It never fails to amaze me that despite the lack of media coverage or love for Midwesterners, Midwesterners rise above! As many of you know, my suburb of choice for 20 years, Bellevue, Nebraska was hit last week by a tornado and straight-line winds. You might be wondering how that could be a feel-good story, but it is…
I still get all the social media out of Bellevue, and let me assure you, there was a lot to feel good about. I watched as more and more of my friends posted they didn’t have power. One even showing their power pole was in the shape of a lower case e. Some just got power back on 3 days ago, but the hardship wasn’t the focus. The focus was that the Bellevue East football and volleyball teams showed up to clean up the worst-hit areas after practice. (I believe some kids from West did the same.) The focus was that some of the great food places like Roma’s (um, yum, btw) dropped off food at designated spots for workers and those without power. The focus was that neighbors with chain saws helped neighbors without. The focus was that people who did have power were offering their houses for freezer space, charging stations, and places to do laundry. The focus was that, despite lots of damage, Bellevue regrouped and had their field ready for the College World Series guys to still practice there. The focus was on figuring out how to move on, and not one person got hurt.
To be truthful, I feel bad that I didn’t even know to check on some of my friends. They probably would have taken some brownies or rice krispy bars off my hands! 🙂 I honestly didn’t realize how much of Bellevue was hit, but what struck me, and what reminded me why I lived there for 20 years, was a lady who posted on the Bellevue info page who said something to the effect of “Imagine if we all talked and helped each other out like this every day.” Yes, imagine…
I’m sorry it took a tornado to bring people together, but I’m not sorry it worked.
As you head out into your day or evening, think about that. Take your neighbor the extra brownies you’re trying not to eat! Haha. Mow a yard for that elderly couple. Simply chat with the people in line at the grocery store. The world doesn’t have to be an isolated, dismal place.
It can be a phenomenal place if we choose to imagine…
Got a great aftermath story? Tell it. Gonna go do something nice for someone? Let’s hear it.
So, I have mentioned a few of the reasons why I will miss Bellevue, but I feel like that means I also need to say what I’m looking forward to in my hometown, AKA things other people take for granted when they live in a rural community!
I am looking forward to people waving at me, and not the only-the-middle-finger kind. Nothing makes me feel more like I’m in a small town than a jaunty wave from someone I may, or may not, know.
And with that sentiment, I also love knowing whose car is whose. Yes, you can call me a Nosy Nelly, but I like knowing who I’m meeting on the road and if I need to take the gravel so Old Man Klaus doesn’t hit me or if I should throw my head out the window like a sloppy-tongued dog to wave at my bro-in-law.
Speaking of, I’m kinda excited to be living next to my family again. I know I haven’t been that far away, but there’s a big difference between 5 minutes and 45 when you’re carrying a prime rib or a 2-year-old. I am looking forward to being able to run to my parents’ house to let Ellen play with the calves or read a book with grandma when I know that my husband is going to be late getting home. I also will be able to get my hair cut on a weeknight, and I’m hoping my other sister drops off dirt cake occasionally. Ha ha.
You can also laugh at me when I tell you I’m looking forward to moving home in hopes of having a few more friends. I have found that the ‘burbs are full of acquaintances, but, at least in my case (which maybe it’s just me, I’ve often suspected that, but my sweet husband promises me it is not the case), it has not been full of long-time-laugh-and-drink-daiquiris-while-our-kids-play kind of friendships. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been blessed with some incredible people in my life while I’ve been in Bellevue, and I plan to hold onto the ones I’ve got, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t room for more and I’m kinda hoping for some couple friends. We clearly need to get out more! Lol.
Another small thing is that I’m ready to see sunsets and sunrises again, or for that matter, stars in the sky. We live in a very treed-in neighborhood and although I love the trees, I miss seeing the sky. You will probably notice a sudden and annoying increase in my scenic view pictures on Facebook. Lol.
I’m also ready for that sense of community that only comes from a rural town. I want to be a part of something. I always have. I like knowing everyone and since I don’t have a lot of skeletons in my closet for the gossips to parrot about, I feel pretty safe about my rumor mill status. I think they call it nonexistent.
