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Moving Monday: Opening Doorways to Hope in Lincoln

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”  Walt Disney (found at Brainy Quote)

Inept.  That is the most accurate word that describes how I am feeling as I am trying to present this unique art display that is currently happening in Lincoln, Nebraska.  This is not the first time that a community wide art project has taken place in our Capital City.  Yet I think that the theme and the concept this time is SO powerful that capturing the essence of what the Doorways to Hope is all about is a bit daunting.  This joint public art project between the The Lincoln-Lancaster County Habitat of Humanity and the Lincoln Hildegard Center for the Arts has artwork displayed all around town.

To my faraway reader friends, I want to convey the power of these sculptures, so that you feel like you are experiencing them in person.  For my nearby Nebraska friends, I want you to feel so inspired after learning about this display that you feel compelled to go and check all of the “Doorways to Hope” out in person.  Above all, I want you to learn more.

Doorways to Hope Logo

This is what I decided to do.  I am going to present pictures of the 5 (out of 21) doors that we have visited so far.  Once we have completed our tour, I will do an additional post featuring the pictures of ALL of the doors.  I will also prepare a document that you can click on that will explain our impressions of each of the doors. I think this will be especially great for my out-of-town readers who cannot make it to see the doors in person.

So far we have been to the four library locations and to the one at the International Quilt Study Center.  Each artist collaborated with different members of the community.  The latter one was created by Julia Noyes of the Noyes Art Gallery.  The door is entitled “The Monarch, The Metamorphosis.”The Monarch, The Metamorphosis

Eisley Library features the youngest participants in their creation, “Helping Hands.”  This is the one that featured the puzzle pieces, demonstrating that we all need to work together and fulfill our part!

Helping Hands

Using a car door as inspiration, the piece “A View from the Outside In and Inside Out” is so creative and might possibility have the most interesting story.  Linda Thomas created this with help from her son, Mark, colloborated with the St. Marks United Methodist Church Transportation for Humanity.  The symbolism and meaning of this artwork are compelling!

A View from the Inside Out and Outside In

My longtime friend, Tamara Kaye, led group of students to create the doors at the other two libraries.  She owns Art Planet in Lincoln – a wonderful place for students of all ages to learn to create.

At the downtown Bennett Martin library, the piece is entitled “To Hope.”  Behind every closed door is the word “hope” in various languages.  My daughter was really excited when she found the “English” door.  Hope just happens to be her middle name!

Doorways of Hope - To Hope (Open Doors)

Located in the middle of Lincoln, Gere Library is hosting Tamara Kaye’s other “Doorway to Hope.”  The symbolism behind “Window of Opportunity” makes this door incredibly memorable.  This is one that you need to examine with a close-up eye to catch all of the meaning that the artists are conveying.

Window of Opportunity

As you can tell, these doors inspire stories of their own.  Which door is your favorite so far?  Have you personally been to any of the “Doorways to Hope” in Lincoln yet?  You can download the map and begin your own adventure today!  If you want to know more, please read this excellent article by Erin Andersen, “Opening, Doors, Opening Hearts,” found in the Lincoln Journal Star.


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Stopping Modern Day Slavery in Nebraska

Writing about the Underground Railroad on this blog last week was so much easier.  Partly because I want to stick my head in the sand and pretend that nothing so horrible as enslaving others is still going on today.  While the shackled may no longer be working the cotton, many are still forced into a lifestyle that is NOT of their own choosing.  This is even true in Nebraska.  (Thanks, Jen, for forcing me to recognize this fact even though I still really want to pretend that it does not exist!)

Sex Trafficking Haunts Nebraska Events

This compelling article from NET tells a story that I do not really want to read.  As the two game elimination series happens at the College World Series tonight, for me it is all about a great baseball game.  For others, it is not.  Big profile events perpetuate crime opportunities.   Even small towns can still hide evil.

File:Springview, Nebraska street signs.JPG

Image from Wikimedia Commons

On my Sacred Line blog this morning, I wrote a bit about my own personal reflections and what I hope to do about this issue.  Being only one small voice, I now want to point out organizations that are working so hard in our community to stop the horrific spread of modern day slavery.  How we can make the biggest impact is by coming alongside others who are already aware of exactly what is going on and are taking the stops to stop the injustice.  (A big thank you to Colleen for letting me know of several more groups that are making a difference!)

