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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2157Being a Nebraskan – border to border
2157The Good Life: Today we celebrate Global Oneness Day
2118Across the Fence: The Soldier’s Free Homestead Colony of Gibbon
2089Completely Different: It's all in the family
2019Completely Different: The Disney princess debate: an exercise in the ridiculous
1974Completely Different : Could you come down off your soap box please?
1962Lyman Review: Let’s get back to the subject of bullying
1944Elizabeth's top ten movie list of 2011
1903Life in the Rearview Mirror: Invisible scars have lasting effects
1900Teen Voice: Thank you, Gering Speech Team
1883Our View... Preserve Gering’s form of government
1872Jane’s Secret, part II: Gertrude’s choice
1851The Good Life: Campaign ad using Jesus goes too far
1823A Small World: Time traveling
1810Our View: Museum merger a good thing, but let’s go slowly
1788Teen Voice: Just ten minutes
1777Completely Different: Tales from the mat
1763Time keeps flowing like a river
1738A last look at the Nebraska Zone
1737Life in the west: Betting on the end of the world
1728Our View: Mayor should insist on civility
1727Completely Different: Look around, what are you missing?
1720Totally Random: Astrology: It’s all in the stars…
1718Letter to the Editor
1698Observations Only : The orphanage
1694My mini Pen and me
1681Teen Voice: March Madness
1677Observations Only : Mission accomplished
1657Our view . . .Sports Complex
1646Observations Only: Little Girl Lost: Adopted
1645Completely Different: Your local government and you
1636Observations Only: Sisters lost, part I
1633Observations only : Sisters of the world
1630Bright Ideas! Brighter Future! Common sense prevails
1624Our view... Gering stands upon important threshold
1622Livestock Production: My Paradigm Shift
1621Curiosity Corner : The tale of the travelling train station
1618Observations Only: Little girl lost, part 3
1616Bright Ideas, Brighter Future: Leaving a Legacy
1610From the Pastor's Pen: Unbelievable breaking news
1597Observations Only: Little Girl Lost, part six
1582Completely Different: The good, the bad, and the remedy
1571It's a small world : Everything we do has meaning
1566Teen Voice : Leave your legacy
1558Miss Movies: Ten great horror flicks for Halloween, part I
1552Our View: Scottsbluff attitude damages future collaborations
1532Teen Voice: What diabetes taught me
1516Across the Fence: James Butler Hickok: The thoughtful gunfighter
1497Across the Fence: All aboard the Transcontinental Express
1480From the Superintendent’s Desk - Parent Teacher Conferences
1471Across the Fence: Ah-ho-appa (fallen leaf)
1442Across the Fence: Bose Ikard; Texas Cowboy
1414Across the fence: Something worth remembering
1394Jane’s Secret, XXX: A new wrinkle
1381Totally Random: December 6, the day I lived
1366Jane’s Secret, part XVIII : Devil’s bargain
1330Across the Fence - Catherine’s boys
1306Completely Different: The Quest
1304Our View: Come home to Nebraska, but not just anywhere
1255Teen Voice: Don’t be fooled by fads
1217Miss Movies: Miss Movies recommends her top 10 films of 2013
1201Totally Random: The Golden Rule
1177Barr’s Bacon Wrapped Fantasy Picks: A rookie's guide to drafting your dream team
1175Across the Fence: Building Barns
1175Jane’s Secret, XXIV: The last drive
1156The Good Life: Extending grace, the lost art
1142Theatre West’s Cabaret torch burns brightly
1141Across the Fence: Sioux Ordnance Depot: stories to be told
1136From the Superintendent's Desk: Thank You
1135From the Superintendent’s Desk: Get ready for Parent-teacher conferences
1134Dear Fellow Nebraskans: Governor’s Ag Conference overview
1133Life in the Rearview Mirror: I’m on a road to someplace
1119Observations Only: A soul’s journey
1114Across the Fence: Lions, wolves and bears
