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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230No-Till Notes:Enjoyable meeting
229Dear Nebraskans: Technology helps serve Nebraskans
229Fellow Nebraskans: Congratulations on graduation day
223Across The Fence: Hinhan Kaga Paha
222Letters to the Editor
213A Stray Moment: Time to get moving
209In the Hills: Awesome Amphibians and Rough Reptiles
209Across the Fence: Aftermath: Part III, The Battle of Summit Springs
201A Stray Moment: Goodbye old house – sorting their things
194Battle of Summit Springs, part II: Warpath to White Bear Creek
193Jack’s Insights: Knowing harvest
181Fourth of July meetings
180A Stray Moment: Brand new used cars
178Building Bridges: Seeking a big win out of the 4th quarter
174Building Bridges: Supporting our teachers supports our children
174Prairie Dogs
173Jane’s Secret XLX: Day’s end
166Teen Voice: Unexpected joys of being a sibling
165No-Till Notes: The value of water
164Across The Fence: Steamboats on the Missouri
163Creatures of the Night
162Dynasty made Gering the biggest little town in Nebraska
159Across The Fence: Scalped at Plum Creek
159 Across The Fence: County Fair
158
158
155Building Bridges: Fair time—learn, respect, appreciate, enjoy!
155Across The Fence: The Pawnee and human sacrifice
153At the Library: One Zentangle a Day
152No-Till Notes: Last chance for North, South Dakota tour
150Building Bridges: “It’s happening” at the Harvest Festival
150
148Across The Fence: Deserters or Outcasts; Three who left. (Part I)
144A Stray Moment: Football – Violence, Death, and Denial
143Across The Fence: New England’s Heroine Scalptress
142Across The Fence: Grandpa’s Grays
137At the Monument: Night Sky
136No-Till Notes: "Harvest"
135No-Till Notes: American Society of Agronomy
134Jane’s Secret LI: The telling
134No-Till Notes: Different Approaches Part II
133Jane’s Secret LII: Eavesdroppers
130Across the Fence: Here lies Major Alexander Culbertson
130A look at - and helping - the State of the Valley
129In the Hills: Get to Know Our Feathered Travelers
124No-Till Notes: "Different Approaches"
119A Stray Moment: A ‘city boy’ visits the Harvest Festival
118Sychronicity: Thrive, don't just survive
115Across the Fence: Deserters or outcasts; Three who left (Part II)
115
113Building Bridges: Know DOVES and know about domestic violence
107
105
103Across the Fence: The Battle of Hungry Hill
99Reach out for challenges
99At the Library: “The Master Switch” The rise and fall of information empires By Tim Wu
87At the Monument: So You want to be a Ranger?
85Across the Fence: The Battle of Coon Creek
67Across the Fence: Before Barbed Wire
43In the Hills: Learn the Dutch Oven
33Across the Fence: Ladies First or First Ladies
Most Read News Stories of 2012
17903Across The Fence: Portugee Phillips and a horse named Dandy
5096We need a few good people
3241What's the deal with organic milk?
2870Jane’s Secret, XXXX: A tale of mayhem
2662Across the Fence: Bose Ikard; Texas Cowboy
2659Across the Fence: Roosevelt’s campaign tour of the west
2314Being a Nebraskan – border to border
2263Across the Fence: The Soldier’s Free Homestead Colony of Gibbon
2261The Good Life: Today we celebrate Global Oneness Day
2255Completely Different: It's all in the family
2114Completely Different: The Disney princess debate: an exercise in the ridiculous
2103Completely Different : Could you come down off your soap box please?
2087Lyman Review: Let’s get back to the subject of bullying
2013Elizabeth's top ten movie list of 2011
1971Our View... Preserve Gering’s form of government
1967Teen Voice: Thank you, Gering Speech Team
1965Jane’s Secret, part II: Gertrude’s choice
1963Life in the Rearview Mirror: Invisible scars have lasting effects
1920The Good Life: Campaign ad using Jesus goes too far
1899Our View: Museum merger a good thing, but let’s go slowly
1882A Small World: Time traveling
1872Across the Fence: A Cheyenne weekend
1866Teen Voice: Just ten minutes
1857Totally Random: Astrology: It’s all in the stars…
1856Completely Different: Tales from the mat
1834Time keeps flowing like a river
1803A last look at the Nebraska Zone
1791Life in the west: Betting on the end of the world
1789Completely Different: Look around, what are you missing?
