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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225Fellow Nebraskans: Congratulations on graduation day
225No-Till Notes:Enjoyable meeting
221Across The Fence: Hinhan Kaga Paha
217Letters to the Editor
210A Stray Moment: Time to get moving
207Across the Fence: Aftermath: Part III, The Battle of Summit Springs
206In the Hills: Awesome Amphibians and Rough Reptiles
199A Stray Moment: Goodbye old house – sorting their things
188Battle of Summit Springs, part II: Warpath to White Bear Creek
187Jack’s Insights: Knowing harvest
178Fourth of July meetings
177A Stray Moment: Brand new used cars
175Building Bridges: Seeking a big win out of the 4th quarter
171Building Bridges: Supporting our teachers supports our children
168Prairie Dogs
168Jane’s Secret XLX: Day’s end
163No-Till Notes: The value of water
162Teen Voice: Unexpected joys of being a sibling
162Across The Fence: Steamboats on the Missouri
159Creatures of the Night
156Dynasty made Gering the biggest little town in Nebraska
155Building Bridges: Fair time—learn, respect, appreciate, enjoy!
155 Across The Fence: County Fair
155
154Across The Fence: Scalped at Plum Creek
151
150At the Library: One Zentangle a Day
149Across The Fence: The Pawnee and human sacrifice
147Building Bridges: “It’s happening” at the Harvest Festival
146No-Till Notes: Last chance for North, South Dakota tour
144Across The Fence: Deserters or Outcasts; Three who left. (Part I)
142Across The Fence: Grandpa’s Grays
141
139Across The Fence: New England’s Heroine Scalptress
135No-Till Notes: "Harvest"
134At the Monument: Night Sky
133No-Till Notes: American Society of Agronomy
132Rotary International observes World Polio Day Oct. 24
130Jane’s Secret LII: Eavesdroppers
129Across the Fence: Here lies Major Alexander Culbertson
129Jane’s Secret LI: The telling
128In the Hills: Get to Know Our Feathered Travelers
127No-Till Notes: Different Approaches Part II
123A look at - and helping - the State of the Valley
121No-Till Notes: "Different Approaches"
115Sychronicity: Thrive, don't just survive
110Across the Fence: Deserters or outcasts; Three who left (Part II)
108A Stray Moment: A ‘city boy’ visits the Harvest Festival
106
103
97At the Library: “The Master Switch” The rise and fall of information empires By Tim Wu
97Building Bridges: Know DOVES and know about domestic violence
96Across the Fence: The Battle of Hungry Hill
95Reach out for challenges
94
81At the Monument: So You want to be a Ranger?
77Across the Fence: The Battle of Coon Creek
61Across the Fence: Before Barbed Wire
32A Stray Moment: Football – Violence, Death, and Denial
16In the Hills: Learn the Dutch Oven
12Across the Fence: Ladies First or First Ladies
Most Read News Stories of 2012
17898Across The Fence: Portugee Phillips and a horse named Dandy
5092We need a few good people
3235What's the deal with organic milk?
2864Jane’s Secret, XXXX: A tale of mayhem
2655Across the Fence: Bose Ikard; Texas Cowboy
2651Across the Fence: Roosevelt’s campaign tour of the west
2310Being a Nebraskan – border to border
2260Across the Fence: The Soldier’s Free Homestead Colony of Gibbon
2259The Good Life: Today we celebrate Global Oneness Day
2253Completely Different: It's all in the family
2112Completely Different: The Disney princess debate: an exercise in the ridiculous
2098Completely Different : Could you come down off your soap box please?
2083Lyman Review: Let’s get back to the subject of bullying
2010Elizabeth's top ten movie list of 2011
1968Our View... Preserve Gering’s form of government
1964Teen Voice: Thank you, Gering Speech Team
1963Life in the Rearview Mirror: Invisible scars have lasting effects
1961Jane’s Secret, part II: Gertrude’s choice
1919The Good Life: Campaign ad using Jesus goes too far
1898Our View: Museum merger a good thing, but let’s go slowly
1882A Small World: Time traveling
1869Across the Fence: A Cheyenne weekend
1861Teen Voice: Just ten minutes
1855Completely Different: Tales from the mat
1854Totally Random: Astrology: It’s all in the stars…
1832Time keeps flowing like a river
1803A last look at the Nebraska Zone
1788Life in the west: Betting on the end of the world
1786Completely Different: Look around, what are you missing?
