditch along our gravel road, put it up in the front window and decorate it so beautifully. There were always presents and a big dinner on Christmas Day. That Christmas we didn’t have a television, and Mom had seen in the paper that

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer that we all know and love was going to be on television. (As I think back, that was the first time we knew about Rudolph, but Mother had known about him for almost 25 years.) Our neighbors, Gene and Mary Ellen Norton’s farm, was a mile west of our home. She was a friend and classmate of Mother’s from high school. They were more prosperous than Mom and Dad, having only two children to raise compared to seven. They had a television set and Mother asked if we could come to their home to watch Rudolph that evening. Mother loved and cared very much for her children, and was not afraid to see to it that we saw this Christmas show then, which I still watch every year and love as much as Mother loved her little book from her childhood. I remember hearing her story about receiving her Rudolph book many times. For some years, we have

been looking for a first addition of Rudolph, like the one Mother had in her childhood, for a Christmas present for her. To find one in really good condition that doesn’t cost a fortune is hard. One year, I was able to give her a little, stiff paper cutout of Rudolph for Christmas. But this year, we are going to try and find a good copy of Rudolph for her present. Since her passing, Mother is with us for Christmas in spirit only, and when we do find a Rudolph book, it will always be wrapped and under the tree every year waiting for Mother to open it on Christmas Day. We miss Mother dearly, for now she is with her parents, her sister Jean, our brother Rodney, our Father, and the rest of her family for Christmas and evermore. Always remember, Mother, that we love you very very much and wish you a very merry Christmas.

How Santa’s naughty or nice list came to be

The Incarnation

By Pastor Carole Shelby Park Rapids Precious Baby Jesus Sleeping sweetly on the hay Your simple coos and gurgles Make music for our day A Father’s heart did send you To smile upon our night This Father’s heart so loving So pleased to give us life. Let us see you in each child In each bright and shining eye As Christmas dawns upon us We’ll sing you our lullabies. God, who in a manger, lay, You have bared your holy arm You are the Lord of nations Yet you dwell in a humble barn. Your g  race and power made known to us In this lowly fragile birth As captives we’re now set free To be lights upon this earth!

By Aaron T. Olsen Viking, Minn. This story is for all the boys and girls who think they need to behave only at Christmas time. They believe there would be now way for Santa to watch them all year, but there is! We all know that old Christmas song, “Santa’s Coming to Town,” and that line “he is making a list, checking it twice see if your naughty or nice.” Have you ever wondered about that list? Well, I’m going to tell you how that list came to be. Starting out, the world was small and Santa could watch the kids himself. Time moved on and the world got bigger; Santa

had to get help. Santa went to the Winter Elf King in his ice castle. When Santa ask the King for help, the King was more then happy to help, and gave Santa a magic list. “How does it work?” asked Santa. The Winter Elf King replied, “Very simply. On New Year’s Eve, toss the list to the four winds and it will scatter across the globe. Kids will not know they are being watched. I mean, who would pay attention to a piece of paper floating in the wind? Then on the first day of winter, it will return to you and tell you about all the kids. It will even list the kids on who was the nicest.”

Santa was very excited, for New Years Eve was only two days away. On New Year’s Eve, Santa did as the Winter Elf King had told him. He watched as the list caught the air and went higher and higher. Suddenly cracks of light went across the list, and it exploded into pieces. Now it was time to wait till the list returned on that first day of winter, and it did just that. The first signs of the list’s return was the howl of the North wind. Santa stepped out of his work shop to watch the North wind come in with pieces of paper blowing around in it. Soon, it was joined by winds from the East,

the West, and finally, South. All four winds came together and in the middle was the returned list whole again. Just as the Winter Elf King had promised that list had all the kids names and how they had behaved. So from then on, every New Year’s Eve Santa sends out his list to watch all the kids. So to all the kids: It maybe the middle of May, and Christmas maybe the last thing your thinking about, but if you see that pieces of random paper floating in the wind, keep in mind it could be the Santa’s list watching you.

Derek May 4th Grade Hogan

001671235r1

001672198r1

001672412r1

Try a Faster Speed Today!

Willy Jensen Trucking & Repair, Inc.

Announcing the all new 1 Gigabit Fiber Optic

Announcing the all new 1 Gigabit Fiber Optic Internet. That’s That’s1000 1000Mbps....100x Mbps....100x FASTER Internet. FASTER thanthan regularbroadband. broadband. regular

DOT Inspections

Office: 218-573-3549 Shop: 218-573-3551

27522 Co. Hwy. 48 Osage, MN

serving the area since 1976

That’s the Giglife. www.wcta.net/giglife

800-945-2163 | 218-837-5151 |www.wcta.net 800-945-2163 | 218-837-5151 | www.wcta.net

Supplying Quality Landscape and Masonry Products Since 1909

18813 Eagle Bend Road, Park Rapids • 218-732-6633 • wwthompson.com

MINNESOTA VALLEY IRRIGATION

www.thielenmotors.com

(218)732-3347 or 800-457-2438 Hwy. 34 E., Park Rapids, MN 001672396r1

602 Ash Ave NE, PO Box 509, Wadena, MN 56482 218-631-9271 • 1-800-684-9299

001671301r1


Christmas Special

C4 December 23, 2017 

By Arlene Arvola Wolf Lake Being raised in the 40s, life was very basic and people did the best they could. Money was not real plentiful, but people seemed more content. My parents had nine children at the time and we were raised on a farm. Electricity came around 1948-49. To make a living was a lot of hard work. There were no milkers, fridges or electric stoves. During the holidays, it was a very busy and a happy time. First come, Santa Day in Wolf Lake. We’d get the Saturday work done early so the crew could go see the magical man. Usually that day was so bitter cold. There we stood outside waiting for Santa to arrive. What a treat to get our own candy bag and tell him what we wished for! Then came the country school program. The whole neighborhood crammed into this oneroom schoolhouse to see

By Linea Thomas Pelican Rapids Casen the Reindeer was at his first practice run for Santa’s sleigh. It was the night before the night before Christmas. All of the reindeer were trying out for Santa’s flying team. The reindeer that already were on the team were Dasher, Dancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen. Casen was trying out for the team. The reindeer called his name and said, “Casen, come on, it’s time for your turn in tryouts!” So Casen took his turn, but when he got off the chains of the sleigh, he

