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Ken and Kathy Konrad were not looking for spouses when they both started to attend a general support group at Guardian of Angels Church in Oakdale. "It was for whatever you were going through in your lives," said Kathy. Both she and Ken had been divorced. "Other members had a lot harder issues to deal with." "I knew the pastor really well and he said you know we have this support group," said Ken. "After a while he asked if I had met anyone and I told him there was a cute woman sitting across the room during the meetings.
A cross section of randomly picked downtown business owners or managers felt the holiday shopping season was ending on a positive note. All of them were upbeat as of Dec. 23. "It's been very good," said Michele Lindemann, the new owner of Lavender Thymes. "People have been buying a lot for themselves and they buy one for themselves and another as a gift." Lavender Thymes has been an anchor retail store downtown since former owner Jean Kelley opened it in 1987. "There has been a lot of gift wrapping," said Lindemann of the service that most customers took advantage of this year.
Patient convenience is the number one reason the Minnesota Epilepsy Group opened an office at 1610 Maxwell Drive, Suite 200. The medical group, based in St. Paul on the United Hospital campus, is made up seven epileptologists, which are neurologists specializing in epilepsy. Three focus on pediatric patients and four on adult patients. The group was founded in 1990 and provides service to patients from throughout the Midwest, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. "The reason for this office is because a lot of patients do not want to travel to St.
Every family develops traditions. For Fritz and Judy Meyer, who easily reminiscence about their vastly different childhoods, it has become a tradition to decorate and light trees, 22 of them in fact. Greeted by their granddaughter, Skylar, who eagerly takes this reporter on tour of grandma's trees, naming them as she points out the distinct differences, the crystal tree, the lollipop tree, the brush animal tree, the Charlie Brown tree, the fruit tree, the gingerbread tree, the Dr. Seuss tree, the jewel tree, the kids' tree, the green tree, the clear glass ornament tree and the ceramic tree.
The idea of making thousands of children and their parents happy is a simple thing. It is precisely what Hudson's Santa has done for 30 years; 2010 marked the beginning of a fourth decade for Santa. Over the years things have changed. What has not changed is the remarkable affection Santa has for the Hudson community. "When I first started in 1980 there wasn't anything on the hill except Fleet Farm," said Santa. "It was all farm fields. The town has grown and it has grown well." Santa originally came to Hudson because of The Phipps Center for the Arts.
For Kim Gilbertson, her creative spirit found a new path making custom guitar straps. She was never short on creativity making exquisite wedding dresses and Renaissance costumes on the side while working at Andersen Windows for 26 years. "My grandmother Mildred Rulien showed me how to sew," said Gilbertson. It is a skill that she continues to use today in her newest passion. Working with buffalo hide, exotic leathers and a wide assortment of semi-precious gemstones she creates "Art For Your Guitar." The straps are precise works of art, each are one of kind, numbered and named.
As an avid listener of Minnesota Public Radio, in recent months a couple of stories have led to questions which I still keep pondering. The first was a story about the closing of the last incandescent light bulb manufacturing plant in the United States. The GE plant, nestled in Winchester, Vir., a town I drove through a number of times when I lived on the East Coast, closed for good in September. Invented by Thomas Edison, the light bulb, as we know it, is on course to be phased out of American life completely.
Jaysen Jones, who was born and raised in Hudson, knows the food business. He started working in the restaurant field at the age of 15 and never left it. The 1991 Hudson High School graduate is the son of Darlene Jones. His career in the hospitality industry began at the Old Country Kitchen location. "I have been cooking the whole time," said Jones, whose enthusiasm sizzles more than the grill he cooks on. Over the years, he has gained experience at Shoney's, Dick's Bar and Grill and Barkers. In 2006, one month after Kaladi's Gourmet restaurant opened, Jones started to work for them.
A gift to the community is what organizer Gwenyn Anderson hopes the upcoming Faces of the Nativity, a Celebration of Jesus Christ will be. The event is on Dec. 18 and 19 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. both days. Admission is free and along with being able to see an amazing collection of nativity sets. The Joyful Noise handbell choir and an area harpist will perform at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. each day. The event will be held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 545 Stageline Road. "We hope to have 150 different crèches from around the world," said Anderson.
Sweet treats just doubled at 1005 Pearson Drive, the location of Cold Stone Creamery and now Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Doug and Lisa Knepper, Hudson residents for nearly five years, are both Wisconsin natives. When they both ended up working in the Twin Cities, Hudson was an obvious choice to live as they wanted to remain Wisconsin residents. The couple along with Doug's brother Scott and his wife Amy, who live in Eau Claire bought the Hudson Cold Stone Creamery in April of 2010 from Kendra and Gary Quist who were ready to retire.