The Good Life: The orphan Thanksgiving
November 24, 2011 Lisa Betz   
There is absolutely nothing in the world more effective to help one appreciate one’s own family than spending Thanksgiving as an orphan with someone else’s.

I wish I’d kept a journal of each and every orphan Thanksgiving I’ve experienced over the years. You see, in my professional actress days, I could rarely come home for turkey day. We always had rehearsal the day before and the day after and one never, ever misses a rehearsal unless one is dead or dying.

You never realize just how normal your family is until you see how other families behave around the holiday table.

There are some archetypes and dynamics you’ll find over and over. It’s kind of fun to try to pick them out of a stranger’s family once you start to recognize them.

There’s the long suffering old maid care-giving aunt and that older uncle who never married but still lives at home. Sadly, there’s often the overweight member of the family that gets picked on. I’ve seen that too many times to count.

There’s the set of young parents who just cannot manage their bratty children, and the dog who shouldn’t be inside at all but I guess they think it’s family.

There’s the hostess who must achieve perfection at all costs, even if everyone is frazzled and unhappy. There’s the lazy daughter-in-law who never helps to do the dishes.

Then there’s that relative who always brings something odd to share, like a can of vegetables, unopened. There’s often a braggart who works really hard to impress everyone.

And there seems to always be that one relative who is horrified by uncle Bobby or Jimmy’s drunkenness. I always wondered if they put on a show for me, the stranger, or if they truly were horrified.

One year, we were invited to spend the holiday with my husband’s work friend. The moment we walked in the door they put a cocktail in our hands, even though my husband didn’t drink. They seemed baffled and awkward when he asked for a coke.

Later, after too many cocktails, two people started yelling at each other. It got downright scary and we left.

A professional Thanksgiving orphan develops serious acting chops just by responding to concerned family members when things get embarrassing. I learned that my job was to smile and pretend I hadn’t noticed whatever it was. Sometimes more sensitive family members just need to be comforted by the strange cuckoo in their midst so they can shrug and go on with their family holiday.

The worst orphan Thanksgiving I experienced was hosted by a theatre that I worked for. For some reason, they chose to serve ham instead of turkey and it was in a cold hall that felt very institutional.

Now don’t get me wrong, I was as grateful as an orphan actor can be to be included in a Thanksgiving dinner put on expressly by theatre patrons but it was a test of my acting skill when I made the horrified realization that turkey would not be a feature of the day.

Of course, that also meant no stuffing. What’s the point? I started thinking of it as a company meal, it certainly didn’t feel like Thanksgiving. But then, what is Thanksgiving? Is it feasting at a table groaning with plenty?

It isn’t supposed to be only that. We are meant to give thanks for our blessings and perhaps that disappointing orphan Thanksgiving taught me this.

Even with no turkey and no stuffing and none of mom’s German rye bread, there was a sweet potato dish to beat all I’ve ever tasted and that was something to be thankful for. I really wish I’d gotten the recipe.

No matter how many times I was an orphan at Thanksgiving, I always, always missed having leftovers. Nothing makes one feel more like an orphan than going home without Thanksgiving leftovers.

Then there are those Thanksgivings when you’re invited as an honored guest by a family you may very well become part of. That happened one year when I lived in Virginia.

They were a lovely Italian family and they were looking me over as a potential daughter-in-law.

The spread was magnificent and everyone was there, even ancient old grandma who came over from Italy but was now retired in Florida. That first moment when I took my pumpkin cheesecake into the kitchen and asked where I should put it was pretty awkward though.

You would think I had loudly passed gas and then laughed about it for the reaction I received. The women present froze. No one said anything. I stood there with the heavy plate in my hand and finally just set it down somewhere there was room.

No one ever explained it but as I discovered at dessert time, a famous pumpkin roll was the only dessert served by this family and it was one woman’s crowning glory that I had apparently trampled on. My cheesecake was never cut or commented on.

That day was cut short for me because of the telling of a racist story by the family patriarch. Nope, I realized, I’m not going to fit in with that family. I think they agreed.

One year I dined at the Washington Hotel in D.C. with a boyfriend and his mother. It was all very elegant and yet it felt hollow somehow. I understood though, my date was an only child and his father had recently passed away. I’d been through that myself. It was a very sad Thanksgiving and a small one, limited to just his remaining family and myself. I believe I was a tiny light in the midst of their sadness.

I’ve always thought my family was loud and obnoxious (in a good way, of course) but after the many, many orphan Thanksgivings I’ve experienced, I wouldn’t trade my boisterous, fun family for anyone else’s. We play cards and games after the meal and genuinely have a memorable good time with each other.

I’m the weird one who goes home when the football starts unless there’s a good game of cards on. I think we’re all a little weird but my family is my brand of weird and of course, that’s the best kind, right?

I’m visiting another branch of family for Thanksgiving this year. We know that they don’t love mom’s German rye bread so we’ll do without that this year. I may not get to enjoy my favorite oyster dressing and I have no idea whether they will do a nice turkey or plan something different. My fingers are crossed for turkey though.

I’m pretty sure that nobody will drink too much and it will be me that has the unruly dog but he is my baby after all. The little kids running all over are my sweet little cousins and they are never naughty, only completely adorable. It’s going to be a joyous Thanksgiving Day.

