Day 76 – #NebraskaFlood2019

I’m totally borrowing and recycling information tonight, but it’s honestly the best thing I can think to do on this blog right now. A lot of people in my home state need a lot of help. We’re pretty dry here in Lincoln right now, but the massive flooding all around us is damaging the city’s wellfield and threatening our water supply. As of about an hour ago, we’re officially on mandatory water restrictions.

And still, we’re the really lucky ones. The town of Peru has approximately 170,000 gallons of water (about 3 days worth) left in the tower.

Other towns have lost all water and been completely evacuated. And some have been swallowed up completely.

There are a lot of people hurting, and a lot of rebuilding that will need to be done once the floodwaters finally recede. So much has been lost, will continue to be lost in the days and weeks to come. But there is so much good happening here too. People coming together, helping each other, loving each other. This…this is what being human is all about. We will get through this together.

We are #NebraskaStrong.

Day 75 – #NebraskaStrong

You know we hear all the time about how the world is more connected now than ever, how social media and internet access and smart phones give us instant access to things happening all over the world, allowing us the experience news as it breaks. But that’s only half true, isn’t it? Because we’re really only as connected as our newsfeeds and our limited worldview allow us to be. The reality is that we can believe we’re informed and think we’re so “woke” but the only way we can ever really know for sure is to disconnect from our usual channels and push outside our comfort zones and look past the noise and the bullshit being fed to us.

Forgive me if I’m a little irritable right now, but I’m sitting here in a state that is literally drowning. Two-thirds of Nebraska is under water tonight. Entire towns, farms, ranches. Animals are freezing, starving, drowning. Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes, lost everything. Bridges and roads have been washed away. I’m seeing photos of the devastation in my newsfeed, posted by friends and family. Yet somehow this is all a blip on the national radar, barely a story any of the major news stations are really covering.

Hell, Nebraska got way more coverage when our new state slogan was unveiled a few months ago…”Nebraska. Honestly, it’s not for everyone.” Yeah, that hit the late night circuit. Live with Kelly and Ryan sure had a great time poking fun at it.

Tonight, all of the major news outlets are running the same old stories about who the President is tweeting at today, followed by hard-hitting headlines about April the giraffe giving birth again, the potential for Russell Wilson to sign the biggest NFL contract in history, Lori Loughlin losing out on deals with Netflix and the Hallmark Channel, and Chris Hemsworth snapping selfies with wildlife in Australia.

You know, all the really important things.

But even if we’re laughably called a “flyover state” by a whole lot of people who have never even bothered to get a real glimpse of what Nebraska has to offer, there is absolutely no other place I’d rather be at a time like this. Because if there is one thing we Nebraskans are really great at, it’s facing adversity head-on and taking care of each other.

So yeah, we’re getting bitch-slapped by Mother Nature right now and most of the world isn’t even aware, but we’re standing up and pulling together and I have absolutely no doubt that we’re going to emerge from this stronger than ever. It’s just who we are. It’s just what we do.

We’ll stay #NebraskaStrong

Day 73 – #Goals

My life goals, in a nutshell.

Day 71 – Big Hero and Blitzkrieg Bop

This kid.

We’re slowly moving out of the crazy not-listening, tantrum-throwing phase and into that sweet spot where we get to really see Henry’s personality starting to shine. He’s still my introverted, contemplative boy who likes to crawl up on Momma’s lap and snuggle. But he’s starting to learn that if you want to stand a chance in the Romano house, you gotta turn up the volume.

He’s also got a wicked sense of humor, a killer smile, and stubborn streak that can drive you to the very edge of sanity.

We’ve officially mastered the potty training, and now we’re working hard on eating better dinners without staging massive protests. So yeah, we hit a milestone and got a new toy. And tonight, H-man celebrated by getting to play a little Spiderman on the Playstation while singing his new favorite song, Blitzkrieg Bop.

This boy is either going to be a rockstar, a lawyer, or a stand-up comedian. And no matter how it shakes out, it’s sure going to be an exciting ride.

Day 70 – Welcome to Pothole Hell

Temperatures are starting to rise (we’re hitting the 50’s tomorrow and Wednesday!) and the 70 feet of snow we’ve been buried under since…well…forever is finally starting to melt. We’re in a flood watch for the next couple days and the pothole situation is officially out of control.

I already wrote about it at length. CLICK HERE to read my proposed rating system, and let me know what you think.

Day 69 – Tuning in

I do my best thinking in the shower. There’s just something about being in that private place, away from the noise and demands of my daily life, hot water pelting my skin washing away the sleep and stress. It shifts my brain into another gear, sharpens my focus.

It’s sort of like I’m constantly surfing through channels on the radio dial throughout the day. I pause here and there to tune into stations as needed. Then the dial spins again and I’m back to surfing and trying to make sense of the static. But those 15 minutes in the shower, standing alone in the steamy bathroom, I can dial into the station I’ve been searching for, crank up the volume, and jam along.

I’ve taken to keeping my cellphone nearby, so I can reach out and quickly type a note or capture an idea when it strikes me. It works in a pinch, but it’s not really the best method, and I constantly feel like I’m losing some of my best ideas with the water that swirls down the drain.

I’m also constantly worried that I’m going to drop my phone right in the shower and and have to deal with that temporary headache.

I need to find a more efficient way of catching that inspiration. Hit me up, people. I’m open to suggestions.

I love those moments of clarity, when all the thoughts and ideas that have been simmering suddenly come together, when I snap the puzzle pieces in place and I’m finally able to stand back, put my hands on my hips, and look at the big beautiful picture that emerged from the mess. It’s a moment that makes my stomach flutter, like that split second when the rollercoaster pauses at peak of the climb as if to admire the intricate complexity of the journey ahead before tipping forward and plunging into action.

I guess I’m sort of amazed by it too–the fact that our brains are capable of all this. Right now, my brain is doing the very important business of keeping me alive–telling my heart to beat regularly, telling my lungs to breathe in and out, scanning the entire system to detect threats, and taking in all the sights and sounds and signals to make some sort of sense of it all. All of this while still helping me to organize my thoughts into some sort of order and sending the message to my hand to form the words on page, to type sentences onto the computer screen.

I’m in awe of it, and completely humbled by the fact I’ve been given the extraordinary superpower of being able to think about and analyze and contemplate the universe around me. We humans are rather remarkable, aren’t we? To be given such an incredible gift, and an enormous responsibility.

Now if we could all just get on the same page and agree to use our superpowers for good, that would be something.