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Lake Region Times of Madison Lake, Minnesota

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There is a nighttime sweetness and hope that hovers over us this time of year here at home. This is a time for summing up and looking ahead... and a time for dreams.

And at night... ah, that's the time, isn't it? Outside it's dark, December dark, and we're inside and warm and cocooned up. The cold makes our world shrink, especially at night.

But we have our dreams.

For Janice Thomas, our art teacher at the high school, it's that painting she's planning. She makes starts at: it, from time to time, but she's wise enough to know she isn't good: enough to paint it yet. She paints other things well, but that one ... it has to be perfect. It will be the painting of a lifetime, she knows. Doc will drift off to sleep tonight thinking about that new fly rod. He has half a dozen, of course, that will take about any weight line, and let him catch anything from mouse to moose. But even the most expensive rod isn't What he dreams of. This year, for Christmas, he's giving himself a rod-builder's jig, and he will make his own rod from a Sage blank. That will be the one. It will have his own? wrappings and he'll put the ferrules on it himself. He'll be able to feel the fish breathe with this one. It will be true and wonderful and last forever.

For cowboy Steve, the December dream is always the same: building a little corral up at the cabin for Snort. Maybe putting knotty pine walls in the turret. And perhaps figuring a way to get that coffee pot from the stove, up the ladder to the loft without Steve having to go fetch it for refills. He'll have to work on that a bit. But that's part of the December fun as well.

There is a nighttime sweetness and hope that hovers over us this time of year. Here's to dreams.

Brought to you by that great stocking stuffier, A Cowboy's Guide to Growing Up Right. Check it out at lpdpress.com.

"Home Country" columnist Slim Randies won three regional book awards for the two books he wrote in 2014. "Max Evans and a Few Friends, the 90th Birthday Book" took honors for best non-fiction book, and "Saddle Up: A Cowboy Guide to Writing" won for best how-to book and best cover design at the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards in Albuquerque.

Randies lives in Albuquerque and has a dozen books currently in print.



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Original Publication Date: December 3, 2014



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