February 17th is National Random Acts of Kindness Day, and we could all use some good vibes! Now, I don’t think it has to be random. Any act of kindness is welcomed this Wednesday, and we are so lucky because one of our Pott. Co. citizens put her money where her mouth is!
Kim Wise was the winner of the Dew Drop Inn gift card from the WIDA Awards surveys, and she has graciously donated it back as a random act of kindness for me to give as a way to celebrate this holiday! How exciting is that? So today, you can win a Dew Drop gift card for burgers and beer (or whatever you prefer)! All you have to do is comment on this post with something nice you did for someone else this week because technically, it’s Acts of Kindness Week! So to be entered you just need to post a comment about something you did on WIDA’s original post on Facebook or on our website by Friday, February 19 at noon Central Standard Time!
Now, if you’re needing inspiration, let me help you! I always have suggestions, random or not!
First off, we have an organization that serves Pott. Co. that matches people with ways to donate time, money, or labor. So head to the ShareOmaha link for Pott. Co. to find a way you can help year-round if you want!
If you’d rather have non-organized ideas, here are a few:
*Leave candy on the car window next to you with a happy note.
*Take pizzas to the nearest school to drop off in the lounge.
*Send a thank you note to a company you appreciate.
*Buy coffee for the person behind you in the drive-thru line.
*Leave a treat for your mailman.
*Donate warm clothing to a shelter.
*Take food to the food pantry.
Not so random –
*Paint snow and make a picture in someone's yard - there's plenty of it!
*Decorate a tree in your neighborhood with fun stuff.
*Send a card to a friend.
*Drop off treats to your favorite store workers.
*Take your elderly neighbor a “TV dinner” of what you’re having for supper
*Take a balloon to a small child.
*Drop off a 6-pack for your neighbor
Do what you gotta do! In a time that’s got lots of lines drawn in the sand, let’s build sand castles instead.
Have an amazing day/week and be sure to get yourself entered in our drawing!
The Country Store in Carson has officially changed hands to those of the Robert McKern family. Bob grew up near Westfair, went to Underwood High, and purchased the McMartin place near Carson in 1997, the year he got married to Sheila. After 23 years of traveling in the heating and cooling business, Bob switched over to managing a feedlot, then worked as a hired hand, and recently was talking to Norma Buckingham, the owner of The Country Store and realized that was his next venture. One he plans to share with his whole family, but especially his daughter, Amanda who is 19 and ready to manage the store. He said he knew someone local needed to carry on the tradition of the Country Store and it would be a perfect project for his daughter and him to take on together.
How can you not love a guy who says that?
Of course, he’ll tell you that his wife is the one to love. He came home with the wild idea of buying the Carson landmark and Sheila gave him the green light saying his plans always seem to work out. Mr. McKern has considered farming multiple times but doesn’t own ground beyond his home place and so this opportunity just seemed like one he couldn’t let pass by. Norma was thrilled to be selling to someone locally and the McKerns are excited to make sure the citizens of Carson and surrounding areas have their needs met.
In fact, Bob mentioned that the Carson Country Store will most definitely stay the Country Store. What is changing? Well, the movie rentals are already out and the family has been surveying customers about what they’d like to see. They’ve also got some consultants coming in to make suggestions on resetting the shelving and so forth. The big long-term goals include opening it up more so it’s bigger, upgrading gas pumps with card readers, and a bigger parking lot, but none of that will happen tomorrow! For now, the McKerns just hope to keep it running smoothly! Bob intends on passing it down to his kids (Amanda and Grady).
Well, McKern Family, we are happy to see one of our favorite Carson staples alive and well! Thanks for being the next family of Country Store owners!
Norma Buckingham’s retirement starts this week after a 37-year run at the Carson Country Store! Norris and Norma purchased KB Standard in 1983, but remodeled and opened as the Country Store on Feb. 10, 1984. Gas prices for ethanol were $1.12. The place had been a truck stop in the ‘70s with a café and motel. It had changed hands a few times before landing in the Buckinghams’ care. After a failed partnership, the Buckinghams had to regroup, and it was Norma who went to work in the store every day from 6am to 11pm. The Country Store also survived M-16 being built and Carson High School being consolidated. The Buckinghams added diesel and the convenience mart. At one point, the store housed a beauty shop, movie rentals, and tanning beds. (I, personally, may or may not have stopped in for a few rounds of pop and candy during the days of cruising Carson along with many of my friends!) Today, they keep that soft serve ice cream going for all their customers! A lot of things have come and gone in the more than 3 and a half decades the Buckinghams had the store. Norma said she raised 4 kids, had chickens, did canning, and ran the store in that span. They were only closed one day in those 37 years and it was for Norris’ funeral.
