There’s a little town in northern Minnesota where the spirit of Christmas is alive.
    Sandwiched between the railroad and State Highway 210, sits Wright, Minn. Every year the town celebrates Wrong Days in Wright, and during the festival’s softball tournament, the players run around the bases the wrong way – from third to second to first to home. But, except for those two days, all is right in Wright.
    The town is home to some 125 people, a post office, a restaurant, a bar, a lumberyard, several churches, and a grocery store.
    When I was a girl, my sisters and I would ride our bikes the six miles to town to spend our nickels and pennies on Tootsie Rolls at the grocery store. That was back in the day when every rural town had its own grocery store.
    Today, the Farmers Co-op Grocery Store is one of few remaining small-town grocery stores – the kind of grocery store with only one check out lane and one cash register. It’s remarkable the nearly 100-year-old cooperative is still in business.
    The small, red brick structure was built in the 1950s to house the town’s cooperative creamery, making, as my dad remembers it, dry, white cheese. When the creamery stopped making cheese in the 1970s, the grocery store moved from its old location into the newer brick building. Wright also had a cooperative feed mill, but that closed a couple years ago.
    With all the other local grocery stores shuttered, the Farmers Co-op is now the only grocery store for 20 miles in most directions. Convenience stores in the region carry staples like milk and bread, but the grocery store in Wright is the only place to find fresh produce and a fresh meat counter.
    My sister Sabrina still lives close enough to ride her bike to the Farmers Co-op. But I’m pretty sure she usually takes her car.
    A couple weeks ago, Sabrina was getting her groceries with all three of her kids in tow.
    At checkout, the man in line behind her set his groceries on the belt next to her groceries. When the clerk accidentally rang up all of the groceries together, Sabrina told her, “I’m not with him.”
    The man in line behind her said, “Well, today you are. It’s December.” And then he paid for both her groceries and his.
    Sabrina said she was so shocked that all she could do was thank him with tears of gratitude.
    She doesn’t know who the man was and the clerk didn’t know either.
    When she told me the story later, she said the best part was that her kids got to see that there are good people in the world.
    Fast forward a couple weeks and Sabrina was getting groceries again at the Farmers Co-op in Wright with all three of her kids.
    At check out, there was an elderly gentleman ahead of her in line. Sabrina didn’t catch his name, but the clerk told her later that he is 90 years old and lives alone.
    Sabrina said the man reminded her so much of our grandpa, right down to what he was purchasing: a gallon of whole milk and a package of raspberry cream cheese Danishes.
    But as he checked out, his debit card didn’t work. The clerk tried running the card a second time, and Sabrina could see the man starting to get flustered.
    “Don’t worry,” Sabrina said. “I’ll get those for you.”
    The man slowly turned to look at her and said, “You can’t do that.”
    “Oh, yes, I can,” Sabrina said. “It’s Christmas!”
    No one has ever successfully told my sister she couldn’t do something.
    They exchanged a few words and the man finished with a simple, “Thank you.”
    After the gentleman left with his milk and Danishes, my 8-year-old nephew piped up and said, “This place really is filled with love.”
    May all be right in your world this Christmas. May you see the good in all people. And, may all of your places be filled with love.
    Merry Christmas!
    Sadie and her husband, Glen, milk 100 cows near Melrose, Minn. They have three children – Dan, 11, Monika, 8, and Daphne, 5. Sadie also writes a blog at She can be reached at