This time of the year always makes me think of dirty snowmen. Front yards will occasionally highlight a “Frosty” from a few snow storms back that is well past his prime. You have seem him before; sad, grey, dwarfed from his original size. A scarf and mittens frozen to his dirty exterior and his eclectic facial features pooled around his base. It’s a reminder that you are in between seasons and snow is actually only pretty for a very short time.

The excitement of winter got packed away with the Christmas ornaments and we are left in a slushy holding pattern of schizophrenic Nebraska weather. Spring like temperatures will appear and actually feel balmy and then you step outside the next day and the wind chill drops to a below zero reality. How did those pioneers do it?

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Los Angeles for work. Leaving rural Nebraska is not that simple and as a result it took planes, trains and automobiles to get to the west coast. As I was lining up to board my flight in Omaha, I snapped a photo of the landscape I would soon be leaving.

My outlook went from this…



To this…

LA dusk3


And then back to this…

dirty snow


Upon returning from this trip I became aware of a rural curiosity I have always managed to overlook. It was a constant staple in my small town life yet never before had I stopped to pay tribute.

I’m talking about “Time and Temp”. 

My hometown is only one square mile so it doesn’t take much to navigate your way around the community. And as a drove around this particular time I found I couldn’t escape the all too pertinent information we have come to expect in a rural setting. It was highlighted at Home Federal Savings…

Holdrege Temp5

First National Bank…

Holdrege Temp3

And the First National Bank Business Center… 

Holdrege Temp6


Even though the information was not consistent, I realized how important they are for life on the Great Plains. Since weather dominates our conversations and everyone here is fifteen minutes early, it seems only fitting to have the time and temperature displayed throughout town.

I can’t think of one single marquee in Los Angeles that will tell you any information that isn’t related to some form of entertainment. Punctuality and weather are lost on people out there.

FYI: Spring arrives on Wednesday, March 19th.

Go make a dirty snowman while you still can.

Scott Rager

Robert Scott Rager is a Nebraska native who returned home to start a boutique business called "County Seat Living". His personal goal for "County Seat" is to translate the lifestyle design he was creating in Los Angeles for the past twelve years and apply it to the sensibility of the Great Plains. Whether he's writing about decorating, homemade ice cream, floral creations, event planning or product design, he wants the personality and style of Nebraska to shine bright.