Annette Tait & Katy "Kate" Kassian
Losing a pet can be very hard. Most of us are as attached to our pets as we are to our kids; sometimes it may even seem like more. Missy the Wonderdog was our rescue pup. She was born while a rescue rig was traveling down the highway, taking her mama from a puppy mill that had gotten out of control to the safety of a no-kill shelter.
It chills us to the bone every time we hear it. And the numbers aren't getting any better. Rural ambulance services and fire departments are in trouble. If you live rural and this doesn't scare you, it should. Rural emergency services often travel greater distances than their city counterparts to get where they need to go, sometimes on roads that aren't paved. Or there may not even be roads — a recent call to our local ambulance service required traveling across fields and then trekking down into a coulee to reach the patient.
"Congratulations! Today is your day. You're off to Great Places! You're off and away!" With these words from Dr. Seuss' "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" and the familiar chords of "Pomp and Circumstance," we spent this past weekend sending kids off on their journeys into adulthood. It's an exciting time for our high schoolers and college kids. It's their turn to venture out into the great big world to follow their hopes and dreams — to see how they fit and if there's anything else out there they want to try on for size.
Sometimes the silliest little things are real eye-openers. Stuff we'd normally take for granted that --- for whatever reason — spurs a thought or a memory or offers a totally unexpected little nugget of new information. Or, in this case, reminded us of how lucky we really are.
Like many, we used to breeze right by the turnoff at Mule Creek Junction — the one that leads to Edgemont, S.D. That changed one year during a trip to Sturgis, when we stopped in the café in Lusk and saw a flyer for a "bikers and bulls rodeo."
According to Webster's Dictionary, "community" is defined as people with common interests — an interacting population of various individuals in a single location. A community can be your town, your street, your church, school, coffee klatch, business, rodeo family or pretty much any group at all. Community = people. But what does that really mean? Think about how community — or lack of community — affects us.
We're feeling the Valentine's Day love with a slightly different twist — after all, what else would you expect from us? Most of the time we write about how to make rural life better. We don't want to see our small towns and rural areas fade any farther. We want to see rural people and rural places thrive. That's because we love living rural. And here are a few of the reasons why. Sunrises, sunsets and stars
So what exactly is a "prairie palace"? It's a simple grain bin or silo, one of those humble round entities that dot rural landscapes (and occasionally are even found near cities). Grain bins come in all sorts of sizes and shapes — in fact, old granaries are sometimes oblong or octagonal. Our personal favorites are the tall cement ones with chrome domes. A favorite of Katy's is "Betty's place" (name withheld on request), which immediately brings four things to mind: • I want to stay there! • Wow! The income potential! • What else could I do with it?
* With sincere apologies to Charles Dickens Two cities, similar sizes, five miles apart on a state highway, midway between two major cities. Both have main streets, food, retail, schools, services, libraries, etc. What sets them apart is how they use their assets.
OK, so where'd it go? What the heck happened to 2018? We could've sworn it was just a few days ago we were griping about how Christmas decorations were on display before Halloween. Now it's already time to come up with New Year's resolutions? That long-standing tradition has merits, but it also has thorns. We've run into a few of those thorns ourselves. We've covered all the usual bases—eat right, get fit, get organized, you get the drift. And then we've run into life.