Sunday, May 31, 2015


Our Minister at the Seward United Methodist Church had an especially interesting sermon this morning. It was about his usual Benediction.  For many of us (Numbers 6:24-26) “The Lord bless you and keep you...” is the familiar Benediction that we looked forward to while “growing-up”. Rev. Dale has been in Seward a couple years and has been using the following: “May you love your God enough that you love nothing else too much.  May you fear your Lord enough that you fear nothing else at all”.  In his sermon he talked about the words: Love/Fear and how they are derived from the Greek language meaning “to stand in awe of”. He went on to use a current day story of hearing a “storm chaser” describe his awe of a tornado on the ground and how his awe turned to fear as it approached a town with devastating impact. It was an interesting story of how some languages have words that better describe situations and how definitions evolve. I was reminded of my Aunt Anna, years ago, saying that she wanted to tell Grandma Vrana of Aunt Rose’es sudden death in Czech because the words were much more descriptive and comforting. I congratulated our Minister on his sermon. Then we enjoyed social hour and at our table, talking about Monarchs and Butterfly Milkweed and the Nebraska Sandhills. 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Lois and Harry Giesselman

Earlier this week, I wrote about the planning for our 50th Kiwanis Club anniversary and my involvement in preparing a DVD to be shown at the event. I have been working with Jack, a Charter member of the Club and Co-Chair of the Anniversary event. He has been working with the Club’s historic records and scrapbooks maintained for years by the wife of the Clubs 1st President, “J” Juergensen.  He also has been through a large number of Kiwanis pictures from Ralph, another long time Club member. This afternoon, I met with Jack at his house and brought home several of the historic scrapbooks as well as 60 of Ralph’s pictures. Elaine has helped me this evening to scan the pictures from Ralph and also those that Jack had selected from the scrapbooks. I still have a lot of “processing” to do but the scanning is done.  I joined the Seward Kiwanis Club in 1993 after  having been a member of the Lincoln Center Club for a number of years while working in the City. One of the attractions for me to join the Seward Club was the Singing Group called the Kitones. Within the pictures we scanned this afternoon was this one of Lois and Harry Giesselman. Harry, a professional Choral Director was the founder of the Kitones and his wife Lois, served as accompanist. The Plaques were presented to them in 1997 for 26 years of leadership to the Kitones. During their tenure, the Kitones sang at four Kiwanis International Conventions, the last one at Salt Lake City after I had started singing with the group. Harry and Lois have passed on, but they will be long remembered for their Leadership to the Kitones and their Service to Kiwanis and its Mission of Serving the Children of the World. 

Friday, May 29, 2015

According to Hoyle

The expression of “doing it according to Hoyle” was very common when I was growing up. I had no idea where it came from. But was used to assure that whatever the task, it was done correctly. It wasn’t until adulthood that I learned that Hoyle was the name of an individual. 
According to Wikipedia, "Edmond Hoyle (1672 –1769) was a writer best known for his works on the rules and play of card games. The phrase "according to Hoyle" came into the language as a reflection of his generally perceived authority on the subject; since that time, use of the phrase has expanded into general use in situations in which a speaker wishes to indicate an appeal to a putative authority.” 
I came across this little  4 1/2 by 7", 238 page book this afternoon on our bookshelves. Elaine reminded me that it had come from her folks and told of how her Dad spent a lot of time reading the fine print to get the “rules” for various card games. The latest copyright on this book is 1924 by Laird & Lee, Inc. Elaine’s family were Pinochle Card players and I suspect Albert was very familiar will all 6 pages on the rules of the game. I  attempted to learn the game when Elaine and I were courting, but it wasn’t one of my priorities. I did try though, to do everything else “according to Hoyle”. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Sadie’s Visit Today