1786Our View: Mayor should insist on civility
1779Letter to the Editor
1766Observations Only : The orphanage
1753My mini Pen and me
1737Observations Only : Mission accomplished
1726Teen Voice: March Madness
1726Across the Fence: Ah-ho-appa (fallen leaf)
1722Our view . . .Sports Complex
1722Observations Only: Little Girl Lost: Adopted
1722From the Pastor's Pen: Unbelievable breaking news
1708Livestock Production: My Paradigm Shift
1708Completely Different: Your local government and you
1703Observations Only: Sisters lost, part I
1697Across the Fence: All aboard the Transcontinental Express
1696Remembering When
1688Observations only : Sisters of the world
1687Miss Movies: Ten great horror flicks for Halloween, part I
1685Our view... Gering stands upon important threshold
1677Observations Only: Little girl lost, part 3
1677Completely Different: The good, the bad, and the remedy
1676Bright Ideas, Brighter Future: Leaving a Legacy
1675Bright Ideas! Brighter Future! Common sense prevails
1668Curiosity Corner : The tale of the travelling train station
1664Observations Only: Little Girl Lost, part six
1655Across the Fence: James Butler Hickok: The thoughtful gunfighter
1639From the Superintendent’s Desk - Parent Teacher Conferences
1639Teen Voice: What diabetes taught me
1634It's a small world : Everything we do has meaning
1614Teen Voice : Leave your legacy
1597Our View: Scottsbluff attitude damages future collaborations
1577Jane’s Secret, XXX: A new wrinkle
1535Across the Fence - Catherine’s boys
1517Observations Only: Reality check
1494SBNM View: Do you want to be a VIP?
1487Across the fence: Something worth remembering
1478Totally Random: December 6, the day I lived
1467Jane’s Secret, part XVIII : Devil’s bargain
1452Teen Voice: Don’t be fooled by fads
1448Barr’s Bacon Wrapped Fantasy Picks: A rookie's guide to drafting your dream team
1371Completely Different: The Quest
1352Our View: Come home to Nebraska, but not just anywhere
1351Observations Only: A soul’s journey
1316Totally Random: The Golden Rule
1308Jane’s Secret, XXIII: Molly’s plan
1298Jane’s Secret, XXIV: The last drive
1286Miss Movies: Miss Movies recommends her top 10 films of 2013
1283Across the Fence: Sioux Ordnance Depot: stories to be told
1277Life in the Rearview Mirror: I’m on a road to someplace
1273Across the Fence: Burnett’s Mound and the Topeka tornado
1267From the Superintendent’s Desk: Get ready for Parent-teacher conferences
1258The Good Life: Extending grace, the lost art
1255Across the Fence: Building Barns
1252Theatre West’s Cabaret torch burns brightly
1250Jane’s Secret, XXXIII: Night walk
1246Dear Fellow Nebraskans: Governor’s Ag Conference overview
1243Across The Fence: Union Pacific robbery at Big Springs
1241Across the Fence: Dull Knife’s Quest, part 1
1235Across the Fence: Lions, wolves and bears
1232Totally Random: Hemp: considering the real benefits of the miracle plant
1218From the Superintendent's Desk: Thank You
1217No-Till Notes: Plan to attend 2014 No-Till Conference
1216From the Superintendent's Desk: NePAS – State Accountability
1215Building Bridges: Save the world, educate through agriculture
1210Jane’s Secret, XXV: Mysteries
1202Our view: Gering’s future needs your vote
1195From the Superintendent’s Desk: Welcome to new certified staff
1195From the Superintendent’s Desk - Option Enrollment
1194Observations Only: Blinders aren’t just for horses
1186Completely Different: It’s the end of the world as we know it
1180Across the Fence: Dull Knife’s Quest: Part 2 of 2
1175Across the Fence: Class of ’67, last remnants of home
1167The Good Life: Through my father’s eyes
1166Life in the West: Inside the minds of serial killers
1162A Stray Moment: Merry Christmas – God save us all
1156Across the Fence: Wyoming settlers lay siege to the TA Ranch
1154Completely Different: New Year’s Resolutions
1150Completely Different: The game is afoot, a look at Sherlock Holmes
1148Across the Fence: Judge Roy Bean : Texas prizefight promoter
1146A Small World: Savoring county fair days
1139Cat on a Hot Tin Roof a mixed bag
1138Across the Fence: On The road
1137Jane’s Secret, part XI: Grand Duchess
1133Across the Fence: Discovering Ed Stemler
1131From the Superintendent’s Desk: Early Childhood Education
1120Jane’s Secret, part IX: Mrs. Huber’s chagrin
1118Jane’s Secret, part XIII: Blackberry pie
1117Across The Fence: Crow Dog, Spotted Tail’s assassin
1113A Stray Moment : Carry the weight
1112From the Superintendent’s Desk : Thank You for another Great Year
1111The Good Life: Hey, I’m a winner!
