Lucky Sevens

It’s been an exciting and productive week!

Tuesday at noon, we closed on our house. After signing our names and initialing approximately three million documents, we were handed the keys. What an immensely gratifying moment that was! It felt like I had overcome so much to arrive at that point: a short sale, years of cramped apartment living, a cross-country move filled with  hope but uncertainty. This was the payoff, at long last! The main reason we pulled up roots and took a gamble.

Lucky 7s, I guess.

We immediately drove over to the house. Our house. Could only stay a few minutes since we were on our lunch breaks, but after work, we loaded up our cars and made the first of what will be many trips to move things from Point A.1 (apartment) and Point A.2 (storage unit) to Point B (home, sweet home). I picked up Chinese food, we cracked open a couple of beers, and sat on the back patio, relishing the moment. After smudging the house with sage. One can never be too cautious, you know, especially when the prior owner lived there for 46 years and died there.

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We have also met a whole bunch of neighbors. All I can say is, we live in May-effin’-berry, USA. They have all been so welcoming. They talk about what a great lady Doris was, how all the neighborhood kids grew up together, and how excited they are to have us there. Last night, Kelly from across the street exchanged numbers with Tara. She told us the neighborhood is so tightly-knit if somebody accidentally leaves a garage door open they’ll go close it. And she offered up assistance if we need a hand moving anything heavy, cutting the grass, etc. I can’t believe how damned friendly they all are. Once again, it’s that Midwestern hospitality. It’s a real thing, folks.

Wednesday Tara had to do make cookies and brownies for a bake sale and Thursday my company sponsored an awards celebration for five local nurses of excellence, so we were tied up with other commitments. Last night we were finally able to get back to the house and stayed until 10:00. I cleaned the refrigerator inside out by hand while Tara tackled the basement walls. I also stripped most of the wallpaper – it’s so old, I was able to get it done by hand. Found some interesting things underneath. Like, this cat! A picture emerged of Doris’s young family working on this project together long ago. It made me feel more connected to the house and its lengthy past.

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We’ll be over there most of this weekend; the grass is a jungle once again, and we need to keep cleaning, get started on painting, etc. It’s hard work, but very satisfying, because we are turning somebody else’s house into our home.

Best feeling in the world.

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Periwinkle is a Moose

Tara was looking at houses on Realtor.com last night (her favorite pastime) and showed me one that caught her fancy. The following conversation ensued.

“I love the periwinkle walls!” she said.
“WTF is periwinkle?” I asked.
“It’s a shade of blue.”
“Why not call it blue then?”
“Because it’s not quite blue. It’s sort of violet, too.”
“I’m okay with calling it blue-violet. Periwinkle sounds like a cartoon moose.”

At this point she just rolled her eyes at me. Another favorite pastime, come to think of it.

It’s going to be fun when we start looking at paint samples. She’ll be on the hunt for juniper and lemongrass, and I’ll be like, “Got anything in green?”

Are we painting walls or gathering ingredients to brew a cup of tea?


It’s another snowy, blustery, hovering-near-zero day. A year ago, when I was imagining what it would be like to experience winter in South Dakota, this is exactly the type of day I pictured. I’m not complaining – instead of doing something crazy like going outside in this weather, I just closed my office door and read my Kindle over lunch. However, I wish there had been more days like this when I was working from home. The snow is beautiful and peaceful, but venturing out is a bitch when it’s this frigid. First, you’ve got to brush snow and/or scrape ice from your windshield. Then, you turn the heater on full blast, but it doesn’t warm up your car until right about the time you’re pulling into the parking lot at work. That’s the drawback to a 12-minute commute, I suppose. At least Tara and I can carpool on days like this.

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The view from my office today.

Hard to believe it’s only going to get colder the next couple of days. -12° tonight with a wind chill pushing 40 below zero. Day-um.

It’s also hard to believe our high temperature on Saturday was 63°. What did we do to take advantage of the rare, springlike warmth, you might ask? We, umm, went hiking in the Black Hills. Where it was twenty degrees colder and windy.

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This is why we willingly left behind 60°+ temps on Saturday.

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Frozen Pactola Reservoir.

But, you know, we’ll have warm weather again. May is practically right around the corner!


Last week the Rapid City Public Library held a scavenger hunt. They hid 10 vouchers for free Rapid City Rush hockey tickets throughout the library, and posted clues on their Facebook page. I love a good scavenger hunt and we have had fun at the Rush games we’ve attended, so I studied the hints very carefully and got there right when they opened on Friday morning. I am fortunate to work a block away.

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Sure enough, I found the voucher I was looking for easily enough. I ended up being the first winner of the day! And then Tara was #7, thanks to some additional sleuthing on my part. I knew the location of a third ticket as well, but I didn’t want to monopolize the whole thing! Plus, you were limited to one per person, anyway. So, we can now redeem our vouchers for two free tickets to a Rush game of our choosing. They’re about a $30 value each. Not bad for a few minutes’ work, huh?