Today, I loaded up about 900 catalogs and drove north to Red Lake Falls and Thief River Falls. Eventually, I stopped at 47 places. In the evening, I traveled to Newfolden to speak to a WELCA (Women of the Evangelical Church of America) Spring Fling.
It was called a "salad luncheon." Oh, I was hungry. I worried that there would be lettuce with croutons. As the devotional finished, however, a grand parade of women bearing dishes emerged from the kitchen. It was clear that the Lutheran definition of "salad" still holds. It is anything that is cold. Chill a hotdish and it qualifies as salad. There were taco salads which, if heated, could have been served at a funeral. Countless macaroni dishes. Jello dishes. The only thing which a non-rural Minnesota Lutheran would actually call a salad on the buffet table was a spinach and strawberry salad. Just in case somebody was truly hungry, there were ham sandwiches at the end of the table.
I did not go hungry.
A woman came up to me before the program to say that she did not enjoy my columns this winter. She had enjoyed them in the past, but she did not enjoy them this winter. And she was a teacher, she added for good measure. I was not sure what to make of her comments. However, she came up to me afterwards again and started to list columns I had written ten years ago. She must have referred to five. All were about country life in the small town. Apparently, she preferred those. She is from the city originally, but she prefers columns about the country. And this winter, I was writing about Arizona, which included some articles about the city. So, that is where I must have gone wrong. I didn't feel too bad about it in the end.
I am approaching 4500 in catalogs distributed. With the weather warming, I will soon have to stay at the nursery. It will be interesting to see how many people come to the nursery saying they picked up a catalog at so-and-so place. It is a gamble, I suppose, but I suspect it will pay.