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January 19, 2018

1/10/2018 8:21:00 AM
. . . another woman's treasure
If you've driven north of Windom on Highway 71, you can't miss the decorations in the Myrt and Arnie Quiring yard.
Their home is the former Lasting Joy Church.
The Quirings have a small manger scene set up next to their garage and a barn door decorated with the word "JOY" leans against a nearby tree.
However, the two items that draw particular attention are a gate and an old grain wagon. Myrt and Arnie shared that those two ag items have some local history.
The gate, on which Myrt attached a steel cut-out "Merry Christmas" as well as lights, an evergreen garland, large jingle bells and a star, is from the old Windom Sale Barn, now Heinold Hog Market. It was a gate to one of the pens in the sale barn.
Myrt was looking for some large boards to which she could attach the "Merry Christmas" sign. She mentioned her quest to their neighbor across the road, Lloyd Brand. Lloyd brought them to what he had in storage and as soon as Myrt saw the gate, made of heavy 2-by-6s and 2-by-8s, she wanted it.
"I said, 'What are you going to do with this?' and he said, 'I think I'm going to burn it,'  " Myrt says. "I said, 'Oh, I think that would be just great for what I need.'
"Well, the next morning it was already out by the barn."
The gate is at least 60 years old because it belonged to Brand's father, who bought the sale barn in 1954 and sold it three years later. Arnie says that when the barn was sold, Lloyd's dad took the gate to use out on the farm.
Meanwhile, Lloyd went into the service and when he came home in 1960, he started a trucking business and used the gate inside his truck to sort out people's livestock. The gate remained in the truck until 1997, when it went into storage.
"He said, 'That gate was two steps from the burn pile,'  " Arnie laughs.
Understandably, the gate was pretty dirty. But with a little elbow grease and whitewash it cleaned up nicely for a Christmas decoration.
"I just love it," she says.
Meanwhile, that old-fashioned, wood grain wagon a little farther down the hill was decorated with some more evergreen garland, a few wood and metal decorative Christmas signs and a tall, rectangular snowman decoration.
The wagon came from a Cottonwood County sale.
"When Harry Wiens had his auction, we went there and I said, 'Arnie, you buy me that trailer.' Well, he didn't, so I did," Myrt recalls with a laugh, adding quickly that her husband was nice enough to haul it home for her.
"My buddies were teasing me, so she went over there and bought it," Arnie chimes in.
The Quirings pulled it to the northwest corner of their yard where it sits now and began decorating each year. They decorate it for summer, fall and, of course, Christmas/winter.
They don't put anything inside the wagon, but decorate around it.
Myrt says they always here compliments about their outdoor decorations and even received a card thanking them for their holiday decorating.

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