I’ve Got a Name This is the best site to learn about how this issue is impacting the Nebraska area.  They have resources to help you get informed and then ways that you can get involved in fighting this issue that does affect us here at home.

Tiny Hands International (Headquartered in Lincoln – they fight slavery here and across the world)

Restore Innocence (While this group may be located in Colorado, they do provide support to victims in Nebraska)

Innocence Lost: Ending Child Prostitution (FBI site) – their office out of Omaha is working directly on cases that may happen in Nebraska

Nebraska University Students Against Modern-Day Slavery (NUSAMS)

“Freedom Change” (A smaller group of students also trying to make a difference)

International Justice Mission on Facebook an international organization that is making a difference around the world!

Love 146 While this organization is based out of Connecticut, I appreciate the work and education that they seem to be providing here and around the world.  The below quote by their founder is the reason why I wrote this uncomfortable blog post and is why this issue is so important!

“Child trafficking isn’t just a cause full of mind-numbing stats.  It’s about somebody’s son or daughter.”  Rob Morris, Love 146 co-founder and president.


Categories: Causes Across Nebraska, Frontier Trails, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Metro, Panhandle, Pioneer Country, Prairie Lakes, Region or City, Sandhills | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Watching other “football” in Nebraska at Lincoln’s Pinnacle Bank Arena

Perhaps my post should really read “futbol,” but no matter how you say the word, it sounds the same, although the two footballs obviously have drastically different meanings.  A new kind of football will be featured in the Capital City tomorrow!  Perhaps you are going futbol crazy watching men down in Brazil kicking a ball around.  Maybe you want to kick your game watching up a notch. Maybe you are wanting to kick off the patriotic 4th of July season a bit early.  Or maybe you just are ready to get out of the house, yet still be inside for the afternoon.  Possibly you have been wanting to make it down to the new Pinnacle Arena in Lincoln but have just not had a good enough reason yet.  Boy, do I have an outing for you!

 File:Soccer ball animated.svg

Image copied from Wikimedia Commons following licensing

Tomorrow late afternoon (following church and meal out, of course, if you are like my family) you can watch the United States versus Portugal at Lincoln’s largest venue for FREE.  Here is the information copied directly from Pinnacle Bank Arena’s website.

If you can’t get to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup, don’t despair. Soccer fans of all ages can beat the hot temperatures and watch the U.S.A. national soccer team take on Portugal on Sunday, June 22 at Pinnacle Bank Arena. The match is set for 5:00 p.m. with doors opening at 4:00 p.m.

The public is invited to watch the game on the arena video boards. Admission is free with specials available at select concession stands featuring free popcorn, $2 hot dogs, and $3 beers (12 oz).

“Cheer for Team U.S.A. and watch the game in a fun atmosphere with hundreds of your friends,” said Tom Lorenz, Pinnacle Bank Arena general manager.

Fans can enter the arena from the main and north entrances. Free parking will be available in the Pinnacle Bank Arena Premium Garage, Gate 4 and Festival Parking Lot.

Go, USA!

Categories: Concerts and Performances, Family Outings, Lincoln, Metro, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Nebraska Path to Understanding the Underground Railroad

Discovering that the small Mayhew Cabin is not actually in its original location (due to a highway being built) was surprising.  Learning that the current “cave” tunnel was not even in existence during the time of the Underground Railroad was almost disheartening.  I almost wondered why one would even visit this site that is shrouded in mystery as many of the details of its part in the Underground Railroad cannot be confirmed.  Until I heard footsteps …

Mayhew Cabin Cave

Underneath the original Mayhew Cabin through the cellar door you can climb into a cave.  One that has been reinforced for safety and connected with a long winding tunnel to allow you to exit.  I was sitting there waiting for my children to come back.  My oldest had come down and offered to find the others.  He started by looking through the cabin.  Once I heard him walking around above me, the need for this place made me sense.  While I knew who was above me, I was instantly filled with an unexplainable fear.

Mayhew Cabin looking up from the cave

The vent may have not been there originally, but it did add to the realism of the experience.

