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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13387Across The Fence: Portugee Phillips and a horse named Dandy
3872We need a few good people
3065What's the deal with organic milk?
2748Jane’s Secret, XXXX: A tale of mayhem
2286Across the Fence: Roosevelt’s campaign tour of the west
2190Being a Nebraskan – border to border
2163The Good Life: Today we celebrate Global Oneness Day
2131Across the Fence: The Soldier’s Free Homestead Colony of Gibbon
2102Completely Different: It's all in the family
2028Completely Different: The Disney princess debate: an exercise in the ridiculous
1979Completely Different : Could you come down off your soap box please?
1966Lyman Review: Let’s get back to the subject of bullying
1948Elizabeth's top ten movie list of 2011
1904Life in the Rearview Mirror: Invisible scars have lasting effects
1902Teen Voice: Thank you, Gering Speech Team
1888Our View... Preserve Gering’s form of government
1875Jane’s Secret, part II: Gertrude’s choice
1852The Good Life: Campaign ad using Jesus goes too far
1827A Small World: Time traveling
1816Our View: Museum merger a good thing, but let’s go slowly
1789Teen Voice: Just ten minutes
1779Completely Different: Tales from the mat
1767Time keeps flowing like a river
1745A last look at the Nebraska Zone
1738Life in the west: Betting on the end of the world
1732Our View: Mayor should insist on civility
1729Completely Different: Look around, what are you missing?
1728Totally Random: Astrology: It’s all in the stars…
1721Letter to the Editor
1700Observations Only : The orphanage
1697My mini Pen and me
1683Teen Voice: March Madness
1678Observations Only : Mission accomplished
1662Our view . . .Sports Complex
1651Completely Different: Your local government and you
1649Observations Only: Little Girl Lost: Adopted
1639Observations Only: Sisters lost, part I
1636Observations only : Sisters of the world
1636Livestock Production: My Paradigm Shift
1632Bright Ideas! Brighter Future! Common sense prevails
1628Our view... Gering stands upon important threshold
1623Curiosity Corner : The tale of the travelling train station
1622From the Pastor's Pen: Unbelievable breaking news
1620Bright Ideas, Brighter Future: Leaving a Legacy
1619Observations Only: Little girl lost, part 3
1600Observations Only: Little Girl Lost, part six
1591Miss Movies: Ten great horror flicks for Halloween, part I
1585Completely Different: The good, the bad, and the remedy
1577It's a small world : Everything we do has meaning
1568Teen Voice : Leave your legacy
1552Our View: Scottsbluff attitude damages future collaborations
1550Teen Voice: What diabetes taught me
1522Across the Fence: James Butler Hickok: The thoughtful gunfighter
1508Across the Fence: All aboard the Transcontinental Express
1490From the Superintendent’s Desk - Parent Teacher Conferences
1485Across the Fence: Ah-ho-appa (fallen leaf)
1447Across the Fence: Bose Ikard; Texas Cowboy
1420Jane’s Secret, XXX: A new wrinkle
1418Across the fence: Something worth remembering
1389Jane’s Secret, part XVIII : Devil’s bargain
1389Totally Random: December 6, the day I lived
1340Across the Fence - Catherine’s boys
1311Completely Different: The Quest
1307Our View: Come home to Nebraska, but not just anywhere
1277Teen Voice: Don’t be fooled by fads
1222Miss Movies: Miss Movies recommends her top 10 films of 2013
