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Juanita's story and a thumbs-up for libraries

Juanita Engebretson is a new friend under our big roof who has lived in Wadena about 20 years.

She was born in Duran, Wis., in 1931. Her parents are Harold and Bernice Bilderback, who were farmers.

Juanita's first jobs were helping friends and neighbors take care of their children. Over the years she also worked in restaurants.

Juanita met and married Allen Engebretson 69 years ago. Harold was in the Army, stationed in Korea. He took training and became a brick layer who has worked many places down around the cities. They have six children.

The Engebreitsons enjoyed camping with their family during the summer and snowmobile trips in the winter. They especially liked to fish.

Juanita is becoming adjusted to activities schedules.

This week I found out more about the program in the library that makes it possible for those who like to read to get books they are unable to get for themselves. Volunteers chose several books on the topic or by the author suggested to them. They deliver and pick up books again.

This wonderful program does away with the old complaint that, being housebound, some folks think they have nothing to talk about. Nothing pushes back borders like a book. Via a book we can do anything, go anywhere by proxy, and don't scoff at proxy, a way of horning in on the experiences and travels of others. It is a great way to become knowledgeable. I have never met a reader without something to visit about.

To those either sight or hearing impaired, let me ask, have you tried the new ways lately? There are several sizes of big print to chose from. Talking books can be a great new source of pleasure. A pair of earphones give privacy and volume. Earphones are a great gift idea for Christmas or a birthday.

Do I hear someone say, "But I can't get adjusted to hearing a book instead of reading it." My answer to that is "Tough bananas!" Maybe it is time for you to learn something new. A brain picks up knowledge for most of us as long as we are alive, according to the experts.

How fortunate we are to have so comprehensive a library. Manager Renee Frethem and her crew are ready to help folks find a medium to put them back on the road with other folks who have interesting things to talk about.