What Your T-Shirt Says About You

                A plastic tote sits in the back of our bedroom closet. Actually, four totes are there because, well, it’s a tiny closet. One is filled with Husker gear, and it’s almost time to dig into its contents!  Another holds some of Scott’s clothing from our move to the farm six years ago. The third contains various sweatshirts.                The last tote contains T-shirts.  Thirty-seven, to be exact....more

How to Mind-Map a Personal Essay

Four years ago, I began writing a weekly newspaper column. It runs on the editorial page of local weeklies and shares my version of events that affect those of us who live in the area.It's really a 500-word personal essay that draws on my experiences and offers commentary, insight into the my world. I like to add humor to the mix, but sometimes, I end up with a serious piece.No matter why style, I drive home the point I'm trying to make. I mean, that's what the reading audience wants: an authentic voice....more

Remembering Our Fallen

                The first words we heard set the tone for our visit to the “Remembering Our Fallen” exhibit. Tim McGraw sang: “Laying down my gun, I’m hanging up my boots, I’m up here with God and we’re both watching over you, so lay me down in that open field out on the edge of town, and know my soul is where my momma always prayed that it would go. And if you’re reading this, I’m already home.”...more

Teaching and Learning Responsibility

                The seeds of daily responsibility were planted over fifty years ago: brush my teeth, wash my face, hug my parents.                With each birthday came a new set of responsibilities: pick up toys, place dirty laundry in the hamper, wash or dry dishes, do homework, feed pets, put away clothes, clean bedroom, assist with cooking. The list goes on and on and…...more

Dear Bruce Dern

Dear Bruce Dern,I grew up despising you. I know what you are thinking; that’s not a nice thing to say. But it’s true. Don’t take it personally. I did not like the characters you portrayed. When you played Tom Buchanan in “The Great Gatsby,” you broke my heart when you lied to Wilson and he ended up shooting Jay Gatsby....more

He Said No

Well, Bob Kerrey made it official today. He said ‘no’ to running for the U.S. Senate seat that will be up for grabs in November’s general election.I’m disappointed.I first met Kerrey 30 years ago when he was in Hastings on a campaign visit. I worked in a bar and one of the owners, who donated money to the Nebraska Dems, brought him there for drinks prior to a meeting.The owner came up to me and pointed at Kerrey, saying ‘See that gentleman? One day, he’ll be president.’...more

The Unwritten History of a Recipe

A strange thing happened this afternoon.As I leaned back against the kitchen sink, my eyes drifted from our grandson's red-crayon drawing held by a magnet on the refrigerator to the top of the appliance. I spied my wooden recipe box, won in a Newman's Own contest years ago.I hadn't opened it since I moved to the farm four years ago. ...more

Disastrous Loss: Are You Prepared?

As writers, we understand loss. We fill jump drives or external hard drives with precious data or we backup our files on the cloud in case we need access from anywhere.But are we prepared for a true disaster? Are we ready if a fire strikes our office (or wherever we write), if a tornado demolishes our home, or if a hurricane forces flood waters into our lives?...more
I hadn't even thought about the number of books that would be out of print. Good point! How do ...more

Fair Fare

                Go for a spin, funnel cakes. Goud-an outta here, fried cheese curds. Aw, shucks, corn dogs.                You’re so last year’s fare....more