We look forward to the Thursday Mornings when her Mother drops Sadie  off as she and Jack go to Bible Study. Among other things, I took her to my shop area were we had a lesson on tools and some practice with a little hammer and screwdriver. There was a bit of de ja vu since Julie spent so much time with me in my shop when she was Sadie’s age. She and Elaine continued some time in the shop after I went to coffee. We also did “Home Delivered Meals” today. Our last “customer” is near the Senior Center so we enjoyed the monthly Potato Bake as well as visiting with old friends. They served the large potatoes in a Styrofoam box today which made it handy for most of us to take part of it home. With a big piece of Cherry Pie awaiting, I “saved” quite a bit of my potato.  We considered mowing the lawn this evening but the mosquitoes are so thick that we will wait for a bit of wind. They seam to be worse anound the bushes and under the trees. Our over 10 inches of rain already in May has certainly brought them out. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Stress Test

Work continues on the addition to Seward Memorial Hospital. I also continue to take advantage of the services it provides. This morning I had an exercise stress test which involved injections of tracer material into the blood stream, imagery while laying still for 20 minutes, inclined treadmill walking under Dr. Summa’s supervision, monitoring of heart rate etc., lunch and another 18 minutes of imagining. The process took some 2 1/2 hours. The data is  being provided to Doctors at Bryan Hospital in Lincoln. It is expected that they will be in touch with Dr. Summa and he will contact me with the assessment. It was a “stressful” experience with the laying still for the imaging the most demanding--worse than the treadmill that got my heart rate up to 115. Kayln and Linda were the nurses that put me through the process and I have never been involved with more compassionate people than these two. I understand that this unit will occupy the top floor of the new addition when it is completed this fall. The new facilities may be better but it would be impossible for Kayln and Linda to provide better service.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Planning a 50 year Anniversary

The Kiwanis Club of Seward will celebrate our 50th Anniversary this year while the Parent Club celebrates its 100th. This picture was taken 10 years ago at the time of the 40th Anniversary.  Jack Duensing, Doc Winter and Alan Loftis were Charter members and Fritzi Juergensen was the wife of Walter “J” Juergensen, founding President of the Club. Marv Taylor and Jack are co-chairs of the local celebration committee. We met today and I was assigned the task of developing a DVD to be shown during the social hour of the July 13 gala event. Fritzi served as  historian the first 25-30 years of the Clubs existence. Her material will be most useful in preparing a display and for the DVD.  I have taken many pictures over the years since becoming a member (including this one) and will go back through my files to cover the more recent years. I also invite the membership to provide any pictures that might be added to the showing. Marv says this is going to be a “Once in a Lifetime Event” so hopefully we can make it  Enjoyable.

Monday, May 25, 2015

From the Attic

After doing the normal morning chores, and putting out the Flag for Memorial Day, I went up in the attic. We have stored many things up there over the years, including the boxes for many of the models that we have been working with recently. I have taken pictures of the models from various angles, set up files for each of them in the computer, and now scanning two or three sides of the boxes for the information they contain. I don’t know what we will do with all of this information but feel it will be of value if we list them on eBay, Craig’s list or even Seward Swap. In addition to getting them “organized”, it is really the first opportunity I’ve had to “play” with them. It is also something that Elaine and I can work at together. And, it is time to get a lot of “stuff” out of the attic. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Jack’s Baptizm

Our Great Grandson, Jack Edward Owens, son of Julie and John was Baptized this morning by Father Barak here in Seward. Two of Jack’s cousins were interested observers. It was a very impressive event. We enjoyed lunch at the Owens home with the family and Father Barak. Sadie enjoyed having kids to play with. We had a full day with having breakfast with brother Don and Gladys who were here for Gladys' HS Class Reunion last night. We also took flowers out to the cemetery. It requires a certain amount of wondering around as we go not only to immediate family, but some Aunts, Uncles and Cousins. We walk past many markers in the process. We always marvel at the fact that we recognize the names of more people that we know out there than we do today in the Seward Paper. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015


