Place Where You Live:

Ord, Nebraska

John D. and Marie Albers, my husband's great-grandparents. Courtesy of the local paper, from way back then and still running now, the Ord Quiz

My husband bought a snow shovel. He thinks in the act of spending fifteen dollars he brought an early spring to Nebraska. We resisted buying that shovel but he couldn’t stand by and let the snow plow undo what the snowmen who shovel us out and clear our driveways had just done. The mini-shovel we keep in the back of our van was hard on his back thus the big blue shovel bought at the local hardware store with a coupon giving us $7 off has now joined the likes of the mini-orange-shovel awaiting its call to arms which never came.

Fifty-degrees, robin’s egg shell blue skies, no clouds in sight, and just one or two little piles of snow left at the end of the driveway. It’s hard to believe it’s late January. It could be April. There are kids on scooters whizzing down our road, joggers hair-a-flying and jacket-less where snow-mobillers and sledders were just playing a week ago. Little dogs hopping through the snow like foxes are free to roam the wet grass and chase birds. Like the weather, life is unpredictable.

Home is usually viewed as a place. Like our first apartment with its orange gingham curtains and blue shades and cinder block bookshelves and our first purchase of a green sofa that lasted years longer than it should have. Where we began was just north of Philadelphia and now in my senior citizen years I live in the central part of Nebraska where my husband’s people once homesteaded, where they farmed, where they raised a crop of kids and lived by their wits and their faith and their patience. I’ve raised my crop of kids, I’ve farmed and pioneered and settled down and now I’ve come full-circle, living by principles like faith, and patience, and the legacy of adventure I inherited from people I’m just beginning to understand and appreciate.