Places Called Home: Omaha, Nebraska

This was a move that almost didn’t happen. The series of misadventures my poor wife endured trying to fly from Burbank Airport to Omaha and back would make a heck of a comedy film.

The kicker was her getting stranded with several others in Denver when their connecting flight to Burbank took off five minutes early, knowingly leaving six people behind when their plane arrived late and no other west-bound flight was available until the next morning. The flight they put her on was to LAX and as any Southern Californian knows, trying to get anywhere on the 405 Freeway in L.A. is a nightmare, more so during morning rush hour, which I got to do instead of the 15 minute drive to Burbank, I got 90 minutes of mortal combat on asphalt.

But I digress, she got the job and off we went. Omaha has been great and we had planned on making it our last stop. Between COVID and other factors, that decision was taken away from us. So we are moving and today, as you read this, we are somewhere on I-70 in Colorado on our way to our new home. Hoping that this is in fact the end of the line and still a little sad that Omaha is in our rearview mirror.

IMG_0303Our first winter here was fun for us, and had everyone here thinking we were nuts. We call the winter of 2018-2019 in Omaha “Snowmageddon”. Over six feet of snow dumped on Omaha over the winter and it just kept piling up. There was never a warm enough day to melt it. So, the ground froze underneath all that snow until an early perfect storm from the south brought very warm temperatures and even warmer rain.

All that snow went into insta-melt, and with frozen snow below, the water had no where to go. You probably saw the flooding pictures from the spring of 2019. Months later, we drove down to Missouri and saw many roads that still disappeared underneath the water of the Missouri River. To this day, there are still people who cannot get back into what remains of their homes.

There’s been a lot to see and do here. I got to attend my first, and only (thanks COVID) College World Series game, a Texas loss to Florida, in the new CWS home. I’ve visited the scaled-down replica of Rosenblatt Stadium, the original CWS home. The Zoo there is amazing. Wear comfortable shoes. Its huge!

My first con panel was at O Comic Con in 2018 with my friend Dawn Witzke and my grandson came out to spend a month with us last year, we took the long way back to California, allowing me to show him North Dakota where I lived when I was his age and to fulfill a promise I wasn’t able to keep back in 2015, to take IMG_1366him up to a place called Ocean Shores in Washington State. There’s a placed called Sharkey’s and he loves sharks. A scheduling screw-up cancelled the 2015 trip. It may have taken me four years to fix it, but I fixed it. And that might not have happened if we hadn’t come to Omaha.

We got word that our time in Omaha was drawing to a close a few months ago. It took some time to sort out the when and where we would go next, but today marks the official close of our time in Nebraska. It will take some time to sort out what we’ll miss most, but we will miss this place and the people we’ve met along the way.

Tomorrow brings us to our new home, a new place to explore and get to know. Hopefully, it is the last time we have to pack up and head for the horizon.

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