This was taken during the dry summer of 1988. It was our 7th and last year of farming after moving back to Nebraska. I had retired from the Nebraska Natural Resources Commission staff earlier in the year so it was also our first year of being “full time farmers”. After having “grown up” on a farm and working with Soil and Water Conservation for many years, the dream of having a small farm in retirement seemed ideal. However, the dream begins to be a bit of a nightmare when you start hoeing beans that have been stunted by dry weather. One clump of Shatter Cane, if let go to seed, would infest a large area the following year. We also hoed out Milkweed, Sunflowers, etc.
This shows me with a couple buckets full of Cane heads that we cut out of the Milo field after it had headed out but before the Cane seed had matured. Our best crop that year was our Certified Trail Blazer Switchgrass. We had planted Foundation Seed in rows, controlled weed competition with Atrizene and harvested it with an Allis-Chalmers combine. We had it processed and bagged at a York, NE Seed Mill where it carried the State test for purity  and germination. There was a demand for perennial seed at that time since land was being placed in a USDA Conservation Reserve Program. The pleasure and profit of raising the Switchgrass wasn’t enough to offset the other “woes” of farming; so we had an Auction the next spring where we sold the farm and all of our machinery. And, have never regretted our decision. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Memorial Day

This picture was taken on Memorial Day back in 1988 at Soucek’s patio. It includes: Eddy, Don, Dad, Gladys, Mother, Vivian, Elaine and me. Only Don, Gladys, Elaine and I are still with us. It seemed that the Holiday slipped up on this year with it being as early as legal. As a kid, my folks always referred to it as Decoration Day. I did some research and found the following: The preferred name for the holiday gradually changed from "Decoration Day" to "Memorial Day", which was first used in 1882. It did not become more common until after World War II, and was not declared the official name by Federal law until 1967. On June 28, 1968, the Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved four holidays, including Memorial Day, from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three-day weekend. The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May. The law took effect at the federal level in 1971. After some initial confusion and unwillingness to comply, all 50 states adopted the Congressional change of date within a few years.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sadie in Song at the Piano

Thursday mornings are always entertaining when Sadie spends some time with us. In addition to helping Elaine bake cookies this morning, she got her to open the Piano for her. She was in all her glory “making music” and singing. The Alphabet song is one of her favorites and she sings it from “A to Z”. She even asked me to sing it with her when I got home from coffee.  We enjoyed seeing Julie and Jack when they stopped by to pick Sadie up for lunch. Our temperature got up to near 70 and with sunshine, we mowed the lawn. Rain is forecast again for tomorrow so it was well to get it cut. It gives us some good exercise but I do appreciate Elaine helping with it. We will likely break our record for the amount of rain we have received during the month of May and has certainly made the grass grow. It will be interesting to see how it continues into summer. But it will be even more interesting to see how Sadie gets along learning to play the piano. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Mount Rushmore on $10 Dollars/Day

Elaine took this picture while on a short family trip. Here are notes from my Diary of the 4-day vacation:

(Thursday, August 4) We left Seward before 5:00am in our station wagon and went past Gavins Point and Ft. Randall Dams; went through the Bad Lands and got to Rapid City by 6:30pm. The kids were pretty good but got silly. We cooked outdoors.
(Friday) Slept in Roosevelt park in Rapid City last night. Went to Spearfish, rode the Terry Peak chair lift and through the Lead Gold mine, got a glimpse of Rushmore. It works pretty good to all sleep in the Station Wagon.
(Saturday) Stayed at a State Park last night. We went through Rushmore Cave and saw the Monument. Got groceries at Chadron and went swimming at Chadron State Park where we ate supper. It got pretty warm.
(Sunday) We got ready for bed in Alliance but mosquitoes were so bad that we drove on to Merna where we slept.. We got home by 11:30am. Slept in the afternoon before going to the County Fair. We saw Verlon's Blue Ribbon picture; then we went out to my folks. We spent $40.00 on our trip.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Beautiful Peony

We have been enjoying Mother’s Day flowers for close to two weeks but they have just about “run their course” so Elaine went out to the back yard and brought in this Peony this evening. It is the first one to bloom and has one of the largest flower that we have ever seen. It measures over 6’’ in diameter and even smells nice. This is exceptionally early for them to bloom. Generally they come out for Memorial Day. They have been a long time family favorite. I don’t remember ever buying any but have always brought the roots in from each of our folks places and moved them from place to place. Elaine had a busy day. She went to a Seward County Genealogical Society meeting this morning, went to her exercise session and took some things to Joyce and the Post Office this afternoon. All of that in addition to the normal house wife duties of fixing meals, cleaning house, doing some washing and tonight, she even baked an Apple Pie. Am I Lucky or What. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Old Pictures of Seward

