Friday, December 30, 2016

Computer and NU Football Challanges Ahead

We have really enjoyed Jon having coffee with us this week. With having worked in Washington, D.C. for the past 20 years and doing a lot of traveling, he brings a much different perspective to the group. Yet, they lived in Seward for some 6 years in the early '90's, so he relates to the group well. While we enjoy Jon's contributions to the discussion, I don't think anyone enjoys it more than Jon. We went down to Walmart directly from coffee and among other things, got a keyboard to use with my new computer. (We also had this picture printed with copies for each of us.) Jay has a collection of such pictures from over the years.
Though the new Dell computer is a laptop, we set it up on our old computer desk and will use it as a PC.  I like the auxiliary keyboard that is more nearly what I am used to using. The mouse is wireless and I can control the cursor much better with it than to touch pad. We also have it set up to use our current printer with a wireless connection. I am optomistic about what we can do with it but it will be a challenge. Coach Riley also has some challenges, being on the short end of a 38-24 score in the Music City  Bowl against Tennessee, in Nashville. Ryker Fyfe did a great job filling in for the injured Tommy Armstrong. It is ironic that after being back up QB for the past 4 years, he got to play his last game.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Blizzard of '49

It is ironic that this picture was on my blog on December 30, 2015. Jon, Mary and Anna are visiting us again this week and we may have to go down to the "Bottle Rocket Brewery" again tomorrow to begin a "tradition". We just finished watching an net program on "The Blizzard of '49". I pulled my old Diary off the shelf and read some "first person" descriptions of the event. While the film focused on the western Wyoming and western Nebraska area, we in eastern Nebraska also had a very sever winter.  My narrative summary said: " The winter of '48-'49 went down in history as one of the most severe on record. We had drifts 7-8 feet high around our farmstead. Roads were blocked for several days and we drove through the field
to get to where the road had been cleared."
This 1987 picture of my folks and brother Don, were very much a part of my experience in the Blizzard of '49. It wasn't just a single blizzard "event" here in eastern Nebraska but rather a series of snow storms with high winds during much of January and February. On one occasion Dad, Don and I had scooped out our 600 foot driveway with snow some 4' deep in places. We didn't attempt to scoop it very clean and left 5-6" to drive through. I was driving our 2-door '37 Chevy and when I couldn't get through, went to back up and get a run for it. I opened the door to be sure they were out of the way, and the door caught  the snow bank and popped it right off.  Just another example of collateral damage.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Vivian and Brother Buddy

Today, the 28th of December was the birthday of my sister Vivian who didn't wake up one morning 8 years ago. There were only 18 months difference in our ages and she did a lot of "looking after me" during our childhood. In some ways it never ceased as we looked after each other to some degree until she passed away. This first picture was taken next to our wash house here in Seward. Vivian would have been going on 3. The picture to the right is a "Studio" picture taken a bit ahead of the first one. Mother said I was tied in the chair to keep me there.
We were about 3 and 4 when the next pictures were taken at Uncle Bert and Aunt Tillie Walker's house on west Seward Street. Our Great Grandchildren Sadie and Jack Owens remind us so much of Vivian and I as kids. Sadie is now 4 and Jack has had his 2nd birthday a couple months ago. They seem to get along just like we did. Sadie leads the way and Jack is quick to follow. I don't have a picture of them together such as these but will have to get one. It would be neat to have a photographer "stage" one similar to the studio picture of Vivian and I. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Family Visit