And, finally, I may sound like a snob and I don’t really mean to be that because Nebraska has been good to me, but well, I’m excited to say I’m an Iowa girl again!
I could go well beyond that list, but seeing how I should be packing instead of blah, blah, blahing as my husband would say, I’ll just say this: bring on the pott co! Peace out, NE!
Have you ever ended up somewhere for a really long time unexpectedly? That’s me and Bellevue. We’ve had a good run considering it was supposed to be a 9-month lease, and I’d be out the door. I totally blame the pool at my apartment complex. It lured me in. Now, here I am 20 years later realizing I’m finally gonna leave. And have you ever noticed you appreciate something or someone a lot more when you realize you’re not gonna have them around anymore? Yep. It’s like that aunt that pinched your cheeks or your fat jeans you no longer need but love for what they did for you or that ex-boyfriend who was cute and bought you flowers even if he was too dumb to keep. That’s my relationship with Bellevue.
We go way back – 20 years. Lol. Never thought I’d say that, but lately, I’ve been looking around and, surprisingly enough, I’m gonna miss this place.
The materialistic side of me is going to miss fast food row. Laugh if you want, but it’s nice to have so many choices. When you grow up with a Dairy Queen and a JACS Steakhouse, variety is the spice of life, or at least your diet. I love me some Swine Dining ribs, some Catfish Lake tenderloins, some Stella fries, some B&B Classic Dogs (peanut butter and bacon, baby), some Sonic tots, some Reese’s Brownie Royale from Summer Kitchen Cafe, and a strawberry smoothie from Scooters. Can we still come over and eat here? Well, Jason tells me it will still be fine to cross the river, but you know how it goes, you just don’t get there as often.
The non-materialistic side is going to miss deer grazing in my backyard. Now, maybe I will finally be able to have hostas and be able to wake up in my lounger without a deer staring at my pasty white body, but I like the deer. I like their lack of concern for me and that sometimes you have to stop and take a picture of the baby triplets in the middle of the street causing you to be an extra minute late to work. I’m gonna miss the overly-friendly squirrels that eat our pumpkins, the rabbits that hippy-hop through my yard, and the occasional wild turkey that crosses the road much more leisurely than any chicken people speak of.
And for that matter, I’m gonna miss my backyard, too. I love that it’s green, lush, and peaceful. I can lay out in all my lack of glory and nobody sees me but the deer and the jet pilots flying overhead (sorry, boys!).
Speaking of men in uniform, I’m gonna miss the patriotism, too. One of my favorite things about Bellevue is that people honor the flag and the military here. Obviously that might have something to do with Offutt Air Force Base, but that’s okay by me. I like the Veteran’s Day parade (and the Aeros to Areospace one). I like that most of my neighbors have an American flag flying. I like seeing a jet come in for a landing over my head. Oh, and don’t get me started about how I stalk the Air Show from my deck! I also really like the old guy down the street who trained people to survive in hostile territories. I like that nobody really cares about your nationality because there’s a little bit of everything here because people have been all over the world and skin color is the least of their concern.
I’m also gonna miss Haworth Park. I love that I can get that close to the Missouri. I love the view on a snowy day, on a foggy day, on a warm sunrise morning, or the view of the bridge at nightfall. Some of my favorite pictures have come from there.
And believe it or not, I’m going to miss my sense of anonymity. Yeah, I’m a Cheers “Where everybody knows your name” kind of girl in most situations (that’s one of the many reasons we are moving home), but then there’s that other feeling of being safely tucked away in your house with a blanket and a nap in your future on a Saturday afternoon that really can’t be beat. And believe me, nobody’s knocking on our door in Bellevue. Not even a Girl Scout cookie salesman.
But I will miss this house. It was our first house. Our first “we-really-are-adults” purchase. Sure, there are plenty of things that could be upgraded, but it’s the home that we have shared for 10 years, the home we brought our baby home to, and the home I decorated the way I wanted it with the pennies we had at the time. And don’t think for one second I won’t miss my bathroom wall complete with The Brady Bunch and Julia Child smashing nuts. lol.