No matter what dishes are served at table nor how you celebrate Thanksgiving, it’s easy to take one’s family for granted. Spend a few Thanksgivings without them as an orphan at someone else’s turkey (ham?) dinner and you will find that what you can be truly grateful for is family.

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186In the Hills: Awesome Amphibians and Rough Reptiles
185Across the Fence: Aftermath: Part III, The Battle of Summit Springs
184Jane’s Secret XLIX: Phillip’s agenda
169A Stray Moment: Goodbye old house – sorting their things
162Fourth of July meetings
160Battle of Summit Springs, part II: Warpath to White Bear Creek
150A Stray Moment: Time to get moving
147Building Bridges: Supporting our teachers supports our children
135Building Bridges: Fair time—learn, respect, appreciate, enjoy!
129Teen Voice: Unexpected joys of being a sibling
128Prairie Dogs
126Jane’s Secret XLX: Day’s end
125Across The Fence: Steamboats on the Missouri
122 Across The Fence: County Fair
121Across The Fence: Scalped at Plum Creek
121Dynasty made Gering the biggest little town in Nebraska
118
116Building Bridges: Seeking a big win out of the 4th quarter
115No-Till Notes: Last chance for North, South Dakota tour
107At the Library: One Zentangle a Day
103No-Till Notes: American Society of Agronomy
102In the Hills: Get to Know Our Feathered Travelers
99Across The Fence: New England’s Heroine Scalptress
95Across The Fence: Deserters or Outcasts; Three who left. (Part I)
92Across the Fence: Here lies Major Alexander Culbertson
86Sychronicity: Thrive, don't just survive
85No-Till Notes: "Harvest"
79
62Jane’s Secret LI: The telling
59At the Monument: Night Sky
46No-Till Notes: "Different Approaches"
45Creatures of the Night
36Across the Fence: Deserters or outcasts; Three who left (Part II)
34
31Across The Fence: The Pawnee and human sacrifice
30Building Bridges: “It’s happening” at the Harvest Festival
20No-Till Notes: Different Approaches Part II
Most Read News Stories of 2012
17162Across The Fence: Portugee Phillips and a horse named Dandy
5056We need a few good people
3161What's the deal with organic milk?
2832Jane’s Secret, XXXX: A tale of mayhem
2507Across the Fence: Roosevelt’s campaign tour of the west
2274Being a Nebraskan – border to border
2213Across the Fence: The Soldier’s Free Homestead Colony of Gibbon
2210The Good Life: Today we celebrate Global Oneness Day
2186Completely Different: It's all in the family
2078Completely Different: The Disney princess debate: an exercise in the ridiculous
2068Completely Different : Could you come down off your soap box please?
2047Lyman Review: Let’s get back to the subject of bullying
1988Elizabeth's top ten movie list of 2011
1943Teen Voice: Thank you, Gering Speech Team
1941Our View... Preserve Gering’s form of government
1935Life in the Rearview Mirror: Invisible scars have lasting effects
1935Jane’s Secret, part II: Gertrude’s choice
1895The Good Life: Campaign ad using Jesus goes too far
1871Our View: Museum merger a good thing, but let’s go slowly
1860A Small World: Time traveling
1828Teen Voice: Just ten minutes
1823Completely Different: Tales from the mat
1810Time keeps flowing like a river
1807Totally Random: Astrology: It’s all in the stars…
1776Completely Different: Look around, what are you missing?
1775A last look at the Nebraska Zone
1768Life in the west: Betting on the end of the world
1767Our View: Mayor should insist on civility
1760Letter to the Editor
1744Observations Only : The orphanage
1731My mini Pen and me
1715Observations Only : Mission accomplished
1712Teen Voice: March Madness
1701Our view . . .Sports Complex
1697From the Pastor's Pen: Unbelievable breaking news
1694Observations Only: Little Girl Lost: Adopted
1689Livestock Production: My Paradigm Shift
1684Completely Different: Your local government and you
1674Observations Only: Sisters lost, part I
1673Observations only : Sisters of the world
1663Our view... Gering stands upon important threshold
1663Across the Fence: Ah-ho-appa (fallen leaf)
1659Observations Only: Little girl lost, part 3
1655Miss Movies: Ten great horror flicks for Halloween, part I
1654Bright Ideas, Brighter Future: Leaving a Legacy
1653Bright Ideas! Brighter Future! Common sense prevails
1651Curiosity Corner : The tale of the travelling train station
1641Observations Only: Little Girl Lost, part six
1639Completely Different: The good, the bad, and the remedy
1603From the Superintendent’s Desk - Parent Teacher Conferences
1602Across the Fence: All aboard the Transcontinental Express
1601Across the Fence: James Butler Hickok: The thoughtful gunfighter
1599It's a small world : Everything we do has meaning
1596Teen Voice : Leave your legacy
1594Teen Voice: What diabetes taught me
1587Our View: Scottsbluff attitude damages future collaborations
1550Across the Fence: Bose Ikard; Texas Cowboy
1512Jane’s Secret, XXX: A new wrinkle
1474Across the Fence - Catherine’s boys
1458Across the fence: Something worth remembering
1457Totally Random: December 6, the day I lived
1448Jane’s Secret, part XVIII : Devil’s bargain
1390Teen Voice: Don’t be fooled by fads
