Back in the 1980s, there was a Charlie Brown special with the title "What have we learned Charlie Brown?" Today, I feel a little like Charles M. Schulz putting together a sequel to that Charlie Brown special. The only difference is, this one has a definite Windom slant. Here are a few news items that popped up in recent weeks, followed by my take on what our community has learned through these events: The decision to hold Windom's annual citywide clean-up and Homecoming during the same week resulted in "unique" yard decorations around town. We often criticize our city, county and school for not knowing what the other is doing. But who could have predicted this? As usual, Windom's Homecoming Week brought plenty of good-natured fun. Homes and yards were caught in the crossfire of the traditional "toilet paper war." My house was "rolled" three times. What I hadn't anticipated, however, was waking up one morning to find a bed, lamp, night stand and TV set up around Andrew's car. I'm told "Junk Week" items were yanked from curbs and carefully arranged in front yards at the homes of several Windom juniors and seniors. We've learned that Junk Week and Homecoming Week probably should not be held at the same time. Despite excellent weather, the Windom street project has dragged on past the contract deadline. Throughout this year's street project, city officials passed along progress reports and anticipated completion dates. We were told 6th Ave. would be finished before school started. It wasn't. We were told the project would be done by mid-October. It isn't. We've learned that the contiguous United States actually have five time zones: Pacific, Mountain, Central, Eastern and Road Construction Time Zone. The Minnesota Vikings record goes to 1-5. After last year's 10-6 record and a trip to the playoffs, many people figured the Vikes would pick up at least nine wins and another playoff spot. Not so fast. This fall, the Vikings have appeared disorganized and, worse, lackluster, in most of their games. The team has obviously regressed, on both sides of the ball. This team, especially in the trenches, looks like a completely different unit than the one we saw last season. We've learned that, when it comes to the Vikings, past performance does not guarantee future results. The U.S. Government shuts down. For the past few weeks, we've witnessed a semi-shutdown of the United States government. I say "semi" because polls are showing that four of every five Americans feel no impact by the shutdown. Meanwhile, the Democrats and Republicans continue to bicker. We've learned that our elected lawmakers - in every branch of government - feel more obligated to their party than this country as a whole. America needs leaders in government, not politicians. Right now, we have zero leadership in American government and it's been that way for decades. At last week's city budget meeting, Mayor Corey Maricle asked for the council's thoughts on using part of the Windom Area Hospital site for a new fire hall. The Windom fire hall seems to be eternally banished to the city's "back burner." I believe the fire hall project was first mentioned sometime during the early-1990s, but it may go back even further than that. The council discussed the fire hall during its long-range planning sessions and the hall is listed as a "priority 1" (meaning high priority) in the 2015 budget. However, the fire department is still forced to buy fire trucks based on size (to fit into our tiny fire hall) rather than need. We've learned that Mayor Maricle has not forgotten about the city's fire hall problem. And, we've learned that the city council has not ruled out the possibility of building a new fire hall.