Tuesday, April 15, 2014

May Day Celebrations

Pipestone County Star  - 04-24-14

When I was a child, May Day was always a day I got a lot of exercise.  The night before, I would plant little flowers in small red cups, probably more than a dozen.  In the morning, usually first thing, I would run to my friends’ houses and leave a flower on the doorstep before ringing the bell and running away.  If my friends could catch me, we would laugh hilariously and hug, though technically kissing was the rule.  I have no idea where this tradition started – neither does my mother.  It was just something we did.  Sometimes my friends were ready for me, sometimes they had forgotten.  And sometimes, I would be lucky enough to be at home when my own doorbell rang and I would get to do the chasing.

Do you remember anything crazy you did to celebrate spring when you were a child?

May Day began as Walpurgis Night in Germany or Beltaine in the Gaelic countries.  Though it was never technically Christianized, the holiday itself still remains though has lost most of its religious overtones (celebrating fertility) in the cultures who still celebrate it.  Now it’s mostly associated with dancing around a maypole or crowning a May Queen, though it has other meanings in different countries.

In Britain, May Day is not always held on May 1st.  Instead, the first Monday in May is declared a Bank Holiday, which everyone has off, and the celebrations usually involve a lot of Morris dancing.  Many of the smaller villages crown May Queens and set up a May pole to dance around with colorful ribbons.  It’s also traditional to dress in red and white and, in some Scottish towns, to ensure a bonfire burns throughout the night to welcome the coming summer (this can involve a lot of alcohol and hangovers come the next day).

In France, thanks to Charles IX, people give each other sprigs of Lily of the Valley and the government allows groups to sell them tax-free.

In Germany, things are kept anonymous.  The night before (April 30), it is traditional to delivery roses, hearts, or trees wrapped in streamers to the house of the object of one’s affection.  Since this is done during the night, it is up to the admirer to admit they were responsible or to leave it secret.  Our cups of flowers must have originated from this tradition – I can’t find anything else that’s even close.

Bulgaria celebrates Irminden instead of May Day and the holiday is associated with protection from snakes.  According to legend, the King of Snakes appears on Irminden and so villagers light fires then jump over them, making sounds to scare the snakes away. 

In Hawaii, May Day is called Lei Day and has been a celebration of island culture since the 1920s.  It even has its own song, composed by Leonard “Red” and Ruth Hawk: “May Day is Lei Day in Hawai’I” which has become a popular hula dance for the holiday.

I think I shall wear a lei to work on May 1st, to celebrate the spring and to indulge my wish to go to Hawaii.  Will any of you do something silly to celebrate the coming of warmer weather?

Upcoming Events: April 26th at 2:00, we will be hosting Michael Eckers, who is an avid historian.  Michael will be talking about the Eighth Air Force during World War II, the group charged with bombing Germany and defeating the German Luftwaffe.  Join us for this free event – if you are a history buff, don’t miss it!

PAFL Update:  Pipestone Area Friends of the Library is looking for members – anyone who is a friend to Meinders Library is welcome to join!  The Friends group works hard to promote the library, raise money for projects, and organize their yearly book sale, in addition to the HUGE amount of support they provide throughout the year.  Call for the date of their next meeting.

PAFL will be having their annual meeting on May 17th at 2:00 and will be hosting David Rambow, who is working with the Pipestone County Historical Society on a World War I project to catalogue all the veterans who enlisted in World War I in Pipestone County.  Another not-to-miss event for anyone interested in history and Pipestone County veterans in particular

If you have questions or have a book you’d like to reserve or renew, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (507) 825-6714.  The hours for Meinders Library are Monday through Thursday from 10 AM – 8 PM, and Friday and Saturday from 10 AM – 5 PM.  Meinders Community Library is located at 1401 7th Street SW, on the south side of the high school.



Thursday, April 3, 2014

Easter Calculations

Pipestone County Star  - 04-10-14

Everyone knows how the date for Easter is chosen, right?  Well, probably not.  It took me awhile to figure it out and, honestly, the complete computation for the actual date is really confusing if someone with a scientific mind were to try and explain it.  Since I don’t understand it myself, we’ll go the easy way.

Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox.  The vernal equinox falls on March 20 or 21 every year in the Northern Hemisphere (which is the date that counts according to the church) and so the date for Easter  is chosen by figuring out the next full moon (April 15th) and then placing Easter on the following Sunday, which is April 20th this year. 

It might surprise you to know that Easter can ONLY fall on 35 different dates, from March 22 (if the full moon is the SAME day as the equinox AND the equinox happens to be a Saturday) to April 25th (if the full moon was the day before the equinox).  Easter last fell on March 22 in 1818 and will not fall on that Sunday again until 2285.  It fell on April 25th in 1943 and will not be that late again until 2038.  The cycle of Easter repeats itself every 5,700,000 years and the most common date for Easter is April 19th.  That would by why I remember my birthday falling on Good Friday several times, though I have NEVER had an Easter birthday.  According to the calendar, my birthday will fall on Easter in 2022 for the first time since I’ve been alive (I’ll be 49), and then it will repeat again in 2033 and 2044. 

Now if you REALLY want to get technical, the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox churches use a different calendar to figure out the date for Easter, so not only is Easter movable, but it moves in different patterns depending upon the sect of Christianity that you follow.  Confused yet?

The Jewish holiday of Passover usually falls shortly before Easter.  The rules governing the start of Passover are nearly as complex as those placing the date of Easter, so I won’t go into much detail.  Because of those rules, in three out of every nineteen years, Passover falls nearly a month after Easter, instead of a few days prior.  There is no rule requiring that Easter follow the start of Passover, it is simply the way the calendars work out most of the time.

Whether you celebrate Easter, Passover, another holiday, or none at all, I wish you a happy season as we welcome the spring, the warm weather, and the sight of the sun.  Spring fever is contagious and I think we all have it – celebrate being able to go for a walk without your coat on if nothing else!  Happy April!

Upcoming Events: April 26th at 2:00, we will be hosting Michael Eckers, who is an avid historian.  Michael will be talking about the Eighth Air Force during World War II, the group charged with bombing Germany and defeating the German Luftwaffe.  Join us for this free event – if you are a history buff, don’t miss it!

PAFL Update:  Pipestone Area Friends of the Library is looking for members – anyone who is a friend to Meinders Library is welcome to join!  The Friends group works hard to promote the library, raise money for projects, and organize their yearly book sale, in addition to the HUGE amount of support they provide throughout the year.  Call for the date of their next meeting.

PAFL will be having their annual meeting on May 17th at 2:00 and will be hosting David Rambow, who is working with the Pipestone County Historical Society on a World War I project to catalogue all the veterans who enlisted in World War I in Pipestone County.  Another not-to-miss event for anyone interested in history and Pipestone County veterans in particular

If you have questions or have a book you’d like to reserve or renew, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (507) 825-6714.  The hours for Meinders Library are Monday through Thursday from 10 AM – 8 PM, and Friday and Saturday from 10 AM – 5 PM.  Meinders Community Library is located at 1401 7th Street SW, on the south side of the high school.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

April Showers Bring More Books!

Pipestone County Star  - 03-27-2014

I maintain that this is the winter that will not end, though some of my farmer friends tell me I’m crazy.  There’s been worse.  Hopefully, we’re through all that subzero, though!  We may still get some snow, since we’re not really out of the woods until May, but we can hope we get rain stead.

And all those rainy days mean more time spent inside which means….?  More books!!  Here’s some good ones for this coming month.  Hopefully there’s something for everyone.

The Museum of Extraordinary Things, Alice Hoffman
Coralie is the daughter of a conman who operates a freak show in early 20th century New York.  She performs as the Mermaid Girl, alongside other performers, but one night opens her world to other possibilities.  She comes across a young Russian photographer, Eddie, and everything changes for her.  As Eddie becomes caught up in the drama after the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, Coralie realizes that Eddie may be the answer to everything she’s ever dreamed about.  A great cast of characters in a love story that’s sure to warm your heart.

