“After 5 years we still love it!”

“After 5 years we still love it!”

On March 20th my wife and I celebrated our 5th anniversary of our move to South Dakota.  As I look back I can easily say that this was more than likely one of the best decisions we ever made.

During my career in the Navy I (and later we) moved 9 different times.  That’s nine different towns, schools, churches etc.  Never in all those moves did I feel as welcome as I felt moving into this rural South Dakota community.

I have learned a great deal from these folks about how life works in middle America.  The way folks around here look at life and life’s responsibilities is something that should be taught in all the schools in this land.

My neighbors (most of them) are descendants from the folks who homesteaded this land 125 years ago or so.  To say they are from strong stock is an understatement.  The parents, grandparents and great grand parents of the folks I know here must have been some amazing people.  They tamed the prairie.  No small feat.  When I learned that the original farmers had to use a pick more than a shovel to break up and turn the soil, I was impressed.  I was even more impressed when my wife asked me to till her garden.  I would not attempt it without power tools.  Those folks did it by hand, and if they didn’t they would not survive.

These true individualists passed down the basic principals of good honest living to their children.  They were taught what hard work was and what the rewards were.  Almost before they could walk these children found out that helping out a neighbor in need was not only nice, it was what was right and it was what was done.  They were shown by example that their good name is everything in the business community and in social affairs.  They learned at the dinner table that personal responsibility is primary to personal integrity.

I am incredibly thankful that I can now live among the finest people in the world.  I will never be able to return to this community what I have learned and continue to learn from it.  I will try, but like the guy drying the dishes, I will never get ahead.

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Published in: on April 14, 2009 at 8:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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