I was in my supervisor’s office yesterday, spouting off circus analogies. As one does.
“I’m juggling an awful lot these days!” I said. “I’ve got too many balls and not enough hands.” Only later did I realize a comment like that could have earned me a visit with HR.
Work is super busy right now. I’m a pretty even-keeled guy, but I’ve been feeling the pressure of competing projects and tight deadlines. A looming vacation doesn’t help (though it’s sorely needed and very welcome).
At that point, she said, “I’d be happy to take something off your plate, but I wouldn’t do this brochure justice the way you will. You have a true gift, Mark.”
Maybe she was just buttering me up so I wouldn’t run screaming out of the building in frustration, but that was a very nice thing to say and great for the ego. One of the best professional compliments I’ve ever received. And it gave me the motivation to dive into the project with renewed vigor.
She really earned that manager badge yesterday.
Fortunately, it hasn’t been all work and no play. We’ve had houseguests since last Thursday. When a friend told me to enjoy my visit with the in-laws, I said, “No in-laws this visit. It’s Tara’s sister and her fiancé.”
“A sister-in-law is an in-law,” she astutely pointed out. Duh. I’ve always thought of in-laws as parental figures, but of course, she’s right!
I took Friday off to hang out with the in-laws. We did a slew of touristy things, including Mount Rushmore, Needles Highway, and the Cathedral Spires. While a tad warm, the weather was otherwise ideal.
We had the most fun feeding the infamous begging burros in Custer State Park.
Fun was had even when we were just hanging out at home.
Sisters. You can’t take ’em anywhere!
Our guests have been very impressed with South Dakota in general, and Rapid City in particular. Even after getting rained on during dinner at the Firehouse.
The weekend was fairly low-key. It actually turned downright chilly (but has since rebounded into the 90s), so Saturday we introduced them to our favorite pastime: cards, records, and cocktails in the basement. Sunday afternoon, the three of them headed to Pierre. They’d booked a guided fishing trip on the Missouri River Monday morning; I had to work (see above: busy AF), so I stayed behind. Well, plus, I’m not really into fishing the way they are. But I’m into eating fish—especially walleye, hands-down (or fins-down, I suppose) the best-tasting freshwater fish. I was hoping they’d return home with a cooler full of ’em and was not disappointed. Tuesday night, we fried up a batch and had some amazing fish tacos.
This is the circle of life right here:
All in all, it’s been a great visit. Turns out Maggie and Israel are pretty fun to hang out with. We don’t see them very often since they live in Las Vegas, but we’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of this trip.
Tomorrow night, they’re headed home and we begin our road trip to Wisconsin. We’ve got reservations in Chamberlain, three hours east, and then an eight-hour drive to Madison on Friday. We should arrive just in time for a good old-fashioned Wisconsin Friday night fish fry! And a good old-fashioned. They’re the cocktail of choice in the Badger State.
My kind of people, those Sconies.
No blogging from the road this time. I’d rather enjoy my vacation without the pressure of writing every day.
Have a bang-up 4th, y’all!