1209Totally Random: The Golden Rule
1200Barr’s Bacon Wrapped Fantasy Picks: A rookie's guide to drafting your dream team
1183Across the Fence: Building Barns
1182Jane’s Secret, XXIV: The last drive
1180The Good Life: Extending grace, the lost art
1148Across the Fence: Sioux Ordnance Depot: stories to be told
1147Theatre West’s Cabaret torch burns brightly
1143Across The Fence: Union Pacific robbery at Big Springs
1140From the Superintendent's Desk: Thank You
1139Life in the Rearview Mirror: I’m on a road to someplace
1139From the Superintendent’s Desk: Get ready for Parent-teacher conferences
1136Dear Fellow Nebraskans: Governor’s Ag Conference overview
1126Observations Only: A soul’s journey
1120Across the Fence: Lions, wolves and bears
1114Building Bridges: Save the world, educate through agriculture
1104Observations Only: Blinders aren’t just for horses
1103From the Superintendent's Desk: NePAS – State Accountability
1103Across the Fence: Dull Knife’s Quest, part 1
1099Totally Random: Hemp: considering the real benefits of the miracle plant
1094No-Till Notes: Plan to attend 2014 No-Till Conference
1088Across the Fence: Burnett’s Mound and the Topeka tornado
1081Our view: Gering’s future needs your vote
1074Jane’s Secret, XXIII: Molly’s plan
1072From the Superintendent’s Desk: Welcome to new certified staff
1069Life in the West: Inside the minds of serial killers
1067The Good Life: Through my father’s eyes
1066Across the Fence: Wyoming settlers lay siege to the TA Ranch
1064From the Superintendent’s Desk - Option Enrollment
1058Across the Fence: Class of ’67, last remnants of home
1056Jane’s Secret, XXV: Mysteries
1052A Stray Moment: Merry Christmas – God save us all
1051Cat on a Hot Tin Roof a mixed bag
1047Completely Different: It’s the end of the world as we know it
1041Across The Fence: Crow Dog, Spotted Tail’s assassin
1040Across the Fence: Dull Knife’s Quest: Part 2 of 2
1037A Stray Moment : Carry the weight
1034Jane’s Secret, part XI: Grand Duchess
1030Across the Fence: On The road
1029From the Superintendent’s Desk: Early Childhood Education
1026Jane’s Secret, XXXIII: Night walk
1021From the Superintendent’s Desk : Thank You for another Great Year
1017Completely Different: New Year’s Resolutions
1016Jane’s Secret, part VI: Molly’s surprise
1012The Good Life: Hey, I’m a winner!
1012Assad’s endgame
1012Completely Different: The game is afoot, a look at Sherlock Holmes
1009Across the Fence: Judge Roy Bean : Texas prizefight promoter
1007Jane’s Secret, part XIII: Blackberry pie
1006Jane’s Secret, part IX: Mrs. Huber’s chagrin
994Jane’s Secret, part XX: Change of plans
989Observations Only - Two ages of man
989Jane’s Secret, part VII Clem’s confession
989Lyman Review: Hubby’s got my goat
989Across the Fence: Discovering Ed Stemler
982Jane’s Secret, part VIII: Molly's plan
982Guest Editorial: Fischer will see U.S. ‘living within means’
981Teen Voice: I guess it’s just a western Nebraska thing
979The Good Life: Your dollar is a vote for what you care about
977A Stray Moment: All's well that ends well, usually
967Across the Fence: Consumed by fire
962Miss Movies: “Bully” a powerful documentary
961From the Superintendent’s Desk: Thanks for the memories
960Across the Fence: The Spirit of Crazy Horse
956From the Superintendent’s Desk - Haig and Aurora Buildings
951A Stray Moment: Earth Day, am I doing my part?