1109Across The Fence: Union Pacific robbery at Big Springs
1101From the Superintendent's Desk: NePAS – State Accountability
1097Across the Fence: Dull Knife’s Quest, part 1
1095Observations Only: Blinders aren’t just for horses
1088Building Bridges: Save the world, educate through agriculture
1084No-Till Notes: Plan to attend 2014 No-Till Conference
1081Across the Fence: Burnett’s Mound and the Topeka tornado
1079Totally Random: Hemp: considering the real benefits of the miracle plant
1076Our view: Gering’s future needs your vote
1069Jane’s Secret, XXIII: Molly’s plan
1066From the Superintendent’s Desk: Welcome to new certified staff
1064Across the Fence: Wyoming settlers lay siege to the TA Ranch
1064The Good Life: Through my father’s eyes
1063Life in the West: Inside the minds of serial killers
1055From the Superintendent’s Desk - Option Enrollment
1052Across the Fence: Class of ’67, last remnants of home
1050Jane’s Secret, XXV: Mysteries
1048Cat on a Hot Tin Roof a mixed bag
1042A Stray Moment: Merry Christmas – God save us all
1041Completely Different: It’s the end of the world as we know it
1035Across the Fence: Dull Knife’s Quest: Part 2 of 2
1031A Stray Moment : Carry the weight
1030Jane’s Secret, part XI: Grand Duchess
1026Across the Fence: On The road
1026From the Superintendent’s Desk: Early Childhood Education
1014Completely Different: New Year’s Resolutions
1012From the Superintendent’s Desk : Thank You for another Great Year
1012Across The Fence: Crow Dog, Spotted Tail’s assassin
1009Jane’s Secret, part VI: Molly’s surprise
1009The Good Life: Hey, I’m a winner!
1009Assad’s endgame
1009Jane’s Secret, XXXIII: Night walk
1006Completely Different: The game is afoot, a look at Sherlock Holmes
1003Jane’s Secret, part XIII: Blackberry pie
1002Across the Fence: Judge Roy Bean : Texas prizefight promoter
999Jane’s Secret, part IX: Mrs. Huber’s chagrin
986Lyman Review: Hubby’s got my goat
986Jane’s Secret, part XX: Change of plans
985Observations Only - Two ages of man
982Jane’s Secret, part VII Clem’s confession
980Across the Fence: Discovering Ed Stemler
978Jane’s Secret, part VIII: Molly's plan
978Teen Voice: I guess it’s just a western Nebraska thing
977Guest Editorial: Fischer will see U.S. ‘living within means’
975The Good Life: Your dollar is a vote for what you care about
966A Stray Moment: All's well that ends well, usually
963Across the Fence: Consumed by fire
957Across the Fence: The Spirit of Crazy Horse
956Miss Movies: “Bully” a powerful documentary
950A Stray Moment: Earth Day, am I doing my part?
949From the Superintendent’s Desk: Thanks for the memories
943From the Superintendent’s Desk - Haig and Aurora Buildings
932Observations Only: Painting a picture
931Jane’s Secret, part XVII : Plans gone awry
930Jane’s Secret, part XVI: Fate takes a hand
929Thinking About Health: The challenge of signing up for Obamacare
926A Small World: Savoring county fair days
922Across the Fence: The Great Solomon River Stampede
916From the Superintendent’s Desk: Accountability
915Jane’s Secret, part V: Aggie’s complaint
915Life in the Rearview Mirror: I hate coffee
908Jane’s Secret, Part XVIV: Crystal Waters
906Completely Different: That’s so Pinteresting
903Across the Fence: Black Hills Gold and the Thoen Stone
902Jane’s Secret, part XIV: Molly’s dream
901Teen Voice: Today’s television
900Across the Fence: Mud Springs revisited
900Across the Fence: The Wellnitz Fire, day 1 and 2
900Across The Fence: Billy Dixon; Plainsman, Hunter, Indian fighter and Scout
895Jane’s Secret, part XV: Unrequited love
893Across The Fence: Celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Chadron to Chicago Cowboy Race, part I
893Across The Fence: The Hat Creek Outpost
892Across the Fence: First scalp for Custer
891Across the Fence: The much maligned Ms. Watson
