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.

Read more by Lisa Betz
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68The Good Life: People of the Valley, we have a choice
68Life in the Rearview Mirror: Greensburg strong
68Teeing Off: Mind Gym
68Teen Voice: Saying Goodbye
68A Small World: Legends week promises fun for everyone
68Observations Only: One more time
68Observations Only: Fuzzy angel
68Observations Only: The last goodbye
68Anno Domini: Ask the digital dust
68Building Bridges: Building us up to be what others see
68No-Till Notes: Looking Back
68At the Monument: Art in National Parks
68Website Resources
68For the love of the game – best courses in the valley
68Teen Voice: The clock is ticking
68Gering freshmen introduce personalities, styles: Writing assignment encourages students to let individualism shine
67Teen: Voice : Drinking enough water
67Life in the Rearview Mirror: Personal control of an individual response
67Teen Voice: Living within our means
67Lyman Review: Something wicked this way comes
67Totally Random: Happy Halloween
67Teen Voice: Family for all intents and purposes
67Updates from NRD: NRD promotes conservation
67Notes from NRD: Thanks agricultural producers
67Capitol View: Redistricting needs new procedure
66Guest Voices…
66Teen Voice: Shadow art
66Completely Different: Perfect memories made in imperfect moments
66Teen Voice: The Other Side
66Our View: Childcare not school district’s role
66Our View: Confidentiality agreement disrespectful
66Lyman Review: Branding Time
66At the Library: “I Shall Be Near to You” By Erin Lindsay McCabe
65Completely Different: What’s speech got to do with it?
65Teen Voice: Indulge In moderation
65Teen Voice: The daily struggle to a lifelong battle
65Teen Voice: Where is the love?
65In the Hills: Arbor Day in Nebraska
65Washington Report: Honoring America’s heroes
65Their View: Goal post move unfair
64From the Superintendent's Desk: School Safety and Security
64From the Superintendent’s Desk: Early Childhood Education
64Teen Voice: Pinning your interest
64Up The Creek Without A Paddle: The NRD wants to do what with your money?
64Update From the NRD: Winter has arrived
64Observations Only: The last toothpick
64Totally Random: Trusting the fates
64Teen Voice: Footprints
64Religious freedom must be protected
64Teen Voice: Home is where the heart is
64Across The Fence: Ms. Goodale and the Ghost Dance War (Part II of III)
63Teen Voice: Twitter as sleep criminal
63Teen Voice: Learning calculus more than numbers
63Observations Only: Hog wash
63Teen Voice: Sticks and stones
63Teen Voice: Shopping days or holidays?
63Teen Voice: To the future
63At the Monument: That old (historic) building
63Support emergency services personnel
63Capitol View: The Legislature did provide tax relief
63Synchronicity:What brings me back
62Teen Voice: Equality
62I'm falling for Tumblr?
62Completely Different: Do you know John Green?
62Life in the Rearview Mirror: Adapt and adjust
62Our View: Why rush the interlocal agreement?
62Guest Editorial: The future of health care at Regional West
62Our View: Community responsible for kids
62Teen Voice: Writing love on our hearts
62Lyman Review: Dog fun
62Mayor’s Monthly: Moving on Gering’s momentum
62Letters to the Editor
62Building Bridges: Know DOVES and know about domestic violence
61Teen Voice: I’ll be healthy – tomorrow
61Lyman Review: Winter's dog
61Teen Voice: Trouble Maker or Hard Worker?
61Teen Voice: Cyber War
61View of the Zoo: VIPs at RCD
61Capitol View: Delay tactics a gamble as session draws to a close
61Capital View: Can prison reform survive property tax relief?
60From the Hill: More Work Ahead
60Nature Notes: Love is in the air
60Capitol View: State aid proposal just might make some sense
60Capitol View: Clock keeps tickin,’ many issues remain unresolved
60No-Till Notes: Back in the field
59Christmas stories from Freshman Academy students
59No-Till Notes: Joe Franks Memorial
59At the Library: March into a good book
59Totally Random: Where does it go?
59At the Zoo: Spring in to the zoo
58The Good Life: A time to be proud of our ancestors
58Teen Voice: Thanksgiving
58Why you should visit the zoo in February
58Capitol View: Legislature to tackle meatier issues
58Gering ninth graders answer the questions of life
57Capitol View: Considering additional education choices
57No-Till Notes: “Fish and Mud”
57No Till Notes: Colorado Conservation Tillage Association Conference
56Dear Nebraskans: Nebraska is the place for business
56Teen Voice: Inspire me
56Dear Fellow Nebraskans: Governor’s Ag Conference overview
55Teen Voice: What is love?
55Dear Nebraskans: Technology helps serve Nebraskans
55Capitol View: It sounded like a good idea at first
55Capitol View: There was more to the session than just the big ticket items
54Teen Voice: Hope for a New Year
53Life in the Rearview Mirror: Life enhancing memories
53Updates from NRD: Happy New Year
52Update from the NRD: March updates from the NRD
52From the Capitol: The conduct we choose reflects our character
51Our View: Come home to Nebraska, but not just anywhere
51Rural America and immigration reform
48Greetings from the State Capitol
47Letter to Editor clarifies drug testing policy
47Capitol View: Yes, Virginia, the Legislature has done something, so far
45Rural mail will suffer with more mail plant closures
43Our View: County has some ‘splainin’ to do
41Across The Fence: Ms. Goodale and The Ghost Dance War (Part III)
36
6Letter to the Editor
5Curiosity Corner: The Boss of the Plains
Most Read News Stories of 2012
590Building Bridges – Teens in the Driver Seat is a program for LIFE
557All Points West: Coming home, a veteran’s perspective on what it means
492The Christmas Story
456Jane’s Secret column on hiatus
427To whom are we thankful?
