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It’s hard work trying to be a fun parent PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Monday, 08 July 2013 16:54

There are worse ways to start a Monday morning. (Diane Stamm | The Wauneta Breeze)

By Diane Stamm

The Wauneta Breeze


Looking back at a time before I had kids, I remember thinking of all the fun stuff I would do with my kids.

Trying to line up coaches for YMCA youth leagues, I knew I wanted to coach my kids’ teams and practice with them at home.

Living on a farm our vacations were spur of the moment affairs. We had several when we didn’t have plans for the next day but caught an inch of rain overnight and took off for the mountains in the morning.

Growing up, we could never get enough of camping. We lived five miles from Harry Strunk Lake, but with irrigation water to be changed morning and night we were lucky to spend a night at the lake each summer.

I was going to do these things and more with my kids.

And then I had kids.

Suddenly an overnight camping trip didn’t have the same appeal when I was the one to pack, unpack, pack and unpack once more.

By this time last summer my husband had taken our daughter and son fishing and camping several times. It hasn’t worked out that way this year.

With the prospect of a cool week and zero chance of rain I decided to take the kids to spend a night at Rock Creek.

Sunday evening we loaded up and headed out with them poking and prodding and fighting all the way to Parks.

We made it to Rock Creek with only one potty break and three or four threats of “Do you want me to turn this car around!”

Finding our favorite spot the kids launched themselves out of the pickup. My daughter headed for the fishing poles, declaring they learned how to fish at SCORE camp and she could do it herself.

As she went digging through the cooler for the worms I turned, looking for my son. He was already thigh deep in the lake without a life jacket. Dragging him from the water I found my daughter had indeed baited her own hook, but had about ten feet of line tangled in lily pads and cat tails.

While I tried to untangle her, my son grabbed a net and was once again shorts deep in the water trying to snag anything dumb enough to have not been scared off.

Depositing him in the pickup, I pitched the tent and started organizing sleeping gear.

Coming out of the tent I followed the trail of marshmallows from the cooler back to the lake where my daughter sat, eating marshmallows and chocolate bars and flopping her fishing pole around like she was beating snakes.

Surprisingly, she had yet to get a nibble even though she knew her hook still had a worm on because she’d checked it twice in five minutes.

As the evening wore on and the sun started to set, we started getting ready for bed. By this time the sounds of humans had diminished, everyone around the lake had heard enough racket coming from our camp ground to know the fish weren’t going to be biting.

I had packed them both pajamas but was unprepared to find that both had failed to wear underwear.

With a sigh I got them in their pajamas and tucked into their sleeping bags then went out sit by the fishing poles and listen to the giggling that was going on in the tent.

Finally things quieted down and I decided it was time for me to go to bed.

I don’t remember camping hurting so bad when I was young. These days everything aches when I camp: shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and ankles.

I had been down ten minutes when a pickup with an exhaust system that echoed around the lake pulled in 100 yards up the lake. Laughter and music and yelling followed for the next hour until the pickup started with a roar and left.

Finally settling down to sleep I awoke at 2:30 by rain drops falling on the tent.

So much for zero chance of rain. I got up, put on the rain fly and crawled damply into bed, thankful that the kids rolled over and went back to sleep.

My son demanding to watch cartoons woke me at 6:00.

The kids sat, eating soggy powdered donuts, as I packed up our wet tent and crammed everything back into the pickup. By 7:00 we were on our way home.

I didn’t feel like a fun mom. I hope that time adds fuzziness to the kids’ memories of the trip and they remember the fun things, not the tangled lines, not my frustration with a half bag of marshmallows dumped on the ground,

Even though I swore on the ride home that we aren’t going camping again ever, I hope time adds fuzziness to my memories and I remember the fun things about the trip and am willing to try and be a fun mom again soon.

Just not for a couple weeks. I really need to recover.




Seniors leave memories behind PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 09 May 2013 18:38

By Diane Stamm

The Wauneta Breeze


The closer we get to the end of the school year the more I, as a sports fan, come to appreciate the past school year.

With trips to the State Football Championship and both boys’ and girls’ state basketball, it’s been a pretty good year for Wauneta-Palisade athletics.

Most high school athletes go their entire careers hoping that they or their classmates will make it to a state athletic event. These kids were lucky enough to make it happen.

As I thought about how lucky this senior class has been and how they’ve led their schoolmates through the year, certain events stood out for each athlete.

Connor Kayton: One of the best athletes in Nebraska six-man football this year, I’ll remember Kayton for the runs he made on the football field and the crazy athletic plays on the basketball court. You didn’t always know what he was going to come up with.

Logan Bischoff: The leader of the basketball team, I’ll remember Bischoff for the night he made 14 of 17 free throws and scored 31 points against Dundy County-Stratton. The flip side of that is how often this year the ball would be half through the hoop and pop back out. Bischoff was in double figures for the final eight games of the season as the Broncos made the push to State.

Jacob Maris: With the emphasis placed on concussion awareness, I’ll remember Maris for sitting out football his junior year and being able to come back for this season, before another concussion sidelined him during basketball season.

Jack McGraw: A physical presence on the football field, I’ll miss McGraw popping pads, whether running the ball or making tackles.

Weylin Davis: Not being familiar with six-man football I was caught off guard when Davis took his place in the middle of the line, offensively and defensively. His two touchdown catches from the center position were some of my favorite plays from the season.

Cody Hicks: Two things for Hicks. One, coach Randy Geier putting the state championship medal around Hicks’ neck, giving him a big hug and saying “You’re a good man, Cody Hicks.” Two, trying to get a track team picture and Hicks couldn’t keep his sweat pants up. Luckily for all of us he was wearing shorts underneath.

