Thursday, July 17, 2008

Blogstock '08

Blogstock Eve (Wednesday July 2)

I stepped out my door to find a big jug of baseball bubble gum and red, white and blue star necklaces. Thanks Maureen, and stop “blurking” and start blogging my friend.

I was still car-less so Marcella was kind enough to run me to the candy wholesaler to pick up candy to toss from the float. We walked out with big box of candy: Twizzlers, BB Bats, Smarties, Tootsie Rolls and candy necklaces. Yummm.

As with almost every trip I’ve taken in the last twenty-five years I sabotaged myself by staying up way too late the night before. I walked down to the Red Key with my neighbors and ran in to Aaron Stroup, who is in town on tour with Susan Cowsill (see this post ).

I did have fun, but really should have started packing before 2:30 in the morning. I solved that dilemma by throwing every dress I owned and four pairs of shoes in my suitcase.

Blogstock Day One (Thursday, July 3)

Jerry gave me a 7:00 am wake-up call. In my running around like a nut I managed to trip over a pair of boots on my basement steps and slid down a dozen wooden steps on my bum. At least the concrete floor stopped the fall, and quite frankly if I needed to be bouncing down the steps on any part of my body, my bohunkus is the most resilient part.

Since my truck was still in the shop, poor Jerry had to drive over an hour to fetch me and then turn around to head back the way he came from. We stopped for coffee not too far from his house and ran in to folks that live just a few blocks from me. Even more amazing? They were headed to Nebraska also – just a county over from Cliff's.

The trip to Tekamah was smooth. Jerry and I travel well together. We swaped napping and driving.

We timed our arrival perfectly -- we pulled up to the float staging area just as the work was finished.
All of the bloggers were to bring a poster for the float that describes their blog. Last-minute-Nora made a very crooked sloppy poster describing ‘chez pez’ – pretty indicative of my life/blog, really. Jerry had a wonderful poster of Oreo, the pig in his front yard and the mascot of his blog. There was discussion on whether Jerry needed to write "Indiana" on his poster. I commented that a giant photograph of a pig screamed Indiana, but he added it just to be safe.

I met Rachel, Desiree, Ralph and Char, Jim and Mrs. Jim and Terry Anderson for the first time. It was great to see Cliff and Marilyn and their extended family again. We headed to dinner and Karaoke. There where some great singers in our midst. When asked to sing, I shared this story: When I was in 7th grade I tried out for the choir. Of all of the kids that auditioned, only two of us didn't make it and the other one was in special education. Therefore I’m doubly impressed by people that have enough nerve to get up and sing.

Blogstock Day One (Friday, July 4)

We were up bright and early for the Tekamah Independence Day parade. We fought the crowd--seriously there was a crowd lined up along Main Street an hour before the parade started. I was thrilled to meet Jamie Dawn and most of her family, Lazy Blogger and Sherry and Janell. Again, everyone was ‘as advertised,’ no surprises!

Tekamah pulls out all of the stops for the day. I think half of the town was in the parade and the other half was sitting along the route. The weather was perfect – ‘Chamber of Commerce weather’ as Cliff called it.

The parade was a blast! We decided to collect food and money for the local pantry (read the article here) and I was afraid that no one would bring anything. When a woman ran toward with a bag of food I was relieved. We had fun clapping and cheering for the people that donated. I was the one skipping along behind the float and grinning from ear-to-ear.

After the parade we all headed to the lovely Silver Hills winery, taking the scenic route. All cornfields do not look alike. I had my annual glass of wine and a lovely lunch. The owners were gracious, they've created a amazing place.

Jerry and I went Boone County are we? We stopped in at Fran (Cliff brother) and Robbie's. Their son, Marty is Jerry's 'blog father.' More new terms. Jerry is my blog father, the one who inspired me to start blogging. Fran and Robbie have a wonderful home and I look forward to seeing them again.

Next activity: nap. And lovely and necessary nap it was. You need to be at the top of your game to hang with Cliff and Ralph.

We headed out to the farm for dinner. The road to the Morrows was lined with signs - I made Jerry stop at every single one. After a mile or so, we got in the groove and Jerry just had to slow down and I would stick my head out and snap.

