Guess We’re Not “Those People”

We have been living in our house for three days now and it’s starting to feel like home. If your idea of home involves stepping around boxes and weaving your way through piles of stuff. At least the old toilets are no longer taking up residence in the living room. When Tara asked me what we should do with them, I suggested hauling them into the front yard and turning them into planters. Amazingly, she shot down that idea, saying she didn’t want to be “those people.”

Fine. Our landscaping visions differ.


Our first night in the new house was pretty wild. We were awakened shortly after 3 a.m. by shrieking winds gusting to 60-mph, thunder/lightning, and torrential rain. One thing we have discovered about the house: because we are located in a draw – a terrain feature that is basically a miniature valley – thunder is really amplified here. It bounces off the hills and the shockwaves sweep down through the neighborhood, echoing so loudly you don’t just hear it, you feel it. Literally, the whole house shakes. It’s pretty cool unless you’re a cat or trying to sleep.

Friday, I spent the day “on assignment” in Spearfish Canyon hiking several different trails for a travelogue series we’re planning next summer. I’m working closely with one of our interns on this project; she’s creating videos to accompany my words. She brought her fiancee along and we ended up doing four separate hikes. None of them were super long, but a couple were steep. It got pretty toasty toward the end of the day, but the canyon is so lush and vibrant due to all the rain we’ve had, it’s absolutely breathtaking at every turn.

Saturday, I had another interesting work-related task. Rapid City has been dubbed the City of Presidents due to the collection of presidential sculptures erected on street corners throughout downtown. Yesterday was the official unveiling ceremony for our newest statue, Barack Obama. The event was held at the Elks Theatre downtown and was so inspirational! I loved every minute of it. It helped being surrounded by an adoring crowd of Democratic faithful who were clearly missing our former President just as much as me. The sculptor, James Van Nuys, is a regular Renaissance man who is also a musician and writer. He played guitar onstage before and during parts of the ceremony, and it was interesting to hear about a couple of other ideas for the statue that ended up getting scrapped. In the end, he explained that he based his work on a photo that he fell in love with because of the look of pure exhilaration on daughter Sasha’s face. I think the statue turned out beautiful and will be a real show-stopper when it’s installed downtown (just a block from where I work) tomorrow.

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We’d been planning on going to Prairie Berry Winery for a customer loyalty picnic today (because, free food and free wine), but we just have too much to do around the house. There is a lot of unpacking and organizing to be done, and we already have visitors lined up, so we’re going to tackle some of that today. The hardwood installers, by the way, still haven’t finished their work. Presumably they are waiting on the extra box of bamboo to come in from Lowe’s, but who knows. We’re pretty irritated with them and have literally caught them in a couple of lies. I can’t wait to leave a scathing Yelp review.

After they finally finish up the work, of course.


7 thoughts on “Guess We’re Not “Those People”

  1. I have never heard the term, ‘draw’ when referring to a small valley. That’s why I come here, Mark! LOL! Gorgeous shots from your hike. And the first thing I thought when I saw the Obama statue was, “I wonder if the other daughter is pissed?” Because that’s how siblings are, no matter the age!!!

    There’s nothing more satisfying than leaving a scathing review! I’m a Trip Advisor reviewer though, not Yelp. I don’t like the way Yelp will not show certain reviews. My son introduced me to a very fun pastime. . . reading local Google reviews on things as boring as banks and gas stations. OMG, there are some angry folks out there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Doris’ daughter Kristi is actually the one who kept referring to the neighborhood as being located “in a draw” so I looked it up, and what do you know – she was right. It’s an interesting microclimate already; she said there tends to be less snow here than in other parts of town, probably because we’re slightly sheltered by that ridge. I still saw plenty on the ground when looking at pics of the house from earlier this year, so it’s probably a negligible difference.

      Angry reviews (Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor, whatever) are the best!


  2. HA! Mark, I freaking LOVED your idea about using the toilets as planters. Truly, I that’s no only hilarious, but brilliantly creative!!!!

    Your house looking awesome. I love how manicured the shrubs and the grass looks.

    Your photos of the canyon are magnificent! What a gorgeous place you live.

    “We’re pretty irritated with them and have literally caught them in a couple of lies. I can’t wait to leave a scathing Yelp review. After they finally finish up the work, of course.”

    And I don’t blame you one bit. I’m very big into leaving both scathing AND rave reviews online. I recently did a scathing review for a Target by my apartment building that is the worst Target I’ve ever shopped. But I also left a RAVE review for a restaurant I ate while in New York City last month. I usually leave my reviews on Google because I feel like Yelp is not as read as it used to be. Plus, I usually get responses from the reviews I write on Google.

    Have SUPER week, my friend!


    1. Oh, I agree – good service gets great reviews from me! I’ve gone out of my way before just to compliment a company when their service or product exceeds expectations. Can’t be negative without also being positive when it’s deserved!


  3. That is an amazing statue. The artist is so talented. I hope you get used to those noisy thunderstorms. I imagine your cat will have a harder time. Dang about the floor layers. I suppose SOMEthing had to go slightly awry. We passed a house recently that had two toilet planters on the wall of their front yard. Who knew that was a thing!


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