1785Our View: Mayor should insist on civility
1778Letter to the Editor
1765Observations Only : The orphanage
1752My mini Pen and me
1736Observations Only : Mission accomplished
1725Teen Voice: March Madness
1724Across the Fence: Ah-ho-appa (fallen leaf)
1720Our view . . .Sports Complex
1720From the Pastor's Pen: Unbelievable breaking news
1719Observations Only: Little Girl Lost: Adopted
1707Livestock Production: My Paradigm Shift
1705Completely Different: Your local government and you
1701Observations Only: Sisters lost, part I
1694Remembering When
1691Across the Fence: All aboard the Transcontinental Express
1688Observations only : Sisters of the world
1685Miss Movies: Ten great horror flicks for Halloween, part I
1683Our view... Gering stands upon important threshold
1677Completely Different: The good, the bad, and the remedy
1676Observations Only: Little girl lost, part 3
1675Bright Ideas, Brighter Future: Leaving a Legacy
1673Bright Ideas! Brighter Future! Common sense prevails
1667Curiosity Corner : The tale of the travelling train station
1662Observations Only: Little Girl Lost, part six
1651Across the Fence: James Butler Hickok: The thoughtful gunfighter
1639From the Superintendent’s Desk - Parent Teacher Conferences
1638Teen Voice: What diabetes taught me
1631It's a small world : Everything we do has meaning
1613Teen Voice : Leave your legacy
1596Our View: Scottsbluff attitude damages future collaborations
1575Jane’s Secret, XXX: A new wrinkle
1530Across the Fence - Catherine’s boys
1515Observations Only: Reality check
1493SBNM View: Do you want to be a VIP?
1486Across the fence: Something worth remembering
1476Totally Random: December 6, the day I lived
1462Jane’s Secret, part XVIII : Devil’s bargain
1448Teen Voice: Don’t be fooled by fads
1443Barr’s Bacon Wrapped Fantasy Picks: A rookie's guide to drafting your dream team
1370Completely Different: The Quest
1349Our View: Come home to Nebraska, but not just anywhere
1346Observations Only: A soul’s journey
1314Totally Random: The Golden Rule
1307Jane’s Secret, XXIII: Molly’s plan
1296Jane’s Secret, XXIV: The last drive
1286Miss Movies: Miss Movies recommends her top 10 films of 2013
1280Across the Fence: Sioux Ordnance Depot: stories to be told
1276Life in the Rearview Mirror: I’m on a road to someplace
1271Across the Fence: Burnett’s Mound and the Topeka tornado
1264From the Superintendent’s Desk: Get ready for Parent-teacher conferences
1258The Good Life: Extending grace, the lost art
1253Across the Fence: Building Barns
1250Theatre West’s Cabaret torch burns brightly
1243Jane’s Secret, XXXIII: Night walk
1242Dear Fellow Nebraskans: Governor’s Ag Conference overview
1241Across The Fence: Union Pacific robbery at Big Springs
1240Across the Fence: Dull Knife’s Quest, part 1
1231Across the Fence: Lions, wolves and bears
1229Totally Random: Hemp: considering the real benefits of the miracle plant
1216From the Superintendent's Desk: Thank You
1214From the Superintendent's Desk: NePAS – State Accountability
1214Building Bridges: Save the world, educate through agriculture
1214No-Till Notes: Plan to attend 2014 No-Till Conference
1208Jane’s Secret, XXV: Mysteries
1199Our view: Gering’s future needs your vote
1192From the Superintendent’s Desk - Option Enrollment
1191From the Superintendent’s Desk: Welcome to new certified staff
1190Observations Only: Blinders aren’t just for horses
1183Completely Different: It’s the end of the world as we know it
1177Across the Fence: Dull Knife’s Quest: Part 2 of 2
1171Across the Fence: Class of ’67, last remnants of home
1165Life in the West: Inside the minds of serial killers
1165The Good Life: Through my father’s eyes
1159A Stray Moment: Merry Christmas – God save us all
1156Across the Fence: Wyoming settlers lay siege to the TA Ranch
1149Completely Different: New Year’s Resolutions
1147Across the Fence: Judge Roy Bean : Texas prizefight promoter
1145A Small World: Savoring county fair days
1144Completely Different: The game is afoot, a look at Sherlock Holmes
1137Cat on a Hot Tin Roof a mixed bag
1137Across the Fence: On The road
1134Jane’s Secret, part XI: Grand Duchess
1131From the Superintendent’s Desk: Early Childhood Education
1130Across the Fence: Discovering Ed Stemler
1117Jane’s Secret, part IX: Mrs. Huber’s chagrin
1116Across The Fence: Crow Dog, Spotted Tail’s assassin
1114Jane’s Secret, part XIII: Blackberry pie
1111From the Superintendent’s Desk : Thank You for another Great Year
1111A Stray Moment : Carry the weight
1109The Good Life: Hey, I’m a winner!
