Busy enjoying the Picnic

Phew! Another busy week is coming up. Those of us that reside here laugh when visitors ask us if we get bored living up here in the sticks. There is no time to be bored. There is always something going on—frequently there are two or three things going on at once and we must agonize over what fun activity to take part in.

This is especially true during Fisherman’s Picnic. When I finish this week’s column, I’ll sit down with my coworkers to look at the Fisherman’s Picnic schedule parsing out what events will be covered by whom.

The giant inflatable toys in downtown Grand Marais are on thing we get pictures of during the Fisherman's Picnic weekend!

The giant inflatable toys in downtown Grand Marais are on thing we get pictures of during the Fisherman’s Picnic weekend!

We have our traditional favorites. Laurie Johnson, our graphic designer, likes to cover the Fisherman’s Picnic trail race at Pincushion Mountains. She’s been covering cross country running events for long enough now that she’s seen “our kids” growing up. It’s fun for her to see the Cook County High School running alumni return to once again compete.

Laurie is also our main parade photographer and the one who captures the action at the historic Fish Toss on Sunday. Look for Laurie amongst the crowd—smile and wave and you may make it into the paper!

Brian Larsen, who is the dad of Wellesley Howard-Larsen, one of the talented North Shore Rollers, as well as a log rolling volunteer, will spend much of his time at the tank set up on the street by Dairy Queen. Look for his photos of our log rolling kids and miscellaneous other activities next week.

One of my personal favorite events to cover is the naming of the Cook County Citizen of the Year and Senior Citizen of the Year. It is nice to see our community leaders honored and it is particularly fun to see the surprise on the honoree’s face when they realize they are the one being recognized. And after the award is given, it is always interesting to hear the ploy used by family members to get the loved one to the event.

Another event I greatly enjoy is the Fisherman’s Picnic kickoff event, the Grand Marais Lioness Buffet Dinner, which was under way as I began writing this week’s Unorganized Territory. The food is amazing. Our Lionesses always create a scrumptious buffet.

A few years ago the Lionesses added a Silent Auction and that has become as popular as the food. I often get myself in trouble at Silent Auctions. I bid on a dozen or so items, thinking that I will be outbid. Sometimes I am—other times I end up “winning” a dozen fabulous auction items. That was the case with the Lioness Silent Auction this year.

The buffet took place on our deadline, so I dashed up to St. John’s Catholic Church to enjoy dinner and quickly placed a few bids. Well, okay, a dozen or so bids.

I hurried back to the office where I received a message—I had “won” a few things. Lioness Katie Anderson kindly stopped by the office to drop them off and accepted my check. It was more than I had anticipated spending, but I really like all the things I acquired—a pretty beaded necklace, a fancy citronella burner for the deck, a walking stick for a friend, and some other things that I can’t name because they will be Christmas gifts.

I love the things that I managed to claim, but I almost wish I had been bolder in my attempt to win one of the most coveted prizes this year—a big, sturdy, stand-alone hammock.

Bids on the hammock had already surpassed my budget for the Silent Auction when I saw it, but it was oh-so-tempting. As I enjoyed my fishcakes and potato salad and visited with Mark and Janet Ditmanson, I bemoaned the fact that it was out of reach for my financial plan.

Janet put things in perspective when she noted that if I were lucky enough to take possession of the hammock—would I really have time to lounge in it?

That is so true. So I guess I’m okay with my other winnings. I don’t need a hammock to sit in the yard reminding me that I don’t have time to go lie in it. There is just too much to do for that.

This week for instance, I need to be at the street dance…and at the pickled herring contest…and at the kiddie rides…and at the bingo tent…or at the minnow races…and in the parade. Phew!

Happy Fisherman’s Picnic everyone!


Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.

Denis Waitley

About rhondasilence

I’m Rhonda Silence, the editor of the Cook County News-Herald. All my life I have strived to become more organized. So, imagine my surprise when I moved back to my hometown of Grand Marais, Minnesota and received my first property tax statement. The tax statement declared that I live in Unorganized Territory! In fact, the part of Cook County, Minnesota where I spent the majority of my childhood was also Unorganized Territory. Finally! An explanation of my disorganized life. When I became editor of the Cook County News-Herald in Grand Marais, I was privileged to write a weekly column. What to title it? Of course–Unorganized Territory. This blog shares my weekly thoughts—sometimes it is about Cook County politics and occasionally national issues. Sometimes it’s about the history of Minnesota or the history of my family. Often it’s about my grandkids or pets and sometimes even the weather. I share my thoughts on local events and about the wonderful scenery in the Arrowhead region of Minnesota. There is no rhyme or reason to this column–much like my life. Thanks for stopping by to visit Unorganized Territory. I hope you enjoy your stay. View all posts by rhondasilence

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