1111Assad’s endgame
1107Jane’s Secret, part VI: Molly’s surprise
1093Teen Voice: I guess it’s just a western Nebraska thing
1092Jane’s Secret, part VII Clem’s confession
1092Lyman Review: Hubby’s got my goat
1092Jane’s Secret, part VIII: Molly's plan
1086From the Superintendent’s Desk: Thanks for the memories
1085Guest Editorial: Fischer will see U.S. ‘living within means’
1085Jane’s Secret, part XVII : Plans gone awry
1083From the Superintendent’s Desk - Haig and Aurora Buildings
1075A Stray Moment: All's well that ends well, usually
1072Jane’s Secret, part XX: Change of plans
1071Across the Fence: Black Hills Gold and the Thoen Stone
1068Across The Fence: Billy Dixon; Plainsman, Hunter, Indian fighter and Scout
1065Miss Movies: “Bully” a powerful documentary
1062Across The Fence: The Hat Creek Outpost
1055Observations Only - Two ages of man
1045Thinking About Health: The challenge of signing up for Obamacare
1043The Good Life: Your dollar is a vote for what you care about
1042Across the Fence: Consumed by fire
1042Across the Fence: The Spirit of Crazy Horse
1040Completely Different: That’s so Pinteresting
1036A Small World: Chokecherry season evokes memories of yesterday
1030Jane’s Secret, part XVI: Fate takes a hand
1027From the Superintendent’s Desk: Accountability
1023Teen Voice: New Year’s goals
1019A Stray Moment: Earth Day, am I doing my part?
1018Jane’s Secret, part V: Aggie’s complaint
1016Jane’s Secret, part XIV: Molly’s dream
1014 Across the Fence: ‘Aunt Sally’ and Dakota Gold
1007Observations Only: Painting a picture
1000Teen Voice: Today’s television
998Across the Fence: The Great Solomon River Stampede
997Across the Fence: The Wellnitz Fire, day 1 and 2
994Across the Fence: Mud Springs revisited
993Life in the Rearview Mirror: I hate coffee
992Across the Fence: The much maligned Ms. Watson
991Jane’s Secret, part XV: Unrequited love
991Jane’s Secret, Part XVIV: Crystal Waters
987Jane’s Secret, part XII: Jane's Vow
986Across The Fence: Celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Chadron to Chicago Cowboy Race, part I
984Across the Fence: First scalp for Custer
983Across the Fence: Sitting Bull: The Last Surrendering Sioux
983From the Superintendent’s Desk - District purchase of building
981From the Superintendent’s Desk: Summer School – 2013
977Jane’s Secret, XXVIII: Lame Johnny
976From the Superintendent’s Desk
974Across The Fence: A day For thanks
970From the Superintendent’s Desk: Parents’ role in the educational process
969From the Superintendent’s Desk : Draft Calendar 2013-14
967From the Superintendent’s Desk: Current enrollment count
967Jane’s Secret, part XXII: While the cat’s away
965Life in the Rearview Mirror: Cleaning off the ‘what if’ shelf
965Miss Movies: Ten movies for romance
963Teen Voice: Fifty reasons to smile
961Our View: County Manager option leads to Good Old Boys' Club
958Observations Only: A new direction
957Teen Voice: What senior year taught me
956Across the Fence: Just For the Thrill of It
950Jane’s Secret, XXVII: Town Meeting
943From the Pastor's Pen: Lord, teach us to pray
941Across the Fence: A hometown 4th of July
939Teen Voice: Learning calculus more than numbers
937The zombie apocalypse and you
936Across the Fence: Fort Mitchell on the Great Platte River Road
935A Stray Moment: Star Trek: Infinite diversity in infinite combinations
928Completely Different: The Marilyn Monroe conundrum
927Totally Random: I’m a backwards reader
922Teen Voice: Experiencing versus remembering
920Across the Fence: Bloody Pocket, the final battle
919Across the Fence: Faded photos and vivid memories
918Across the Fence - Boston: April 18, 1775
917From the Superintendent’s Desk: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
914Across the Fence: Submarines and railroads
913Jane’s Secret, part XXI: Gertrude’s Agenda
911From the Superintendent's Desk: Election over – work begins
911From the Superintendent’s Desk - Financial Outlook for Gering Public Schools
902Observations Only: Sisters lost, part IV
901The Good Life: It’s hard to believe, the Citizen is four years old
900A Stray Moment: Now is the winter of our disconnect
897Completely Different: What’s speech got to do with it?
897Anno Domini: Independence, an ideal worth celebrating
896Completely Different: Confessions of an out of shape twenty something
896Teen Voice: Respond to defeat
895Across the Fence: Celebrating the 120th anniversary of the Chadron to Chicago Cowboy Race, part II
891Trash cans
891Thinking about Health: Getting insurance under the Affordable Care Act
890Observations Only: Giving up
885A Stray Moment - Celebrating Gering's Quasquicentennial
884The Good Life: Our most precious right, gagged
882The hills, part 1: Mustangs
882Observations Only: Curious things
880Across the Fence: The hand dug well
879A Stray Moment: In praise of silence
878From the Superintendent's Desk: Elementary attendance areas
878Across the Fence: Cynthia Ann Parker, Comanche captive
877Lyman Review - Tales of the renegade rooster
877Teen Voice: Catfished
875Across the Fence: Fact, fiction or fragmented dreams?
