By Richard Peterson
Dean Sorlie of Maddock sent the following to us by e-mail. It
originally appeared in the May 13, 1955 issue of Housekeeping
Monthly. Dean says he's attached it to his refrigerator with a
magnet so his wife, Rita, can view it daily.
The Good Wife's Guide
* Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a
delicious meal ready, on time for his return. This is a way of
letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are
concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home
and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is
part of the warm welcome needed.
* Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed
when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair
and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary
* Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. His boring
day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
* Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part
of the house just before your husband arrives.
* Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc. and then run a dust cloth
over the tables.
* Over the cooler months of the year you should prepare and light a
fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a
haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too. After
all, catering to his comfort will provide you with immense personal
* Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's
hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if
necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he
would like to see them playing the part. Minimize all noise. At the
time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or
vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.
* Be happy to see him.
* Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to
* Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him,
but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first --
remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
* Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes
out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead
try to understand his world of strain and pressure and his very real
need to be at home and relax.
* Your goal: Try to make sure you home is a place of peace, order
and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and
* Don't greet him with complaints and problems.
* Don't complain if he's late home for dinner or even if he stays
out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have
gone through that day.
* Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or
have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready
*Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low,
soothing and pleasant voice.
* Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment
or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such
will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You
have no right to question him.
* A good wife knows her place.
I think I'll follow Dean's lead and post these helpful hints to
wives on my refrigerator, too.
There are no villains in the saga of the Benson County flood
settlement money passing over to the city of Maddock for use in
construction of the Multi-Purpose Building, which will be used by
the Benson County 4-H for its annual Achievement Days and other
The commissioners chose Maddock for the building because Maddock
came up with a more ambitious plan than Leeds or Minnewaukan. In
addition the commissioners were wary of investing big money in
Minnewaukan because Minnewaukan's future existence is dependent on
what the lake does.
State's Attorney Jim Wang came up with a plan to protect the
county's interest in the building while it was being built. He was
doing his job.
The mortgage he wanted would not have been a burden to the city of
The mortgage would have been cancelled by the commissioners upon
completion of a use agreement for the building, something that will
have to be completed anyway. As it is, without the mortgage the
county assumes some risk. Admittedly, this risk is unlikely to
manifest itself, but it is possible. I think Wang was right. But
that's water under the bridge unless the unthinkable happens.
County Auditor Bonnie Erickson was correct in refusing to sign a
check after the commissioners voted to release the funds the first
time. She wanted the blessing of the state auditor before signing
that check. Good thing she did it that way. It would have been an
illegal transaction to pass on funds without a joint powers
David Johnson represented the fund-raising group ably. Maddock City
Attorney Travis Peterson gave valuable input to the proceedings.
As I said, there are no villains. Everybody was doing the job that
was supposed to be done.
If there's a hero in this episode, it's Shorty Hager, Benson County
road superintendent. Commissioners agreed the county highway
department would do the site preparation. When Hager looked at the
site of the building he had enough expertise to realize what nobody
else apparently saw: the site was too low. He insisted on doing the
job right and as a result the site preparation eventually cost about
$36,000. That was money well spent.