1346Completely Different: The Quest
1337Barr’s Bacon Wrapped Fantasy Picks: A rookie's guide to drafting your dream team
1329Our View: Come home to Nebraska, but not just anywhere
1277Totally Random: The Golden Rule
1263Observations Only: A soul’s journey
1258Miss Movies: Miss Movies recommends her top 10 films of 2013
1255Jane’s Secret, XXIV: The last drive
1243Across the Fence: Sioux Ordnance Depot: stories to be told
1232The Good Life: Extending grace, the lost art
1223Across the Fence: Building Barns
1222From the Superintendent’s Desk: Get ready for Parent-teacher conferences
1221Life in the Rearview Mirror: I’m on a road to someplace
1217Dear Fellow Nebraskans: Governor’s Ag Conference overview
1215Theatre West’s Cabaret torch burns brightly
1211Across the Fence: Burnett’s Mound and the Topeka tornado
1201Totally Random: Hemp: considering the real benefits of the miracle plant
1197Across the Fence: Lions, wolves and bears
1191From the Superintendent's Desk: Thank You
1187Across The Fence: Union Pacific robbery at Big Springs
1185No-Till Notes: Plan to attend 2014 No-Till Conference
1182Across the Fence: Dull Knife’s Quest, part 1
1171Building Bridges: Save the world, educate through agriculture
1162From the Superintendent's Desk: NePAS – State Accountability
1161Observations Only: Blinders aren’t just for horses
1161Jane’s Secret, XXIII: Molly’s plan
1152Jane’s Secret, XXV: Mysteries
1152Jane’s Secret, XXXIII: Night walk
1147From the Superintendent’s Desk: Welcome to new certified staff
1147Our view: Gering’s future needs your vote
1143From the Superintendent’s Desk - Option Enrollment
1134Across the Fence: Class of ’67, last remnants of home
1129Completely Different: It’s the end of the world as we know it
1128Life in the West: Inside the minds of serial killers
1127Across the Fence: Wyoming settlers lay siege to the TA Ranch
1118A Stray Moment: Merry Christmas – God save us all
1118The Good Life: Through my father’s eyes
1110Across the Fence: Dull Knife’s Quest: Part 2 of 2
1104Across the Fence: Judge Roy Bean : Texas prizefight promoter
1103Cat on a Hot Tin Roof a mixed bag
1103Completely Different: New Year’s Resolutions
1097Across the Fence: On The road
1096From the Superintendent’s Desk: Early Childhood Education
1096Completely Different: The game is afoot, a look at Sherlock Holmes
1095Jane’s Secret, part XI: Grand Duchess
1089Across The Fence: Crow Dog, Spotted Tail’s assassin
1085Across the Fence: Discovering Ed Stemler
1083A Stray Moment : Carry the weight
1081Assad’s endgame
1078From the Superintendent’s Desk : Thank You for another Great Year
1075A Small World: Savoring county fair days
1072Jane’s Secret, part IX: Mrs. Huber’s chagrin
1068The Good Life: Hey, I’m a winner!
1068Jane’s Secret, part XIII: Blackberry pie
1065Jane’s Secret, part VI: Molly’s surprise
1056Jane’s Secret, part VII Clem’s confession
1056Jane’s Secret, part VIII: Molly's plan
1055Lyman Review: Hubby’s got my goat
1046Guest Editorial: Fischer will see U.S. ‘living within means’
1046A Stray Moment: All's well that ends well, usually
1042From the Superintendent’s Desk: Thanks for the memories
1041Teen Voice: I guess it’s just a western Nebraska thing
1036Observations Only - Two ages of man
1033From the Superintendent’s Desk - Haig and Aurora Buildings
1030Miss Movies: “Bully” a powerful documentary
1029Jane’s Secret, part XVII : Plans gone awry
1023Jane’s Secret, part XX: Change of plans
1016The Good Life: Your dollar is a vote for what you care about
1015Across the Fence: Consumed by fire
1006Across the Fence: The Spirit of Crazy Horse
1006Thinking About Health: The challenge of signing up for Obamacare
1005Across the Fence: Black Hills Gold and the Thoen Stone
1000Across The Fence: Billy Dixon; Plainsman, Hunter, Indian fighter and Scout
996A Stray Moment: Earth Day, am I doing my part?
991From the Superintendent’s Desk: Accountability
989Jane’s Secret, part XVI: Fate takes a hand
985Across The Fence: The Hat Creek Outpost
984Observations Only: Painting a picture
983Jane’s Secret, part V: Aggie’s complaint
977Across the Fence: The Great Solomon River Stampede
975A Small World: Chokecherry season evokes memories of yesterday
970Completely Different: That’s so Pinteresting
968Jane’s Secret, part XIV: Molly’s dream
968Life in the Rearview Mirror: I hate coffee
967Across the Fence: Mud Springs revisited
964Teen Voice: Today’s television
960Teen Voice: New Year’s goals
956Across the Fence: First scalp for Custer
954Across the Fence: The much maligned Ms. Watson
954Across the Fence: The Wellnitz Fire, day 1 and 2
953Jane’s Secret, XXVIII: Lame Johnny
952Jane’s Secret, part XV: Unrequited love
951Jane’s Secret, Part XVIV: Crystal Waters
948Jane’s Secret, part XXII: While the cat’s away
948Across The Fence: Celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Chadron to Chicago Cowboy Race, part I
943Across the Fence: Sitting Bull: The Last Surrendering Sioux
942 Across the Fence: ‘Aunt Sally’ and Dakota Gold
939Jane’s Secret, part XII: Jane's Vow
934From the Superintendent’s Desk: Parents’ role in the educational process
