Marie Johnson joined the Detroit Lakes Tribune as a reporter and magazine editor in November 2017 after several years of writing and editing at the Perham Focus. She lives in Detroit Lakes with her husband, Dan, their 4-year-old son and toddler daughter, and their yellow Lab.
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It was standing room only in the conference center at M State on Tuesday for the "Inside Out: A Step Inside Mental Illness" Video Premiere and Panel Event. A crowd of about 200 people showed up in support of Detroit Lakes' new community campaign to normalize mental illness — enough that there were some without seats even after the last-minute addition of extra chairs.
Four years ago, after 36 hours of intense on-and-off labor that ended in an unplanned C-section, all the anxieties of those grueling hours in the delivery room melted away the moment I laid eyes on my beautiful, healthy baby boy. My newborn son looked up at me with such love and wonder that I instantly forgot about everything else. It didn't matter anymore what it took to get to that moment — we got there.
Some trips are taken to help people get away, to escape their daily lives and lose themselves on a beach somewhere. This wasn't one of those trips. When mother-and-son travelers Mindi and Matt Jenson visited South Korea this past fall, they wanted not to lose themselves, but rather to find themselves — or at least, a part of themselves. A part that, until then, had always felt like a faraway footnote in their family's history.
"Nobody can believe I have what I have." People who've just met Lisa Flynn, or who talk to her only in passing, would never in a million years guess that the radiant woman in front of them has a terminal illness. With her utterly cheerful personality, bright eyes and full head of hair, Flynn doesn't look or behave like people usually expect someone with an advanced, incurable type of cancer to look or behave. When people find out that she has Stage IV metastatic breast cancer, they're always shocked, Flynn says — and she gets it.
St. Paul's Lutheran School has had a growth spurt. The Perham parochial elementary school has added new teachers, a new full-time preschool option, new technology, a new robotics program, and an addition onto the building, all since the end of last school year. Principal Jolene Wagner said the changes were necessary to accommodate rising enrollment while keeping with the school's mission to offer small class sizes, new technologies and a family-like environment.
The 549 Family Foundation, in conjunction with Perham Public Schools and the Live Wide Open initiative, will be hosting an event to welcome former community members back home for the holidays and let them know that, should they ever want to return for good, Perham's door is always open — and there's a lot of opportunity here waiting for them.
Perham is pretty good at taking care of its own. Whether it’s Perham grads looking for work right out of high school, or alumni coming back after college to put down roots, the community embraces its Yellowjackets with open arms.
It's the heart of the holiday season in Perham, and community groups and businesses all over town are spreading the spirit through special events and promotions. In the two weeks since the city's annual Parade of Lights, which is always held the Friday after Thanksgiving, there have been several planned activities for people to enjoy. And in the weeks to come between now and Christmas, there will be plenty more.
The owners of River's Edge Cabinetry, Tasha and Joe Foltz, believe a new storefront on Perham's Main Street will open fresh doors for their custom cabinetry business. A downtown presence offers better visibility for the business and convenience for customers, they say — plus it has the potential to enhance their working relationships with other home design and decor retailers in town. River's Edge Cabinetry is currently under construction at 127 East Main Street, a spot that was most recently occupied by SASS Salon and Spa before the salon relocated in June.
A page has been turned in the history of 126 West Main Street in Perham. The commercial building at that address, which for years was home to Bev's Book Nook, is now open for its next chapter as The Willow Bookstore. Continuing the building's tradition as a space for reading, contemplating and human connection, The Willow opened this past Saturday, Nov. 24, under the ownership of Perham native Megan Wells.