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.
Each November, for I don't know how many years, Sara comes home for the weekend when Colby goes deer hunting. For quite a few years it was just Sara, then it was Sam and Sara and then it was Sam, Mac and Sara. Sam finally was allowed to go along for the annual deer hunt and it was Mac, RaiLee and Sara who came for the annual deer hunting weekend.
The weekends were always fun with time spent entertaining the grandkids and eating lots of good food. Sara and I would try to spend some time purging through the mounds of junk and cleaning the house for the holidays. We would also take some time to figure out Christmas gifts and maybe even go do some shopping.
That first year that Sam went hunting and Mac had to stay with Rai was a bit of a problem. There was some rivalry between the two little ones and we made an attempt to keep things calm - we actually bribed Mac and agreed to pay him if he didn't make Rai mad. In hindsight, that maybe wasn't completely fair because it was pretty easy to make Rai mad but Mac had a pretty short fuse too! Another problem with the money thing was Mac didn't really care about money so it wasn't much of an incentive to not piss off Rai. Some deer hunting weekends were more chaotic than others when the grandkids became involved.
Then four years ago, Gracyn was born into the family and Mac turned six. Turning six was a big deal, making Mac eligible to go on the annual deer hunting weekend and thus making the weekend an annual girls weekend getaway!
Click here to view gallery of photos of "Annual Deer Hunting - Girls Getaway Weekend" from 2015 through 2018
This is kind of a big deal... it's 9:00 PM on November 14th and I finally figured out how to get into my blog. This has been months in the making. This is a really big deal. The fact that I am able to actually type some words on my blog page is a bit of a thrill and yes - way overdue.
My tech people have been posting my blog entries since we started the blog earlier in 2019. They tried to show me how to do it but my computer wasn't cooperating. A few months ago I bought a new computer and I kept putting off trying to figure out how to post an entry to my blog.
I don't know what got into me, but for some reason I decided to try a solo attempt at posting something - anything... Since it's America Recycles Day Eve, it just makes sense to wish you a very happy America Recycles Day. And to remind you that we, as a nation, are entering the most garbage intensive season of the year!
We generate 25% more trash during the holiday season. Trash cans full of wrapping paper, boxes, food, bows, shopping bags, packaging and ribbons add an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills.
This is just a gentle reminder to recycle as much of that waste as possible and to consider ways to reduce the amount of waste you create in the first place.
For more information on recycling in Fremont, please check out www.keepfremontbeautiful.org. I also recommend Keep Nebraska Beautiful at KNB.org and Keep America Beautiful at KAB.org Please take the time to educate yourself concerning local recycling opportunities and have a wonderful America Recycles Day!
On November 9th I will be at the Keene Memorial Library located at 10th and Broad Streets in Fremont, Nebraska for a book signing event. I will be signing copies of my first two books – “Tell Me A Story Oma Sue About Three Frogs” and “Tell Me A Story Oma Sue About Three Frogs Swept Away”. The time for the book signing is 2:00 to 4:00 PM and will be held in the meeting room of the main library.
Most of the people who read the blog entries are friends and know the back story concerning my writing of the “Three Frog” series but just in case there are a few people new to the blog, I will make an effort to catch you up.
My granddaughter RaiLee would often ask me to tell her stories about strange, off the top of her head topics. It was difficult at times to figure out a story about a thumb or a pencil, but I would do my best to come up with a story. One night a few years ago, RaiLee crawled into my bed and asked me to tell her a story about three frogs and the story I developed that night turned into book one of the three frog series.
I was the Executive Director of Keep Fremont Beautiful at the time and the story included the litter reduction and repurposing themes we had been promoting to our citizens. My assistant, at the time, thought I should publish the story so it could be used by KAB affiliates in their education programs. I wrote the story down and put it on the back burner for when I retired.
Upon my retirement, I started writing in my shed. I didn’t have a focus. I was all over the place with writing – it didn’t make a lot of sense. Within a few months our family learned that my second granddaughter Gracyn, was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy. We had known for a long time that something wasn’t right but still the genetic testing results came as a shock.
Suddenly my writing had a focus. When Gracyn first began talking, she named me Oma Sue. It was only natural that I would name my publishing company “Oma Publishing” and the stories would all be “Tell Me A Story Oma Sue”. The main character in the three-frog series is Freddy – a smart little frog with the biggest blue eyes you ever saw. Freddy is a combination of my granddaughters RaiLee and Gracyn. My hope is to empower girls to accomplish their goals and explore creative problem-solving methods.
Green and Hops are Freddy’s two best friends and are patterned loosely after grandson’s Max and Sam. The stories contain an environmental message, as well as, demonstrating compassion to other living creatures.
Gracyn will have many challenges ahead. I won’t always be around to help her. My new passion in retirement is to write these stories and through the three little frogs, encourage everyone to do all they are able to improve their environment and care for one another.
Publishing these stories is my retirement passion – my hobby. Each book, puzzle, t-shirt, book bag, poster or any other product sold benefits Gracyn. All proceeds are deposited in a special needs trust for Gracyn Mae Smith.
I hope that you will find value in the stories, that you will want to share the messages with your kids and grandkids, that you will purchase a book or two and help provide strength and independence for a special little girl.