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Articles written by Tom Palen

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 By Tom Palen    Opinion    March 18, 2023

New Boots

I am often asked why I moved north in my fifties, a time in life when many people want to move south for the warmer climate. The answer is simple: I don't do so well with heat, especially combined... Full story

 By Tom Palen    Opinion    March 11, 2023

Firehouse Mutt's

I was nearly speechless after just one bite of the Brunswick Stew from the buffet. But let's be honest: I'm a radio guy; when was a radio guy ever kept speechless? "This soup did not come from a...

 By Tom Palen    Opinion    March 4, 2023

The Far Side

I couldn't find the item I was looking for, so I asked for help, "Hi, can you tell me where you keep the…." John interrupted. "It's on the other side of the store," he answered monotonously. "How...

 By Tom Palen    Opinion    February 25, 2023

The Step Van

“You look a lot like your brother Newell,” she said. “Pardon me,” I asked. Aunt Di repeated, “You look a lot like your brother Newell.” She was looking at a photo my sister Theresa had...

 By Tom Palen    Opinion    February 11, 2023

Who knew?

This is one of my favorite pictures of my dad and me, even though you can't make us out in the photo. I don't know the exact date; my sister Barbara took the picture. We had been down to visit in...

 By Tom Palen    Opinion    February 4, 2023


"You need a haircut," she said. I looked in the mirror and what I saw made it impossible to argue with her. "I don't have time to get a haircut" was my best comeback. So I got in my van and drove to t...

 By Tom Palen    Opinion    January 25, 2023

Flying Things

I was surprised the kite flying festival on the beach wasn't canceled due to high winds coming across the Gulf of Mexico. Of course, I know it takes wind to fly a kite, but these were very strong. The...

 By Tom Palen    Opinion    January 21, 2023

The Pen

I'm sure you've come across this person or even know them personally; Mr. or Ms. Buttinsky. They are annoying! Last week I went to the building material store for supplies. The store was hectic, and...

 By Tom Palen    Opinion    January 14, 2023

Old, or Just Older?

Melissa ordered the French toast, bacon, and two eggs, over-easy. “I’ll have the Denver Omelet with rye toast,” I told the waitress at Foxy’s Café in Treasure Island, Florida. “Can you...

 By Tom Palen    Opinion    January 4, 2023


"You need a haircut," she said. I looked in the mirror and what I saw made it impossible to argue with her. "I don't have time to get a haircut" was my best comeback. So I got in my van and drove to t...

 By Tom Palen    Opinion    December 31, 2022

Electronic Gadgets

I talk about ours a lot. Some people have asked me, "What is a three-seasons room?" It's a room that’s not heated. Instead, a door closes the space off from the house to keep the warm air inside the...

 By Tom Palen    Opinion    December 24, 2022

Banana Butts

We are creatures of habit with established routines that we practice at certain times of each day: A routine for getting up (which will vary depending on if it's a school/workday or a day off). We...

 By Tom Palen    Opinion    December 17, 2022

Lawn Sprinklers

I took Melissa and our cat Edgar Allan to visit her parents in South Carolina. Meanwhile, Nova Mae and I continued to Florida. I've been trying to get down to Tampa to help my cousin with some house...

 By Tom Palen    Opinion    December 10, 2022

When the Chips Go Down

The other day I overheard two ladies' conversation in a restaurant. They were discussing (gossiping) the possible consequences of a third person's actions. One of the ladies used the term, when the... Full story

 By Tom Palen    Opinion    November 26, 2022


My wife was standing on the front porch when I pulled into the driveway coming home from a road trip. I was honking my horn with my left arm stretched out the driver's side window, waving. Melissa...

 By Tom Palen    Opinion    November 19, 2022

Too Goods

I gathered an armload of firewood on the front porch to carry inside. I paused to admire two neatly stacked wood piles across the front yard. Each stack is ten feet long and two rows deep. Then I...

 By Tom Palen    Opinion    November 12, 2022


My daughter's family recently bought a house on the outskirts of Duluth. My two granddaughters, Addison and Evelyn, were excited to tell me about it. In addition to bigger bedrooms, it has a huge...

 By Tom Palen    Opinion    November 5, 2022

Tom VS. Tom

The trouble all started at Roseau Hardware: an Ace Hardware store in the small town of Roseau. Roseau is in north-western Minnesota, on the Canadian border. Melissa's great-grandfather and... Full story


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