My imagination took me to a place in time over 150 years previously.  Being down in the cave, I suddenly realized what being a fugitive must have felt like.  To hear the heavy thud of footfalls above that might mean discovery.  Was the person friend or foe?  One providing safety or capture that would lead to death or an even worse fate?  Having to hide to preserve your very life and the life of your children must have been incredibly frightening.

My children seemed to “get” slavery for the first time.  They pretended to hide from me the slave owner.  As we were the only visitors at the time, this worked, and thankfully they let me in on this game eventually.  This cabin, cave and tunnel helped history come to life for my family!

Mayhew Cabin children in tunnel

As you walk along through the damp and drafty tunnel, rooms have been chiseled out giving you an additional feel for what a fugitive would have experienced.

Mayhew Cabin tunnel room

Beside the tunnel, the interior of the museum also gave us glimpses of slavery life.  Including a black curtain closet with a plank ceiling where you could pretend to hide from the slave owners.   While I was talking to the museum docent, my boys managed to silently hide there before I finally found them!  They also have a wagon showing a “slave” escaping in a wagon.

Mayhew Cabin slave wagon

Can you see the “person” hiding?

They also have shackles that you can try on to experience the misery of not being free.  Do you like my son’s attempt at a mournful expression?

Mayhew Cabin Slave

While perhaps this is not the largest or most polished of the recreated Underground Railroad Stations, at the Mayhew Cabin and John Brown’s Cave they do an excellent job at helping to bring history to life, especially for children.  In addition, you can watch a short video, filmed by a Mayhew descendant, about the history of the cabin.

Mayhew Cabin movie

To learn more or to schedule a tour, please visit the Mayhew Cabin website.  Note: this is one of the many fine places to visit in Nebraska City.  To learn more about other Underground Railroad significant locations across the United States, please visit the Network to Freedom website.

Categories: Family Outings, Nebraska History, People Behind the Place, Pioneer Country, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Underground Railroad in Nebraska

Upon examining slavery in Nebraska, one would naturally conclude that this issue did not have an impact.  After all, the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves happened on January 1, 1863.  The Civil War officially ended in April 1865.  Nebraska became a state March 1, 1867.  With statehood not even happening until after the slavery issue had been resolved (at least on paper although possibly not in practice), what difference did slavery really make in the 37th state?  More than one would realize.  Especially when you factor in that Nebraska had been an official territory since 1854.

Dividing the land was directly determined by slavery arguments.  Hoping for possible political  and personal gain and to end the perpetual debating, Senator Stephen Douglas proposed that territories being annexed into the United States should determine their slave status.  Thus the Kansas-Nebraska Act was formed.  Pro-slavery citizens and Abolitionists  descended upon the territories, resulting in  heated arguments and a new nickname, “Bloody Kansas.”  These new sections of land were cause for debate for everything from railroad routes (free soil or slave land) to immigration of citizens from Eastern states.  This so-called compromise had further pushed a divided nation toward war.  You can read more about all of this on the excellent site, Civil War on the Western Front, where I did compile much of this information that I could no longer personally remember from my own study of U.S. History and from my tour that is mentioned below!

How does all of this specifically affect Nebraska?  Well, being further south, most Kansas adapted the bent toward slavery.  Except for on the fringes, much of Nebraska was against slavery.  A few of these Nebraska territory settlers had brought along slaves.  Of the 15 slaves found in Nebraska during the 1860 census, ten of them lived in Nebraska City.  To be involved with fighting against slavery, one had to be a bit discreet.  After all, Southern sympathizers were obviously a part of the community.  Why was far off Nebraska Territory even a part of this issue?  Fifteen slaves is not exactly very many.  Yet the Underground Railroad did come this far West because of the neighboring state of Missouri.

Mayhew Cabin Lane Trail map

In 1820, the state of Missouri had entered the Union as a slave state, with Maine being free.  Due to their Southern and Northern locations. this made sense.  When thinking about the need for slaves, often only cotton states come to mind.  Yet at the time of the 1854 Compromise, Missouri had had 24 years of welcoming slave owners.