886Our View: County Manager option leads to Good Old Boys' Club
886Jane’s Secret, XXVIII: Lame Johnny
883Teen Voice: New Year’s goals
882Across the Fence: Just For the Thrill of It
882Jane’s Secret, part XXII: While the cat’s away
879Across the Fence: A hometown 4th of July
875Across the Fence: Sitting Bull: The Last Surrendering Sioux
873From the Superintendent’s Desk: Current enrollment count
871From the Superintendent’s Desk
871Teen Voice: What senior year taught me
869The zombie apocalypse and you
868From the Superintendent’s Desk: Parents’ role in the educational process
867From the Superintendent’s Desk: Summer School – 2013
866Jane’s Secret, part XII: Jane's Vow
861From the Superintendent’s Desk - District purchase of building
861Miss Movies: Ten movies for romance
861From the Pastor's Pen: Lord, teach us to pray
861A Small World: Chokecherry season evokes memories of yesterday
860Observations Only: A new direction
858Teen Voice: Learning calculus more than numbers
851Life in the Rearview Mirror: Cleaning off the ‘what if’ shelf
849Teen Voice: Experiencing versus remembering
847Across The Fence: A day For thanks
840Across the Fence - Boston: April 18, 1775
838Completely Different: What’s speech got to do with it?
835Across the Fence: Fort Mitchell on the Great Platte River Road
834Observations Only: Giving up
833From the Superintendent’s Desk : Draft Calendar 2013-14
833Completely Different: The Marilyn Monroe conundrum
832Teen Voice: Respond to defeat
832Teen Voice: Fifty reasons to smile
831Across the Fence: Submarines and railroads
825Trash cans
823Across the Fence: Faded photos and vivid memories
822 Across the Fence: ‘Aunt Sally’ and Dakota Gold
818Jane’s Secret, part XXI: Gertrude’s Agenda
817A Stray Moment - Celebrating Gering's Quasquicentennial
817Completely Different: Confessions of an out of shape twenty something
813Teen Voice: The road of hatred
812The Good Life: Our most precious right, gagged
812The hills, part 1: Mustangs
811Lyman Review - Tales of the renegade rooster
810From the Superintendent's Desk: Election over – work begins
809Teen Voice: Let us be beautiful
809From the Superintendent's Desk: Elementary attendance areas
809From the Superintendent’s Desk: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
808A Stray Moment: In praise of silence
807A Stray Moment: Star Trek: Infinite diversity in infinite combinations
806Jane’s Secret, XXVII: Town Meeting
804Teen Voice: 'Pretty Little Liars'
803Observations Only: The joy of money
802Across the Fence: Bloody Pocket, the final battle
802Observations Only: Sisters lost, part IV
801Totally Random: I’m a backwards reader
799Teen Voice: Catfished
798The Good Life: It’s hard to believe, the Citizen is four years old
792The Block
792From the Superintendent’s Desk - Financial Outlook for Gering Public Schools
790Teen Voice: The more the merrier
790The Good Life: The best Christmas gift
789Observations Only: Saturday delight
789Teen Voice: Lessons I learned from my eight-year-old brother
789A Stray Moment: Waiting on a train
787A Stray Moment: Now is the winter of our disconnect
787Anno Domini: Independence, an ideal worth celebrating
787At the Library: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
785Completely Different: The Hills, part 3: Rediscovering the spirit
784Completely Different: The mystery of Vivian Maier
782Across the Fence: Cynthia Ann Parker, Comanche captive
780A Stray Moment: God Knows
777Observations Only: Sisters lost, part III
776Thinking about Health: Getting insurance under the Affordable Care Act
773Life in the Rearview Mirror: Greensburg strong
770From the Superintendent's Desk: School year now in full swing
770Observations Only: Curious things
769Life's curve balls
767A Stray Moment: On Canada and the forgotten bicentennial
767Across the Fence: Fact, fiction or fragmented dreams?