Park Rapids Enterprise

Christmas in the late 1940s

ing, “oh, let’s hurry and get done singing so we can open our gift.” But, no, there was a knock at the door. We go look. Who could that be? Lo and behold, there is Santa with a bag on his back, but, he is all BLACK. We wondered, how come? Why? Mom in all her innocence also wondering why he is black. Then Mom tells the kids, “I bet Pa forgot to clean the chimney.” And we BELIEVED. the Christmas program. in the woods, put up and nace in the basement and cleaned while Mom was The next year, the chimThe kids were all excit- decorated with paper the cook stove. Wood was busy preparing the feast ney got cleaned. My Mother was a very ed, performing “Dolly had chains, glass ornaments, hauled with a two-runner for the evening, which the flu” or reciting some and last of all, tinsel. Oh, sled, so it took us little consisted of ham, bread, creative person, and this poem to recite or singing how beautiful it was! Mom folks a few hours to get riisipuuro (rice custard), time, with all the hustle a song. and Dad would make a trip the job done. cookies, pastries, apples, and bustle, she forgot to The Sunday School pro- to town, come home with Then on the 24th the hard candy, nuts (that we get the Santa suit ready. gram was next. Everybody bags of “stuff” and how whole house was cleaned cracked), apple cider and She had to think fast how dressed in their best. Girls we wondered what was in from top to bottom. Oh, coffee. What a feast! Now, she is going to get a suit wore dresses with “white,” those bags. that was a lot work but the girls had to hurry and ready with no red on hand, long, cotton stockings and Now a week before exciting. Seemed like get their saunas taken, so but she had an old, black, the boys wore dress pants Christmas was a busy time the day would was ever when the guys come in fur coat hanging in the and shirts. The program at home. There was baking so long! After the sup- they can take their saunas sauna, so she thought she was mostly held in Finn- to be done, which con- per meal was eaten, Dad and put their nice clothes will use that and tell the ish. sisted of many kinds of and the boys went to the on, too. When all was done kids, “Pa forgot to clean Christmas at home was cookies and pastries. The barn to feed and milk the we gathered in the living the chimney.” And the magic worked. an exciting time. The week clothes had to be washed cows. The girls had to room to sing Christmas before Christmas the tree and dried. Wood had to be get the dishes done, feed carols. I remember as a was found by the “boys” hauled in for both the fur- the dog and get all floors little five-year-old think-

The problem said to his best friend Charli, “That was the worst experience of my life!” Charli was trying out next, so Casen went home. The next day, Santa put in the elf blog who got the honor of being the next reindeer on Santa’s team. Later that day, Charli’s cousin, Miren, came and showed him the clipping from Santa, elves and reindeer. It said, “After a big decision I have decided that the special reindeer who is the last addition to our sleigh team is Casen Blark! But, thank you, everyone who tried out for your time!”

“Wow, Casen, isn’t that so cool,” said Miren. “No, no, that’s not cool, Miren,” Casen said. “Charli, I thought I told you to tell her about yesterday.” “I did,” said Charli. “I told her it was so fun.” “Well,” said Miren, “you better go because you were chosen.” Reluctantly, Casen went, and he had a great time flying. After he got back, he told Santa everything. Santa said if he didn’t want to be on the team, he didn’t have to. “I would love to,” Casen said.

The snowman

By Judy Doyel Park Rapids Here I am standing in the cold. People have been all around me all day laughing and having a good time. It’s Christmas. Now they all have left me standing alone. I look so good… on the outside… but inside it is very different; I feel like I am melting away from the inside outward. I have been a part of all the activity.. well at least it looked like I was… actually I was only there. No one really talked TO me or took the time to listen to what I needed to say. It really is lonely being a

snowman. I don’t feel any “real” LOVE from anyone; I get some OLD clothes to wear, but when it is bitterly cold and windy these things are of little help to me. I shiver alone. The sun is my only source of heat. If it were not for the sun, I would not know what I am. I am a snowman. My destiny was there from the falling of the first snowflake before I was created. The sun reminds me of that all the time. Yes, I am melting on the inside, but there is a reason. I will soon turn into water and all the blades of grass that are near me will rejoice that I have nour-

001669553r1

001671657r1

Largest Selection of Sporting Goods in the Park Rapids area! Including top brands such as St. Croix, 13 Fishing, G.Loomis, Sitka, Under Armour, Mathews, Hoyt and many more!

www.communityfirstbankmn.com

MENAHGA OFFICE: 218-564-4171 PO Box 250 • 21 Main St. N.E.

SEBEKA OFFICE: 218-837-5171 PO Box 311 • 115 Minnesota Ave. W.

Hwy. 34 East, Park Rapids • (218) 732-4281

“Your Local Experts”

ished them. For you see, they, too, have had this lonely forgotten feeling, but now they are able to flourish into the real reason they are here. The sun has given them a purpose also. It really is so amazing how we all are related to the same purpose! As I come to realize this, I am no longer lonely for I have found it is more in the giving than in the receiving that my intended purpose is passed on. I have been given a special gift of sharing and love, and I have the sun to thank for that. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Dick’s Auto Wrecking LLc

• New-Used • Rebuilt Parts • Late Repairables • We Buy Wrecks • Hot Line Service • Shipping & Delivery Available • Auto Glass • Transmissions • Tires-Wheels • Engines • Radiators • Foreign Parts

1-800-492-4835 • 732-4220 • AFTER HOURS TOWING 218-639-9700 Brad Snelling & Mark Snelling, Owners Hwy. 71 South, Park Rapids

001667589r1

001667312r1

001671575r1

Located at the corner of Hwy. 71 & Hwy. 34 in Park Rapids 732-9957

George Darchuk Sr. • Stainless Steel • Carbon Steel • Aluminum

INC.