1108Assad’s endgame
1105Jane’s Secret, part VI: Molly’s surprise
1091Jane’s Secret, part VII Clem’s confession
1090Lyman Review: Hubby’s got my goat
1089Jane’s Secret, part VIII: Molly's plan
1089Teen Voice: I guess it’s just a western Nebraska thing
1084From the Superintendent’s Desk: Thanks for the memories
1081Guest Editorial: Fischer will see U.S. ‘living within means’
1081From the Superintendent’s Desk - Haig and Aurora Buildings
1079Jane’s Secret, part XVII : Plans gone awry
1075A Stray Moment: All's well that ends well, usually
1072Jane’s Secret, part XX: Change of plans
1067Across the Fence: Black Hills Gold and the Thoen Stone
1062Across The Fence: Billy Dixon; Plainsman, Hunter, Indian fighter and Scout
1061Miss Movies: “Bully” a powerful documentary
1058Across The Fence: The Hat Creek Outpost
1054Observations Only - Two ages of man
1043Thinking About Health: The challenge of signing up for Obamacare
1041Across the Fence: Consumed by fire
1041Across the Fence: The Spirit of Crazy Horse
1040The Good Life: Your dollar is a vote for what you care about
1035Completely Different: That’s so Pinteresting
1035A Small World: Chokecherry season evokes memories of yesterday
1027Jane’s Secret, part XVI: Fate takes a hand
1025From the Superintendent’s Desk: Accountability
1019Teen Voice: New Year’s goals
1019A Stray Moment: Earth Day, am I doing my part?
1014Jane’s Secret, part V: Aggie’s complaint
1014Jane’s Secret, part XIV: Molly’s dream
1009 Across the Fence: ‘Aunt Sally’ and Dakota Gold
1006Observations Only: Painting a picture
999Teen Voice: Today’s television
998Across the Fence: The Great Solomon River Stampede
996Across the Fence: The Wellnitz Fire, day 1 and 2
994Across the Fence: Mud Springs revisited
991Across the Fence: The much maligned Ms. Watson
990Life in the Rearview Mirror: I hate coffee
989Jane’s Secret, Part XVIV: Crystal Waters
988Jane’s Secret, part XV: Unrequited love
986Jane’s Secret, part XII: Jane's Vow
984Across the Fence: First scalp for Custer
981From the Superintendent’s Desk - District purchase of building
980Across the Fence: Sitting Bull: The Last Surrendering Sioux
980Across The Fence: Celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Chadron to Chicago Cowboy Race, part I
978From the Superintendent’s Desk: Summer School – 2013
975Jane’s Secret, XXVIII: Lame Johnny
974From the Superintendent’s Desk
970Across The Fence: A day For thanks
968From the Superintendent’s Desk: Parents’ role in the educational process
965From the Superintendent’s Desk : Draft Calendar 2013-14
965Jane’s Secret, part XXII: While the cat’s away
963From the Superintendent’s Desk: Current enrollment count
963Miss Movies: Ten movies for romance
961Life in the Rearview Mirror: Cleaning off the ‘what if’ shelf
959Our View: County Manager option leads to Good Old Boys' Club
958Teen Voice: Fifty reasons to smile
957Teen Voice: What senior year taught me
956Observations Only: A new direction
953Across the Fence: Just For the Thrill of It
947Jane’s Secret, XXVII: Town Meeting
941From the Pastor's Pen: Lord, teach us to pray
938Across the Fence: A hometown 4th of July
938Teen Voice: Learning calculus more than numbers
934The zombie apocalypse and you
934A Stray Moment: Star Trek: Infinite diversity in infinite combinations
933Across the Fence: Fort Mitchell on the Great Platte River Road
926Completely Different: The Marilyn Monroe conundrum
924Totally Random: I’m a backwards reader
922Teen Voice: Experiencing versus remembering
920Across the Fence: Bloody Pocket, the final battle
918Across the Fence: Faded photos and vivid memories
916Across the Fence - Boston: April 18, 1775
914Across the Fence: Submarines and railroads
913Jane’s Secret, part XXI: Gertrude’s Agenda
912From the Superintendent’s Desk: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
909From the Superintendent’s Desk - Financial Outlook for Gering Public Schools
907From the Superintendent's Desk: Election over – work begins
899Observations Only: Sisters lost, part IV
899The Good Life: It’s hard to believe, the Citizen is four years old
898A Stray Moment: Now is the winter of our disconnect
897Completely Different: What’s speech got to do with it?
895Completely Different: Confessions of an out of shape twenty something
895Teen Voice: Respond to defeat
894Across the Fence: Celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Chadron to Chicago Cowboy Race, part II
892Anno Domini: Independence, an ideal worth celebrating
889Observations Only: Giving up
888Thinking about Health: Getting insurance under the Affordable Care Act
886Trash cans
884A Stray Moment - Celebrating Gering's Quasquicentennial
882The Good Life: Our most precious right, gagged
880The hills, part 1: Mustangs
880Observations Only: Curious things
878A Stray Moment: In praise of silence
878Across the Fence: The hand dug well
876Teen Voice: Catfished
873From the Superintendent's Desk: Elementary attendance areas
873Across the Fence: Fact, fiction or fragmented dreams?