Jon, Mary and Anna got in late last night after flying from the Washington, D.C. area into Omaha and driving on out to Seward. They were so quiet coming in that we didn't hear them and decided they must have stayed in Omaha. I was most surprised to see the rental car while getting in the morning papers. Jon went along with me downtown for coffee. It was a small group but we had a good visit. I had taken along some old Seward pictures which showed up while cleaning some files over the Holiday. Jon gave us some 1st hand perspective on the anticipation back in Washington, D.C. We came home past some of Seward's new downtown construction.
John, Julie, Sadie and Jack along with Carolyn came to visit  this evening. It takes Sadie a bit to get acquainted with people she hasn't seen for a while, but Jon got her interested in pushing some buttons on the Accordion. She also liked him showing her on a map the distance they had flown to get here. Jack had awakened from a nap about the time they came, but he soon came around to being his normal cute self. We spent much of the afternoon getting the new Dell Laptop computer set up that Jon and Mary got me for Christmas. It will replace the old HP PC that Jon helped me buy back in '07. It has served us well but has been on it's "last legs" for a while.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Unusual Weather and Nebraska Stories

I wrote of our unusual Christmas weather yesterday without being aware that damage did occur in the area, about the time we recorded our high temperature. Meyer Ford 6 miles south of Seward had some empty trailers blown around; a farmstead in that area had some siding blown off; a shed a mile north of town suffered damage during high mid-afternoon winds. This was followed by a beautiful rainbow. This one pictured came from Columbus, NE.
The top 10 Nebraska stories of 2016 has already been determined by the AP news members and staffers to be: 1. Death Penalty. It was reinstated by the voters after being abolished by the Legislature.  2. Nebraska Punter Killed. Sam Foltz was killed in a Wisconsin auto accident in July. 3. Cabela's sale to Bass Pro. The 4.5 billion dollar sale was announced in October. 4. Alligator Drags Toddler. The 2-year old son of an Elkhorn couple was dragged from a Disney World beach and killed. 5. Prison Staffing: Officials continue to struggle with staffing shortages and lack of mental health and treatment services for inmates. 6. Beatrice 6: Six people who were wrongfully convicted in a 1985 rape and murder were awarded $28.1 million by a federal jury in July. 7. State Senator Cybersex: A State Senator admitted to having cybersex on a State Computer, paid a $1,000. fine, but refuses to resign. 8. Legislative Shake-up: Nearly half a dozen incumbents lose their seats in Nebraska Legislature general election races. 9. Tourism Director: The Tourism Commission fires its executive director in the wake of a blistering state audit. 10. Budget Woes: Gov. Pete Ricketts orders agencies to restrict their spending as state revenue falls dramatically short of expectations. And, all of this is just Nebraska Stories. I haven't seen the the national list but I can guess the #1 story.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas at the Owens House

We were out to the Owens home this morning soon after 10:00am where some gift opening was taking place. The presents from Santa Claus had been opened much earlier in the day.  Sadie makes the distinction between what comes from O'le Santa and those from others including her parents. Jack just takes whatever comes his way, without much interest in where it came from. We had rain during the night and it was quite foggy all morning. During the course of opening presents, there were 2 loud clashes of thunder and rain. It has been a most unusual weather day for Christmas. Our low for the day(at least until 6:30pm) was 33 at 12:00am, it is now 44. The high was 58 at 2:33pm, with high wind gust of 30mph at 1:47pm. We received 0.87 inches of rain today which brought our year's total to 30.42". This is some 4 inches over our long time average. The skies cleared late in the day and we should have a quiet night. Our high  temperature is not a record for Christmas.
One of Jacks favorite gifts was this Fire Truck with an extension ladder, lights, sounds and even a hose that squirts water (which he hasn't learned of). He received a little wooden train that he likes and an interesting toy consisting of various size and colored disk with a threaded "donut hole". When placed over a 15" broom-stick sized threaded shaft, gravity pulls the spinning disk down to the base. The set contains some 6-8 disks and is very entertaining without batteries. That is not the case with his JD tractor that has lights, sounds, etc. but he likes them all. Sadie got several "cooking" and "art" gifts but it seemed her favorite was a Mermaid Barbie Doll with long blonde hair and is clothed in an outfit with colored lights.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Night Before Christmas

