A Dynamite Day

OK, now I’ve officially had a first full week of work, and my impression of the new job has only gotten better. There is so much fun and variety there! I went out into the community one day to interview the director of a local United Way reading program for an upcoming story. My supervisor also put me in touch with a 2nd Lieutenant from Ellsworth AFB for an article on the challenges military kids face growing up. I can’t think of a person more qualified to write that story than me! Then, on Friday, I got to meet the producer of “Napoleon Dynamite” and my boss took us on a team outing, treating us to  ice cream from Armadillo’s. It was pretty much the perfect day.

About the “Napoleon Dynamite” connection. Sean Covel is a South Dakota native who also happens to be a close friend of my boss. He lives in Deadwood currently and is looking for a new project. My boss says I should give him a copy of my book. Umm, dare to dream! He stopped by the office to drop off an autographed ND movie poster. I shook his hand and petted his dog. I’ve been around more canines these past two weeks than ever before, I swear. They are mostly well-behaved but there are occasional accidents (good thing we have concrete floors) and if you walk in with food, good luck trying to sneak it past the pups.

Once again, we had another interesting week weather-wise. It rained nonstop for about 48 hours Tuesday-Wednesday, and when it wasn’t raining, it snowed. We ended up with over 3″ of rain and a couple inches of wet snow. The ground is super saturated and area creeks and streams are running very high. Parts of the Black Hills got feet of snow and Mount Rushmore even closed down one day. That never happens. Saturday was sunny and warm, but there are showers and thunderstorms in the forecast the next couple of days and flood watches have been posted.

How’s your spring?

Wednesday morning’s commute.
Rapid Creek is running high.
This is a walking/bike path.

Saturday was a busy day. A good chunk of it was spent mowing our lawn. Our closing is scheduled for June 4, but the backyard didn’t get that memo. A kind neighbor has been cutting our front yard (we owe them baked goods!), but out back, the grass was literally shin-high. Our realtor said we were free to cut the grass as we pleased, so we went to Lowe’s and bought a lawnmower yesterday.

The last time I mowed grass was waaayyy back in 2006, so it was kind of a novelty. Tara swears she enjoys it and was willing to do the whole lawn herself, but I was weirdly excited to share the chore. The grass was so thick and wet we ended up mowing the entire backyard twice, adjusting the height so we basically cut it in layers. The whole process took us a good two hours! But along the way a couple of our neighbors came over to introduce themselves – Peggy next door and Grandma Lynn across the street. They are both super nice! And, get this: we learned some more about Doris, the former owner who passed away in February.

It’s a novelty now. Check back with me in a few months and I’ll let you know how I feel then.

The bottom line is this: Doris did, in fact, die in the house, just as we suspected. That doesn’t bother me so much, but Grandma Lynn told us one of her out-of-state children ended up finding her. I hope that doesn’t mean she was lying around, cold and lifeless, for days on end.

Maybe we don’t need any additional details.

In any case, Grandma Lynn was close with Doris. They were “walking buddies” who strolled around the neighborhood often. She told us that Doris was the original owner of the house, meaning she lived there for 46 years, and had planned on putting the house up for sale this spring anyway because she could no longer keep up with it. She’d been making arrangements to move into a retirement home but, alas, did not make it. Grandma Lynn was happy that Doris passed away in the home she loved so much.

All I know is, we’re burning lots of sage when we move in.

Today’s going to be another errand-filled day. We plan to look at furniture (but just look – we’d have nowhere to put anything we bought). Woke up to some thunder and lightning action early this morning and more is expected later, so it’s a good day to stay close to home anyway. Tomorrow is supposed to be pretty rainy and I’ve got blogs to write still.

Next weekend we have camping reservations. Fingers crossed that the weather is decent.



16 thoughts on “A Dynamite Day

  1. You know, I used to be creeped out by the idea of someone dying in any house I stepped foot in, but now that I went through my dad dying in the middle of their family room, it doesn’t seem so scary to me. I’m hoping your crazy ass weather evens out a bit. I’d be at my wit’s end by now.


    1. My mom reminded me that people die in their houses all the time – including my grandfather, and I never felt weird being in his house afterward. I’m sure everything will be just fine.

      Still burning that sage, though…


    1. Funny you should mention him. We saw the film adaptation of his book at the Journey Museum back in January and loved it! Had no idea he was going to be at the library. Thanks for the info – we may very well go see him.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mark, I am soooooooo happy to hear that your first week of work was faaaaaaaaabulous! I knew it would be! Wow…you got to meet the producer of “Napoleon Dynamite”, that’s incredible. I saw that movie many years ago and loved it. And freaking cool is it that he dropped by the office to shared an autograph post of ND!!! I have a feeling this new job is going to be a stepping stone for your writing. Wouldn’t it be great if he produced one of your books into a MOVIE???

    Love the pic of the snow. I can’t believe the amount of snow you got since last fall. As I shared with you before, it’s been extremely hot and humid in these parts. Today the temps reached slightly over 90 degrees. I have a feeling this summer is going to be excruciating. 😦

    Kudos on the new lawn mower. VERY nice!

    Looking forward to hearing about your camping trip next weekend!

    Happy Memorial Day to you and Tara!


    1. A movie version of my book would be amazing, Ron! I can’t think of anything more exciting. Sorry you have been suffering through so much heat and humidity. I feel almost guilty for all the snow we’ve had, lol. Pretty sure we’re done for the season now!


  3. Nothing better than having a job you enjoy and a good boss. I was not always so fortunate. The weather back here in the NW is not so extreme, but it has been unusually warm and dry. I fear fire season…


  4. A job you enjoy and delightful coworkers will add a few extra years to your life I think. Your novel would make a great movie. Owning a lawn mower enhances one’s credentials as a man. Now you can embrace the “man and his machine” concept.


  5. Okay, here I am finally. SO cool about the Nap Dyn guy. OF COURSE he brought his dog in too. Ha! And, um, you wrote a book? What book? Why is this the first I’m hearing of it? Did I come to the blog too late?
    Ah, Doris. I’m surprised her walking buddy didn’t find her when she didn’t show up to walk. Maybe she couldn’t have been in there for too long. I’m surprised Grandma Lynn didn’t peek through the windows or call or something.
    Looking at furniture must be fun too. Maybe you can hit us some estate sales and get entire furniture sets, assuming you like them, for dirt cheap.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Not yet. Would you believe I only have a single copy at home? I need to get some more ordered. Maybe Sean wants to branch out into the action/suspense genres. I think he would like that a major section of the book takes place here in the Black Hills!


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