Writings

Category: Nebraska Page 1 of 4

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

They aren’t originally from here, but neither am I

A big horn sheep at Hubbard’s Gap.

Before Steve and I even got out of his truck we could see them. They were several hundred yards to the north of us. Steve and I grabbed our gear. We made small talk about our choice of clothing that day. I chose my black t-shirt. I was cold now, but in an hour, I’d be warm enough. Steve had on his red sweatshirt and and a goofy knit cap to keep his head warm. He was warm now. We also knew he’d be plenty hot in an hour.

I sometimes forget that my 300mm lens really isn’t that big, especially when you put it next to his 500mm lens. Ovis Canadensis was on our radar today. It would be the first time I would ever see the Rocky Mountain Big Horn sheep in person and the pictures were worth the wait.

A new green sweater

Even though I was there for an article for the Star-Herald newspaper, Barb Schlothauer and her fellow Soroptimists convinced me to help them make May baskets in 2018. It was still chilly enough at the end of April for me to be wearing my green sweater.

Anyone who has seen me during winter for the last three decades has likely seen me wearing my green sweater. Shortly after moving out of the dorms at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and into my first apartment, I had a conversation with my grandmother about being cold. I was on a budget and heat wasn’t high on my list of priorities. Gram wondered if I couldn’t afford to turn the heat up, why didn’t I wear a sweater. I didn’t have one. I didn’t have the money to buy one.

By the time I left her house in Middletown, New York, I had a pocket full of cash to buy a sweater of my choosing. It took months to find a sweater I liked.

A walk in the fog

Two hours after starting our hike, the fog has mostly cleared and Chimney Rock can now be seen.

I have written about how the day after Labor Day is the worst day of the year for me, so my friend, Sandra, offered to take me on a hike the day before to try to create some happy memories around this time of year.

Pride in the summer

One of the coolest things I attended as a spectator this summer was Panhandle Pride. Each year, for the past five years, friends, family, and strangers gather to celebrate old and new friendships and support the LGBTQ+ community.

In the company of women

Each year, the members of Nebraska Press Women gather in the spring for a convention to announce the winners of their communications contest and to provide continuing education in areas members would like to learn. This year, as things have been extremely rough for me, personally and professionally, I debated skipping the event.

When Friday morning came, my husband, Paul, asked me if I still wanted to go. “Yes and no,” I said. I wanted to attend, but am so wiped out from the ever-increasing assignments at work that four days hiding in my house instead looked promising. However, a promise is a promise. I gathered my things and began my journey to Broken Bow, the site of this years convention.

Living with the memories

The memories are flames that lick the edges of my life, always anxious to burn me once again. They are always there and always exhausting. I want to cry. I’m angry. I’m tired. Some days, nothing makes them go away. A touch, a smell, anything that triggers the memories can ruin my day.

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