I had a wonderful weekend in Omaha, Nebraska, the Cornhusker state.
The flight there, the Heartland Women's Conference at which I was honored to speak, the hotel, the walks I got to take, and the trip home all went smoothly. That's not always the case so I am grateful.
The first stark contrast was between crawling to LAX in rush-hour Friday morning traffic afraid I'd miss my flight; and de-planing in Omaha, in Friday evening "rush hour" to literally no traffic and a beautiful body of water ringed with flaming gold and orange trees.
It was all uphill from there. The second I checked into my hotel and nailed down a coffee plan for the morning, I took off on foot to catch the sunset and wander around the section of town known as Old Market in the dark.
The top photo I took on I think Farnam and the rest are shots of a little deserted park-like area between Dodge and Douglas.
I loved looking at the old brick factories that have now been converted into artists' lofts, galleries, and restaurants. They manufactured solid, sensible, sturdy, utilitarian things of beauty in those days: rubber stamps. boots, bottles of beer (The Anheuser-Busch Beer Depot), iron, steel and heavy hardware (The Baum Iron Company), paper bags (The Bemis Bag Company).
I found the dreamy Jackson Street Booksellers, La Buvette, and the Urban Abbey Coffee Shop.
But it goes without saying that by far the best part of the trip were the women I met Saturday and with whom I was graced to share my experiences, strength and hope.
Bill Beckman who plays a VERY IMPORTANT PART in the Archdiocese of Omaha got me there.
Jen Moser picked me up at 7:30 a.m. and ferried me back to the hotel.
The crackerjack trio of Marie, Michelle and Lucy womanned the book table. Marie even got my Square app to work so we could take credit cards and thus wins the Virgin of Guadalupe iphone5 Cornhusker crown for the weekend of October 25.
Thank you to all who helped, all who listened, all who shared, all who bought books, all who opened their hearts and came.
I went to 5:15 Vigil Mass at Mary Magdalene where the priest ran through a standing-room-only Sunday liturgy in a half-hour flat, clearly some kind of self-appointed feat the purpose of which I didn't quite get. I sat quietly for several minutes after everyone had left. And afterwards, I thought of how often I rush through my day, am distracted at Mass, etc. and realized--oh. That's what rushing looks like to God.
Thanks for dinner, Marieanne!