Located in the Industrial Park, Park Rapids

Fabrication & Stainless Steel Works - Complete Machine Shop (218) 732-1427 • www.darchuksfab.com SPECIALIZING IN POTATO PROCESSING EQUIPMENT 001467226r1

Exhaust and Muffler, Brake Repair, Shocks & Struts, Air Conditioner Repair, Starters & Alternators, Tires New & Used, Lube & Oil Changes

732-8809 Hwy. 34 E., Park Rapids


Christmas Special

Park Rapids Enterprise 

December 23, 2017 C5

The two best gifts of the season By Janet L. Dunbar Menahga I believe in miracles. I have witnessed many in my lifetime. A sunrise with bright colors of pink and orange that takes my breath away to a beautiful promise delivered in the form of a rainbow of many colors. The birth of my daughter and granddaughters are miracles as is every birth. Christmas is a special time of miracles. My Dad had pneumonia and was in the hospital. I called early in the morning. Mom answered and was crying, “I can’t wake him up. “I’m on my way,” I replied as I jumped up to get ready. The foster children were put in respite care. We grabbed some clothes and were headed to Hays Hospital, a 90-mile drive. When we arrived, we walked into his room and it was empty and had been

cleaned. I stood in the door and felt my heart drop. An observant nurse came and showed us the way to ICU, where he had been moved. Dad had slipped into a coma. The rest of the family arrived and we began our continuous vigil. My brothers would stay at night, sleeping in a cousin’s camper which we were allow to plug it in in the hospital parking lot. I would take Mom to a motel. Dad was moved out of ICU and into a regular room. It was a week before Christmas. Christmas was Dad’s favorite time of year. It was decided that we would still celebrate Christmas. We set up a small tree and decorated Dad’s hospital room. We played the older Christmas songs that Dad loved. Mom insisted that we only talked in positive ways, this included the doctors and nurses. We

continued to tell jokes and laugh in our normal way. We were sure he heard us. We talked and touched him. The days slipped by. We all had incidents of encouragement. A sisterin-law felt a special sense of love when they shared with a bell ringer. People reached out and touched

us. A friend of my brothers turned his home over to us while they were out of town for the holidays. It was fully decorated with a tree and everything. We placed our gifts under their tree. We had a feeling of love and Christmas when you walked in.

dad said, trying to calm mom down. It was so cold it felt like snow was on our white-spotted backs. As I looked around, it was dark and the moon shone the brightest in the night sky. I felt so alive that night. I guess it’s probably because it was so cold that night. “Well, let’s eat some poison ivy,” mom said, feeling like this should be a tradition. At that moment, I thought I saw movement. I lifted up my ears and my big, fluffy tail to alert the others. Everyone lifted their tails. There were silent footsteps coming from behind me. I looked and there it was. “Wolves!” I said.

Everyone started to run. We ran and ran until finally we were safe. But after all that running, we paused, and then we heard gunshots. I felt like I was a goner. My hooves were sore from all that running. I thought I skipped a heartbeat. I felt like my chest was going to collapse. We ran again until finally we reached the forest. We finally got to rest. Everyone was puzzled. Normally, it was nice where we lived. Everyone decided that there was no turning back. We sang Christmas songs to get into the Christmas spirit and to look on the bright side of life. We suddenly stopped to find black and white deer traveling. We asked if they

of celebration. We celebrated joy, love and the bonds of family and being together, remembering the miracle of Christ birth the best gift ever. So many gifts of love were given – not just between our family, but from many others, both friends and strangers. We experienced the true meaning of Christmas. The morning after Christmas, Mom received an early morning phone call. It was the boys. “Dad opened his eyes!” We set a record getting dressed and up to the hospital. When we walked into Dad’s room, he opened his eyes and weakly smiled. Everyone celebrated with us – doctors, nurses and many friends. We received the two best gifts ever – Christ’s birth and the return of our Dad on this Christmas.

FUNNY

able to be with us for a few years during the holidays. Christmas Day will no longer be celebrated at Grandma and Grandpa V’s on the lake. The days of grandma and grandpa hosting the family Whoville Christmas are gone. It’s funny how things change. I sat in the dark of my living room last year early Christmas Eve morning, listening to the gentle snoring of the dogs and kids and the gentle popping of the heat vents as they cooled from the last cycle of the furnace. I was then, and continue now, to be so very grateful for the way things have changed. Christmas for me, will always be about Jesus’ birth, family, friends, fellowship and food. It’s funny how things change, and yet they stay the same. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our home, to yours.

From Page C1

Forest animals celebrate Christmas By Destiny Kern Park Rapids “Mom, what are you doing?” Forest, which is me, said. “I am waiting for your dad to get here,” mom replied. “I think he went to the forest to get some poison ivy,” I said. “Oh, how nice of him, but I can’t believe he is still not here yet!” mom exclaimed. I lifted up my tail and ears to listen as mom kept on talking. I looked and there he was. “Dad, you’re here!” I yelled with relief. “I thought you were dead!” mom exclaimed, looking worried as ever. “No, I am fine, dear,”

Christmas Eve came. An organization reached out to us through the hospital and gifted us a large meat and cheese tray. Mom and Dad’s church brought us a love offering. A friend brought us an ice chest full of food for a Christmas meal. These were all signs of the season and love. A special time was spent with Dad. We rotated in and out of his room. Santa came to visit and brought small gifts. We wished Dad “Merry Christmas” and left him in the very capable and caring hands of the nurses. Mom was sure Dad would come back Christmas. Our tradition was to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve at suppertime. So we all gathered in a borrowed home, with food given to us in love. It was a wonderful time

wanted to join our flock for right now. They said, “Yes.” Then we all sang songs, like “Rudolph the RedNosed Reindeer,” “Silent Night,” “Hark the Herald,” “Jingle Bells” and “Jingle Bells-Batman version.” We found a round tree that was perfect. Everyone thought it was perfect – well, at least, I did. It was the most beautiful tree I’ve ever seen. Everyone heard about Christmas and about the story of Jesus, but we never celebrated Christmas together. In fact, we never celebrated it at all. So we decided that this was the place we should go every time it was Christmas.

Christmas at their new lake house was the same, yet different. The tree, as always, was set up in the corner of the living room, and almost fully engulfed with gifts as it had been for years past. The difference in recent years has been who is able to come, chili and sweet rice are no longer part of the menu, and the smell of the holiday home is not the same. It’s funny how things change. In our immediate family, we have experienced major life changes that have altered the ability to have a repeat performance of those childhood memories. Kids, as they tend to do, scatter to the wind. While most of us still live in the area, one brother has made his home in another state, and he and his wife have not been

001672881r1

001668324r1

001672173r1

218-334-3274

Robert H. Nichols - President Derek Nichols Operations Manager

www.gemstonemasonryinc.com 15580 460th St., Frazee, MN FULLY LICENSED & INSURED

Park Rapids, MN 218-732-9276

Dedication and Service since 1995

Todd Rodeman

G artner-Johnson Since 1992

• General Contractor • New Construction • Remodeling

Construction & Design

603 Central Avenue North, Park Rapids, MN 56470 218-732-4932 bernieg@unitelc.com www.gartnerjohnson.com

001667053r1

Located 1/2 Mile South of the Emmaville Store on County Road 4

001670146r1

Servicing all makes and models of cars and light trucks 20+ ExperYieears nce

Great Northern Cafe 732-9565 Hwy. 34 East Park Rapids

001672885r1

Green Valley Bean, LLC Locally Owned and Operated BUYERS AND THE PROCESSOR OF KIDNEY BEANS Hwy. 34 West, Park Rapids (218) 573-3400 greenvalleybean.com