The Kill Switch, (April 8) James Rollins
James Rollins is a master of adventure/action storytelling, keeping his readers at the edges of their seats in every book.  This one, part of the Sigma Force novels, follows Tucker Wayne, a former army ranger, and his service dog, Kane, who may be a little more than he seems to be.  The pair must collect a pharmaceutical magnate from Russia, a man who holds the key to a powerful bioweapon.  Seems simple enough on the outside, but it’s anything but.  Ranging from Russia to Africa, can a man and his dog stop the end of the world?

Growing Up Duggar, Jana, Jinger, Jessa, and Jill Duggar
I’ve always wondered how a family with that many children can keep things going and still smile for pictures.  The four oldest daughters delve into the family mystique and reveal that it’s all about relationships: with yourself, with your parents, with your siblings, with the world, and with God.  This is a heartfelt examination of what it takes to be a family and the girls are well-spoken, laying out what they believe and why they believe it.  A good read for a rainy day.

The Collector, (April 15) Nora Roberts
A new twist on an old story – Lila is a professional house-sitter, happy to have no ties other than to her current job.  But when she witnesses a murder/suicide from the apartment she is sitting, she almost wishes all of that could change.  It doesn’t take long before a relative enlists her help as the only witness.  Lila finds herself drawn to the artist Ash, the brother of the man who supposedly committed the crime.  As their investigation goes deeper, they find a black market world of priceless antiques and find themselves in more danger than they were expecting.

Some Lycan Hot, Michelle Bardsley
Just in case April doesn’t get warm enough for you, Michelle Bardsley steps in with her Broken Heart paranormal romance novels.   Darius and Alaya were lovers years ago until an angry goddess tore them apart.  Darius has always thought that Alaya was dead, until he discovered otherwise and learns that she made a bargain with the goddess to save his life – if he sees her face again, he’ll die.  Of course, he still feels the need to track her down and they discover a loophole, managing to rekindle their relationship.  But the goddess Nemesis, furious that they are together again, curses them once more.  That is, until Aphrodite steps in to try and ensure a happy ending.

I’d tell you all to stay dry, but that might be a lost cause.  Here’s hoping for rain and not snow!

Upcoming Events: Join us April 26th at 2:00 PM for Michael Eckers.  Michael will be talking about the Eighth Air Force and their fight against the German Luftwaffe during World War II.  Michael has written a variety of books based on military history and it will be a great talk!

PAFL Update:  Pipestone Area Friends of the Library is looking for members – anyone who is a friend to Meinders Library is welcome to join!  The Friends group works hard to promote the library, raise money for projects, and organize their yearly book sale, in addition to the HUGE amount of support they provide throughout the year.  Call us for the date of the next meeting!

Winter Weather:  Any weather related announcements are made on the radio.

If you have questions or have a book you’d like to reserve or renew, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (507) 825-6714.  The hours for Meinders Library are Monday through Thursday from 10 AM – 8 PM, and Friday and Saturday from 10 AM – 5 PM.  Meinders Community Library is located at 1401 7th Street SW, on the south side of the high school.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Oscar Mania

Pipestone County Star 02-27-2014

It’s that time of year, when an actor’s fancy turns to thoughts of golden statues.  The 86th Annual Academy Awards will be held on March 2nd at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.  Ellen DeGeneres will be hosting and the full awards list can be found on-line.  It’s a night of parties and excitement, where those who watch from home sit around the television holding their breath as they wait for the winners to be announced.

Okay, not everyone watches with that amount of fervor and attention.  I’m lucky to see a few acceptance speeches while I try and keep my kids occupied, but I’ve always enjoyed it. 

You might say “Wait, what is the Librarian doing writing about the Oscars?  Aren’t those movies?”  You are completely right.  They don’t have an awards show for books and if they did, I suspect it would be rather boring.  However, Meinders Library does have an extensive DVD section.  In fact, we order about five new releases ever month!

