2004News Archive



2004 is rapidly winding down and proven itself a very exciting and monumental year for our family with Jessica's marriage to Jason. With the holidays rapidly approaching we are engaged in preparing for our annual open house for neighbors and friends, early Christmas with Barb's brother, Bob, sister, Janice, and nephew, Henry and his family in Topeka - and Christmas eve and day in Wichita, Kansas with our new in-laws and Jessica and Jason.


A cold and wet start to the month which we hope doesn't indicate a long and cold winter! Well, after a few warmer days, that cold and wet forecast is back - especially the night of the 10th - the Bette Midler Concert at Omaha's Quest Center. Brisk northerly wind, rain, and falling temperatures made the walk from the parking lot to the concert venue more than a little on the damp side, but well worth it for the hours of highly entertaining "Divine Miss M's" talent we received. For the Thanksgiving Holiday Barb and I traveled to the Lynne and Walt McIver's farm near Abbyville, Kansas where food and friendship was abundant.


The month begins with Barb's birthday on the 1st. Barb, Rachael and John celebrated with a great meal at Charleston's Restaurant. On the 21st and 22nd Barb and John traveled to Iowa's Amana Colonies near Iowa City. Barb got to shop in the various towns in the Colonies and check out the nearby outlet mall. The photo above is of beautiful fall leaves in the Colonies. And guess what - John found another radio for his collection - a 1941 Zenith Model 6D526 Table Radio in an Ingraham cabinet. On the 31st we called Jessica and wished her a very happy 30th birthday. Next weekend she and Jason fly to Las Vegas for the weekend for a late birthday celebration where they will be staying at the Bellagio.


A quiet month - so far . . . we had a "Farewell Dinner" for our good friends, Linda and Marvin Larsen on the 5th - hosted by Carole and Mike Berger. The Larsen's are moving to Des Moines, Iowa, where Marvin will head up an expansion office for his architectural firm. Only a couple of hours away from Omaha, we expect to be able to keep in touch easily. We celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary on the 13th with a great dinner at Rick's Boat Yard Cafe near Omaha's refurbished riverfront Lewis & Clark Landing . . then off across the Missouri River to Harrah's Casino where we did our best to contribute to their bottom line.


What a strange month of weather - a lot of cloudy days, only a few days above 90°, lots of rain - just not your normal hot and humid August. We'll probably pay for this in September and October with soaring temps! While in town we also visited with Barb's brother Bob's family and her sister, Janice. Rachael made day trip down and back with us. Speaking of Rachael, she was in St. Louis for two days (10th & 11th) of meetings at NETCO's Central Order Processing facility there. She met some new people and picked up some new job-related information while there. The annual air show at Offutt Air Force Base (StratCom) was on the 21st & 22nd this year - the weather cooperated - not the usual blistering heat and humidity wave that accompanies late August in Nebraska. Lots of displays and aerial shows!! Jason celebrates the BIG 3-0 on the 28th and we wish him a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!


We attended the Blaine Hill Reunion in Hutchinson, Kansas on the 24th and on our way back to Omaha spent the 25th in Abilene with friends Colleen and Rex Cearley where we had a great chicken dinner (that's all they serve, folks!) at the historic Brookville Hotel. John also caught up with old friend, Bill Robinson, with whom he used to run and play tennis. On the 15th Barb and I spent the morning at the zoo where we visited the newly complete Gorilla Complex. After that we took in the rainforest, aquarium and the nursery where there was a baby orangutan and a gorilla. The weekend of the 4th we traveled to Manhattan, Kansas for Barb's 40th Manhattan High School Reunion. Lots of memories relived, some others no one could really remember specifics of (old age, you know), and lots of laughs and catching up on current news.


GREAT concert last night, June 27th, from Simon & Garfunkel and the The Everly Brothers. Sure brings back a lot of memories . . such as how old we are getting! Next week it's off to Manhattan, Kansas for Barb's 40th high school reunion . . gee, that also reminds us of how OLD we are getting.


We have several activities this month - on the 8th we drove to Pella, Iowa for the Tulip Time Festival complete with beautiful flowers, local Dutch-founders' history, parade, and more. On the 30th we will travel to Topeka, Kansas to visit relatives over the Memorial Day Holiday. Then we can't forget that SCHOOLS OUT FOR SUMMER! Congratulations, Barb . . you made it through another year!


This month John traveled to Houston to attend the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships at the Westside Tennis Club. Jessica and Jason were generous in sharing their tickets during the early rounds so that John could see players such as Andy Roddick in action.


What a magical and wonderful wedding day for Jessica and Jason! Surrounded by family and friends in the beautiful gardens of Houston's River Oaks Garden Club under a bright sun and 75° temperature, they read their vows in an emotional ceremony. What a great way to start a new life together! Jessica has truly found in Jason someone to love and with whom to share her dreams, aspirations and interests for a lifetime. We are so happy for both of them.  


And there's more, you say - how about another 12" the following week with schools closed for yet another day. That uses up all the "slack days" in the school year so if any more snow days occur the school year will have to be extended to compensate for the lost time. The current 22" of snow still remaining on the ground from these last two snowfalls is the most snow groundcover for February in Nebraska in recorded history.


A very interesting (and completely Nebraska-like) start to the New Year. On the 2nd, Barb and I enjoyed a sunny 60° day at the zoo . . . and on the 4th we're looking at 6"-8" of snow, high winds, and temps in the teens. But . . wait . . there's more . . on the 27th we were hit with 12" of blowing snow that shut the city down (Barb was particularly upset that the schools were closed . . yeh, right). Accompanied by a nighttime low of minus 5° and 30 mph winds a fun time was had by all . . I lied about that, too!