Thursday, April 4, 2013

Vacation - Day Six, Seven, and Eight - South Dakota

Let's see if I can provide a quick summary of the intervening days.  Tuesday was a very long travel day.  My alarm clock went off at 4:00 AM, I splashed through the shower, then called a cab for the ride to the airport. A smooth pass through TSA, a bit of a wait in the departure lounge, then a Delta flight to Salt Lake City.  A quick turn around in Salt Lake City - a scant thirty minutes to change from one plane to another.  Fortunately, it was only from the D terminal to the E terminal, so I made it. I was the last one on the plane and shortly after I boarded, the door closed and off we went.  All in all it was a smooth pair of flights though and I landed on schedule.

Once in Rapid City, I headed over to Walmart to pick up a pair of shoes and a pair of socks, then drove on over to Regional Hospital to pick Tom up. There was bit of a wait at the hospital while they cleared him. Then, we began the long days dance trying to get his medications approved (he is indigent) and issued.  We ultimately gave it up and were told to come back tomorrow. I did not feel like spending the money for hotel rooms, so we drove across the country to the ranch, got in, visited with mom and Bill, then created a nest to go to sleep.

We were up in the morning and returned to Rapid City.  We worked the phone and were able to make sure that one access point was temporarily closed, so we took another route.  After a few more hours of waiting and a bit of dance, he was able to get seven days worth of medication and he was directed to go to IHS on his home agency (which he has needed to do all along, but he has resisted - oh, the struggles our ego puts us through).  From there, another drive across the country and we arrived at the ranch at almost the exact same time we arrived before.  Two days gone in a very long blinking of the eye.

So, last night, I managed to get a solid night sleep.  I woke this morning and was in the bathroom washing up and I heard Bill on the phone.  However, by the time I got out, he was gone - he'd had a doctors appointment that he thought was this afternoon, but it turned out that it was during the morning, so he dashed off to see the doctor.  Then, after the appointment was over, he has stopped for gas and ran into an old friend, one of the other local ranchers, and they ended up spending two hours visiting and drinking coffee.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I spent most of the day cleaning up what I will call Spare Bedroom Number One.  It took a while, I ended up throwing away two bags of incidental junk, then folding a lot of sheets and spreads and putting them away in the proper drawers.  Once all the straightening and folding was done, most all the stuff fit into the appointed places.

We then made a quick run into Mission to pick up some groceries, so it was a pleasant drive across the country side and we saw the tribes buffalo herd grazing off in the distance. It is a dry spring here, which is not a good portent for the summer to come. It is shaping up to look like a drought.  The grass is dry, pale green, and short.

I got back to the ranch and cooked up dinner for the folks - breaded home-style pork chops, fresh cut green beans and scalloped potatoes.  It was a tasty treat for dinner and was well received.  I am just now settling into the ranch and because of the two full days of travel at the beginning of the trip, I am actually pretty tired.  This is sort of a working vacation, as I intend to spend several hours each day (maybe more) cleaning and straightening   We will see how it goes.

As the evening settled in, I was sitting out on the porch with my mom, and we watched a flock of wild turkeys settle into the trees below the house, roosting for the night. It was a cool sight and not something that I see all the time in California, that's for sure. A little later, I was out in the front yard and I could hear coyotes howling in the distance.  It was also very cool.

So, at the end of the day I am waiting to watch an episode of Archer, then I am going to curl up and read myself to sleep.  It is nice being ninety percent off the grid, though it is not without a melancholy moment or two.  This is the first trip I have taken home in a long time where I did not close each night out with a conversation with T.R.  That has a melancholy feel to it.

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