947A Small World: Savoring county fair days
939Jane’s Secret, part XVII : Plans gone awry
934Observations Only: Painting a picture
933Jane’s Secret, part XVI: Fate takes a hand
931Thinking About Health: The challenge of signing up for Obamacare
926Across the Fence: The Great Solomon River Stampede
920From the Superintendent’s Desk: Accountability
920Life in the Rearview Mirror: I hate coffee
919Jane’s Secret, part V: Aggie’s complaint
915Across The Fence: Billy Dixon; Plainsman, Hunter, Indian fighter and Scout
913Jane’s Secret, Part XVIV: Crystal Waters
910Across the Fence: The Wellnitz Fire, day 1 and 2
910Completely Different: That’s so Pinteresting
909Teen Voice: Today’s television
908Jane’s Secret, part XIV: Molly’s dream
908Across the Fence: Black Hills Gold and the Thoen Stone
906Across the Fence: Mud Springs revisited
902Across The Fence: The Hat Creek Outpost
899Jane’s Secret, part XV: Unrequited love
898Across the Fence: The much maligned Ms. Watson
896Across the Fence: First scalp for Custer
896Across The Fence: Celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Chadron to Chicago Cowboy Race, part I
891Teen Voice: New Year’s goals
891Jane’s Secret, XXVIII: Lame Johnny
890Jane’s Secret, part XXII: While the cat’s away
886Across the Fence: Just For the Thrill of It
886Our View: County Manager option leads to Good Old Boys' Club
882Across the Fence: Sitting Bull: The Last Surrendering Sioux
881Across the Fence: A hometown 4th of July
878A Small World: Chokecherry season evokes memories of yesterday
876From the Superintendent’s Desk: Current enrollment count
875Teen Voice: What senior year taught me
874From the Superintendent’s Desk
873From the Superintendent’s Desk: Parents’ role in the educational process
871The zombie apocalypse and you
870Jane’s Secret, part XII: Jane's Vow
870From the Superintendent’s Desk: Summer School – 2013
868Across The Fence: A day For thanks
867From the Superintendent’s Desk - District purchase of building
867Miss Movies: Ten movies for romance
864Teen Voice: Learning calculus more than numbers
864From the Pastor's Pen: Lord, teach us to pray
863Observations Only: A new direction
855Life in the Rearview Mirror: Cleaning off the ‘what if’ shelf
852Teen Voice: Experiencing versus remembering
845Completely Different: What’s speech got to do with it?
845Across the Fence - Boston: April 18, 1775
843 Across the Fence: ‘Aunt Sally’ and Dakota Gold
842From the Superintendent’s Desk : Draft Calendar 2013-14
841Teen Voice: Fifty reasons to smile
841Across the Fence: Fort Mitchell on the Great Platte River Road
839Across the Fence: Submarines and railroads
838Completely Different: The Marilyn Monroe conundrum
837Observations Only: Giving up
835Teen Voice: Respond to defeat
833Across the Fence: Faded photos and vivid memories
826Trash cans
820Completely Different: Confessions of an out of shape twenty something
820Jane’s Secret, part XXI: Gertrude’s Agenda
819A Stray Moment - Celebrating Gering's Quasquicentennial
819A Stray Moment: Star Trek: Infinite diversity in infinite combinations
817From the Superintendent's Desk: Election over – work begins
815The hills, part 1: Mustangs
814A Stray Moment: In praise of silence
814Teen Voice: The road of hatred
814From the Superintendent’s Desk: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
813The Good Life: Our most precious right, gagged
813Jane’s Secret, XXVII: Town Meeting
812Lyman Review - Tales of the renegade rooster
811From the Superintendent's Desk: Elementary attendance areas
810Teen Voice: Let us be beautiful
806Teen Voice: 'Pretty Little Liars'
805Observations Only: The joy of money
805Totally Random: I’m a backwards reader
804Across the Fence: Bloody Pocket, the final battle
804Observations Only: Sisters lost, part IV
803The Good Life: It’s hard to believe, the Citizen is four years old
802Teen Voice: Catfished
799From the Superintendent’s Desk - Financial Outlook for Gering Public Schools
795Teen Voice: The more the merrier
795The Good Life: The best Christmas gift
794The Block
793Completely Different: The Hills, part 3: Rediscovering the spirit
792Observations Only: Saturday delight
791Teen Voice: Lessons I learned from my eight-year-old brother
791A Stray Moment: Waiting on a train
791Completely Different: The mystery of Vivian Maier
791At the Library: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
789Anno Domini: Independence, an ideal worth celebrating
788Across the Fence: Cynthia Ann Parker, Comanche captive
787A Stray Moment: Now is the winter of our disconnect
783A Stray Moment: God Knows
783Thinking about Health: Getting insurance under the Affordable Care Act
781Observations Only: Sisters lost, part III
777Life in the Rearview Mirror: Greensburg strong
773From the Superintendent's Desk: School year now in full swing
772A Stray Moment: On Canada and the forgotten bicentennial
772Observations Only: Curious things
770Life's curve balls
769Across the Fence: Fact, fiction or fragmented dreams?
