Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Black Crow

Some of you may not be aware of the relationship between "The Crow's Nest" and my family name of Vrana. It is a Czech name and is what a Crow is called in the Czech language. Our daughter found this "bird" at Liberty house here in Seward this morning.
 Today's paper carried an ad of General Motors planning to market a small Buick this fall called a "Verano". It would be interesting to know the background of the name.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

County Fair

County Fairs are an educational opportunity for all of us. What better time to help children (and many adults) learn that the store where they get their milk is but the last step in the production process; the cow is the first and most important step.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Fourth of July

On these cold January days it helps to think back to the hot Fourth of July's when family picnics with ice tea was the order of the day. Great grandkid had to have her can of soda pop.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Birthday Janice & Jerry

Happy Birthday Janice and Jerry. There have been a lot of rocks rolled away since you sat on these and played with your dolls. Some of Jerry's grandsons might not realize that he ever had a doll. It didn't keep him from becoming very masculine and sharing a birthday with Jack Nicklaus. Janice is still demonstrating the loving, Motherly care she shows here with her doll. Many,many more Happy Days.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mary had a Little Lamb

I came across this print while indexing pictures. It is our granddaughter with her Haloween theme of "Mary had a Little Lamb". I may be biased but I think she is cute. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Old Men & basket ball

It doesn't take much to make an old man happy. Here several of them are enjoying watching the HS Class B girls basketball team win their 61 consecutive game, a streak that is extending into it's 3rd year. These girls are good. You have heard it said, "The older I get, the better I was" but I believe these girls are better than us old men were in "our finest hours".

Monday, January 17, 2011

Snow White Bear

With temperatures in the mid-40's when I got home from Kiwanis, and 6-7 inches of melting snow on the ground, I couldn't resist the temptation to make a snow----. I think it looks more like a bear than any thing else.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Family Reunions

Annual family reunions were a tradition in my Dad's family. As one generation moved on (Uncle Joe and Aunt Ruth were the last of that generation, on this picture), it was determined that we should have "Cousin's Reunions". Not every year because of travel, but rather every 3 years. The first one was at the Seward Country Club on July 6,1993, pictured above. Since then we have had 9 reunions and have shortened the time lapse to every year. We have some avid golfers in the family and a round of golf is part of the event. We are also bringing in the next generation and beyond to continue a wonderful tradition.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Acceptance of Reality

The Alumni Association of Concordia University here in Seward, has sponsored overseas travel opportunities for their members and friends of the University for a number of years. When I learned of their 8-day, “Birthplace of Golf Program” this summer to St. Andrews, in Scotland, I immediately became interested. With visions of old Golfers waving farewell as they crossed the little bridge at the 18th hole on the “Old Course”, I thought, “What a way to celebrate my  birthday in June”.  But it didn’t take long for reality to set-in. After first seeing the pamphlet price of $3,500. 00,  I found that the “Tour Price” didn’t include: “Airfare, meals-other than specified (breakfast); passport and visa fees; transportation to/from gateway city; airport taxes, telephone, laundry, optional sightseeing and tips to guides and drivers, or other item of a strictly, personal nature.” I hope the tour fills because it is an opportunity to see, “The Birthplace of Golf”.  In 1994, before I took up the game, my wife and I visited Edinburgh, Scotland and didn’t go on out to St. Andrews as did some of our traveling companions. Their enthusiasm may have been a factor in my signing up for Dr. Carl Everett’s “Beginning Golf” course at Concordia soon after we got home. But reality often includes compromise. Golf continues to be a major factor in my life and I have already talked to Dr. Robert Fiala about “photo shopping” a picture of me, standing on the Swilcan bridge at St. Andrews holding my WalMart “rescue club”.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Happy Birthday

Though a lot of weeds have been cut since 1987, the relationship between granddaughter and grandad has even grown over time. Happy birthday Julie.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Visit with Senator Mike Johanns

Senator Mike Johanns was in Seward today for a brief “listening” stop. I had the privilege of visiting with him as he spent a few minutes at our Kiwanis Club gathering. I told him that we had confidence in him, his own personal “good judgment” and to not be influenced very much by party, large organizations, nor lobbyist; to do what is right for the Country and be wary of extremist at either end of the spectrum.  

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Picture Collage

To accompany my writings of the first “20 Chapters” of my life, I have developed picture collages showing the “highlights” of the period. Beginning in 1981, I started developing them on an annual basis. For the past few years it has taken 2 or 3 pages of collages to display the important pictures. Shown is the first page of 3, which it took this year. I apologize for the size but hope it gives some idea of what I have. It was a cold, wintry day in eastern Nebraska which prompted the finishing up of the collages for 2010, the writing of the captions, and an effort to file away some memories

Friday, January 7, 2011

Golfing in Nebraska

I did an analysis of my 2010 golf year with the following results: 203, 9-hole round scores were recorded. Most of them were played from the senior (yellow) tees. This makes for a 2614 yard course at the Seward Country Club. My average score was 43.83 with my best rounds coming late in the season. I shot my age a few times (18 holes) and had a couple 9-hole rounds of 38. One of them was the day the above picture was taken on October 18 when I played with Ken, Charlie, Eldon and Dale (who took the picture).  The fall weather and tree coloring was beautiful making for a great golfing year.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Seward City Council met last night for the 2nd time with the new Mayor and two new Council members. The Mayor is easy to spot since he is standing in the back row with stars on the wall behind him.
After the pleasantries of getting our picture taken, we engaged in some vigorous discussion. It may be a sign of maturity but I find myself trying to keep some things from happening as much as I do trying to make them  happen while considering the long-term interest of the City.  

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Weather Forecasts

The Old Farmer’s Almanac I received as a Christmas gift includes a bit on “Ember Days”. I had not heard the term since my Dad many, many years ago duly noted the weather on such days to predict future weather conditions. The “Days” are rooted in early Church history and are identified as the Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday following the first Sunday in Lent;  those 3 days of the week following Pentecost; those 3 days following September 14 (the Feast of the Holy Cross); and, those 3 days following December 13 (The Feast of St. Lucia).  Folklore has it, and my Dad respected it, that the Wednesday following the first Sunday in Lent predicted the weather for the following month. This year it will be March 16th forecasting weather for April, the 17th for May and the 19th for June. Those 3 Ember Days in each quarter predicted weather   for the following 3 months and led to predictions for the full 12 months of the year. I have already noted the dates in my calendar and will be watching them this year. This system has the flexibility of being applicable wherever you live.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Fourteen Years

There were only 14 years between this picture and the one taken from about the same spot that I posted a few days ago . I was a Nebraska farm lad at this point in time with a '41 Chevy, some good buddies with no thought of ever living in the D.C. area. A lot of changes occured during those 14 years. I began Federal employment a few weeks after getting back home, was married a year later and soon had a family of four children. Fortunatly, my wife had a lot of favorable influence on me during those years that enabled us to have the opportunity to return.