766Jane's Secret, part X: The arrival
765 Taking a big risk
765A Stray Moment: Without a net
763Across the Fence: Rural free delivery
760A Stray Moment: Tacos! Our embarrassment of riches
760Across the Fence: A Cheyenne weekend
759Completely Different: Remembering Aurora
758Completely Different: The Mind Palace Memory Technique
756The Good Life: Mom, my partner in life
754The ghost of Ayn Rand
754Jane’s Secret, XXIX: Fred’s debacle
753Teen Voice: Not just another ride
753A Stray Moment: It's a dog's life
753A Stray Moment: I love Sookie Stackhouse
752Completely Different: The Hills, part 2: The Civilian Conservation Corps
751Teen Voice: Confessions of the financially disabled
751Across the Fence: Celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Chadron to Chicago Cowboy Race, part II
750Teen Voice: Sticks and stones
748A Small World: Scotts Bluff Valley Fiber Arts Fair classes offer great variety
747Political Cartoon by Doug Hoevet
746Observations Only: Extreme measures
746Observations Only: Counting chickens
746Across the Fence: The hand dug well
744Miss Movies: Ten great horror flicks for Halloween, part 2
741Seeing the works of the master
741From the Superintendent's Desk: PLAS School
738The Good Life: We are not separate, we are one family
737Our View: Extreme caution needed with fireworks
736Teen Voice: What’s so great about pizza?
735Timing makes perfect
735Pulpit of Bones: Man's best friend
735Across the Fence: Standing on the wagon
734The Good Life: Leave the quilt shop and laundromat alone
734A Stray Moment: World War Two is not forgotten
733Political Cartoon by Doug Hoevet
732Observations Only: Scourge of violence
730Observations Only: Just around the corner
726View from the block
726SELL-OUT!
725Life in the Rearview Mirror: The Moments we live for
724Across the Fence: Wounded Knee; December 29, 1890
723A Stray Moment: The last time
723Observations Only: Going home
717Completely Different: Happy Hollowthanksmas
717The Good Life: A farm girl in my heart
717Across the Fence: When Fiddler quit running
716Teen Voice: Not according to the plan
714Welcome to Gering
714It's no surprise
714Teen Voice: Congratulations, you’re awful
713Observations Only: The two faces of poverty
710Teen Voice: Gleek tragedy
708Across the Fence: When Lady Luck sleeps
707A Stray Moment: A voice from the past, haunting myself
706Observations Only: Uneventful flight
705Teen Voice: Body image
705Capitol View: Lincoln Highway captures spotlight
703A Stray Moment: - The case for Hagel
703The Good Life: Christina Baker’s mom: Thank you
702Completely Different: How the savings stole Christmas
702Our View: County has some ‘splainin’ to do
702Rural America and immigration reform
701Across the Fence: Places near forgotten
699Observations Only: Surprises
698Do You Tube?
698Silence please
697Life in the Rearview Mirror: Personal control of an individual response
697Teen Voice: Living within our means
696Across the Fence: Tomb of the Unknown
696Across the Fence : November 1864: Pole Creek, Politics and Patriots
696Our View: Pipeline not a solution to oil problems
695Across the Fence: Cheyenne County, Nebraska: cattle country
694A Stray Moment: Ready for the storm
694Observations Only: A soul's journey, part III
693Observations Only: No thank you
692Observations Only: What's in a word?
692Observations Only: Musings of an odd duck
691Guest Editorial: Bob Kerrey is the true fiscal conservative
691Miss Movies: Top ten holiday films, part II
691Across the Fence: A boy called Slon-Ha
691Observations Only: A gift of serenity
688Jane’s Secret, XXXII Jane’s Bad Day
687Economic development update
687From the Superintendent's Desk: Student transportation changes for 2012-13
687Teen Voice: Twitter as sleep criminal
686LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Gering Public Schools seeks imput
686The Good Life: The two different types of business people
686A ‘city’ kid goes to the fair
685Completely Different: The bucket list phenomenon
684Observations Only: The awful truth
683Age of reason
683Observations Only: Journey's end
682Observations Only: Together again
682Teen Voice: Shadow art
680Teen: Voice : Drinking enough water
680Teen Voice: Serendipity
679From the Superintendent's Desk: School Safety and Security
679Teen Voice: The benefits of online learning
678Life in the Rearview Mirror: Is it possible to just drive in the 21st Century?