We were greeted with a Blogstock '08 sign and a festive tent. We ate and chatted and ate and chatted. And ate some more. I loved talking to all of of the other bloggers and meeting families and neighbors of the Morrows. You can tell that the community thinks as much of Cliff as the rest of us do. Team Blogstock kept us well entertained. Juli Morrow treated lots of the group to horseback rides - I felt like I've known Jamie Dawn for a long time, but helping boost her onto Eddie sealed the relationship.

Ralph and Cliff presented the the goodie bags - chock full of goodness. The highlight was the Blogstock books. Ralph spent a lot of time putting them together. I won't recount the hell that I put him through with my entry, but I was darn happy that Ralph didn't punch me in the nose when we met. I missed most of the speechifying that accompanied the presentation of the books. Dad called, I was trying to tell him that I'd call him later. I don't think he heard me, because he said "okay, I'll put your mother on the phone." I made a lap around the bin talking on the phone before I got back to the party.

We were all like high school kids with a yearbook. We first flipped through them to see how our hair looked and then started reading each other's posts.

Keith (Mr. Jamie Dawn) gave me a hot off the press copy of Taylor's music.

Blogstock Day Two (July 5)

...also known worldwide as Jerry's birthday.

We did a little shopping in Tekamah. I'd mentioned to Janell the day before that I forgot to bring my makeup. She joked that you needed a permit to wear makeup in Nebraska and I was starting to believe her. After dragging Jerry though three stores all I'd scored was a tube of mascara and a bag of Twizzlers for Ralph and me.

Wow breakfast. Cliff style. Pancakes, sausage and fruit cups. And Twizzlers and conversation. The rain didn't slow anyone down and it was soon done.

I decided that I really felt at home and traded places with Jacob for nap time.

More fun in the afternoon. We all signed each others Blogbooks, I rode Eddie (a horse of course) and laughed and just had a good old fashioned wonderful time enjoying conversations and watching friendships form.

The evening brought even more food - Ralph was not exaggerating (for once) about how good Cliff's barbeque was. I think everything was enhanced by the convenience of the summer kitchen.

Rachel made a cake for Jerry's birthday, I'm not sure there were enough candles.

Jerry and I might have stayed just a little too late, I think that when the hosts start putting on their pajamas it's a hint to leave. I'm glad we stayed or I would have missed out on the stories the Morrow and Campbell families told on each other.

Blogstock Day Three (July 6)

Jerry dropped me at the farm and drove Rachel to the airport. I got to soak in even more Morrow/Campbell goodness. Dan and Julie's daughters are adorable. Madi was a little disappointed that my name was not Dora - as in Dora the Explorer.

The tent came down - the party was over. A good time was had by all. 


Live Well, Laugh Often & Love Much said...

Great Post ! I guess I better got on in huh ....I was great to meet you.

Cliff said...

I really liked this report Dear Nora.
~I felt like I've known Jamie Dawn for a long time, but helping boost her onto Eddie sealed the relationship. ~
Is the single funniest line I've read on the internet. That right there is funny.
Thanks for all of the nice things you wrote. I hope some were true. You couldn't have had as much fun as we did. Thanks again for attending. I know that it was a real commitment for someone so far away.

Rachel said...

Great Nora!! I loved reading this post and it brought back all those great memories of Blogstock! It was so much fun meeting everyone! You look great on Eddie!!

Jamie Dawn said...

My bohunkus DID INDEED need some major boosting to get up on that horse. If you recall, we ended up having to grab a bucket for me to stand on to help give me a better advantage to get on that horse.
Fun times!!
I'm so glad you included a shot of your shoes!
This post would not have been complete without a Nora's Shoes Shot.
I am so glad you came up with the idea to collect food and monetary donations along with parade route.
I've said this before and I'll say it again, "Nora is a thinker!" I think I said that over at Cliff's or someone's blog because it is true, and your idea was a goodie!
Your humorous account of Blogstock was lots of fun to read. I love remembering it and seeing it through the eyes and photos and commentary of my blog buddies.
We had ourselves a flippin great time!!!

Ralph said...

This is a great post and it brought back a lot of wonderful memories. Thanks. Man, that whole week is still a blur but a blur with a lot of fond moments.

Jerry said...

Nice report, cub reporter!

My Blog report is on hold. Life is getting in the way. Hate it when that happens!