This picture of the north side of the Seward square was posted on facebook recently by the lady that has “Chapter’s Book Store” in the building at the left end of the picture. It was dated 1887. It is remarkable that this whole block of buildings is still intact today with very little change in outward appearance. The County Court House was built in 1905-07 in the full block where the horses are tied. At the time of the picture, that block was vacant except for a Flag Pole, Windmill and newly planted trees as shown on a 1873 picture that I bought at an auction several years ago when a long time Seward family had an Estate sale.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Toys Evoke Memories

I spent some more time today working on my Tractor and Car collection. This isn’t one from my childhood but it is of the cast iron type that I had. It’s really a pretty crude impression of an early Ford tractor.  I wish I would have made a note on each of my “toys” listing its cost and where they came from. I’m quite sure that if the money had been spent on Berkshire-Hathaway stock, it would have been a much better investment. It would also be easier to convert into cash. This old tractor does bring back the memory of Grandpa Walker having an early Fordson which was parked in the machine shed during the 
drought and depression of the 1930’s. It was never used because of the cost of tractor fuel. They  farmed with horses who ate hay and oats even if they weren’t worked. Much happier memories are associated with this Pontiac Station Wagon. We bought a new ’56 model which was quite similar. We bought it locally, and the salesman took me to Omaha to drive it home. I had hit a home run the day before and I remember thinking as I drove out of the garage that I had the same thrill as hitting the HR. It was the vehicle that we used to move to Arlington, VA, with 4 kids.

Saturday, May 16, 2015


We are pleased to see some of last years plantings in the flower bed, come back and bloom better than ever. We called them “Pinks” and have learned that the old-fashioned carnation name pinks comes from the serrated flower edges, which look as if cut with pinking shears. And the name of the color pink is said to come from these perennials, which have been popular in gardens for hundreds of years. The many dianthus species and hybrids come in red,white, orange, purple, cranberry, and of course, many shades of pink. The serrated edges show up 
better on the white ones with the pink centers. The 10 inches of rain that we have received during the month of May so far, has helped in their vigor. We are in a “storm watch” area again tonight but it doesn’t appear that anything is eminant. We have had a quiet day without leaving home, having the phone  nor door bell ring, but we did get mail. We did see American Pharoah win the Preakness and are watching the Yankees lead the Royals 4-1 after 7 innings.

Friday, May 15, 2015

My Guinness Drinking Gnome

This little Gnome with the Yankee shirt over a bottle of Guinness has set next to my computer desk at the foot of our  lower level stairs. It has been in that location for the past few years. Sadie has never liked it. In fact since she has learned to talk, she has insisted that it be covered with a blanket before going down the stairs. She does love to take pictures with my camera so when she was here yesterday, we went down and took the picture. We talked about the Gnome and hopefully have overcome her fear of him. We talked a bit about the Yankees as well and of them playing at Kansas City tonight. The Gnome has a rather interesting history in that I bought it to give to Ben as a Christmas present. I thought it might fit into his sense of humor but the following Christmas, found it back under our tree with my name attached. I really kinda like it setting next to the brass spittoon next to my desk. As Sadie gets a bit older, I may have to tell her that it was the beer that made his cheeks so fat and his face look funny. She might even believe me.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Jack and his Thumb

Jack and his Mother spent some time with us when they stopped by to pick up Sadie. She had spent the morning here while Julie and Jack were at Bible Study. Jack didn’t get out of his car seat while he was here but isn't a bit bashful about sucking his thumb. He reminds Elaine and I of the way Tim sucked his thumb when he was Jack’s age. He even continued doing it for some time. It doesn’t appear that he suffered any adverse reaction as a result though his one thumb was smaller  than the other as a child. We had our usual good time with Sadie while she was here. We had another rain during the night and morning. This will be one of our wettest Junes on record. We are already in 5th place with more rain forecast for tomorrow night and next week. I took more pictures of my model farm machinery.
Jack may have to learn about farming by playing with my models. There is no one in our immediate family involved. The closest relatives on the farm would be in my brother Don’s family. The day of a young man becoming a farmer without significant financial help is very limited. A few are able to move into it by working as a hired hand but it’s very limited.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Church Directory

