■ Poring over the 1988 Beacon files for the Yesteryear column, I'm amazed how much news was devoted to the drought of that year. It was really bad, and really hot as I recall. Not the case this year, although the past week has been dry. Crops look really good in this area. - Dick D.
■ I drove by the newly relocated Farmer's Market on Saturday morning. Everything looked organized and neat and there were some people shopping. I was opposed to the move mainly because it took the market out of the retail business area. But unless I hear from the vendors that they want their old location back, I am fine with the move. - Dick D.
■ The weather has been just glorious lately. Even with a few days of hot and humid, the jet stream dipped southward from Canada bringing cool, dry days. Does it get any better than this? Even the mosquitoes stay at bay. Photographing turkey vultures as I waded into uncut weeds at dusk was the only mosquito issue I've had all summer. - Sue S.
■ Our family weddings are getting closer and the house is being all spruced up. I don't know if we'll have any wedding guests at the house but we have a bridal shower coming up so the 30-year-old paper is down and the walls are being painted. Broken deck boards are being replaced and the carpet has a cleaning scheduled. It always helps to have short deadlines. - Sue S.
■ Thanks to all who volunteered to work and all who stopped in to eat at the (Miesville) St. Joseph's lunch and breakfast stand at the 23rd annual Little Log House Pioneer Village show this past weekend. St. Joseph's chairs Gene and Laurie Stoffel, Kevin and Maureen Weber, Al Niebur, Duane Rother and Julie Haggerty log a lot of hours. Greg's Meats and Hi-Quality Bakery are nice local partners for the lunchstand. The Bauers continue to improve the grounds and the show a little bit every year. Really an amazing event they pull off in the middle of some fields that serves as host for a number of local non-profit fundraisers (St. Joseph's, Miesville/Hampton/New Trier baseball; Cannon Falls FFA; Hastings Boy Scouts). Great event to take a kid to. Easily hundreds of local history lessons to share with younger children. - Ken H.
■ I end up at a lot of highway emergency scenes taking pictures and I'm amazed at how fast people travel by. Car fire on Hwy. 52 yesterday and traffic barely moved over, barely slowed down. Please cut public safety workers some slack. Same for construction workers along Hwy. 52. - Ken H.
n I've have always enjoyed picking blackcaps (wild blackberries) around our lower field each year. Generally by July 4th they are visible there among the brambles, just waiting for me to stop by with my container. This year, I kept waiting for them, but it seems they never showed up. There were a few in the green stages before the 4th, but suddenly they were gone. I guess the birds beat me to them, but did anyone else notice that they were pretty scarce this year? Maybe it was just our field that was short of berries this year, but I missed making my old favorite Fruit Pudding from a recipe that has been passed down in my family for several generations. - Betsy F.
n Bonnie and Clyde are empty-nesters this summer. The trout pond is just not the same. I miss seeing a gaggle of ugly ducklings which turn into beautiful Trumpeter Swans over the summer. Maybe next year...-Paul M.
n Windy, showery, cloudy. 55° at 2 p.m. Check the calendar. Yes, it really was July 27. Reminded me of one thing about my homeland I do NOT miss: the English "summer".-Paul M.
n The CCIC (Community Church Interaction Council) has bought a new Peace Pole to replace the one that was washed away in the flood last summer. It says "May Peace Prevail on Earth" in eight languages. It is sitting at 1st Congregational Church waiting to be installed. Where would you like to see it? Ideas to CCIC President, Pastor Barb Martin at First Congo. -Paul M.
n The Beacon has reluctantly said goodbye to Olivia Detweiler, a local grad who was attending St. Thomas University. She covered three city council meetings for us: Hampton, Randolph and New Trier. She's gone on to bigger and better things, and that means we need a replacement. If you've got an interest in local politics and can string a couple of words together, give us a call. The meetings are all bunched up, the second Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of every month.-Mike D.
n It's going to be hard to recall what the landscape looked like on the south end of town. It's worth the drive if you haven't been out there lately. Go have a cone at the Dairy Queen and watch for a while. The amount of trees, dirt and rock moved around is enormous. Every night when I go home I'm amazed at the difference 8 or 9 hours can make.-Val H. (P.S. Don't drive and gawk, it's dangerous.)
n Spring Garden Church is sending 13 members on a mission trip to Guatemala next week. I am blessed to be one of the group, along with my three daughters and a son-in-law. We are excited and nervous. Thank you to everyone who contributed toward our expenses and mission. We will put on a health retreat for people in remote villages, teaching first aid. We have a great group of medically trained people, along with lay people (that would be me) who will cook, etc. We're also going to a school and will have a "mini bible school" for the 65 students. Please remember us in your prayers next week.-Val H.