Tour of the Town (or some of it)

Last week I posted on my Facebook status that I had walked to the bank, post office and grocery store.  Since then, a friend asked me to post some pictures of the town.  I should have done this long ago, but it was too cold and too windy and too this and too that….  So here at last, are a few of the places in town that I frequent. 

First of all, the reason we are here in Benkelman, NE.  Trinity Baptist Church is the sweet little church where Paul was called to pastor. 

We live behind the church (which is on a corner) in the parsonage.  There is a small sidewalk from our doorstep to the side of the church where Paul’s office is located.  This is good, because as much as the kids and I are over to see him, there would be a dirt path worn in the grass.  I love that he is so accessible.

The parsonage is small, but comfortable and homey.   We are blessed to be provided with this place to live.  I hope to get the yard looking a little better in the near future.  Then I can use this as the “before” picture.

From the front door of our house, we see the side of the court house.   We don’t have to go far to get our drivers’ license, tags for the vehicles, or pay our taxes – lol. 

This is the front of the court house.  (It is on the same street as the church, on the next block)

Just passed the court house, on the next block is the theater.  It has one screen and the snack stand is run each week by volunteers.  Movie tickets are only $5 for adults and $4 for kids 12 and under.  The popcorn, candy and drinks are very reasonably priced as well.  (and I can see it from my house, so I don’t mind my older boys walking to the movies alone)

Heading south down Chief Street, to the east is Roo’s Doos.   Haircut anyone?  (a great place for Kimberly M. or my mom to come to work)

A few more steps, on the west, is BWTelcom.   As you might imagine by the name, this is where we obtain phone, internet and cable service.  At the first of each month, we walk by and drop our payment in the slot on the side of the building.

Next door to BWTelcom, is the bank.

 

Caddy corner from the bank on the east side of the street is the grocery store.  There is no Ingles, Publix, Bi-Lo, Bloom, etc. (and you know Wal-Mart is an hour away)  We have the Hometown Market.  This is also the only place in town to rent DVDs.  We are about to sign up for Netflix.

Also on main street (Chief Street) is the local newspaper office – The Benkelman Post (or B-town News to locals), The Hangout – burgers and fries, and the Pharmacy – hope no one needs medicine on the weekend.

Next to the pharmacy is the Post office.  Most people in town have PO Boxes.  Mail boxes are for folks on the county roads.

The chiropractor’s office is next to the post office.  He shares his office with a guy who makes prosthetic limbs.  Both of these gentlemen grew up in Benkalman and returned after college to help the community.  Paul and I have both benefited from the chiropractor!

Near the end of Chief Street on the west is the only car dealership.  (a great place for Bill M. to come to work)

There is much more to show you, the park and the pool and the gas station and the Dub (a great place for George to buy).  But I’ll save it for another time.  I hope you have a better understanding of our little town now. 

Corey

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More Odd Stuff

I haven’t posted in a while because my lovely mom came to visit for a month and we were having too much fun doing nothing for me to take time to write. 

Over the past month, I’ve kept a running list of “oddities” I’ve experienced.  Such as:

– On the three and a half hour drive to Denver to pick up Mom from the airport, I saw a train.  Big deal?  Oh yes!  I saw the WHOLE train – all at once!  There were no trees or buildings or hills to block the view,  just miles and miles of plains. 

– I saw the Rocky Mountains for the first time on this trip.  They are just beautiful!  On a clear day you can see them 100 miles away.  There was something a little strange about the peaks however.  They were white?!  I had to call a local and ask if it was really snow that I was seeing in April???  My friend explained that in some parts of the Rocky’s the snow is still there in August!  Amazing!

– One thing about this area is that everyone waves when driving.  Paul has really embraced this and waves consistently – even when it’s dark.

– In South Carolina, we were used to all the stopping and waiting and going.  Woodruff road was never a fun place to be in traffic, but it was just the way it was.  When you spend time in an area with no traffic, and no stop lights (there is one blinky light by the elementary school)  the road rage increases exponentially when you return to a high traffic area!

I hope you have enjoyed reading the experiences of  this Southern girl gone West.  I’ll post soon about our first camping trip and the tornado!

Corey

Lightning Storm

In order to satisfy our strong desire to eat out, we drove into McCook and killed two birds with one stone – pizza and groceries.  Our journey home was remarkable!  Why?  Lightning storm!  It was amazing!  First of all, the road from McCook to Benkelman is flanked by farmland on each side.  No trees to block the view, very few cars, the sky looks huge.  Occasionally there are a few tiny lights in the distance, but aside from our headlights, DARK!  Because of the vast darkness, each time the lightning struck, it was like a strobe light across the entire sky.  The contrast between darkness and light was so great that it was painful to our eyes, yet amazing to experience! 

Corey

Tumbleweeds and Howling Wind

Tumbleweeds are not just in the movies!  They are twiggy balls of carefree weeds that bounce happily across your path.  I hear they can be quite an obstacle when they get larger later in the season.  I guess it’s funny what can excite a naive girl from the south! 

Another strange phenomenon here is the wind.  I have never experienced wind like we had here yesterday!  Let’s think again about any old cowboy movie.  At some point in these movies, they show a  beautiful, yet worried, lady standing on the porch with the wind blowing her long flowing dress and her tousled hair while she looks out over the country side for her husband to return on horseback because of the impending storm.  This is an accurate picture of the force of the howling wind.  I however, looked a mess!  It is very dry and sandy here.  The wind was hurling small pieces of dirt through the air and into my mouth, hair, and ears.  It pelted my exposed skin like I was being sandblasted!  Talk about exfoliation!!

