Sandy Hook atrocities not who we really are


Just a few random thoughts while going to check the Mayan calendar. Did it say anything about the end of the world being preceded by a blinding snowstorm? It didn’t? So, I guess this week was just another Nebraska snowstorm like we’re supposed to come to expect, and not the end of the world, huh?

Well, it sure felt like some sort of Armageddon while I was trying to get a car unstuck from a drift that formed in the middle of my driveway in something like two minutes or so.

He who hesitates…

Flash back with me a week or so while I think aloud. Sure, I thought I was pretty smart on a nice fall-type day to make the semi-annual garage equipment swap. That’s the move that sees the lawn mower moved to the back of the garage, well out of the way, while the snowblower is moved up front and center and ready to be accessed. What else was I thinking? Oh, yeah, I probably should check the gas can and see how that is holding up. Haven’t needed it for quite a while since the last mowing of the season.

And then there was that other thought of the day from a few weeks ago. What was it again? That’s right. I noticed the snow shovel hanging there that broke right near the end of last year’s scooping season. Probably should get that replaced one of these days.

So, where was I at mid-afternoon Wednesday as the winds were really starting to pick up, pushing around the snow that had already been falling for over three hours? You got it. I made a quick trip to the gas station to replenish the supply for the snowblower, followed by a stop at the hardware store for a new shovel. Sure would have been easier to have gotten those a few weeks ago. Oh, well, at least I was at least 45 minutes or so ahead of when they would both be needed. Have I mentioned I’ve already had to free one stuck car this winter?

But I’ve learned my lesson. I promise (and keep in mind this is being written late Wednesday night) that as soon as I get the massive snowdrifts cleared from my driveway, I’m going to start my Christmas shopping.

Our true identity

I’d like to think that this column gives everyone who’s brave enough to read it a little levity as they head into their weekend. Since it’s Friday afternoon, and it’s more my nature, I like to keep it light for the most part and just have a little fun.

That’s part of the reason why I’ll keep it to the serious journalist to try to make sense out of the most senseless of acts. That’s why I won’t attempt for a second to act like I have the answers to everyone’s questions that arise after something like we all saw transpire one week ago in a grade school in Connecticut.

However, I do want to share one observation I had this week. It came when I looked at the front page of Tuesday’s Tribune. As it must, one large article dealt with the aftermath of the school shootings. Next to it was a color picture and feature article from Minden the night before. Two schools — Minden and Boone Central — played a basketball game in front of a gym full of people dressed in orange. It was their way to support the families of a 7-year-old from Minden and a 3-year-old from Albion, home of Boone Central. Both are battling a form of leukemia.

When something like the Newtown shootings takes place, some want to argue that our society has gone to hell in a hand basket because of the actions of one terribly sick person.

My contention is that such heinous acts aren’t really who we are — it’s an aberration. What happened in Minden is more who we are as a society. And as long as good people bond together like that, we’ll keep getting past the evil brought by others. And maybe someday wipe it away completely. That’s who we are.

And finally

One other thought: Merry Christmas!

Russ Batenhorst

Don't expect to detect a common topic or theme in Russ Batenhorst's weekly column in the Hastings Tribune. Usually it's whatever slice-of-life observation pops into his head just in time to make the deadline for it to appear each Friday.

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