And, of course, there’s one other building I will miss. It might surprise some people, but I will miss Logan Middle School. I have spent pretty much my entire adulthood going to that building and meeting some pretty special people in my life and some pretty impressive kids that became amazing adults. Because that’s what it comes down to – the people. I’m gonna miss the best daycare provider ever! I’m gonna miss being a few minutes away from my walking partner. I’m gonna miss my taxi service crew. I’m gonna miss the lunch ladies that sing to me, and I’m gonna miss the me that has all those crazy memories.
But that’s okay. I’m glad there will be something to miss. And those people – well, I will make time for the ones that understood exactly why I’m leaving even when there’s all those things I will miss. They’re the ones I will take with me, even if I have to cross the river to see them.
Change is hard for me, but I’m ready. So thanks, Bellevue, for the memories, but there’s a little house in a little town waiting for me and my little family…
It’s Monday. And you’re probably freezing your sweater puppets off, but no worries. In a mere few months you’ll be sweating them off instead!
Happy Monday, y’all!
Usual Ice Cooler Conversation:
Friend: What did ya do last night?
Me (lame, pathetic voice): Made supper, watched TV, in bed by 9. The usual.
Friend (bored): Figured.
This week’s convo:
Friend: What did ya do last night?
Me: Oh, ya know, I had a free psychic reading.
Friend (sarcastically): Sure ya did.
How lucky am I that I got to have some rock-star buttery pretzels, a Chambord and seven, hang out with some of my fave Omaha Bloggers, and get a free psychic reading? You need not answer that, because I know the answer: Damn Lucky! And if you wanna get lucky like me (haha), check out Ladies’ Night at Midtown Crossing for some other fan-tab-u-lous events coming up!
In the meantime, aren’t you the least bit curious what the psychic told me? If I was a total skeptic, I’d say she checked out my blog. If I’m a believer (not a Belieber – ha ha), I’d say Jess must be a pretty kick-ass psychic because she nailed it!
People, she said I was a “jack of all trades.” Do you not know how I describe myself? Yeah, word for word: jack of all trades! Strike me dumbfounded and call me crazy, but I was impressed. Not only did she say I was a jack of all trades, she then told me I was a great multitasker and that because I’m good at so many things, I try to do too many things. Mmm… wouldn’t know anything about that! Then she proceeded to tell me that I needed to focus on one thing. How does one do that????
She told me that blogging was my avenue and that if I stick with it, it will happen. She encouraged me to use my pictures in my blog more and that I need to get out of my comfort zone so I have more to talk about with you guys. I have to think she’s legit because you wouldn’t normally tell a person that goes to a psychic reading that they need to branch out more. Seems ironic (lol), but also very accurate in my case.
My husband says that I’ll believe a psychic off the street before I’ll believe what he’s been telling me for years. And maybe he’s right. Maybe we all have to hear things from the exact right person before we believe them. It’s funny because some of the friends I went with didn’t get as many in-depth insights as I did. They suggested that maybe I was more open to it or that I was more focused on the question at hand. I like to think that I’m a pretty good judge of people and that I didn’t miss the message or the messenger. Or maybe I just needed the most encouragement. Either way, it was a great night out with answers I needed to hear and friends I’d like to keep.
So what would you ask the psychic? Do you believe in it?
And, oh yeah, if I am branching out more, tell me what I need to check out.
Do you remember Underoos? Underwear that’s fun to wear? I loved mine and I still crack up when I think about it. Why did it cross my mind? Well, I keep hearing about this big underwear fun run they’re having in February. Okay, first of all, no run is fun. Secondly, running in your underwear in Nebraska in February? Okay. If you want both sets to be frostbitten frozen cheeks, go right ahead. I’ll be over here dressed in my parka sipping on a Starbucks, thanks.
