Oma Sue's Blog
Hi – I’m Sue Reyzlik. I recently realized my life-long dream of building a writing hut in the backyard. The writing hut serves as a creative space and home office for Oma Publishing. This blog will be intermingled with family history, varied experiences and insights on being a Grandma (Oma), creating my special backyard space, as well as, my “retirement” career as a self-publisher of children’s stories. And perhaps a little bit on the 32 years I served as Executive Director for Keep Fremont Beautiful and the wonderful people who are sharing this adventure.
I have a good friend. We met on my birthday in January of 2012. Ramie and I attended a Craig Ferguson show at the Orpheum in Omaha and we sat next to this lovely couple from Grand Island. Jane and I started chatting before the show and we instantly became friends.
She knew my other friend from Grand Island and we all agreed – it’s a small world. My back was itchy and she showed me this folding back scratcher that she kept safely tucked away in her purse. She had bought it at Ace Hardware. If I couldn’t find my own, she would send me one.
Our little foursome enjoyed the show, but Jane and I really, and I mean really, thought Craig was just the cutest. Jane had heard that Craig often visited with fans outside the venues after the show. We agreed to meet at the rear of the theater and stalk him.
It was January and it was cold, so we parked next to each other near his bus, visiting through cracked windows and waited for him to show himself. No Craig. Oh well – we exchanged phone numbers and emails and went our separate ways. We had only just met – but there is something about stalking a celebrity that makes you instant life-long friends – and that whole back scratcher thing.
A few years back, I was at a low time in my life and she drove to Fremont and sat with me for several hours and let me vent. Jane was the friend I needed at the time and I will always love her for the effort she made to help me get myself together.
We are friends who don’t see each other often. We keep in contact via texting, phone calls, emailing and Facebook. I was always going to go to Grand Island to visit her but she told me to wait until her kitchen remodeling was complete. I finally made the trip to Grand Island yesterday. Her kitchen is lovely. I was so happy to see it all finished. It was finished in 2015. I’ve been busy.
There was another reason for going to Grand Island, besides seeing the finished kitchen… I signed up to work a shift at the Nebraska Writer’s Guild during the Nebraska State Fair. I haven’t been to the State Fair in Grand Island so I wanted to check it out before August.
Jane took me on a tour of some of her favorite spots. I saw things that I wouldn’t normally see if I hadn’t had Jane as my tour guide. I had to stop and take some pictures of the flying circus – that is something you don’t see every day! And another one at the Humane Society – with Snoopy and Garfield!
The shop where Jane works a few hours a week as the bookkeeper is WOW. One of the owners graduated from Midland with a degree in Art Education – I graduated from the same place with the same degree, like 6 years before her, but how weird is that! AND there was even a flamingo hiding up near the rafters by the art department and lots of repurposed art projects – these people are my tribe!
So anyway – back to Jane… I loved seeing Jane’s garden and home. Jane and her husband Tom have created a beautiful residential setting. If they lived in Fremont, I would nominate them for a Certificate of Appreciation. I would also nominate her neighbor – her garden and home are lovely. They were perfect – made me want to go home and pull some weeds!
Jane and Tom also have a special little friend “Sweetie”. I am not real sure of the details… but Sweetie is a squirrel who showed up a few years back and was somehow trying to steal bird seed from a feeder. Either someone or something startled the squirrel and she jumped, catching her foot in the feeder. The squirrel freed herself but walked around for several days with the foot dangling by her side. Eventually the foot fell off and the squirrel healed – which is kind of amazing. Sweetie has remained a fixture in their yard – waiting patiently for either Jane or Tom to appear and feed her by hand.
The other squirrels are not kind to Sweetie. It is heartbreaking. Sweetie is disabled but luckily, she has a couple of best human friends who make sure she has proper nutrition and a fairly safe environment in which to thrive.
Being a good friend comes naturally to Jane and Tom. Jane busied herself upon my arrival making good use of her fairly new kitchen. She washed, cut and chopped while we visited. We ate salad and fresh fruit for lunch and Tom took us out to dinner before I had to head home. Sweetie and I are lucky to have found such caring friends – who like to feed us!
After I left, Jane sent me a text. A duck had come calling on their deck. No doubt looking to be fed. The duck didn’t stay long as her boyfriend showed up, and off they went.
Disabled Squirrels and unconditional love… a duck couple dropping by to dine… a quirky flying circus… It was a wonderful day with my wonderful friend. Thank you, Jane and Tom for your hospitality and creative inspiration. I am so glad we chose to be friends on that cold January night!