768Jane's Secret, part X: The arrival
768Across the Fence: Rural free delivery
768A Stray Moment: Without a net
766 Taking a big risk
766Across the Fence: A Cheyenne weekend
762A Stray Moment: Tacos! Our embarrassment of riches
762The Good Life: Mom, my partner in life
761Completely Different: The Mind Palace Memory Technique
760Completely Different: Remembering Aurora
760A Stray Moment: It's a dog's life
760Jane’s Secret, XXIX: Fred’s debacle
759A Stray Moment: I love Sookie Stackhouse
758Completely Different: The Hills, part 2: The Civilian Conservation Corps
758Across the Fence: Celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Chadron to Chicago Cowboy Race, part II
756Teen Voice: Sticks and stones
756Teen Voice: Not just another ride
755The ghost of Ayn Rand
753Teen Voice: Confessions of the financially disabled
753Across the Fence: The hand dug well
752A Small World: Scotts Bluff Valley Fiber Arts Fair classes offer great variety
750Political Cartoon by Doug Hoevet
747Observations Only: Extreme measures
747Observations Only: Counting chickens
746Miss Movies: Ten great horror flicks for Halloween, part 2
745Seeing the works of the master
745Political Cartoon by Doug Hoevet
743From the Superintendent's Desk: PLAS School
741The Good Life: We are not separate, we are one family
739Timing makes perfect
739Our View: Extreme caution needed with fireworks
739Teen Voice: What’s so great about pizza?
738Across the Fence: Standing on the wagon
737Pulpit of Bones: Man's best friend
737The Good Life: Leave the quilt shop and laundromat alone
737Observations Only: Scourge of violence
737A Stray Moment: World War Two is not forgotten
735View from the block
734Teen Voice: Congratulations, you’re awful
732SELL-OUT!
730Observations Only: Just around the corner
730Observations Only: Going home
729Life in the Rearview Mirror: The Moments we live for
727Across the Fence: Wounded Knee; December 29, 1890
724A Stray Moment: The last time
723Across the Fence: When Fiddler quit running
722The Good Life: A farm girl in my heart
720Teen Voice: Not according to the plan
718Teen Voice: Gleek tragedy
717Welcome to Gering
717It's no surprise
717Completely Different: Happy Hollowthanksmas
716Observations Only: The two faces of poverty
715The Good Life: Christina Baker’s mom: Thank you
714A Stray Moment: A voice from the past, haunting myself
711Across the Fence: When Lady Luck sleeps
711Capitol View: Lincoln Highway captures spotlight
709Observations Only: Uneventful flight
709Rural America and immigration reform
708Teen Voice: Body image
706Our View: County has some ‘splainin’ to do
706A Stray Moment: - The case for Hagel
705A ‘city’ kid goes to the fair
704Completely Different: How the savings stole Christmas
703Observations Only: Surprises
703Teen Voice: Living within our means
702Across the Fence: Places near forgotten
702Jane’s Secret, XXXII Jane’s Bad Day
701Silence please
700Across the Fence : November 1864: Pole Creek, Politics and Patriots
700Life in the Rearview Mirror: Personal control of an individual response
699Do You Tube?
699A Stray Moment: Ready for the storm
699Our View: Pipeline not a solution to oil problems
699Across the Fence: Cheyenne County, Nebraska: cattle country
698Across the Fence: Tomb of the Unknown
698Observations Only: A soul's journey, part III
696Guest Editorial: Bob Kerrey is the true fiscal conservative
695Miss Movies: Top ten holiday films, part II
695Across the Fence: A boy called Slon-Ha
695The Good Life: The two different types of business people
695Observations Only: The awful truth
694Observations Only: No thank you
694Teen Voice: Twitter as sleep criminal
694Observations Only: A gift of serenity
693Observations Only: Musings of an odd duck
692Observations Only: What's in a word?
692The Good Life: We are the Valley’s emissaries
691Economic development update
690LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Gering Public Schools seeks imput
690Observations Only: Journey's end
690Completely Different: The bucket list phenomenon
688Age of reason
687From the Superintendent's Desk: Student transportation changes for 2012-13
686From the Superintendent's Desk: School Safety and Security
686Teen Voice: Shadow art
684Observations Only: Together again
684Observations Only: Critical thinking
684Teen: Voice : Drinking enough water
684Teen Voice: The benefits of online learning
683Teen Voice: Serendipity
681A Stray Moment: For the love of theatre
680Teen Voice: Sit back and enjoy YouTube
679Life in the Rearview Mirror: Is it possible to just drive in the 21st Century?
