Issue #342 Oct. 4, 2017

Store Is Hell

lessons learned from grocery adventures

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Serena Wagner

It has come to my attention that many of my most vivid childhood memories happened in a grocery store. Grocery stores just seem to hold a special significance in my life. Is that weird?

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Issue #341 Sept. 20, 2017

It's Coming in the Air

when everything is about the change

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Serena Wagner

The forest smells different today. It smells like it’s dying. Because it’s beginning to die. The grass is dried out and it’s giving up, turning yellow, fading away. Right now it’s warm under the sun, but tonight the stars and clouds will creep across the sky, pushing a chill across the cornfields ...

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Issue #340 Sept. 6, 2017

Sod Goals

just one more reason autumn makes me happy

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Serena Wagner

I spent seven summers working for a local landscape and excavation company. They start you out laying sod. My first day on the job, I walked up to my boss – standing there in his work boots ...

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Issue #339 Aug. 23, 2017

About August

a quick look at summer’s final third

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Janae Breunig

I’ve been seeing them all summer long. Each morning, I get up and stumble into the kitchen to grab a glass of water at the kitchen sink. I look out the window ...

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Issue #338 Aug. 9, 2017

On the Hook

the adventure of fake fishing in a church parking lot

Mike Paulus, design by Serena Wagner

It may surprise many of you to learn that I attended local Catholic schools from kindergarten all the way through my senior year of high school. Or maybe that doesn’t surprise you, maybe that makes ...

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Issue #337 July 26, 2017

Heat Lightning

staring at the horizon all summer long

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Serena Wagner

The heat lightning was sorcery to us. Some kind of rare devilry quietly bursting across the midnight horizon, raving over the dark, distant pine trees. It just didn’t stop. Hundreds of electric blossoms, pink and white, flaring up inside a mountain of clouds ...

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Issue #336 July 12, 2017

Beyond the Rocket

let us not forget that other notable slide o’ yore

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Serena Wagner

Yes, of course I liked The Rocket Slide. It was my everything. And by “it was my everything” I mean “whenever my mom took me to Carson Park between the ages of maybe 5 and 8, maybe five or six times each year ...

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Issue #335 June 28, 2017

Can You Believe It's Magic?

summertime in Wisconsin is a season of many wonders

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Sarah Denis

I know it’s summer – and not because some dumb calendar told me so. I know it’s summer because Wisconsin has passed through the rain of spring, softly enduring its time of blooming, emerging on the other side all lush and green. We’ve got lush for days up in here.

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Issue #334 June 14, 2017

Rain Will Fall and Take It Away

on the river banks, below the streets, under the trees

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Serena Wagner

You could call it a waterfall in that it’s literally falling water. But I told my kids to stay out of it all the same, especially the hole at the bottom where the water had collected into a milky puddle ...

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Issue #333 May 31, 2017

Shrub Me the Wrong Way

What can one do when confronted with offensive hedgery?

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Serena Wagner

When my wife and I moved into our little house on Eau Claire’s Eastside Hill, the place came with a few things in need of fixing up. The windows needed new paint. The attic needed extra insulation ...

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Issue #332 May 17, 2017


running down some county fair flashbacks

Mike Paulus, design by Serena Wagner

I can’t remember exactly why we ran across the carnival grounds that afternoon, but I doubt it was my idea. I rarely feel the need to travel faster than a light trot, yet there I was, chasing my cousins ...

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Issue #331 May 2, 2017

Gust Cause

the answer is not blowing in the wind

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Serena Wagner

One thing I didn’t expect when I moved into Eau Claire’s Eastside Hill neighborhood was all the wind. Because sometimes I can be kinda dumb. Maybe I should have expected things to be a little gustier when living in a place with “hill” right in the title ...

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Issue #330 April 5, 2017

Grand Little Bridge

some things you may not think about when crossing the river

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Serena Wagner

A patchy, crumbling concrete strip stretches from one side of the Chippewa River to the other. You can walk out on it, scuffling over loose pebbles as you go ...

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Issue #328 March 8, 2017

Once More to the Sledding Hill

winter’s not done with us, so I’m not done with it

Mike Paulus, design by Serena Wagner

You could reach down into it, your bare hand vanishing, leaving a perfect, almost cartoonish outline at the surface. Four fingers, a thumb, and your palm. It was icy and soft against your blushing skin ...

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Issue #327 February 22, 2017

Puddle Jump

learning from unexpected winter warmth

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Serena Wagner

Here in February, the sun’s been pushing a cosmic blob of heat against Wisconsin like a sponge, scrubbing away much of the scuzzy snow and ice we’ve been tiptoeing around for weeks. It’s been melting away our cold wintry scowl, softening our cheeks into a smile ...

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Issue #326 February 8, 2017

The Facewash

walking with worry in the wintertime

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Serena Wagner

I was in the second grade, and my walk home from school was often fraught with peril. Not real peril, but scary peril all the same. When I think about my current mental health, and when I take a good ...

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Issue #324 January 11, 2017

Black Ice & Other Problems

winter driving can be dangerous (because it’s dangerous)

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Serena Wagner

I’m a little neurotic when it comes to driving long distances. I worry. I worry about how good of a driver I am. I worry about other drivers and mistakes they might make. I worry about animals ...

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