Christmas Special

C6 December 23, 2017 

By Douglas Lennier Park Rapids “Merry Christmas!” exclaimed Jose, the Filipino driver, as we loaded onto the old, blue USAF bus. It was Sunday morning, Dec. 25, 1966, as we came off duty and out of the compound about 0700 hours. Typical December weather for the Philippines: cloudy, hot and humid. “Welcome to paradise,” I remember Captain Roe saying to us when we had arrived eight months earlier. Once the bus was loaded, we began the 15-minute ride back to the barracks. Jose turned on Armed Forces Radio and they were playing Christmas music. Bing Crosby was singing “White Christmas.” I was sitting in the first row of seats, glancing around, and there was not a dry eye on the bus. Most of us had come over together from Good-

Park Rapids Enterprise

Christmas at Clark

fellow Air Force Base and it was a pretty tight-knit group. Most still kids, 19 to 22 years of age, and away from home for the first time. Guys from New York to California and places in-between. Mainly small towns, a few from big cities and the rest from farms like myself. I imagined all were thinking about Christmas, being away from family and friends, and not looking forward to the canned turkey roll for dinner. The bus pulled up in front of the barracks with the radio playing “Silver Bells.” I thought about my Grandfather back in Kansas, handing out presents and the smell of Grandma’s turkey and dressing. Ron, sitting next to me, said, “Let’s go get a cup of coffee.” This jolted me back to reality. I told Jose to have a “Merry Christmas” as I was getting off the bus. I stopped and looked back. We had taken up a col-

lection from all the guys and Captain Roe was giving Jose the money, along with a card we had all signed. Ron and I, along with some of the others that just got off duty, walked around the corner to the mess hall on the first floor of the barracks. It was decorated for Christmas, lights everywhere, and over in one corner was a palm tree covered with stars made out of aluminum foil. Not like home, but pretty creative for a

bunch of G.I.s. The coffee was hot and strong, the toast dry and the eggs...well, there is just so much you can do with powdered eggs. We sat and talked while we drank the coffee. Most of us just pushed the toast and eggs around on our plate. The discussion seemed to center around college and pro football. About that time, a blue Air Force hospital bus, loaded with wounded G.I.s that had been flown in from Vietnam, passed by

on the way to the Clark AB hospital. That put things somewhat into perspective. We all bowed our heads, closed our eyes and said a silent prayer. Ron said, “Let’s walk down to the Cobran Den, get a soda pop and see what’s on TV.” As we entered, there were airmen sitting around drinking coffee or Pepsi and watching an old episode of “Gilligan’s Island.” There was a month-old copy of the Kansas City Star lying around. I picked up the paper and read a little in the sports section about the Chiefs predicted to win the right to play in the AFL-NFL World Championship game. By then, it was near 0900 hours. Gilligan and the Skipper had missed another opportunity to get off the island and it was time to head upstairs to bed. I wanted to get a few hours of sleep before dinner and going back on

duty. Sergeant Hamilton, in his Santa outfit, was slicing turkey when we came down for dinner. The turkey wasn’t that bad and the dressing was tasty. The Filipino mess stewards were singing Christmas carols – a better rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” I had never heard. After eating, I went back upstairs and changed into my uniform and waited for the bus to arrive at 2230 hours. Ron and I got the front seat. He showed me a picture of his Golden Retriever that his mother had sent him for Christmas. Just as we pulled up to the duty compound, someone yelled, “Look back to the east! A shooting star!” I looked out the window just in time to see it drop below the horizon. Even 51 years later, one does not forget days and moments like that. Merry Christmas and God bless to all.

001672869r1

001671587r1

• Finnish Jewelry • Sauna Supplies • Iittala Glassware • Finnish Candy & Jams • Hunting & Fishing Knives

Mon.-Fri. 9am-5pm & Sat. 8:30am-4pm irenesfavoritethings.com •732-1121 • Hwy. 34 East, Park Rapids (located inside Harvala Appliance)

Scandinavian Gift www.itasca-mantrap.com

P.O. Box 192; Park Rapids, MN 218-732-3377 or 1-888-713-3377

www.CORE-ICE.com

001667600r1

JOSH’S COLLISION CENTER 218-237-5660 www.joshscollision.net

“No job too small”

P.O. BOX 552, PARK RAPIDS, MN 56470

732-7252

13267 Eureka Rd., Park Rapids, MN 56470 Shop Manager/Owner: Josh Kruchowski

001672129r1

LEVI HOLSAPPLE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY

5764 County Road 83 NW, Akeley, MN

218-652-2590 CELL: (218)-820-4991 FAX: (218)-652-0590

001667125r1

001667272r1

001667359r1

LICENSE# 38112-PM

Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Commercial Refrigeration www.leadingedgemech.com 218-237-5125 • 19974 129th Ave., Park Rapids

Jerry Eischens Cabinetry Custom Built To Fit Your Needs

• Custom Kitchens • Vanities • Entertainment Centers • Offices

(218) 732-8061

FOR ALL YOUR  SIGN NEEDS! Think local for all of your sign & Christmas gift ideas! 218-252-6833 Park Rapids, MN Check us out on Facebook!


Christmas Special

Park Rapids Enterprise 

By Carol A. Nelson Park Rapids At 4:20 p.m. Dec.4, 2016 I held my mom’s hand and said goodbye for the last time. At 7:20 p.m. that same night, she sent me a sign. At 7:20 p.m. exactly a week later, she gave me a gift I will have for years to come… A few short days after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I sat in a quiet hospice room next to my mom; her face pale and drawn, she was no longer able to speak. With Christmas approaching it occurred to me to ask my kids to send a video wishing their Grandma one last “Merry Christmas!” We spent the afternoon listening to Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” as well as her other favorite Christmas singers: Gene Autry, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. I found Rudolph the RedNosed Reindeer as well as other Christmas videos for her to watch. I played my daughter and her 6- and