678Teen Voice: Sit back and enjoy YouTube
677Observations Only: Critical thinking
677The Good Life: We are the Valley’s emissaries
676From the Superintendent's Desk: Our goal: Improve student performance
676Across the Fence: Thanks for the memory
675Teen Voice: Eighth day of the week - Someday
674A Stray Moment: For the love of theatre
673Miss Movies: The top ten films of 2012: The year of the geek
671Observations Only: North Powder
669Capitol View: Wild life proposal costly but worthwhile
669Guest Voice: If I could do it over again
668Teen Voice: An eventful homecoming
667Observations Only: Sister odyssey
667A Stray Moment - A night owl born to an 8 to 5 world
666Observations Only: A strange Thanksgiving
664Observations Only: Spider adventure
663Observations Only: Curious things, part II
662Completely Different: Hey there, four eyes!
662Completely Different: Perfect memories made in imperfect moments
660The Good Life: A very interesting meeting indeed
659A Stray Moment: Having a blast on the Fourth of July
659Across The Fence: Jules, Jack and lawless justice
658Guest Voices…
657Teeing Off: Lessons learned from golf
655Observations Only: Blue chip stock
652Across the Fence: Wasicu Wakan
652Totally Random: My journey, life after living
651Their View: Hey Gering, mind your own business!
651Observations Only: Sister lost
650Life in the Rearview Mirror: The world is a stage
648Completely Different: Do you know John Green?
646Teen Voice: On becoming politically active
644I'm falling for Tumblr?
643From the Superintendent's Desk: State report card
639From the Superintendent's Desk: Why so soon?
637Permission to remember
635A Stray Moment: Guilty pleasures
634Teen Voice: Go ahead, make my day
634Building Bridges: Cleaning up for company--or not--reveals a lot
631Anno Domini: The memorial nobody wants
629Observations Only: Expect the best, part II
629Jane’s secret, XXVI: The suitcase
627My Thanksgiving prayer
627Observations Only: Sisters lost, part two
627Teen Voice: Dealing with stress
626Across The Fence: The hanging of Cornelius Donahue a.k.a. John A. Hurley
625The Good Life: The lasting effects of bullying
622Five Good Reasons to Create an Investment Strategy
619Completely Different: I go to seek a Great Perhaps
617Miss Movies: Top Ten Holiday Films
617Teen Voice: Being a girl
615Our View: The elephant in the room
615Teen Voice: Pinning your interest
615The Good Life: A holiday recipe for peace
615A real leaning tree Christmas
612The Good Life: A time to be proud of our ancestors
611Home of the Brave
611Observations Only: The meeting
611Jane’s Secret XXXV: Bugs and things
611Across The Fence: The Spanish Flu
609Teen Voice: Indulge In moderation
608Social time has important benefits
608The Good Life: The economic footprint of one small business
607LETTER TO THE EDITOR: No tax state unrealistic
607Across The Fence: The Heartland plague of 1874-75
606Teen Voice: Go ahead, make my day
606Teen Voice: Until we say goodbye
605Life in the Rearview Mirror: The cumulative effects of giving
605Jane's Secret, XXXI: Sixes and sevens
604Observations Only: A soul's journey, part two
603Observations Only: Wilkerson Pass
603Building Bridges: Chautauqua will bring out the best in everyone
602Teen Voice: Say yes to branching out
601Across The Fence: Freedom Triumphant Over War and Peace
600Practice safe barbecue basics
600Teen Voice: Outbreak of the Gamers
596Teen Voice: Practice makes perfect
596Teen Voice: Happy news
594A Small World: Special guest
593Remembering When
593Observations Only : White water
592Life in the Rearview Mirror: Work is more than a four-letter word
590Observations Only: Expect the best
590Across the Fence: Pawnee legends in the Nebraska Panhandle
589Our View: Bravo OTD committee
588The Good Life: Innovation and young energy enriches us all
587Observations Only: Good and evil
587The Good Life: People of the Valley, we have a choice
587Building Bridges: Planning now for tourism season 2014
