“It’s been cold and that snow that is on the ground is now there to stay and we’re happy about that.” — Winter comes to Lake Wobegon. Plus, thinking twice about offering hospitality after a visit from Aunt Cooter, the Bunsens forego their usual holiday arguments, and the Living Nativity returns to Our Lady of Perpetual Responsibility.
“I grew up along the Mississippi River upstream from the Cities and spent hours sitting on a bank under the trees watching the river flow over a stretch of shallow rapids. If you have nothing to do, there’s no better place to not do it than beside a river.”—
“It’s been getting colder — into the 20s. It’s been trying to snow and we’ve been seeing a lot of Christmas lights.” Plus, Pastor Liz reluctantly serves as a “healer” after a miraculous event at a Lake Wobegon Lutheran Church women’s retreat becomes the talk of the town.
I couldn’t help but remember my first finals in University, freshman year. I was totally stressed and feeling like I wanted to give up (and it certainly didn’t help that one of my readings was the less than cheerful The Road, LOL). What I did during that time to calm down was look to A Prairie Home Companion and Garrison Keillor, who played a largish role in my childhood as the Man With The Imperturbable Voice. However, as I was not possessed of a radio, and had little idea of how I might get a radio program on the internet (something I’m still only familiar with in passing), I went to the public radio website, where Garrison Keillor answered listener questions, and began to sit down and read them all. The one below the read more really helped me, so much so that I copied it into a word document and saved it so I wouldn’t forget. Thanks, Garrison Keillor! When things get bad, you inspire me to keep going.
"This Thanksgiving—a fairly uneventful Thanksgiving, a little excitement up at the Magendantz home." A fire prompts reconciliation between the Bunsens and the Magendantzes after years of animosity, Clint Bunsen accidentally restores the Moonlight Bay Supper Club’s neon sign, the Tolleruds welcome their daughter home from St. Olaf College, and thoughts on Thanksgiving meals.
“One of the questions that people ask me constantly is, Is it hard having to be funny all the time? The difficult thing for me is being serious. It’s a genetic thing—being funny—like being able to wiggle your ears. I don’t have any trouble being funny, that’s my turn of mind. Or at least attempting to be funny. Whether it really is funny is for the audience to judge. But I actually do think that some people are and some people aren’t. We all know, say, a lot of lawyers who aren’t funny and some who are. A lot of dentists who aren’t funny. The dentist who just took a fractured root out of my tooth—we refer to him as the butcher of Fifty-fourth Street—is a pleasant, friendly man, but he’s not funny.”—
“Oh, we knew it was going to snow. We could see that sky—that was a snow sky. People who have lived here for more than five minutes know what that snow sky looks like.” Plus, discovering hidden treasures under the floor of Lake Wobegon Lutheran Church, Pastor Liz delivers a sermon on one of her least favorite Gospels, and Lake Wobegon exiles return home for Thanksgiving.
“The thing about winter in Minnesota? It helps clarify the meaning of warmth, of comfort. How would we get what it is to come in and peel off layers, warm up by the fire or a hot stove, sip from mugs filled with liquid chocolate or spiced tea, eat bowls of cheesy wild rice soup and plates of steaming chicken noodle hotdish, entwine our legs with someone we love all wrapped in blankets on a big ol’ couch, snuggle into a bed piled high with quilts and drift off? Because of winter, we smell wood burning for months. We burn more calories, and have whole days, stretches of days, unable to leave our homes for the snow. We can bake all we want, and play board games, and sit up late watching what the moon does to that snow piled up to our window sills.”—
OH MAN I WANT THE REST OF THAT SPEECH BECAUSE IT IS HILARIOUS
Tim Russell played a patron at a nightclub called “Transcendental Banjo” in the November 5th edition of “Guy Noir.” Read the script for more, including Peter Rowan’s appearance as the lead singer of the band onstage at the club: Boddhisatva Grass.
It’s been gray, it’s been chilly, it’s been cold, and we had our first real frost out there — frosty sidewalks early in the morning. Lyle Janske discovered that the other day. He came out to take his garbage out and he walked across the deck out behind his house, and suddenly without his anticipating it, his feet were up above his head.
Plus, deer hunting season is underway in Lake Wobegon: look out for deer ticks, how NOT to fit in when you’re invited to go deer hunting, deer hunting widows parties, and thoughts on arguments about and during Thanksgiving.
“It’s Reformation Sunday this Sunday at the Lutheran church, and so the altar guild has hung a banner there in the sanctuary: Ecclesia Semper Reformanda Est - The Church is Always Reforming. They put it up in Latin because if they put it up in English, it would offend people.”—
Tune into Minnesota Public Radio’s Midday program at Noon CDT for a celebration of Tom Keith featuring Garrison, Tim Russell, Sue Scott, and Dale Connelly and Mike Pengra of The Morning Show. If you’re outside of Minnesota, listen online at the Midday website.
“The only direction he really has ever given to me is what he whispered before one show: ‘Be fearless,’" Newman recalls. "So I do add a lot of things.”—Fred Newman describes his approach to sound effects on A Prairie Home Companion, in an interview with the Colorado Springs Independent
“People in Lake Wobegon face the same difficulties other people do, and their stories reflect that to some degree. They use the phrase, ‘It could be worse.’ That’s their basic philosophy. They don’t go around wondering why it isn’t better. They’re just thankful they still have a roof over their heads and food on the table. It could be a lot worse.”—
The world has taken a turn towards the cold. The sun comes out but it’s not warm anymore — we’ve taken the big turn towards fall. People are wearing hats in Lake Wobegon. People are turning on their furnaces.
Plus, Art’s rules for staying at the Night o’ Rest Motel, Dorothy urges Chatterbox Café customers to try pumpkin bread pudding, and Pastor Liz meets a carpenter named Michael at a bar in St. Cloud.
“This was the week that the chill moved in, and the big full moon up there Tuesday night. And then on Wednesday a big rain came pouring down. The wind blew, and so a lot of the leaves came down. That red maple tree out in the front yard of the Lutheran Parsonage just almost was stripped of leaves. The chill moved in and then the sun came out on Friday but it didn’t get warm again, and it’s not going to get warm again. We’re now on a straight course toward winter, so don’t set your hearts on anything else. This is where we live. Thank God.”—