"T'was the night before Christmas and" we have been out to Owens' for a soup supper and then  to our Church service. They had gone to an earlier service. Sadie was all excited about Santa Claus coming, but Jack was more interested in eating. He is pretty adept at feeding himself and has just learned to say "please" and "thank you". My sister commented after Jack got his hair cut, how much he looks like pictures of me when I was his age. I never thought of myself as being as nice looking as he is.  While I am only 1 of 14 of his immediate ancestors, what an honor to think he must be carrying some of my genes. What more could a Great Grandfather even think about at Christmas time beyond the birth of Christ.
Our Church service was very inspirational. We sang many of the old Christmas songs, and Rev. Henre had an outstanding Children's segment by having them help with the lighting of the "Christ" candle. He also told of how the early Church leaders selected December 25th as the date of Jesus birth. Since no one knew for sure, it was known that it was near the time of the winter solstice when the days began to lengthen. This is symbolic of Christ bringing light to the world. Our service concluded with a candle-light singing of Silent Night. We drove home through light fog and enjoyed the outdoor lighting along the way. Elaine fixed Hot Chocolate which we enjoyed while listening to a Choir singing "It is Well with My Soul". Santa couldn't bring anything more.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Page 1 of 2016 collage

A 620 Kodak Camera was one of the first things I bought when I began working  on Highway construction the summer between my Junior and Senior year of High School. I have taken many pictures since then and been through several cameras. I'm still taking them with my Panasonic Lumix digital. For a long time we have made up collages of the years "selected" pictures. This is the 1st page for 2016. It will probably take 4 pages this year. We also write a brief caption of each picture on a sheet to accompany each collage. There is a "story" about each picture and also a story by looking at the whole page. Great Grandson Jack appears most often. Most were taken here in Seward and only 3 were taken in Lincoln. This says a lot about what we consider "Kodak opportunities". I use Microsoft Excel to put these together. It is my only use of Excel though the process involves many of the features of the "Word" program. I only go through the process of making these once a year and must admit that it took some "trial and error" today to refresh my memory on the process. It might be a good idea to record the steps to follow since I won't be able to finish this year until after New Years, and I may forget it by then.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Christmas Spirit

This is the Boston Pops orchestra and Chorus as shown on net this evening from 7:00-8:00. They performed a wide variety of seasonal music with background lighting changing with the mood of the music. Immediately following the Boston Pops is "Christmas in Norway with  the St. Olaf Choir" which we are now watching. It was filmed in a beautiful Cathedral setting with Choirs on either end of  open sanctuary. We enjoy this type of music that is provided by net this time of year as much as anything we see on television. Each performance we see seems a bit better than the previous one.
 This second picture is also of the Boston Pops group where a narrator dramatically recited The Night Before Christmas. This also shows our lighted tree in the Dining room as well the quilt that Carolyn made for us some time ago. It is draped over the back of a heavy old chair that I inherited from my Grandfather Walker. Being able to relax in this setting  and receiving cards, letters, and telephone calls, is an ideal way of preparing spiritually for Christmas. One such call from my sister Janice in California, solved our question of who had a box sent to us a week ago from Omaha Steaks. The Styrofoam box with dry ice, was delivered by UPS with the message: "Merry Christmas from our Family to Yours!"

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Jack and I.

This picture caught one of the happiest moments of the day. As soon as I got home from coffee, Jack wanted me to set down so he could set on my lap. He had already drug out his rocking chair and rocking horse that he played on, then pushed them up close to the chair so I couldn't get up and go away. After some time on my lap, he did move the obstacles and led me over to the Christmas tree. I believe he "knows" every ornament and always has to move a couple of them to a "better" location. He heard his Mother's voice while at the tree and his eyes lit up, but he wasn't anxious to get his jacket on and leave. He really likes his "Mommy" special, but likes everyone he gets to know. We have a large, framed, High School graduation picture of Julie that he brings to show me "Mommy" every time he's here. Seeing some of the news coverage of 
Servicemen being welcomed home by little kids makes us realize how fortunate we are to be able to enjoy seeing Jack's day-to-day progress. I saw an older neighbor out walking his dog while on my way to coffee, while I'm sure is good for him, in no way does it compare with having Jack around. I told him this morning that he didn't know how lucky he was to have part of his family close by and to be living in Seward, Nebraska. He didn't disagree.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Great Music & Beautiful Sunsets

