Another summer has come & is now
almost gone. It has been a wet, warm summer & everything is
lush & green. The State Fair is going full bore over in Falcon
Heights & thousands of people will go there to share fun times &
foods with family & friends. Schools across the state are just
days away from another year of children filling the halls.
Everything seems to be on the brink of change, of shifting gears
from the hectic pace of summer to the slower & more gentle pace of
fall. I like it.
Kim Miller 8/25/02
Thanksgiving day has come & gone. I spent the holiday with my family doing the
normal things we've always done: eating lots of good food, watching movies, playing games,
& visiting with one another. The day after Thanksgiving, I ventured out to the
stores for a couple of hours after dropping my husband off at work. People were
lined up outside of Best Buy & Target before dawn eagerly waiting for the stores to open.
Inside the stores it was like a madhouse, with people grabbing merchandise to buy without
really knowing what it was, lots of pushing & shoving, lots of money being spent.
As I drove home from the stores, I thought to myself that I, along with all the other
people I had seen that day, were very lucky to live where we do & in the time that we do.
Sure, we can complain about high prices, we can worry about losing our jobs, fret over how
we're going to make the next car payment. Do you realize how lucky we are to HAVE
these things to worry about? Do you realize how blessed we all are? If you're
reading this now, you make enough money to be able to access a computer from somewhere &
get on the Internet; only a small fraction of the people in the world can do that!
Those of us who are lucky enough to have such good lives need to remember the less
fortunate among us. We need to help those here in our own communities, in our own
nation, & around the world. After all, any one of us could end up on the other end
of life's fortunes at any time really. I believe what goes around comes around &
that if we help those among us who need it now, they will return the favor to us someday.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
-Kim Miller, 11/24/01
On 9/11/01, a horrible series of events changed forever how
everyone in the USA looks at themselves, their country, & the
world. Terrorists flew jet planes loaded with fuel into the
World Trade Center Towers in New York City & the Pentagon.
Thousands of people were injured & killed in the attacks, but it
could have been worse.
Another plane never made it to its target--the passengers on that
plane revolted against the hijackers & crashed the plane into a
field in Pennsylvania. Average people like you & me stood
up to their oppressors & fought them to the bitter end to preserve
the lives & freedom of others. Those people are heroes,
the first heroes in the latest war the USA faces, the war on
Life here in Minnesota & everywhere in the USA will never
be the same again. We know who what wide-scale terrorism looks
like, first-hand & on our own soil. We have been reminded
that our freedom is something not to be taken lightly & that
there are people in this world who would like to see our great
nation smashed to bits. We've been reminded that even the most
advanced & prosperous of nations can be brought to its knees by
an act of cowardice...but only for a moment.
I salute all the brave souls on those planes who tried to stop
the attacks. I salute all the rescue workers who came to the
attack sites in New York City & at the Pentagon to try to help
the survivors & to find the dead. I pray for the souls of
the victims of the attacks, living & dead, & their families,
that whatever God they believe in will bless them & take care of
them. Indeed, I pray for all of us, all around the world, that
we can come together someday in peace after this is all over &
when those guilty of these attacks have been brought to justice.
We're all human beings, first & foremost. When will
we learn this? I pray we learn it soon.
-Kim Miller, 9/28/01
The heat, the humidity...summer is finally here! Everything
has been so wet, warm, and green the last few days! Everything
is growing so lush and thick right now. We have had so much
rain, I feel like I like in the rainforest! Just
kidding! It is nice to finally get some warm weather but I
don't like the storms that have come with it! The sever
weather that has been scattered around the state the last few days
has not touched me. I am lucky. If you're living in one
of the storm-damaged areas, I hope all goes well for you and things
get back to normal very soon! Hang in there!
Kim Miller, 6/13/01
I finally took the plunge and bought a domain name for my
Minnesota-themed site. After discovering the old name of
my site, Hello Minnesota, was already in use, I had to come up with
something new. After some consideration, I decided on www.surfminnesota.net.
Why? Well, I feel my site functions as a springboard of sorts
for people looking for more information about my home state. I
have put together a very large list of links to other sites that
offer information about Minnesota. Thus, from my site, you can
surf to other Minnesota-themed websites and homepages....surf
Minnesota! Plus I think it sounds cute, don't you?
-Kim Miller, 5/24/01
2001, a new year and a new era. Yet, Minnesota in January still
looks the same to me. Snow piled everywhere and people bundled up in
parkas and other heavy winter gear. Stark, bare trees. Thermometers
dipping below zero on an almost daily basis. Snow blowers and the scraping
sound of shovels on sidewalks fills the air. Pretty normal stuff.
