We spent our first three months in Sioux Falls getting settled in our twin home and often feeding our kids and grandkids whose kitchen was being remodeled.
We’ve completed those tasks now, and I look out the window of our study and see a wide swath of kelly green grass and rows of trees starting to change color. I see no one; I hear nothing…but the fan of our furnace that I keep on just to have some noise.
Life is different.
I could be morose about my loss of city life, or I can choose to be happy with the new opportunities; I choose happy.
As soon as we decided last January to move, I checked out classes I could attend; I’m addicted to classes, a good kind of addiction. So I’m signed up for OLLI—Osher Life Learning Institute—classes.
I recently attended Around the World in Four Hours classes covering Brexit, the Turkish coup, Karimon’s death, the Syrian civil war, the effect of demographics on the future of our planet, and the teacher’s election predictions.
I ate it up. The classes were held at the newish huge University Center on the north side of town, an eighteen-minute drive from our south side home. Some complain they don’t want to drive “way out there.” They have not lived in Chicago.
I’m also taking seven sessions on Jane Smiley’s Trilogy about an Iowan family over a hundred-year span; I’m beginning to understand my husband’s upbringing on a Minnesotan farm. After fifty-four years, it’s time. This class is held five minutes away at the AARP building.
Next week I begin four visits to downtown churches to learn about their architecture and beliefs. My drive to each is less than twenty minutes.
South Dakota also just had our annual Festival of Books. My longtime friend, Marianna Crane, flew in to see our new habitat and to attend the Festival. We heard Jane Smiley, and now I understand her Trilogy better. She said she “was interested in characters growing up and changing,” knowing “kids go out into the world in separate ways.” Her hundred-year coverage in great detail achieves that.
From Robert Olen Butler, we learned he was involved with the local Viet Namese when he was in the war, and that he learned “about humanity there.” He read from his latest book, Perfume River; his care and concern for veterans of that war were palpable. Some phrases I had to write down: “eyes the cerulean blue of a Monet sky,” “hair shrapnel gray,” “conversational gear not used in a while.”
We heard other authors too, attended the fall parade at my grandkids’ school, visited touristy sites still new to me, and talked about, and solved, our challenges with aging.Stay tuned for what my husband has found to do. It’s about apples and it’s worth your wait!