Dakota Washum: Out for track as a senior, I didn’t have many opportunities to see Washum compete due to the weather. I thought it was good to see a senior step up to something new.

Emma Skelton: The only three sport female athlete in her class, I think Skelton started every girls’ event I attended. One of my favorite pictures from this year, though out of focus, was Skelton’s pancake in the subdistrict tournament.

Tayler Nordhausen: I wish I had something sports related for Nordhausen. Although on the volleyball team, I will remember Nordhausen for years to come whenever prom rolls around. At the Speech Spectacular in March, Landon Jutten took his speech about awkwardness to a whole other level by asking Nordhausen to prom in front of everyone. It was epic.

Each year has its highlights and low lights. This year saw monumental highs and some frustrating lows. Let’s hope we don’t have too long to wait for another year like this.

ROOF! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Friday, 12 October 2012 17:54

Lady Bronco volleyball players celebrate a block against Hitchcock County with the classic Nebraska “Roof.” From left are Abbie Fanning, Emma Skelton, Brianna Einspahr, Leiauna Alberts, Sydnee Harchelroad and Tailor Lee.


By Diane Stamm

The Wauneta Breeze


I once heard someone say, “Nobody celebrates like a volleyball team.”

I couldn’t agree more. Soccer comes close, but when you only score once or twice per game it’s got to be big.

In volleyball there’s a potential for a party with every point.

Kill: whoop, holler, maybe a dance.

Ace: fist pumps and high fives all around.

Block: Arms in the air for the traditional Nebraska “ROOF.”

I’m usually against celebrations. I’m more of a “act like you’ve been there” type person.

Touchdown and sack celebrations in football drive me nuts.

Basketball players chest bumping after dunks make me change the channel.

I don’t know what’s different about volleyball.

But I enjoy it.

On another note, I know the NSAA can sometimes be criticized for its scheduling tactics, but I’d like to thank whoever was in charge of the Broncos’ football schedule this year. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I was very grateful the team had a bye Friday night and we didn’t have to stand around in the cold for the game.

As for this week, the game against Elba-North Loup-Scotia will be played in Scotia.

Last Updated on Friday, 12 October 2012 17:56
Fortieth Anniversary of Title IX PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 28 June 2012 16:51

By Diane Stamm

The Wauneta Breeze


My daughter and I get to T-ball early each week. As we were waiting for the other kids to show up we sat and visited with a grandma who’d come to watch her granddaughter.

She asked my daughter what she thought of T-ball.

Too hot. Too boring.

The grandma told my daughter to stick with it, it would get much more fun. When she was a girl it was the only sport she could play and they played in jeans and wore metal cleats.

She graduated from high school the same year as my mom, six years before Title IX. My mom went from Stratton to Kearney State College where she was lucky enough to play softball for the college. Mom talks fondly about her teammates and playing in the College World Series.

By the time I graduated in 1993 it was easier to believe there was a time when basketball didn’t have a three-point line than to believe there was a time when girls couldn’t play basketball.

As the 40th anniversary of Title IX was celebrated by women around the United States this weekend one commentator remarked that so many girls today don’t even know what Title IX is. The commentator said she had talked to a girl who thought it was a brand of golf clubs.

I hope this weekend’s publicity of the legislation will encourage girls to sit down with their grandmas and talk about what it was like 50 or 60 years ago when the opportunities of today weren’t available.

I know I’d like to say thanks to the women before me who crusaded so that I could have the chances I did. I’d also to say thanks to the men whose sports programs were sacrificed to give those women a chance. Next time when you sit down to enjoy a softball game or head to the high school to watch the girls play volleyball and basketball or run track, I hope you’ll say thanks, too.


Is it August yet? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 21 June 2012 16:02

By Diane Stamm


School’s only been out for three weeks and I’m already missing high school sports.

Softball and baseball just aren’t the same. T-ball has come nowhere close to filling the void.

Truth be told, T-ball hasn’t been very fun. The wind has blown every Tuesday and Thursday while we’ve had practice. It’s hot just like every year and my daughter spends the hour whining about how boring T-ball is when she doesn’t get to play pitcher or first base. She’s ready for it to be over.

The good news is…only nine weeks until high school football season! The Broncos open the season Aug. 24 at home against Cody-Kilgore. You don’t want to miss this one. If you can’t make it you can plan on heading to Minatare, Hyannis and Arthur County before you get to see Wauneta-Palisade play at home again. The team rounds out its season with Sioux County and Maywood at home, Elba-North Loup-Scotia away and Silver Lake at home. I had to do a Google search to figure out where three of those teams are.

My family did get a dose of competitive action in this week. Each year I take my kids to Cambridge for Medicine Creek Days. Friday night is always the Big Wheel Races. My son is finally old enough and declared he was going to win a Piston Cup. The Trojans weren’t prepared for our Longhorn on Friday. My son won his Piston Cup by a mile.

After doing the Big Wheel race for three years, my daughter was bound and determined she was going to win a trophy also. She was the first to the turn and spun out. She came from behind, finished in a three way tie for first, but wasn’t picked to go to finals. The M & Ms were no consolation. We loaded up to go to my parents with her crying.

We don’t give our kids the “just go have fun” speech. We tell them to work hard and do their best. She did.

My husband and I are very competitive. We’re so competitive we can’t play games together. It’s no surprise the kids hate to lose. I’d rather have her cry for 30 minutes than shrug her shoulders and enjoy her M & Ms.

If only I could get her to care that much about T-ball.


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