Unheralded

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — North Dakota Legislators Start Small

Twelve and a half minutes and two screws. That’s what two of the first bills submitted to North Dakota’s 65th Legislative Assembly address. This is the kind of stuff guys love. No wonder, then, that the whole state is talking about two proposals submitted by Grand Forks legislators. One would raise the speed limit on North Dakota’s interstates and divided …


Unheralded

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Just Don’t Forget The Batteries

Kids today just don’t realize how easy they’ve got it. When my generation was young, we even had to make our own noise! This revelation struck me midway through Christmas Eve, as the little Woman of the Year presided from within the eye of a hurricane of childish babble, squawks and beeping. She didn’t say a word, and won’t for …


NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Focus On Your Mother

Just this once, don’t listen to your mother. Go ahead and take her picture at Christmas. Take lots of pictures — neat or disheveled, busy or at rest, with or without grandkids or cats. Do it openly or, if she’s especially camera shy, go ahead and sneak up on her. Pay no attention to her protests. Ignore her attempts to …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Dressing (In) Down

Sometimes, like last winter, my old friend spends most of her life in the closet. Last week, though, she awoke from hibernation to the first truly bone-shattering cold ushering in a new season. When I opened the door to the downstairs coat nook, there she was, waiting to warmly greet me: the World’s Ugliest Coat. That anonymous-looking garment has been …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Raised On The Back Of The Box

I was all set to make the first pumpkin pie of the holiday season when I discovered an essential part of the family tradition had gone AWOL. Handed down by my grandmother and Mom herself, the heirloom recipe we’ve always prepared was missing! No, disaster hadn’t hit my 60-year-old recipe box; nor had Grandma’s old Our Savior’s Lutheran cookbook, with …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Why I Won’t Cancel My Newspaper Next Time I’m All Riled Up, Either

I’ve been thinking lately about what I really want for Christmas … especially this year, when “peace on earth, good will to all” seems in such short supply. My family tells me I’m tough to shop for. I like what I have; I certainly don’t need more. So in the interest of making life easy for anyone who’s thinking of …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Outsmarted!

Back when our daughter Patti was a tiny pumpkin, Russ and I already recognized that raising children is one of life’s greatest joys. What we didn’t understand back then was the biggest bonus that would come along with it. We now find ourselves related to someone who knows how to set up a smart TV. If, as you age, you’re …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Minnesota Election History Foreshadows Tough Lessons

No Minnesotan would ever be so unhumble as to brag, “As goes Minnesota, goes the nation.” Nor as wrong-headed. After all, if that were even marginally true, the United States would have elected President Walter Mondale in 1984 instead of Ronald Reagan. But Minnesota has clearly been ahead of the curve in a couple of the least savory trends of …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Save The Medical Refugees!

Ray and Anita Morgan of Fargo spent the first six months of 2016 fighting life-threatening medical conditions with clipboards and ballpoint pens. By July, they and some 100 other volunteers had won their first battle, achieving a spot on the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act on next month’s statewide ballot with petitions bearing more than 17,000 signatures. The secretary of …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — A Tale Of Two Protests

So, The Forum’s antiabortion columnist is shocked — shocked! — that WDAY broadcast a story on the Red River Women’s Clinic’s need for more volunteer escorts during the stepped-up protests of the nationwide “40 Days of Life.” She says, “(Their story) reads like an advertisement for our state’s only abortion clinic” and calls it a “stab in the heart.” As …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Back On The Roads Again

This week, south Moorhead finally got a glimpse of the silver lining inside the stormy construction season of 2016: It feels so delicious when it’s almost over. That must be why an otherwise-inexplicable happy cloud of good cheer has settled across the south quarter of town — the neighborhoods around Ground Zero. Something wonderful has happened. On what would otherwise …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Old Coot And Geezer Chick Go To The State Fair

“Let’s take the kids to the fair this year.” That’s echoing across dinner tables from border to border this week as the Minnesota State Fair heads into its final weekend. It’s a pilgrimage that’s virtually required to maintain your Minnesota citizenship, much like knowing 10 ways to turn cream of mushroom soup into a tasty hotdish or mastering the stoic two-fingered …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — A Little Free Neighborly Spirit

“Curiosity” could be Julie Holgate’s middle name. So when she noticed intriguing little boxes popping up on boulevards around the Twin Cities four years ago, of course she had to take a closer look. “My brother was looking at houses,” she recalls. “We’d see one of those little boxes on nearly every street. Sometimes a bunch of kids were clustered …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — If You Can’t Beat ‘Em …

We give up. After 30 years spent trying to thwart bushy-tailed tree rats, we accept that squirrels are the master race. All hail! They’ve beaten us. They’ve foiled every attempt to preserve our backyard snacks for our wild bird buddies. The wily tree-leaping rodents have out-thought, outfought, outpersisted and outsmarted these humans who stock groceries on the deck. True squirrel …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Eagle-Eye View Offers New Photographic Angles