For those of you who don’t follow the announcements, here are the Nominees for Best Picture.  As these movies come out, we will be ordering them (especially the winner!).  Many of these pictures have nominations in other categories – some of them even come out this month!

12 Years A Slave: Solomon Northup was a free man in the North, but since he was black, he was captured and sold into slavery in the south.  Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, and others.
American Hustle: Crime and Comedy in the late 70s.  Need we say more? Christian Bale and Amy Adams.
Captain Phillips: Tom Hanks stars as the man who was captured by Somali pirates.
Dallas Buyers Club: Matthew McConaughey stars as an AIDS patient who smuggles drugs to help other AIDS sufferers.
Gravity: The longest opening shot (17 minutes) ever filmed – Sandra Bullock and George Clooney
Her: Can you fall in love with Siri? Joachin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson
Nebraska: Bruce Dern stars in a touching comedy-drama about an old man, a scam, and the stories he has to tell those who try and help.
Philomena:  Judy Dench stars as an Irish woman looking for a son she gave up for adoption under duress.
The Wolf of Wall Street: Securities Fraud perpetrated by Leonardo DiCaprio.

Come in and check out a movie, or something that you have been dying to read.   And just as a reminder, if you know a movie has been released, but you don’t see it on our shelves, let us know!  We can get it for you through interlibrary loan, or we can place a Hold for you so you’ll be on the list.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

PAFL Update:  Pipestone Area Friends of the Library is looking for members – anyone who is a friend to Meinders Library is welcome to join!  The Friends group works hard to promote the library, raise money for projects, and organize their yearly book sale, in addition to the HUGE amount of support they provide throughout the year.  Call us for the date of the next meeting!

Winter Weather:  We tend to follow the lead of Pipestone Area Schools.  If the school is closed, we will also be closed – if there are no students, they put off plowing until later in the day, which includes our parking lot.  If the school closes early, we stay open for about a half hour afterwards to make sure all the kids can get picked up.  If the school has a two hour late start, we are not affected and will open at our regular time of 10 AM.


If you have questions or have a book you’d like to reserve or renew, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (507) 825-6714.  The hours for Meinders Library are Monday through Thursday from 10 AM – 8 PM, and Friday and Saturday from 10 AM – 5 PM.  Meinders Community Library is located at 1401 7th Street SW, on the south side of the high school.

Oscar Mania

Pipestone County Star 02-27-2014

It’s that time of year, when an actor’s fancy turns to thoughts of golden statues.  The 86th Annual Academy Awards will be held on March 2nd at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.  Ellen DeGeneres will be hosting and the full awards list can be found on-line.  It’s a night of parties and excitement, where those who watch from home sit around the television holding their breath as they wait for the winners to be announced.

Okay, not everyone watches with that amount of fervor and attention.  I’m lucky to see a few acceptance speeches while I try and keep my kids occupied, but I’ve always enjoyed it. 

You might say “Wait, what is the Librarian doing writing about the Oscars?  Aren’t those movies?”  You are completely right.  They don’t have an awards show for books and if they did, I suspect it would be rather boring.  However, Meinders Library does have an extensive DVD section.  In fact, we order about five new releases ever month!

For those of you who don’t follow the announcements, here are the Nominees for Best Picture.  As these movies come out, we will be ordering them (especially the winner!).  Many of these pictures have nominations in other categories – some of them even come out this month!

12 Years A Slave: Solomon Northup was a free man in the North, but since he was black, he was captured and sold into slavery in the south.  Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, and others.
American Hustle: Crime and Comedy in the late 70s.  Need we say more? Christian Bale and Amy Adams.
Captain Phillips: Tom Hanks stars as the man who was captured by Somali pirates.
Dallas Buyers Club: Matthew McConaughey stars as an AIDS patient who smuggles drugs to help other AIDS sufferers.
Gravity: The longest opening shot (17 minutes) ever filmed – Sandra Bullock and George Clooney
Her: Can you fall in love with Siri? Joachin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson
Nebraska: Bruce Dern stars in a touching comedy-drama about an old man, a scam, and the stories he has to tell those who try and help.
Philomena:  Judy Dench stars as an Irish woman looking for a son she gave up for adoption under duress.
The Wolf of Wall Street: Securities Fraud perpetrated by Leonardo DiCaprio.