Unfortunately, 2 years ago, Norma broke her leg and hasn’t been able to get back to the pace she once kept. At 89, Mrs. Buckingham knew it was time to hand over the reins to the McKerns. She’s very grateful to all those that supported their business over the years and is thankful to have been part of their lives. One of her favorite parts of owning the store was watching all the kids that grew up to be parents and grandparents and continue the generations of Country Store customers. She says the world has sped up but that remained consistent.
So as Norma starts a new chapter she says she’s not sure what she will do with herself, but she did mention some TV movies along with gardening, mowing, and planting flowers in the spring! She also mentioned she feels blessed to have been able to hear the outpouring of well wishes as the final days came to a close.
Well, Norma, thank you for your part in keeping a Carson landmark just that. Your legacy will live on.
Our next Pott. Co. Couple, Johnny and Lindsy Brown, are on lucky year number 13! The couple met at the Nishna Renaissance Fair held in Hancock in October, 2002. At the time, Lindsy was still living in Des Moines and the couple made an effort to hang out some but after several months, Lindsy made the move back to Omaha. From there, Johnny took matters into his own hands with a conversation known among all their friends! Johnny simply said, “I heard you’re single?” She said she was and he replied, “Well, I’m interested” which led to their first date on March 12, 2003 and as they say in movies, the rest is history!
The couple took up residence in Johnny’s hometown of Oakland and were married on February 22, 2008 by a county court judge and had a reception at the Bohemian Café in Omaha. The Browns has since moved to Carson where Lindsy works for Fox Creek Fundraising and Johnny works at America’s Best Contacts and Eyeglasses in Council Bluffs. When they aren’t working, the twosome likes to listen to music, watch movies, walk around old parts of cemeteries, take long drives in the country so Lindsy can take photos of the scenery and moo at cows. I can also attest that you will see them at most area small town events, too! Needless to say, they are a fun-loving duo always up for something new! In fact, Lindsy has started painting with watercolor and acrylics while Johnny is off performing weddings as an officiant and he also loves to promote local bands online. I dare to say there are few dull moments in the Brown household!
If you’ve ever seen Mr. and Mrs. Brown out and about, you won’t be the least bit shocked by their marital advice as they are generally some of the most jovial people you’ll run into! Johnny and Lindsy’s advice to all couples is to hold hands often and say “I love you” at least twice a day. Clearly, they take their own advice! And the world is better for it!
Thanks, Johnny and Lindsy for showing us true love and for loving Pott. Co. You sure know how to put love into the world!
*Blog sponsored by Western Ventures, Inc.
People, it is a quadruple holiday weekend! We have surpassed the normal hat trick and gone straight to the big-time! Sure, it’s going to be flipping colder than snot but it’s President’s Day weekend. It’s Mardi Gras (pre-Fat Tuesday) Weekend. It’s the first weekend of NASCAR – it’s the Daytona 500! And it’s Valentine’s Day weekend! Does it get any bigger than that???? I don’t think so!
So let’s talk plans you can make for the weekend!
Friday night, you can go old-school and rollerskate at UMBA Hall in Underwood starting at 7! I also hear Minden Bowl and Henry’s Diner in Crescent will both be offering prime rib dinners both Friday and Saturday nights! Yum!
Saturday, you can get in your day of skiing at Mount Crescent! Although the temps are keeping them closed most of the weekend, they will be open 11am to 5pm (just on Saturday) for you to get your powder fix!
The Beauty Bar at Blossoms in Oakland is also having a Galentine's Pampering Day with scalp facials, blowouts, hot alcoholic beverage bar, and treats along with product specials! You must call for a reservation. She says she might be able to squeeze a couple more in! Plus, while you're there, you can see Turquoise Tractor's selection of hot items! And Deb at Blossoms is hosting a wine tasting 10am to 2pm along with having 20% off!
Saturday night, you can do the Carson Valentine Party Cruise from 6 to 7pm on Broadway in Carson! It’s free and the first 25 cars get a swag bag! This is Carson’s little way of letting you know that they have a Main Street Coordinator now and they are ready to bring you added entertainment!
