Halloween - Mankato, MN
Halloween - Mankato, MN

By Molly Butler

Nearly every year, I would dress as a cowgirl for Halloween.

Boots, hat, riding gear: it was already in my closet. Then one year, I decided to mix it up. I told my grandma I wanted to be my favorite Pokémon, the fire-breathing fox, Vulpix. She bought the red and brown fabric and got to work on her sewing machine. Now, my grandma is talented, but I don’t think any amount of costuming would have helped people know what on earth I was supposed to be. I spent the night answering questions like “What are you?” and “Why did you dress as a turkey?” Now I look back at those pictures, me on all fours in the front yard, roaring and ridiculous, and laugh. But I know at the time, being misunderstood over and over again was frustrating.

I was having a rough day earlier this week and decided to take a run to de-stress. As I was on my way out of the driveway, a group of bikers whizzed by, revving loudly. One slowed and waved to get my attention. “Oh great,” I thought, absolutely not in the mood to be catcalled. Then this large, bearded, weathered and leathered man surprised me by blowing the most flamboyant, theatrical, sincerely sweet kiss. It was goofy. Absurd. Human. I couldn’t help but smile.

It is so much easier to perfect the art of the perfect smile than it is to rise to the challenge of true contentment and joy.

Assumptions are comforting. Black and white thinking is efficient. What you see is what you believe is what you get. But some of the most beautiful animals are venomous. It is so much easier to perfect the art of the perfect smile than it is to rise to the challenge of true contentment and joy.

In The Places That Scare You, Pema Chödrön writes, “The essence of bravery is being without self-deception.” To question yourself, your beliefs, your fears, is courage. A mature mind is one that can live in the grey areas, moving from either/or to yes, and also…

Have a wonderful weekend.


Want some thrills, chills and a taste of fall? The Haunted Car Wash will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. for just $15 at Snell Auto Wash on Madison Ave in Mankato. Catch the last weekend of Hallucination: Relief Prints and Matrices by Mai Tran at the 410 Project as they gear up for their annual Halloween Exhibit, ready to display next weekend! Enjoy Free Food Friday at the North Mankato Taylor Library, with free pizza and snacks as you help them set up for their haunted library! Open for ages 9-17, register online to help out! Paddle up for another Happy Hour Float with Bent River Outfitter this Friday from 5-7 p.m. $40 covers all equipment rentals and a free beer or wine afterward at the Wine Café!

Get your live music fix! The Mary Guentzel Quintet will be at Indian Island Winery from 6-8:30 p.m. and Matt & Laurel will perform at the Circle Inn from 6-9 p.m. Get your tickets here for America at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center. The Tony Rook Band will be at the Grand Kabaret in New Ulm from 7-9:30 p.m., and you can catch The Boys & PSK at the What’s Up Lounge on Riverfront beginning at 8 p.m.


Grab your kiddos and head to the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota for Tractor Alley! Children will be able to climb and explore tractors and other farm equipment during this harvest-themed event. Pumpkin Junction at Blue Skye Farms will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with all your fall classics, including hayrides, farm activities and games.

Enjoy some Dam Pie! Bent River Outfitter will guide you along the Blue Earth River on a longer paddle with a stop at the Rapidan Dam store for a slice of the greatest pie on the river. The trip typically takes 3-5 hours; call 507-508-2175 to sign up.

Becky Borneke and In a Bind will be at the Indian Island Winery in Janesville from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Enjoy Jazz Nite with the Jim Mcguire Jazz Trio from 6:30-9 p.m. at Morgan Creek Vineyards, with indoor and outdoor seating available. Catch Erik Koshkinen with City Mouse at Hooligans Neighborhood Pub from 7-10 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 day-of.


Get some Sunday shopping done. Munchkin Markets will be at Country Inn & Suites from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. with children’s clothing, baby gear, toys and more, with prices 40-90% off retail! The Arts Center of St. Peter Holiday Market will be open 1-5 p.m. with jewelry, textiles and personal care items. Then swing by Pond Road Market from noon to 4 p.m. for their October sale!

Bonus: Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I want to bring awareness to this because it is such a prevalent yet misunderstood problem in our community. Many people do not know how to respond to reports of domestic violence. Many victims cannot even recognize it themselves. It is hard to ask for help. It is complex and confusing. Know the signs of an unhealthy relationship, don’t isolate and know that there are folks out there willing to help you if you have any questions or concerns. Resources like CADA are available to educate and assist. Take care of one another.


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.