Photographers are always looking for a new angle. Jared Eischen found his last winter when he acquired his drone. “I’ve always been kind of interested in remote-control flying,” he says. “When I found out you could put a camera on this thing and send it into the sky — it was so cool. I had to have one.” Today Jared, …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Hacking Your Permanent Record

Back when it began, email was a harmless new toy. In the era when we baby boomers first went online — at the dawn of time or, at least, in those now-quaint 1990s — we took to our AOL and Yahoo mail accounts like proverbial fuzzy little ducks to water.  It seemed so unthreatening … just an easy, novel way …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Getting A Leg Up On Feminine Fashion

Granted, I may be the exact opposite of fashion-forward. But wouldn’t you think even a fashion-backward type would have noticed (without her daughter’s coaching) that pantyhose had gone away a few decades ago? Nope. When the moment came to don a dress for perhaps the second time in the past 25 years, I’d soon discover that 1) bare legs long …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Putting Smiles On All Ages Of Faces

One of America’s top 10 phobias, some experts say, is going to the dentist — a prospect only slightly less attractive than pumping the septic tank or cleaning the oven. For a good share of Minnesota’s and North Dakota’s most vulnerable, though, it’s a long-awaited blessing. Two thousand of them, young and old, will be waiting in line when the sun …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Standing Her Ground

The thing is, Pam Musland is not anti-gun. She supports hunting in North Dakota. She grew up going to the shooting range and crouching in duck blinds with her father. She’s a graduate of the Game and Fish Department’s hunter safety training — has walked the autumn fields herself beside her husband in pursuit of the wily pheasant. She supports Second …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Press ‘Pound’ And Give Up Hope

Gone are the days when its ring heralded something good — and something human. The technological wonder of the 19th century has become the scourge of the 21st. A once-useful device for connecting — to “reach out and touch someone,” as the phonesters so often reminded us — has officially been high-teched past the point of no return. I spent five hours …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Grandbaby Fever Is Worth The Wait

I knew the times were changing when I heard about the bear. “The bear’s just great,” my daughter, Patti, texted me one afternoon last March. What bear? “Dad’s bear — the one for the baby’s room,” she explained. “We’ll have to move the furniture around some, but I think it’s going to fit just fine.” She attached a photo of …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — The Best Or Worst Of Times? Stay Tuned

It would be tempting to say these are the worst of times for traditional media ― for the long-established newspapers and broadcasters who come to mind first when media fortunes are tossed about. Logical, but not quite certain: You never know what’s just around the corner. Nevertheless, the news grows ever more dismal for our mass media. While newspapers’ dwindling …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Sink Or Swim, Summer Interns are Making A Splash

Ah, these first fine days of summer break! All over America, college students are heading out for Day One of their summer internships. It takes me back to my own shaky launch. I arrived so promptly that first day that I beat most of the real staffers to the parking lot. I pulled into a spot, then reconsidered: amateurishly crooked. …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — A Little Less Judgment Can’t Hurt

Nothing damns quite as quickly as the words “drug addiction.” Just look at Prince. Hailed as a groundbreaking artist, the Minneapolis musician was near-universally mourned when he died unexpectedly in the Twin Cities last month. But the tributes had barely begun when hints of something darker began to poke through the admiring narrative: hints that a drug overdose, rather than …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Good Dog … Goodbye

Love may last forever, but dogs don’t. We said goodbye to our wiggly little yapdoodle last week. She’s gone in body but not quite gone in spirit. When I get home, I still expect to see Molly standing sentry at the top of the stairs, waiting for us to take up our positions ― I at my desk, she curled …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — A Woman’s Place Is Right On The Money

Women and money ― bring the two up at your own risk! Once we get beyond Neanderthal jokes about gold diggers, we find ourselves amidst the fruitless 50-year debate over “equal pay for equal work.” But while that remains unresolved, still a dream too far (and a whole ‘nother topic), our gender’s relationship to cash has smacked back into the …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Here’s To Our Everyday Heroes

It’s natural, I guess, for the media to celebrate the stars ― the genius inventors, the builders, the visionaries whose names light up their headlines. Reporters beat the bushes to spot them ― the software entrepreneurs, the high-rise developers, the aspiring leaders who attract applause for their vast though ephemeral visions. Perhaps someday, one of their much-ballyhooed smartphone apps or …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Fur Better Or Worse

Signs of spring are everywhere: Chubby buds add haze to bare branches arching over Fifth Street. Geese honk high up in their northbound express lane. Frisky squirrels play hopscotch on our porch roof. And our cats are taking off their winter coats … and flinging them into every corner of our house. Or “their house,” as they prefer to call …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Just Shut The Door On This One

It’s good to know that all of Minnesota’s big, pressing problems are under control in St. Paul. That must be why legislative Republicans have seized an opportunity to resume their favorite hobby ― worrying about what happens when other people pull down their pants. You’d think this short session, loaded with last year’s leftovers, would encourage focus. But no. With …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Ghosts In The China Cabinet