The Nebraska Territory shared a part of its Southeast border with Missouri.  An escaping slave could follow the Missouri River up past the Nebraska towns of Little Nemaha and Camp Creek.  Once arriving at Nebraska City, the fugitive could cross into the free state of Iowa, then gradually head to Chicago and blend in there a bit easier before fleeing to Canada.  Exactly how many slaves used this route is impossible to determine.  Observing the map, one can see that this escape route must have been used by groups of Underground Railroad passengers.

While the math may initially not add up, slavery did affect Nebraska.  I am grateful to Bill and to the Mayhew Cabin for enlightening me on this issue.  If you click on the link, you can learn more about this location’s part in the fight against slavery.  Even better, please go visit the Mayhew Cabin in Nebraska City in person.  The admission cost is low, and the self-guided tour will impact even little visitors.  All four of my children LOVED exploring the site!  In fact, I plan on writing my next post about the impact this visit had on our own personal understanding of the Underground Railroad.



Categories: Causes Across Nebraska, Pioneer Country, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stopping Slavery in Nebraska: Nebraska City and the Mayhew Cabin

Mayhew Cabin Exterior

Built with stacked logs, the snug cabin is certainly not much to look at.

Mayhew Cabin Collage

Looking at the interior, comfortably housing one person almost seems like a stretch, much less the four people who stayed here.  After relocating from Ohio, the Mayhew family called this log cabin near the Missouri River home.

Nebraska City, part of then Nebraska Territory, was just starting to grow. Because of being located near Missouri,  the town had one feature that set them apart from the other area locations.  Slaves.  Ten of them were noted on the census.  This did not set well with Mrs. Mayhew.  Or especially with her brother, John Kagi, who dwelt with them for several months.

About this time, Kagi became a companion of John Brown.  You may recognize him as the one who eventually led a raid Harper’s Ferry to make a statement against slavery.  This event was a precursor that helped to catapult our nation into a Civil War.   Before all this, Kagi was an active abolitionist and was doing what he could to help end slavery, including using his sister’s cabin as at least a temporary Underground Railroad Station.  This is where his association with Brown causes history to be a bit fuzzy.

Some newspaper clippings tell of Brown visiting this site himself.  Others imply that only Kagi was acting as the Underground Railroad Conductor.   The name game does come into play here, and possibly the wrong man was given the credit.  Rather than being called Kagi cave in honor of the man who definitely found himself at home there, the more notorious man gets the name of the cave.  Was Brown ever even in Nebraska?  No one is completely sure.  Why?  Being involved with the Underground Railroad was not exactly something a person would announce at the town square.  Even after the Civil War, Southern Sympathizers were still around and many just wanted to move past the heartache.  Either way, proof does exist that a group of at least one dozen slaves passed through the cabin at one point, at least long enough to eat breakfast.

Mayhew Cabin John Brown's Cave Monument

The exact details of what all happened are definitely sketchy.  Yet I still feel that my knowledge of the underground railroad increased by visiting the Mayhew Cabin and John Brown’s Cave.  Understanding the impact that Nebraska had on this network is also interesting.  Tomorrow I plan on telling a bit more about this place, and the lessons that I learned.

Why is this timing of this post significant?  I mentioned in my post yesterday that June 19th happens to be an important holiday.  Especially for the ancestors of slaves in this country.  Juneteenth is the celebration of the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas.  This celebration of freedom has caught on and spread to other states.  Including Nebraska who hosted one event in Omaha earlier this week and will have celebrations in Lincoln and in Nebraska City tomorrow.  The latter is the place where I will “take you” again tomorrow, exploring anew the part that Nebraska played in the Underground Railroad.


Categories: Annual Events, Causes Across Nebraska, Nebraska History, Pioneer Country, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Lincoln’s Citywide Art Displays: Doorways of Hope

Today seems to have passed quickly by me.  Since I did spend quite a bit of time doing fun things with my children, I guess this is okay.  But now with it being past 11, sleep sounds better to me than typing away.  Yet since I do like to reveal my Wordless Wednesdays on Thursday, I decided that at least a short post is in order.

