People, People Everywhere

I guess it's basically summer now. Maybe not from an astronomical standpoint—equinoxes and whatnot—but once Memorial Day rolls around, it might as well be. It's when the tourists descend upon the Black Hills en masse. Tara is not a fan of tourist season. From June through August, our normally quiet little downtown nearly doubles in … Continue reading People, People Everywhere

Knitted a Scarf. My Neck Benefited.

English for Dummies The English language will be the bane of my existence. That’s saying a lot, considering I’m a professional writer.* *By professional, I mean, in job title only. It in no way denotes professionalism. After all, I’m the guy whose witty proposed headline—What the FTP is Webmail?!—was shot down by corporate today because … Continue reading Knitted a Scarf. My Neck Benefited.

If You Don’t Hear From Me, Check in with the Tin Man or Scarecrow

Have I mentioned the weather around here is nuts? OK, fine. But this is the first time I've mentioned it this week. One day it's summer, the next day it's winter. Case in point: Thursday, it was 85º and we had the A/C on. Friday afternoon the thermometer was stuck on 43º and we had … Continue reading If You Don’t Hear From Me, Check in with the Tin Man or Scarecrow

Here, Bear, & Everywhere

Irrational(?) Phobia When we moved to South Dakota three years ago, I was relieved to learn there were no bears in the Black Hills. I have a deep-rooted fear—probably irrational—that I might get eaten by a bear. The Cascades were black bear country, and I used to go hiking in the wilderness. Alone. While picking … Continue reading Here, Bear, & Everywhere

Dandelions: 1, Mark: 0

Bye-Bye, Arrows I went grocery shopping yesterday without a mask for the first time in over a year. It was both liberating and weird. Funny how something so unnatural becomes the new norm. About half the shoppers were still masked up. I trust the CDC and have been following their guidelines all along, so I … Continue reading Dandelions: 1, Mark: 0

Sunny, My Ass!

I always find it interesting how everything feels like such a novelty for a few days after you’ve returned home. Even the most ordinary and mundane—the stuff you take for granted 99% of the time. Sunday, I found myself gazing so intently at the remote control in my hand you’d think I’d just unearthed some … Continue reading Sunny, My Ass!

Getting OUR Griswold On: Day 9 – Home, Sweet Home

Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home. One Last Dose of Kitsch We were both up this morning around 6:30. As difficult as it was to pull the plug on a truly fantastic trip, we were both ready to hit the road. It was a chilly 36º when we left Austin, MN...and … Continue reading Getting OUR Griswold On: Day 9 – Home, Sweet Home

Getting OUR Griswold On: Day 8 – Austin, MN

How Cheesy! And just like that, we've arrived at our final destination: Austin, Minnesota. It's hard to believe we've been on the road for an entire week already. On the other hand, Sioux Falls already feels like a lifetime ago. This has been a fantastic trip. Tara is ready to be home, while I kinda … Continue reading Getting OUR Griswold On: Day 8 – Austin, MN

Getting OUR Griswold On: Day 7 – Madison, WI

Role Reversal A funny thing is happening as our vacation has stretched into its seventh day: Tara and I have switched roles. Early on she was the one looking for detours and saying we had all the time in the world to explore, while I was most interested in getting to the next hotel. Now, … Continue reading Getting OUR Griswold On: Day 7 – Madison, WI

Getting OUR Griswold On: Day 6 – Cleveland, OH

Peace, Love, & Chappelle This morning we bid adieu to Yellow Springs. This quaint little enclave, with its peace/love/hippie vibe, really charmed us. If we ever moved to Ohio (don't worry, mom...we're not!!), we'd love to live in Yellow Springs. I mean, it's good enough for Dave Chapelle. We're told he has his home here … Continue reading Getting OUR Griswold On: Day 6 – Cleveland, OH