873Across the Fence: Cynthia Ann Parker, Comanche captive
872Lyman Review - Tales of the renegade rooster
871Teen Voice: Let us be beautiful
869Teen Voice: 'Pretty Little Liars'
869Teen Voice: The road of hatred
868Completely Different: The mystery of Vivian Maier
863Teen Voice: The more the merrier
862Observations Only: The joy of money
862The Block
860The Good Life: The best Christmas gift
860Observations Only: Sisters lost, part III
858At the Library: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
856Teen Voice: Lessons I learned from my eight-year-old brother
855Across the Fence: Rural free delivery
853A Stray Moment: Without a net
852A Stray Moment: Waiting on a train
851Observations Only: Saturday delight
848Teen Voice: What’s so great about pizza?
845A Stray Moment: I love Sookie Stackhouse
843Completely Different: The Hills, part 3: Rediscovering the spirit
841Jane’s Secret, XXIX: Fred’s debacle
838Political Cartoon by Doug Hoevet
837Teen Voice: Congratulations, you’re awful
835Life's curve balls
834Jane's Secret, part X: The arrival
834A Stray Moment: Tacos! Our embarrassment of riches
833Life in the Rearview Mirror: Greensburg strong
830A Stray Moment: God Knows
829A Stray Moment: On Canada and the forgotten bicentennial
829Political Cartoon by Doug Hoevet
827 Taking a big risk
826From the Superintendent's Desk: School year now in full swing
826The Good Life: We are not separate, we are one family
825Completely Different: The Mind Palace Memory Technique
825A Stray Moment: It's a dog's life
823Across the Fence: Standing on the wagon
822Teen Voice: Gleek tragedy
819A Small World: Scotts Bluff Valley Fiber Arts Fair classes offer great variety
819Jane’s Secret, XXXII Jane’s Bad Day
818Completely Different: Remembering Aurora
816Miss Movies: Ten great horror flicks for Halloween, part 2
815Teen Voice: Not just another ride
814Completely Different: The Hills, part 2: The Civilian Conservation Corps
814Life in the Rearview Mirror: The Moments we live for
813Teen Voice: Confessions of the financially disabled
813The Good Life: Mom, my partner in life
812Observations Only: Scourge of violence
811Observations Only: Going home
810The ghost of Ayn Rand
810From the Superintendent's Desk: PLAS School
810Across the Fence: When Lady Luck sleeps
809Seeing the works of the master
808Observations Only: Extreme measures
805A Stray Moment: World War Two is not forgotten
804A ‘city’ kid goes to the fair
803Timing makes perfect
803Across the Fence: When Fiddler quit running
802The Good Life: Christina Baker’s mom: Thank you
801Across the Fence: Wounded Knee; December 29, 1890
801The Good Life: A farm girl in my heart
801Capitol View: Lincoln Highway captures spotlight
799Teen Voice: Sticks and stones
799Observations Only: Counting chickens
798A Stray Moment: - The case for Hagel
797The Good Life: Leave the quilt shop and laundromat alone
797Completely Different: Happy Hollowthanksmas
795Observations Only: Just around the corner
795Across the Fence: Tomb of the Unknown
794Our View: County has some ‘splainin’ to do
794A Stray Moment: A voice from the past, haunting myself
793Teen Voice: Body image
793The Good Life: The two different types of business people
792Our View: Extreme caution needed with fireworks
791View from the block
789SELL-OUT!
788Observations Only: A soul's journey, part III
787Pulpit of Bones: Man's best friend
786Observations Only: The two faces of poverty
785Across the Fence : November 1864: Pole Creek, Politics and Patriots
784Observations Only: Uneventful flight
783Totally Random: My journey, life after living
782A Stray Moment: The last time
782The Good Life: We are the Valley’s emissaries
781Guest Voice: If I could do it over again
776It's no surprise
774Teen Voice: Living within our means
773A Stray Moment - A night owl born to an 8 to 5 world
769Teen Voice: Not according to the plan
769Observations Only: Surprises
769Miss Movies: Top ten holiday films, part II
768Welcome to Gering
768Guest Editorial: Bob Kerrey is the true fiscal conservative
768Rural America and immigration reform
768Book Review: I Forgot to Remember By Su Meck
767Our View: Pipeline not a solution to oil problems
765Across the Fence: Places near forgotten
765Across the Fence: Cheyenne County, Nebraska: cattle country
765Observations Only: A gift of serenity
763Completely Different: How the savings stole Christmas
763Across the Fence: A boy called Slon-Ha
763Observations Only: Musings of an odd duck
763Life in the Rearview Mirror: The world is a stage
762A Stray Moment: Ready for the storm
762Teen Voice: The benefits of online learning
761Observations Only: Journey's end
761Completely Different: The bucket list phenomenon
761Across The Fence: Jules, Jack and lawless justice
760Silence please
760Completely Different: Hey there, four eyes!