My generation’s daughters, most of them, have made it abundantly clear to us by now: They don’t much want the family heirlooms we’re storing for them in our basements. What now? It’s become the dilemma du jour among many of my friends ― a lingering challenge that snuck up when we weren’t looking. As we ourselves reach the stage when …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Grandpa Gets A Smartphone

Apparently old dogs really can learn new tricks … at least, when their daughters take over the training. After years of vehement denial, Russ has acquired a smartphone. It’s a day I never saw coming. The man has not merely resisted change: He has railed against it since his first sight of the iPhone nearly a decade ago. He continued …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Punk Debaters Need An Old-Fashioned Schoolmarm Lesson

If there’s one big lesson we’ve learned from the latest Republican debates, it’s that this nation desperately needs more women in politics. And not just any women. What front-runners Trump, Cruz and Rubio badly require to upgrade their discourse are a few battle-hardened sixth-grade teachers. I’m talking about true Old School ninja schoolmarms — the female professionals who have earned …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — A Rose By Any Other Name … Would Be An Isabella

Fashions wildly wax and wane in clothing, cars and home furnishings … but, somehow, when it comes to your own name, it gets personal. “Nancy” was once among the leaders of the Mid-Century Modern pack, back when naming female infants entailed a snappy syllable or two usually ending in “y.” On a whim, I googled its rank among popular baby …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Times, How You Have Changed

Carl Griffin first stepped onto the Moorhead State College campus 49 years ago. He was one of just seven students who happened to be black. That was a very different time in Moorhead and Fargo, before Project E-Quality and other recruitment efforts introduced a substantial contingent of students of color into cities as predictably white and unruffled as homogenized milk. …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Just How Wicked Was It?

Time polishes perverse legends. We fans of Moorhead-Fargo history have always taken a peculiar pleasure in the wild and woolly tales of epic days gone by — Fargo as the long-ago divorce capital of the West, for one, or Moorhead as a booze-soaked Prohibition-era Saloon Central unrivaled across America. It’s like discovering Blackbeard the Pirate or the Viking Harald Hardraada …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — The Robots Are On the Line

If I’d had to choose an icon for my teenage years, it might have been the telephone. Phones were the social media of our day, a glorious gift of technology that connected us with our friends — heaven for teens! Though the black rotary-style phone was mounted on the wall in the kitchen, its spiral cord was long enough to …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?

“Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care?” The rock group Chicago burned that chorus into my brain back in 1969, and I’ve been wondering ever since. Now, as the sunlight lengthens and the dark shrinks back where it belongs, I think I know. The answers, it turns out, are “no” … and “yes.” And once …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Ever So Humble, It’s Home

I was paging through the glossy home magazine that comes with our daily newspaper when it struck me: Not only is my closet hopelessly out of fashion … so is our entire house. It was the latest issue of Inspired Home, the lovely local magazine that’s subtitled “A Fresh Approach to Home & Life.” Its theme: the “white issue.” From …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Look on the Sunny Side of Winter

Now we remember why they’re called French, not Polar, poodles. Since vintage winter arrived last week, our little yapdoodle has once again raised serious questions about why we live in Minnesota. When it’s time to let her out, she approaches the door like a condemned innocent being marched to the gallows. We watch her try her best to do her …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Fear Of (Not) Flying

I’ve always been jumpy about airplanes. I don’t like being herded into the chute and bumped around by invisible forces, and my seat always seems to fall between people with oversized elbows. But now, I’ve found something even worse to worry about: Fear of not flying. Picture this scene. It’s 5:45 on a pitch-black December morn, and Fargo’s Hector Airport is packed …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — An Ode To Facebook Friendship

When I was in grade school, I had a faithful pen-pal in faraway Ontario. We shared stories of life in our exotic neighborhoods, sometimes amazed at the contrast, more often surprised at how much we shared. Then we stopped. When I’ve moved on to new schools, jobs or adventures, friends and I always assure each other that we’d always stay …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Paging Through The Wish Books

I know at least one person who’s breathing a sigh of relief that the Christmas shopping season is finally over: Our mail carrier. The faithful Gilly tells us that our address gets more catalogs than any other home on his route. We don’t doubt him. Since the middle of last summer, we seem to have attracted the attention of every …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Family Stories Left Untold

The woman who was my mother would have celebrated her 100th birthday Tuesday. I wish I’d known her. I knew the mother, of course … but I wish I’d known the woman as well. Lots of us suffer from the same emotion, I think, looking back on the women whom we were closest to. I was fortunate to have Mom …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Let’s Call A ‘Merry Christmas’ Truce

December was so much sweeter before the militants weaponized “merry Christmas.” There was a time when greeting friends and neighbors was simple. Sharing warm good wishes required no more strategic thought than handing out candy canes or hanging the mistletoe. Whether we chose the long form ― explicitly citing the major holiday and its late December consort, as in “merry …