Grit Blogs > A Great Place to Retire

Small Town Dinner Date

It’s Saturday morning about 9 a.m. The temperature is setting records at 20 something below, and I can hardly see out the kitchen window because of the drifted snow from our 36” that has fallen since Christmas Eve. But I’m smiling a big smile!

Last night Husband took me on a date! Dinner and a movie! And I can’t think of a better evening out, even though “Cabin Fever” may have something to do with it. The weather has had a frozen hold on Northeast Nebraska all week. The mail didn’t even get to town for three days. I’ve been making yummy soup and homemade bread and rolls (see recipe below), and the power has been on, and the TV working for football games. What more could we want?

Downtown with snow

Dinner and a Movie! Would there be a move tonight? Husband called Marlene. We know her from Car Club, and she directs the choir at “the other” Lutheran church, teaches school, and volunteers at the Community Theater/Movie House. She said, “Yes, there will be a movie, and because we expect a small crowd tonight, we have permission to add a showing on Monday to make up for it.”

I suppose I should back up and explain about our Community Theater/Movie House. This progressive town of 3,500 built a five-million dollar community center about 1½ years ago. It is a great state-of-the-art Conference Center that is well planned and very flexible for use for dances, receptions, graduations, business meetings and even car shows. At the time it was dedicated, the town planned to raze the “old opera house/community building” that sits on Main Street. The Community Theater Group (3 shows a year) proposed keeping the building and using it as their home, so they would not have to share stage time and space with things booked at the new Conference Center. So they mustered support and money and volunteers and were able to keep the building.

At some point in the process the idea of showing movies each weekend came to be. Too many volunteers to count came together to make the building safe and clean, and install the lighting and projection equipment needed. A theater that had closed donated 250 theater seats, “if somebody would pick them up.” The slope is not quite right on the seats, but they are comfy and you have that reclining seat effect. Using all volunteer help, movies that are about 1 month since release and rated G or PG are shown four times each weekend. The prices are $3 for kids and $5 for adults. The Kids Pack of popcorn, candy bar, and pop is $3. What a bargain! This great community wanted a place for kids and families to go and have fun, and they pulled together and made it work.

Now, about our $15 date: First we went to McDonald’s and had sandwiches from the dollar menu and senior cokes. Then we went to the theater to join the expected small crowd. Oh my goodness! There were already 250 people inside, and more standing in line. Marlene came by, and went in to show the volunteers where to find the folding chairs downstairs. Everybody pitched in and carried chairs, and 351 paying guests saw the movie, “Blind Side.” We got to sit in the balcony on a folding chair because, as our friend Jo, said, as she took our money, “We know you won’t neck” – now how did she know that?

As we came out of the theater to –21 degrees and blowing snow, I just looked at Husband and said, “Isn’t this a great place to retire?”

Rich Bread Machine Roll Dough

¼ cup soft butter or oleo
4 cups bread flour
¼ cup dry instant vanilla pudding
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon yeast

Mixed together: 1 slightly beaten egg, 1 cup warm (70-80 degrees) milk and ¼ cup warm water.

Place in bread machine in order your machine instructs and set on dough cycle. Remove from machine, shape into 12 balls and put in 9-by-13-inch greased pan. Let rise until double. Bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350, or until nicely browned. These are so good and rich, you don’t even need butter on them. They make a great cinnamon roll, too.

Nancy and Husband are learning to retire in a small town in Northeast Nebraska. They have lived in 6 large and small communities in 3 states, and worked in middle management in Senior Retirement and Nursing Homes, Banking, and large Feed Corporations. They raised 3 terrific children and have 3 wonderful grandsons.

nancy retired
3/29/2010 12:36:17 PM

Rejoice!! Easter is coming! And the snow bank in our front yard is finally gone. We've had snow on the ground or in a pile in our yard since the first week in December! This is a great place to retire, but this year we should have gone South for the winter!


