A Night at the Nelsons
Viking, Minnesota

Rural Reflections Radio

Part of my job is that I work a lot of nights. Fortunately, I am on a ten hour shift so I get quite a bit of time off.

I like being home at night as much as I hate being away from home at night. It’s the nights at home that I want to talk about, these are the times I really enjoy. This is what it’s like during a night at the Nelson’s.


First off, a night at our place really starts the prior evening. I do not claim to be much of a cook but I like to spell Lisa in the kitchen on occasion. I read her recipe books and make any sauces or spice mixes after Lisa has gone to bed. The next day I can then start the breadmaker and dump ingredients into the crock pot. The day before our night together, I usually work around the house and get my projects out of the way so I’m not preoccupied when Lisa gets home. By five-thirty, I am showered and into my most comfortable clothes and ready for food and our favorite television shows.

Many of my best memories involve our living room. After supper, Lisa and I and assorted cats will retire to our back living room. Lisa takes the recliner and I and my couch get re-acquainted. Lisa usually mans the Herald’s tv guide and the remote control while I drape the green afghan over me. About ten minutes into the evening, I make coffee-I can drink coffee any time of the day. We are both multi-taskers so I usually keep a cattle fencing catalog close at hand while Lisa glances from the television to her periodical.

It sounds so mundane and average but it’s so nice. Lisa turns the lights down except for the range hood bulb and a lamp that sits between us. The warm glow and warm cats keep us cozy, even when the local cooperative has us rippled. We always keep our outside light on and it may seem like a waste but it has a purpose. Our dog Muffin’s house sits on the deck and I think we both want to be able to see her and maybe want for her a little of our pale, incandescent comfort.

About eight thirty, I usually head for my third or fourth cup and it’s then that I look over my shoulder and ask Lisa if she wants anything. I know full well that about once a week her answer will be a scoop of ice cream. Ice cream, a little squeeze of butterscotch and a little squeeze of chocolate-maybe peanuts if we have them. I don’t know why couples develop these little rituals but I find this one endearing and touching. We don’t forget that Muffin needs a little treat too. There’s almost always some meat juice left over from our meal so we microwave a little for her kibble. During the Winter you can almost see the look on Muffin’s face when she get’s only dry food out of the bag. It’s a look that says, "what, no gravy? Do I look like a barbarian."

If you looked through our windows on a night together you would be bored. Lisa and I even sometimes fall asleep but usually awake for whatever’s on a nine on the television. Between trips to the cities, weddings and taking care of our cattle;I like a little boredom and a little peace. It’s part and parcel of a night at the Nelson’s.