So they’re having the Cupid Run next week in honor of Valentine’s Day. But 1 year olds and Cupid may be able to pull off the Huggies look, but adults? Not so much. I’d also go so far as to say if that’s your idea of Valentine’s Day, you’re in trouble. I think chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate, maybe even some flowers or racy Victoria’s Secret, but not outside or in front of other humans! It’s funny because I know some people who can’t even say the word “panty” or they despise the word “undies,” and yet, here we are having an underwear fun run for the world to see our unmentionables in all their glory…or lack thereof. I could try delving into the mind of a runner willing to not only run in the freezing cold but to do it man-panty-clad, but well, I can’t get past the visual.
Honestly, I can’t help trying to picture what all those crazy people are wearing. Will there be a pale white guy running in tube socks and tighty whities? Or will it be a bunch of guys in long john one-piece pajamas with Sponge Bob boxers over the top of them? Will there be some jokester that thinks to wear a coconut bra with his biking tights? Ew. Or O. M. G. will there be some guy wearing the infamous John Mayer banana-hammock cod-piece thong? Please God, no.
Sorry, my imagination runs wild. To me, the logical thing to do would be to go more on the Joey end from Friends when he dressed in all of Chandler’s clothes. I think I’d layer every piece of underwear, slip, bra, cuddle-dud, long john thing I could get my hands on. Oh, wait, no, I wouldn’t. I know better than to freeze my scantily-clad, large ass off running outside in February!
And don’t even get me started on the females. What must they be wearing? I’d definitely be wearing a padded bra! For heat, not modesty. Mmm… I wonder how many men will show up just to watch? I can hear it now, “Oh, sorry, honey, I was just checking to see if she had frostbite…”
Then again, can you see some crazy menopausal woman throwing on a red teddy and making a break for it? That’d be crack-up funny. Or will there be some teeny-bopper in her matching monkey bra and panty casually Baywatching into the finish line in slo-mo? I’m guessing it’s more likely that some woman borrows her hubby’s camo Under Armor and tops it with a pink thong and a sequined strapless bra? Oh, or maybe they’d go the Madonna coned-bra look! That might be a more likely shape mid-Feb. Seems about right, doesn’t it?
So what would you wear? Or dare I ask what you’re picturing? Or even if you’re running in it??? If you want to, go to http://www.cupidsundierun.com/city/omaha/# to participate or to donate! I wanna hear what you’re thinking. Tell me.
Hot Dog! We’ve got ourselves a new hot dog joint in Old Towne Bellevue, B& B Classic Dogs! Now, if you know anything about me and the hubs, you know we like our processed meats! lol. Our only bigger love is fried food. And ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner! They have both! The even better part is that they’re local. Being from a small town, we try to support the home team and this is one of them. They’ve only been open a month but they seem to be off and running!
Through the Omaha Bloggers Group, the hubs and I got to sample the fair put out by B&B. People, it felt like I was at the state fair! We foundered ourselves on cheese balls that I swear to you tasted like fried mac ‘n cheese, doughy pretzel bites dipped in cheese, sweet potato fries with a marshmallow sauce (yes, marshmallow!), and Nathan’s hot dogs. Um, yum!
The hubs had the slaw dog which he gave high praise, but I tried out the Ty Dog (loaded with ketchup and potato chips) and a Bacon Dog before falling in absolute love with the PBB Dog – the peanut butter and bacon dog! Holy pig in peanut butter! That was fan-tab-u-lous! It was just the perfect mix of sweet, salty, and fried. Sooo good!
And had I have been one of those good people, I would have stopped there, but of course, I didn’t. But thank goodness, because if the entrée wasn’t enough, their cream cheese sugared pretzels and apple crescents were To. Die. For. You know I would not lie about desserts. They were pure heaven. The apple crescents were somewhere between an apple pie and an apple fritter and the cream cheese sugared pretzels were like the frosting at Cinnabon – like crack to an addict. Seriously. Oh, and did I mention they have an arcade???? Yes, Pac Man and Skee Ball for all!
If you are nearby, you have to try B&B Classic Dogs! I promise you it’s worth it. I guarantee we’ll be back. The hubs has his eye on the 2-footer. (Yes, they really have a 2 foot long hot dog!)
And just to kick it up a gear to get you there, too, the Omaha Bloggers along with B&B Classic Dogs is giving away a gift card to try them out! Sign up here: