Prairie Cat farewell

January seems to be a long, boring month, especially coming off the high of the holiday season. The mild, spring-like weather we’ve enjoyed keeps threatening to come to an end, but Vivian and I have been continuing to love every minute of it.

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On Friday night, Nate and Lexi (estranged friends from Twin Valley Church) invited Vivian and me over to their place for an impromptu game night. We brought cookies and some cheese balls and spent a long evening figuring out and eventually playing Citadel. It’s a card game featuring several medieval-type characters, and the goal is to gain points by building enough high-value properties on the table before anyone else. It turned out to be a fun little game, especially since I managed to win, though the chances of victory seem to depend highly on what high-value cards a player can manage to extract from the deck (and put into play).

On Sunday, we had another potluck Sunday at church (following a couple meetings) which was always fun — and filling. Vivian made her famous cheesy chicken and chips (made famous from Jenny’s cookbook, naturally), and it was gone almost right away.

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That following Monday, Vivian went to a “Praise Worship Friends Fun” night at Tamra’s with Jonathan Paper, Mark Scheen, Jenny, Ben Anderson, and Katie (with Hannah in tow). That left me free to drop by the Ozone Lounge to bid the Prairie Cats a fond farewell with a handful of Jitterbug friends. The P. Cats has been one of my favorite swing bands ever since I first heard them play at the Lauritzen Gardens in 2007 — right up there with the Brian Setzer Orchestra, Indigo Swing, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. They’ve been playing for almost 14 years at such venues as the Cowtown Jamborama and the Windows on the World in the World Trade Center. (Their lead singer is Jeff “Big Daddy K” Koterba, who’s also known for his editorial cartoons in the Omaha World-Herald.)

Several “old-timers” dropped by to pay tribute, including “Crazy” Connie, Billy Sobczyk, the “other” Matt Johnson, Sara Pirtle, and a bunch of regulars as well. I had a dance with just about every follow I could find and wore myself out before the end of the night both dancing and snapping pictures. It’s nights like these that remind me just how much fun swing dancing can be, if you just get he right music to accompany you onto the dance floor.

P1100069Today, Vivian and Hannah dropped by the office to surprise me for a lunch date! We went to Cheddar’s, a “casual café” around the corner that’s always packed and specialized in… just about everything. I had chicken fried steak, and Vivian got a cheese steak, and we leafed through the new wedding photo album we’d put together on Snapfish over the holidays.

Needless to say, it was a fun outing. We’d been talking about doing a lunch date sometime before her maternity leave ends, and I’m glad we got the chance to do it today — after an extended leave of absence, winter decided to make an unexpected return.

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