December 23, 2017 C7

The Christmas Gift

9-year old girls’ adorable rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” followed by outpouring of love and get well wishes. Shortly after, my son and his soon-to-be wife sent a wonderful video of the two of them in their home in Alabama, in front of their Christmas tree. They showered her with love and well wishes and a hearty “Merry Christmas! We love you and miss you!” We looked at photos of the things she loved most, including her older cat (now living with me) her younger, half-tailed cat (now with my brother). Although her face was

non-expressive, I could see her raise her eyebrows while she watched, and the corner of her mouth would slightly curve, almost into a smile. I held Mom’s hand thanking her for being my mom, telling her how much I loved her. And then I quietly whispered into her ear that I was fine (she always worried the most about me, being the youngest) and that all of us were going to be okay. I kissed her on the head and told her she did not have to fight the pain anymore. It was okay to let go and see her mom and dad and to go be with Dad. In the next few minutes, her breathing slowed down. I pushed the nurse’s light and held Mom’s hand and told her “goodbye” for the last time… A few hours later, I was following my sister and brother-in-law to their home in Ormsby. Suddenly in the bleak winter darkness something that looked like a sparkler

made an arc across the sky right in front of my car from the left side of the road to the right. I got out of the car at my sister’s and started to ask, “Did anyone else…” when my brother-in-law interjected “…see that shooting star?!” I knew that was Mom on her way to heaven saying “goodbye” for the last time. Hoping to cheer me up, my best friend and significant other took me out for dinner. It was exactly one week (almost to the minute) that I had seen the shooting star. It was cold and dark; very difficult to see. As we approached my pet hotel, a cat could be heard crying. John asked if one of the cats got out. My reply: “Nope.” As we got closer to the building, he commented on how well you could hear the cats from their indoor rooms. I shook my head and told him, “You can’t. The

cat we’re hearing is outside.” I followed the cries to my deck. I reached under my grill and in the darkness pulled out a scared and very cold cat. We brought him inside and to my surprise he only had a half of a tail, just like my Mom’s cat. What a “coincidence.” It looked to have been frozen. His nose also looked frostbitten and he was a bit skinny, but otherwise appeared well. He was shy and scared, but certainly couldn’t have been feral? Or was he, and in such a desperate state, that his fear melted away as he became warmer? I tried to find his owner. Weeks passed and still no one claimed him. My sister told me she was sure Mom sent him to watch over me as she always worried about me. With a heavy sigh, I decided to keep him, but he would need a name. I tried various names and he just blankly stared at me.

I “asked” Mom what she thought. A few days later, it just came to me: “Pussy Cat.” Of course! That was my mom’s nickname for me. I spoke his name and he looked at me for the first time. With a smile, I knew Mom had sent Pussy Cat as her way of being with me for Christmas. Addendum: Pussy Cat’s tail is still mending and still periodically bleeds. He is still quite shy and timid but slowly, over time, has settled in with his brothers and sister. I miss Mom everyday; and Christmas is especially tough as I know it is for anyone who has lost a loved one. This year, if you are feeling alone and sad, and have the means and desire to care for a pet, perhaps rescuing your own “pussy cat” from the shelter is something that will help. Remember: they, too, are in need of love and attention; and feel loneliness as well. Perhaps you can rescue each other and fill a void in your life as well as theirs. Merry Christmas!

001671561r1

001669571r1

Marchell Electric, Inc.

Your YourPowerful PowerfulPartner Partner

Quality Work • 24-Hour Service • Dual Fuel • Electric Heating

1-800-228-4966

A STEFFES

Call Dennis at 218-732-8862 ELECTRIC STORAGE 1-1/2 mi. N. of Park Rapids on Hwy. 71 HEAT DEALER mnpower.com mnpower.com

801 S. Park Ave. (S. Hwy. 71) • 732-1431

Making your holidays bright!

001666929r1

001671595r1

001669527r1

Dr. Jason Murray & Dr. Bonnie Moeller

Complete Family Dental Care

001493638r1

www.parkrapidsaviation.com

“We give you something to smile about”

P.O. Box 307 Hwy. 71 South 218.237.8528

218-732-1414 www.northwoodsdentalclinic.com • 405 Henrietta Ave. S., Park Rapids

001671302r1

001668431r1

NORTH STAR NURSING Because There’s No Place Like Home

301 Airport Rd., Hwy 71 South, Park Rapids, MN 56470 • 218-237-1525

15357 Hwy. 71, Park Rapids • 732-1461

Home Care Services PCA-Respite Care Private Duty Nurse

Independent Living Skills Services For All Ages For more information check out our new website: www.northstarnursing.com Heidi Clements & Helen Drewes, Owners (218)573-2238 • 1-800-535-5895 Like us on

001672891r1

732-1416 Wild Game Sausage Processing

• Home of AwardWinning Sausages • Full Line of Sausage • EBT Welcome Meat Bundles

• CATERING • FRESH QUALITY MEATS • CUSTOM ORDERS

416 S. MAIN, PARK RAPIDS, MN • MON.-FRI. 9-6 & SAT. 9-5


Christmas Special

C8 December 23, 2017 

Park Rapids Enterprise

Christmas time is here

By Kaylie Westberg Age 11, Park Rapids Nov. 22, 2015 It is one day before Thanksgiving. We have ALL the decorations up, and the whole family is in Christmas mode….except me. Hi, my name is Alexia, and don’t get me wrong, I am NOT a Christmas hater. I mean, it’s fun opening presents and going to Grandma’s house and stuff like that, but I don’t get what all the fuss is about! If your family is anything like mine, you’ll know what I mean. Mom is always frantic because she needs to make everything perfect. All the little cousins are running around screaming and Uncle Shawn always asks who my boyfriend is. Then there’s the time when we go to church and sit in the uncomfortable pews for what seems like hours. The guy in the front talks on and on, and we sing songs with candles. That’s the only time we go to church, just because Grandma makes us.

We went to our favorite store: Present-tastic. Mom said we could shop for 15 minutes, then meet up at the checkout. I first went to the toy department and found gifts for my brothers. I looked at my watch. I had three minutes to get to the checkout. And I still had to shop for Mom and Dad. Maybe I could beg them for 10 more minutes? When I got to the checkout, I found Dad. He looked frantic. “Have you seen the boys?” he asked. “No, where’s Mom?” I replied. It turns out Grandma fell, and Mom had to rush to the hospital to see her.

