You might want to re-read my last post to catch up. I’m sure everyone’s forgotten where I was in my Nebraska story. Trips to Seattle, big snow, and an ongoing head cold have kept me away from the computer for a while.
Nebraska. The Junk Jaunt. Let me tell you they were right when they advertised the jaunt as “Shop ‘til You Drop”!
Since we got into Columbus a day late we didn’t start our jaunt until Saturday. WOW 300 miles of treasure! Amy, me, Janet and Jerry (my cousins) were ready. We all climbed into Jerry’s truck (in case we had some BIG stuff to bring back) and started out toward the first town on the jaunt. It was like a “pickers” dream! The entire town was filled with places participating in the jaunt. Each place had a number. So we cruised…we’d check out each sale by slowing way down, staring at the treasure, checking to if baby clothes or old clothes were out. (This is a SURE way for the professional junk PICKER to know a good sale) Good…no clothes or old shoes. Bad…all clothes no good stuff.
Amy fixed her goal on buying a good scythe (pronounced “sigh” in the mid-west). We saw some great ones at lots of places on the jaunt but just couldn’t find the one that perfectly fit her hands. Now she wants one for Christmas! I was looking for small stuff to carry on the plane. Jerry was open for anything. He and Janet ended up taking home an entire turntable and speakers for a friend of his just to get the needle to fit his friend’s old record player so he could play old 33 1/3’s! We circled around the town for the entire day…because of a shortness of time we missed all of other towns that were participating in the jaunt! We had the best day. We came home with some crazy and great treasures. Janet got some beautiful little shadow box wall pictures. Amy was walking on air because she found an original “Moulie Grater” in its original box. We were shopping in a giant barn when she spied it in a pile. She was so excited everyone jumped when she shouted out “Wow, I found MY Moulie!” Laughter. I brought home some small things including a tiny (1/2 inch) porcelain doll that I may put in my manger scene at Christmas. We are hoping to return next September more ready to spend three days picking and having a way to get cool stuff home. A U-Haul? Who knows?
The most fun in Columbus was just spending time at the Kneifel homestead and hanging out! We spent time outside. The weather was beautiful. We also took long walks on the property. Jerry was especially excited to show us his new “Deer Stand”. A Deer Stand is kind of like a big boy’s version of a tree house…with windows that you can stick a gun out of and shoot at game as it passes by on the ground. It is VERY high and has a zillion steps to climb, at the top of the stairs you pop up through the floor, come to a square room that I think has a heater and probably everything else needed to be comfortable while hunting. (I’m surprised Jerry doesn’t have a big screen TV up there!)
Amy and I walked out to the blind with Jerry and Zoi. Zoi is Jerry and Janet’s RED (Go Big Red) poodle that is the cutest thing on four legs. She is a chunk though. Round and sweet. As we were getting ready to climb the stairs I casually asked Jerry, “Do you think Zoi can make it up?” I was afraid with that round body she might fall. Jerry’s answer was, “Oh no, she’s good.” (Last famous words.) We got almost to the top, Jerry was inside the stand when Zoi tripped, flipped and fell feet to the sky past Amy and down next to the stairs. She bounced off some trees and landed so far down we couldn’t see her. We all ran to her rescue. Thank goodness she got up. She limped a bit until Jerry picked her up and then just looked kind of sad and surprised. She was probably sore the next day but she was fine! What a tricky dog. All of us thought we were going to collapse from fright but she toddled home just fine. Disaster averted Nebraska style.
One of the other highpoints on any Nebraska trip is watching a Cornhusker game. Go Big Red!!!! Football is right up there with religion in the mid-west. Here’s what you do.
1. Dress up in your Nebraska “Big Red” clothes. This can be a tee shirt, hat, socks, gloves, corn-head, jacket or whatever has caught your eye at the Husker Store (which you’ve visited earlier in the day).
2. Head out to the nearest tavern with the least people, the most Big Screens and the best food and beer.
3. Find a table right in front of the Big Screen.
4. Get some popcorn from a real pop-corn machine.
5. Order a bucket of beer.
6. Order food.
7. Get all crazy and watch the Husker game in all of its glory.
8. Cheer on the team and watch Bo Pelini, the Husker coach, go crazy during the game!
9. Pray for a Husker win.
It was a wonderful night and a great trip thanks to my family! Amy and I are already talking about a return trip next September for the jaunt. I miss my cousins and Columbus. It must be in my blood.
For more information on Columbus, Nebraska, number 84 from the 100 BEST SMALL TOWNS IN AMERICA, go to www.columbusnedowntown.com