By Dave Vrbas of The Wauneta Breeze
It’s not everyday I get to headline my column with the title of a popular Bon Jovi tune, so you can imagine how I’m relishing this opportunity and taking full advantage.
Actually, the excitement of the past month has not been lost on me.
A month or so ago, my family and I schlepped our worldly possessions across the state, settling a nest in the southwest.
Yes, we left the shopping conveniences of Grand Island behind and traded those for the conveniences of a simpler, more enjoyable life here. It’s a new start that puts us exactly two blocks from all of my immediate family members.
And yes, I’m well aware of how incredibly insane that sounds.
I left Wauneta six years ago on December 10, 2002, and re-started at the Breeze on December 10 of this year. (And no, I did not plan it that way.)
Yep, we were away for six years and my, how you’ve all changed. I have to admit that after moving we didn’t get back as often as we would have liked. When we did make that trek, we often ended our trip at Palisade, never venturing further westward.
I followed the goings-on as much as possible, thanks to the Breeze, but didn’t truly grasp how much had changed until this fall on a trip back for a volleyball game in Benkelman.
On the way to and fro, I told my sister Heidi that I’d like to drive through Wauneta’s downtown to see what it looked like now. She was stoked because she hadn’t seen it for at least three days.
As I pulled off the highway, I drove through town utterly astonished.
In short, this little town is beautiful. And Palisade, you’re pretty darn good-lookin’ yourself.
I’m proud to be a new citizen of Palisade and an adopted son of Wauneta and Hamlet — as are many Palisade kids from throughout the ages.
Which is not to say Grand Island was a bust either. Amy and I made several good friends there; friends we have plans to see this holiday season. Friends we’ll keep for life.
Amy took a gig as a speech pathologist for ESU 15 and last month started work at WP and Chase County. She’s now trying to quickly learn all the names I already know -- and many I don’t. She loves her ‘kiddos’ and is quite impressed with the staff at the schools. I think our schools are fortunate to have her too, but then, I’m extremely biased.
We added another little member to our household more than two-and-a-half years ago. Jack Parker is excited to be living here now, as I hear “I see Grandma” and “I see Peyton” (his cousin) literally everyday.
If you haven’t met Jack yet, introduce yourself, but be prepared to stick around for a while to hear what he has to say. He’s a silly spirit, and I can’t figure out where he gets that goofy humor of his.
To avoid going all Kathie Lee Gifford about him, I’ll just stop here and say I’m very proud and blessed in many ways.
I promise my usual goofy column next week, but thought I should reintroduce myself first.
Consider yourselves warned.