Telling about the topic at hand only briefly would be a disservice.  After all, this is one of my favorite ongoing Lincoln area adventures.  Introducing the topic is a better idea.  Without further ado, did you guess what I was featuring?  Of course you did, if you read the blog post title. 🙂

Doorways to Hope Logo

Across Lincoln for the next several months, you can see displays of community collaboration.  Art projects featuring doors that begin to tell the story of the impact that Habitat for Humanity is making in this city and beyond.  Our family’s mission is visit every single location.  I will talk about the beginning of our quest and those doors that we have seen so far in a special “Moving Monday” next week.

Why wait that long? Tomorrow I plan to feature another place that we visited just this week.  A location that indirectly affected a holiday that was observed by many today.  Official celebrations will be occurring in at least two Nebraska locations on Saturday.  Curious?  Turn in tomorrow to an informative “Flashback Friday.”  (Between now and Monday, maybe we will even manage to observe another door or two, making Monday’s column a bit longer.  See – waiting is not completely a negative thing.)

Good night, for now, from Nebraska!

Categories: Family Outings, Lincoln, Metro, Region or City | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Flashback: Lincoln’s Early Architecture (Book Review)

Note: Unable to read the full review right now?  Please skip to the end to find out about the special event happening in Lincoln TOMORROW (Saturday June 14th) regarding this book.  If you want the article summary, I do highly recommend the book Lincoln’s Early Architecture by Lincoln authors Hansen, McKee and Zimmer.

Reading books that connect the past with the present are always the ones that intrigue me.  I relish titles that meld the distant past with current reality.  This is the perfect description of the book that I am in the middle of enjoying.  Normally a person should probably not suggest someone read a book that he or she has not actually completed.  Yet I can recommend the non-fiction work, Lincoln’s Early Architecture,  without reservation, even though I am only halfway through finishing.

Lincoln’s Early Architecture is written by the “who’s who” of Lincoln historic building experts.  Any one of these three men could have written a great historical Lincoln book on their own.  In fact, a few of them already have published historical Lincoln books.  By collaborating and sharing their own collections, the results are outstanding.   Matthew Hansen is a Nebraska preservation architect who has worked on restoring the Nebraska capitol.  James McKee is a business owner and just happens to be THE Lincoln city historian.  Edward Zimmer works as Lincoln and Lancaster County historic preservation planner.  See what I mean on their qualifications?

At only 127 pages, this book is not overly lengthy.  Covering so many places around Lincoln, the information to be absorbed is rather extensive.  Reading this book from cover to cover may not ever happen in one sitting for me.  Using this book as a reference will happen repeatedly.  In fact, I plan on keeping the title in my car for many months to come.  I do believe I will have to convince my husband to drive me downtown more often – that way I can stare about in identification mode and not get into any accidents!

Employing the use of historic photographs, the authors relay how Lincoln used to be. The result, for me, was a curiosity to know more.  Reading about what was is a great starting point.  Now I want to go to downtown Lincoln and see what still is.


Kennard Historic Lincoln

I took this picture of a picture inside of the still-standing Kennard House.  So hard to believe that this was Lincoln’s humble beginnings.  Of the buildings in this photograph, you can only visit the one. 

Several of the buildings are immediately recognizable to me just based on seeing the picture.  Trying to identify many of the others is more of a challenge.  Especially since the downtown Lincoln skyline is definitely a conglomeration between old and new.  Thankfully the book does make a note as to which buildings are still standing.  Many of these pictured structures have now been razed.  Several for parking lots. This makes me a bit sad.

Not all of the included buildings are found in downtown Lincoln.  Places throughout the city are included for historical reference.  This book answered a question that I had always wanted to investigate.

What is the significance of the Indian statue in Pioneer Park?
Indian smoke signals at Pioneer Park

Other than knowing the name of the statue (“The Smoke Signal”), I always wondered why the statue is even there.  While I believe a bit of this information is nearby the statue,  the story was incomplete.  By reading page 122 in this book, I finally know the full story behind the Indian!

Evidently before Ellis Luis Burman Jr. made his mark in special effects, props and make-up in Hollywood, he was a Lincoln man.  Hired as a sculptor to design several of the statues around Pioneer’s Park, this one is his most famous one.  Weighing in at five tons and standing at fifteen feet, this depiction of Chief Red Cloud makes an impression.

