HARTINGTON — Pam Haidle, who works at Burnell’s Foodtown in Hartington, is a familiar face to people in the area. Haidle’s smile and cheery attitude seem to brighten each customer’s day as she stands at the check-out counter and runs their groceries through the scanner and places the items in bags.
“First I am so grateful for the gift of work and good health to accomplish it,” she said. “I am thankful for a lovely home that keeps me warm and for having everything I need.” There are some others who don’t have that she said.
Haidle had been living in the southern part of the United States with her husband before she moved back to her home town.
“Hartington has been very welcoming and gracious to me. The south is well known for their southern hospitality but it is nothing like Hartington’s hospitality,” she said.
Sometimes a person doesn’t appreciate some of the simple things in life until you don’t have them.
Haidle has a list of things she loves about living in Nebraska.
She is thankful for the change of seasons.
“I enjoy the four seasons, especially the time for planting the crops, the growing season and then harvesting time,” she said. “Whether it is a cornfield or a garden – it is so great to have.”
People who have never lived in an urban area don’t always realize what they have here in the small towns in the Midwest according to Haidle.
“I am very grateful for the safety and security of living here in Hartington,” she said. “Where I am at in my life right now, this is the perfect place for me.”
Life hasn’t always been easy for Haidle. She lost her husband – the love of her life – six years ago. His death was completely unexpected.
My husband had an aneurysm and was gone within a few hours she said.
Haidle was still dealing with the loss of her husband when a storm hit the New Orleans area where her and her husband had been living.
“First I lost my husband then I lost my house to a hurricane,” she said.
Other family changes had also taken place in Haidle’s life. Her kids were now adults.
“My son had moved on for his work and my daughter had her own friends and life to live,” Haidle said.
In January of 2013 she made the decision to move back to Hartington.
“I have gone through some hard times but I am so grateful for the many blessings I have,” Haidle said. “I have family here and I now have the support of my brother and sister. It is good for me to be here and be able to help my Dad.”
The Hartington area is a familiar place for Haidle.
She grew up on a farm in the area and graduated from Cedar Catholic High School.
Haidle is the daughter of Roman Keiter.
“The place where my husband and I lived in the south is a lovely, beautiful place to visit but it never really felt quite like home to me,” she said.
It’s true – there is no place like home.