Thursday, December 27, 2007

Our New Improved Marriage

While seated in our library, yes that library, I often pick up our latest issue of Prevention magazine and read with interest on the various ways they've been able to come up with to improve the mind, body, soul, and relationships.
I'm usually able to resist the temptation to improve myself but one article struck me as something that I could do that wouldn't include....well you know, effort on my part.
It told how with one simple tip I could greatly improve a long term relationship. And then I thought that well, I'm certainly in a long term relationship, and even though I haven't recognized any trouble signs, I'm going to see what I can do to spice things up a bit.
The article said the trick was to start treating your mate like you did when you first met.
My mind went immediately to the days when Marilyn and I first met at what would now be called a community college. She was a Veterinary Technology student from Denver and I was majoring in Agri-Business. The college was about half way between our homes in the small western Nebraska town of Curtis. After we started dating we would usually meet for lunch each day in the school's cafeteria and dreamily look at each other while we ate. I just could not look at that sweet young thing enough so it hit me that I need to start doing that again. I'll start looking at her. That will do the trick.
I finished 'reading' and went into the kitchen for breakfast. Breakfast had already been lovingly prepared for me by my bride and she was setting it on the table. I usually sit facing east and she sits to my left facing south. I saw my chance as she delicately applied a bit of strawberry jam to a piece of wheat toast whilst engrossed in the TV. I began dreamily looking into her eyes. Well actually I dreamily looked at the side of her head as she watched the morning news. She did however immediately notice my increased attentiveness. She turned toward me and looked into my eyes and said...No actually she yelled, " WHAT?" Okay, right here I'm going to interject a word of warning to you men out there. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. This should only be attempted by a well trained professional, which by the way, I apparently am not.
I began to chuckle a bit. That wasn't smart either. She continued, "What's wrong with how I look?" "I haven't had time to do something with my hair you know, I've been fixing your breakfast!" She continued with a raised voice and I was still just smiling at this point. "What do you want?" "Look Buster I didn't get hardly any sleep last night so don't get any ideas, just forget it." About here I was really beginning to think that the author of the article in the magazine was really some kind of genius because our relationship was for sure somehow magically changing right before my eyes.
I knew I needed to take command of the situation and be the calming influence. I've always had a knack for being quick with the right words at the right time. I said "Uh, could you please pass the jelly."
I've decided to not read Prevention Magazine anymore. I'm not sure our marriage can stand much more improvement.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas From All Of Us To All Of You!

On the Sunday evening before Thanksgiving Tekamah residents are invited to the Community Thanksgiving service at a local church which is followed by a soup and pie supper. This event is always very well attended. It is then followed by an evening open house at the Burt County Museum here in Tekamah. Various talented people and organizations each take responsibility for adding Christmas decorations to one of the rooms in the large old E C Houston House along with the old school house and Annex that sit adjacent to it. The facility is huge with lots of rooms to decorate. I took a lot of pics but only a couple I thought might work here. The event is always with fairly low light and candles and the museum is always beautiful. Community pride is evident both in the thought and work that goes into this as well as the fact that it's impossible to find a parking place.
The first pic is of me on the porch. Marilyn went out by the street to take this one.
The second is of one side of the old house to give you perspective.
The other two are of two small areas inside of the house.
The two flash pictures show detail better but the low light ones are actually closer to the way they looked that evening.
We are very proud of our Burt County Museum and the hard work of the curator, staff, board, and countless volunteers who make this all possible.
Merry Christmas from Tekamah.
As I write it is 13 degrees as registered at the Tekamah Airport which is about 3 miles from here as the Cessna flies. We are preparing to go to church this Sunday morn. A Christmas Eve service will be tomorrow evening. I have a prime rib and shrimp in the fridge. Our family will be here on Christmas day along with others. We plan to smile, and eat, and hug, and tell stories till the cows come home.
Christmas is the time celebrate the birth of Jesus. We all shall rejoice in our own way.
Our wish to you is Peace, Joy, and Love. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

So You Don't Believe In Santa?

If you don't believe that Santa exists then I have news for you. Through the use of modern technology I can prove he does. If you read Ralph's last two posts and then click on the above picture, you will begin to believe as I do that the real Santa lives in Colorado. The above picture is the same one our friend Ralph (if that is his real name) posted on his blog. I was able to blow it up a little more with a technique I learned while watching CSI. Tell me what you think.

