View from the Barnyard

Recliner Marathons — Retirement — Cultural Escape (Literally)

This weekend promised to be quite like others that had passed leaving us all yearning for spring weather. It has been decided at Van Dykes that mother nature must be menopausal. If we have to run our furnaces ‘til June again, I might scream.
Saturday found Georgia, Gay and I settled in for six hours of binge watching of the third season of the HBO series, “Game of Thrones.” The new season starts this week, so we’re committed to six hours of solid blood-shed, nudity, sex and back-stabbing. Georgia doesn’t taste her wine ‘til they break out the first ale (well sometimes, maybe).
Congratulations to Dick Authier for being inducted into the South Dakota Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday. I hated to miss the occasion, but was glad that other Woony people I knew attended. Hope someone got a good picture of your moment in history.
Saturday night found me at Twin Lakes for my cousin (and mailman), Craig Olson’s retirement party. The weatherman graced us with a sunny day and Claude even attended without threats on my part or the use of a cattle prod. (I think he’s kinda like Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog, sticking his head out to socialize for spring.) I hope Craig doesn’t hold it against me that I never put chocolate chip cookies in the mailbox for him. Instead he got a daily dose of an irate Blue Heeler. (Craig has an excellent tale of being bitten during sweet corn season by Claude’s dog).
We all have mixed emotions of Craig’s departure from Woony. We selfishly want him to stay in the fold but know he feels he has to start a whole new life without Jill by his side. Their house is filled with too many memories to dwell in alone. He will now head to the Sioux Falls area and will be employed at a golf course. I informed him that was fun and not a job. He can golf to his heart’s content for free. Sounds like buddy, Kenny Bennett, will still have to pay. That sucks to be you, “Bunger.” (He-he.)
Craig had a bit of brotherly payback that night when his co-worker mistook Doug (five years younger, I may add) as Craig’s son! I had the pleasure of sharing a table with Julie Scott from Artesian. I quickly stated to her surprise that she “looked Catholic to me.” (Gay told her I have no filter on my mouth.) Julie is shaping up her life with a move to Mitchell and hopefully, will stay out past 10 p.m. I told her she couldn’t hang out with me then, that was way too late.
We discussed how hard it is for shy people, whether single, divorced or having lost their life-long spouse, to enter a party with a room full of people or a bar by yourself. Sometimes I’m glad that I’ve always been a brazen hussy and do not have fears of being solo. I am quite comfortable striking up conversations with strangers. I’m a born “visitor” and I want to hear their life story. True to form, I departed by 8:30 p.m., but LaMae Peterson surmised that at parties there are people who are “starters and enders.” I’m a starter and Soop is an ender. I bet I felt better on Sunday.
Sunday, Esther and I attended Les Miserables, the play DWU put on. I arrived a half hour early because I’m a stickler for punctuality and wanted to get a good seat. Esther is a run-in-at-the-last-minute type of woman. She was beyond fashionably late with five minutes to go. (I couldn’t chafe, she was held up by a renter.) We seated ourselves in the last two chairs behind the Red Hat Society.
I love musicals, but I quickly discovered this one was just not my cup of tea. The cast was talented, but I thought to myself, “Am I that hard of hearing, ‘cuz I can’t understand 75 percent of what they are singing?” I reluctantly admitted it to Esther and was relieved to hear that she couldn’t either. The solos were ok, but groups sang so fast it was hard to catch. An hour into the play, I whispered to Esther about bailing. She acknowledged she wouldn’t be against the plan, so for once, being tardy was a good thing. We skulked out the back like thieves in the night.
We grabbed a bit of sunshine with friends at Thirsty’s. I rewarded Myron Grosz with a kiss on the cheek for once again buying our beer. Patti wondered what I would do for a mixed drink (definitely a kiss on the lips). Esther surmised that if he had gifted me a bottle of wine, I no doubt would go “all the way.”
Dee Baby

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