Come in and check out a movie, or something that you have been dying to read.   And just as a reminder, if you know a movie has been released, but you don’t see it on our shelves, let us know!  We can get it for you through interlibrary loan, or we can place a Hold for you so you’ll be on the list.  We look forward to seeing you soon!

PAFL Update:  Pipestone Area Friends of the Library is looking for members – anyone who is a friend to Meinders Library is welcome to join!  The Friends group works hard to promote the library, raise money for projects, and organize their yearly book sale, in addition to the HUGE amount of support they provide throughout the year.  Call us for the date of the next meeting!

Winter Weather:  We tend to follow the lead of Pipestone Area Schools.  If the school is closed, we will also be closed – if there are no students, they put off plowing until later in the day, which includes our parking lot.  If the school closes early, we stay open for about a half hour afterwards to make sure all the kids can get picked up.  If the school has a two hour late start, we are not affected and will open at our regular time of 10 AM.


If you have questions or have a book you’d like to reserve or renew, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (507) 825-6714.  The hours for Meinders Library are Monday through Thursday from 10 AM – 8 PM, and Friday and Saturday from 10 AM – 5 PM.  Meinders Community Library is located at 1401 7th Street SW, on the south side of the high school.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Dead Presidents

Pipestone County Star 02-13-2014

The third Monday in February is Presidents’ Day, which most people know.  For some reason, I always thought that this celebrated Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson, though I have learned that it’s really just the first two.  Jefferson was born in April and, while Alabama includes him in their celebration, technically he gets left out.

Before 1971, Presidents’ Day was actually George Washington Day and was celebrated on February 22nd (1732), Washington’s actual birthday.  A bill in 1971 moved the holiday to the third Monday in February and renamed it – because of its placement in the month, the third Monday will never actually fall on February 22, so calling it Washington’s birthday would be silly.

Since Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809, naming the date Presidents’ Day made sense - being on the 3rd Monday puts it smack dab between the two men.  It is a holiday, which means that school has it off (except in cases of snow day make-up) and most government offices are closed, but it has become far more commercial than it was ever intended.  Now there are car and furniture sales, specials at grocery stores, and all sorts of other attachments that were probably never intended.

In honor of two amazing Presidents, here are two books that will help you get to know their history a little better:

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Lincoln has become famous for the make-up of his cabinet, an unusual mix of men, many of whom were rivals of his in the presidential election.  Lincoln was such an effective President because he was able to work with the different personalities and see the talents they had, even if they disagreed with him.  This book is a testament to the power of a great leader and we should probably send several copies to Washington DC.

His Excellency, George Washington, by Joseph J Ellis
Ellis draws heavily on the Washington Papers, which were cataloged at the university of Virginia in the early 2000s.  Because of his access to information, Ellis recreates a rich view of Washington’s private and public lives, stripping away much of the legend to reveal the very competent, real-life man beneath.  The book is excellent and very informative – a must for anyone who adores American History and the powerful figures that populate it.


PAFL Update:  Pipestone Area Friends of the Library is looking for members – anyone who is a friend to Meinders Library is welcome to join!  The Friends group works hard to promote the library, raise money for projects, and organize their yearly book sale, in addition to the HUGE amount of support they provide throughout the year.  Call us for the date of the next meeting!

Winter Weather:  We tend to follow the lead of Pipestone Area Schools.  If the school is closed, we will also be closed – if there are no students, they put off plowing until later in the day, which includes our parking lot.  If the school closes early, we stay open for about a half hour afterwards to make sure all the kids can get picked up.  If the school has a two hour late start, we are not affected and will open at our regular time of 10 AM.