I know that I will enjoy learning more about Lincoln architecture past and present in the weeks to come.  Getting your own copy of the book is simple.  One of my favorite book stores in Lincoln, Indigo Bridge Books, is having a book reading and signing with at least two of the authors from 1:00-2:00.  You can purchase a copy of the book at that location!  Incidentally, snacks and coffee will be served.   Come for the food and the story – go home with an interesting reference book about Lincoln.  Definitely a worthwhile outing!  Unable to attend?  The book store will continue to have copies available, as do other book retailers.

P.S. Thank you to Arcadia Publishing for providing me with a copy of the book to review.  This would have been a title on my to-read list.  By bringing the book to my attention, my knowledge of historical Lincoln will continue to expand.  I will definitely be referencing the book again on this blog!

Categories: Flashback Fridays, Lincoln, Metro, Nebraska History, People Behind the Place | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Transforming Prairie Creek Inn Bed and Breakfast near Lincoln, Nebraska

Leavitt House now PCIB&B text

Possibly this is not the house that you would be expecting to see in the middle of the country.  Yet when you see the sign and hear the story, all of it comes together.

You see a house needed a new place to rest …

Leavitt House Sign text

This longtime family farm was in need of a new home …

Barn text

Once the two combined together, Prairie Creek Inn Bed and Breakfast gave them both a new purpose.

Prairie Creek Inn Bed & Breakfast sign text

How it all came together is a fascinating story and possibly too long for a blog post.  I hope someday to tell it, but for now I will give you glimpses into one of my favorite places in the Lincoln area.  As you drive into the property, you can still see evidence of the family farm that used to be here.

Field text

This picture of the crops was taken last summer!

Bannister text

As you stand inside the residence, you can see parts of the original home that remain.  Due to being abandoned for a short season, some of the home’s woodwork had to be replaced.  This bannister happens to be original.  For this post, I decided not to focus on the interior of the home, lovely as it may be.  The good news is that you can get a glimpse inside this home simply by making reservations.  Two hour “Tea and Tours” are offered by appointment at a cost of $10 per person for groups ranging in size from 8 to 32 people.  This is an excellent way to see a historical home and also to support the restoration that continues to go on.  Remodeling is never an easy process!


Barn Exterior text

Having celebrated both a birthday party and church wedding at the barn within the past few years, I was quite surprised when I stepped inside the barn this week.  This has been the most recent transformation at the Prairie Creek Inn Bed and Breakfast.

Barn  from Balcony  text 6-14

The hayloft has been narrowed and become simply a balcony with the original planking underneath becoming a dance floor below.  Many a wedding and celebration does take place out here.  One can definitely see why.

Barn Pleasant View Farm with Kids text

I love how they have maintained the authenticity of the farm while improving its function.

Buggy text

An old-time buggy has become the focal point of the entrance.

Barn Horses text 6-14

The family horses are corralled out back.  This is more for the owners than for the visitors.  If you tour the basement, you would see that their love of the “Old West” and family has influenced their home.  The innkeepers, Bruce and Maureen Stahr, have been friends of our family for years.  This is definitely one reason why we love going out there – I always enjoy visiting with both of them!

Swing text 6-14

Another reason that this place is so lovely is the space.   Located near 148th & Van Dorn, the home is located within minutes from Lincoln, so you are close enough to still go experience the city.  Yet staying in the country instead of city is refreshing and relaxing – you truly do feel that you can get it away from it all!

Trails Sign 6-14 text

Roaming around is also a possibility when you stay at the bed & breakfast.  Paths lead you through the nearby trees and up the hill to the little lake.  Sitting nearby is the log cabin which has been built by Bruce and his crew.  Renting out either the whole cabin or just a suite, you can get back to nature.  A bit closer to the main bed & breakfast is the original farm house.  This too has undergone a transformation and also can be rented ( the whole house or just a suite as well).  Unlike many smaller bed & breakfasts, up to ten separate groups can stay at the Prairie Creek Inn Bed & Breakfast in one of the three available buildings.

Our kids on the Porch text

One last important bit of information: Prairie Creek Inn Bed & Breakfast is a part of the “Hit the Snooze” Nebraska Passport tour this year!  Here is a picture of my kids right before we got our official stamp the other day.  Now you have the perfect excuse to go out and check out the Prairie Creek Inn Bed & Breakfast.