Dec. 10, 2015 Today we went to see Grandma. She was sleeping peacefully when we got there. Mom, Dad and my brothers went to get some water and cookies after awhile, so I was all alone with Grandma. I looked on her nightstand, and there was this book. I wanted to know Dec. 1, 2015 Today my whole family what kind of books a went Christmas shopping. grandma reads, so I looked

at it. She had a bookmark in it, so I started reading there. The book was about this amazing woman who had a child named Jesus, who was a king. But he was born in a stable, with cows, horses and pigs. Wisemen came to see the baby, and shepherds with their sheep. As I kept reading, I realized that this baby Jesus was the same Jesus who was the son of God, the one who would grow up and die on the cross for our sins. I realized that this wasn’t just something that old people talked about or men in white robes talked about every Sunday. It’s for you and me, everyone in the world, of every nation, every country, every city. Heaven isn’t just for the select few who act perfectly or pay enough money or have successful lives. No, Jesus is for everyone. All you have to do is accept Jesus into your heart, and you’ll have a shoulder to rest your head on forever, someone who will listen when you talk to Him. Someone with a never-giving-up-love for you.

001670180r1

I looked at Grandma. She was awake and smiling at me. Dec. 19, 2015 We got a call today from the doctors. Grandma will be home for Christmas! Dec. 25, 2015 It’s Christmas! It has been so much fun today, so far. I helped Grandma put up her Nativity scene and we made cookies together. Yes, Mom is frantic, and yes, all the little cousins are nuts, and yes, Uncle Shawn asked who my boyfriends is, but it’s okay. Today, we celebrate the birth of Jesus and that’s all that matters. We went to church this morning. The pews were still uncomfortable, but it didn’t bother me. Church had a different effect on me. All the songs meant something, and the pastor’s words rang loud and clear in my ears. And when we sang “Silent Night” with the candles, I didn’t just thinking about not burning my hair, but also what were singing about: “Jesus, Lord at thy birth, Jesus, Lord at thy birth.”

001671640r1

Office

218-237-0110

Toll-free: 877-577-0110

001671571r1

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK

237-4666

001668809r1

317 First Street W., (Hwy. 34) Park Rapids, MN

Lights twinkle on the trees Bringing light to the darkness Carols whisper softly with the breeze Bringing peace to the chaos People pass with a cheery hello Spreading happiness to all Children’s faces are all aglow With the hopes of the season Families meet to enjoy a glance At memories of the years gone by Meals spent together, precious time is a dance Away from the world’s caustic nature Shopper share their hearts When they pass the Salvation Army kettles Helping people making new starts When life hands them hard challenges The faith that shows through That may stay hidden the rest of the year Many helpful things that people do That brings others much joy and cheer The magic of Christmas is forever It can never be harmed For when there are people together It will ever by present

3 Locations! Nevis, Akeley & Park Rapids

501 Industrial Park Rd., Park Rapids

Brian J. Behrens CLTC®, FIC, Financial Associate

By Darlene Funk Park Rapids

001672814r1

Career Opportunities Available in CNC Machining

“your partner in power-train solutions”

The Magic of Christmas

001671567r1

Furnaces & Air Conditioners Outdoor Wood Boilers In-Floor Heat • Boilers Sales, Service and Installation

COMMERCIAL, RESIDENTIAL, REMODELING

218-252-4877

www.ulvinplumbing.com

Cabin Opening And Closing

218-732-0026

PO BOX 730 • PARK RAPIDS, MN

John Rowe, Owner, Over 14 Years Experience Your Heating & Air Conditioning Experts!

Free Estimates • Licensed, Bonded & Insured

Tim Ulvin

License# PM63832

Licensed, Bonded, Insured

001672818r1

001670167r1

211 First Street NE Menahga, MN 56464 218-564-5678 www.trustarfcu.com Federally insured by NCUA

Expert Legal Services • Local Knowledge Sara Swanson, Roger Zahn, Trent Wilcox, Matt Enger, Zachary Johnson 120 N. Main Ave., P.O. Box 87, Park Rapids, MN 56470 Telephone: (218) 732-7236

SERENITY S A L O N

&

S P A

218-237-2550 •1011 1ST ST. E. #5

serenitysalonspamn.com

001667274r1


Christmas Special

Park Rapids Enterprise 

December 23, 2017 C9

A Christmas Day reunion By Abigail Kopkie Age 12, Nevis Smoke billowed out of the little, log cabin’s chimney. Juliet sat inside worrying about her husband, hoping there was some way he was still alive. He had been fighting in the Civil War since April 12, 1861. He was a soldier in the union army. The war had ended May 9, 1865 – well, now it was Christmas Eve 1865, and he still hadn’t returned. Juliet wondered if other families were in her position, not knowing whether her husband was dead or alive. He could be injured, wandering around in the snow somewhere. She knew he was probably dead, but she refused to admit it. She would keep on believing that he would return. She would make

this Christmas be a merry one, for her children’s sake, but inside she had no idea how she could handle life without her husband. Juliet smiled as she watched her children, Annie, Isaiah, Caroline, and Millie, decorate the Christmas tree with strings of popcorn and cranberries. Their little, log cabin was a simple one; it had a sleeping loft with five mats, one window, a rocking chair, a small wooden table and a fireplace, but it was home. Juliet’s husband had built it before they were married. The cabin was lit only by the fire, which created a peaceful atmosphere. A sleepy four-year-old Millie climbed up onto Juliet’s lap and tried with all her might to keep her eyes

open, but all was in vain; Millie fell right asleep. Juliet smiled at the sleeping toddler in her lap. “Time for bed, children,” she whispered. Three weary, but joyful, little bodies climbed up the ladder to the sleeping loft; each one laid down on their mat. Heavy breathing was heard almost immediately. Juliet smiled; she loved her little troop. She carefully laid Millie down, but her big brown eyes popped open. “I love you, ma!” she whispered. “I love you, too.” Then Juliet grabbed the candle and went around to each of her children’s mats and whispered, “I love you” into each one’s ear, then she laid down on her mat. Juliet woke up to four, bright-eyed children sur-

rounding her. “It’s Christmas!” Millie squealed. She and the children climbed down the ladder and ate some porridge and sat around the Christmas tree while Juliet read the Christmas story out of the Bible. A knock on the door startled them all. Juliet went to answer it and saw a man with a black beard and crutches. She recognized those brown eyes. “David?” Juliet flung herself into her husband’s arms. She couldn’t believe it. He was home, finally home. She clung to him for at least 10 minutes. He kept whispering “Juliet! My Juliet!” while he stroked her hair. The children looked at them, eyes open wide in

curiosity. Juliet turned towards them, her arm still around her husband. “It’s your father.” “I am home, my little loves!” The older three ran to him, and hugged him, but little Millie hung back. She didn’t know this man. He left for war before she was born. Juliet went up to her and whispered, “Honey, it’s your father.” Then little Millie ran up to him. Soon they were all settled by the fire. “Why didn’t you come home right away?” Juliet asked. “I was injured and had to stay in a hospital for six months after the war. I am sorry I didn’t send word, my beloved. My wound became infected and I slipped in and out of con-

sciousness. I was delirious when I was conscious.” Only then did Juliet realize that he had only one leg. When she realized how close she had come to losing her husband, tears of gratitude slid down her cheeks. “Don’t cry, my love. We are all together now,” David whispered into her ear. While Juliet was preparing a good meal, David told the children stories about war and victorious battles, and ones where they were defeated. They all ate and laughed, then talked for hours, then the children started drifting off to sleep, so they went up to bed together. “This Christmas really has been a merry Christmas!” Juliet whispered to her husband.