I didn't get a page written last night after spending nearly 3 hours in our ophthalmologist office during the afternoon. While my eyes recover quite quickly from being dilated, it was still very stressful driving home against the sun. Had we been a bit later, we could have enjoyed a beautiful sunset. Dr. Mousolf does want to see Elaine again in a Month so we will be back down in January. We did relax after supper and enjoyed an hour of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
The Choir performed beautifully as did the orchestra, but there were actors who performed many scenes depicting the Christmas Carols being sung. Our NET and PBS stations provide a number of truly outstanding programs at this time of year. We listen to these stations throughout the year but at fund raising time the programs are special. Right now we are watching an NET program on "The White House: Inside Story". The first priority for staff is protecting the privacy of the first family. What a Job!!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Weather Confinment

This is what I found while checking the local weather information, on this website sponsored by the Suhr-Lichty Insurance Agency. It did warm up to 14 at 3:30pm but was back down to 8 at 6:25pm. The only time we were out of the house since Friday noon was to fill the bird feeder and to plug in our Christmas lights. It is ironic that this is the day of the Seward-Branched Oak Lake, Bird count. We didn't spend a lot of time in the kitchen looking out at our feeder, but did see a Cardinal and 6 Dark-eyed Juncos. Our fountains have been frozen since Friday afternoon. I don't know if birds can use our light covering of snow for water or what they do.
We have been working on Christmas correspondence and enjoying seasonal music during our confinement. We made some decisions on "end of year contributions" and began putting together some things for our Income Tax. It's easier to do these sort of things when you are not able to get out to do anything else. We didn't even consider going to Church this morning but did watch the service from St. Paul Methodist in Lincoln. Their Minister is very good but the choir and organ are outstanding.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Loss of Friends

Joe Miriovsky's obituary was in this morning's paper. Joe and I were in the same grade at Garland High School  as Freshmen and Sophomores. He transferred to Dwight Assumption to finish out his HS education. As Freshmen farm boys, it was quite natural that we became best friends. There are few times a13-year old farm boy and a Freshman in HS. I was extremely disappointed when he transferred. We even played basketball against each other during those Junior and Senior years. We would see each other at Dances, etc. but both made new friends and went our separate ways. While I had other friends, no one of them was as important to me during those early years as Joe. He married a local girl, had a nice family and farmed in the Brainard area. We did meet occasionally, and I remember a good visit in the Bee States Ballroom a few years ago.
 Here is how we looked in the spring of our Sophomore year. Joe is at the right end, and I am next to him. The girl who is second from the left, moved to Lincoln with her folks that summer, and I have no information on her. But from among the others, Joe and I were the only ones still alive.  While living a long life is a blessing, it's difficult to see old friends pass on even when we know that those like Joe are at home with their Lord and Savior. We also learned that Rev. Al Smith died earlier today. He was the Minister at the local Methodist Church when we transferred there. It was only a couple weeks later that he announced his retirement from the position. He remained in Seward, and we have been good friends over the years. The loss of these two friends came on our coldest day so far this winter. Our thermometer showed zero as we ate lunch. It didn't warm up much and the wind blew our skiff of show around. Our streets are covered with a thin sheet of ice that came with yesterdays freezing rain. We haven't been out of the house since yesterday noon and don't have plans for going to Church tomorrow.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Bowzer and our Menagerie

