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Many things can make a person feel happy or badly

February 6, 2011
By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer

Going out into the area to work makes me plumb happy.

There are many reasons for this, but one of the best is Big John's in Bode.

First of all, I love that little town, especially the library and its director Orlyss Maassen, but Big John's is extra special. The little tavern serves a tenderloin sandwich so big you've got to eat for 20 minutes before you get to the bun for your sandwich. Sometimes a tenderloin doesn't have 20 minutes of good in it, but at Big John's it does.

The last time I had lunch there, I was on my way to West Bend, Emmetsburg, Laurens and Pocahontas to talk to the school folks for stories in our Progress edition. Those will appear next Sunday, by the way.

Of course, I timed lunch well, passing through Bode just past noon.

Yes, it's on the way. I take back roads just so I can go past the little places I love, and if there's any chance at all, I hit Bode at noon.

But I digress. This time when I had lunch there, I had a handful of peanuts for dessert. Strange choice food-wise, but oh, so much fun. They were throwing the shells on the floor and leaving them there.

Forty years ago, my husband and I lived in Wisconsin and took a weekend trip around Lake Superior. We stayed in Hayward one night and spent the evening in a little piano bar that served peanuts in the shell. There, too, we just dropped the shells on the floor.

Now I find it's a good thing to do to old wooden floors.

John Demory, who grew up in Bode, owns Big John's - which is no misnomer, by any means. He told me, "You'd be surprised how that floor will shine when we sweep it up."

So there, if you've got wooden floors at home that need a little attention, toss some peanut shells on the floor and walk around on them for a while. Whatever oils are in the shells will transfer to the floor. At least that happens on the old floor in that little bar - don't do it if you're not sure. I get blamed for enough problems without adding a scratched-up floor to the list.

And I've had plenty of my own problems recently.

I pay someone to clean my driveway after snowstorms, and the money is always gone. Yet, last weekend I spent nearly two hours scraping up to 3 inches of ice off the driveway after those warm days smushed it up some. I must have looked pretty pathetic because Ron and Jeanette Utley, who live across the street, finished the last 10 feet, including the opening to the street, which is a giant pain. They even dug out the mailbox.

Anyway, while I scraped, the lens fell out of the right side of my glasses. By then, no place was open to get them fixed, so I worked all night on my home computer without glasses.

Sometimes there are easily recognized reasons for headaches. Usually when I get a headache of that kind, I try to do something that makes me happy. That would have been another trip to Bode for lunch. I just couldn't see to drive.

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or



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