A person just doesn’t know how popular they are until they are gone for a week and see all the emails, telephone messages and social media posts waiting for them when they get back—still trying to make sense of them all.

Everything from the fun stuff—How about a friend who takes the time to record a song at a Billy Joel concert to send to me. To the annoying—I must have deleted close to three hundred emails that took up room and meant nothing unless I wanted a new credit card, a colon cleanse or lessons on how to stop procrastinating.

Sending out letters and things that I thought I already had taken care of took up a good share of time and how about spending the entire last week trying to catch up on my sleep—I swear I do not sleep a wink when I am away from home and vacation just wore me out. But things are getting better in the sleep deprivation department and there are lots of neat news to share, so here goes.

Sounds like a lot people were having fun at the Alma Center Strawberry Festival this past weekend. And wonder of wonders, I heard it didn’t rain during the parade like it seems to happen a lot of years, even though the rains came on and off throughout the weekend. It was a special day for Amanda Casper Hudson and family when during the Alma Center car show this past Sunday, her mother, the late Beverly Casper, was honored with a memorial trophy in thanks for the hard work she had put into the car show over the years. Strandberg Veterinary sponsored the trophy which was won by Duane and July Evenson.

There was quite a nice send off for the youth groups from Hixton, Northfield and Taylor Lutheran churches who are on their way to Indianapolis, Ind. to help serve those in need—the kids worked very hard on fundraisers to make this happen and I will be anxious to hear of all the good things they will accomplish.

Benjamin Allen Bleskacek made his way into the world on June 21 weighing 8 lbs 1 oz, and measuring 21.5 inches. Proud parents are Brady and Amanda Bleskacek and welcoming the boy in blue are grandparents Scott and Andrea Hudson and Brian and Rhonda Bleskacek and great grandparents Duane and Wanda Ripp, Jan Hudson and Mary Nesja as well as a nice big family full of aunts and uncles.

Tickets are still available for the big raffle fundraiser for the Hixton Volunteer Fire Department. There will only be 500 tickets sold and 50 percent of the proceeds go back to the prizewinners. Tickets are $20 each and the top two cash prizes are $2,000 and $1,000. Talk to any fireman about getting that lucky ticket! The drawing will be July 12 at the Fire Hall at 7:30 p.m. with fireworks at dusk and great charcoal chicken and fixin’s from 5:30 p.m. until gone.

After playing in Stevens Point this past weekend, the Tranberg Roofing team has become the Wisconsin Class D State Men’s Slow Pitch Softball champions. Dru Mickelson and Cody Mickelson are members of the team along with Blair residents Justin Shramek, Jessie Lien, Nate Dahl and Mike Soto. Now it is off to Nationals the weekend of Sept. 2 in Red Wing, Minn.