Elaine and I had our pictures taken this afternoon for the Church Directory. It was done by the “LifeTouch” company which I understand is a successor to “Olin Mills” which previously did the Directory. We were not especially pleased with the process so when we got home, we took our own pictures (as shown). The sales pitch is that members who participate receive a free 8 x 10 print of the picture that goes into the Directory as well as a free copy of the Directory. However, after several pictures were taken and shown on the monitor, we learned there was no choice on the one to appear in the Directory and the free print because of the background. We were given a 20% discount as senior citizens but with the discount, a “recommended” package started out over $900.00 dollars. We finally bought  prints of one view of the two of us. We will be getting: 1, 8x10; 4, 5x7; and 9 wallet size for the discounted price of $121.16. What a bargain!! Typically, the Directory is updated every 5 years. 
If Church continues the trend toward “informality”, it seems there is little reason to “hire professionals” to take pictures. I have no idea of how many thousands of dollars will leave the Church this round but it seems it could be put to better use. I’m sure there are people in the congregation with cameras and ability to take much better pictures than I’ve shown here. I am impressed with the quality of pictures taken these days with “smart phones”. It makes one wonder if professional photographers will go the way of the village blacksmith. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

It Is Well....

Our Seward Magazine Club dates back to the days when Magazine subscriptions were very costly. A few business people collaborated their selections  and then shared information on articles. Currently it seems that “Nebraska Life” is the most popular publication with at least one article from it, reported on at nearly every meeting. However, we no longer limit reports to Magazine articles. Recently a couple reported on a sign that is located in their garden and then told of a new addition. It is a glacial rock with the words of the first verse of the hymn “It Is Well with My Soul” engraved in the sliced off portion along with the decorative flower. The hymn was written by Horatio Spafford in 1876 after traumatic events in his life. As a successful lawyer he was ruined financially by the 1871 Great Chicago Fire. In 1873 he planned to travel to Europe with his family on the SS Ville du Havre. In a late change of plans, he sent the family ahead as he was delayed on zoning problems following the fire. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank rapidly after a collision with another ship and all four of Spafford’s daughters died. His wife Anna survived. Shortly afterwards, as Spafford traveled to meet his grieving wife, he was inspired to write the six verses to this beloved hymn. The last verse is: "And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul."

Monday, May 11, 2015

Peoples City Mission & Scholarships

Pastor Tom Barber, Director of the Peoples City Mission in Lincoln, provided the program at Kiwanis today. While most of us were familiar with the Mission, we were surprised at its magnitude. He said that services were provided to 32,000 people in Lincoln last year; 17,000 of these services were at their Clinic. Barber  came to the Mission several years ago following a business background. While Lincoln has grown, he says their program is 10 times the size it was 10 years ago. Most of their funding comes from volunteer service and donations. Many of the donations come in the way of material that can be recycled. It was an “eye-opening” presentation for most of us.
The Club is presenting scholarships to 3 graduating seniors who were guests today. They are: Morgan Doehring, Ruth Roebke and Renee Roebke (twins). They are members of the Kiwanis Key club at Seward High School. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mothers & Sadie