the Christmas tree lighting. It was so beautiful! We sang “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” “Oh, Christmas Tree” and “Jingle Bells.” It started to get cold, so we had hot cocoa with marshmallows. Then Will started to like

Christmas. He had so many decorations. He went to Christmas parties. Then he went caroling with us. Then on Christmas Day kids were opening their presents. Will had a blast on Christmas Day!

A very merry Christmas By Grace Stevens Age 12, Park Rapids It all started a long time ago. It was Christmas time. Kids were playing all around. There was a group of carolers. They sang so beautifully. They needed another person to sing with them, so they asked me.

Then I said, “Sure, why not?” We went to this house that was not decorated. It was so dark. The person that that lived there did not like Christmas at all. His name was Will. He was a grumpy old man like Scrooge.

We went to the next house, and it was so Christmas-like with a plastic Santa and his sleigh with his reindeer and with lights inside and out. A Christmas tree outside was decorated. The lady inside loved our singing. She said it was a beautiful song.

Then we all went home to eat our meal of ham or turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes. Then I said it was time for pie. There were apple, pumpkin, blueberry, cherry and banana pies and homemade blueberry cheesecake. The next day we went to

001669513r1

001668585r1

P: 218-732-5226 F:218-237-5080

autocraftpr.com • autocraftpr@hotmail.com

001673065r1

1009 1st St. E., Hwy. 34 Park Rapids

4 mi. W. on Hwy. 34 & 1/2 mi. S. on 109th Ave., Park Rapids, MN

218-732-1471 001673166r1

001673135r1

“The Simple Truth: Great Coffee”

Espresso • Specialty Drinks • Brewed Coffee Smoothies • Italian Sodas • Pastries Phone Orders: 218-237-8500

Winter Hours: Mon.-Sat. 7am-5pm & Sun. 9am-3pm www.espresso34.com On Hwy. 34 East, Park Rapids (across from L&M Fleet)

203 Henrietta Ave. No., Park Rapids, MN 56470 (218) 732-3364 • Fax (218) 732-8757 • www.parkrapidsenterprise.com

203 Henrietta Ave. No., Park Rapids, MN 56470 (218) 732-3364 • Fax (218) 732-8757 • www.parkrapidsenterprise.com

001668426r1

001671261r1

Don Guida 218-255-0878

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK

802 1st St. East (Hwy 34 E). Park Rapids, MN (218)732-4513

(Formerly Straight River Log Homes)

www.blueberryloghomes.com

Surgery, Dentistry, Radiology, Wellness Plans & Emergency Care “Skills That Heal and Hearts That Care”

Mia Hay Long, DVM Megan Larson , DVM

From Hwy. 34, N. 1.5 miles on Co. Rd. 4, Park Rapids • 732-3119 • arkanimalhospitalpr.com


Christmas Special

C10 December 23, 2017 

By Paula R. Eberhardt Park Rapids Grandma leaned back in her favorite chair, a hot cup of tea firmly snuggled between her hands; Christmas music gently playing in the background. She was finally at peace and immersed herself in her children’s laughter and joy on this very Holy Night. The baby was back in the arms of his mother. Her heart filled with love and adoration as she watched her daughter delight in the presence of her only son; the most treasured of gifts, given to her by our Creator. The family had just taken a trip through the devil’s playground. It had affected every part of their lives and nearly destroyed them. It had been a long and difficult fight, fraught with secrecy, ignorance, deception and terror as the infant had been torn away from them. Every day she felt the excruciating pain as she watched her family be emotionally and psycho-

Park Rapids Enterprise

Dream of a Christmas miracle

logically abused; tortured by his absence. Every day she prayed from the bottom of her heart and mustered every ounce of faith she had to fight to get him back where he belonged. It was the most terrifying journey she had ever embarked upon, but her faith guided and encouraged her every step of the way. She knew that goodness and justice would prevail because that is the way that God intended it. That is the way it is supposed to be. “The Lord won this battle,” she thought to herself, as her eye was drawn to the snow glistening on the deck of their home. Then…she saw the star. “It can’t be,” she thought to herself, but she knew deep inside that it was God telling her that He was here with them through it all, shining his light through the abyss to guide them on their journey. She recognized this light. Through the months of hell they had endured, she had searched

for and clung to His brilliance with the desperation of a dying man. She begged God to show her the way and tried with all her might to trust that He knew more than she did about such matters – all matters concerning his children. It was, at times, the most difficult thing in her life, but she knew her love and trust in the Lord was stronger than any adversary that may cross her path. She knew that God was the glue that would hold it all together, and as the brightness of that Christmas star grew in intensity, she invited Him to join her in Peace and celebration. She made another cup of tea and placed it on the table next to her. “Thank you,” she whispered. “Thank you for being there when I thought I would fail. Thank you for never deserting me. Thank you for these wonderful treasures that you gave so long ago with the appearance of a star, and the delivery of your own, very

A Christmas poem

we might live through Him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.” 1 John 4:9-10 The Message ‘Twas the day AFTER Christmas, and all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, not even the computer mouse. The stockings were empty, the presents under the tree gone, Christmas dinner a savory memory, and I began to yawn. The cats had returned after hiding all day From a house full of people, and in such disarray. Extra attention they crave, taking turns on my lap Enjoying the camaraderie of a Sunday afternoon nap. Soon the tree will be dismantled, the trimmings put away, Baby Jesus in the manger boxed up for another day. The carols that at Christmas we listen to and enjoy Will be replaced by other music, and programs that annoy. But the truth of the Christmas story will remain in our hearts As we allow the Christ of Christmas to be our focus as each day starts.