It makes me feel good, knowing that some things don't change over the
years. Sure, technology has changed the world in some ways. We've
got super-fast desktop computers and digital TV. The Internet brings the
world into our homes, businesses, and schools. And this is all well and
good. But we still have to deal with Minnesota winters the same way as we
always have: with patience and a lot of respect!
-Kim Miller 1/4/01
Late June. The last few days have been very warm and muggy. Thank goodness for central air conditioning! The mosquitoes have been out in force the last few evenings. I've got a couple of
mosquitoes bites on my arms. Itchy little bumps. They remind of my childhood summers up at Lake Morrison. I remember being covered with bug bites from head to toe, but they didn't seem to bother me then. I didn't even mind the
wood ticks, really. I remember my Mom would pull them off & burn them with a match; they made a popping sound. I think I was a lot tougher as a child.
It is hard to believe that it is almost the 4th of July; to me, that means summer will be half over. I loved the 4th of July holiday as a kid up at the Lake. One of my older cousins would always get his hands on some fireworks, sparklers, and such. We kids would play with the sparklers while the adults shot off the big fireworks. We played this weird game, too, called Watermelon Ball. The same cousin would bring a watermelon to the family 4th of July bash, and cover it with Crisco. Then, the kids would divide up into teams and dive into the lake. My cousin would then throw in the watermelon, and the two teams would try to see who could get the greased watermelon on the dock the most times before it fell apart. It was such fun!
Summer goes by so fast now. Before you know it, the State Fair will be up and running. Fall will be upon us, and then Winter again.
Enjoy it while it lasts, folks!
The middle of winter. We now have about 10 inches of snow on the ground in my backyard. I am not crazy about the snow, like so many people in Minnesota are. I don't own a snowmobile; I don't go ice fishing. I don't ski. Still, it is so lovely to watch the clean, white flakes falling from the sky, coating the ground. It reminds me of putting a fresh coat of paint up on the walls; a new snowfall covers up all the gray slush and dirty snow, and makes everything look so clean and bright again. I love watching my dogs bounce through the piles of snow in the yard, especially my little Schnauzer Cosmo. When he comes in from outside, he is always covered with glittering flakes of white, and he looks like a sparkling Christmas tree ornament in the light. I am sometimes tempted to hang him on the tree! The snow sometimes makes it very difficult, if not impossible to get around here in Minnesota. But I think it is Nature's way of making us stop and rest; we lead such busy, hectic lives now. However, if we get snowed in our homes, there isn't much we can do about it. The boss certainly can't pin the blame on your for missing work if there are 12 inches of fresh snow on the ground! Hey, next time this happens, go outside and play in the snow with your kids. If you don't have kids, go outside and play in the snow anyway, even if only for a few minutes. You'll be glad you did.
--Kim Miller, 1/23/2000
Well, the snow has finally arrived. What a relief! I always find this time to year to be something of a strain. With the holidays looming, and the weather stuck between
winter & fall modes, I find myself getting restless. I guess I just want the world to make up its mind...should it be fall or winter? It is okay to take the Christmas decorations out yet? Will I look silly if I do?
It was so strange having days with temperatures over 70 degrees in November! It just isn't right that people should still be out, playing golf in their shorts, this late in the year! I felt like I was in
some kind of weird time-warp....
Well, all is right with the world again. Minnesota has had its first snow...and we all know what that means!
--Kim Miller, 11/24/99
I am not sure why Autumn is my favorite season here in Minnesota. Something about it makes me smile when I leave the house in the morning for work, and I see the sugar maple tree in my backyard on fire. The color of the leaves is so vibrant; a shade of red that almost leaves an after-image in my vision like after looking at a bright light. I love walking under the maple tree, into the rain of leaves that come spinning down on the puffs of wind. It is like walking into a storm where instead of it raining water, huge drops of brightly colored paint are pouring down out of the sky. There is something magical about that.
As I drive to work, I am amazed at the colors I see everywhere on the trees, and how they seem to glow in the fresh, morning sunlight. I see kids slowly walking to school, taking the time to jump into the piles of leaves they find. I imagine that they do it because they love to hear the crunching sound the leaves make under their feet, just as I did when I was a child, and as I still do now.
And the air smells so wild; full of a sharp spicy scent. Sweet, but with a definite tang that fills your lungs and makes you feel full of energy. Maybe that is Nature's way of telling us to hurry up and get ready for winter; that the wild, colorful beauty that currently surrounds us is only temporary. Soon, winter will come with its cold, wind, and snow. The colors of our world will be reduced to white, gray, and blue once winter takes hold, and the colors of autumn is Nature's final gift to us before she brings on the season of slumber.
My advice? Enjoy it will you can!