358Across The Fence: Barbecue Campbell and the XIT
322A Stray Moment: Football – Violence, Death, and Denial
314Across the Fence: Roosevelt’s campaign tour of the west
310At the Monument: Museum collections
293A Stray Moment: To honor them all their days
289Rotary International observes World Polio Day Oct. 24
289A Stray Moment: Thanksgiving myths and traditions
281Across The Fence: Portugee Phillips and a horse named Dandy
278Building Bridges: Regionalism should be focus of our core-idor
270Support letters requested for airport
260Across the Fence: All aboard the Transcontinental Express
260Curiosity Corner: A Christmas with Buffalo Bill
253The Good Life: Looking back on 2014
251Across The Fence: Barbecue Campbell and the XIT
244No-Till Notes: Drilling Edible Beans, part 2
231Across The Fence: The hanging of Cornelius Donahue a.k.a. John A. Hurley
228In the Hills: Learn the Dutch Oven
227At the Library: “The Master Switch” The rise and fall of information empires By Tim Wu
224Barr’s Bacon Wrapped Fantasy Picks: A rookie's guide to drafting your dream team
220No Till Notes: Drilling edible beans
219Letters to the Editor
217Jane’s Secret, XXXIII: Night walk
217A Stray Moment: Je ne suis pas Charlie Hebdo
213Our View: Let the downtown revitalization begin
205Across The Fence: The Harmar Campaign
203Teen Voice: Positive effects of social media
203Across The Fence: Over The Edge; Niagara’s Argonauts
202Across The Fence: The Christmas Truce of 1914
199Building Bridges: Help! is the key word for the holidays
198A Stray Moment: Brand new used cars
196At the Library: Book Review: “Landline” by Rainbow Rowell
195No Till Notes:
192Observations Only : White water
191Curiosity Corner: An Uncommon Christmas Story
190Building Bridges: Cleaning up for company--or not--reveals a lot
190In the Hills: Nature for the Holidays
189A Stray Moment: Time to get moving
189At the Library:Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography
186No-Till Notes: Dakota Lakes Dry Land Rotations
180Building Bridges: Turning a space into a sense of place
180Building Bridges: Honoring our blessings and our leaders
179What's the deal with organic milk?
177Across the Fence: Who was Martha Jane Canary?
175Jack’s Insights: A word about weed control
174A Stray Moment: O Holy Night
172Across the Fence: Bose Ikard; Texas Cowboy
172Across The Fence: The Pawnee and human sacrifice
169The Good Life: What a wild ride it’s been
168Across The Fence: “…a date that will live in infamy.”
165Jane’s Secret, XXV: Mysteries
164
161At the Library: Son by Lois Lowry
158Completely Different: It's all in the family
158College Thoughts: Rotten for the minds? Think again
154Across The Fence: Billy Dixon; Plainsman, Hunter, Indian fighter and Scout
154At the Monument: Where are the animals?
153Across the Fence: Before Barbed Wire
153All Points West: Huskers win hearts and minds at Holiday Bowl
151Observations Only: A soul’s journey
151Our View: Officials should take advantage of available training
151All Points West: Looking for holiday inspiration?
150Across The Fence: The Hat Creek Outpost
149Across the Fence - Catherine’s boys
149Across the Fence: Black Hills Gold and the Thoen Stone
149Across The Fence: Captain Silas S. Soule; The face of moral courage
146Across the Fence: Celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Chadron to Chicago Cowboy Race, part II
145Across The Fence: A Fourth of July Montage
145Lyman Review: A Tunnel of Birds
144No-Till Notes: A word about weed control
143Jane’s Secret, XXVII: Town Meeting
142Completely Different: New Year’s Resolutions
141At the Monument: So You want to be a Ranger?