873Teen Voice: Let us be beautiful
872Teen Voice: 'Pretty Little Liars'
872Completely Different: The mystery of Vivian Maier
870Teen Voice: The road of hatred
868Observations Only: The joy of money
865Teen Voice: The more the merrier
863At the Library: Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
862The Block
862Observations Only: Sisters lost, part III
860The Good Life: The best Christmas gift
857Across the Fence: Rural free delivery
856Teen Voice: Lessons I learned from my eight-year-old brother
855A Stray Moment: Without a net
853A Stray Moment: Waiting on a train
852Observations Only: Saturday delight
850Teen Voice: What’s so great about pizza?
849A Stray Moment: I love Sookie Stackhouse
847Completely Different: The Hills, part 3: Rediscovering the spirit
843Jane’s Secret, XXIX: Fred’s debacle
839Teen Voice: Congratulations, you’re awful
838Political Cartoon by Doug Hoevet
836Jane's Secret, part X: The arrival
836Life in the Rearview Mirror: Greensburg strong
835Life's curve balls
835A Stray Moment: Tacos! Our embarrassment of riches
830 Taking a big risk
830Political Cartoon by Doug Hoevet
830A Stray Moment: God Knows
829A Stray Moment: On Canada and the forgotten bicentennial
829The Good Life: We are not separate, we are one family
827Completely Different: The Mind Palace Memory Technique
826From the Superintendent's Desk: School year now in full swing
826A Stray Moment: It's a dog's life
826Across the Fence: Standing on the wagon
825Teen Voice: Gleek tragedy
823Jane’s Secret, XXXII Jane’s Bad Day
820A Small World: Scotts Bluff Valley Fiber Arts Fair classes offer great variety
819Completely Different: Remembering Aurora
817Miss Movies: Ten great horror flicks for Halloween, part 2
816Teen Voice: Not just another ride
815Life in the Rearview Mirror: The Moments we live for
814Teen Voice: Confessions of the financially disabled
814Completely Different: The Hills, part 2: The Civilian Conservation Corps
814Across the Fence: When Lady Luck sleeps
813Observations Only: Scourge of violence
813The Good Life: Mom, my partner in life
812The ghost of Ayn Rand
811Seeing the works of the master
811From the Superintendent's Desk: PLAS School
811Observations Only: Going home
810Observations Only: Extreme measures
806A ‘city’ kid goes to the fair
805A Stray Moment: World War Two is not forgotten
805Across the Fence: When Fiddler quit running
805The Good Life: Christina Baker’s mom: Thank you
803Timing makes perfect
803Across the Fence: Wounded Knee; December 29, 1890
803Capitol View: Lincoln Highway captures spotlight
801Teen Voice: Sticks and stones
801A Stray Moment: - The case for Hagel
801The Good Life: A farm girl in my heart
799Observations Only: Counting chickens
799The Good Life: Leave the quilt shop and laundromat alone
798Across the Fence: Tomb of the Unknown
798Completely Different: Happy Hollowthanksmas
797Observations Only: Just around the corner
796A Stray Moment: A voice from the past, haunting myself
795Our View: Extreme caution needed with fireworks
795Our View: County has some ‘splainin’ to do
794The Good Life: The two different types of business people
793View from the block
793Teen Voice: Body image
790Observations Only: A soul's journey, part III
789SELL-OUT!
789Observations Only: The two faces of poverty
788Across the Fence : November 1864: Pole Creek, Politics and Patriots
787Pulpit of Bones: Man's best friend
784Observations Only: Uneventful flight
784Guest Voice: If I could do it over again
784Totally Random: My journey, life after living
783A Stray Moment: The last time
783The Good Life: We are the Valley’s emissaries
779It's no surprise
775Teen Voice: Living within our means
775A Stray Moment - A night owl born to an 8 to 5 world
771Guest Editorial: Bob Kerrey is the true fiscal conservative
771Miss Movies: Top ten holiday films, part II
771Rural America and immigration reform
771Book Review: I Forgot to Remember By Su Meck
770Observations Only: A gift of serenity
769Teen Voice: Not according to the plan
769Observations Only: Surprises
769Our View: Pipeline not a solution to oil problems
768Welcome to Gering
767Across the Fence: Places near forgotten
766Across the Fence: A boy called Slon-Ha
766Teen Voice: The benefits of online learning
766Across the Fence: Cheyenne County, Nebraska: cattle country
766Life in the Rearview Mirror: The world is a stage
765Completely Different: How the savings stole Christmas
765Observations Only: Musings of an odd duck
765Completely Different: The bucket list phenomenon
764A Stray Moment: Ready for the storm
763Age of reason
762Silence please
762Observations Only: Journey's end
761Across The Fence: Jules, Jack and lawless justice
760From the Superintendent's Desk: School Safety and Security
760Teen: Voice : Drinking enough water
760Completely Different: Hey there, four eyes!
