It is always a joyful time when a baby is born in the West End. This week, it was particularly fun to welcome Brookstyn Candice Nordman-Nelson to the community. According to her grandmother, Lisa Nelson, manager of the Tofte General Store, Brookstyn is already showing extraordinary beauty and intelligence in her first week of life. Brookstyn has deep roots in the community. She lives in Schroeder with her parents, Carah Nordman and Dusty Nelson. Her grandparents, besides Lisa, are Randy Nelson, of Tofte, Sue Nordman, from Grand Marais and Mark Nordman, formerly of Grand Marais. Most notable of her many other local relatives, is Eileen Netland, of Tofte, who is Brookstyn’s great-great grandmother. It is not too often that you hear of someone who gets to meet their own great-great grandchild. Congratulations to all the families involved and a very special congratulation to Eileen.
Speaking of the Tofte General Store, it is good to hear that they are almost through the paperwork required to participate in the SNAP program. SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is a very important federal and state program that includes food stamps and the women, infants and children program that provides nutritious foods, at low cost, to hard working people who have low incomes. The SNAP program helps 46 million people every month receive the nutritious food that they need to thrive. Having the program available in the West End is crucial to the well-being of our residents. Without a local grocery store that offers SNAP, people are forced to drive long distances or shop at convenience stores that don’t offer much in the way of nutritious staple foods. If you are interested in SNAP, talk to Lisa at the Tofte General Store.
Saturday, September 29th is a big day in the West End. Birch Grove is holding a grand opening for the various construction projects that have been going on for the last several months, starting at 2 pm. There will be speeches, of course, and treats, and lots of opportunity for conversation. I was particularly pleased to learn that the new wood-fired bread and pizza oven will be dedicated to the memory of Muriel Michaelson. The skating rink and warming house will be dedicated in honor of Derald and Ginny Storlie. Derald loved ice-skating with a passion and used to spend a lot of time struggling with the old skating rink to make it usable. He was actually skating when he died, much to young, from an aneurism.
The Cross River Heritage Center in Schroeder is having a wonderful program about the Hall and Lyght logging families of Lutsen, starting at 1:30 on Saturday the 29th. If that wasn’t enough, the Superior Cycling Association is cutting the ribbon on the new Britton Peak mountain biking trails at the trailhead, two miles up the Sawbill Trail, in Tofte at 4 pm. If you plan carefully, I think you could make it to all three events. In any case, it is wonderful to have so many healthy community events going on at once. The West End is a great place to live and getting better all the time.
While on the subject of a healthy community, remember that the Sawtooth Mountain Clinic is providing flu vaccines in the West End on Wednesday, October 3rd. The first clinic will be at Moon Dance Coffee Shop in downtown Lutsen from 8:30 until 10 am and then again at Birch Grove from Noon until 1 pm. There is a small charge for the vaccination. If you want it charged to your insurance company, bring along your insurance info.
Finally, if you want to see beautiful fall foliage, now is the time, as long as you get back in the woods away from the big lake. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the color this year. For a while it looked like the leaves would just dry up and fall off without offering much of a color show. I’ve seen better years, but the color is really quite vivid right now. If you like grouse hunting, throw the shotgun in the car because hunting has also been pretty good.