140Teen Voice: Don’t be fooled by fads
138Across the Fence: Ah-ho-appa (fallen leaf)
138Battle of Summit Springs, part II: Warpath to White Bear Creek
134
133Across the Fence: Burnett’s Mound and the Topeka tornado
133Building Bridges: Save the world, educate through agriculture
132From the Superintendent’s Desk: Thanks for the memories
128Creatures of the Night
125Across the Fence: Judge Roy Bean : Texas prizefight promoter
125Teen Voice: Gleek tragedy
125A ‘city’ kid goes to the fair
125Across The Fence: Amos Bad Heart Bull
125At the Library: The Underground Girls of Kabul - In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan
124Across the Fence: Ladies First or First Ladies
123Totally Random: The Golden Rule
123A Stray Moment: Robin Williams – Good night sweet prince
123Building Bridges: “It’s happening” at the Harvest Festival
123
121Across the Fence: Sioux Ordnance Depot: stories to be told
121Jane’s Secret, part XVII : Plans gone awry
121Jane’s Secret, XXIV: The last drive
121A Stray Moment - A night owl born to an 8 to 5 world
121Across the Fence: The Battle of Hungry Hill
120Building Bridges: When ‘FAMILY’ and fellow Nebraskans are all you’ve got
119Teen Voice: Fifty reasons to smile
119 Across the Fence: ‘Aunt Sally’ and Dakota Gold
118Jane’s Secret, XXVIII: Lame Johnny
118Across the Fence: Battle of Summit Springs, Part I: Tall Bull Killed
118At the Monument: Living History
117Jane’s Secret, XXIII: Molly’s plan
117In the Hills: Pollinators – the buzz
117Across The Fence: Battle of the Wabash: St. Clair’s Defeat
116Across The Fence: Freedom Triumphant Over War and Peace
115Across the Fence: When Lady Luck sleeps
114Jane’s Secret, XXX: A new wrinkle
113Across the Fence: Class of ’67, last remnants of home
113Across the Fence: The hand dug well
113Completely Different: The Disney princess debate: an exercise in the ridiculous
112The Good Life: Through my father’s eyes
112Jane’s Secret, XXXII Jane’s Bad Day
112Life in the Rearview Mirror: The world is a stage
111Across the Fence: When Fiddler quit running
110Across the Fence: James Butler Hickok: The thoughtful gunfighter
110Jane’s Secret, XXXX: A tale of mayhem
110Across the Fence: Here lies Major Alexander Culbertson
109Across the Fence: A Cheyenne weekend
109Across The Fence: The Pawnee on Pumpkin Creek
108A Stray Moment: I love Sookie Stackhouse
108Across the Fence: Rural free delivery
108Teen Voice: Congratulations, you’re awful
108Across the Fence; Massacre on the Marias River
108A Stray Moment: Winter Wonderland (and Thank You to the Snow Crews)
107Teen Voice: What diabetes taught me
107Across the Fence: Pawnee legends in the Nebraska Panhandle
107Across The Fence: The Spanish Flu
107Thinking about Health: Getting insurance under the Affordable Care Act
107Across the Fence: The Blizzard of ‘49
107Across The Fence: Grandpa’s Grays
107No Till Notes: Moving Forward
106Across the Fence: Sitting Bull: The Last Surrendering Sioux
106Across The Fence: Jules, Jack and lawless justice
105Jane’s Secret, part XII: Jane's Vow
105Jane’s Secret, part XV: Unrequited love
105The Good Life: It’s hard to believe, the Citizen is four years old
105Jane’s Secret: The Telling
104From the Superintendent’s Desk: Welcome to new certified staff
104Across The Fence: Celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Chadron to Chicago Cowboy Race, part I
104Totally Random: Hemp: considering the real benefits of the miracle plant
104Book Review: I Forgot to Remember By Su Meck
104Across The Fence: …and a Happy New Year.
103Across the Fence: Lions, wolves and bears
103Across the Fence: Cynthia Ann Parker, Comanche captive
103Across The Fence: By the dawn’s early light
103Across The Fence: Hinhan Kaga Paha
102Jane’s Secret, part IX: Mrs. Huber’s chagrin
102Across The Fence: Steamboats on the Missouri
102Jane’s Secret XLX: Day’s end
101Across the Fence: Dull Knife’s Quest, part 1
101No-Till Notes: The value of water
100A Stray Moment: Now is the winter of our disconnect
100A Stray Moment: For the love of theatre
100Completely Different: The game is afoot, a look at Sherlock Holmes
100Dynasty made Gering the biggest little town in Nebraska
100Jane’s Secret LI: The telling
99Completely Different: That’s so Pinteresting
99Totally Random: I’m a backwards reader
99Across The Fence; ‘Johnny Appleseed’ of the Oregon Trail
99Jane’s Secret, XLI Black widow spider
99Across the Fence: Charles Badger Clark
99Arts Scene: Theatre West’s Les Miserables not to be missed: Anniversary production proves to be a memorable winner
99No-Till Notes: Enjoyable Day
99At the Library: One Zentangle a Day
98Completely Different : Could you come down off your soap box please?
98Jane’s Secret, part XIII: Blackberry pie
98Jane’s Secret, part XVI: Fate takes a hand
98Across the Fence: Discovering Ed Stemler
98Teen Voice: What’s so great about pizza?
98From the Superintendent’s Desk - Financial Outlook for Gering Public Schools
98The Good Life: Christina Baker’s mom: Thank you
98The Lyman Review: I love baby ducks
98Across The Fence: The Three Guardsmen
98Across the Fence: Missing; Nelson Buck survey party
98Across The Fence: New England’s Heroine Scalptress
98Jane’s Secret LII: Eavesdroppers
97A Stray Moment: Merry Christmas – God save us all
97Completely Different: It’s the end of the world as we know it
97Across the Fence: Bloody Pocket, the final battle
97From the Superintendent’s Desk : Draft Calendar 2013-14
97Totally Random: Astrology: It’s all in the stars…
97The Good Life: Cooler breezes bring anticipation of fall
97Across the Fence: The Overland Camel Company
97Totally Random: December 6, the day I lived
97Building Bridges: Five years old IS a milestone
96Our view: Gering’s future needs your vote
96A Stray Moment: Having a blast on the Fourth of July
96A Small World: Special guest
96A Stray Moment: A ‘city boy’ visits the Harvest Festival