Dusting furniture is another daunting task.  Last night after supper, I had to laugh as we removed the placemats to discover rectangular areas of dust free table.  In the south, this was caused by pollen, here it is just dry dust.  Unlike pollen, I assume it is a year round problem. 

A few other notes:

  • I still haven’t found any Creme Brulee creamer, but I have put in a request at the market. 
  • There are some easy recipes for boiled peanuts that I hope to try in the near future.
  • My brother is out of the hospital and doing well!!
  • The mail truck passes my home daily and delivers to my neighbors, but I must have a PO Box??? Wierd.
  • Joe hooked up the dishwasher today!

I will try to get this blog looking better in the future and add some pictures, but still quite busy with other priorities.  Thanks for visiting with me.

Corey

Happenings

I love my new home town.  I love my new friends.  I love knowing that God has called my family to this community!

Yesterday, we experienced our first shopping day in McCook.  McCook is about an hour away from our residence and has conveniences like restaurants, grocery stores, Wal-Mart, a Christian book store, and other amenities we are lacking.  Although it is a tiny town by Greenville standards, it is a metropolis compared to Benkelman.   

We had lunch, then went to the Christian book store (quaint little store, but about 1/6 the size of Lifeway), Verizon Wireless (seems we are texting more and needed to change our plan), Buckle (Yes, I was just as surprised as you – they have a Buckle – I got some jeans that are long enough!!)  then we went to Wal-Mart (we should have bought stock).

The hospital had a fund-raiser at the local movie theater last night.  I felt as if I had been transported back in time.  We walked to the theater and watched as people of the community, young and old, showcased their musical talents on the stage.  It reminded me of the Country Club talent show at the end of “Dirty Dancing” (I am NOT promoting this movie).  You get the picture.  Of course there was no Patrick Swayze.

There are some problems with living here.  All is not peachy.  I found out this week that there are no roadside stands that sell boiled peanuts!  No boiled peanuts?  They don’t know what they are missing!  The other problem is I can’t find my Creme  Brulee creamer.  My breakfast staple is not sold in the local stores.  I may need a care package ASAP!!

All kidding aside, my brother, Kevin, is in the hospital in Greenville.  He is having some serious complications and I can’t be there to support my family during this time.  It is very difficult for me to be away, but I know that I am where God wants me to be.  Please keep Kevin and our family in your prayers.

…and send me some boiled peanuts!!

Corey

Directions

Saturday, we were invited to have Easter dinner with a family of  a family from church.  The map was easy to follow. 

  • Go 12 miles south of town
  • through some curves
  • over a set of hills
  • past the trees
  • turn right on road T
  • travel 6 miles down the dirt road
  • cross rd 23
  • house is on the left
  • if you get to the really flat farm land, you’ve gone too far.

There was a picture included in the directions as well.  I don’t think Google Maps could have been clearer!  The only problem was there was no KFC on the way for us to pick up a bucket of chicken or at least some sweet tea so we didn’t walk in empty handed. 😉

Lunch was delicious.  After we ate, some of us took a walk into the horse pasture.  It was beautiful!  We could see rolling hills and blue skies for miles.  The horses gently surrounded us and nudged us so that we would pet them.  I thought then how much my life has changed in a week. 

This morning – Resurrection Sunday – the men of the church are preparing breakfast for everyone,  then Paul will be preaching.  We are expecting several visitors because of Easter AND because there is a new preacher in town from the south and I hear he has an accent! 

I pray for the Holy Spirit to work through Paul this morning and equip him for this task.  I pray that lives would be changed and commitments made.  To God be the glory!

Corey

We’re Here!

Day three of our trip was a difficult drive, but so rewarding to reach our destination.  We stopped at the closest Wal-Mart and picked up some last minute items, then drove one more hour to our new home.  We arrived to a yard full of helpers 🙂 many of them with paint stained clothes.  The inside of the parsonage had been painted, new carpet installed, the bathroom re-done, some windows replaced and they informed us that new appliances were on the way!  So much work had been done in just a weeks time and we are so thankful!!  About 15 adults and teens helped us get some things unloaded and fed us spaghetti for dinner!  What a welcome!  That night, we threw some mattresses on the floor and spent our first night in the parsonage.

Some interesting notes:

  • There is a siren that sounds every morning (except Sunday) at 7am, at noon and again at 6pm.  It is located directly across the street from our home, so sleeping in is not an option.
  • I can hear every vehicle that passes our house here in the middle of town, so about once every few hours there is a little bit of noise.
  • Someone told us they could tell we were from out of town because we locked our car doors.
  • We went to the mechanic, the phone company and the chiropractor today and they all found it difficult that we paid with a card instead of cash or check.  They have the machines to take the cards, but they are used so infrequently that none of the cashiers knew how to work them.
  • The kids walk all over town – they really love the freedom of living in a small town.
  • It is windy and dusty here.  That will take a little getting used to.

We finally got all the kids beds put together today.  We still haven’t located the hardware for our bed, so for now a mattress on the floor will have to do.  It doesn’t matter to us, we are just glad to be HOME!!

Corey