934From the Superintendent’s Desk: Summer School – 2013
932From the Superintendent’s Desk
929Teen Voice: What senior year taught me
927From the Superintendent’s Desk - District purchase of building
926Across the Fence: Just For the Thrill of It
925From the Superintendent’s Desk: Current enrollment count
923Observations Only: A new direction
923Across The Fence: A day For thanks
921Teen Voice: Fifty reasons to smile
920From the Superintendent’s Desk : Draft Calendar 2013-14
919Across the Fence: A hometown 4th of July
917Our View: County Manager option leads to Good Old Boys' Club
914The zombie apocalypse and you
914Life in the Rearview Mirror: Cleaning off the ‘what if’ shelf
913Teen Voice: Learning calculus more than numbers
910Miss Movies: Ten movies for romance
910From the Pastor's Pen: Lord, teach us to pray
906A Stray Moment: Star Trek: Infinite diversity in infinite combinations
906Completely Different: The Marilyn Monroe conundrum
903Across the Fence: Fort Mitchell on the Great Platte River Road
892Across the Fence - Boston: April 18, 1775
890Across the Fence: Faded photos and vivid memories
890Jane’s Secret, part XXI: Gertrude’s Agenda
889Teen Voice: Experiencing versus remembering
889Across the Fence: Submarines and railroads
889Jane’s Secret, XXVII: Town Meeting
882From the Superintendent’s Desk: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
882Across the Fence: Bloody Pocket, the final battle
878Completely Different: What’s speech got to do with it?
877From the Superintendent’s Desk - Financial Outlook for Gering Public Schools
876Totally Random: I’m a backwards reader
875Teen Voice: Respond to defeat
873Observations Only: Giving up
870Completely Different: Confessions of an out of shape twenty something
870Observations Only: Sisters lost, part IV
868Trash cans
867From the Superintendent's Desk: Election over – work begins
865The Good Life: It’s hard to believe, the Citizen is four years old
864A Stray Moment: Now is the winter of our disconnect
863A Stray Moment - Celebrating Gering's Quasquicentennial
862A Stray Moment: In praise of silence
855Anno Domini: Independence, an ideal worth celebrating
854The Good Life: Our most precious right, gagged
852From the Superintendent's Desk: Elementary attendance areas
850Teen Voice: Let us be beautiful
850The hills, part 1: Mustangs
849Teen Voice: The road of hatred
848Observations Only: The joy of money
848Across the Fence: The hand dug well
847Teen Voice: 'Pretty Little Liars'
847Across the Fence: Fact, fiction or fragmented dreams?
846Lyman Review - Tales of the renegade rooster
846Teen Voice: Catfished
846Across the Fence: Celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Chadron to Chicago Cowboy Race, part II
841Teen Voice: The more the merrier
840Across the Fence: Cynthia Ann Parker, Comanche captive
840Thinking about Health: Getting insurance under the Affordable Care Act
838Observations Only: Saturday delight
838Observations Only: Sisters lost, part III
836Teen Voice: Lessons I learned from my eight-year-old brother
836The Good Life: The best Christmas gift
836Completely Different: The mystery of Vivian Maier
833Observations Only: Curious things
832The Block
829At the Library: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
828A Stray Moment: Waiting on a train
827Across the Fence: A Cheyenne weekend
822Completely Different: The Hills, part 3: Rediscovering the spirit
816Across the Fence: Rural free delivery
813Political Cartoon by Doug Hoevet
813Life in the Rearview Mirror: Greensburg strong
813Jane’s Secret, XXIX: Fred’s debacle
812A Stray Moment: On Canada and the forgotten bicentennial
811Life's curve balls
809 Taking a big risk
809A Stray Moment: God Knows
808From the Superintendent's Desk: School year now in full swing
808Completely Different: The Mind Palace Memory Technique
806Jane's Secret, part X: The arrival
806Teen Voice: What’s so great about pizza?
805A Stray Moment: Without a net
802A Stray Moment: I love Sookie Stackhouse
801The Good Life: We are not separate, we are one family
801A Stray Moment: Tacos! Our embarrassment of riches
800Completely Different: Remembering Aurora
800A Stray Moment: It's a dog's life
799Teen Voice: Not just another ride
798A Small World: Scotts Bluff Valley Fiber Arts Fair classes offer great variety
798Political Cartoon by Doug Hoevet
798Teen Voice: Congratulations, you’re awful
797Across the Fence: Standing on the wagon
795Life in the Rearview Mirror: The Moments we live for
795The Good Life: Mom, my partner in life
792Miss Movies: Ten great horror flicks for Halloween, part 2
792A Stray Moment: World War Two is not forgotten
791Teen Voice: Confessions of the financially disabled
788Observations Only: Scourge of violence
787The ghost of Ayn Rand
787Completely Different: The Hills, part 2: The Civilian Conservation Corps
786From the Superintendent's Desk: PLAS School
784Seeing the works of the master
784Observations Only: Counting chickens
782The Good Life: A farm girl in my heart
780Teen Voice: Sticks and stones
779Observations Only: Extreme measures
779Across the Fence: Wounded Knee; December 29, 1890
775Timing makes perfect