760Observations Only: The awful truth
759Teen Voice: Twitter as sleep criminal
758Observations Only: No thank you
757Teen Voice: Shadow art
755Life in the Rearview Mirror: Personal control of an individual response
753Do You Tube?
753Observations Only: Critical thinking
749Observations Only: What's in a word?
749Teen Voice: Serendipity
749Capitol View: Wild life proposal costly but worthwhile
749Completely Different: Perfect memories made in imperfect moments
748Observations Only: A strange Thanksgiving
747Across the Fence: Thanks for the memory
746A Stray Moment: For the love of theatre
745LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Gering Public Schools seeks imput
745Across The Fence: The hanging of Cornelius Donahue a.k.a. John A. Hurley
745Across The Fence: Freedom Triumphant Over War and Peace
743Economic development update
742Observations Only: North Powder
739Teen Voice: Eighth day of the week - Someday
739Observations Only: Curious things, part II
738Observations Only: Together again
738Observations Only: Sister odyssey
737Across the Fence: Wasicu Wakan
737A Stray Moment: Having a blast on the Fourth of July
736Miss Movies: The top ten films of 2012: The year of the geek
735Teen Voice: An eventful homecoming
734Building Bridges: Cleaning up for company--or not--reveals a lot
732From the Superintendent's Desk: Student transportation changes for 2012-13
731Teeing Off: Lessons learned from golf
730Teen Voice: Sit back and enjoy YouTube
729Anno Domini: The memorial nobody wants
728Observations Only: Spider adventure
728Observations Only: Blue chip stock
728Observations Only: Sister lost
728Completely Different: Do you know John Green?
726Across The Fence: The Spanish Flu
725The Good Life: A very interesting meeting indeed
724From the Superintendent's Desk: Our goal: Improve student performance
720Building Bridges: Chautauqua will bring out the best in everyone
719Life in the Rearview Mirror: Is it possible to just drive in the 21st Century?
715Teen Voice: On becoming politically active
715Their View: Hey Gering, mind your own business!
714I'm falling for Tumblr?
714Across the Fence: Pawnee legends in the Nebraska Panhandle
711Across The Fence: The Heartland plague of 1874-75
709Observations Only: Sisters lost, part two
709Guest Voices…
708Completely Different: I go to seek a Great Perhaps
708A real leaning tree Christmas
706Teen Voice: Positive effects of social media
705Observations Only: Expect the best, part II
700From the Superintendent's Desk: Why so soon?
699From the Superintendent's Desk: State report card
699Teen Voice: Dealing with stress
698A Small World: Special guest
697Teen Voice: Pinning your interest
697Jane’s secret, XXVI: The suitcase
697Teen Voice: Indulge In moderation
697The Good Life: A holiday recipe for peace
696The Good Life: A time to be proud of our ancestors
695Observations Only : White water
694Teen Voice: Being a girl
693Teen Voice: Say yes to branching out
693The Good Life: The lasting effects of bullying
692Observations Only: A soul's journey, part two
692Teen Voice: Go ahead, make my day
691A Stray Moment: Guilty pleasures
690Building Bridges: Planning now for tourism season 2014
689Miss Movies: Top Ten Holiday Films
687Permission to remember
686Observations Only: The meeting
686Jane's Secret, XXXI: Sixes and sevens
685The Lyman Review: I love baby ducks
685Across The Fence: A Fourth of July Montage
684My Thanksgiving prayer
684Teen Voice: Until we say goodbye
684Jane’s Secret XXXV: Bugs and things
677Five Good Reasons to Create an Investment Strategy
676Our View: The elephant in the room
674Observations Only: A matter of matter
673Observations Only: Wilkerson Pass
673Life in the Rearview Mirror: Work is more than a four-letter word
673A Small World: Legends week promises fun for everyone
671Teen Voice: Go ahead, make my day
670Social time has important benefits
670The Good Life: Cooler breezes bring anticipation of fall
669The Good Life: The economic footprint of one small business
668Teen Voice: Saying Goodbye
667Home of the Brave
665Teen Voice: Outbreak of the Gamers
664Building Bridges: Being grateful for the hardships in life
663Across The Fence: By the dawn’s early light
663The Good Life: What a wild ride it’s been
662Across The Fence: Billy Dixon at Adobe Walls, June 1874
660Observations Only: Good and evil
660Observations Only: Indifferent love
660Across The Fence: The Pawnee on Pumpkin Creek
659Observations Only: The shadow of error
659The Good Life: Innovation and young energy enriches us all
659Teeing Off: Around the Green
658Life in the Rearview Mirror: The cumulative effects of giving
657Practice safe barbecue basics
657Teen Voice: Happy news
657Across the Fence: The Overland Camel Company
654Teen Voice: Making sense of the Sandy Hook tragedy
653Observations Only: Expect the best
652LETTER TO THE EDITOR: No tax state unrealistic
651Teen Voice: Practice makes perfect
