Remember how I hinted that I wanted a snowblower for Christmas last month? My parents did, because they generously got us one. We picked it up on an appropriately snowy Saturday a few weeks ago.
Naturally, it hasn’t snowed since.
What it has done, in fact, has been warm. It was 56º on Tuesday. Fifty-six! In January!! In South Dakota!!! And then yesterday, it actually rained a little. Rain! In January!! In South Dakota!!!
I’d keep going, but I don’t want to wear out the ! key.
Meanwhile, in Florida, frozen iguanas are falling out of trees. What a topsy-turvy world in which we live.
Our rain wasn’t anything to write home about. More like a light drizzle that was barely enough to make a decent puddle. The highlight of the day occurred about 4:45 p.m. There I was, focused on work, when I happened to glance out the window…and spotted an amazing sky. The setting sun was lighting up some rather ominous-looking mammatus clouds. So I did what anybody would do in that situation; quit writing mid-sentence, leapt from my chair, and raced outdoors. I didn’t even bother grabbing a coat; I just wanted to get a picture, and when the sky is on fire like that, it only lasts a few minutes.
And can I just state for the record, once again, that the sunsets in South Dakota are unlike any I’ve seen elsewhere. They take my breath away, again and again.
Our weather forecast looks pretty uneventful over the next 10 days, so for now, the snowblower is sitting in the garage. But considering we had snow up until mid-May last year, I’m sure at some point we’ll have a chance to use it.
I’ve got a busy day today with interviews in Deadwood and Rapid City. Speaking of, I’ve finally gotten smart and started recording them on my phone. It only took eight months! I am paranoid about technology failing me or the sound quality being poor or operator error (accidentally hitting DELETE instead of PLAY and losing everything) so it took me awhile to come around. Up until this week I’d been lugging my laptop everywhere, but I found that to be impersonal. I’d ask questions and furiously type away while also trying to maintain eye contact so as not to be rude. Inevitably, I’d miss things and end up piecing together quotes. Well, the voice recorder app on my phone solves all those problems. All I have to do is go back and transcribe everything afterward. This is great because it allows me to catch everything and I can take my time writing. I tried this for the first time while interviewing a family in Hill City on Monday and it went off without a hitch. It’s a great interviewing hack!
My aunt, however, shared a scary story about her days as a reporter. She said this in a Facebook comment:
Worst experience ever in journalism. Was sent to the Tampa airport in 1983 in the middle of the night to interview medical students returning from Grenada after the US invasion. I used a tape recorder. I started to listen to it in the car on the way back to the office (photographer was driving) and there was nothing on it. I madly scribbled down what I could remember and managed to write a story.
I can only imagine the sense of dread she felt when she hit PLAY and nothing happened. I don’t even know what I would do in that situation. Curse, cry, both. Just in case, I am bringing along a notebook, but I also feel that defeats the purpose of recording in the first place.
Guess I’ll just put my faith in technology and my ability to distinguish between the different keys on my phone.