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 archaeological wonder from ancient Babylon rather than a clicker that lets you change channels and adjust the volume.
I’ll put it this way: we found a turkey loaf buried in the back of the freezer the other day and got so excited over the idea of cooking it in the oven, we practically raced each other to the kitchen.
Weirdest of all was going back to work on Monday morning. After having 10 days off to explore exotic locales such as Mansfield, Ohio and the Iowa prairie, settling back into the 8 to 5 routine (Dolly Parton was off by an hour) was challenging. And I love my job! Can’t imagine how depressed I would have felt if I didn’t. Fortunately, I’ve had a three-day online Rural Broadband Association Marketing & Sales Conference to distract me.
You know you’re jealous.
The conference was originally scheduled to be held in sunny Fort Lauderdale. Every single reference to Fort Lauderdale by the conference organizers, by the way, is preceded by the adjective “sunny.” Having never been to Florida I can’t attest to the accuracy of that descriptor, but it is the Sunshine State, right?
(I just pulled up the current weather conditions in Fort Lauderdale. Sunny, my ass! It’s partly cloudy right now, which means, THEY LIED.)
Instead of Florida, I’m holed up in my office in Rapid City, South Dakota, watching an endless parade of Zoom video presentations at my desk. Would I prefer to have soft sand between my toes and a tropical drink in my hand? Well, duh. But then I remind myself, if I were in partly cloudy Fort Lauderdale, I’d be stuck inside a stuffy hotel ballroom for hours on end. Knowing the beach was a few dozen yards away rather than 2,143 miles would be far more painful. And it’s not like I’d be sipping a Pina Colada while listening to a speaker drone on about “Real Estate and Broadband a Match Made in Flyover Territory” (an actual topic today). Don’t worry, it wasn’t as dry as it sounds.
It was drier.
Plus, while I love a good vacation getaway, business trips are another story. They’re too structured and I’ve never been the networking type. You know how introverts secretly embraced the COVID silver lining of not having to deal with people face-to-face so often?
I get that.
I mean, Florida seems like a fine enough destination if you’re there for pleasure, but you’re going to be so busy working and mingling, you might as well hold a business trip in Fargo as far as I’m concerned.
Making matters worse this afternoon? The darkening skies and thunder & lightning. It’s hard to focus on the economic stimulators for rural development in Wisconsin when Mother Nature is putting on a show outside your window. God, I love spring storm season.
Although, I have to admit, I started to get a little worried about hail. The Black Hills are notorious for damaging hail storms. A few weeks after we moved out here, my Mazda got pummeled by hail. But the hailstones that caused so much damage to my car that day were downright cute compared to the ones that fell last summer. South Dakota hail ain’t no joke, folks.
Hoping to prevent damage to my Kona, I invested in a heavy-duty car cover before we left on our road trip. I’d intended to bring it along just in case, but realized an hour east of home that I’d forgotten it. Then, I’d planned on putting it in my trunk when we got back, because you never can be sure exactly when it’s going to hail around here. Only, ahem, it was still sitting in the basement this afternoon, as that very ominous-looking storm was approaching. Luckily, it never did hail. THIS TIME.
The cover is finally in my car now.
And with showers/thunderstorms in the forecast the next seven days, that’s probably a good thing.