647Teen Voice:  Body bashing and self-image
645Observations Only: A fine line
644Teen Voice: By my side until the newness wears off
644The Good Life: People of the Valley, we have a choice
644Teen Voice: The daily struggle to a lifelong battle
643Jane's Secret XXXIV: Gin Rummy
642Observations Only: Beginnings
642The Good Life - The worst day on record at the Citizen
638Observations Only: Divine spirit
634Teen Voice - On the outside looking In
634Anno Domini: We gather together
626Observations Only: A matter of paradox
625Our View: Bravo OTD committee
625Teen Voice: I’ll be healthy – tomorrow
624Teen Voice: Equality
622Observations Only: Divine prompts
618Observations Only: Choices
618Teen Voice: Sticks and stones
618Building Bridges: Tend to 2014 and be Happy, Happy, Happy
614Observations Only: A sad week
612Completely Different - The magic of spring
612A Stray Moment: Learning how to walk
611Building Bridges: Celebrating the Bulldog homecoming
608Teen Voice: Previously unwritten cell phone rules
608Teen Voice: Silence
606A Stray Moment: In praise of encouragement
604A Halloween Story: The scary dream
603Across The Fence: Amos Bad Heart Bull
602Building Bridges: Love your enemies
601Teen Voice: Thanksgiving
599Life in the Rearview Mirror: Experiencing life passion
599Across the Fence; Prelude to the Red River War of 1874
599Totally Random: Life’s ripples
598Life in the Rearview Mirror: Adapt and adjust
598Totally Random: October, the pink month
596Observations Only: Temptation
596Observations Only: Fuzzy angel
594Welcome to Gering and the 92nd Oregon Trail Days Celebration.
592Observations Only: Off to the races
591Lyman Review: Devil calf
591Across The Fence: First train from Saply Grove
587Observations Only: The vision
581Dear Fellow Nebraskans: We Are Proud of the Nebraska National Guard
579Observations Only: Willfulness
578Teen Voice: The need to get away
577Guest Editorial: The future of health care at Regional West
576Teen Voice: Do It Anyway
570Observations Only: The need to understand
569Observations Only: A good daughter
563Building Bridges: Observing bullies, abuse and pastors
562Anno Domini: Ask the digital dust
561Teen Voice: Stress test
557Building Bridges: Asking officials to speak and work as a body
556Our View: Visionaries wanted
556Updates from NRD: NRD promotes conservation
555Teen Voice: Is respect dead?
551Across the Fence: The Pony Express
551Teeing Off: Persistence
550Life in the Rearview Mirror: Life enhancing memories
548Across the Fence: A Cowboy kind of Christmas
547Teeing Off: Mind Gym
544Lyman Review: The elusive farm cat
537Observations Only: The unvarnished truth
536Teen Voice: Remember what you have
534Building Bridges: Serve on the school board—or say no more
532Observations Only: Afraid of the dark
532Teen Voice: Footprints
531Building Bridges: “New” will become a buzzword in the Valley
531Dear Nebraskans: Massachusetts should not determine Nebraska’s Presidential vote
526Final Point: Golf, cross country feats headline fall season successes
526Building Bridges: Building us up to be what others see
523Teen Voice: The rivalry
523Anno Domini: On this remembering day
522Building Bridges: Following the spirit of Gering
521Observations Only: Saint Marge
520Lyman Review: The love goat
520Across the Fence: Battle of Summit Springs, Part I: Tall Bull Killed
519Teeing Off: The thing about state
519Observations Only: Waiting time
519Up The Creek Without A Paddle: The NRD wants to do what with your money?
514Teen Voice: The Other Side
514Dear Fellow Nebraskans: Collegebound Nebraska
514Teen Voice: Nobody else can lower you
513Jane’s Secret XXXVII: A starry night
513Totally Random: Happy Halloween
510Across The Fence: The Three Guardsmen
508Our View: Why rush the interlocal agreement?
507Across The Fence; ‘Johnny Appleseed’ of the Oregon Trail
504No-Till Notes: Water Funding Task Force
504Teen Voice: My rebellion
503Lyman Review: Now that's a set of handlebars!
501Across the Fence: The Blizzard of ‘49
497Observations Only: Gone away
490Jane’s Secret, XXXVIII: Bad girls
487Lyman Review: Something wicked this way comes
486Teen Voice: What is love?
481Teen Voice: Self-expression
479Observations Only: Hog wash
478Update From the NRD: Winter has arrived
478A Stray Moment: Robin Williams – Good night sweet prince
477Welcome to the ‘New’ in Gering
477Capitol View: Delay tactics a gamble as session draws to a close
471Jane’s Secret XXXVI:  The dream
471 Across the Fence: Remembering Armistice Day
468Building Bridges: Pause a moment...save a child’s life
463Why you should visit the zoo in February
461Across the Fence; Massacre on the Marias River
460Building Bridges: Objectivity and fairness make a winning plan
460No Till Notes: Final Stop
454Jane’s Secret, XLI Black widow spider
453Across The Fence: Moc-chi, A Southern Cheyenne warrior
452From the Hill: More Work Ahead
451Observations Only: The visit
450Teen Voice: Shopping days or holidays?
