Dear Sandy Mason,

It’s good to hear from you and know you and Earl – and your three cats – escaped the fire that raged above Tucson in June.

That lightning strike burned more than 19,000 acres! Wow! You need rain now in Oro Valley. Well, I guess all over Arizona.

And coronavirus has hit hard down your way. Maybe as severe as Florida. Well, it’s everywhere. It has moved into North Dakota, but not as bad. So far. The talk around here centers all around school openings. There are so many necessary precautions.

Still, the swimming pools have been busy. Every day. And every evening there is a parade of people walking or biking down Cottonwood Street. And all over.

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Wild windstorm

We’re still cleaning up after a windstorm to end all windstorms here Friday night. I slept right through it. When I looked out Saturday morning I was amazed at the trees. They were bent and broken. Some went down.

The birds, bugs and bees don’t seem to worry about storms or coronavirus. And you probably remember how well the city of Grand Forks takes care of mosquito problems.

Bees, ants

Still, there’s always something along with the joy of summer. In past years I’ve had ants. Once I had bees. Last year I had a mouse. And this year we discovered a nest of bees under a front window.

We keep the exterminators busy.

Yard of Week

Philip the Fly must be lurking around here somewhere. Still, things are looking good in Grand Forks. I am wondering who will be honored this week for having the Yard of the Week.

I drove over to 924 Chestnut Street the other day. There stands an older home replete with pleasant décor. It was winner last week. The owners are Lori Cayler and Tom Powers.

I couldn’t let the cleanup of last week’s windstorm go by without checking my favorite tree in Grand Forks. It’s that beautiful old cottonwood – believed to be the oldest tree in Grand Forks on 18th Avenue South. It has a triple trunk and is well displayed in front of the home of Kyle and Kelli Moulds.

It stood firm and strong through the powerful wind.

I’m glad you and Earl are standing strong, too! I loved your original oil painting “The Throne” on your card.

Hang in there.

And best regards from your former home of Grand Forks. Your friend, Marilyn.

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