Bowzer has emerged as one of Jack's favorites from among the 27 stuffed animals that I bought at a recent auction. He is some 14 inches high in this sitting position. We have had him around since the November 12 auction and is the largest of any of the pack. Jack is able to "rough-house" with him and even sets on him like a pony. It wasn't until this evening that I read his tag and found him to be a Dakin with a registered trademark. I Googled it and found that he comes from a large family. Many of his siblings are listed on eBay and are quite valuable. We have already given away several of the original number, but are becoming more attached to those remaining, the longer they are displayed around our living room. We gave several of them to the "Pack the Cruiser" Christmas collection and a few others as gifts. I'm sure they will help some children have a Merry Christmas.
The auctions was for the estate of an elderly lady who had never married. She began working in a local Bank right out of high school and worked there until in her 90's. She lived alone out on the family farm where she was born during most of her life. All of the stuffed animals were in "new" condition and must have been kept in an enclosed cabinet. Many of them have a little red, heart shaped tag with the letters "ty" attached. On one little dog it says, "Beanie Buddy, original".  By opening the tag we learn that the dogs name is "Fetch". He was introduce in May of 1998 and retired in December of '98. Jack knew which little dog Julie liked, he always called it, "Mommy dog" so we sent it home with her the other day. My favorite is the Teddy Bear wearing a "Nebraska" sweater.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

It's Been A Great Year

We are in the midst of a cold wave with single digit temperatures and strong winds. We are to have some freezing rain tomorrow evening which will turn to light snow. We keep a good supply of groceries on hand and had a busy day today by doing some business at the Bank this morning, then meeting Don and Gladys for lunch at the Villager. It's always a good time when we get together plus a great lunch. I was even able to get a couple small problems with my laptop taken care of at Computer World. We did a bit of shopping and were surprised at the number of people out on such a cold day. I spent some time this evening selecting pictures to put on collages for 2016. I usually have 2-3 pages with as many as 40 pictures on each page. It may be more this year with the company we've had and Great Grandchildren near by.
Picking out these "select" pictures serves as a good catharsis from hearing the daily world news. The relationship with Russia is a real concern as we move into uncharted waters with the new administration. We were really fortunate with the number of visits we've enjoyed during the year with our kids and their families. Their visits are also "excuses" to do some of the enjoyable things that we wouldn't do on our own. While we really appreciate Carolyn, Ben and their family being close by, it is really great when the others get back a couple times during the year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Hog in a Pickup Truck

Jack was with us this morning and brought along his own white pickup and school bus to add to our "fleet". He doesn't recognize the need for space between vehicles but likes to line them up close together. He will then push the back one and make them look like a train. He has little rubber animals and this morning decided to load the pig in the big pickup. It reminded me of the time when another fellow and I did some work for a farmer who had an old Yorkshire sow for sale. The price was right so we tied her down in the back of our pickup and headed for the Model Locker Plant here in Seward where they butchered, cut up, and put meat in our lockers. We were only a couple miles down the road when she stood up and looked at us through the rear window of our pickup. We debated what to do but decided to just keep moving and drive the 8-9 miles into the Locker plant where we got her unloaded and everything worked out fine.  We ate bacon all winter and returned the rope to the farmer.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Jack be Nimble, Jack be Quick

Jack spent some time with us today and when he comes, there is never a time when he doesn't do or say something new. He is now putting words together in short sentences. He is shown here  sitting on my exercise bike that has handlebars that are pulled back and forth in coordination with the foot pedals.While he will have to be a pretty big boy before he can "do it all", he was able to pull himself up to set on the seat today and work the handlebars. He likes to look through Nebraska Farmer magazines for the pictures of Tractors, Combines, etc. He now refers to "Red tractor" and "Green Combine". He has a bit of a problem understanding why some combines have a grain head and others are equiped with a corn head. I can't even imagine what all he will know and be able to do before he starts to school. My interest in Jack's ability to learn and do new things every day is heightened by the recognition, that for me, it's just the opposite.  Elaine and I can't have a conversation without helping each other remember peoples names and places. Our abilities to do simple tasks are often complicated by one miscue leading to another.  Elaine and I have recognized that there was probably never a time in our 67years of marriage when we were more important to each other. Having Jack around is a good morale booster, and we just hope that his ability to learn new things continues at a much faster pace that our rate of declining capabilities.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Christmas at UMC in Seward