It was a Happy Mother’s Day at the Owens’ as we pictured the Mothers and Sadie after an excellent dessert.  Jack was taking his nap so Sadie had our undivided attention which she appreciates. She continues to entertain us with her conversation. When she was visiting with Elaine she said, “Whatever will be, will be”. She just got her new “training” bike which enables her to walk along and eventually coast to learn balance. It has little foot rest for her use as she eventually coast down their driveway. Meanwhile, she enjoys peddling her tricycle. It even has a “push rod” for extra assistance, if necessary. She is well protected with pads for any falls. When our kids were little, we just accepted that bruises were part of the learning process. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Happy Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day began at our house this morning when the local Florist delivered this beautiful bouquet to Elaine. She has enjoyed it all day and expect it to be nice for the next several. And, I must admit enjoying it as well. We also went down to Walmart and among other things, brought home a box of Whitman’s chocolates to add to the “flavor” of the Special Day. Back in our courting days, Whitman’s chocolates were always the gift of choice. The candies in the box and the flowers in the vase have changed very little if any during those nearly 66 years of our marriage nor has our love for each other. Happy Mother’s Day Elaine.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Senator Mark Kolterman

Senator Mark Kolterman spoke at our Magazine Club last night and brought us up-to-date on activities of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature. Mark and Suzanne have been members of the Club for a number of years but this is his first year as a Senator. Mark has been a successful insurance agent and a life long resident of Seward. Their daughter Jessica, has been involved with the Unicameral for a number of years; so Mark has gone in with a good understanding of the process.  He appears to be continuing the non-partisan attitude on many issues that Senator George Norris intended. Mark says he likes to think of  “the public” as the 2nd “House” since he and most of the Senators listen carefully to what their constitutes have to say. One of his first votes was to continue the long standing rule of electing committee chairs by secret ballot which has been a key to maintaining a non-partisan climate. It’s nice to have a personal friend among the 49 State Senators. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sadie Elizabeth

Sadie spent some time at our house this morning. She made pie crust with her Great Grandma and I took her down to the lower level. She was about half way down the stairs and remembered the gnome that stands by my computer desk. She wouldn’t go any further until I went down and covered the gnome with a blanket; she just can’t tolerate it. She is very alert to moving the cursor and felt she was sending messages to Mommy and Daddy. We got started counting coins and she is able to count up into the teens. She is also very proud of herself for being able to go to the toilet and enjoys flushing it. We really enjoy having her with us for these visits.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Storm Warnings

When we finished eating supper this evening, I went out a cut a couple Lilac stems to bring the blooms into the house. We had been watching Ken Siemek on Channel 10/11 and decided that if we were to have the weather that was possible, we should at least have some flowers in the house. We have been in a rain pattern for the past week and may have received an inch of rain during the entire time, but it appears that tonight may be more exciting. Wednesday is our day to mow the lawn but the weather didn’t let us do it today. I was able to talk with Charley, my old golfing buddy today. 
Charley spent some time at Ridgewood earlier this spring recuperating from hip surgery but  is home now and getting along well. We are having some thunder and the rain is coming down pretty good but no indication of a storm. We have switched channels to watch the Royals and Indians in Kansas City. It is interesting to see the Royal blue sky down there with the dark storm clouds here. I would never accuse Ken Siemek of exaggerating the danger of a storm, but he could scare some with a heavy dew forecast. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

History comes to Light

Union Bank and Trust broke ground on April 21 for their new facility at the SE corner of 4th and # 34. It is on the 3 square block area of the old Seward Schools. The 1919 HS building is the only building remaining with all others demolished during the past year. Construction began following the ground breaking and sidewalk superintendents assumed the building would have a basement when some 5 feet of black soil was removed from the site. They were 
further confused when the “basement” hole was filled with compacted clay material. The area involved has been a school playground for as long as local senior citizens can remember and has not been disturbed. The Bank architects apparently took soil samples and found the old gulch that ran up through the area as shown in this 1879, artist rendition of the city. (The dark area running up from the river in the middle of the picture).  Many changes have occurred during the intervening 136 years including the filling in of the gulch, the moving of the river channel, location of the school facilities, etc, with the City growing to over 7,000 people. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Helping the Children