679Across the Fence: Thanks for the memory
679Guest Voice: If I could do it over again
676From the Superintendent's Desk: Our goal: Improve student performance
676Teen Voice: Eighth day of the week - Someday
675Miss Movies: The top ten films of 2012: The year of the geek
675Capitol View: Wild life proposal costly but worthwhile
674Teen Voice: An eventful homecoming
673Observations Only: North Powder
671Observations Only: A strange Thanksgiving
670Observations Only: Sister odyssey
670A Stray Moment - A night owl born to an 8 to 5 world
666Observations Only: Spider adventure
666Observations Only: Curious things, part II
665Completely Different: Hey there, four eyes!
665Completely Different: Perfect memories made in imperfect moments
663The Good Life: A very interesting meeting indeed
663A Stray Moment: Having a blast on the Fourth of July
663Across The Fence: Jules, Jack and lawless justice
660Completely Different: Do you know John Green?
660Life in the Rearview Mirror: The world is a stage
659Guest Voices…
658Across the Fence: Wasicu Wakan
658Teeing Off: Lessons learned from golf
657Observations Only: Blue chip stock
656Observations Only: Sister lost
655Totally Random: My journey, life after living
653Their View: Hey Gering, mind your own business!
649I'm falling for Tumblr?
646Teen Voice: On becoming politically active
644From the Superintendent's Desk: State report card
642Anno Domini: The memorial nobody wants
642Building Bridges: Cleaning up for company--or not--reveals a lot
640From the Superintendent's Desk: Why so soon?
640Teen Voice: Go ahead, make my day
639Permission to remember
637Observations Only: Expect the best, part II
637The Good Life: The lasting effects of bullying
636Across The Fence: The hanging of Cornelius Donahue a.k.a. John A. Hurley
635A Stray Moment: Guilty pleasures
632Jane’s secret, XXVI: The suitcase
632Completely Different: I go to seek a Great Perhaps
630My Thanksgiving prayer
630Observations Only: Sisters lost, part two
630Teen Voice: Dealing with stress
628Teen Voice: Being a girl
622Five Good Reasons to Create an Investment Strategy
620Jane’s Secret XXXV: Bugs and things
619Our View: The elephant in the room
619Teen Voice: Pinning your interest
619The Good Life: A time to be proud of our ancestors
619A real leaning tree Christmas
618Miss Movies: Top Ten Holiday Films
618The Good Life: A holiday recipe for peace
617Across The Fence: The Heartland plague of 1874-75
617Across The Fence: The Spanish Flu
615Teen Voice: Until we say goodbye
613Teen Voice: Indulge In moderation
612Home of the Brave
611Social time has important benefits
611Observations Only: The meeting
611The Good Life: The economic footprint of one small business
610Observations Only: A soul's journey, part two
610Jane's Secret, XXXI: Sixes and sevens
610Building Bridges: Chautauqua will bring out the best in everyone
609Teen Voice: Say yes to branching out
608LETTER TO THE EDITOR: No tax state unrealistic
607Teen Voice: Go ahead, make my day
605Observations Only: Wilkerson Pass
605Life in the Rearview Mirror: The cumulative effects of giving
603A Small World: Special guest
603Across The Fence: Freedom Triumphant Over War and Peace
602Practice safe barbecue basics
602Teen Voice: Outbreak of the Gamers
600Teen Voice: Practice makes perfect
600Observations Only : White water
597Life in the Rearview Mirror: Work is more than a four-letter word
597The Lyman Review: I love baby ducks
596Teen Voice: Happy news
596The Good Life: Cooler breezes bring anticipation of fall
596Across The Fence: Billy Dixon at Adobe Walls, June 1874
596Building Bridges: Planning now for tourism season 2014
595Teen Voice: Saying Goodbye
594Remembering When
594Observations Only: Good and evil
594The Good Life: Innovation and young energy enriches us all
594Across the Fence: Pawnee legends in the Nebraska Panhandle