585The Lyman Review: I love baby ducks
585A Small World: Legends week promises fun for everyone
584Teen Voice: By my side until the newness wears off
584Observations Only: A fine line
583Across The Fence: Billy Dixon at Adobe Walls, June 1874
582Teen Voice: Making sense of the Sandy Hook tragedy
582The Good Life: Cooler breezes bring anticipation of fall
582Teen Voice: Saying Goodbye
576Across The Fence: By the dawn’s early light
575Observations Only: The shadow of error
575Teen Voice: The daily struggle to a lifelong battle
574The Good Life - The worst day on record at the Citizen
572Teeing Off: Around the Green
570Observations Only: A matter of matter
569Observations Only: Beginnings
558Teen Voice - On the outside looking In
557Observations Only: Indifferent love
556Jane's Secret XXXIV: Gin Rummy
556Across the Fence: The Overland Camel Company
552Teen Voice: I’ll be healthy – tomorrow
551Observations Only: Divine spirit
551Observations Only: A matter of paradox
550Observations Only: Choices
549Teen Voice: Equality
546Completely Different - The magic of spring
543Observations Only: Divine prompts
543A Stray Moment: Learning how to walk
543Anno Domini: We gather together
541Building Bridges: Being grateful for the hardships in life
539Life in the Rearview Mirror: Experiencing life passion
537Across The Fence: The Pawnee on Pumpkin Creek
536Totally Random: Life’s ripples
533Teen Voice: Sticks and stones
532Teen Voice: Previously unwritten cell phone rules
532Life in the Rearview Mirror: Adapt and adjust
531Teen Voice: Silence
531Teen Voice:  Body bashing and self-image
531Building Bridges: Tend to 2014 and be Happy, Happy, Happy
524A Stray Moment: In praise of encouragement
520Observations Only: Willfulness
517Our View: Visionaries wanted
517Observations Only: Temptation
517Observations Only: The vision
516Dear Fellow Nebraskans: We Are Proud of the Nebraska National Guard
515Teen Voice: The need to get away
515Observations Only: Off to the races
515Across the Fence; Prelude to the Red River War of 1874
512Book Review: I Forgot to Remember By Su Meck
510Totally Random: October, the pink month
509Teen Voice: Do It Anyway
509Observations Only: A sad week
508Observations Only: The need to understand
508Teen Voice: Thanksgiving
505Life in the Rearview Mirror: Life enhancing memories
503A Halloween Story: The scary dream
501Lyman Review: Devil calf
501Observations Only: Fuzzy angel
493Building Bridges: Celebrating the Bulldog homecoming
490Anno Domini: Ask the digital dust
489Across The Fence: First train from Saply Grove
489Building Bridges: Love your enemies
487Teeing Off: Mind Gym
487Teen Voice: Stress test
484Teeing Off: Persistence
481Welcome to Gering and the 92nd Oregon Trail Days Celebration.
480Across the Fence: The Pony Express
479Guest Editorial: The future of health care at Regional West
479Across The Fence: Amos Bad Heart Bull
477Observations Only: A good daughter
475Teen Voice: The rivalry
473Observations Only: Afraid of the dark
464Lyman Review: The elusive farm cat
464Across the Fence: A Cowboy kind of Christmas
462Observations Only: The unvarnished truth
458Dear Nebraskans: Massachusetts should not determine Nebraska’s Presidential vote
457Updates from NRD: NRD promotes conservation
456Observations Only: Saint Marge
455Observations Only: Waiting time
454Teeing Off: The thing about state
453Teen Voice: Remember what you have
452Building Bridges: Observing bullies, abuse and pastors
452Building Bridges: Building us up to be what others see
450Building Bridges: Serve on the school board—or say no more
446Teen Voice: The Other Side
446Teen Voice: Is respect dead?
444Building Bridges: “New” will become a buzzword in the Valley
443Lyman Review: The love goat
443Teen Voice: Footprints
441Up The Creek Without A Paddle: The NRD wants to do what with your money?
440Our View: Why rush the interlocal agreement?
439Observations Only: Reality check
433Teen Voice: What is love?