nancy retired
1/26/2010 10:27:53 PM

Nebraska Dave, We were in the city today. The pot holes were horrendous!! There are still things we miss about city life, but it is so great to "go to Town" and get our urban fix and then it feels so good to be back in our little nest again. We follow the Huskers with FB and BB tix, so we get to the Capitol City pretty often, too. Sounds like you have big plans for this summer and your garden. We will be out of town for 3 months, so the garden is not on our horizon this year. We had a big vegetable garden plus rhubarb, asparagus, and strawberry beds during the 11 years we lived on the farm. I still remember my 'friend' the black snake who sunned himself between the rows and kept the varmints down. Nancy Retired


nebraska dave
1/20/2010 1:26:52 PM

Nancy, I agree with you about small town rural Nebraska. Even though I reside in the big city just south of you, my heart is still all about country life. Being retired 2 years April 1st, I am getting more into gardening, growing flowers (what challenge), and building walls and features on my 50x100 foot Urban bio-intensive vertical growing property. Last year I went through the process of removing a stump in my back yard from an old Rosebud tree that out lived its time. This year an expanded garden, building a water feature, and installing a side yard patio are on the list of projects to accomplish. You and Cindy are so blessed to have the movie theatres that you have. Here in the some what big city the going price for a movie is $9.00 unless you are an old coot like me then it’s $8.00. Big deal. Concessions? No break there. I get a kids pack which is $6.00. It contains a two gulp drink, a teeny tiny bag of popcorn, and a pack of gummy bears. If a adult version of this pack was purchased it would come close to $15. Needless to say I don’t go to the movies much. It’s just cheaper to wait until it comes out on DVD. I wish you well in your retirement years. I’m looking forward to reading about them through your Grit blogging. Are you enjoying the summer time 35 - 40 degree weather? :)


nancy retired
1/19/2010 7:34:44 PM

Thanks, Hank, for the welcome to the Blogging Community. I should be an interesting time. Yes, Cindy, I could be the mom of your Fairy Blog Mother. The short Curly-haired older version that is not so tech savy. Sounds like you have a great movie option, too. They held Blind Side over for another weekend and continued to have good crowds. That is so great! Vickie, you seem to understand small town life, too. I am so glad to be back in this environment. I think my sister wishes she would be in a town this size instead of a capitol city. She has to work to be busy..... Nancy Retired


vickie
1/16/2010 8:20:38 PM

Nancy, What a great date it sounds like and you just can't beat that price of dinner and a movie. Sounds like a great small town you live in too. vickie


cindy murphy
1/15/2010 5:59:34 PM

Hi, Nancy. I made some oh-so-delicious homemade soup (bean and ham) during our recent three foot snow storm too....oops make that four foot; that extra 12 inches sneaked in two days after the intial storm when no one was expecting it. We didn't have the benefit of having homemade bread to go with the soup though. Everyone seems to have some kind of adventure to tell during snow storms; there's a sense of comraderie in it, especially in a close-knit small town. It sounds like your community center would be the perfect place to share tales of such adventures! Funny but our movie theater in town here started off in the 1800's as an opera house too...but was converted to a theater sometime in the 1930's, I believe. New release movies are $4.00 until six; $5.50 for the later shows. Every day no matter your age. The price includes popcorn (if you bring back your own one-time purchase bucket) and a drink; refills are 50 cents. Only three movies appear each week - nothing like a mega cineplex but the gorgeous old woodwork, and high coved ceilings make for a nice atmosphere, and the price can't be beat. And psst...you wouldn't happen to be any relation to a certain editor...the one I refer to in my head as my Fairly Blog Mother who waves her magic wand providing answers to all my blogly questions, would you? Enjoy your weekend. Cindy ~ A Lakeside View


hank will_2
1/14/2010 5:23:01 PM

Welcome, Nancy -- I'm glad that you got Jack (I can't believe you got him to retire) to take you out to the movies. It sounds like a perfect small-town time. I can't wait to read more of your adventures -- and to try your recipe (or convince someone to try it and let me taste). Thanks. Hank