ever, and how she loved that new coffee pot! She also reminded each and every one of us how special we all were to her and how she loved her life that she celebrated each and every day. She talked about how the little girls in her life were the most important people to her, and how she always looked forward to their visits and so much shared love. Little did we know that that taping was the last Christmas that we would have with Mom. Within six months of that fantastic, loving day, she was hospitalized for two weeks, finding out she needed surgery to see exactly what was going on since all of the x-rays and testing did not show anything. The surgeon came out after what seemed to be an eternity and talked with us. We joined the thousands of people that had cancer in their family. The days came and went, Mom never really being aware of what was going on. Conversations were one-sided, but hugs and kisses and stories again filled the room. This time there was not very much laughter and no recording with that new little recorder was happening. The days were limited and filled with sadness, a lot of stories and hand-holding. Goodbyes were said between the falling tears... From time to time, we find our “Best Christmas Ever” tape and listen to it, so thankful that we had a little girl that needed a

new recorder on her wish list and that Santa listened real close to her. Everyone received a copy of that day’s activity so they can relive that special Christmas whenever they need to hear Mom’s voice once more. It may have been the coffee pot, the commotion of the day, or the love of the kids that made the day so special for my Mom, but it was the little black recorder that did its job so very well that tears fall every time the “Very Best Christmas Ever” is played back.

So let’s live out the Christmas message of salvation and good cheer, As we share His love with others throughout this coming year. “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and

depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best, and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11 NIV

at Him and said to her children, “Never lose faith, for that is the greatest gift you will ever give yourself and the greatest gift you can ever share with another. Always fight for Goodness, for in this fight, you are fighting for the Lord.” Her children clamored up on her lap, almost knocking over the teacups in delight

and they sat as a family once again. All connected; all of them experiencing the true meaning of Christmas: Peace, Love and Joy. Once again – seemingly against all odds – her prayers had been answered. Merry Christmas, and may God Bless each and every one of you!

001673170r1

203 Henrietta Ave. No., Park Rapids, MN 56470 (218) 732-3364 • Fax (218) 732-8757 • www.parkrapidsenterprise.com

001673123r1

Snuggle ‘n 218-732-PETS Snooze Inn 7387 (

)

Pawsitively the Best...Hotel for Pets Dogs, Cats, Birds, Rabbits...

www.snugglensnoozeinn.com

Cell: 763-416-1614 (Call or text)

20151 Eddie Baxter Dr., Park Rapids, MN 56470 • Hwy 34/So. CR 11 (SE Dorset Corner) 001671288r1

001671580r1

FOOD & PHARMACY OPEN 6AM-11PM 7 DAYS A WEEK

16925 170th St., Park Rapids • 732-8033

209 West 1st., Park Rapids WWW.COBORNS.COM

732-0182

001462786r1

By Joyce Killmer Park Rapids ‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the house Not a creature was stirring, other than my computer mouse. The tree was all trimmed and the lights hung with care With numerous other decorations distributed here and there. I thought of the projects that just couldn’t wait. I needed to get started, or it would be too late. I looked at my cats comfortably napping; And remembered the presents that still needed wrapping. There are cookies to bake and letters to write. . . And then I heard songs of that first Christmas night— Songs about shepherds and angels and a star, Mary, and Joseph, and Wise Men from afar. Songs about peace and about hope, love, and joy. And the theme of them all was the birth of a boy. And I paused then to contemplate this truth beyond measure: God gave us His Son, the Gift we’ll always treasure. So, as you celebrate Christmas with family and friends, Remember the Reason for the Season, and enjoy the peace that never ends. “This is how God showed His love for us: God sent His only Son into the world so

special Son.” Her heart exploded into a million pieces once again, but this time it was not in agony – it exploded with Love. She wrapped her arms around her God and knew there would be no greater gift that she could ever give her family than Him. The gifts under the tree were only symbolic of this Divine Love. The two of them sat back and watched, God’s arm around her shoulder, pulling her close, and she knew that He would always be there. There was simply no doubt about it. The snow started to fall and the lights on the tree began to glow brighter. They twinkled and sparkled as God gave her a wink. “Enjoy your Christmas Gift,” He said, and the room filled with a love that was indescribable. Her daughters and her grandbaby felt it too, and the activity stopped for just a moment as they glanced around, looking for the source of the change. She smiled, winked back

001672479r1

Hwy. 34 E. & Henrietta Ave., Park Rapids

218-732-0339

300 W First St., Park Rapids, MN 56470 - www.cnbbank.com 001670171r1

(800) 362-6308 • (218) 732-3393


Park Rapids Enterprise 

Christmas Special

December 23, 2017 C11

God Bless the World

Peace on Earth

• Gemstone Masonry • Hansen’s Electric, Inc • Harvala Appliance • Hoffman Electric, Inc. • Itasca Region Insurance Agency • Kountry Tile & Stone • Lorraines Hair Care of Akeley • Main Street Meats • McDonalds • Napa Auto Parts of Park Rapids

• Thomason, Swanson & Zahn, PLLC • Ulvin Plumbing & Heating, Inc. • Walmart • Warren’s Tire & Auto of Park Rapids • West Central Telephone Association • WW Thompson Concrete • Yliniemi’s Child Care • Zappy’s Cafe - Akeley

Aesthetic Arts - Dental Lab • Akeley United Methodist • Autocraft • Avenson Electric • Ben Franklin • Citizens National Bank • Coborn’s • Coca-Cola Bottling Co. of Bemidji • Community First Bank • Cwikla Ace Hardware • Darchuk’s Inc • Delaney’s Outdoors • Espresso 34

• New Life Community Church • Northland Lumber • North Star Nursing • Northern Pines Sanitation • Orton’s Park Rapids • Park Rapids Aviation • Peace Lutheran Church of Nevis • Peloquin Law Office, PA Attorneys & Counselors • Racer Construction, Inc. • RD Offutt Co • Sherry Safratowich Sewing & Alterations • Skelgas • Superior Sewing & Embroidery • T&M Express • Thielen Motors


C12 December 23, 2017 

Christmas Special

The end of the year brings no greater joy than the opportunity to express to you season’s greetings and good wishes. May your holidays and New Year be filled with joy.

Karen Holtan, Kathy Dennis, Janice Porter Candy Parks, Mark Harmon, Jayne Merila Shannon Geisen, Vance Carlson, Lorie Skarpness Russell Zinke, Jon Porter

Park Rapids Enterprise

Christmas Special 2017  
Christmas Special 2017