View from the Barnyard

There Was an Old Woman Who Fell Off Her Shoes

I am on a mission to save money. My end goal in sight is to save for a 60th birthday trip in October to Napa Valley, San Francisco, Redwood Forest and Alcatraz. Hello, melon fields. Can you hear me? I am proud to tell you I’ve only been to Mitchell once in a month and a half, which also helps out our local grocery store, Woony Foods. I love, love having a store again in town. Especially for running back to town three times when I forget ingredients for a recipe.
Yet, with my fondness for travel, I have had to maintain some degree in order to maintain my sanity. Last year we started a new tradition of a group of friends to meet the Saturday closest to Valentine’s Day and reconnect with each other’s lives, with laughter and gossip. First requirement is to wear red and allow time for a three-hour lunch.
I was in charge of entertainment this year and Georgia and I had a fire red lipstick contest. My daughter begged me to take it off, which I ignored. Georgia decided she has thin turned-down lips and said she looked like a stroke victim. I have the full lips and looked like a plunger. Teresa Fonder at Van Dykes said I looked just like the joker from “Batman” ‘cuz my face is too white.
Next, I had a list of 10 questions all connected to romance: #1. Would couple’s therapy have helped Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara? #2. Most romantic movie — my all-time vote was “Moonstruck” with Cher and Nicolas Cage. Cher has been engaged to his older boring brother for eight years. She boinks Nicolas, the younger brother (who by the way only has one hand). His best line is when he tries to convince her he’s her man, “Loretta, love isn’t about playing it safe, love is here to torture you and it’s about breaking your heart and loving the wrong people at the wrong time.”
This weekend Georgia, Susie (alias Magda) and I traveled to Brookings with an end stop at Watertown. Our goal was to meet up with Georgia’s daughter, Tracy, and finally be introduced to her beau named Paul. There is no better trip than one that has no agenda or time schedule. We met up with my son, Cole, and had brunch with him and learned how to pronounce a word that has always bugged me when I’m reading, “Ennui.” Even he had to Google and it’s French, like N-WEE. I always try to keep a dictionary by my side when reading.
The rest of the day we strolled through antique and second hand shops in downtown Brookings and Watertown. I am currently obsessed with old sheep pictures, a throwback from childhood, evidently. I did buy one at a rummage sale in Mitchell at the scariest looking garage (I almost didn’t stop). I discovered a print for $2 on the ground by a French artist. Tracy Googled and it was selling for $125. I can’t part with it.
No shopping is complete without a stop for adult beverages and we stopped at Goss Gallery and Opera House. We fell in love with the old brick walls, tin ceilings and huge, cozy chairs we nestled into. It was right after I offered to drive that I stood up and fell off my shoe (high clog) and hit the floor unceremoniously, awkwardly righted myself and promptly fell over a second time. Georgia said, “And you think you should drive!” Thankfully, there was only one other customer in our room and he had his earplugs in and missed the whole she-bang.
We stayed at the Ramada, which has a Minerva’s restaurant attached. Good choice! We settled in by the fireplace for some girl talk. We promptly ran off four other people with our reminiscing. One younger man kept going past and cheered each time at us. (Maybe it was my bright orange vest and he mistook me for a hunter.) We ate a late supper at the ungodly hour of 8 p.m. By then I could barely hobble and I’m sure we were special. Every time I woke up thinking of the time change, I thought, “If I’ve broken a bone in this foot, I will be in deep —- at work.” The only glitch was trying to figure out our handicap shower in the morning.
We truly were on our best behavior for lunch with Tracy and Paul. We didn’t want to scare him right at the start with our dysfunctional personalities. I found common ground quickly because he’s a cattleman and runs an auction house and loves antiques. I am well versed in red Angus and black Angus and told him, “My Claude is gonna love you for cattle talk.” We voted and gave Paul the thumbs up and headed home. I had to laugh because you know you’re in South Dakota when you stop at a gas station and they have the fish report posted by the bathroom wall as to what fish are biting at what lake. Never seen that done before.
Older & No Wiser,
Dee Baby
Editor’s note: Really, Dee?! Butcher paper?!?

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