Writings

Category: Nebraska Page 1 of 4

Monday Musings: Other writings

The inside of the Buddhist shrine at the Japanese Hall in Gering.

For most of my time working at the Scottsbluff Star-Herald newspaper, I didn’t have much of a fear about what would happen to my stories once I turned them in. The rule goes “the editor can, and sometimes will, change your story.”

Me and a turtle

While out for a drive in western Scotts Bluff County on June 28, 2022, I assisted an Ornate Box turtle across the road. These turtles are well-known across the Great Plains and are protected in Nebraska.

An open letter to Gov. Pete Ricketts and Sen. John Stinner

This morning, I sent emails to Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts and my state representative, Senator John Stinner. Last month, the legislature narrowly defeated a bill that would have banned abortion in the state. Since the SCOTUS draft leak, Gov. Ricketts has been making the rounds in the media indicating he may call an emergency session of the state legislature to try and pass the bill again. He would like to ban all abortions, without exceptions for rape and/or incest.

I can rage on the internet all I want, but these two men are my only hope for abortion to remain legal in the state. I don’t know if my letter, my words, or my story would sway them to reconsider, but I had to try.

Monkeying around at Cedar Canyon

The Cedar Canyon Wildlife Management Area (WMA) provides a great opportunity to see animals, big and small, during any of the hikes you can take in the area. You can choose from hikes along a clearly marked trail, hikes along two tracks and hikes to the top of the butte for spectacular views of the valley.

Since I am only a small monkey, I go wherever my adventurous humans go. They seem to always choose the game trail, which humans also use to the top. It’s a 45-minute trek straight up where you can see some pretty views. We usually walk at least halfway across the top, where you can see even more.

I didn’t go looking for fish anyway

Nine Mile Creek State Wildlife Management Area is a great place to fish for trout in western Nebraska. I don’t fish, so this is not that story.

Starting off on the right foot

In my first excursion into the world with other people in 10 months, I began 2021 on a high note. Traveling with my friends Steve, Katie, and Jeff, we hiked to the top of the bluff at the Cedar Canyon Wildlife Management Area, walked across the bluff to the far side and back. After 8.5 miles, it was my first physically distanced, non-mask wearing trip since February 2020.

I could have watched them all day, and I did

A brown thrasher takes a momentary break from eating to check his surroundings.

Whenever I have a chance to get away from the world and be in nature I take it. It doesn’t cure my PTSD and depression, but it sure helps to keep me calm by being away from modern society and its trappings.

I can’t drive 55

Police lights by night

The lights appeared out of nowhere in my rear view mirror. “What the hell?” I said. I was driving through Banner County, Nebraska, which is all wide open plains. I somehow missed seeing the police car.

I looked down at my speedometer. 80 mph. That’s only five over the speed limit. I pulled my car over to the side of the road, turned my four-way flashers on, and grabbed my documents from the glove compartment.

I was returning from Cheyenne, Wyoming, where I had taken my Hyundai Accent in for a new clutch. The Accent made it 99,950 miles with its original clutch. The Hyundai dealership provided a loaner car until mine was fixed. I assumed something was wrong with the loaner car and that was why I was pulled over.

An incredible writing opportunity

As the rock cliff is undercut by erosion, overhanging rocks break off. No one can predict when the next break will occur, so view the cliffs from a safe distance.

When I left the Star-Herald in June 2019, I knew there was a chance I would never be able to write professionally again. I had to do it in order to save my physical and mental health. It wasn’t a decision I made lightly. Writing is the one thing in life I have always had confidence in. Despite the fact that my life may have been falling apart in other ways throughout the years, I could always take solace in my writing regardless of genre.

A pleasant evening

Stretched out on the couch
I’m kept warm
under a comfy snowflake blanket
on a chilly evening
when the rains came

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