If you have questions or have a book you’d like to reserve or renew, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (507) 825-6714.  The hours for Meinders Library are Monday through Thursday from 10 AM – 8 PM, and Friday and Saturday from 10 AM – 5 PM.  Meinders Community Library is located at 1401 7th Street SW, on the south side of the high school.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Pipestone County Star 01-30-2014

Wow.  The term “Polar Vortex” isn’t one I’d ever care to hear again.  The weeks of sub-zeros were brutal for everyone, adults and children both.  My kids were trapped in the house and bored out of their minds, I was trapped in the house and tired of listening to them say how much they wanted to go outside!  With any luck, we’re through that, even though winter still has us firmly in her grasp.

I can handle the snow, as long as I’ve got wood to burn and a good book to read.  Here’s a few that will get you to spring, with a little luck.  You’ll have to find the wood yourself.  I’d put in a joke about burning the books, but as a librarian, those just aren’t funny…

The Invention of Wings, Sue Monk Kidd
This book centers around two women who were infamous in their time, but now hardly remembered.  Two sisters, Sarah and Angelina, rebelled against society in the 1830s – against their family, against gender roles, and most shockingly, against the institution of slavery.  Through historical research, Kidd brings these women to life on the page, along with Sarah’s handmaid Hetty, who was a “gift” when she turned 11 and died from a beating after Sarah taught her to read.  For anyone who enjoyed Twelve Years a Slave and relishes stories of underdogs standing up for what they believe in, no matter the cost.

Andrew’s Brain, EL Doctorow
This book takes place in the form of conversation, between Andrew and another person he refers to as ‘Doc.’  As the story is told, we are given glimpses into Andrew’s life and why he is revealing what he is, though he casts doubt many times on whether anything he is saying is true.  This is a compelling novel, taking us on a ride through the memories of one man in a post 9/11 world, from the basement of the White House to other seedier places.  Is he telling the truth? Does it matter?

Do or Die, Suzanne Brockmann (February 4)
This is a treat for my romance readers out there – part of the Reluctant Heroes series that Brockmann has written in before.  It follows a traditional format of a strong hero (Ian) and a heroine that can help herself (Phoebe), but the action is good and the romance is even better.  If you need something to help keep you warm, this is the one you want!  For fans of Brockmann, a character from her Troubleshooters series plays a pivotal role in this book as well.

After I’m Gone, Laura Lipmann (February 11)
When a man disappears, who knows the truth?  Felix Brewer, a man that at least five women loved, vanishes one day, leaving his wife and their three children without a clue.  Does his mistress know where he is?  When she, too, vanishes ten years to the day that Felix did, everyone assumed they ran off together, until her body is found.  Now, more than 25 years later, a detective investigating cold cases begins to unravel the truth – of the four remaining women, ONE of them must know what happened.

Moving Target, JA Jance (February 18)
A young hacker is set on fire one night hanging Christmas decorations in the detention facility where he’s locked up.  Ali Reynolds’s fiancĂ©, B. Simpson, was responsible for putting the young man in there in the first place and he feels responsible now.  Since Ali is in England investigating a murder, B turns to her best friend, Sister Anselm for assistance.  Of course, even being across an ocean doesn’t stop Ali from getting drawn in.

Stay warm – we’ve only got a few more months until the weather gets better, hopefully!

PAFL Update:  Pipestone Area Friends of the Library is looking for members – anyone who is a friend to Meinders Library is welcome to join!  The Friends group works hard to promote the library, raise money for projects, and organize their yearly book sale, in addition to the HUGE amount of support they provide throughout the year.  Call us for the date of the next meeting!

Winter Weather:  We tend to follow the lead of Pipestone Area Schools.  If the school is closed, we will also be closed – if there are no students, they put off plowing until later in the day, which includes our parking lot.  If the school closes early, we stay open for about a half hour afterwards to make sure all the kids can get picked up.  If the school has a two hour late start, we are not affected and will open at our regular time of 10 AM.

If you have questions or have a book you’d like to reserve or renew, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (507) 825-6714.  The hours for Meinders Library are Monday through Thursday from 10 AM – 8 PM, and Friday and Saturday from 10 AM – 5 PM.  Meinders Community Library is located at 1401 7th Street SW, on the south side of the high school.