PIONEER PERSPECTIVES: Try something new today – Bemidji Pioneer

Last week, one of our reporters was working on a story about a local beekeeper and looked up his contact information online and kept coming up empty. We were talking about how to contact him at our weekly staff meeting, and then it hit me – I might have saved his number in my phone.

And sure enough, it was there.

When I discovered this, the people around the table started laughing, why would I have a random farmer’s number on my phone? One man shouted, “Who don’t you know in this town?” because this is not the first time such an event happens.

I went on to explain how my dad was really into beekeeping when I was a teenager and that he worked with this particular farmer years ago, so I must have saved him.

A few days later, when I was editing a report and explaining beekeeping terminology to a reporter, the topic came up again. A few minutes after that, I was asked a question about a classical music composer whose answer I recognized, and another reporter in the room asked, “How do you know that?” “Oh, I took a year of classical music history in high school,” I casually replied.

At this point, one of the reporters laughed heartily that after I talked about scoring for one more minute, I might switch to studying classical music. “They don’t go together in my mind,” he laughed.

I shrugged and said something like “I don’t know”. I did a lot of things that I just guessed at.”

After days of thinking about this series of events, I came to the conclusion that my father is guilty of all this. I don’t mean this to sound negative at all; he is one of the best definitions of “visionary” I have ever come across.

He loves to try new things and always encouraged us kids to try these things when we were growing up. Whether it’s knowing how to play an instrument, becoming a pro at winter outdoor camping, or pushing the limits of how many varieties of tomatoes you can grow (he probably maxed out in the 90s), he’s done it and taught it to others—a 55-year career. many things in life.

In addition to running his own home building and construction business since I was little, he has taught us many life lessons and practical skills.

From raising lots of animals, making homemade soap, lots of gardening, saving seeds for seed companies – and we can’t forget about beekeeping – we’ve basically done it all when it comes to farm and garden life. We each played several instruments, were heavily involved in 4-H, and held various odd jobs over the years.

As I entered college and worked various jobs, I began to understand how strange and difficult some people thought my childhood was. It felt weird talking about it, I didn’t want to be perceived as a know-it-all who did everything under the sun.

But as I get older, I find myself drawn to it. Why should I limit my own experiences because others are too afraid to try anything unusual?

When I look around at a lot of people in their 20s and 30s, most of them have never milked goats or grown their own tomatoes, and don’t even know where to start with extracting honey or making soap. .

Yet here I am, following in my father’s footsteps, growing as much of my own food as my little Bemidji yard allows, and running the local farmers market. I love camping and being in nature, I can still play a few instruments, I know a lot about cars, and I’m pretty good at fixing up houses.

Because of my father’s ambitions and my mother’s approval, my sisters and I have a wealth of knowledge about some strange things. Although it may seem like I threw my dad under the bus earlier, I am truly grateful to him for helping me get here.

It’s because of her (and my mom for putting up with it all) that I have stories and experiences to share with others who have less overbearing parents than mine.

Let this be your little nudge to try something new today, courtesy of my dad. Then you might have some wild stories to share.

Annalize Braaught is an editor and photographer for the Pioneer. He can be contacted

(218) 358-1990

or

abraught@bemidjipioneer.com.

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