759Age of reason
758Observations Only: No thank you
758From the Superintendent's Desk: School Safety and Security
758Teen: Voice : Drinking enough water
757Teen Voice: Twitter as sleep criminal
757Observations Only: The awful truth
755Teen Voice: Shadow art
752Do You Tube?
752Life in the Rearview Mirror: Personal control of an individual response
749Observations Only: Critical thinking
749Teen Voice: Serendipity
749Completely Different: Perfect memories made in imperfect moments
748Observations Only: What's in a word?
747Capitol View: Wild life proposal costly but worthwhile
745Across the Fence: Thanks for the memory
745A Stray Moment: For the love of theatre
744LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Gering Public Schools seeks imput
744Observations Only: A strange Thanksgiving
743Across The Fence: The hanging of Cornelius Donahue a.k.a. John A. Hurley
742Economic development update
741Across The Fence: Freedom Triumphant Over War and Peace
739Teen Voice: Eighth day of the week - Someday
738Observations Only: Together again
738Observations Only: North Powder
737Observations Only: Curious things, part II
736Miss Movies: The top ten films of 2012: The year of the geek
735Observations Only: Sister odyssey
735Teen Voice: An eventful homecoming
735Across the Fence: Wasicu Wakan
735A Stray Moment: Having a blast on the Fourth of July
732Building Bridges: Cleaning up for company--or not--reveals a lot
730From the Superintendent's Desk: Student transportation changes for 2012-13
730Teen Voice: Sit back and enjoy YouTube
730Teeing Off: Lessons learned from golf
728Observations Only: Sister lost
727Observations Only: Spider adventure
727Anno Domini: The memorial nobody wants
726Completely Different: Do you know John Green?
725Observations Only: Blue chip stock
725The Good Life: A very interesting meeting indeed
722From the Superintendent's Desk: Our goal: Improve student performance
722Across The Fence: The Spanish Flu
718Life in the Rearview Mirror: Is it possible to just drive in the 21st Century?
718Building Bridges: Chautauqua will bring out the best in everyone
714Teen Voice: On becoming politically active
714Their View: Hey Gering, mind your own business!
713Across the Fence: Pawnee legends in the Nebraska Panhandle
712I'm falling for Tumblr?
709Across The Fence: The Heartland plague of 1874-75
708Guest Voices…
708Completely Different: I go to seek a Great Perhaps
708A real leaning tree Christmas
707Observations Only: Sisters lost, part two
703Observations Only: Expect the best, part II
700Teen Voice: Positive effects of social media
699From the Superintendent's Desk: State report card
698From the Superintendent's Desk: Why so soon?
698Teen Voice: Dealing with stress
697The Good Life: A holiday recipe for peace
696Teen Voice: Pinning your interest
696Teen Voice: Indulge In moderation
696The Good Life: A time to be proud of our ancestors
696A Small World: Special guest
695Observations Only : White water
695Jane’s secret, XXVI: The suitcase
694Teen Voice: Being a girl
692The Good Life: The lasting effects of bullying
691Teen Voice: Say yes to branching out
690Observations Only: A soul's journey, part two
690Teen Voice: Go ahead, make my day
690Building Bridges: Planning now for tourism season 2014
689A Stray Moment: Guilty pleasures
686Miss Movies: Top Ten Holiday Films
686Jane's Secret, XXXI: Sixes and sevens
685Permission to remember
684Observations Only: The meeting
683My Thanksgiving prayer
682Teen Voice: Until we say goodbye
682The Lyman Review: I love baby ducks
682Jane’s Secret XXXV: Bugs and things
682Across The Fence: A Fourth of July Montage
677Five Good Reasons to Create an Investment Strategy
675Our View: The elephant in the room
673Observations Only: Wilkerson Pass
673Observations Only: A matter of matter
673A Small World: Legends week promises fun for everyone
670Teen Voice: Go ahead, make my day
670Life in the Rearview Mirror: Work is more than a four-letter word
669Social time has important benefits
669The Good Life: The economic footprint of one small business
668The Good Life: Cooler breezes bring anticipation of fall
668Teen Voice: Saying Goodbye
666Home of the Brave
665Teen Voice: Outbreak of the Gamers
662Across The Fence: By the dawn’s early light
662Building Bridges: Being grateful for the hardships in life
660The Good Life: What a wild ride it’s been
659The Good Life: Innovation and young energy enriches us all
659Observations Only: Indifferent love
659Across The Fence: Billy Dixon at Adobe Walls, June 1874
658Teeing Off: Around the Green
658Across The Fence: The Pawnee on Pumpkin Creek
