Category Archives: Secret Bridges

Labor Day Weekend

Nebraska has had a sudden and very welcome spurt of beautiful weather, recently. We’ve gone from 90 degrees and muggy to 70 degrees every day and sunny, so Vivian and I have been making the most of it before the snow and bitter cold hit.

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On Friday, I took Vivian on a “surprise date” to Matsu Sushi downtown. The rest of her co-workers were actually going on an all-you-can-eat sushi binge over at Wasabi sushi, but Vivian wanted to save that for a time when she won’t have restrictions on raw fish. We had a sushi caterpillar among other things and wrapped up the evening with a trip to the theater to see Captain America.

On Sunday, we had another bit of Asian cuisine down at China Road to give our friend Don a send-off party. He’s been reassigned at his job, so we won’t be able to see him at church on Sunday mornings anymore.

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On Sunday night, our mutual friend Jenny threw a labor day party at her house. The weather was still quite cool — just perfect for a game of stereo Frisbee in the backyard. We had burgers, and dogs and then settled down for a few more hilarious rounds of Telestrations inside. We also got to toss around a few Angry Birds sometime before midnight.

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Vivian and I had no specific plans for Labor Day, but the weather was so nice, we had to get out and enjoy it, so we took an impromptu trip to Lincoln to visit the Secret Bridges one more time before the baby comes due. There were several other people wandering around Wilderness Park on bikes enjoying the weather with us. A couple things had changed at the bridges since we’d been there last. For one, the old graffiti had been painted over. For another, someone had planted some flowers up on the top of the bridge. Someone had built a fire pit underneath the second bridge, and the old meadow had been overrun with a few trees and thistles. I poked around the trail a bit more and found a historical marker for a train wreck that occurred back in 1894, which the trail we were following had been part of the Rock Island line. I still don’t know much about locomotive history, but it’s still interesting to see the remnants of a hundred years still lingering about. (I even noticed the train tracks we always crossed had been lain 13 years apart — one with wooden ties, the other with concrete.)

The beautiful fall weather seems to be continuing indefinitely for the time being. Now we can only hope we’ll get to have another outdoor dance, camping trip, or some other outdoor event so we can fully appreciate it.

15 minutes of fame

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It’s been a fun, busy week for Vivian and me, with lots of cool things happening in a fairly short space of time. On Wednesday last week, I finally got around to mowing our lawn for the very first time. I had to get up early in the morning in order to make time for it (in-between rain showers and other activities). That evening we both went down to South Omaha to celebrate Cinco de Mayo at El Dorado, a lovely Mexican restaurant on the corner of 24th and Q. They specialize in seafood, and la comida es muy auténtica — our waitress didn’t speak much English, and I had to fall back on what I could remember of my high school Spanish in order to translate.

On Friday, I crossed another big milestone in my life: I turned one billion seconds old at 11:45 a.m. (something that happens only twice in an average lifetime)!

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I dropped by JNO on Friday, and our good friends from Sioux Falls David and Anna got to spend the night at our place. On Saturday, Vivian and I had some fun trekking down to Lincoln to explore the Secret Bridges for a little while. We returned home that evening with avocado smoothies and Big Sal’s pizza to enjoy our Netflix account. Yes, we finally subscribed to the DVD-rental-by-mail cult, and we’ve filled up our queue to more than 50 different films so far. We managed to cross off Revenge of the Nerds, D.A.R.Y.L., and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan off the list in the first three days. Hopefully it’ll be worth our $9 a month.
Secret Bridges trip

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Sunday was Mother’s Day, of course, and Vivian prepared a delicious brunch of crustless quiche and strawberry crepes for her parents and me. We also gave her a goofy toad for her garden. I gave my own mom in North Carolina a call to say Happy Mother’s Day and make sure she got the flowers we’d had delivered.

We had enough time afterward to drop by the very first Lindy in the Park of the season, working off a few of our excess calories just in time to have some ice cream at Ted & Wally’s immediately afterward.

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The biggest highlight of the whole week, however, came on Sunday night. On Valentine’s Day, I’d given Vivian tickets to see Whose Line all-stars Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood live at the Holland Center downtown. They were as funny on stage and in person as they were on TV, and guess who got called up on stage for the sound effects game toward the end of the show? That’s right — me! It was quite a thrill to shake hands with two brilliant comedians I’ve watched on TV for so many years. It was also pretty exciting to burp on command and hum “La Cucaracha” as an imaginary car horn for a couple thousand people.

80s Night and the Secret Bridges


It’s been another fun-filled weekend out here in Nebraska. On Friday, the Jitterbugs had an 80s themed dance for Jitterbugs Night Out. Viv, Jenny, and I went shopping at some thrift stores last week for vintage clothes, and a bunch of us were all decked out in our totally radical outfits for the dance. Viv won first place for her outfit and got a coveted Spam Bank as her prize!

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On Saturday, Viv came down to Lincoln for an afternoon lunch at the Secret Bridges. Around two years ago, I was playing with Google Maps and followed a route through Lincoln where the Rock Island Line used to run. I found a spot in Wilderness Park where there were a few old train bridges, so I walked own there one day to explore. The beautiful old forest and the creek running underneath the bridge were so beautiful that I decided to draw a comic about them. I finally got to show Viv the same spot on Saturday. In the picture on the right, she’s walking up on the mound where the train tracks used to run through the forest, and on the left you can see the bridge in the background as we sat to have lunch in a small grassy clearing.

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On Sunday we had another busy dance down at Lindy in the Park. I got plenty of cool pictures. Afterwards, a couple of us got to run down to Ted and Wally’s for ice cream, and then Vivian and went home to shower before heading off to the last-ever Sunday night service for Terra Nova.