447
446For the love of the game – best courses in the valley
443Lyman Review: One mean chicken
443Observations Only: A day in August
442Across the Fence: New eyes on the Panhandle
440Teen Voice: Cyber War
438Across The Fence: Crazy Horse’s Last Battle
435At the Library: March into a good book
428Across The Fence: Mustangs on Pumpkin Creek
425Teen Voice: Hope for a New Year
424Observations Only: One more time
419Observations Only: The last goodbye
419In the Hills: Nebraska Bighorn Sheep
418What’s really going on with our water?
412Lyman Review: Goat-chasing cardio
408Building Bridges: #speaklife is a goal for students, a goal for all
405Teen Voice: My School, Their Rules
403Teen Voice: The gift of caring
401Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret, XLIII: Jail house rock
400Our View: Childcare not school district’s role
400Teen Voice: Family for all intents and purposes
400Across the Fence: Remembering English Joe
400No-Till Notes: Looking Back
397Their View: Goal post move unfair
396Updates from NRD: Happy New Year
394Observations Only: Final moment
394Teen Voice: Writing love on our hearts
394Capitol View: Yes, Virginia, the Legislature has done something, so far
393At the Monument: Junior Rangers
392Teen Voice: To the future
390No-Till Notes: Joe Franks Memorial
388Across the Fence: Prelude to Battle
388Capitol View: Considering additional education choices
386Gering ninth graders answer the questions of life
384Across the Fence: David F. Cook and ‘Indian Joe’
383Building Bridges: Be a Destination Ambassador
381Lyman Review: Branding Time
380Across the Fence: The Colorado Coalfield War
379In the Hills: Pollinators – the buzz
377Across The Fence: Last Christmas
376View from Capitol Hill: Solutions for our economy and the budget
375Across the Fence: John Colter, the first mountain man
373Observations Only: The last toothpick
373Teen Voice: Where is the love?
371Building Bridges: Awards are only part of our success
370Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret, XLII: Sunflowers
369Nature Notes: Love is in the air
368Mayor’s Monthly: Moving on Gering’s momentum
368No-till Notes: Moving forward
365Building Bridges: Five years old IS a milestone
364Letter to Editor clarifies drug testing policy
363Our View: Community responsible for kids
363Totally Random: Where does it go?
362Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret XLIV: Jail break
362Arts Scene: Theatre West’s Les Miserables not to be missed: Anniversary production proves to be a memorable winner
360Capitol View: There was more to the session than just the big ticket items
359In the Hills: Arbor Day in Nebraska
359Capitol View: The 103rd Legislature is history … finally
357Totally Random: Trusting the fates
354Across the Fence: Roy Bean; scoundrel with a law book
354Jane’s Secret: Jane’s Secret XLV: Gun smoke
349Building Bridges: When ‘FAMILY’ and fellow Nebraskans are all you’ve got
348Across the Fence: Missing; Nelson Buck survey party
346Observations Only: The vigil
346Christmas stories from Freshman Academy students
346Teen Voice: Trouble Maker or Hard Worker?
345Lyman Review: Taste of boot?
345Coach Schadwinkel promoted strong sense of tradition
345Linked Lives
345No-Till Notes: Enjoyable Day
344At the Library: “My Name is Resolute” By Nancy E. Turner
342Building Bridges: Be American - help your candidate
340History Revisited:A Stray Moment: Life (and death) on the Oregon Trail
336Lyman Review: Nudge to the Butt
335Building Bridges: Oregon Trail Days—making our present a celebrated past
332Dear Nebraskans: Nebraska is the place for business
331Across the Fence: The Cholera Corridor
331Capitol View: Legislature overrides gubernatorial vetoes
330Final Point: Citizen receives first honor for ‘Final Point’
328Support emergency services personnel
326Religious freedom must be protected
326At the Library: “I Shall Be Near to You” By Erin Lindsay McCabe
322Notes from NRD: Thanks agricultural producers
319Capitol View: The Legislature did provide tax relief
319Across the Fence: Who was Martha Jane Canary?
316College Thoughts: Rotten for the minds? Think again
315Update from the NRD: March updates from the NRD
315Capitol View: Redistricting needs new procedure
314In the Hills: Explore the state parks
313Anno Domini: The Textbook of Freedom
312At the Monument: That old (historic) building
312Website Resources
310Across the Fence: Charles Badger Clark
309Lyman Review: Winter's dog
308Across the Fence: On the Old Chisholm Trail
307No-Till Notes: Annual PNTP Tour
306Building Bridges: Don’t wait to develop
306Our View: Confidentiality agreement disrespectful
304Capital View: Can prison reform survive property tax relief?