657Practice safe barbecue basics
657Observations Only: Good and evil
656Teen Voice: Happy news
656Observations Only: The shadow of error
655Life in the Rearview Mirror: The cumulative effects of giving
655Across the Fence: The Overland Camel Company
653Teen Voice: Making sense of the Sandy Hook tragedy
652LETTER TO THE EDITOR: No tax state unrealistic
649Teen Voice: Practice makes perfect
649Observations Only: Expect the best
644Teen Voice: By my side until the newness wears off
644Teen Voice:  Body bashing and self-image
643Observations Only: A fine line
642The Good Life: People of the Valley, we have a choice
642Jane's Secret XXXIV: Gin Rummy
641Teen Voice: The daily struggle to a lifelong battle
640The Good Life - The worst day on record at the Citizen
638Observations Only: Beginnings
636Observations Only: Divine spirit
633Teen Voice - On the outside looking In
632Anno Domini: We gather together
624Observations Only: A matter of paradox
623Our View: Bravo OTD committee
623Teen Voice: Equality
623Teen Voice: I’ll be healthy – tomorrow
622Observations Only: Divine prompts
616Building Bridges: Tend to 2014 and be Happy, Happy, Happy
615Observations Only: Choices
613Observations Only: A sad week
613Teen Voice: Sticks and stones
612A Stray Moment: Learning how to walk
611Completely Different - The magic of spring
610Building Bridges: Celebrating the Bulldog homecoming
607Teen Voice: Previously unwritten cell phone rules
607Teen Voice: Silence
604A Stray Moment: In praise of encouragement
604A Halloween Story: The scary dream
602Across The Fence: Amos Bad Heart Bull
600Building Bridges: Love your enemies
599Life in the Rearview Mirror: Experiencing life passion
599Teen Voice: Thanksgiving
598Totally Random: Life’s ripples
598Totally Random: October, the pink month
596Life in the Rearview Mirror: Adapt and adjust
596Observations Only: Fuzzy angel
595Across the Fence; Prelude to the Red River War of 1874
594Observations Only: Temptation
594Welcome to Gering and the 92nd Oregon Trail Days Celebration.
591Across The Fence: First train from Saply Grove
589Observations Only: Off to the races
589Lyman Review: Devil calf
587Observations Only: The vision
578Dear Fellow Nebraskans: We Are Proud of the Nebraska National Guard
576Observations Only: Willfulness
576Teen Voice: The need to get away
576Guest Editorial: The future of health care at Regional West
574Teen Voice: Do It Anyway
569Observations Only: The need to understand
569Observations Only: A good daughter
562Building Bridges: Observing bullies, abuse and pastors
561Teen Voice: Stress test
559Anno Domini: Ask the digital dust
556Building Bridges: Asking officials to speak and work as a body
553Our View: Visionaries wanted
553Teen Voice: Is respect dead?
552Updates from NRD: NRD promotes conservation
550Life in the Rearview Mirror: Life enhancing memories
549Across the Fence: The Pony Express
549Teeing Off: Persistence
544Teeing Off: Mind Gym
543Across the Fence: A Cowboy kind of Christmas
542Lyman Review: The elusive farm cat
537Observations Only: The unvarnished truth
533Teen Voice: Remember what you have
531Building Bridges: “New” will become a buzzword in the Valley
531Building Bridges: Serve on the school board—or say no more
531Teen Voice: Footprints
530Observations Only: Afraid of the dark
530Dear Nebraskans: Massachusetts should not determine Nebraska’s Presidential vote
526Final Point: Golf, cross country feats headline fall season successes
525Building Bridges: Building us up to be what others see
523Anno Domini: On this remembering day
522Teen Voice: The rivalry
521Building Bridges: Following the spirit of Gering
520Observations Only: Saint Marge
519Teeing Off: The thing about state
519Lyman Review: The love goat
518Up The Creek Without A Paddle: The NRD wants to do what with your money?
517Observations Only: Waiting time
516Across the Fence: Battle of Summit Springs, Part I: Tall Bull Killed
514Teen Voice: The Other Side
514Dear Fellow Nebraskans: Collegebound Nebraska
514Teen Voice: Nobody else can lower you
513Totally Random: Happy Halloween
511Jane’s Secret XXXVII: A starry night
509Across The Fence: The Three Guardsmen
507Across The Fence; ‘Johnny Appleseed’ of the Oregon Trail
506Our View: Why rush the interlocal agreement?
503Lyman Review: Now that's a set of handlebars!
503Teen Voice: My rebellion
502No-Till Notes: Water Funding Task Force
498Across the Fence: The Blizzard of ‘49
496Observations Only: Gone away
489Jane’s Secret, XXXVIII: Bad girls
487Lyman Review: Something wicked this way comes
485Teen Voice: What is love?