775Observations Only: Just around the corner
775Observations Only: Going home
775A Stray Moment: - The case for Hagel
774Across the Fence: When Fiddler quit running
772Teen Voice: Gleek tragedy
771Across the Fence: When Lady Luck sleeps
770View from the block
770Pulpit of Bones: Man's best friend
768Our View: Extreme caution needed with fireworks
767The Good Life: Leave the quilt shop and laundromat alone
765SELL-OUT!
765Observations Only: The two faces of poverty
764Completely Different: Happy Hollowthanksmas
764Jane’s Secret, XXXII Jane’s Bad Day
763Observations Only: A soul's journey, part III
762Across the Fence: Tomb of the Unknown
762A ‘city’ kid goes to the fair
761A Stray Moment: A voice from the past, haunting myself
760Capitol View: Lincoln Highway captures spotlight
760The Good Life: Christina Baker’s mom: Thank you
759A Stray Moment: The last time
759Observations Only: Uneventful flight
755Our View: County has some ‘splainin’ to do
755Teen Voice: Living within our means
755Teen Voice: Body image
754Across the Fence : November 1864: Pole Creek, Politics and Patriots
753It's no surprise
753The Good Life: The two different types of business people
753Totally Random: My journey, life after living
749Observations Only: Surprises
748Teen Voice: Not according to the plan
748Guest Editorial: Bob Kerrey is the true fiscal conservative
746Completely Different: How the savings stole Christmas
746Our View: Pipeline not a solution to oil problems
745Welcome to Gering
745Across the Fence: Places near forgotten
745Completely Different: The bucket list phenomenon
743Across the Fence: A boy called Slon-Ha
742Silence please
742Miss Movies: Top ten holiday films, part II
742Observations Only: Journey's end
741A Stray Moment: Ready for the storm
741From the Superintendent's Desk: School Safety and Security
740Rural America and immigration reform
738Age of reason
738Teen Voice: The benefits of online learning
736Observations Only: No thank you
735Observations Only: Musings of an odd duck
734Observations Only: A gift of serenity
733Observations Only: What's in a word?
733Across the Fence: Cheyenne County, Nebraska: cattle country
733The Good Life: We are the Valley’s emissaries
732Do You Tube?
732Guest Voice: If I could do it over again
731A Stray Moment - A night owl born to an 8 to 5 world
731Observations Only: The awful truth
729Teen Voice: Twitter as sleep criminal
728Life in the Rearview Mirror: Personal control of an individual response
727Teen Voice: Shadow art
725Teen Voice: Serendipity
724Completely Different: Hey there, four eyes!
723LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Gering Public Schools seeks imput
723Life in the Rearview Mirror: The world is a stage
723Book Review: I Forgot to Remember By Su Meck
722Economic development update
721Teen: Voice : Drinking enough water
721Completely Different: Perfect memories made in imperfect moments
720Observations Only: Critical thinking
720A Stray Moment: For the love of theatre
718Observations Only: North Powder
717Across the Fence: Thanks for the memory
717Miss Movies: The top ten films of 2012: The year of the geek
716Teen Voice: Eighth day of the week - Someday
715Observations Only: Together again
713Observations Only: A strange Thanksgiving
713Capitol View: Wild life proposal costly but worthwhile
712From the Superintendent's Desk: Student transportation changes for 2012-13
712Teen Voice: Sit back and enjoy YouTube
712Across The Fence: Jules, Jack and lawless justice
711Life in the Rearview Mirror: Is it possible to just drive in the 21st Century?
711Across the Fence: Wasicu Wakan
711Across The Fence: Freedom Triumphant Over War and Peace
708Observations Only: Sister odyssey
708Observations Only: Sister lost
705Teen Voice: An eventful homecoming
705Observations Only: Blue chip stock
705The Good Life: A very interesting meeting indeed
705A Stray Moment: Having a blast on the Fourth of July
702From the Superintendent's Desk: Our goal: Improve student performance
702Observations Only: Spider adventure
699Anno Domini: The memorial nobody wants
698Observations Only: Curious things, part II
695Completely Different: Do you know John Green?
694Their View: Hey Gering, mind your own business!
694I'm falling for Tumblr?
694Across The Fence: The hanging of Cornelius Donahue a.k.a. John A. Hurley
693Guest Voices…
692Building Bridges: Cleaning up for company--or not--reveals a lot
690Teen Voice: On becoming politically active
690Teeing Off: Lessons learned from golf
686Building Bridges: Chautauqua will bring out the best in everyone
685Observations Only: Sisters lost, part two
682From the Superintendent's Desk: Why so soon?
681A real leaning tree Christmas
680From the Superintendent's Desk: State report card
678Observations Only: Expect the best, part II
674Teen Voice: Go ahead, make my day
673Teen Voice: Dealing with stress
671Teen Voice: Being a girl
670A Stray Moment: Guilty pleasures
670Jane’s secret, XXVI: The suitcase
670Completely Different: I go to seek a Great Perhaps
670Across The Fence: The Spanish Flu
669Teen Voice: Pinning your interest
668Across The Fence: The Heartland plague of 1874-75
