Swim with whale sharks and other tips for your visit to the Georgia Aquarium

Founder of Home Depot Bernie Marcus and his wife Billi added depth to the phrase, “improving home improvement” when they gave $250 million to help...

Surprise yourself with a vacation to legendary North Dakota

When we told people we were going on a 14-day road trip to “legendary” North Dakota, we got one of two responses: a blank stare, or a polite,...

Tillamook Creamery, because ice cream and cheese

I love ice cream. And I love cheese. When Ann and I realized our trip along the Oregon coast would take us through a town named Tillamook, we...

Seven tips for your visit to the Dolphin Research Center in Marathon, Florida

The Dolphin Research Center in Marathon, Florida, is one of my all-time, favorite travel destinations. It has been since I was a kid. As you may or...

Exploring Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas

When my mom told us we needed to visit the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, I have to admit, Steve and I both felt a...

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Postcards from National Parks

Postcards from National Parks

Two students from the middle school where I am principal (along with their parents) took what looks to have been a fun trip this summer to Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons.  What a cool surprise that two of my students took time from their vacation to...

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Thanks, Meghan!

Thanks, Meghan!

Our daughter, Meghan, turned 21 a few weeks ago. Sadly, her birthday fell on Labor Day when friends and family were busy with outdoor barbecues and many bars and restaurants were closed for the holiday. Despite reaching the legal drinking age, she wasn't really...

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Thanks, Kyle and Shelley!

Thanks, Kyle and Shelley!

I'm pretty lucky that as a middle school principal, I get to work with some fantastic teachers. Two of them are Mr. and Mrs. Poore who sent us this postcard from their trip to San Francisco this summer. We've heard for years that summers in San Francisco can be pretty...

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Postcard from Tampa

Postcard from Tampa

One of my former students from Mississippi, Kalessia, heard about our blog, and sent us a postcard!  It was such a wonderful surprise to hear from her after all these years. She was in Tampa on business, but tells us that Florida was as beautiful as always. She also...

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Thanks, Jo

Thanks, Jo

One of Steve's colleagues from Crete Public Schools sent us a couple postcards this summer from her vacation in the beautiful Ozarks. Table Rock Lake is an artificial lake or reservoir in The Ozarks of southwestern Missouri and northwestern Arkansas. The lake is...

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Thanks again, mom!

Thanks again, mom!

My mom has been doing a lot of traveling this year and her most recent trip was to North Carolina to visit her younger brother, Bill, and his family. She had visited my Uncle Bill last fall and had a great time, so I wasn't surprised she wanted to go back. However, I...

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Thanks, Melony and Kari!

Thanks, Melony and Kari!

Lake of the Ozarks is a popular vacation destination for people in our part of the country. You can typically drive there in a day and the rolling hills of Missouri are just beautiful. Last week, we received a postcard from two of my high school classmates, Melony and...

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Thanks, Jo and Steve!

Thanks, Jo and Steve!

Our friends Jo and Steve sent us a postcard from beautiful San Diego, California! They said they loved their time in La Jolla where they watched sea lions at the cove. La Jolla Cove is a beach in San Diego that is ideal for snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and...

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Postcard from Kalona, Iowa

Postcard from Kalona, Iowa

A good friend of mine from high school lives in Iowa now and recently sent us a postcard from Kalona,  just an hour south of where she and her family live. They've lived there for years but had never been to nearby Kalona which was settled as an Amish community in the...

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Thanks, Mom.

Thanks, Mom.

Last month, my mom checked off another popular destination on her bucket list -- New York City. She had always wanted to travel to The Big Apple and had just never had the opportunity. This spring, she got involved in a fantastic lifelong learning organization called...

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Thanks, Piper Family!

Thanks, Piper Family!

Our friends, the Pipers, sent us a postcard this week from one of the best zoos in the world -- Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, which is just up the road from us here in Nebraska. This zoo is absolutely amazing and in our opinion, is a must-see U.S....

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Surprise! We’re going to ___________ .

Surprise! We’re going to ___________ .

A few of years ago, I told Ann that I was going to plan a trip, book it, pack her bag, pick her up from work and take her directly to the airport for a surprise weekend away. With a horrified expression, she told me that I should never do that because there is no way...

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Postcard what?

Postcard what?

Postcard jar. That's right. Here's the story. A few years ago, I read a home  decorating blog post from Young House Love about saving postcards from places you visit and displaying them in a glass vase. I loved the idea and from that point on in May of 2011, whenever...

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Music for the soul

Music for the soul

After my appointments today at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Steve and I spent two hours sitting in the lobby of Mayo’s Gonda Building where we listened to Jane Belau play the grand piano for passersby. We’d seen her play before and enjoyed the music, but today was...

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A new view of Key West

A new view of Key West

I'm one of the lucky ones. My grandparents spent winters in the Florida Keys so I've been to Key West many times. I have seen the drag queen lowered in her giant shoe at midnight on New Year's Eve. I've sipped beers in Sloppy Joe's, Captain Tony's and even the Hog's...

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Nebraska’s Nicest Nine Recap

Nebraska’s Nicest Nine Recap

Earlier this summer, Steve and I took off on a 6-day journey to find out for ourselves if our home state lives up to its new slogan, "Nebraska Nice." We wrote about some of the nicest things we saw -- calling them  our 2014 "Nebraska's Nicest Nine."  The list was...

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Thanks, Mom.

Thanks, Mom.

We received our first postcards from a reader this week from none other than my mom, Carol. She had a fantastic time in Mason City, Iowa, the boyhood home of Meredith Willson who wrote one of our families' all-time favorite musicals -- The Music Man. The next time you...

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Nebraska’s Nicest Nine 2014

Nebraska’s Nicest Nine 2014

I have to admit, I wasn't thrilled with Nebraska's new tourism slogan, "Nebraska Nice" when it was introduced a few weeks ago.  I felt it lacked a certain something and didn't capture all it could.  "Nice?"  Really?  I felt the tourism board could have said "Nebraska...

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SPAM, SPAM, SPAM!

SPAM, SPAM, SPAM!

On our way back home from Mayo Clinic, Ann and I stopped in Austin, MN at the SPAM museum. There we learned that SPAM stands for "spiced ham" and there have been billions of cans sold. Believe it or not, the SPAM museum is actually worth a stop. The museum is fun for...

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  • Last week, we had the pleasure of making handmade pasta (via the internet) with our friends, Deb and Massi, who were in their home kitchen in Italy. ⁣
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You can read all about it, and get the recipe, on our blog. Yep, you guessed it, the link is in our bio. ⁣
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We met Deb and Massi of @italyunfiltered a few years ago when they created an amazing food and wine itinerary for us. We've remained friends and it was so good to see them, even if they were a world away.
  • We were supposed to be in Rochester, Minnesota, this week for Ann to see a cardiac sarcoidosis specialist about some recent issues with her heart. Of course, we did not travel to Rochester for her scans and doctor visits because of the coronavirus outbreak.⁣
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Instead, her cardiologists called her from their homes and her scans and tests will likely be delayed until June or July. We'll keep in close touch with them if anything changes, as well. We are so grateful for all of the healthcare professionals who are continuing to work crazy hours from home as well as in our hospitals around the world.⁣
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This is such an unprecedented and stressful time for all of them. Words will never be enough to convey our gratitude for the roles they are playing in the battle against this deadly virus while caring for those with other diseases and illnesses at the same time. ⁣
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Every healthcare provider we've talked with in the last two weeks has had the same message for those of us who don't have to go to work at a hospital. ⁣
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Just. Stay. Home.
  • 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.

Second most popular blog in Pawhuska