Categories: Lincoln, Metro, Nebraska Passport, Region or City | 1 Comment

Moving Monday: Experiencing the Tabernacle in Lincoln

This post was almost not included on this blog.  After all, I try to write about family outings across Nebraska, and I know that not everyone who reads this blog is of the same Faith that I follow.  Yet as this “Tabernacle Experience” has had in its own odyssey through Nebraska, appearing in McCook and Kearney (and also across the United States), I think that it is fitting to appear here.  Plus this was a significant outing for our family.  If you are a practicing Jew or professing Christian, you would definitely be blessed to walk through the Tabernacle.  If you are simply curious about matters of faith or enjoy walking through history, you would also enjoy this event.

For ten days, the Old Testament Tabernacle is in Lincoln.  Now you did not miss a major historical find.  This is simply a reproduction of the Old Testament structure that traveled with the Israelites during the time of the Exodus.  Our whole family visited this event this past overcast Saturday.  Actually I was a bit concerned that we would be drenched by end of the “tour,” but thankfully the rain held off!

Tabernacle Experience

This Tabernacle Experience was created using the dimensions and guidelines found in the Old Testament of the Bible.  In case you are unfamiliar with this part of history, the Tabernacle was a specially built tent with sectioned corridors that traveled with the Israelites after they left Egypt during the time of the Exodus.  As a Theocratic society, this Tent of Meeting guided Israelite life as they met with God here.  This was the centerpiece of Israelite life.

Tabernacle Outside Odyssey

For traveling and logistical purposes, this reproduction has ten foot walls for the outer courtyard boundaries, rather that the original fifteen foot walls.  Additionally as the original tabernacle contained ornate tapestries as well as a plethora of gold, more common materials were utilized due to practicality.  Yet with the courtyard width dimensions being maintained and the biblical specifications being followed, you can get a picture of what the Israelites would have experienced as they camped around this Tent of Meeting.

Tabernacle Expectation

This is the sign that greets you before you enter.  To take pictures of the interior is not permissible, and I was glad for that request.  I purposefully left my phone (with its camera) in the car.  Experiencing the Tabernacle can only happen without distractions.  Walking through in pairs, each person is given a set of headphones that guide you through the experience.  Both an adult version and a kid version of the tour is available.  As I walked through with my daughter, we listened to the dramatization of the Old Testament prophet Samuel as a child “telling” us about his experiences.  The adult version is also very meaningful according to some dear friends of ours who also walked through on Saturday.

This experience is recommended for school age children and above.  Our 5 year old walked through with my husband.  When asked what he remembered most about the experience, he said nothing.  Yet we both feel that he actually absorbed much more than he was willing to share.  If you have wandering toddlers or preschoolers, bringing them along might be stressful.  Yet as you move along to ten different stations, if you have a young child who is easily engaged, you could bring them along.  Another group of dear family friends brought their three year old along with her three older brothers, and she did just fine walking through the area.

To cover transportation and other expenses, the cost of the “Tabernacle Experience” is $5 per person or $20 per family.  We felt that we would much rather spend that amount of an event of spiritual significance to us than investing that amount toward movie tickets of a flick that we may not even remember months from now.  This tour will be the basis of many a discussion in our home.

Tabernacle YFC

The event is taking place at the Youth for Christ Lincoln location at 6401 Pine Lake Road. Reservations, which can be made at YFC Lincoln: Tabernacle Experience are highly recommended.  If you attend during a busier time such as evenings or next week-end, you may very well have to wait.  Tickets are handed out upon arrival.   Despite arriving 5 minutes before our “appointment,” we still waited at least 30 minutes before getting to start our tour.  You can sit and wait under the provided tent or peruse some of the tabernacle memorabilia for sale under the adjacent tent.

Having red heads, I liberally applied sunscreen since this is an outdoor event.  Yet enough of the tour is inside the tabernacle tents that I would not have needed to do so.  Seating is also available at various stations if someone has trouble walking around for the 45 minute tour.  Headphones are provided, or you can bring your own earbuds if you prefer.

You can watch this specially prepared video to learn more:

To learn more of my own personal reflections on this experience, you can visit my other blog: The Sacred Line

Categories: Family Outings, Lincoln, Metro | 2 Comments

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