We attended 10:30 Church Services this morning where the entire Sunday School classes, K-8 presented the Christmas Program. The program was created and arranged by Luke Gambill. It was designed to give the children an opportunity to discover what Christmas truly means to them . The 5-8 grades narrated the story of Jesus' Birth while we all shared the story through song. Baby Jesus slept during the entire time that her parents were on stage for the climax of the program. It was an outstanding presentation with well over 100 children involved. I'm sure it made a lasting impression on all involved and many in attendance,

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Basketball, Big Bucks & Education

We had the pleasure of watching Duke play this afternoon in the T-Mobile Arena in LasVegas, NV. Duke beat UNLV 94-45 and were led by Jr. Grayson Allen who scored 34 points including this spectacular dunk. It was the first time we were able to see Duke play this year. Tim, who has been a Blue Devil fan since attending there, keeps us tuned in and says they will be a contender for another NCAA Championship. It was almost ironic that the Duke game followed Nebraska on ESPN. The Huskers with Coach Tim Mills, lost to the Kansas Jayhawks 72-89 in the Phog Allen Fieldhouse. The Huskers actually outscored the Jayhawks in the 2nd half after trailing 34-54 at the half.
It seems that being competitive is about as much as Nebraska basketball fans can expect. While Tim Mills appears to be a good Coach, it is doubtful that he will ever be able to recruit the calibre of players necessary to be ranked in the top 10 nationally. But, Coach Krzyzewsky also has his problems in his 36th year at Duke. His reputation as a Coach and the Duke reputation, has the top players in the Country, considering Duke  while still in High School. His problem is keeping them there 4-years before accepting the big bucks as a pro. With age limiting the professional playing years, it is understandable that giving up a year or two of college may be a good investment. I was going to college at 45 and hadn't received any big bucks to delay it.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Listing the Years Highlights

Elaine and I spent some time today working on our list of 2016 Highlights. For many years we have gone back through my Diary's (Journals) to pick up what we consider "Highlights". The criteria for listing has changed somewhat over the years, but basically it is an event, occurrence, activity, etc. that we may want to check out in more detail at a later date. Our listing includes the Month, Date and a few words to identify the "event". The average Month will have from 15-20 days with listings. The 3-ring binder which contains many years of listings is used frequently to find information on "what happened, when".  The highlights serve as an index to my Diaries and Journals which are all handwritten. With current technology, the information could be scanned, entered into a data file and searched to find the details we are able to reach by our manual process. My hand writing is not as good as it once was and at times, I think about setting up a system to just type my "Daily Journal" in a Document using Word. My ability to type has not declined to the extent of my handwriting but will continue to write in cursive, even if it may not be recognized by future readers.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Fire in Downtown Seward

I received word early this morning that the Nuttleman Antique store- Apartment building had burned during the night. I went down about 10:00 to take pictures and visited with Ryne, President of the Cattle National Bank & Trust. He was of the opinion that the Bank suffered no significant damage but that the  Nuttleman building was seriously  damaged. A significant firewall was placed between the two buildings at the time the Bank was built nearly 20 years ago. The Bank will be closed till Monday with business being conducted at the Branch Bank in Seward and 3 Lincoln locations.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

75th Anniversary of The Day that will Live In Infamy

On this 75th Anniversary of the Day that will live in Infamy, it seems appropriate to pay homage to the United States Flag and all it represents in our History. Our community is blessed with a "Parade of Flags". The Seward Kiwanis Club provided leadership for the project which became a reality in cooperation with the City and the assistance of many others. Here is copy of an article from the December 2016 Issue of the Kiwanis Magazine.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas

The weather forecast yesterday motivated me to get some Christmas lights down out of the attic and draped them over the railing and clematis wire on our front porch. We did add to it today with a couple big red bows. This is the first year of our not putting the white "ice sickle" lights at the eve level in the front of the house. It required using the ladder to put them up, and we are reluctant to climb a ladder at our age. The Rotary Club here in Seward sponsors an Outdoor Christmas Lighting contest so many houses have outstanding displays. Some are even decorated commercially which is necessary on large houses. Elaine got the nativity scene up on the hall table.
 We also got the little Christmas Tree set up that we have had for several years. We don't even take the lights off but wrap it gently in a sheet and store it during the "off season". It too is a far cry from the live trees that we've had in the past when our kids were small. One year I actually dug a 5 foot Blue Spruce from a farmers windbreak. He needed to get rid of it; so I bought it, "balled and burlapped" it, had it in the house over the Holidays, and then planted it in the front yard of our little house. It grew to be a very nice tree but took up a lot of space on the small front yard and was removed. We are enjoying all our sparking lights on this cold evening while listening to music on net.


Monday, December 5, 2016

Recognition and Food unsecurity

Paul Beck, Director of Kiwanis Club Kitones presented a gift of appreciation to Wes Skilton for his many years of providing the piano accompaniment. Wes is a very accomplished musician and provided much more leadership to the singing group than what is normally expected. President Al Schmidt also presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Larry Grothaus for his many years of activity with Home Delivered Meals. The program was provided by John Marby, Development Officer for the Lincoln Food Bank. Seward is one of 16 counties under the Food Bank of Lincoln's jurisdiction. It is part of a National Organization. He congratulated our Club for sponsorship of the Backpack program. 
He was well aware of the leadership that Teresa Dredge has provided to our Empty Bowl Luncheon which has largely financed the Backpack program for some 70 elementary school students in the area. Teresa has moved on  but left a well-trained cadre of Kiwanians who will carry on her good work. Last year's Empty Bowl Luncheon raised over $20,000. dollars which is about what it takes to finance the program. Mr Marby went on to talk about the number of children within their 16 county area that are not "food secure".  I took that term to mean that there are times when "they don't know where their next meal is coming from". He even quoted some numbers of those even here in Seward County that fall in that category. It is difficult for most of us to comprehend the numbers suggested. He answered a question at the beginning of his presentation, that he said is always asked. That is, how do you know that those receiving benefits are really needy? His answer was: We Don't. School administrators and Teachers are normally the ones who identify students in need. He also  recognized the many other organizations involved in helping to resolve the issue.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Outstanding Christmas at Concordia University

In addition to our covering of snow that fell yesterday, we woke up this morning with a "frosty" covering on all our trees and shrubs. But, with skies clearing by mid-morning, the extra Holiday decorations, didn't last long. We were up late last night watching Penn State come back from being down early, to beat Wisconsin 38-31, and win the Big Ten Championship. And, with plans for attending the "Christmas at Concordia" at St. John Lutheran Church this afternoon, we decided to enjoy Sunday Morning at home. We were able to read the papers and watch Jane Pauly on the CBS Sunday Morning show. The Christmas Program of the Concordia University Music Department at St. John was just outstanding. Tickets were made available through Cattle National Bank and Trust and all performances were “sold out”. Tickets were for specific performances and were not for reserved seats. Doors opened at 2:00pm for the 3:00pm program. By 2:30, the place was filled.
 I wouldn’t even guess the number of students involved. Sadie was most interested in the entire concert. Carolyn picked us up and we joined John, Julie and Sadie who got in soon after the doors opened and saved us some seats. The Program lists the names of the students in the following participating groups: Women’s Chorale; Male Chorus; Concordia Handbell Choir; University Brass Ensemble; University A Cappella Choir; and, the University Symphonic Band.