Shannon Robotham with Epworth Village Group Home provided the program at our Kiwanis Meeting this noon. Epworth Village has a long history in York for providing family-centered care and treatment to bring hope and healing to youth and families in a compassionate and caring manner. The York home, in addition to a similar facility in Grand Island, NE has a total of 30 beds for boys ages 12-18 who have had behavioral, emotional or other issues. Treatment is focused on : Behavioral & Emotional control, Social Skills Development, Character Development and Life Skills. Monthly meetings are held with family members as well as current schools. Epworth Village has long been a Methodist Church mission but substantial funding comes from the State. Shannon says she is talking to Churches with State funding being reduced. They hope to also provide facilities for girls.
Katie Radcliffe and Renee Praceil with the local Head Start program were also there to express their Thanks for all our Club has done with them in their programs. Kiwanis members read to the children and sponsor a swimming “Pool Party” among other activities. The Pool Party is a major event involving the parents as well as the kids. The mission of Kiwanis has been defined as “Helping the Children of the World, One Child at a Time”. Both of these activities today fit very well into that world wide mission on a local level. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Rhododendrons & Azaleas in Nebraska

We visited with a lady at Church this morning that had  put a picture of a few small flowers from this Rhododendron on Facebook yesterday. We were curious as to the location of the bush since they are not normally grown in this area. We are familiar with them from having lived in northern Virginia where they thrive. In visiting with Tep we learned that the flowering bush was at the home of one of her neighbors. It turns out that it is at Cliff’s house who moved to Seward a couple years ago and sings with us Kitones. We drove up to take this picture of it this afternoon. It is on the north side of the house and appears to be several years old. I’m only showing a small portion of it since the sun shown on my camera lens and caused a blurr.
The Azalea in our back yard is in the same family as Cliff’s Rhododendron but is certainly a long way from being as impressive. We planted it on the north side of our backyard stockade fence about 3 years ago. These are the first blossoms to come out and the buds promise to make this its best bloom. We  had 2 Rhododendrons in front of our Laura Leaf Lane home in Fairfax, VA and some 15 or more Azaleas in the wooded back yard. These were among the things we missed by moving back to Nebraska. After being back here for these several years, it is Great News to learn that certain varieties can do as well as Cliff’s. Thanks to Tep & Cliff.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Our Date in Lincoln

Gary Herr from the Lincoln Cornhusker Kiwanis Club was out to our local club meeting a few weeks ago and sold tickets for their annual pancake-french toast breakfast. He mentioned the possibility of having a late breakfast and going back for an early lunch. I just about did that by going back for the toast and it was excellent. We enjoyed visiting with old friends, Richard Slama and Clint Johnson who are members of the club. This was a beautiful day and we enjoyed driving across Lincoln from the Antelope Park Pavilion where the meal was served up to the Dairy Store on the East-campus of UN-L. 
We hadn’t been to the Dairy Store for some time and had forgotten just how good their ice cream is. I had a waffle cone with Butter Pecan  and enjoyed it all the way down to the tip. We drove through some areas today that were off our normal path and marveled at the changes along the way. While it’s nice to see progress, it is also comforting to drive past the State Capitol, St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Sunken Gardens and see them so well maintained. Driving home, we  had to slow down near the Klintworth farm to let a Wild Tom Turkey find his way off the road as traffic was approaching.  I wore a windbreaker jacket to go to the O’Connor auction this morning and cane home with the air conditioner on.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Kiwanis Key Club Senior Citizens Prom

The Kitones sang at the Kiwanis Key Club, Senior Citizens Prom at the Seward High School this evening. The old Gym was well decorated and a significant number of folks from the Seward Care Centers were brought to the party. A disc jockey provided very appropriate music and treats were available. There must have been over 20 wheel chairs with Key Clubers providing the locomotion. A King and Queen will be crowned later this evening with the whole event covered by the local press.
Elaine’s 95-year old sister Joyce, was among those enjoying the event. Her “escort” and I are shown with her in front of a “stand-alone” cardboard model of a fancy car. While we visit Joyce occasionally at Ridgewood, I probably had the best visit with her after we sang this evening than I have had for some time. It is interesting what the music, the young people reaching out to them and the climate of having a “Good Time” does for people. I don’t know how well Joyce will be able to express her appreciation to her “escort” and the “Key Club” in general, but knowing her as I do, they did more for her than what she even realized. They are like Angels.