By Bill Anderson
March! The month that was put on the calendar so people who don’t drink can know what a hangover feels like. From Winter to Spring to Winter and Spring and back again, slushy snow, mud, soft roads treacherous ice and the accumulated trash of Winter on full display in your front yard. How is it that a lawn that was so energetically raked and meticulously cleaned up last Fall and then gently covered by Winter’s first snowfall looks as if it has been abandoned for a decade when the snow disappears in March? Somebody buried broken branches, old bones, rocks, dog droppings, plastic bags and other debris under the snow when you weren’t looking. Well, nobody ever said that it was going to be easy.
The snow system that moved through eastern North Dakota last Wednesday, March 10, deposited 8 inches of snow on Rutland and vicinity. By Thursday, March 11, the snow had turned to 8 inches of slush, and by Friday it was, for the most part, gone with the wind. Sunday was sunny with a high of 53 degrees, followed by Monday with a high of 34 and a stiff southeast wind. More snow on Tuesday produced more slush that disappeared just about as fast as it accumulated, and temperatures were predicted to be up in the 50’s, possibly the 60’s, again by the weekend. The Vernal Equinox, the first day of Spring, occurs on Saturday, March 20, and after that Spring is here to stay, no matter how much snow and cold we have to put up with in subsequent days.
Mother Nature’s bird-brained meteorologists, the snow geese, are betting that Spring is here to stay. They have been moving into this area since the beginning of March, and Tewaukon Refuge Manager Pat Fitzmorris reports that approximately 500,000 of the birds were parked on Lake Tewaukon over the first weekend of the month. More are on the way, too, as millions of them are now reported to be in Nebraska and South Dakota, with the peak of the snow goose migration in this area expected to occur during the first week of April. Wildlife biologists have been studying the behaviors of migratory birds, such as snow geese, for many years, and have found some answers to some long-asked questions. For instance, migrating geese always fly in a “V” formation, with one side of the “V” always being longer than the other, and people have long wondered why that is. The answer, it turns out, can be figured out with basic mathematics – the longer side is longer because there are more geese on that side. It’s all pretty simple if you get down to basics.
Some Rutland folks were bucking the goose migration this week, heading south for fun in the sun of the State of Florida. Among them were: Jen Christianson; Andrea Erickson; and, the Andrew & Katie Woytassek family. They were headed south for a visit to the land of Disneyworld and a few days without having to worry about the coats, the caps and the boots. The Rutland Refugees intend to be joining the snow geese in their northward migration and returning to their summer range by the end of the week.
It was reported here last week that longtime Rutland resident Richard O. Lysne had departed this life on Monday, March 8, at Sanford Hospital in Fargo. He had attained the age of 73 years, 3 months, and 5 days at the time of his death. Richard Oliver Lysne was born to Oliver & Agnes (Wilke) Lysne on December 3, 1947 in Nashua MN. The Lysne family later moved to Fairmount ND, where Richard grew up and attended school. He was an enthusiastic participant in football and baseball during his high school years. Richard graduated from Fairmount High School in 1967. Richard and Delores Schmidt of Fairmount were united in marriage on February 24, 1968, and shortly after that he departed for service in the U.S. Army and a tour of duty in Vietnam. Upon completion of his military service, he and Delores moved to St. Paul MN where they were both employed by the animal shelter. In 1973, Richard enrolled at Hennepin Vo-Tech and earned his welding certificate. He then obtained a job with the Melroe, now Bobcat, Company in Gwinner and moved to Milnor where they resided for a short time until they moved to the old Robert Pearson farmstead north of Rutland. They later acquired the house at 209 Anthony Street in Rutland which is still the Lysne family’s home base. Richard continued to work as a welder at the Bobcat factory in Gwinner until his retirement several years ago. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities, particularly working in his backyard garden. He was an enthusiastic fan of the Minnesota Twins baseball team, the Vikings football team and the NDSU Bison football team. Richard had served on the Rutland Park Board for many years, was one of the 3 co-chairmen of Rutland’s Uff-da Day Parade Committee for 25 years and was an active member of Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion and of the Rutland Community Club. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Delores Lysne of Rutland; by one daughter, Kari Wood, her husband, Russ, and their 3 daughters and 1 son of Walker MN; by a son, Ryan Lysne, his spouse, Stephanie, and their 2 sons and 1 daughter of Morton ND; by numerous nieces & nephews; and, by a host of friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and by his 5 sisters. Visitation was from 1:30 to 2:00 p.m. on Friday, March 12, at the Vertin-Munson Funeral Chapel in Wahpeton, followed by a family only funeral service. A Celebration Of Life honoring the memory of Richard O. Lysne, attended by a large number of Richard’s friends and family, was held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 12, at the Rutland Town Hall, with a friend, Brad Wyum of Rutland, serving as MC. Interment will be in the Calvary Cemetery at Fairmount ND at a later date, with military rites by the Rutland American Legion Post. Vertin-Munson Funeral Home of Wahpeton ND was in charge of arrangements. The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, memorials be given to Bergman-Evenson Post #215 of the American Legion, Rutland, in memory of Richard. Sympathy cards may be mailed to: Mrs. Delores Lysne, 209 Anthony Street, Rutland ND 58067. The Rutland community extends its sympathy to the friends and family of Richard O. Lysne, a good and decent man who will be missed by all who knew him.