430Dear Fellow Nebraskans: Collegebound Nebraska
428Anno Domini: On this remembering day
427Building Bridges: Following the spirit of Gering
426Jane’s Secret XXXVII: A starry night
424Update From the NRD: Winter has arrived
423Final Point: Golf, cross country feats headline fall season successes
422Totally Random: Happy Halloween
422Capitol View: Delay tactics a gamble as session draws to a close
420Lyman Review: Now that's a set of handlebars!
419Teen Voice: Nobody else can lower you
415Across The Fence; ‘Johnny Appleseed’ of the Oregon Trail
413Observations Only: Gone away
410Across the Fence: The Blizzard of ‘49
409Across The Fence: A Fourth of July Montage
408Observations Only: Hog wash
408Across The Fence: The Three Guardsmen
404Teen Voice: My rebellion
403Lyman Review: Something wicked this way comes
403Welcome to the ‘New’ in Gering
402Teen Voice: Self-expression
401No-Till Notes: Water Funding Task Force
401Teen Voice: Shopping days or holidays?
399Building Bridges: Pause a moment...save a child’s life
398Jane’s Secret XXXVI:  The dream
398Building Bridges: Asking officials to speak and work as a body
397Lyman Review: One mean chicken
391 Across the Fence: Remembering Armistice Day
386Jane’s Secret, XXXVIII: Bad girls
386Why you should visit the zoo in February
382Teen Voice: Cyber War
378Observations Only: The visit
378From the Hill: More Work Ahead
376Across the Fence; Massacre on the Marias River
375Building Bridges: Objectivity and fairness make a winning plan
370
369Across The Fence: Mustangs on Pumpkin Creek
368Across The Fence: Moc-chi, A Southern Cheyenne warrior
366Observations Only: A day in August
363Across the Fence: New eyes on the Panhandle
362Jane’s Secret, XLI Black widow spider
360SBNM View: Do you want to be a VIP?
358Teen Voice: Hope for a New Year
356At the Library: March into a good book
355Across The Fence: Crazy Horse’s Last Battle
354Updates from NRD: Happy New Year
351The Good Life: What a wild ride it’s been
350Observations Only: The last goodbye
345No-Till Notes: Looking Back
344Our View: Childcare not school district’s role
344Teen Voice: My School, Their Rules
340Observations Only: Final moment
340Teen Voice: The gift of caring
338Observations Only: One more time
337No-Till Notes: Joe Franks Memorial
337Teen Voice: To the future
336Teen Voice: Family for all intents and purposes
335Teen Voice: Writing love on our hearts
334Lyman Review: Goat-chasing cardio
331Across the Fence: Remembering English Joe
330What’s really going on with our water?
327Capitol View: Yes, Virginia, the Legislature has done something, so far
325Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret, XLIII: Jail house rock
324Across The Fence: Last Christmas
323Observations Only: The last toothpick
322Across the Fence: John Colter, the first mountain man
320Teen Voice: Where is the love?
320Capitol View: Considering additional education choices
319Our View: Community responsible for kids
319Across the Fence: Prelude to Battle
317Lyman Review: Branding Time
316Totally Random: Trusting the fates
314Across the Fence: The Colorado Coalfield War
310Letter to Editor clarifies drug testing policy
310Nature Notes: Love is in the air
303Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret, XLII: Sunflowers
300Christmas stories from Freshman Academy students
300Mayor’s Monthly: Moving on Gering’s momentum
299Observations Only: The vigil
297Coach Schadwinkel promoted strong sense of tradition
296Totally Random: Where does it go?
295Across the Fence: Roy Bean; scoundrel with a law book
294Teen Voice: Trouble Maker or Hard Worker?
294View from Capitol Hill: Solutions for our economy and the budget
293Dear Nebraskans: Nebraska is the place for business
292Building Bridges: Be American - help your candidate
292In the Hills: Arbor Day in Nebraska
289Lyman Review: Taste of boot?