Friday, December 21, 2007

December 11th Email From Ralph

Ralph and Cliff Drinking Iced Tea at his daughters wedding. We thought the outcome would be more predictable that way. Neither one of us wanted to be the most memorable thing that happened that day.
The following is an email I got from Ralph. No changes have been made to it. This is pure Ralph. They say if you can remain calm while those around you are laughing, it means they are probably laughing at you. Also, I think you'll see why I always check my filters for letters from Ralph.

Dec 11, 2007
Today the weather was pretty bad, snowed all day, gray, overcast, and cold. I had to attend a meeting and because of icy roads walked in a little late. No one said anything about that. Finally, one young lady asked, "Ralph, you really hate winter don't you?"
I replied, "The only reason I hate winter is I have to wear a stocking cap to keep my ears warm and that stocking cap makes it almost impossible to keep my hair styled."
Even after the laughter died down it took another ten minutes to get back to the task at hand. People would start talking, look at me, and burst out laughing . . .again. I guess I am the only one with stocking cap problems.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Merry Christmas

For me, trying to place pictures on a blog is like trying to put two magnets together. I have no idea where all of this will end up so I'll put it this way. One pic was taken while going up our lane. One is Marilyn's east kennel building. The other two were taken just outside of our back door. A white Christmas is something we seldom get. This year will be the exception.
I've gotten some nice cards from several of you and must say that it has brought be very low. I don't have mine written yet. And you guys are right on the ball. I love the cards and the thoughts you've sent in the mail and put on your blogs, but it does bother me.
So to remedy the situation, I've decided to not think about it. You know, lower my standards.
Okay, Okay, I'll give it a try. You can start waiting at the mailbox about the 2nd of January.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Hymnal Pie

My wife made this pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving Dinner.
I told her that if she would make one to take to a carry-in dinner at church some Sunday then we could call it a, "Wholly, Holey, Holy Pie."
Holy Cow!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

That and This

I don't know if it's the weather, or the price of gas, or what but the sign I saw in town today is pure small town America. Our local Senior Center is advertising an event on Dec. 15Th. It is a combination Red Cross Blood Drive-Bake Sale-Pool Tournament-and visit from Santa. That should pretty well get everyone there.
One of my brothers, the one closest in age to me made the local paper in his hometown of Clovis, New Mexico. He has apparently taken on the naming of zoo animals. He is Brother/Veterinarian/Cowboy Poet/and entertainer extraordinaire...Dr. Les Morrow. I think you'll like this short article.
I had a couple of pictures planned for right about here. Blogger apparently doesn't like the idea.
Carry on.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

