At the end of March, I flew to Omaha, Nebraska to visit my friend, Deb, and to speak at her guild, The Braided River Quilters. Besides visiting quilt shops, we took in some other sites of interest.
We visited Boys Town, established by Father Flanagan in 1917. He believed every child could be a productive citizen if given love, a home, education and a trade. You can read more about his work here. One of the hobbies he encouraged was stamp collecting. The sphere in the picture is made entirely of postage stamps as was the quilt-like wall decoration in the background.
Another highlight of the trip was viewing a “fly in” of Sandhill Cranes. Each spring they migrate from Mexico to northern Canada, Alaska and Siberia. They are about the size of flamingos.
They stop for about three weeks in the Platte River Valley of Nebraska to rest and feed on remnants of last fall’s grain harvest.
Round about sunset, after a day of foraging, flocks of cranes swoop down to the river sandbars to roost. I can’t imagine standing in the shallow water or on the muddy sandbanks all night with 10,000 other noisy birds, but they avoid predators in this way.
The day we witnessed the sunset “fly in” was cold and the clouds spit snow, but seeing the birds was worth the discomfort. Unfortunately, it was too overcast to capture a clear photograph of this memorable event.
Tuesday night after the Braided River Quilt Guild meeting, we drove to the Omaha airport to witness another “fly in.” Nebraskan Korean War veterans were returning after a day of touring memorials and sites of interest in Washington D. C.
Donors in the state provided airfare, windbreakers, polo shirts, medals of honor, the tour bus and meals for the veterans as well as entertainment, tours, lunch, and manicures for the waiting wives in Omaha. It was like a late night festive parade in the airport! Two bands, high school Jr.ROTC, friends, family, patriotic citizens, and news reporters turned out by the hundreds to say “Welcome home” and “Thank you for your service.”
By witnessing these Nebraskan sights, I was impressed with the fabric of a great state: selfless service, appreciation of nature, and enthusiastic patriotism.