On Friday, Husband and I left for Nebraska.
For some, Nebraska conjures up all sorts of ideas and thoughts about life. Corn, nutty football fans, covered wagons, flat land, and many other stereo-typical type things for the heartland of America. While many of these things are also true (ha!) for me it conjures up fond memories of a slower-paced life with family, jumping on hay "rolls" with my cousin, chasing sheep, corn fresh from the field now steaming on my plate, friends that continue to walk through life with me that I met in college, green, and a simpler way of life.
We arrived in Omaha late Friday night with about an hour drive in front of us to our hotel in downtown Lincoln. I think when all was said and done Husband and I fell asleep around 2:00 AM (which would now be Saturday!) We woke up about 5 hours later to get ready to meet my friend, Stacy, at the Farmer's Market in the Historic Hay Market District in downtown Lincoln. This, too, has many memories of good food found in the market always accompanied by coffee from "The Mill." It was a little rainy that Saturday morning but that did not fuss-up our plans by any means. Afterwards, Husband and I followed Stacy to checkout her new house. Yes, Stacy is now a homeowner... what fun! When we said our good-byes we made our way out to Central City where we would meet up with my family for the weekend.
When we arrived we found my dad (who had been in the area for several days by this time), my aunt (who is a permanent resident of Central City), and my cousin Lynn with her husband Darren and children Elliot (5), James (3), and Andrew (1) from Omaha. It was quite the entourage. We had lunch and then headed to my grandmother's house to go through some things before we put the rest to auction and sell the house. (Some of you may wonder what happened to grandma... nothing... she has been in long-term care for awhile now and has told us that it is time to sell the house and stuff). It was an entertaining time of going through things and discovering items that belonged to my family from back in the day (1870's, etc!) We even discovered my great-grandmother's wedding dress that will be 100-years old in January. There are several things that will be donated to local museums which is fun. It was an afternoon filled with memories indeed and stories of old being told to the younger generations to hopefully be carried on.
Memorial Day (formerly Decoration Day - many of the older folk still call it this) is a big deal in small town Nebraska. At least the town my family is from. Palmer is where my mom grew up. When we went out to the cemetery where my mom, grandpa, and many other family are buried. They were getting ready for Decoration Day. All the military headstones had special markers, all the flags were flying, and many were out adding flowers to veterans memorials. It was quite a scene. I know that the local Methodist church was holding special services that Sunday evening (because we went to church there Sunday... it's where my parents were married and several family funerals have been held there, and my grandpa helped build it - we saw several friends and family there as well), and there would be a parade of sorts on Monday and a big social lunch at the American Legion. We didn't go out to all the festivities, although we thought about it because many family and friends would be there, but it was interesting to see all the prep going into Memorial Day. Monday we opted to sleep a little later, eat a late breakfast, and hang out with my dad and aunt. It was good times.
We got to spend some time with my grandma which was fun and heartbreaking all at the same time. She is losing her memory... not from any ailment other than the fact that she is 98-years old and there's not a lot of input to keep her mind sharp as she has a hard time hearing and cannot read anymore as she is almost completely blind. But when we went back to see her on our way out of town... it seemed like she was having a better day and remembered who we were and that we were in fact leaving. It made me feel a little better.
Somewhere in the midst of the trip we accomplished two things on the side... We ate at Runza's and we all went to the local Dairy Queen. The Dairy Queen here in Maricopa lacks something that the one in Central City (or even Crete) has... I think it's a community feel... hometown-ish. I don't know how to exactly describe it... but it was wonderful. But it also made me laugh because on the whiteboard sign inside they posted they had a new "side" option and it was "Potata Salad" I laughed... welcome to small town America. :)
Now we are home... we came back late Monday night (home in Maricopa about 9:30 PM) and we are glad to be home. Lot's of things to do this week.....
... and again, I will try not to let a month slide by without posting.