Jeanette Mattson, 90, of Virginia

Jeanette Mattson, 90, of Virginia died October 30, 2019 at the Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely, Minnesota.
She was born Nov 14, 1928, to Henry and Hilma Sipola, in Embarrass, Minnesota. On June 1, 1946, Jeanette married Robert Mattson and was happily married for 64 years. They lived in Embarrass, Grand Rapids, Virginia and Ely. They enjoyed their lake home at Eagles Nest Lake for over 35 years entertaining family, youth and friends before retiring to Virginia. An important part of Jean’s life was her family, cooking, serving, caretaking, hosting missionaries and prayer meetings. She was a wonderful homemaker, an avid reader and had a love for the Word.


Hook and Bullet Club

Jon Prijatel posted one morning how he loves early mornings at the shack. His photos showed a hot fire burning in the wood stove and breakfast cooking on the gas stove.
At the same time at Camp Cholesterol I was watching the darkness start to fade away through the Norway pines. But there was an incredible light show taking place.
Through the window of my front door I could see the moon peaking up from the horizon. But not much of a moon, just a thin sliver. Boy was it bright.
My SkyView app is great to have when looking up at the stars. The moon may be easy to figure out but I didn’t know Mars was right next to the moon or that Uranus was the bright star out the window behind me. And did you know Mars appears reddish in color due to the iron oxide (rust) in its terrain and dusty atmosphere? Me either.


Touring the power of coal in North Dakota

by Nancy McReady
Each year Lake Country Power invites its co-op members on the three days/two nights Coal Creek Bus Tour to Bismarck, North Dakota.
Members from the Mountain Iron, Kettle River and Grand Rapids service areas all meet at Lake Country Power in Grand Rapids to board the coach bus. This year from Ely, Doug and Nancy McReady made their second trip to Coal Creek, and Andrew and Suzi Jackson had their first trip. There were rest stops and a lunch stop along the way to Bismarck, and even trivia and bingo games with prizes to pass the time.
Upon arrival at our hotel destination of Staybridge Suites Bismarck, members had a short period of time to freshen up before boarding the bus again and going to the Bismarck Municipal Country Club for a group dinner. This dinner was included in the price of the tour package of $170/person.


Hook and Bullet Club

Shack time is running very low with deer season now just two weeks away. At Camp Cholesterol we’re rebuilding a small woodshed and fixing deer stands as fast as we can.
This past weekend we had a boatload of helpers including Megan’s college roommate Sidney, Evan and his girlfriend Nella, Uncle Mike and his youngest, Hunter joining Mary and I in moving a deer stand.
The move has been in the planning stages for over a year. We considered bringing in a crane or maybe a large helicopter to make it happen. Then we realized this wasn’t a big deal and we just needed brave souls to climb up the stand, undo the ratchet straps and help us lower it to the ground.
That part went really well thanks to Hunter and when it went back up Evan was able to attach it to the tree again without any problems.


Trout Whisperer - Keeping warm…

His muck boots are earning their keep. He leads as we slop, stroll to the edge of his yard. My jacket collar, with the colder air, feels good, and odd. Been many months since I’ve had this many layers on, and I’m seriously thinking I may be one layer short.
But the beehives, all top bar, are getting another new layer of straw, because when he phoned the other day, he said he wanted some help and he wasn’t taking any chances. So, this morning in the cold gray overcast, I’m a hay Sherpa.
His lawn is dotted with snowy patches, some green grass lays flat, seriously soaked from everything above white, or droplet deciding it needed to fall, and I’m about as ready as the bees for what’s really coming.
We move the side straw bales, to get closer to the hives. Not a single bee stirred or seemed to care. I start stacking in the new layer, and then he piles back the older straw to bank against the impending.


Trout Whisperer - Lodged, in my mind

It is in me to imagine a perfection. Then to see it, to breathe it, that’s the chocolate on the sundae, and my confectioned Sunday topping, is the gray wispy downdraft of the smoke coming from the main lodges chimney.
They burn birch exclusively. You open the creaky main door on the massive log lodge, warm soft lights over head in moose antler chandeliers grab your eye every day and the wood heat draws you right to the stone hearth over eight feet long.
We had coffee at the cabin, but the feeling of being up in the main lodge pulls on me, I gotta go see it again.
And, Ok, maybe, I’m a part moth, I can’t lay off looking at the contained orange flames and the smell of birchbark burning.
The proprietor’s wife hands us mugs of steaming coffee. Coffee is great, it’s even better when wearing a thick lined sweater and a friendly generous hand pours you a cup and then, even delivers it.


From the miscellaneous drawer

Life is an adventure. In my latest hospital stay in Duluth an MRI was ordered. I had never before experienced this marvel of modern medicine.
Son Nick warned me that it is not for the claustrophobic since it is done in a narrow tunnel, close by one’s head.
I resolved to keep my eyes closed for the event.
His next caution was about the noise level as the test is done. Another self-resolve was made to keep myself distracted from the sounds.
The technician was very good at explaining the procedure, but I was glad Nick had prepared me for the process.
The plan I followed was the same one I use for going to sleep, although sleep was not an option during the loud noises.
I started with Dylan Thomas’ poem: “Do not go gentle into that good night,” which cautions that “Old age should burn and rave at close of day.”


The Postscript: “Anniversary Toast”

by Carrie Classon
This past week, my parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary and I stood in front of the greeting card rack for a very long time.
Whenever I try to buy a card for my mom or dad, I have a heck of a hard time. I almost bought a “blank inside” card because there wasn’t anything that even came close to telling them what I was thinking on the occasion of this milestone anniversary.
My parents have the kind of marriage that used to intimidate me. Other kids’ parents fought. Mine never did. Other kids would play one parent off the other. That got me exactly nowhere. My parents have always been best friends and I have always known their priority was one another. My sister and I never doubted that we were important and loved, but my parents would rely and care first for each other. It was a wonderful thing to see as a kid. It is wonderful to see today.


From the miscellaneous drawer

One of my friends panicked when I noted I might get my desk cleaned in retirement. No fear. It’s as messy as ever.
Ely’s summer residents are already departing for warmer climes.
Despite the variances in daily temperatures of late - I have a pesky visitor who is checking out potential winter quarters.
Some years back I had the front of my house dug up and window wells installed where needed.
One of them is lined with a metal which has horizontal ridges from undergound to the surface. The topside is covered with a fiberglass ridged top.
My four-footed visitor - a squirrel - is small enough to slip between the grooves and drop the four feet below.
From there he recognizes he is in trouble and scrambles to climb the ridged walls to get out. So far he has made the mistake twice, the last time at 3:30 in the morning. Both times he managed to get out after a bit of racket.
Trust me, I do not open the window to invite him inside.


Trout Whisperer - Reflections…

Just after the ice would go out in the spring, he became a boreal forest beach comber and he wasn’t one to pick up just anything, no, he wanted very specific pieces of driftwood, and some of his favorite finds were wind blown beaver chews from last fall.
They had all the bark off, most of them were easy to tuck in his over the shoulder Duluth pack and when he would get home from his morning’s forays, he would stack what he found in the crook of a garden shed. It was kinda amazing how many red and white bobbers he piled up as well.
September eventually came round and then on a quiet evening he would construct a raft, sometimes it would be six foot square, once it was over eight feet long and four feet wide but later in life he built them smaller, and the summers driftwood collection would be piled at least four feet tall.
The raft was stuffed with pine cones, birch bark shreds, and even some dried grasses. They were always fun to see.


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