The covid-19 vaccination rate is going up faster than expected. The Federal Government reports that, as of Tuesday, March 16, 2.4 million Americans are being vaccinated every day, a rate that is well ahead of the Biden Administration’s goal of 100 million vaccinations in its first 100 days. The 100 million goal is expected to be reached by Sunday, March 21, the Administration’s 60th day in office. In Sargent County, folks can get on the list to receive a vaccination by calling: Sargent County Public Health at 724-3725; Forman Drug at 724-6222; and, Sanford Clinic at 742-3267. Public health officials warn that, even though it appears that victory over the covid-19 pandemic may be in sight, there is still a possibility of a deadly resurgence of the disease if the mask wearing, hand washing & social distancing guidelines are not followed. The President says that we may be able to begin getting back to “normal” by the 4th of July, if we get vaccinated and continue to follow the guidelines until then. Well, we are Americans, and there is nothing that we can’t do if we set our minds to it, so exercising common sense and common courtesy for the common good for another couple of months should be a piece of cake.
Local organizations are making preparations to relax some of the covid-19 restrictions that have been in place for the past several months. According to Pastor Julie Johnson, Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland is planning to survey parishioners during the Sunday, March 28, church service to find out what the congregation’s members think of relaxing such restrictions as no singing and seating capacity limits, and when the members think that the restrictions should be lifted. The Church Council plans to use the survey results to guide its decisions concerning the fight against covid-19.
Meanwhile, on the national scene, The President, the Vice-President, and other Biden Administration spokespersons are on the road this week, touting the benefits of The American Rescue Plan (ARP), President Biden’s plan for whipping the covid-19 pandemic into submission and for reviving the American economy that has been in the doldrums since the pandemic hit a year ago. The ARP was approved by the Congress and signed into law by the President on Thursday, March 11. According to the President, among other things, the plan is intended to bring help and hope to the American people by putting “a shot in every arm and a check in every pocket.” Well, almost every pocket. It is estimated that 85% of American taxpayers will qualify for the $1,400 per person stimulus payments that began to be distributed this week. Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has grumbled that the new law is “nothing but a Democratic wish list.” Well, what did he expect, a Republican wish list? They got that with the trillion-dollar tax cut that went to the wealthiest 1% of the American people back in 2017. The President isn’t done yet, either. His next project is an infrastructure bill to provide the necessary funding to restore America’s crumbling highways, bridges, railroads, and air terminals. The ARP is the biggest program intended to restore American hope and confidence since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal of the 1930’s. Back then, FDR’s opponents asked, “Where’s the money going to come from?”, to which American humorist Will Rogers replied, “Well, I suppose that it will come from them that’s got it.” Nobody could say it better!
That’s the news from Rutland for this week. For additional information about what’s going on in the little city that can, check out the community’s internet web site at http://www.rutlandnd.com, and take a look at the Rutland Facebook page while you’re at it, too. Remember to patronize your local Post Office, and don’t forget to keep the pressure on the U. S. Postal Service and the North Dakota Congressional delegation to SAVE OUR POST OFFICE! Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as if you’re Irish, or wish you were. “Erin Ga Bragh!” Later.