One of our deep pleasures is driving around the United States, experiencing the rural and small city landscapes, taking time to stop and talk to people who live every day in these vital locations. We are truly an interdependent country, all of us contributing to our health and welfare. My grandmother’s family settled in eastern South Dakota, a beautiful landscape of farms and ranches and small-town hubs of commerce and community. I am grateful for the people of this area and the land they lovingly support. Some of my earliest memories are of these farm fields, the small rock cairns, and the South Dakota sky.
I will always be thankful for my roots in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. I was born there, I lived there until I was seven, and I spent every summer and holiday there until I was 16. It was my home, the place I still visit in my dreams. I breathe more thoroughly there. Growing up in a small town provided me with opportunities I didn’t have as a latch-key kid in the Twin Cities. This is a photo of Rice Lake with its 1926 Christmas decorations (before my time) that captures the spirit of this lovely gem in Wisconsin.