Issue #406 March 18, 2020

Nest in Peace

cohabitation with some feathered friends

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Ian Kloster

I try to see it from the opposite perspective, I really do. I try to sympathize. I imagine myself, snuggled in all cozy upon the couch, doing the things I like to do at home while snuggled upon the couch ...

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Issue #405 March 4, 2020

Blue Sky Over the Kwik Trip

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Shannon Sorenson

Not everyone coming and going from the Kwik Trip holds the door for me, but almost everyone. I always hold it for people. Or at the very least, I lean back outside a little and keep the door open until the next person reaches out ...

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Issue #404 Feb. 19, 2020

Berating Skating

(I don’t care how quintessential it is)

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Shannon Sorenson

No, dammit – I can’t skate. Not on wheels and not on ice. And besides a brief stint as a hardcore thrasher back in the fourth grade, I can’t even ride a ...

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Issue #403 Feb. 5, 2020

The Dark Side of Winter

how loving winter means accepting the gritty parts

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Shannon Sorenson

Let’s get one thing straight, Chuck. I like winter. I like winter a lot. And I think all you Wisconsinites out there who complain about the snow and the cold and the ...

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Issue #402 Jan. 22, 2020

Ski Dooing It

aka, the Snowmobile Super Jump Master chronicles

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Shannon Sorenson

Like many of you (the awesome ones), I’m very happy we have plenty of snow this year. I hope we get more. We need it. But not just for our own frosty fun. We need it for an often overlooked, yet crucial ...

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Issue #401 Jan. 8, 2020

Moaning ’Til the Plows Come Home

there’s no good alternative to a snow plow ... or is there?

Mike Paulus

Those of us who grew up here in Wisconsin know the legends by heart. And we know that they are true. Each winter, after the holidays, after the haze of family gatherings and poor eating habits has worn away, once we’ve awoken from our nog-based stupor to find ourselves in January ...

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Issue #400 Dec. 25, 2019

Winter Houses

from warm to cold, from cold to warm

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Shannon Sorenson

Winter houses. Lonely walls standing up squarely against the snow and the gasping cold. Our walls. Our houses. And us inside them. What are we doing in here?

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Issue #399 Dec. 11, 2019

Silent Nights

Christmas memories glowing in the dark

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Shannon Sorenson

We sang “Silent Night,” standing up on the shiny marble steps, up in front of the church. For our parents, brothers, and sisters. For our teachers and the priest. And I guess we sang for the big Jesus hanging high up behind ...

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Issue #398 Nov. 27, 2019

Right Before Dark

sitting in the trees and listening

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Shannon Sorenson

Right before dark, things calm down. Out in the woods. All day long out there, you get used to it. The small but explosive chatter of animals smaller than your fist. The clattering of tree branches ...

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Issue #395 Oct. 16, 2019

The Darkest Holiday

Halloween is the best and that’s that

Mike Paulus

Pale dead weeds flank the wrought iron gate. Dark, dirty windows gape at you from the rickety walls. The roof has many angles and lots of little places to hide. The house stands three stories ...

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Issue #394 Oct. 2, 2019

October Sky

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Shannon Sorenson

At night. Sometimes I get dizzy looking up at the sky. When I look past the black tree branches and past the moon. When I look up to the tiny grains of light littering the atmosphere ...

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Issue #392 Sept. 4, 2019

Take Your Seats

What does high school really teach us?

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Shannon Sorenson

Everyone reading this loved high school, right? High school was one long pizza party, correct? None of you were awkward or stressed out or plagued by a string of social embarrassments broken up by occasional cannon blasts ...

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Issue #391 Aug. 21, 2019

Hiding in the Woods

What’s out there waiting for us?

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Shannon Sorenson

There are a good many things hidden out in the woods of Wiscosnin. Old things. The things we’ve forgotten. The things we’ve stopped caring about. But new things, too. The things we keep private ...

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Issue #390 Aug. 7, 2019

The Bullet

aka the carnival ride i never rode

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Shannon Sorenson

I never ever rode the thing. I was too scared, and my little paper tickets were too precious to waste on something I wasn’t sure I’d like. Far too precious to waste on something that could kill me. Discounting the Ferris wheel, it was ...

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Issue #389 July 24, 2019

Wheeling & Dealing

nothing drives me crazy quite like driving

Mike Paulus, illustrated by Beth Czech

Raise your hand if you have family or friends living in the Twin Cities. OK, keep your hands up. Now, raise your hand if you have family or friends living about two or three hours from the Chippewa Valley. Good, just keep those hands up. Now, if you find it kind of annoying to visit those ...

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