People with books in hand may hardly notice that January is bowing out. The month with all of its flaws is especially good for reading. And Wendy Wendt, director of the Grand Forks Library, says "The Light Between Oceans" by M.L. Stedman is one of the books most requested for takeout this month. Also in top demand has been "Sixteenth Seduction" by James Patterson. "End Game" by David Baldacci was most wanted by patrons of East Grand Forks Campbell Library. And "Column of Fire" by Ken Follett is also popular, according to Angela Salgado, public service librarian.
So much for burgers and hot dogs. So much for eating out all the time. It's January and time to bring on the hotdish. Or casserole. Or whatever you call it. It's a mainstay for many a family. And at the home of Judi and David Loer in East Grand Forks, it's been a mainstay for more than 50 years of marriage. Now the three grandboys who live nearby enjoy their grandmother's hotdish. It's the simple macaroni, hamburger hot dish with tomato and cream of chicken soup. Never corn! She serves that separately with bran muffins. Judi's hotdish
Editor's note: Marilyn Hagerty wrote this Christmas Eve column more than 40 years ago. Its reprinting has become an annual holiday tradition. Excuse me, please. But it's Christmas Eve, and I must go home. If only for five minutes and only in my thoughts, I have to go back on Christmas Eve. I haven't been there in person for many years. Still, I never have been away. Every Christmas, there's a string of events that take me home. It starts when I hear children speaking pieces at church. Then it's the carols, the Christmas tree, the tinsel, the packages.
At first, it seemed like utter confusion at the rather new Chick-fil-A when I joined a group of friends on a Saturday. There were new people working at the counter. The place was crazy busy. Before long, I felt comfortable. The staff was smiling and friendly. The owner-manager of the place was working right along with them. I was doing lunch with Sue Huus (SH), Susie Shaft (SS), Barb Knipe (BK) and Donna Gillig (DG). We found a big booth in the beautiful dining area where there are big windows, wooden wainscoting and a big high ceiling.
This time of year, I close my eyes and wonder how peaceful it must have been on the first Christmas Eve. There were no Wal-Mart stores, no Amazon, no delivery trucks, no Santa Claus. No lutefisk nor lefse. The days now are down to number nine until Christmas of 2017. It's like the fourth quarter of a tied basketball game. Or overtime in hockey. People are frantically mailing packages, making grocery lists, going to programs. They are buying Chippers at Widman's and figuring out how much it will cost to serve prime beef for Christmas dinner.
The week that was has been a reminder that life is no bowl of cherries here in the north land. Some who were thinking of heading south got moving. Some looked at winter travel fliers. Others were stoical. After all, snow is snow. And winter is moving in officially on Dec. 21. There's an uneasy quiet on the UND campus as students deal with final exams. They walk with determination and heads down along University Avenue. More than 850 graduates are eligible to pick up diplomas during winter commencement at the end of next week.
Buy cranberries, pumpkin for pie, turkey. Dry some bread for dressing. Need some celery. Sharpen knives. Find the tablecloth. Call Tillie and Egbert. Check with Juanita. Make sure who is coming for Thanksgiving dinner. Oh, and don't forget to sign up to ring bells for the Salvation Army. Take the kids downtown at 9 a.m. Sunday morning so they can see the national Christmas tree make a whistle stop on its way from Montana to Washington, D.C.
The next time I go to dinner at Giuseppe's, I think I will order the spinach ravioli ($16). It's a house made ravioli stuffed with butternut squash, ricotta and Parmesan cheese. And it's tossed in Alfredo sauce. The menu at the small downtown Grand Forks restaurant is clear, uncluttered and to the point. I enjoyed the meatballs marinara ($15) on a recent visit to Giuseppe's with Debbie Storrs (DS) and her husband John Mihelich (JM).
So, we have seen it. The first snow of the season on Thursday was wet, wild and chilly. To cheerful people, it was beautiful. To the grumps, it was cold and disgusting. Some people called their travel agents, demanding, "Get me out of here." Others with smiles on their faces looked around for sleds and hockey sticks.
The weekend arrives with hockey at UND and the football team in California for a Saturday game at UC Davis. Oh, and the UND volleyball team never seems to rest. There is another game with Eastern Washington going on at 11 a.m. at the Betty on Saturday. And at The Ralph at 7:07 p.m. Saturday, the Manitoba Moose will meet up with the North Dakota Hawks. Bubba's brother, Lowell Schweigert, will emcee the meeting of fans today. That begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Alerus Center. ---