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Family is most important in life
Rick Bussler, Publisher
Family, Owatonna, editorial, column, near me


A trio of life events in June provides me with a great reminder of how fortunate I am.

First, a birthday and anniversary wrapped into one special day and then followed by Father’s Day hits on the importance of what’s most important in life—family.

On June 9, my parents celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary. It also was the same day as my mother’s birthday. And of course, I will be spending Sunday with my dad for Father’s Day.

While taking my parents out for their anniversary/birthday, it dawned on me how incredibly fortunate I am to have them in my life as they continue in their later years.

We certainly aren’t able to enjoy things at the pace we did say just 10 years ago, but it’s neat to be able to get together.

You likely don’t know this, but my parents are actively involved with this newspaper on a couple fronts. They are avid readers of the paper and keep tabs on everything going on around the area, even though they don’t live around here. When the paper doesn’t show up in their mailbox on Thursdays, I’m the first one to hear about it. By now, I’ve got them well trained to know it’s not us, but rather the postal service that prevents the paper from coming on time. Sound familiar? I know many of you can relate to this.

Besides reading the paper, my parents also help every month to send out subscription renewal notices. This is quite the process as we all form an assembly line of sorts and push out hundreds of notices in one afternoon.

They have been there to help me out in many other ways as well. I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without them.

Hard work has been a part of our family’s DNA for decades, and it doesn’t show any signs of leaving any time soon. For me, it all started with my dad and mom while growing up on the family farm. My parents operated a hog and crop farm of 200 acres. By today’s standards, it would be a tiny farm.

From slopping the hogs to bedding them with straw to bailing hay and harvesting crops, we learned the value of hard work and the rewards that come with it. I wish all children would have an opportunity to experience farm life.

It’s not all work, though. We do find a little time here and there to play my dad’s favorite card game, Rook. It’s something he played while growing up with the neighbor, and we now make it part of our family gatherings.

I credit both of my parents for providing me with an understanding of what I believe is life’s greatest reward. Family is where it’s at. Without family, we would have nothing.

I have often said in the past that my greatest accomplishment in life has been being a father as I have three children of my own. I wouldn’t have been able to realize that achievement without a strong father (and mother) figure in the background.

Don’t forget your fathers this weekend. They deserve so much for all they’ve done.

For me, I’m in hot pursuit of celebrating the special day with my father.

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