Grant Nelson column

Viking, Minnesota

Rural Reflections Radio

as seen in the Yesteryears section of the Saturday Grand Forks (ND) Herald.

My Final Column


I’ve been nervous all day. I’ve written a lot of columns but you only make one first impression and one final impression. I wrote my first column about five and half years but today’s column will be my final story.

The day I decided to quit writing made me wish I could cry. It was like a sneeze that just wouldn’t happen even when you stare at light. I wanted to release all of that emotion but I couldn’t. I felt like that for quite awhile until later that night when I felt a sense of relief. It kind of like losing twenty pounds quickly. I was amazed at how heavy the load had been. Writing my column has been very enjoyable but finding a new topic each week can be a struggle.

Some of my closer friends have known for a few weeks that I am going to quit. Several of them have said that I will now have time to write a book. I may put together a collection of columns but I doubt I’ll write anything new. When I’m done with something I’m usually completely finished. I had to quit writing this column so I can move on to different challenges. I am now forty years old. If I draw a line from today to my first memory as a child then that is about equal to how much rope I have left in life. I want to try many different things before I’m gone. I’ve said a lot the last few years and now I’m ready to be quiet.

I have such good memories of writing Rural Reflections. The excitement the first year of watching to see if Yesteryears would print my column or the fun of receiving compliments about my stories. I think Christmas was my favorite time. I believe those are some of my best columns and were the product of inspiration and hard work-I really wanted those stories to make a difference in people. I believe the Christmas columns dedicated to my mother in-law Jeanette Walseth were some of my funniest.

I must thank a few people before I run out of time. My wife has not only been a source of good material but has enthusiastically encouraged and guided me. (I would have quit awhile ago without her) My mother in-law has been such a good sport-especially around tree trimming time. I cried every day I went to kindergarten until my sister, Deb (sweet, insane), joined me for several days. She is that kind and supportive person still and tells me whenever someone comments about a story I wrote.

I always tried to speak my peace in as few words as possible because I didn’t want to waste your time. Sometimes my columns were seven course meals and sometimes there were canned soup with extra pepper and tomatoes thrown in but I always gave everything I had in me. I’d like to thank Cam Bachmeier for all of his help and the Herald for the chance to express myself. This column is as much a gift to me as it is a gift from me. I hope you liked it.

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