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MARILYN HAGERTY: Fear of falling? There’s help

Dear Shirley,

I walked gingerly over the ice in the parking lot and into Holy Family Church. I found my way Wednesday to the meeting room where Grand Forks County Extension Service along with Altru are holding classes about falling.

It’s part of a program called “Stepping On.” And it’s one of a series of sessions sponsored by Grand Forks County Extension with Altru. The idea is to keep people on their feet. County Agent Donna Bernhardt and Bill Vasicek of Altru are leaders.

Meridee Danks, a therapist for UND and Altru, was talking about the importance of balance. There are exercises you can do to get nimbly off chairs and couches, Shirley. People in the class told of falling on ice, over throw rugs and even in a slippery shower.

Balance is important, so I joined in some exercises they were showing. Meanwhile, I am curling my toes under when I walk on ice and waiting for warmer weather when I can take Dot.Com for walks again.

You might like to know, Shirley, that Dot.Com has just become Dog No. 571 in the city of Grand Forks for 2014. Since her rabies shot is up-to-date, the fee was only $5. After February, the cost goes up $1 a month.

Now all I need to do is ask Margo the Hammer where we put the pliers. Then we can put the new tag on Dot.Com’s collar. And if she goes missing, I can count on getting her back home without fees.

The thing is, though, that Dot.Com never tries to run away. If she inadvertently gets outside the fence she starts hunting for a way to get back in. Right now with her short dachshund legs she can’t navigate her way through enough deep snow to chase squirrels and rabbits.

B-ball hopes

I have only three UND basketball tickets left in the top drawer of my desk. The men’s team is playing Portland State tonight, Eastern Washington Saturday and Northern Colorado Tuesday.

And our North Dakota teams are doing OK in the Big Sky League, Shirley. You probably don’t hear much about that in Tucson. The games are more fun when the UND football players dress up like “the Green Men” and clown around. They really added to the scene Saturday when the UND women were rolling over Sacramento State.

Now I am going around with my fingers crossed, hoping that one of the hoops teams can bring the tournament to the Betty.

Wish you could be here in the north land to see all the action during hockey and basketball tournaments. And to freeze as you whip between the house and the car.

Love from your sister Marilyn waiting to visit the west bank of the Red River of the North when the snow is gone.

P.S. Bob and Pat Wood and Carol Anderson have organized the Grand Forks breakfast in Mesa March 6. It’s at the Golden Corral, and they are expecting the biggest crowd ever.

P.P.S. The 47th annual North Dakota Picnic in Arizona is set for Sunday at Pioneer Park in Mesa.

Reach Marilyn Hagerty at or by telephone at (701) 772-1055.