From the miscellaneous drawer - Despite the times

The part of my job that is most enjoyable is keeping track of subscriptions for subscribers. While names don’t pop into my head as quickly to match with faces that stop by the office, faces remain familiar generally.
And sometimes, too, bits of information, mostly from the past: where someone worked or lived, and other trivia like family connections emerge.
After all, the 40+ years living here has created a treasure trove of memories.
In my spare time, before a different treasure trove is totally lost, I’m trying to link up my mother’s family past with that of her family history from the 1800s.
That is a lot easier than trying to link up my dad’s family past. For one thing, I don’t read nor understand Norwegian.
Why is any of this important to me? It gives me a sense of stability in what appears to be an unstable world.
We all worry and wonder about the world our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will face in the future. Will there be wars? Famine? Instability?
Learning that a grandmother I never knew (she died in 1904) faced flooding, army worms, cyclones, tornadoes and wrote home that, “I just wish we had a big bag like you sold to butcher for meat and to get some lard too as we have neither. Would that lard that you said you made soap of be worth paying freight on down here or not. We get from 10 to 19 eggs a day but I cook a good many as things are so scarce and we don’t have anything to buy much with, and no butter to sell at all.”
All those words in some ways gives me hope. Though she and her husband died, their children survived and went on to lead good lives despite the times.
* * *
In the Ely Echo of September 23, 1996, twenty years ago, the headlines were:
• Clinton administration threatens veto on portages
• City attorney outlines complex annexation process to Ely council
• Pioneer Mine group to develop four areas; EADC to include each
• Backers of multi-recreational facility say feasibility is next step
• Ely Jaycees resurrected after 11 years