303From the Capitol: The conduct we choose reflects our character
301Capitol View: It sounded like a good idea at first
300Teen Voice: Holiday horrors
300No-Till Notes: Cheat grass
300Building Bridges: Dive into summer—dive into living
299Across the Fence: Investigation at Spring Creek
298Across the Fence: Amanda
298Across the Fence: Old barns and memories
296Building Bridges: Turning a space into a sense of place
295Capitol View: Legislature to tackle meatier issues
295Teen Voice: Home is where the heart is
293Capitol View: Clock keeps tickin,’ many issues remain unresolved
289Lyman Review: Dog fun
287New at the Zoo: Volunteer at the Zoo
284At the Zoo: Spring in to the zoo
284Lyman Review: Sheep Royalty
283Across the Fence: The Spring Creek Raid
281At the Monument: Where are the animals?
280Teen Voice: Inspire me
280Teen Voice: The clock is ticking
278No-til Notes: Changing plans
276Jane’s Secret XLVI: Sour grapes
275Across The Fence: Justice in the Big Horn Basin
272Greetings from the State Capitol
270Washington Report: Honoring America’s heroes
268No-Till Notes: “Fish and Mud”
258No-Till Notes: Back in the field
255Jane’s Secret XLVIII: Jane’s agenda
252Capitol View: State aid proposal just might make some sense
252Rotary International observes World Polio Day Oct. 24
251Across the Fence: Six went to the gallows
251Jane’s Secret XLVII: A stormy afternoon
248At the Monument: Art in National Parks
246Be kind through communications
239Synchronicity:What brings me back
238View of the Zoo: VIPs at RCD
236Letter to the editor
235Gering freshmen introduce personalities, styles: Writing assignment encourages students to let individualism shine
231Jane’s Secret XLIX: Phillip’s agenda
230No-Till Notes:Enjoyable meeting
229Dear Nebraskans: Technology helps serve Nebraskans
229Fellow Nebraskans: Congratulations on graduation day
223Across The Fence: Hinhan Kaga Paha
222Letters to the Editor
213A Stray Moment: Time to get moving
209In the Hills: Awesome Amphibians and Rough Reptiles
209Across the Fence: Aftermath: Part III, The Battle of Summit Springs
201A Stray Moment: Goodbye old house – sorting their things
194Battle of Summit Springs, part II: Warpath to White Bear Creek
193Jack’s Insights: Knowing harvest
181Fourth of July meetings
180A Stray Moment: Brand new used cars
178Building Bridges: Seeking a big win out of the 4th quarter
174Building Bridges: Supporting our teachers supports our children
174Prairie Dogs
173Jane’s Secret XLX: Day’s end
166Teen Voice: Unexpected joys of being a sibling
165No-Till Notes: The value of water
164Across The Fence: Steamboats on the Missouri
163Creatures of the Night
162Dynasty made Gering the biggest little town in Nebraska
159Across The Fence: Scalped at Plum Creek
159 Across The Fence: County Fair
158
158
155Building Bridges: Fair time—learn, respect, appreciate, enjoy!
155Across The Fence: The Pawnee and human sacrifice
153At the Library: One Zentangle a Day
152No-Till Notes: Last chance for North, South Dakota tour
150Building Bridges: “It’s happening” at the Harvest Festival
150
148Across The Fence: Deserters or Outcasts; Three who left. (Part I)
144A Stray Moment: Football – Violence, Death, and Denial
143Across The Fence: New England’s Heroine Scalptress
142Across The Fence: Grandpa’s Grays
137At the Monument: Night Sky
136No-Till Notes: "Harvest"
135No-Till Notes: American Society of Agronomy
134Jane’s Secret LI: The telling
134No-Till Notes: Different Approaches Part II
133Jane’s Secret LII: Eavesdroppers
130Across the Fence: Here lies Major Alexander Culbertson
130A look at - and helping - the State of the Valley
129In the Hills: Get to Know Our Feathered Travelers
124No-Till Notes: "Different Approaches"
119A Stray Moment: A ‘city boy’ visits the Harvest Festival
118Sychronicity: Thrive, don't just survive
115Across the Fence: Deserters or outcasts; Three who left (Part II)
115
113Building Bridges: Know DOVES and know about domestic violence
107
105
103Across the Fence: The Battle of Hungry Hill
99Reach out for challenges
99At the Library: “The Master Switch” The rise and fall of information empires By Tim Wu
87At the Monument: So You want to be a Ranger?
85Across the Fence: The Battle of Coon Creek
67Across the Fence: Before Barbed Wire
43In the Hills: Learn the Dutch Oven
33Across the Fence: Ladies First or First Ladies
Dominos Pizza
Fresh Foods
Spectrum Photo
Kendell Henderson