593Observations Only: Expect the best
593The Good Life: People of the Valley, we have a choice
592Our View: Bravo OTD committee
590Observations Only: A fine line
589Teen Voice: By my side until the newness wears off
588A Small World: Legends week promises fun for everyone
586Teen Voice: Making sense of the Sandy Hook tragedy
584Teeing Off: Around the Green
580Observations Only: The shadow of error
579Across The Fence: By the dawn’s early light
577The Good Life - The worst day on record at the Citizen
576Observations Only: Beginnings
575Teen Voice: The daily struggle to a lifelong battle
572Observations Only: A matter of matter
568Teen Voice - On the outside looking In
564Jane's Secret XXXIV: Gin Rummy
563Observations Only: Indifferent love
561Teen Voice: I’ll be healthy – tomorrow
560Across the Fence: The Overland Camel Company
557Teen Voice: Equality
556Observations Only: A matter of paradox
555Observations Only: Divine spirit
553Observations Only: Choices
553A Stray Moment: Learning how to walk
550Completely Different - The magic of spring
549Building Bridges: Being grateful for the hardships in life
547Observations Only: Divine prompts
547Across The Fence: The Pawnee on Pumpkin Creek
547Anno Domini: We gather together
540Life in the Rearview Mirror: Experiencing life passion
539Totally Random: Life’s ripples
538Life in the Rearview Mirror: Adapt and adjust
537Building Bridges: Tend to 2014 and be Happy, Happy, Happy
536Teen Voice: Previously unwritten cell phone rules
536Teen Voice:  Body bashing and self-image
535Teen Voice: Silence
534Teen Voice: Sticks and stones
531A Stray Moment: In praise of encouragement
529Observations Only: Off to the races
526Across the Fence; Prelude to the Red River War of 1874
525Observations Only: The vision
523Our View: Visionaries wanted
523Observations Only: Temptation
522Observations Only: Willfulness
522Teen Voice: The need to get away
521Dear Fellow Nebraskans: We Are Proud of the Nebraska National Guard
516Observations Only: A sad week
516Book Review: I Forgot to Remember By Su Meck
515Teen Voice: Thanksgiving
513Teen Voice: Do It Anyway
513Totally Random: October, the pink month
512Observations Only: The need to understand
508Lyman Review: Devil calf
507Life in the Rearview Mirror: Life enhancing memories
507A Halloween Story: The scary dream
505Observations Only: Fuzzy angel
502Building Bridges: Celebrating the Bulldog homecoming
496Building Bridges: Love your enemies
495Across The Fence: First train from Saply Grove
494Anno Domini: Ask the digital dust
490Teeing Off: Persistence
490Teen Voice: Stress test
489Observations Only: A good daughter
488Teeing Off: Mind Gym
487Guest Editorial: The future of health care at Regional West
487Across The Fence: Amos Bad Heart Bull
485Observations Only: Afraid of the dark
484Welcome to Gering and the 92nd Oregon Trail Days Celebration.
483Across the Fence: The Pony Express
476Teen Voice: The rivalry
473Observations Only: The unvarnished truth
472Updates from NRD: NRD promotes conservation
468Across the Fence: A Cowboy kind of Christmas
465Lyman Review: The elusive farm cat
464Teen Voice: Footprints
462Teeing Off: The thing about state
460Observations Only: Waiting time
460Dear Nebraskans: Massachusetts should not determine Nebraska’s Presidential vote
458Observations Only: Saint Marge
456Teen Voice: Remember what you have
456Building Bridges: Building us up to be what others see
455Building Bridges: Observing bullies, abuse and pastors
455Teen Voice: Is respect dead?
455Building Bridges: Serve on the school board—or say no more
450Teen Voice: The Other Side
448Building Bridges: “New” will become a buzzword in the Valley
445Up The Creek Without A Paddle: The NRD wants to do what with your money?
444Lyman Review: The love goat
442Our View: Why rush the interlocal agreement?
441Observations Only: Reality check
435Teen Voice: What is love?