667My Thanksgiving prayer
667The Good Life: The lasting effects of bullying
666Permission to remember
662Miss Movies: Top Ten Holiday Films
662Teen Voice: Indulge In moderation
662The Good Life: A time to be proud of our ancestors
661Across the Fence: Pawnee legends in the Nebraska Panhandle
657Observations Only: A soul's journey, part two
657The Good Life: A holiday recipe for peace
656Observations Only : White water
656Teen Voice: Say yes to branching out
656A Small World: Special guest
655Observations Only: The meeting
655Five Good Reasons to Create an Investment Strategy
655Jane’s Secret XXXV: Bugs and things
652Our View: The elephant in the room
651Observations Only: Wilkerson Pass
650Across The Fence: A Fourth of July Montage
648Home of the Brave
648Teen Voice: Outbreak of the Gamers
648The Good Life: The economic footprint of one small business
648Building Bridges: Planning now for tourism season 2014
647Social time has important benefits
645Teen Voice: Until we say goodbye
643Teen Voice: Go ahead, make my day
643Life in the Rearview Mirror: Work is more than a four-letter word
642Jane's Secret, XXXI: Sixes and sevens
642A Small World: Legends week promises fun for everyone
639Life in the Rearview Mirror: The cumulative effects of giving
639Observations Only: Good and evil
639The Lyman Review: I love baby ducks
636Practice safe barbecue basics
636Teen Voice: Saying Goodbye
635Teen Voice: Happy news
634The Good Life: Cooler breezes bring anticipation of fall
633LETTER TO THE EDITOR: No tax state unrealistic
631Remembering When
629Teen Voice: Practice makes perfect
628Teen Voice: Making sense of the Sandy Hook tragedy
628Observations Only: A matter of matter
627Observations Only: Expect the best
627Teeing Off: Around the Green
626Observations Only: A fine line
626Across The Fence: Billy Dixon at Adobe Walls, June 1874
624Teen Voice: By my side until the newness wears off
621The Good Life - The worst day on record at the Citizen
621The Good Life: Innovation and young energy enriches us all
620The Good Life: People of the Valley, we have a choice
620Across The Fence: By the dawn’s early light
619Observations Only: The shadow of error
619Across The Fence: The Pawnee on Pumpkin Creek
618Observations Only: Beginnings
614Observations Only: Indifferent love
614Teen Voice: The daily struggle to a lifelong battle
612Our View: Bravo OTD committee
611Jane's Secret XXXIV: Gin Rummy
610Across the Fence: The Overland Camel Company
609Observations Only: Divine spirit
606Teen Voice: Equality
606Building Bridges: Being grateful for the hardships in life
601Teen Voice - On the outside looking In
596Anno Domini: We gather together
595Completely Different - The magic of spring
594Observations Only: A matter of paradox
593Observations Only: Choices
592Teen Voice: I’ll be healthy – tomorrow
592Building Bridges: Tend to 2014 and be Happy, Happy, Happy
591Teen Voice:  Body bashing and self-image
590Observations Only: Divine prompts
589A Stray Moment: Learning how to walk
582Teen Voice: Silence
581Teen Voice: Sticks and stones
580Teen Voice: Previously unwritten cell phone rules
577Observations Only: Temptation
577Life in the Rearview Mirror: Experiencing life passion
571Welcome to Gering and the 92nd Oregon Trail Days Celebration.
570A Stray Moment: In praise of encouragement
568Building Bridges: Love your enemies
567Observations Only: Off to the races
567Totally Random: Life’s ripples
566Observations Only: A sad week
565Lyman Review: Devil calf
565The Good Life: What a wild ride it’s been
564Teen Voice: Thanksgiving
562Across the Fence; Prelude to the Red River War of 1874
561Life in the Rearview Mirror: Adapt and adjust
560Observations Only: The vision
560Dear Fellow Nebraskans: We Are Proud of the Nebraska National Guard
558Observations Only: Willfulness
555Observations Only: Fuzzy angel
552A Halloween Story: The scary dream
551Totally Random: October, the pink month
550Teen Voice: The need to get away
548Building Bridges: Celebrating the Bulldog homecoming
546Teen Voice: Do It Anyway
546Across The Fence: Amos Bad Heart Bull
545Across The Fence: First train from Saply Grove
541Our View: Visionaries wanted
541Observations Only: The need to understand
539Anno Domini: Ask the digital dust
538Guest Editorial: The future of health care at Regional West
535Life in the Rearview Mirror: Life enhancing memories
533Across the Fence: The Pony Express
530Observations Only: A good daughter
523Teen Voice: Stress test
521Teen Voice: Footprints
520Teeing Off: Persistence
519Across the Fence: A Cowboy kind of Christmas
518Teeing Off: Mind Gym
517Updates from NRD: NRD promotes conservation
514Building Bridges: Asking officials to speak and work as a body
513Observations Only: Afraid of the dark
511Building Bridges: Serve on the school board—or say no more
510Observations Only: The unvarnished truth
510Dear Nebraskans: Massachusetts should not determine Nebraska’s Presidential vote
507Teen Voice: Is respect dead?
506Teen Voice: The rivalry
505Building Bridges: Observing bullies, abuse and pastors
500Teen Voice: Remember what you have
499Observations Only: Waiting time
