This weekend felt normal(ish) for the first time in ages.
Saturday morning, we went out to breakfast. At an actual restaurant. It’s funny how something so routine that we used to take for granted felt like an absolute novelty.
It wasn’t exactly like the past. The staff wore masks; there were no condiments on the table; they offered digital menus with QR codes or disposable paper ones; and diners were seated at least six-feet apart. Definitely a “new normal,” but the food was delicious and Colonial House makes the best Bloody Marys in town, so I was one happy camper!
Side note: why are happy people often compared to campers? Does being in the Great Outdoors improve your mood so much it’s considered the pinnacle of bliss? I love camping, but have a few friends who think sleeping on the ground and dealing with the scent of wood smoke in their clothes is anything but fun. They might make happy “glampers” but would be grumpy campers. Maybe I’ll research this someday…
In any case, we really wanted to support this restaurant. They are family owned and have been a Rapid City fixture for 40 years—an eternity in the hospitality biz. The owner was a guest on a podcast I listen to a few weeks ago and got choked up over the closure because he missed that sense of community so much. These guys have gotten really creative during the pandemic (they packaged a bunch of their popular menu items into re-heatable TV dinners and turned their lobby into a mini grocery store), but the restaurant is huge and with razor-thin margins to begin with, couldn’t sustain a closure much longer. Tara and I were perfectly comfortable dining there, and hope to hit some of our other favorites in the coming weeks. Most Rapid City businesses have reopened, with similar safety guidelines and reduced hours. It’s a start.
We also stopped by a nursery. The plant kind, not the baby kind. Tara has been filling pots on the patio with plants and flowers, while I’ve been woking on transforming the plot next to our…umm…not sure what to call it, actually. We had a long discussion this morning over whether it’s a porch (my assertion) or a stoop (hers). Thoughts?
Tara thinks she “won” because the internet describes them thusly:
- A porch is “a sheltered area at the entrance to a building that has a roof and sometimes walls.”
- A stoop is “a small staircase ending in a platform and leading to the entrance of a home.”
Both these definitions could apply, if you ask me. The area is sheltered and has an overhang. It’s also located at the top of a small staircase and, granted, isn’t any bigger than a platform.
I know. You tell me!
In any case, Doris had a beautiful rock garden next to the storch (compromise!) with pink quartz, driftwood, and coral bells (small flowering plants). Much to our dismay, when they tore up our sewer line in November, they destroyed that area. It’s been a mound of dirt and rocks ever since. Rather than trying to re-create it, we decided to look at this as an opportunity to add our own flair to the ol’ homestead. I volunteered to tackle this project because it seemed like a great way to let my inner landscaper loose.
Never knew I had an inner landscaper TBH.
But apparently I do. His name is Hector and he likes birdbaths and whimsical garden decor. Go figure.
I picked up a couple of shrubs that shouldn’t grow too large (hope Hector knows what he’s doing!) but am holding off on planting them in the ground for a few days because polar vortex. No shit; it was 28º F (-2º C for my Canadian and European readers—you’re welcome) and snowing this morning. Nothing sticking on the ground, but Tara thought the shock of transplanting new shrubs might be exacerbated by the cold. We have a couple more days of this before the weather warms up again, so I’ll get them in the ground mid-week.
I was able to salvage most of the pink quartz, so I’ll be spreading that on top of the dirt once everything is in place. I’m excited to see how this turns out!
With virtual happy hours all the rage, we decided to have one with a couple of PNW friends on Friday evening. Candace and I worked together at Fuel, and we started hanging out with her and her husband Devon shortly before we moved. I had never done one of these before and wasn’t sure how awkward it might be; I always find it distracting looking at myself on a screen. Turned out to be a lot of fun, though; we chatted for a solid two hours and showed off our groovy basement and liquor closet while they gave us a tour of their home. At one point, I joked that we weren’t wearing pants.
…or was it a joke?…
(Totally a joke, though I suppose pants could be optional in these situations.)
Gotta run. I owe a word to my mutha…