I just dropped my parents off at the airport after a weeklong visit. It’s always a bittersweet feeling; on the one hand, it’s nice to have our routine back (and I’ve missed driving my car). But the house feels so quiet and empty afterward for those first 24 hours. Having that freedom you take for granted 350+ days of the year is a novelty again for a little while. I always have an overwhelming urge to tear off my clothes and dance around the house while blasting AC/DC at volume level one million, pausing briefly to juggle a few kitchen knives just because…
…but in reality, I’m sure we’ll continue our “Parks & Recreation” binge marathon that has been on hold the past week before heading to bed at a decent hour because we are both responsible adults.
My folks will be back in six weeks, so there’s no need to wallow in sorrow or anything. It looks like my uncle and aunt from New Jersey will also be here. They’d long ago booked an Airbnb for the family reunion that won’t be, so we’ll be having a scaled-down mini reunion instead.
It’s safe to say my parents enjoyed their visit. They kept commenting on how different things are here in western South Dakota vs. the Pacific Northwest, and said this was the closest to normal they’ve felt in months. Like, the virus is in the news here, but it doesn’t dominate the headlines. We don’t have protesters trying to set fire to buildings every night and ravaging downtown for months on end. Restaurants are open for dine-in and Little League games are taking place. People wear masks, but not everybody, everywhere, every time. And we don’t have a shit ton of cases. It’s always felt like we live in a bubble here. We’ll see if that continues after the Sturgis Rally, which is less than two weeks away. I personally wish they’d cancelled it, but shockingly nobody asked me for my opinion.
The nerve of ’em.
The theme for this visit, if we were choosing one, would be wine. There was wine with happy hour, trips to two separate wineries, and we wined a lot about the heat. We didn’t get a chance to hit the water on the Walleye Cleaver (trying that on for size), but we drove my folks on the bumpy backroads to the ghost town of Mystic and the not-quite-a-ghost-town of Rochford (population: 8). Also visited the Center of the Nation monument and Tri-State Museum in Belle Fourche. And played tons of corn hole. I’ve gotten a lot better since last summer, when I couldn’t beat my dad worth shit. Monday was Tara’s birthday, so we surprised her with a birthday donut cake from Jerry’s—a family tradition dating back to my youth. There was plenty of good food, too—some of it on the grill, some in the oven, and one Chinese delivery. Despite the heat, we sat out on the patio every evening until twilight. There wasn’t a drop of rain the entire time (but that’s about to change, so…good timing!).
All in all, a very nice visit. One week sounds like a long time, but it flew by. Isn’t that always the case?
OK, gotta head to the office now!