Saddle with stirrups on a back of a stallion.
Saddle with stirrups on a back of a stallion.

By Molly Butler

This week I got back in the saddle. Literally.

It’s been about a decade since I rode a horse. Like a lot of little girls, I was once deeply obsessed with all things horse. Horse books, horse movies, horse camp every summer. I think I made my family watch “The Black Stallion” about a dozen times. Obsessed.

Like a lot of childhood passions, it faded. Life happened. Then this week my future mother-in-law invited me to come play with her horse who she just recently moved to town. Of course, I said yes. Murphy is a big, handsome boy, and he was very patient with me. It’s not just like riding a bicycle; I was a bit awkward and unsure. We walked slow, my FMIL leading us along, taking a few easy circles in the ring. It was good to be back.

There’s still a little horse-crazy girl in me, and she had a great week.

It’s funny how you can be outsmarted by your younger self. I used to be more confident, more knowledgeable about this. The things you used to know so well get rusty or lost. I feel like a beginner again. But passion, excitement, they can wait inside you for decades. Anne Lamott said, “I am all the ages I’ve ever been.” There’s still a little horse-crazy girl in me, and she had a great week.

If there’s something you loved, return to it and explore. There’s still time to get back in the saddle.


Everyone remembers the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. January’s Lil’ Chef’s Food Club is inspired by that fairy tale classic. Stop by the North Mankato Taylor Library to pick up porridge supplies between January 19-29 then check out the video on their Facebook page to hear the story read. Ages 9-17 can pick up supplies for their free DIY kit at the library. January’s craft will be a Picture Frame Calendar. Anyone interested can register online or by calling or stopping by the library.

The Red Cross will be at the River Hills Mall in Mankato for a Blood Drive from noon until 5:00 pm. Make an appointment on their website and help save a life. Comedian Kevin Craft will be at the Blue Moon Bar & Grill in Kasota. Craft was a finalist in “Last Comic Standing” and has appeared on several major networks.

This is your last weekend to visit “Jim Denomie 2020” at the 410 Project in Mankato. Gallery hours will be Friday and Saturday from 2:00-6:00 pm.


Head to Farmamerica in Waseca for Winter Charm on the Farm, a family-friendly opportunity to enjoy the season and participate in classic winter activities. There will be sleigh rides, scavenger hunts, cozy campfires, winter walking tours, and of course, hot chocolate. Bring your cross-country skis or snowshoes to enjoy their trails and routes. This event will begin at 11:00 am.

The Mankato Farmers’ Market will be in the Drummer’s Garden Center from 10:00am until noon, with everything local and fresh, including eggs, baked goods, jams, meat, and more. The Lake Crystal Area Rec Center is hosting their 2021 Chisel Challenge. This 7-week challenge runs from January 23rd to March 14th. The entry fee is $20 and winners will receive cash prizes. For more information or to register, check out their Facebook event or call the L.C.A.R.C. at (507) 726-6730.


Pond Road Market on Hwy. 22 in Mankato will be open from noon to 4:00 pm with their first sale of the New Year! The shop will be revamped with new treasures and décor, so swing by to get in on some great deals.

There’s still time to enter the Snowman Contest at the North Mankato Taylor Library! No registration is required, simply build a snowman and share a picture on the Facebook page. Winners will be announced on the first of February.

Bonus: Nostalgic Romantic

In case you haven’t spotted the chocolate hearts and pink teddy bears filling the shelves: Valentine’s Day is coming. If you want to make this one special, don’t go for just any gift. Nostalgia is a powerful thing. If you want to get your love something unique, tap into their favorite memories. What was their favorite childhood book? Where did they like to visit? Favorite song? Depending on how long you’ve been together, you could even bring back something from one of your first dates: a meal, a movie. Of course, Valentines isn’t just for lovers. Everyone you love can appreciate a trip down memory lane. If you want to make this Valentine’s Day memorable, give the gift of nostalgia.


Weekend High Notes is a regular feature by Molly Butler. Molly covers weekend events, live music, and culture in the Greater Mankato Area. Suggestions are welcome using the MankatoLIFE contact form.