Plus, The Bar’N and Grill in Carson is serving up Dinners for 2 before and after the cruise! Whether you’re in the mood for steak, prime rib, or fettucine alfredo, they are doing 3-course meals just for you!
You might also want to check out the I-80 Lounge in Underwood. They are having a prime rib meal for 2 that includes shrimp and a bottle of wine, as well. Dine in or carry out. Reservations are required though so be sure to call ahead.
Sunday brings more chances to avoid cooking! You can still get tickets till noon on Friday for the Sweethearts Night Out event that’s happening at The Palace Event Center outside Treynor starting at 6. The evening will be dinner and a comedian show!
So yes, it’s going to be freaking cold, but we live in Iowa and if we can handle COVID, we can handle the cold! We are Pott. County! We can do anything!
Have a great quad-acious weekend!
After 48 years of marriage, the Pitts think they may have it figured out! Bob and Virginia Pitt of Oakland actually met 49 years ago when Virginia was working at the Dairy Queen. The two of them went to school at Oakland High School, and Bob proposed one night at a high school football game. The couple got married at the First Congregational Church in Oakland on November 24, 1973, had two daughters Kristin and Heather, and have been together since. Of course, nowdays they try to find time to spend a little of the Iowa winter visiting their grandkids in Arizona!
Bob and Gin enjoy watching sports together, especially Iowa football, although Virginia mentioned that Bob loves to rewind and rewatch a play more than she’d prefer! Lol. And Bob says she worries too much, but that’s why they agree being able to laugh together is super important in a marriage. They say it’s the secret to a good marriage actually. In fact, they admitted that marriage takes a lot of work. “You have to pick your battles and know that marriage is never perfect, but if the ups outweigh the downs, you are doing something right.” Great advice, you two! Couldn’t agree more!
What’s next for the couple? Well, they hope to someday take their whole family to Hawaii! Sounds like a great idea to me! I’m sure the family won’t be opposed! Until then, keep loving on those grandkids and thanks for being a long-time Pott. County Couple!
*Blog sponsored by the Oakland Industrial Foundation.
*Photos courtesy of the Pitts
When you picture a happy Pott. Co. Couple, you can’t help but think of Brian and Jody Shea! The duo is pretty well-known in these parts as Brian is a newly-elected member of the Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors (formerly mayor of Crescent) and Jody is the main voice of the Crescent Connection newsletter!
The couple actually met on June 1, 1996 in Atlantic, ran into each other again at Menards a month later, then Brian proposed on New Year’s Eve, and on June 1, 1997, they were married next to their front yard pond in Crescent with catered Mexican food and the Brewski’s Beer Wagon! According to Jody, “It was the perfect day!”
Jody is originally from Avoca where her mom still lives, and Brian started out in CB but ended up in Crescent by 1969 so the lifelong Pott. Co. couple set up their home in Crescent on the property Brian was raised on. The Sheas have a daughter and son-in-law that also live in Crescent and have a 3-year-old daughter that makes one grandpa and grandma very happy!
Besides spoiling their granddaughter, the couple shares hobbies like spending time with family and friends, landscaping and beautifying their yard (Brian owns a landscaping business), and riding motorcycles. Brian and Jody have taken trips to both coasts, a lot of states in between and even up into Canada and Alaska. They are excited to take more trips and just simply enjoy life in the coming years.
One of the things they are most proud of in their 24 years together (besides their family, of course) was forming the Veteran’s Monument Committee in Crescent. The Sheas were part of a great group of volunteers who designed, fundraised, and organized the construction of the park which I have to say is a stand-out piece of beauty in Crescent!
Brian and Jody are both self-proclaimed impatient people but seem to do just fine together! In fact, when I asked what the secret to marriage was, they told me that trusting each other is everything, as well as enjoying each other’s company, surrounding yourself with good couple friends, and in the case of the Sheas, making each other laugh. Jody says that having a sense of humor is the best advice she can give to a couple looking to get married, and Brian, kidding chimed in that they better be ready to say, “Yes, Dear” a lot!
If you’ve met the Sheas, you’ve probably seen the look they give each other! As we celebrate love this week, there’s no doubt that Brian and Jody are an example of getting it right!
Thanks for showing us how it’s done, Mr. and Mrs. Shea!
*Photo courtesy of the Sheas.
