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Knot Pining: Change is here, enjoy it

If you use the Cloquet clock, it was supposed to be spring this week. Gordy’s is open. Alas, that rite of spring and harbinger of summer rarely means we get matching weather, even as the conventional calendar says we’ve reached “meteorological” spring.

But here we are, in that waiting room between real warm and lingering winter.

It has been an especially difficult end of winter here at the Pine Knot. Jana has been stuck at home with a bum leg for two months, meaning we can’t count on her ramblings about the community for pictures and all the things she picks up out there.

I expect her up and about any time, and will welcome it. She’s done a great job despite the limitations of being stuck at home.

I am crossing my fingers when thinking the pandemic has subsided and we all get out more. It means more of our coverage requires in-person attention. There are court cases to attend in Carlton and no more watching board meetings online while eating at home.

I’ve made adjustments in turn when it comes to the weekly schedule, juggling child care with work and sometimes mixing the two together. The kid wasn’t thrilled to go see teenagers in Duluth earlier this month at the robotics regional. But she soon became fascinated with the machines and the swag the delightful students handed out, namely buttons touting their team. Maybe the 4-year-old will eventually find herself in the pits, fine-tuning a robot and geeking out.

I’ve thought about how she might take in a council or board meeting. It could be a stretch, especially with a bedtime coming far earlier than when most meetings end. Candy from board members might help. She might dig the quaint library where the Wrenshall school board meetings take place. But can she withstand a 25-minute consultant presentation on bonding? Probably not.

It’s an adjustment coming out of the pandemic cold, to be sure. But a happy one. We want to interact with the community and see news subjects in real life. It’s part of the deal, the charm, of small-newspaper work.

Still, despite winning the trophy again in January as the best weekly newspaper in the state, the adjustment out of the pandemic hasn’t been easy. All of us, I’m sure, have fallen into patterns we’ve become quite accustomed to in the past few years.

I’m hoping more readers will share with us the stories of their lives, large and small. I hope you can introduce us to others who are doing something extraordinary. Really, these are times to celebrate, of surviving and, I think, delighting in what we’ve missed out on for two years.

We certainly pride ourselves here on what sometimes can be a rather somber and “hard news” weekly report. There’s a lot of news going on in Carlton County and the region, and we try to stay on top of it.

But like you, we enjoy a break now and then. A good old-fashioned, light story that can make us smile and, in turn, make readers smile. Those stories are always harder to ferret out from the noise of our daily lives.

Those respites from the news are welcomed by us, and we crave them. You can help out by pointing them out to us. Please do.

Until then, enjoy your Gordy’s delights and keep pining for warm spring days hanging out with people. Those simple pleasures will seem so sweet in the coming months.

Mike Creger is a reporter and page designer for the Pine Knot News. The focus of Knot Pining is on the inner workings of the newspaper and serves as a conduit for reader questions about coverage and practices. Contact him at [email protected].

The Harry’s Gang column is on hold while writer Pete Radosevich runs for political office.

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