A hometown newspaper with a local office, local owners & lots of local news

Home sweet home, here in Carlton County

Christmas will have passed by the time this piece appears in the paper. Here’s hoping it was a time of peace and joy for all. Now, we look to the new year with expectations that maybe life will improve, inflation will drop, good-paying jobs will be plentiful, and all those nasty viruses will disappear. We know that’s not reality.

Words of wisdom from an old friend and mentor continue to bolster my outlook when things begin looking gloomy. He said: “Happiness is not about having what you want; it’s about wanting what you have.”

Recently, as the snow piled up in drifts and the temperature dropped below zero, the opportunity to ponder this advice presented itself. Do we want what we have?

Carlton County with Cloquet and all its other small towns is a special place in which to reside. We have abundant natural resources with limitless opportunities for outdoor recreation.

But, we have more than that. A sense of community pervades the atmosphere, echoing an era that has, sadly, disappeared in much of the country. Each summer organized events bring folks together in many of our towns to celebrate the unique qualities of each locale. Numerous organizations and their members work together all year through to raise contributions for many charitable causes.

Yes, community is a good thing to have.

The rural areas of Carlton County are filled with farmers, young and not so young, who grow healthful food in a sustainable manner. Many of these entrepreneurs hold visions that look to revitalize the agricultural landscape in our county. Not many places exist anymore where you can join in community supported agriculture, drive a few miles to pick your own berries, or buy fresh eggs and maple syrup, to name just a few products available in the area. In addition, the two local farmers markets offer an abundant selection of goods in season.

Yes, healthy, locally grown food is a good thing to have.

There are people in Carlton County who believe we deserve to be informed citizens. For the past several years, they have worked hard to report on local events, government issues and, in general, keep us aware of the happenings in our area. At a time when a multitude of local newspapers stopped their presses, these brave souls risked much to create the Pine Knot News.

Yes, brave people and a local newspaper are good things to have.

So, back to the question, “Do we want what we have?” We have strong communities, locally grown food, a newspaper owned by brave people and so much more that won’t ever fit on the pages of the Pine Knot.

It’s enough to make us happy we have chosen Carlton County as our home.

Writer Francy Chammings is a retired English teacher and clinical psychologist who loves living in Carlton County.

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