479Observations Only: Hog wash
479Teen Voice: Self-expression
478Update From the NRD: Winter has arrived
477Welcome to the ‘New’ in Gering
475Capitol View: Delay tactics a gamble as session draws to a close
471 Across the Fence: Remembering Armistice Day
470A Stray Moment: Robin Williams – Good night sweet prince
469Jane’s Secret XXXVI:  The dream
465Building Bridges: Pause a moment...save a child’s life
462Why you should visit the zoo in February
458Building Bridges: Objectivity and fairness make a winning plan
457Across the Fence; Massacre on the Marias River
455No Till Notes: Final Stop
451Observations Only: The visit
451From the Hill: More Work Ahead
451Across The Fence: Moc-chi, A Southern Cheyenne warrior
449Teen Voice: Shopping days or holidays?
449Jane’s Secret, XLI Black widow spider
446
443Lyman Review: One mean chicken
443Observations Only: A day in August
442For the love of the game – best courses in the valley
439Across the Fence: New eyes on the Panhandle
438Teen Voice: Cyber War
437Across The Fence: Crazy Horse’s Last Battle
430At the Library: March into a good book
427Across The Fence: Mustangs on Pumpkin Creek
424Observations Only: One more time
422Teen Voice: Hope for a New Year
419Observations Only: The last goodbye
416In the Hills: Nebraska Bighorn Sheep
415What’s really going on with our water?
410Lyman Review: Goat-chasing cardio
405Teen Voice: My School, Their Rules
405Building Bridges: #speaklife is a goal for students, a goal for all
402Teen Voice: The gift of caring
400Across the Fence: Remembering English Joe
399Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret, XLIII: Jail house rock
399No-Till Notes: Looking Back
398Our View: Childcare not school district’s role
398Teen Voice: Family for all intents and purposes
396Updates from NRD: Happy New Year
395Their View: Goal post move unfair
393Observations Only: Final moment
392Teen Voice: Writing love on our hearts
391Teen Voice: To the future
391At the Monument: Junior Rangers
390Capitol View: Yes, Virginia, the Legislature has done something, so far
389No-Till Notes: Joe Franks Memorial
386Gering ninth graders answer the questions of life
385Capitol View: Considering additional education choices
383Across the Fence: Prelude to Battle
382Across the Fence: David F. Cook and ‘Indian Joe’
382Building Bridges: Be a Destination Ambassador
380Lyman Review: Branding Time
377Across The Fence: Last Christmas
377In the Hills: Pollinators – the buzz
376Across the Fence: The Colorado Coalfield War
375View from Capitol Hill: Solutions for our economy and the budget
373Across the Fence: John Colter, the first mountain man
371Teen Voice: Where is the love?
371Building Bridges: Awards are only part of our success
370Observations Only: The last toothpick
368Nature Notes: Love is in the air
367Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret, XLII: Sunflowers
367Mayor’s Monthly: Moving on Gering’s momentum
367No-till Notes: Moving forward
363Our View: Community responsible for kids
363Totally Random: Where does it go?
362Letter to Editor clarifies drug testing policy
362Building Bridges: Five years old IS a milestone
361Arts Scene: Theatre West’s Les Miserables not to be missed: Anniversary production proves to be a memorable winner
360Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret XLIV: Jail break
358Capitol View: There was more to the session than just the big ticket items
357Totally Random: Trusting the fates
357In the Hills: Arbor Day in Nebraska
355Capitol View: The 103rd Legislature is history … finally
353Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret XLV: Gun smoke
352Across the Fence: Roy Bean; scoundrel with a law book
346Building Bridges: When ‘FAMILY’ and fellow Nebraskans are all you’ve got
344Observations Only: The vigil
344Christmas stories from Freshman Academy students
344Lyman Review: Taste of boot?
344Teen Voice: Trouble Maker or Hard Worker?
344Across the Fence: Missing; Nelson Buck survey party
343Coach Schadwinkel promoted strong sense of tradition
343Linked Lives
343No-Till Notes: Enjoyable Day
341At the Library: “My Name is Resolute” By Nancy E. Turner
340Building Bridges: Be American - help your candidate
336History Revisited:A Stray Moment: Life (and death) on the Oregon Trail
335Lyman Review: Nudge to the Butt
333Building Bridges: Oregon Trail Days—making our present a celebrated past
331Dear Nebraskans: Nebraska is the place for business
330Capitol View: Legislature overrides gubernatorial vetoes
330Final Point: Citizen receives first honor for ‘Final Point’
325Across the Fence: The Cholera Corridor
324Religious freedom must be protected
324Support emergency services personnel
324At the Library: “I Shall Be Near to You” By Erin Lindsay McCabe
321Notes from NRD: Thanks agricultural producers
318Across the Fence: Who was Martha Jane Canary?
316Capitol View: The Legislature did provide tax relief
316College Thoughts: Rotten for the minds? Think again
313Update from the NRD: March updates from the NRD
312In the Hills: Explore the state parks
312Capitol View: Redistricting needs new procedure
311Anno Domini: The Textbook of Freedom
310Website Resources
309At the Monument: That old (historic) building
308Lyman Review: Winter's dog
308Across the Fence: Charles Badger Clark
307Across the Fence: On the Old Chisholm Trail
306No-Till Notes: Annual PNTP Tour
305Building Bridges: Don’t wait to develop
305Our View: Confidentiality agreement disrespectful
302Capital View: Can prison reform survive property tax relief?