498Lyman Review: The elusive farm cat
494Observations Only: Saint Marge
492Building Bridges: Building us up to be what others see
490Building Bridges: “New” will become a buzzword in the Valley
490Up The Creek Without A Paddle: The NRD wants to do what with your money?
487Lyman Review: The love goat
485Our View: Why rush the interlocal agreement?
484Teen Voice: The Other Side
482Teeing Off: The thing about state
479Anno Domini: On this remembering day
478Building Bridges: Following the spirit of Gering
475Totally Random: Happy Halloween
475Teen Voice: Positive effects of social media
473Observations Only: Reality check
473Teen Voice: What is love?
472Dear Fellow Nebraskans: Collegebound Nebraska
472Across The Fence: The Three Guardsmen
471Teen Voice: Nobody else can lower you
471Across the Fence: The Blizzard of ‘49
467Observations Only: Gone away
467Update From the NRD: Winter has arrived
465Teen Voice: My rebellion
462Jane’s Secret XXXVII: A starry night
462Across The Fence; ‘Johnny Appleseed’ of the Oregon Trail
462Final Point: Golf, cross country feats headline fall season successes
459Across the Fence: Battle of Summit Springs, Part I: Tall Bull Killed
458Lyman Review: Now that's a set of handlebars!
458Capitol View: Delay tactics a gamble as session draws to a close
453No-Till Notes: Water Funding Task Force
448Welcome to the ‘New’ in Gering
447Building Bridges: Pause a moment...save a child’s life
446Jane’s Secret, XXXVIII: Bad girls
444Lyman Review: Something wicked this way comes
442Teen Voice: Self-expression
440 Across the Fence: Remembering Armistice Day
439Building Bridges: Objectivity and fairness make a winning plan
437Observations Only: Hog wash
436Jane’s Secret XXXVI:  The dream
435Why you should visit the zoo in February
432Teen Voice: Shopping days or holidays?
432Across The Fence: Moc-chi, A Southern Cheyenne warrior
432Across the Fence; Massacre on the Marias River
424From the Hill: More Work Ahead
422Lyman Review: One mean chicken
420Teen Voice: Cyber War
418
418At the Library: March into a good book
416For the love of the game – best courses in the valley
415Observations Only: The visit
410SBNM View: Do you want to be a VIP?
409Observations Only: A day in August
407Across The Fence: Crazy Horse’s Last Battle
404Across the Fence: New eyes on the Panhandle
403What’s really going on with our water?
400Teen Voice: Hope for a New Year
399Across The Fence: Mustangs on Pumpkin Creek
392Jane’s Secret, XLI Black widow spider
390In the Hills: Nebraska Bighorn Sheep
387No-Till Notes: Looking Back
387A Stray Moment: Robin Williams – Good night sweet prince
386Observations Only: The last goodbye
384Observations Only: One more time
381Teen Voice: My School, Their Rules
380Updates from NRD: Happy New Year
379Observations Only: Final moment
379Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret, XLIII: Jail house rock
378Teen Voice: Family for all intents and purposes
375Our View: Childcare not school district’s role
375No-Till Notes: Joe Franks Memorial
374Lyman Review: Goat-chasing cardio
374Teen Voice: The gift of caring
372Capitol View: Yes, Virginia, the Legislature has done something, so far
372Building Bridges: #speaklife is a goal for students, a goal for all
369Teen Voice: To the future
367Across the Fence: Remembering English Joe
367Lyman Review: Branding Time
365Building Bridges: Be a Destination Ambassador
365Gering ninth graders answer the questions of life
363Teen Voice: Writing love on our hearts
363View from Capitol Hill: Solutions for our economy and the budget
362Across The Fence: Last Christmas
362Across the Fence: Prelude to Battle
362At the Monument: Junior Rangers
357Building Bridges: Awards are only part of our success
356Teen Voice: Where is the love?
355Across the Fence: John Colter, the first mountain man
354Their View: Goal post move unfair
353Mayor’s Monthly: Moving on Gering’s momentum
353Across the Fence: David F. Cook and ‘Indian Joe’
352Observations Only: The last toothpick
352Totally Random: Where does it go?
351Our View: Community responsible for kids
350Letter to Editor clarifies drug testing policy
350Across the Fence: The Colorado Coalfield War
349Capitol View: Considering additional education choices
347Nature Notes: Love is in the air
344Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret XLIV: Jail break
344In the Hills: Pollinators – the buzz
341Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret, XLII: Sunflowers
338Capitol View: The 103rd Legislature is history … finally
337Totally Random: Trusting the fates
337In the Hills: Arbor Day in Nebraska
335Capitol View: There was more to the session than just the big ticket items
332Christmas stories from Freshman Academy students
332Building Bridges: Be American - help your candidate
332Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret XLV: Gun smoke
332Building Bridges: Five years old IS a milestone
330Teen Voice: Trouble Maker or Hard Worker?
330Coach Schadwinkel promoted strong sense of tradition
327Observations Only: The vigil
326Lyman Review: Taste of boot?
326Across the Fence: Roy Bean; scoundrel with a law book