289Building Bridges: Be a Destination Ambassador
281Lyman Review: Nudge to the Butt
281Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret XLIV: Jail break
279Building Bridges: Awards are only part of our success
279Their View: Goal post move unfair
279In the Hills: Nebraska Bighorn Sheep
276Notes from NRD: Thanks agricultural producers
269Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret XLV: Gun smoke
268Religious freedom must be protected
267Capitol View: There was more to the session than just the big ticket items
264Lyman Review: Winter's dog
264At the Monument: Junior Rangers
263Our View: Confidentiality agreement disrespectful
262Capitol View: Legislature overrides gubernatorial vetoes
257Across the Fence: Missing; Nelson Buck survey party
257Across the Fence: David F. Cook and ‘Indian Joe’
256Across the Fence: The Cholera Corridor
256Building Bridges: Five years old IS a milestone
255Teen Voice: Holiday horrors
255In the Hills: Explore the state parks
252Capitol View: Redistricting needs new procedure
252Linked Lives
250At the Monument: That old (historic) building
249In the Hills: Pollinators – the buzz
245Across the Fence: On the Old Chisholm Trail
241Capitol View: The 103rd Legislature is history … finally
240Lyman Review: Dog fun
240Across the Fence: Amanda
239Capitol View: It sounded like a good idea at first
239For the love of the game – best courses in the valley
238Support emergency services personnel
237Update from the NRD: March updates from the NRD
234At the Zoo: Spring in to the zoo
234At the Library: “I Shall Be Near to You” By Erin Lindsay McCabe
233Capitol View: The Legislature did provide tax relief
232Capitol View: Clock keeps tickin,’ many issues remain unresolved
231College Thoughts: Rotten for the minds? Think again
230Capital View: Can prison reform survive property tax relief?
229Across the Fence: Who was Martha Jane Canary?
226Teen Voice: Inspire me
223Greetings from the State Capitol
223Across the Fence: Charles Badger Clark
222Across the Fence: Investigation at Spring Creek
221At the Monument: Where are the animals?
219From the Capitol: The conduct we choose reflects our character
218Building Bridges: Don’t wait to develop
218No-till Notes: Moving forward
217Website Resources
215Across the Fence: Old barns and memories
208Capitol View: Legislature to tackle meatier issues
206No-Till Notes: Back in the field
204New at the Zoo: Volunteer at the Zoo
200Gering ninth graders answer the questions of life
199Teen Voice: Home is where the heart is
198View of the Zoo: VIPs at RCD
198Across the Fence: The Spring Creek Raid
198No-Till Notes: Cheat grass
196Final Point: Citizen receives first honor for ‘Final Point’
195Across The Fence: Justice in the Big Horn Basin
193Dear Nebraskans: Technology helps serve Nebraskans
190No-Till Notes: “Fish and Mud”
189Jane’s Secret XLVI: Sour grapes
188At the Monument: Art in National Parks
183Washington Report: Honoring America’s heroes
181Building Bridges: When ‘FAMILY’ and fellow Nebraskans are all you’ve got
177No-til Notes: Changing plans
173Anno Domini: The Textbook of Freedom
170Capitol View: State aid proposal just might make some sense
170Building Bridges: Dive into summer—dive into living
161At the Library: “My Name is Resolute” By Nancy E. Turner
160Teen Voice: The clock is ticking
158Fellow Nebraskans: Congratulations on graduation day
156History Revisited:A Stray Moment: Life (and death) on the Oregon Trail
149Across the Fence: Six went to the gallows
148Across the Fence: Battle of Summit Springs, Part I: Tall Bull Killed
146Jane’s Secret XLVII: A stormy afternoon
138Lyman Review: Sheep Royalty
135No-Till Notes: Annual PNTP Tour
128Across The Fence: Hinhan Kaga Paha
118Synchronicity:What brings me back
117No-Till Notes:Enjoyable meeting
97Be kind through communications
92Jane’s Secret XLVIII: Jane’s agenda
71Building Bridges: Oregon Trail Days—making our present a celebrated past
70Letters to the Editor
57Letter to the editor
47Fourth of July meetings
34Battle of Summit Springs, part II: Warpath to White Bear Creek
Dominos Pizza
Fresh Foods
Spectrum Photo
Kendell Henderson