96Across The Fence: Ms. Goodale and the Ghost Dance War (Part I)
95Across the Fence: Wyoming settlers lay siege to the TA Ranch
95Building Bridges: Chautauqua will bring out the best in everyone
95No-Till Notes: Water Funding Task Force
95A real leaning tree Christmas
95Welcome to the ‘New’ in Gering
95Across The Fence: Crazy Horse’s Last Battle
95Building Bridges: Be a Destination Ambassador
95No-Till Notes: Different Approaches Part II
94Jane’s Secret, part VIII: Molly's plan
94Miss Movies: “Bully” a powerful documentary
94Teen Voice: New Year’s goals
94Across the Fence: Standing on the wagon
94A Stray Moment: Star Trek: Infinite diversity in infinite combinations
94Completely Different: The Marilyn Monroe conundrum
94Across the Fence: John Colter, the first mountain man
94A Stray Moment: Goodbye old house – sorting their things
94 Across The Fence: County Fair
93Assad’s endgame
93Observations Only: Reality check
93Jane’s Secret XLIX: Phillip’s agenda
93Teen Voice: Unexpected joys of being a sibling
92Across the Fence: The Spirit of Crazy Horse
92Jane’s Secret, part XIV: Molly’s dream
92From the Superintendent’s Desk
92Across the Fence: Building Barns
92A Stray Moment: All's well that ends well, usually
92From the Superintendent’s Desk - Option Enrollment
92Across the Fence - Boston: April 18, 1775
92From the Pastor's Pen: Lord, teach us to pray
92A Halloween Story: The scary dream
92Across the Fence: The Battle of Coon Creek
91Across the Fence: On The road
91The ghost of Ayn Rand
91From the Superintendent’s Desk: Accountability
91A Stray Moment: World War Two is not forgotten
91Across the Fence; Prelude to the Red River War of 1874
91Observations Only: Gone away
91Across the Fence: On the Old Chisholm Trail
91Across the Fence: The Spring Creek Raid
91Jane’s Secret XLVII: A stormy afternoon
91In the Hills: Nebraska Bighorn Sheep
91Anno Domini: The Textbook of Freedom
91A look at - and helping - the State of the Valley
90Across the Fence: The Wellnitz Fire, day 1 and 2
90From the Superintendent’s Desk - District purchase of building
90Jane’s Secret, Part XVIV: Crystal Waters
90Across the Fence: Cheyenne County, Nebraska: cattle country
90Observations Only: Temptation
90Observations Only: The shadow of error
90Across The Fence: Union Pacific robbery at Big Springs
90The Good Life: The lasting effects of bullying
90Teen Voice:  Body bashing and self-image
90The Good Life: Today we celebrate Global Oneness Day
90Across The Fence: Moc-chi, A Southern Cheyenne warrior
90Across The Fence: Scalped at Plum Creek
89The Good Life: Hey, I’m a winner!
89Across the Fence: First scalp for Custer
89From the Superintendent's Desk: NePAS – State Accountability
89Teen Voice: The need to get away
89Jane's Secret, XXXI: Sixes and sevens
89Observations Only: Indifferent love
89Across The Fence: Crow Dog, Spotted Tail’s assassin
89Observations Only: A sad week
89Final Point: Golf, cross country feats headline fall season successes
89Across the Fence: Old barns and memories
89Across the Fence: David F. Cook and ‘Indian Joe’
89Building Bridges: Oregon Trail Days—making our present a celebrated past
88Life in the Rearview Mirror: Cleaning off the ‘what if’ shelf
88Across the Fence: Dull Knife’s Quest: Part 2 of 2
88Observations Only: Sisters lost, part IV
88Our View: Pipeline not a solution to oil problems
88Across The Fence: The Heartland plague of 1874-75
88Teen Voice: Silence
88Building Bridges: Celebrating the Bulldog homecoming
88No-Till Notes: Plan to attend 2014 No-Till Conference
88No-Till Notes: "Different Approaches"
87Jane’s Secret, part XI: Grand Duchess
87Teen Voice: I guess it’s just a western Nebraska thing
87Across the Fence: A boy called Slon-Ha
87A Stray Moment: Tacos! Our embarrassment of riches
87Completely Different: The mystery of Vivian Maier
87Observations Only: The need to understand
87Lyman Review: Goat-chasing cardio
87Across the Fence: A Cowboy kind of Christmas
87Across The Fence: Justice in the Big Horn Basin
87Across the Fence: Six went to the gallows
87Building Bridges: Supporting our teachers supports our children
87No-Till Notes: "Harvest"
86Across the Fence: Submarines and railroads
86Life in the West: Inside the minds of serial killers
86Across the Fence: Tomb of the Unknown
86Observations Only: A soul's journey, part III
86Guest Voice: If I could do it over again
86Jane’s secret, XXVI: The suitcase
86Teeing Off: Persistence
86Anno Domini: The memorial nobody wants
86No-Till Notes: Annual PNTP Tour
85Across the Fence: The Soldier’s Free Homestead Colony of Gibbon
85Teen Voice: Today’s television
85Observations Only: Divine spirit
85Teeing Off: Around the Green
85A Stray Moment: Learning how to walk
85Lyman Review: Devil calf
85Anno Domini: On this remembering day
85Totally Random: My journey, life after living
85At the Library: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
84Jane’s Secret, part VI: Molly’s surprise
84Across the Fence: Consumed by fire
84Across the Fence: Mud Springs revisited
84Across the Fence: Faded photos and vivid memories
84From the Superintendent's Desk: Election over – work begins
84The Good Life: The best Christmas gift
84Across the Fence: Fort Mitchell on the Great Platte River Road
84A Stray Moment: - The case for Hagel
84Jane’s Secret, part XXII: While the cat’s away
84Across The Fence: Billy Dixon at Adobe Walls, June 1874
84Building Bridges: Observing bullies, abuse and pastors
84Thinking About Health: The challenge of signing up for Obamacare
84Across the Fence: New eyes on the Panhandle
84Building Bridges: Love your enemies
84Across the Fence: Amanda
84
83Life in the Rearview Mirror: I’m on a road to someplace
83Observations Only: Critical thinking
83Observations Only: Sisters lost, part III
83Completely Different: The bucket list phenomenon
83From the Pastor's Pen: Unbelievable breaking news
83A Stray Moment: Earth Day, am I doing my part?
