Our hometown of Crete, Neb., hosted its 2nd Annual Great Pumpkin Festival this weekend and we had so much fun hosting the photo booth and meeting so many new people. This year’s festival was even bigger and better than last year’s inaugural event [read more about that here] and attracted hundreds of people to our little town. It was great to see our friends and neighbors walking through City Park and downtown. We enjoyed watching kids play carnival games, jump in the bounce house, and show off their painted faces.

Crete's Great Pumpkin Festival

Face painting was a popular activity for the kids.

We couldn’t have asked for a nicer October day for an outdoor event in Nebraska. In our state, October can bring everything from extreme sun to falling snow. Fortunately, we had just the perfect fall day with temperatures in the mid 70s and a light breeze. It was a perfect day for strolling down the sidewalks, eating pulled pork and funnel cakes, busting pinatas, and watching local groups perform in the town center.

Kids had a blast playing all kinds of games on Main Street.

Kids had a blast playing all kinds of games on Main Street.

In just its 2nd year, Crete’s Great Pumpkin Festival is already becoming quite the attraction. What began last fall with a few community leaders and a local retiree turned “pumpkin master,” has quickly become a citywide event that has brought our community together in a way we’ve never seen.

Crete Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kayleigh Schadwinkel and Pumpkin Master Russ Sears.

Crete Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kayleigh Schadwinkel and Pumpkin Master Russ Sears.

Organized by the Crete Chamber of Commerce, the festival was well supported by dozens of local businesses, including Crete True Value, Heath Sports and Tees, Nestle Purina, Pinnacle Bank, Plains Equipment Group, Public Health Solutions, Union Bank and Trust and The Crete News, just to name a few. It was just amazing to see how many businesses and community groups supported this event and we were delighted to have Postcard Jar sponsor a free photo booth.

Taking pictures at the Postcard Jar photo booth.

 

At our booth, we invited passersby to stop for a photograph in a fall setting complete with hay bales, scarecrows, and lots of pumpkins. Here are a few our favorites.

Crete's Great Pumpkin Festival

Crete's Great Pumpkin Festival

Crete's Great Pumpkin Festival

Crete's Great Pumpkin Festival

Crete's Great Pumpkin Festival

We also had a chance to talk to people about our blog and display our postcard jar from home and some new Crete postcards we just made. As many people told us, postcards seem to be more and more difficult to find in this electronic age and our town hasn’t had any in a very long time. People were excited to see us feature some of Crete’s iconic structures like the bell tower at Doane University, the Sherman tank at City Park, and the old bridge at the entrance to Tuxedo Park.

doane

Sherman Tank at City Park in Crete, NEb.

tuxedo-bridge

A few local retailers asked if they could carry our postcards in their shops, so stay tuned for more news on that. We want to thank our good friends, Ben and Nikki Piper, De’Andre Miller, and our daughter, Meghan, for helping us with our booth as well as fellow travel bloggers, Tim and Lisa Trudell of The Walking Tourists for coming to Crete to support us and see the festival.

We are so grateful to live in a community like Crete. We love the history, the diversity, everyone’s willingness to help each other, and events like Crete’s Great Pumpkin Festival that bring us all together.

[well]Did you go to the Great Pumpkin Festival? If so, what was your favorite activity? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you. [/well]

 

  • Yesterday was Day 16 of social isolation for us. Because of Ann's underlying heart condition and suppressed immune system, we've cooked all our meals at home (no takeout). We've starting to get more and more creative as time has gone by. ⁣
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Last night, we made chicken and shrimp vindaloo and learned online how to make homemade naan.⁣
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It wan't as good as our favorite Indian restaurant, The Oven, but it did satisfy the craving we've had for Indian food. ⁣
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What are you craving these days?
  • We moved our living room furniture around this week and put two swivel chairs near the sliding glass door. Each day, we take time to turn around, rest our minds, enjoy in the view, and just be. #webelieveinhome
  • Our daughter, Meghan, is a cardiac ICU nurse. Despite all of the current uncertainties in healthcare during this pandemic, early this morning she put on her scrubs and went to work a 12+ hour shift. 
She is not alone. Across the country and around the world, healthcare workers are putting the safety of themselves and their families at risk to help others. It's what they do. Every. Single. Day. 
We are incredibly grateful that there are selfless people like this in the world and we pray for them and we hope you'll join us. 
We couldn't sleep this morning, so we wrote instead. Click on the link in our bio to read our morning thoughts and prayers.
  • Trying to decide where we’ll travel this weekend. Covered porch? Living room? 😉
  • We are staying home. 
We've been here for almost a week now because Ann is one of "those people." You know the ones. Those people with an underlying health issue. Those people with a suppressed immune system. One of those people who could become seriously ill, need hospitalization, and even die if exposed to the coronavirus.  Those people need your help to stay safe and live. And all you have to do is stay home when you don’t NEED to be out.

Over the past few days, we’ve seen photos, videos, and witnessed first hand people of all ages (but mostly young people) gathering in groups for what us mid lifers would consider “non essential” reasons: birthday parties, movies, youth sports practices, St. Patty’s Day celebrations at the bar, spring break at the beach, and the like. 
We don’t understand it. 
We try not to judge. 
But just for a time during this worldwide pandemic, could we ask people who are participating in non-essential activities to consider who “those people” most at risk really are?

Those people are already battling serious illnesses.

Those people want to see their grandchildren grow up.

Those people need to do their jobs as nurses and doctors.

Those people are first responders. 
Those people run the grocery store, and the pharmacy, and the gas station. 
Those people pray for you and your generation. 
And what about those other people? 
The ones you know.

Those people who made sacrifices to meet your needs.

Those people who took care of you when you were sick.

Those people who went to your games and cheered you on. 
Those people who taught you in school.

Those people who helped you pay for college.

Those people who cooked your favorite dish for you.

Those people who taught your Sunday School class.

Those people who have forgiven you.

Those people who will always love you unconditionally.

We keep wanting to scream, “It’s not about you, it’s about those people!” But the truth of the matter is, IT IS ABOUT YOU. 
You have the power to help.
You have the power to influence others.
You have the power to flatten the curve.

And by not changing your behaviors, you also have the power to harm. 
How will you choose to use your power?j
  • We’re sharing your postcards and encouraging you to help others and stay positive. 
If you’d like to send us a postcard, mail to: Postcard Jar, PO Box 334, Crete, NE 68333.
  • Stuck at home? We're just social distancing here in Nebraska and thinking up ways to experience travel without leaving our home. ⁣
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We have a NEW BLOG POST (link in bio) with more than a dozen ideas of ways you can curb your wanderlust while stuck at home. ⁣
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What are you up to today?
  • It’s Day 2 at home together and here’s what we’re up to. Let us know what you’re doing in the comments below.

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