434Building Bridges: Following the spirit of Gering
434Across The Fence: A Fourth of July Montage
432Dear Fellow Nebraskans: Collegebound Nebraska
432Anno Domini: On this remembering day
430Jane’s Secret XXXVII: A starry night
427Final Point: Golf, cross country feats headline fall season successes
426Totally Random: Happy Halloween
424Update From the NRD: Winter has arrived
423Lyman Review: Now that's a set of handlebars!
423Teen Voice: Nobody else can lower you
423Capitol View: Delay tactics a gamble as session draws to a close
418Across The Fence; ‘Johnny Appleseed’ of the Oregon Trail
416Observations Only: Gone away
415Across the Fence: The Blizzard of ‘49
409Across The Fence: The Three Guardsmen
408Observations Only: Hog wash
407No-Till Notes: Water Funding Task Force
407Building Bridges: Pause a moment...save a child’s life
406Lyman Review: Something wicked this way comes
406Teen Voice: My rebellion
405Welcome to the ‘New’ in Gering
403Teen Voice: Shopping days or holidays?
402Jane’s Secret XXXVI:  The dream
402Teen Voice: Self-expression
402Building Bridges: Asking officials to speak and work as a body
401Lyman Review: One mean chicken
395 Across the Fence: Remembering Armistice Day
393Jane’s Secret, XXXVIII: Bad girls
388Why you should visit the zoo in February
382Teen Voice: Cyber War
381Observations Only: The visit
381From the Hill: More Work Ahead
381Across the Fence; Massacre on the Marias River
380Building Bridges: Objectivity and fairness make a winning plan
378
377The Good Life: What a wild ride it’s been
371Observations Only: A day in August
371At the Library: March into a good book
370Across The Fence: Moc-chi, A Southern Cheyenne warrior
370Across The Fence: Mustangs on Pumpkin Creek
366Jane’s Secret, XLI Black widow spider
364Across the Fence: New eyes on the Panhandle
362SBNM View: Do you want to be a VIP?
359Teen Voice: Hope for a New Year
358Across The Fence: Crazy Horse’s Last Battle
355Updates from NRD: Happy New Year
354Observations Only: The last goodbye
348Our View: Childcare not school district’s role
346No-Till Notes: Looking Back
345Teen Voice: My School, Their Rules
343Observations Only: Final moment
342Observations Only: One more time
340Teen Voice: The gift of caring
340No-Till Notes: Joe Franks Memorial
338Teen Voice: To the future
337Teen Voice: Family for all intents and purposes
336Lyman Review: Goat-chasing cardio
336Teen Voice: Writing love on our hearts
334Across the Fence: Remembering English Joe
334What’s really going on with our water?
332Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret, XLIII: Jail house rock
329Teen Voice: Where is the love?
328Capitol View: Yes, Virginia, the Legislature has done something, so far
324Across The Fence: Last Christmas
324Observations Only: The last toothpick
323Across the Fence: John Colter, the first mountain man
322Our View: Community responsible for kids
321Capitol View: Considering additional education choices
321Lyman Review: Branding Time
320Across the Fence: Prelude to Battle
318Totally Random: Trusting the fates
317Across the Fence: The Colorado Coalfield War
313Letter to Editor clarifies drug testing policy
311Nature Notes: Love is in the air
309View from Capitol Hill: Solutions for our economy and the budget
307Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret, XLII: Sunflowers
305Christmas stories from Freshman Academy students
304Mayor’s Monthly: Moving on Gering’s momentum
300Observations Only: The vigil
298Coach Schadwinkel promoted strong sense of tradition
297Totally Random: Where does it go?
296Building Bridges: Be a Destination Ambassador
295Teen Voice: Trouble Maker or Hard Worker?
295Building Bridges: Be American - help your candidate
295Across the Fence: Roy Bean; scoundrel with a law book
295In the Hills: Arbor Day in Nebraska
295Their View: Goal post move unfair
294Dear Nebraskans: Nebraska is the place for business
292Lyman Review: Taste of boot?