83Observations Only: Beginnings
83A Stray Moment: A voice from the past, haunting myself
83Observations Only: Divine prompts
83Across the Fence: Roy Bean; scoundrel with a law book
83Building Bridges: Dive into summer—dive into living
83Jane’s Secret XLVIII: Jane’s agenda
83Building Bridges: Fair time—learn, respect, appreciate, enjoy!
83Reach out for challenges
82Completely Different: Tales from the mat
82From the Superintendent’s Desk: Parents’ role in the educational process
82Our View: County Manager option leads to Good Old Boys' Club
82Observations Only: Journey's end
82Teen Voice: What senior year taught me
82Life in the Rearview Mirror: Experiencing life passion
82Teen Voice: Dealing with stress
82Observations Only: A gift of serenity
82Teen Voice: Until we say goodbye
82Observations Only: The unvarnished truth
82Jane's Secret XXXIV: Gin Rummy
82Dear Fellow Nebraskans: Collegebound Nebraska
82Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret XLIV: Jail break
82Building Bridges: Don’t wait to develop
82History Revisited:A Stray Moment: Life (and death) on the Oregon Trail
82Across the Fence: Aftermath: Part III, The Battle of Summit Springs
81Lyman Review: Hubby’s got my goat
81Theatre West’s Cabaret torch burns brightly
81A Stray Moment: Waiting on a train
81Across the Fence: Places near forgotten
81Observations Only: Curious things
81Observations Only: Sisters lost, part two
81Teen Voice: Go ahead, make my day
81Teen Voice: Say yes to branching out
81Anno Domini: Independence, an ideal worth celebrating
81Capitol View: Lincoln Highway captures spotlight
81Observations Only: A good daughter
81Lyman Review: The love goat
81Teen Voice: Nobody else can lower you
81Building Bridges: Awards are only part of our success
81Final Point: Citizen receives first honor for ‘Final Point’
81No-Till Notes: Last chance for North, South Dakota tour
81
80Being a Nebraskan – border to border
80From the Superintendent’s Desk: Get ready for Parent-teacher conferences
80Life in the Rearview Mirror: I hate coffee
80Observations Only: Expect the best, part II
80Completely Different: Hey there, four eyes!
80Teen Voice: Remember what you have
80Building Bridges: Following the spirit of Gering
80Jane’s Secret XXXVII: A starry night
80Lyman Review: The elusive farm cat
80Teen Voice: My rebellion
80Building Bridges: Being grateful for the hardships in life
80Across The Fence: A day For thanks
80Anno Domini: We gather together
80Across the Fence: The Cholera Corridor
80No-Till Notes: Cheat grass
80No-til Notes: Changing plans
80In the Hills: Awesome Amphibians and Rough Reptiles
80No-Till Notes: American Society of Agronomy
80Building Bridges: Seeking a big win out of the 4th quarter
79The Block
79Teen Voice: Respond to defeat
79Observations Only: Curious things, part II
79Across the Fence: Wasicu Wakan
79Across the Fence: Fact, fiction or fragmented dreams?
79Across the Fence: The Pony Express
79Observations Only: A matter of paradox
79The Good Life: We are the Valley’s emissaries
79A Small World: Chokecherry season evokes memories of yesterday
79Teen Voice - On the outside looking In
79Lyman Review: One mean chicken
79Jane’s Secret XXXVI:  The dream
79Teen Voice: The gift of caring
79Building Bridges: Tend to 2014 and be Happy, Happy, Happy
79Building Bridges: Objectivity and fairness make a winning plan
79Across the Fence: Investigation at Spring Creek
79Be kind through communications
78Guest Editorial: Fischer will see U.S. ‘living within means’
78Miss Movies: Ten great horror flicks for Halloween, part I
78Observations Only: Uneventful flight
78Observations Only: A matter of matter
78Observations Only: Off to the races
78Observations Only: The awful truth
78Across The Fence: First train from Saply Grove
78SBNM View: Do you want to be a VIP?
78At the Library: “My Name is Resolute” By Nancy E. Turner
78Across the Fence: Deserters or outcasts; Three who left (Part II)
77Observations only : Sisters of the world
77Across the Fence: The much maligned Ms. Watson
77A Stray Moment: On Canada and the forgotten bicentennial
77Observations Only: Just around the corner
77From the Superintendent’s Desk: Current enrollment count
77Miss Movies: Ten movies for romance
77A Stray Moment: In praise of encouragement
77A Small World: Savoring county fair days
77Jane’s Secret XXXV: Bugs and things
77Teen Voice: Stress test
77The Good Life: A holiday recipe for peace
77Across The Fence: Mustangs on Pumpkin Creek
77Across the Fence: The Colorado Coalfield War
77No-Till Notes:Enjoyable meeting
77In the Hills: Get to Know Our Feathered Travelers
77Across The Fence: Deserters or Outcasts; Three who left. (Part I)
77
76Across the Fence: Just For the Thrill of It
76Cat on a Hot Tin Roof a mixed bag
76Observations Only: Giving up
76Across the Fence : November 1864: Pole Creek, Politics and Patriots
76Jane’s Secret, part XX: Change of plans
76Observations Only: Expect the best
76Political Cartoon by Doug Hoevet
76Teeing Off: Lessons learned from golf
76The Good Life: Innovation and young energy enriches us all
76Observations Only: The visit
76Lyman Review: Now that's a set of handlebars!
