Nature’s Fireworks FTW

Four more days until we move in!

Really though, we’ve pretty much been living in the house since last Wednesday. We go home to sleep and feed Sydney; otherwise, we are here. As is most of our stuff. The apartment is looking pretty barren these days; there are a few essentials in the fridge and bathroom, enough clothes to get us through the week, and furniture that is too heavy to move (e.g., beds, couch, bookcase). Yesterday our brand new couch was delivered to the house. We’ve got cable and internet there, a fully-stocked refrigerator, and all our booze. Why wouldn’t we want to stay here all the time now?!


Still haven’t heard back from the hardwood flooring guys, but the contractor is here today – a day early – ripping out the old carpeting in the bedrooms and bathrooms. He’s even agreed to hook up new toilets for us, even though he is not a plumber and won’t be getting paid to do so. Tara was thinking about replacing the old ones and figured it wouldn’t hurt to ask if he’d be willing to connect new ones, since either way, he had to remove and reinstall toilets to get the flooring done. He was a bit hesitant at first but eventually agreed, so we went out and bought new Kohlers Saturday afternoon. Lemme tell ya, toilets are heavy AF. Who knew? It took a lot of muscle to get them from the back of Tara’s truck up the front stairs and into their respective rooms. But these are slick new low-flow models. I tried to talk Tara into buying super fancy toilets with heated seats and built-in bidets, the kind that flush automatically and play music through your wi-fi connection, but sadly she shot down that idea.

Our 4th of July was pretty low-key, other than nearly getting swept away by a flash flood. That would have sucked, after all the blood, sweat, and tears we have poured into this house!

The day started out innocently enough. We had a nice, leisurely morning before heading out to breakfast – but apparently our morning was a bit too leisurely, because by the time we got to the Colonial House, breakfast service had ended. Lunch it was, then! Which was just as well since I was still able to enjoy a couple of Bloody Marys.

After breakfast lunch, we packed up more boxes and took them over to the house, then headed downtown to bar-hop the rest of the day away. Our first stop was the Brass Rail, which probably featured the most interesting patrons. Paddy O’Neill’s had the best food, but Wobbly Bobby Pub was probably my favorite stop because they had board games at every booth. Tara and I faced off in a heated game of Battleship, something neither of us had played in decades. She ended up winning by one move. After that, we hit up Press Start for video games.

We decided to wrap it up at 8:45 because the city’s fireworks display was scheduled for 9:30 and we wanted to find a decent spot. But the minute we stepped outside, we figured it wasn’t going to happen. The sky was ominous, with dark clouds to the west. It was raining lightly and thunder was rumbling in the distance. One glance at the radar showed a line of severe thunderstorms bearing down on us. We figured we’d grab dinner to go at Culver’s instead and head up to Skyline Drive overlooking the city, just in case the fireworks were still a go. By the time we stepped out of Culver’s with our food, there was a torrential downpour with hail and constant lightning. We got drenched just racing to the truck. Then, on the way up Skyline, there was so much water streaming across the road it almost looked like a flash flood. Granted, we were on a hill overlooking the city so there wasn’t any real danger. At least, I don’t think so, but the video I took (and posted to Instagram) shows us motoring through water so deep in places it was splashing over the hood of Tara’s truck.


Up on Skyline Drive, we had a great view of the storm. And wouldn’t you know it, there were still people shooting off fireworks around town (though Rapid City’s event was ultimately postponed until Friday). In fact, at one point another car pulled up next to ours in the parking lot, rolled down their window, and started firing off Roman Candles. That’s either super patriotic or super stupid. I’m not really sure which. We never did get to see an actual fireworks display this year, but the show Mother Nature put on was hard to top.

Eventually the storm subsided, but not before dumping nearly 2″ of rain on Rapid City. We have already reached our average annual precipitation total, and the year is only half over! This makes the second really wet year in a row in South Dakota. It seems like Tara and I brought a little bit of the PNW with us when we moved. Those thunderstorms, by the way, have been a near-daily occurrence. Even though we’ve lived here for over a year now, it still amazes me how fast they can build up. One minute it will be perfectly clear, not a cloud in the sky; an hour later, it can feel like the End of Days, complete with black clouds and intense lightning displays.

Typical afternoon view from our front porch.


And I’m loving every minute of it.

Hope your holiday was a blast (but a little less wet than ours).

15 thoughts on “Nature’s Fireworks FTW

  1. “We’ve got cable and internet there, a fully-stocked refrigerator, and all our booze. Why wouldn’t we want to stay here all the time now?!”

    HA! Mark, you’ve got everything you need to live a full life!

    I can’t believe in only FOUR more days, you’ll officially be completely moved in. That’s awesome!

    LOVE your new couch. It’s so big and comfy-looking. Great color too! And I’m loving those wood floors.

    ” I tried to talk Tara into buying super fancy toilets with heated seats and built-in bidets, the kind that flush automatically and play music through your wi-fi connection, but sadly she shot down that idea.”

    That cracked me the hell up!

    “Tara and I faced off in a heated game of Battleship, something neither of us had played in decades.” I’m not really a game player, however, I have to say that Battleship is the BEST! I remember having a game when I was kid and loving it, especially when you got to say, “YOU SUNK MY BATTLESHIP!”

    That stormy sky reminds me of living in Florida. That’s how it was there as well, perfectly clear, not a cloud in the sky, but then an hour later it looked like the end of the world. And I can’t tell you how many times I’d lose electricity because of the lightning.

    Glad you had a great 4th of July!


    1. One move, Ron. Tara beat me by one move! Because I would have sank her battleship and ended the game on my very next turn.

      I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a power outage caused by lightning anywhere. Knock on wood! Hope your 4th was equally fabulous!


  2. I keep forgetting you don’t already live there! We had to recently replace a toilet and I don’t know how the plumber got that sucker up the stairs by himself!!!

    The rain seems to have slowed down here, so our 4th was a dry one. We actually watched fireworks in California on July 2nd and managed to get the hell out of Dodge before that quake hit!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! Your posts constantly bring back Rapid City and Black Hills memories of our time there, it’s pure pleasure to read and recall. Our old apartment was on the hill leading up to the Dinosaurs on Quincy. Bruce’s Dad was a teacher at Steven’s HS, his Mom was a banker in town. They shared a lot of great stories of the flood as well as many storms and events. A former student of Stan’s was struck and killed by lightning at the top of Skyline — safety first while you enjoy the show!
    If Doris’s daughter went to Steven’s HS, she might remember Stan Halla. The Halla and Ireland names were all over RC …. We continue to enjoy your blog, it’s been fun to see how your journey is playing out – Enjoy every step along the way!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Carol! We think of you guys all the time, always wondering if you’re familiar with this place or that. When Doris’ kids come to visit this month, we’ll be sure to ask if they are familiar with the Halla name.


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