We have a theatre group in town that has been inactive for a couple of years. Last Saturday night we put on an old time radio show. A few of us helped write the show including Janell from One Square Mile. We had skits, musical entertainment and of course advertisements. Yes we even had one for Butt Rub. I couldn't pass that up.
The show was produced by a very talented friend of ours who also lives on the Missouri River bottom just north of us. Her vision of what the show will look like is second to none. She gets the most out of everyone. As play directors go, she's top shelf. Or is that drawer?
We had an ice storm to contend with but still had over one hundred people show up. They sat at round tables for 8 and were served beverages from two different local establishments. Very nice. My monologue was about 'Egg and Daughter Night' that was held across America in every small town about 100 years ago. In the mid 1950's I remember the tail end of that piece of Americana. It went like this:
Egg and Daughter Night
Two weeks ago tonight I was standing on the sidewalk in front of Jack Bros Hardware.
It was the night of the Merchants Christmas Open Houses. It was to be followed by a light parade.
The town was just overflowing with the Christmas spirit. There were people everywhere.
It was chilly outside but neighbors and friends and the occasional meeting of family members made everyone pause on Tekamah’s main street to visit.
It’s tradition. It was Saturday night, Egg and Daughter night in Tekamah. The folks had come to shop some, but mostly to Visit.
The story goes that 100 years ago or even 50 for that matter, on Saturday night the farmers brought their extra eggs and cream to town… and sold them or traded for needed groceries or supplies. They brought the whole family but the daughters were the ones they needed to show off. Farming was very labor intensive back then so there were farmsteads and people spread all over rural Burt County. And it was always assumed that the boys of the family could stay and help farm unless they got some high fa'lutin idea about leaving for the city and college. But Dad only needed the one cook and Ma was doing just fine with the heavy lifting so egg and daughter night might just be the answer to what to do with little Sarah.
The country folks outnumbered the city folks by 3 to 1. Saturday night was therefore a huge night for the merchants.
As I stood there two weeks ago amidst all the people my eyes scanned across the street over to in front of Savemore. I was looking for a 1950 lime green Studebaker Champion. The Studebaker with the corn picker front end you might recall. Blanche Nelson’s Studebaker.
That’s where she sat every Saturday, late afternoon through late evening, when I was young. I had asked my Dad how Blanche always got that spot. It was after all, the number one parking place in Tekamah. It was in front of what was then the 1st Nat’l Bank. From there you had an unobstructed view of all of the activities going on in the center of Tekamah. Dad told me that Blanche would put the car there early in the day on Saturday, then Harold, her husband, would leave his Studebaker Dealership and take her home. They reversed the procedure in the late afternoon.
From that vantage point, Blanche could see, and be seen.
She was like a hunter with the highest tree stand. She could see it all. Most of all…She could see them…. The farm people. What they were wearing, what they were buying and whom they were friendly with.
Blanche and Harold were friends of the folks and we put Blanche and her lookout abilities to full use.
We didn’t have cell phones then. Nor did we need them. We had Blanche. There could have been 200 people on the street at the time but the Morrow kids could come out of the old Lyric theatre, cross the street to Blanche’s car and ask her if she knew where our folks were. Because we knew she did.
“Your Mom just came out of Jack Bros Hardware carrying a small package wrapped in brown paper and tied up with a string. She then went across the street to Kerwins. She came out of there, mailed what looked like a letter in at the post office and then went into Baileys Five and Dime.” Your Dad is down getting a hair cut and probably smoking a cigar at Walt’s”. We would run to the barbershop. Get a drink from the tin cup hanging on the side of the green porcelain sink which stood in the middle of the room. The same cup by the way, that everyone else in town always used. It wasn’t so much of a drink I guess as it was a vaccination.
It was always standing room only in the barbershop on Saturday night. Maybe twenty men or more were seated or standing along the wall. All of them talking and smoking cigars. We would ask Dad for money and we’d get it immediately with the words ‘Now scram! Kids understand things like this. The eagerness to give you money and get you out of there before you heard words that you wouldn’t hear at home.
It was a kind of extortion on our part I guess. Dad wanted us gone before we heard something that would make us ask a question in front of Mom. One like, “Hey Dad, what did that guy mean when he said, “She,s really built, ya know what I mean Art?” I think that could be the reason we got the money so quickly.
It was so that ‘what was said in Walt’s barbershop, stayed there.
Dad would give us a nickel or a dime, or on rare occasions both. Big candy bars were only a nickel back then so a farm kid with 15 cents meant we were wealthy. So wealthy in fact that it could have lead to big trouble down the road. Why a farm kid with that kind of money.
Egg and daughter night was for visiting. We’d eventually head on home. I don’t ever remember the trip home from town or how I got to bed. But somehow I did. Mom’s kitchen was stocked up for another week and best of all we were caught up with the local news.
Now folks, for those of you here in the studio audience, after the show, why not stay a while and visit with your neighbors
and when it’s time to go, just walk around the corner onto main street and ask Blanche where your daughter went. She’ll know.
It’s been good visiting with you, but I knew it would be.
It’s Egg and Daughter night in Tekamah.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A Bad Day

The mall in Omaha where the shootings took place today is one of the few we frequent when we 'must' shop away from our little town. It is about a 50 minute drive from here.
As I write it's almost 10:30 at night and the 9 bodies (there may be more) as well as the crime scene are still being processed. The mall will be closed tomorrow and maybe more.
The shooter was a 19 year old man distraught over several things plus he was on medication for other 'troubles'.
Where do certain minds go to? If their minds were computers they'd have a burnt spot on their mother board I'm sure. What demon could make you want to "Go out in style" as the gunman said on his note?
There will be thousands of people in this region who will be deeply saddend by their eventual connection to this ordeal. Eventual because we don't know who was in the store. I fully expect a phone call that starts with "Did you hear about....?" I really hope I don't, but too many Nebraskans and Iowans will get that call. Offering up prayers on their behalf would be good. Thanks.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Express Yourself

I love this picture of Grandaughter #3. She loves to make faces. A caption anyone?
ONE MORE THING: Unless someone finds the battery charger to my Canon Rebel, this might be the end of pictures on my blog. I'm down to about 5000 I haven't posted yet. Any ideas where it's at? And yes I've looked in the fridge. (btw that smell was a pork cutlet hiding under the cheese in the meat drawer.)