301Capitol View: It sounded like a good idea at first
300From the Capitol: The conduct we choose reflects our character
298Across the Fence: Investigation at Spring Creek
298No-Till Notes: Cheat grass
297Teen Voice: Holiday horrors
297Across the Fence: Amanda
297Building Bridges: Dive into summer—dive into living
295Across the Fence: Old barns and memories
293Teen Voice: Home is where the heart is
292Building Bridges: Turning a space into a sense of place
291Capitol View: Legislature to tackle meatier issues
290Capitol View: Clock keeps tickin,’ many issues remain unresolved
287New at the Zoo: Volunteer at the Zoo
286Lyman Review: Dog fun
284Lyman Review: Sheep Royalty
282At the Zoo: Spring in to the zoo
280Across the Fence: The Spring Creek Raid
280At the Monument: Where are the animals?
279Teen Voice: Inspire me
276Teen Voice: The clock is ticking
275No-til Notes: Changing plans
273Jane’s Secret XLVI: Sour grapes
272Across The Fence: Justice in the Big Horn Basin
270Greetings from the State Capitol
268Washington Report: Honoring America’s heroes
266No-Till Notes: “Fish and Mud”
258No-Till Notes: Back in the field
253Jane’s Secret XLVIII: Jane’s agenda
249Capitol View: State aid proposal just might make some sense
249Jane’s Secret XLVII: A stormy afternoon
245At the Monument: Art in National Parks
245Across the Fence: Six went to the gallows
243Be kind through communications
236Synchronicity:What brings me back
233Letter to the editor
232View of the Zoo: VIPs at RCD
232Gering freshmen introduce personalities, styles: Writing assignment encourages students to let individualism shine
228Jane’s Secret XLIX: Phillip’s agenda
226Dear Nebraskans: Technology helps serve Nebraskans
225Fellow Nebraskans: Congratulations on graduation day
225No-Till Notes:Enjoyable meeting
221Across The Fence: Hinhan Kaga Paha
217Letters to the Editor
210A Stray Moment: Time to get moving
207Across the Fence: Aftermath: Part III, The Battle of Summit Springs
206In the Hills: Awesome Amphibians and Rough Reptiles
199A Stray Moment: Goodbye old house – sorting their things
188Battle of Summit Springs, part II: Warpath to White Bear Creek
187Jack’s Insights: Knowing harvest
178Fourth of July meetings
177A Stray Moment: Brand new used cars
175Building Bridges: Seeking a big win out of the 4th quarter
171Building Bridges: Supporting our teachers supports our children
168Prairie Dogs
168Jane’s Secret XLX: Day’s end
163No-Till Notes: The value of water
162Teen Voice: Unexpected joys of being a sibling
162Across The Fence: Steamboats on the Missouri
159Creatures of the Night
156Dynasty made Gering the biggest little town in Nebraska
155Building Bridges: Fair time—learn, respect, appreciate, enjoy!
155 Across The Fence: County Fair
155
154Across The Fence: Scalped at Plum Creek
151
150At the Library: One Zentangle a Day
149Across The Fence: The Pawnee and human sacrifice
147Building Bridges: “It’s happening” at the Harvest Festival
146No-Till Notes: Last chance for North, South Dakota tour
144Across The Fence: Deserters or Outcasts; Three who left. (Part I)
142Across The Fence: Grandpa’s Grays
141
139Across The Fence: New England’s Heroine Scalptress
135No-Till Notes: "Harvest"
134At the Monument: Night Sky
133No-Till Notes: American Society of Agronomy
132Rotary International observes World Polio Day Oct. 24
130Jane’s Secret LII: Eavesdroppers
129Across the Fence: Here lies Major Alexander Culbertson
129Jane’s Secret LI: The telling
128In the Hills: Get to Know Our Feathered Travelers
127No-Till Notes: Different Approaches Part II
123A look at - and helping - the State of the Valley
121No-Till Notes: "Different Approaches"
115Sychronicity: Thrive, don't just survive
110Across the Fence: Deserters or outcasts; Three who left (Part II)
108A Stray Moment: A ‘city boy’ visits the Harvest Festival
106
103
97At the Library: “The Master Switch” The rise and fall of information empires By Tim Wu
97Building Bridges: Know DOVES and know about domestic violence
96Across the Fence: The Battle of Hungry Hill
95Reach out for challenges
94
81At the Monument: So You want to be a Ranger?
77Across the Fence: The Battle of Coon Creek
61Across the Fence: Before Barbed Wire
32A Stray Moment: Football – Violence, Death, and Denial
16In the Hills: Learn the Dutch Oven
12Across the Fence: Ladies First or First Ladies
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