On Monday it was 80 degrees in Pine Ridge. It was a beautiful day, and many people took advantage of the nice weather to spend some time outside. I did yard work around the house after I got home. It was warm enough that I took my shirt off and enjoyed the sun.

But I have learned to be prepared for anything here in South Dakota.

On Tuesday I ran some errands for the center. I picked up food for the Kid’s Time program, some building supplies for a couple of repairs. But has I headed north I was driving into a strong wind all the way north. It was strong enough that the weather service issued a Wind Advisory for the area.

Upon reaching Rapid City the wind brought in some colder air and moisture. Coming out of Sam’s Club my truck was coated with a layer of snow. Enough snow I had to clear my mirrors for the trip home. At least I had a tailwind to help with the gas mileage!

The forecast had called for Snow on Tuesday night. You know little to no accumulation. I need to become a weather forecaster. They are wrong so often I have to imagine that the stress level is a lot lower than what I deal with. The whole trip home I was in the snow. Snow that blew sideways. Wet sticky snow.

It was a perfect night for a fire. The dogs and I enjoyed the warmth of the house and fire. I believe all of us napped. But the little to no accumulation was definitely wrong. It was enough that the tribe ended up giving their employees the day off on Wednesday.

Keep in mind that Pine Ridge is in the badlands. There are wide open fields all around the area. The wind advisory stayed active through most of Wednesday. The snow that came blew everywhere, making the roads dangerous.

My funeral this week moved from Tuesday to today. This is what led to my running on Tuesday.

My funeral today was a tough one for me. I actually knew this person. He was one of the people that hung around the center. He was a great guy when sober. We had a lot of good conversations. He had my back several times. When he was drinking, he was a different person. I once watched him take on a car. But it was hard for me knowing the person as I did. As I said in an earlier post funerals have become hard for me. This was no different. He was my age.

The weather did not help. It never got above freezing today. The wind was howling. I trudged through inches of wind whipped snow has I headed to the grave site. The family and friends took the wind and cold in stride to honor the friend they lost. I looked out over the farm fields that carried off into the distance. Fields that were lost to the blowing snow.

Tonight, is another fire night. The dogs and I once again enjoyed the warmth and the shelter from the wind. We also miss Jackie, who continues her journey in Illinois. (Ask her about the ditch.) We know we are fortunate. The shelter was busy today, and I am sure it is full tonight. I am grateful we took on this responsibility. We are making a difference.

It was a hard day. A good day. I am not looking for sympathy, I chose this life. But sometimes it gets to me. I miss my friend that I buried today. The world is a little less bright.

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