It’s usually around mid October when I first start complaining about the approach of another winter and all the problems and perils sub-zero cold and snowy weather presents. I didn’t play golf last Tuesday because it was way too hot and windy for fat people to be out there risking heat stroke and possible death over a silly game. Instead, I stayed inside my air conditioned house and sulked about how we went from a cold, wet blustery spring right into stifling heat and humidity that felt more like a Louisiana Swamp than June on the Prairie. Now the bugs are back trying to get into the house again and it won’t be long before outdoor conversations will turn into yelling matches because of the racket from a billion cicadas in the treetops banging on their tymbals to a deafening roar.
Geeze, Lund, if you hate it so much here why don’t you pack up and leave to someplace more to your liking and don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya.
Well, hold on there a second, pally. I’m not going anywhere..just exercising my God given rights as a bred and born native South Dakotan to pee and moan about my surroundings every now and again. In fact, I was reminded several times this past week about why I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else BUT here.
Record releases from Missouri River dams have been a hellish nightmare for homeowners who reside along the Big Muddy facing the very real possibility that those homes could be ruined by flood waters. But in this time of potential catastrophe, volunteers from all over my state and beyond have swarmed to the front lines lending a helping hand. Among those offering up their muscle and sweat were members of my grandson, Michael’s baseball team; Sioux Falls East Legion, who, after playing two games on a hot day in Omaha, stopped on their way home outside of Sioux City and spent three hours filling sandbags destined for Dakota Dunes. Coaches and parents of the players pitched in too. That makes them winners both on and off the field in my book.
Linda’s mom, Mary Trudeau, who still lives on her own in Alcester, hasn’t been feeling up to snuff lately so, in typical South Dakota fashion, friends and neighbors check in regularly to make sure she’s okay offering up hugs and hot dishes. The guys from the machine shop next door are right there once a week to mow her yard because..well, it’s Mary who is known to all of them for the plates of cookies and other hot- from- the- oven goodies she brings to them.
1,400 South Dakota World War II veterans have been able to see the national memorial dedicated to them and visit all the sights in Washington, D.C. free of charge thanks to organizers of the Honor Flight program which came to a conclusion last week. What began as a nice gesture two years ago has turned into a treasured memory for all the veterans and a life changing experience for those reporters who covered the dozen Honor Flights.
In the end, South Dakotans donated 1.4 million dollars toward this wonderful way of saying thanks to those who served.
Then, this past weekend, my cousin, Grouse, talked me into going home to Volga for “Old Timer’s Day.” I’ve never been too keen on that name figuring I don’t need any additional reminders. But it was a gloriously beautiful day and turned out to be great fun.
After the parade everyone walked over to the city park for food, music and a game of guessing the names of people we hadn’t seen in decades. I was amazed at the number of those I got right. It all led to lengthy conversations filled with laughter and shared memories.
I guess I need these occasional “wake up and smell the coffee” reminders that there are other things besides a perfect climate which bring real purpose and pleasure to life.
So, the next time you feel like grumbling about living in this state of extremes, just click your ruby slippers together three times and repeat after me, “There’s……………………