289In the Hills: Nebraska Bighorn Sheep
287Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret XLIV: Jail break
285Building Bridges: Awards are only part of our success
282Lyman Review: Nudge to the Butt
277Notes from NRD: Thanks agricultural producers
275Across the Fence: David F. Cook and ‘Indian Joe’
273Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret XLV: Gun smoke
273Capitol View: There was more to the session than just the big ticket items
270At the Monument: Junior Rangers
269Religious freedom must be protected
268Across the Fence: Missing; Nelson Buck survey party
266Building Bridges: Five years old IS a milestone
265Lyman Review: Winter's dog
264Our View: Confidentiality agreement disrespectful
263Capitol View: Legislature overrides gubernatorial vetoes
260Across the Fence: The Cholera Corridor
256Teen Voice: Holiday horrors
256At the Monument: That old (historic) building
256In the Hills: Explore the state parks
254Capitol View: Redistricting needs new procedure
254Capitol View: The 103rd Legislature is history … finally
254In the Hills: Pollinators – the buzz
254At the Library: “I Shall Be Near to You” By Erin Lindsay McCabe
253Linked Lives
253For the love of the game – best courses in the valley
246Across the Fence: On the Old Chisholm Trail
242Lyman Review: Dog fun
242Across the Fence: Amanda
241Capitol View: It sounded like a good idea at first
239Support emergency services personnel
238Update from the NRD: March updates from the NRD
237At the Zoo: Spring in to the zoo
236College Thoughts: Rotten for the minds? Think again
234Capitol View: The Legislature did provide tax relief
233Capitol View: Clock keeps tickin,’ many issues remain unresolved
232Capital View: Can prison reform survive property tax relief?
231Across the Fence: Who was Martha Jane Canary?
229Teen Voice: Inspire me
226Across the Fence: Investigation at Spring Creek
226At the Monument: Where are the animals?
226Across the Fence: Charles Badger Clark
225Capitol View: Legislature to tackle meatier issues
225Greetings from the State Capitol
223From the Capitol: The conduct we choose reflects our character
222Building Bridges: Don’t wait to develop
222No-till Notes: Moving forward
219Website Resources
217Across the Fence: Old barns and memories
209New at the Zoo: Volunteer at the Zoo
207Gering ninth graders answer the questions of life
206No-Till Notes: Back in the field
206No-Till Notes: Cheat grass
205Teen Voice: Home is where the heart is
204Final Point: Citizen receives first honor for ‘Final Point’
203Building Bridges: When ‘FAMILY’ and fellow Nebraskans are all you’ve got
200View of the Zoo: VIPs at RCD
200Across The Fence: Justice in the Big Horn Basin
199Across the Fence: The Spring Creek Raid
195Dear Nebraskans: Technology helps serve Nebraskans
194History Revisited:A Stray Moment: Life (and death) on the Oregon Trail
193No-Till Notes: “Fish and Mud”
192Jane’s Secret XLVI: Sour grapes
191At the Monument: Art in National Parks
190Anno Domini: The Textbook of Freedom
188Washington Report: Honoring America’s heroes
187Building Bridges: Dive into summer—dive into living
186Teen Voice: The clock is ticking
183No-til Notes: Changing plans
178At the Library: “My Name is Resolute” By Nancy E. Turner
173Capitol View: State aid proposal just might make some sense
160Fellow Nebraskans: Congratulations on graduation day
159Arts Scene: Theatre West’s Les Miserables not to be missed: Anniversary production proves to be a memorable winner
157Across the Fence: Battle of Summit Springs, Part I: Tall Bull Killed
155Across the Fence: Six went to the gallows
155No-Till Notes: Annual PNTP Tour
149Jane’s Secret XLVII: A stormy afternoon
142Lyman Review: Sheep Royalty
131Across The Fence: Hinhan Kaga Paha
126Synchronicity:What brings me back
123No-Till Notes:Enjoyable meeting
114Be kind through communications
105Jane’s Secret XLVIII: Jane’s agenda
93Letters to the Editor
92Building Bridges: Oregon Trail Days—making our present a celebrated past
71Letter to the editor
59Fourth of July meetings
46Battle of Summit Springs, part II: Warpath to White Bear Creek
42Building Bridges: Turning a space into a sense of place
38In the Hills: Awesome Amphibians and Rough Reptiles
31Across the Fence: Aftermath: Part III, The Battle of Summit Springs
18Jane’s Secret XLIX: Phillip’s agenda
Dominos Pizza
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Kendell Henderson