76Across The Fence: Last Christmas
76Dear Fellow Nebraskans: We Are Proud of the Nebraska National Guard
76Across the Fence: Prelude to Battle
76Prairie Dogs
75Jane’s Secret, part II: Gertrude’s choice
75Observations Only: A new direction
75It's no surprise
75Observations Only: The meeting
75Teen Voice: Catfished
75Teen Voice: Being a girl
75The Good Life: Mom, my partner in life
75Observations Only: The vision
75Observations Only: Final moment
75Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret, XLII: Sunflowers
75View from Capitol Hill: Solutions for our economy and the budget
75New at the Zoo: Volunteer at the Zoo
75Jane’s Secret XLVI: Sour grapes
75Across The Fence: The Eighth Wonder of the World
74Observations Only: Little Girl Lost, part six
74Across the fence: Something worth remembering
74Across the Fence: A hometown 4th of July
74A Stray Moment: It's a dog's life
74Teen Voice: Serendipity
74Jane’s Secret, part XXI: Gertrude’s Agenda
74Political Cartoon by Doug Hoevet
74Observations Only: Good and evil
74Teen Voice: Go ahead, make my day
74Observations Only: Choices
74A Stray Moment: Without a net
74Observations Only: Waiting time
74Observations Only: Saint Marge
74Teen Voice: Is respect dead?
74Building Bridges: Planning now for tourism season 2014
74 Across the Fence: Remembering Armistice Day
74Building Bridges: Serve on the school board—or say no more
74Building Bridges: Pause a moment...save a child’s life
74At the Monument: Junior Rangers
74Sychronicity: Thrive, don't just survive
74
74At the Monument: Night Sky
74No Till Notes: Final Stop
74At the Monument: Bird Homes at the Bluff
73Observations Only: Scourge of violence
73Observations Only: Going home
73Completely Different: The good, the bad, and the remedy
73Observations Only: A soul's journey, part two
73Observations Only: Willfulness
73Teen Voice: Body image
73
73Building Bridges: “New” will become a buzzword in the Valley
73Jane’s Secret, XXXVIII: Bad girls
73Teen Voice: My School, Their Rules
73Across the Fence: Remembering English Joe
73Building Bridges: Asking officials to speak and work as a body
72Observations Only : The orphanage
72Observations Only: Blinders aren’t just for horses
72Teen Voice: Experiencing versus remembering
72Jane’s Secret, part VII Clem’s confession
72A Stray Moment: In praise of silence
72A Stray Moment: Ready for the storm
72Observations Only: The two faces of poverty
72Life in the Rearview Mirror: The Moments we live for
72The Good Life: A farm girl in my heart
72Capitol View: Wild life proposal costly but worthwhile
72Observations Only: A fine line
72Jane’s Secret, XXIX: Fred’s debacle
72Welcome to Gering and the 92nd Oregon Trail Days Celebration.
72Observations Only: Afraid of the dark
72Teen Voice: Holiday horrors
72Building Bridges: Be American - help your candidate
72Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret XLV: Gun smoke
72Building Bridges: #speaklife is a goal for students, a goal for all
72
71It's a small world : Everything we do has meaning
71Lyman Review: Let’s get back to the subject of bullying
71A Stray Moment - Celebrating Gering's Quasquicentennial
71The hills, part 1: Mustangs
71Observations Only: Blue chip stock
71Completely Different: Happy Hollowthanksmas
71Jane’s Secret, part XVIII : Devil’s bargain
71From the Superintendent’s Desk: Summer School – 2013
71Our View: The elephant in the room
71Teen Voice: By my side until the newness wears off
71The Good Life - The worst day on record at the Citizen
71Life in the Rearview Mirror: Work is more than a four-letter word
71The Good Life: The two different types of business people
71Observations Only: A day in August
71Miss Movies: Miss Movies recommends her top 10 films of 2013
71Coach Schadwinkel promoted strong sense of tradition
71Capitol View: The 103rd Legislature is history … finally
71Linked Lives
71Lyman Review: Sheep Royalty
71Letter to the editor
71Fourth of July meetings
70A last look at the Nebraska Zone
70Teen Voice: Let us be beautiful
70Across the Fence: The Great Solomon River Stampede
70A Small World: Scotts Bluff Valley Fiber Arts Fair classes offer great variety
70Observations Only: Sister odyssey
70Observations Only: North Powder
70Across the Fence: Thanks for the memory
70From the Superintendent’s Desk: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
70Across the Fence: Wounded Knee; December 29, 1890
70Observations Only: Sister lost
70From the Superintendent’s Desk - Parent Teacher Conferences
70Teen Voice: Previously unwritten cell phone rules
70The Good Life: Extending grace, the lost art
70Completely Different: I go to seek a Great Perhaps
70Teeing Off: The thing about state
70Totally Random: October, the pink month
70Teen Voice: Self-expression
70Lyman Review: Nudge to the Butt
70Dear Nebraskans: Massachusetts should not determine Nebraska’s Presidential vote
70In the Hills: Explore the state parks
70Fellow Nebraskans: Congratulations on graduation day
69Time keeps flowing like a river
69The Good Life: Campaign ad using Jesus goes too far
69From the Superintendent’s Desk : Thank You for another Great Year
69Jane’s Secret, part V: Aggie’s complaint
69Observations Only: The joy of money
69Miss Movies: Ten great horror flicks for Halloween, part 2
69From the Superintendent's Desk: PLAS School
69Teen Voice: The benefits of online learning
69A Stray Moment: God Knows
69Teen Voice: Do It Anyway
69Totally Random: Life’s ripples
69Teen Voice: The rivalry
69Observations Only: The vigil
69Lyman Review: Taste of boot?
69Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret, XLIII: Jail house rock
69No-till Notes: Moving forward
69Capitol View: Legislature overrides gubernatorial vetoes
69What’s really going on with our water?
69Jack’s Insights: Knowing harvest
68Observations Only: Little Girl Lost: Adopted
68Age of reason
68Observations Only: Extreme measures
68Teen Voice: On becoming politically active
68A Stray Moment : Carry the weight
68Five Good Reasons to Create an Investment Strategy
68From the Superintendent’s Desk - Haig and Aurora Buildings
68Completely Different - The magic of spring
68The Good Life: People of the Valley, we have a choice
68Life in the Rearview Mirror: Greensburg strong
68Teeing Off: Mind Gym
68Teen Voice: Saying Goodbye
68A Small World: Legends week promises fun for everyone
68Observations Only: One more time
68Observations Only: Fuzzy angel
68Observations Only: The last goodbye
68Anno Domini: Ask the digital dust
68Building Bridges: Building us up to be what others see
68No-Till Notes: Looking Back
68At the Monument: Art in National Parks
68Website Resources
68For the love of the game – best courses in the valley
68Teen Voice: The clock is ticking
68Gering freshmen introduce personalities, styles: Writing assignment encourages students to let individualism shine
67Observations Only: Sisters lost, part I
67Observations Only: Little girl lost, part 3
67Trash cans
67Observations Only: Painting a picture
67A Stray Moment: The last time
67The Good Life: Leave the quilt shop and laundromat alone
67Observations Only: A strange Thanksgiving
67Observations Only: Musings of an odd duck
67Teen: Voice : Drinking enough water
67Life in the Rearview Mirror: Personal control of an individual response
67Teen Voice: Living within our means
67Lyman Review: Something wicked this way comes
67Totally Random: Happy Halloween
67Teen Voice: Family for all intents and purposes
67Updates from NRD: NRD promotes conservation
67Notes from NRD: Thanks agricultural producers
67Capitol View: Redistricting needs new procedure
66Teen Voice: Confessions of the financially disabled
66Observations Only: Saturday delight
66Lyman Review - Tales of the renegade rooster
66Completely Different: Confessions of an out of shape twenty something
66The Good Life: A very interesting meeting indeed
66Guest Voices…
66Teen Voice: Shadow art
66Completely Different: Perfect memories made in imperfect moments
66Teen Voice: The Other Side
66Our View: Childcare not school district’s role
66Our View: Confidentiality agreement disrespectful
66Lyman Review: Branding Time
66At the Library: “I Shall Be Near to You” By Erin Lindsay McCabe
65A Small World: Time traveling
65Completely Different: Remembering Aurora
65Teen Voice: The more the merrier
65Teen Voice: Not just another ride
65A Stray Moment: Guilty pleasures
65Completely Different: What’s speech got to do with it?
65Teen Voice: Indulge In moderation
65Teen Voice: The daily struggle to a lifelong battle
65Teen Voice: Where is the love?
65In the Hills: Arbor Day in Nebraska
65Washington Report: Honoring America’s heroes
65Their View: Goal post move unfair
64Observations Only : Mission accomplished
64Completely Different: Your local government and you
64Observations Only - Two ages of man
64The zombie apocalypse and you
64Jane's Secret, part X: The arrival
64From the Superintendent's Desk: Thank You
64Silence please
64From the Superintendent's Desk: Elementary attendance areas
64Observations Only: No thank you
64From the Superintendent's Desk: School Safety and Security
64From the Superintendent’s Desk: Early Childhood Education
64Teen Voice: Pinning your interest
64Up The Creek Without A Paddle: The NRD wants to do what with your money?
64Update From the NRD: Winter has arrived
64Observations Only: The last toothpick
64Totally Random: Trusting the fates
64Teen Voice: Footprints
64Religious freedom must be protected
64Teen Voice: Home is where the heart is
64Across The Fence: Ms. Goodale and the Ghost Dance War (Part II of III)
63Elizabeth's top ten movie list of 2011
63Teen Voice : Leave your legacy
63My mini Pen and me
63Economic development update
63Teen Voice: The road of hatred
63Observations Only: Together again
63Completely Different: The Mind Palace Memory Technique
63Observations Only: Surprises
63Teen Voice: Twitter as sleep criminal
63Teen Voice: Learning calculus more than numbers
63Observations Only: Hog wash
63Teen Voice: Sticks and stones
63Teen Voice: Shopping days or holidays?
63Teen Voice: To the future
63At the Monument: That old (historic) building
63Support emergency services personnel
63Capitol View: The Legislature did provide tax relief
63Synchronicity:What brings me back
62Teen Voice: Just ten minutes
62Do You Tube?
62The Good Life: Our most precious right, gagged
62Observations Only: Spider adventure
62Teen Voice: Eighth day of the week - Someday
62Teen Voice: Equality
62I'm falling for Tumblr?
62Completely Different: Do you know John Green?
62Life in the Rearview Mirror: Adapt and adjust
62Our View: Why rush the interlocal agreement?
62Guest Editorial: The future of health care at Regional West
62Our View: Community responsible for kids
62Teen Voice: Writing love on our hearts
62Lyman Review: Dog fun
62Mayor’s Monthly: Moving on Gering’s momentum
62Letters to the Editor
62Building Bridges: Know DOVES and know about domestic violence
61Completely Different: Look around, what are you missing?