Cole and Emily Weitzel have been married a sum total of 2 whole months! They are officially our newlywed couple! However, they’ve actually been together for 10.5 years! A middle school romance turned into something a whole lot bigger for this Treynor duo. The Weitzels are both currently at Iowa State finishing their degrees, but they have spent their summers in Treynor and recently got married at St. Patrick’s in CB and held their reception at The Palace outside Treynor, as well.
Although both are focused on their careers, the couple makes plenty of time for each other. When together, Mr. and Mrs. Weitzel binge-watch marathons of their favorite shows, cook together, walk around town, and hike. Not only do the Weitzels share hobbies, but they believe the secret to marriage, or any relationship for that matter, is choosing to be with each other through both the ups and the downs, as well as communicating. After 10 plus years, they seem to have that down!
Emily says, “It is important to work through difficulties and not just give up when the going gets tough. If you communicate, then getting through the hard times becomes a little easier and you will come out the other side as a stronger couple.” Needless to say, their secret fits perfectly with the two pieces of advice they’d give a newly-engaged couple:
1. Know each other's love languages. When you are conscious of your significant other’s love language, you can make an effort to communicate in that way, making them feel even more special.
2. Never treat a problem as “you against me” but as “us against the problem”.
Wow! It’s hard to believe they’ve only been married 2 months with that kind of advice!
That being said, they have already embraced the imperfections of marriage as Cole says Emily has too many pillows and blankets and Emily says Cole cracks his knuckles and it drives her crazy but they love each other anyway!
Now, truth be told, Emily and Cole just happen to be our niece and nephew-in-law so we’re got the inside scoop and not only do we love them dearly, but we’re pretty sure this Pott. Co. couple will be together forever!
Happy Marriage! Happy Life, you two!
This blog sponsored by Western Ventures, Inc.
Pott. County’s Kevin Ross has his hand in lots of operations including having served as the President of the National Corn Growers Association last year! Kevin just completed his term as the President and will go off of the Board in October, but the board is only a piece of all that Kevin does. He and his wife Sara, own and operate a 120-head cow-calf business outside Minden (and one in Nebraska), raise their own corn, soybeans, and alfalfa, custom harvest, and sell insurance through The Home Agency in McClelland. Plus, if that weren’t enough, they have four sons, Hudson (5th), Axen (2nd), Carver & Hollis (preschool) and they ,along with The Pott. County Corn and Soybean Growers, run Underwood’s Annual 4th of July parade every year! Add in that Kevin is getting his MBA at Iowa State and serves on the Western Iowa Energy – Biodiesel Board, and I can’t even fathom how they (the whole family chips in) manage everything!
That being said, it all started when Kevin’s cousin, Iowa Representative David Sieck, encouraged him to join the Iowa Corn Growers as a member and put him on the membership committee. Little did he know it would take him to the Commodity Classic in California where he’d meet his wife, Sara, and corn, ethanol, and the biodiesel field would become his calling.
With a need to communicate information to farmers and be an expert on the agricultural industry when dealing with the U.S. Congress, the US Meat Export Federation, or the US Grains Council, Mr. Ross’ broad knowledge base has been of utmost importance. Kevin spoke about the amount of “behind the scenes” work that has to take place and the policy that has to be developed and written in order for the organization to succeed. He hopes that people realize their check-off dollars go into research, promotion, and education all geared towards advancing the agricultural industry. His role on the National Corn Growers means he must work with all political parties, global organizations, and industry partners. Ross mentioned that he had to develop the ability to think broadly on behalf of an entire industry in order to fulfill his duties. Kevin said it was a great honor to put all of his hats into play as he represented his home area, corn, ethanol, and biodiesel at the Southwest Iowa Renewable Energy (SIRE) plant presentation with President Trump in June of 2019. In fact, as we go to press, it was just announced that Ross will serve as a new director on the SIRE Ethanol Plant Board of Directors, a 140M gallon-per-year plant located just south of Council Bluffs.
As Kevin looks back on his time as President of a national organization, he’s proud of the advancement and continued elevation of the US corn industry and NCGA. He also said he truly hopes he made a difference for the US corn producer.
At the end of the day though, Ross says he is a farmer first.
Well, Kevin, Pott. Co. is glad to call you one of its own, and we may not know what the next chapter will bring, but I bet it will be big!
Keep current with Southwest Iowa happenings here.