323Across the Fence: Missing; Nelson Buck survey party
321Building Bridges: When ‘FAMILY’ and fellow Nebraskans are all you’ve got
320Arts Scene: Theatre West’s Les Miserables not to be missed: Anniversary production proves to be a memorable winner
318Linked Lives
317Lyman Review: Nudge to the Butt
317Dear Nebraskans: Nebraska is the place for business
315History Revisited:A Stray Moment: Life (and death) on the Oregon Trail
311Capitol View: Legislature overrides gubernatorial vetoes
309Support emergency services personnel
307Religious freedom must be protected
307At the Library: “My Name is Resolute” By Nancy E. Turner
304Notes from NRD: Thanks agricultural producers
303Across the Fence: The Cholera Corridor
302Final Point: Citizen receives first honor for ‘Final Point’
299In the Hills: Explore the state parks
298Our View: Confidentiality agreement disrespectful
297Lyman Review: Winter's dog
297At the Library: “I Shall Be Near to You” By Erin Lindsay McCabe
295College Thoughts: Rotten for the minds? Think again
293Update from the NRD: March updates from the NRD
293Capitol View: Redistricting needs new procedure
293No-Till Notes: Enjoyable Day
292At the Monument: That old (historic) building
292Building Bridges: Don’t wait to develop
290Capitol View: The Legislature did provide tax relief
290Website Resources
288From the Capitol: The conduct we choose reflects our character
288Across the Fence: Who was Martha Jane Canary?
287Anno Domini: The Textbook of Freedom
286Teen Voice: Holiday horrors
285Across the Fence: Charles Badger Clark
284No-Till Notes: Annual PNTP Tour
282Across the Fence: Amanda
282Capital View: Can prison reform survive property tax relief?
282Teen Voice: Home is where the heart is
282Building Bridges: Oregon Trail Days—making our present a celebrated past
281Capitol View: It sounded like a good idea at first
278Across the Fence: On the Old Chisholm Trail
276Across the Fence: Investigation at Spring Creek
275No-till Notes: Moving forward
274Across the Fence: Old barns and memories
272Lyman Review: Dog fun
270At the Monument: Where are the animals?
270No-Till Notes: Cheat grass
269New at the Zoo: Volunteer at the Zoo
269Lyman Review: Sheep Royalty
267At the Zoo: Spring in to the zoo
264Teen Voice: Inspire me
264Capitol View: Clock keeps tickin,’ many issues remain unresolved
263Capitol View: Legislature to tackle meatier issues
263Building Bridges: Dive into summer—dive into living
256Greetings from the State Capitol
255Washington Report: Honoring America’s heroes
255No-til Notes: Changing plans
254Teen Voice: The clock is ticking
252Across the Fence: The Spring Creek Raid
251Building Bridges: Turning a space into a sense of place
248Jane’s Secret XLVI: Sour grapes
248No-Till Notes: “Fish and Mud”
247No-Till Notes: Back in the field
243Across The Fence: Justice in the Big Horn Basin
235Capitol View: State aid proposal just might make some sense
228At the Monument: Art in National Parks
225Jane’s Secret XLVII: A stormy afternoon
221View of the Zoo: VIPs at RCD
220Be kind through communications
217Across the Fence: Six went to the gallows
217Synchronicity:What brings me back
216Dear Nebraskans: Technology helps serve Nebraskans
216Jane’s Secret XLVIII: Jane’s agenda
210Fellow Nebraskans: Congratulations on graduation day
207No-Till Notes:Enjoyable meeting
204Letter to the editor
193Across The Fence: Hinhan Kaga Paha
188Letters to the Editor
186In the Hills: Awesome Amphibians and Rough Reptiles
185Across the Fence: Aftermath: Part III, The Battle of Summit Springs
184Jane’s Secret XLIX: Phillip’s agenda
169A Stray Moment: Goodbye old house – sorting their things
162Fourth of July meetings
160Battle of Summit Springs, part II: Warpath to White Bear Creek
150A Stray Moment: Time to get moving
147Building Bridges: Supporting our teachers supports our children
135Building Bridges: Fair time—learn, respect, appreciate, enjoy!
129Teen Voice: Unexpected joys of being a sibling
128Prairie Dogs
126Jane’s Secret XLX: Day’s end
125Across The Fence: Steamboats on the Missouri
122 Across The Fence: County Fair
121Across The Fence: Scalped at Plum Creek
121Dynasty made Gering the biggest little town in Nebraska
118
116Building Bridges: Seeking a big win out of the 4th quarter
115No-Till Notes: Last chance for North, South Dakota tour
107At the Library: One Zentangle a Day
103No-Till Notes: American Society of Agronomy
102In the Hills: Get to Know Our Feathered Travelers
99Across The Fence: New England’s Heroine Scalptress
95Across The Fence: Deserters or Outcasts; Three who left. (Part I)
92Across the Fence: Here lies Major Alexander Culbertson
86Sychronicity: Thrive, don't just survive
85No-Till Notes: "Harvest"
79
62Jane’s Secret LI: The telling
59At the Monument: Night Sky
46No-Till Notes: "Different Approaches"
45Creatures of the Night
36Across the Fence: Deserters or outcasts; Three who left (Part II)
34
31Across The Fence: The Pawnee and human sacrifice
30Building Bridges: “It’s happening” at the Harvest Festival
20No-Till Notes: Different Approaches Part II
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