61SELL-OUT!
61Teen Voice: Sticks and stones
61 Taking a big risk
61Home of the Brave
61Remembering When
61Teen Voice: Sit back and enjoy YouTube
61Teen Voice: Happy news
61Teen Voice: I’ll be healthy – tomorrow
61Lyman Review: Winter's dog
61Teen Voice: Trouble Maker or Hard Worker?
61Teen Voice: Cyber War
61View of the Zoo: VIPs at RCD
61Capitol View: Delay tactics a gamble as session draws to a close
61Capital View: Can prison reform survive property tax relief?
60The Good Life: Your dollar is a vote for what you care about
60Life's curve balls
60Welcome to Gering
60Completely Different: The Hills, part 2: The Civilian Conservation Corps
60Miss Movies: Top Ten Holiday Films
60From the Hill: More Work Ahead
60Nature Notes: Love is in the air
60Capitol View: State aid proposal just might make some sense
60Capitol View: Clock keeps tickin,’ many issues remain unresolved
60No-Till Notes: Back in the field
59View from the block
59From the Superintendent's Desk: Student transportation changes for 2012-13
59LETTER TO THE EDITOR: No tax state unrealistic
59Miss Movies: Top ten holiday films, part II
59Christmas stories from Freshman Academy students
59No-Till Notes: Joe Franks Memorial
59At the Library: March into a good book
59Totally Random: Where does it go?
59At the Zoo: Spring in to the zoo
58Curiosity Corner : The tale of the travelling train station
58Teen Voice: Thank you, Gering Speech Team
58Teen Voice: 'Pretty Little Liars'
58Observations Only: What's in a word?
58Observations Only: Counting chickens
58Guest Editorial: Bob Kerrey is the true fiscal conservative
58Completely Different: How the savings stole Christmas
58The Good Life: We are not separate, we are one family
58The Good Life: A time to be proud of our ancestors
58Teen Voice: Thanksgiving
58Why you should visit the zoo in February
58Capitol View: Legislature to tackle meatier issues
58Gering ninth graders answer the questions of life
57We need a few good people
57Livestock Production: My Paradigm Shift
57Our View: Mayor should insist on civility
57LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Gering Public Schools seeks imput
57Teen Voice: Practice makes perfect
57Their View: Hey Gering, mind your own business!
57Capitol View: Considering additional education choices
57No-Till Notes: “Fish and Mud”
57No Till Notes: Colorado Conservation Tillage Association Conference
56Life in the Rearview Mirror: Invisible scars have lasting effects
56Our view... Gering stands upon important threshold
56Letter to the Editor
56Our View... Preserve Gering’s form of government
56Completely Different: The Quest
56Teen Voice: Lessons I learned from my eight-year-old brother
56Pulpit of Bones: Man's best friend
56From the Superintendent's Desk: Our goal: Improve student performance
56Completely Different: The Hills, part 3: Rediscovering the spirit
56Observations Only: Wilkerson Pass
56Dear Nebraskans: Nebraska is the place for business
56Teen Voice: Inspire me
56Dear Fellow Nebraskans: Governor’s Ag Conference overview
55Our View: Museum merger a good thing, but let’s go slowly
55From the Superintendent's Desk: Why so soon?
55Teen Voice: Outbreak of the Gamers
55The Good Life: The economic footprint of one small business
55Teen Voice: What is love?
55Dear Nebraskans: Technology helps serve Nebraskans
55Capitol View: It sounded like a good idea at first
55Capitol View: There was more to the session than just the big ticket items
54Teen Voice: March Madness
54Life in the west: Betting on the end of the world
54Teen Voice: An eventful homecoming
54From the Superintendent's Desk: State report card
54Teen Voice: Hope for a New Year
53Our View: Scottsbluff attitude damages future collaborations
53Timing makes perfect
53From the Superintendent's Desk: School year now in full swing
53Life in the Rearview Mirror: Life enhancing memories
53Updates from NRD: Happy New Year
52Teen Voice: Not according to the plan
52Our View: Extreme caution needed with fireworks
52Update from the NRD: March updates from the NRD
52From the Capitol: The conduct we choose reflects our character
51Our view . . .Sports Complex
51Bright Ideas, Brighter Future: Leaving a Legacy
51Seeing the works of the master
51Miss Movies: The top ten films of 2012: The year of the geek
51Our View: Come home to Nebraska, but not just anywhere
51Rural America and immigration reform
50Life in the Rearview Mirror: Is it possible to just drive in the 21st Century?
50Practice safe barbecue basics
49Permission to remember
48Social time has important benefits
48Life in the Rearview Mirror: The cumulative effects of giving
48Greetings from the State Capitol
47Letter to Editor clarifies drug testing policy
47Capitol View: Yes, Virginia, the Legislature has done something, so far
46My Thanksgiving prayer
46Teen Voice: Making sense of the Sandy Hook tragedy
45Bright Ideas! Brighter Future! Common sense prevails
45Rural mail will suffer with more mail plant closures
43Our View: Bravo OTD committee
43Our View: County has some ‘splainin’ to do
41Our View: Visionaries wanted
41Across The Fence: Ms. Goodale and The Ghost Dance War (Part III)
36
6Letter to the Editor
5Curiosity Corner: The Boss of the Plains
Dominos Pizza
Fresh Foods
Spectrum Photo
Kendell Henderson