On the Upswing

I hate to say this because it seems to backfire on me every time I do but I think winter in South Dakota is over. Now if we get three feet of snow later this week I will only have myself to blame. But the weather has been nice the past few days and yesterday it was pretty close to perfect.

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I have said this often. I hate winter in South Dakota but spring, whenever it arrives, is almost worth all of it. I like summer as well but the humidity can be a bit much making things like sitting outside and enjoying the weather less appealing. But the nice weather also means an upswing in my mood. I’ve never been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder
but that frankly is probably just a formality at this point. You can schedule me for some depression every September to some degree or another. The worst year was probably 2014 when I spent the last official day of summer sitting in my cousin Shiloh’s back yard in tears before going to bed at 5:30 PM.


Last year it hit a few days early; it arrived on my friend’s 40th birthday which is August 28. It wasn’t quite 2014 bad but it was pretty close. I ended up missing his 40th birthday party the next day because I simply could not muster the energy or enthusiasm to ride down to Sioux Falls and partake. I was an emotional wreck for days. But that is when things actually started to turn around. It was just a few days later when I was sitting and reflecting on recent events that I decided that it was time to do something about it. I decided that rather than sit around and lament the fact that certain things weren’t going the way I had always hoped they would go I was going to make a meaningful effort to change that fact. That decision started a chain of events that would eventually lead to my decision earlier this year to tear down my old website and start from the beginning. I’ve already talked about that decision elsewhere and will talk about some of the other things that happened in future posts.


But I bring that up because for as nightmarish as the switch from summer to fall (less so fall to winter0 can be, a return to nicer weather does, if you pardon the expression, put an extra spring in my step. Spring means the arrival of baseball which is my favorite sport. I also tend to read more in the warmer weather months, although for some reason I also read a lot more in February than I do in surrounding months. One of these days, I should really write a post about all the things I have learned about my reading habits from the spreadsheet I use to keep track of what I read and the books I purchase.


Speaking of reading, I just finished listening to my first audiobook of the month of May. Considering that I went from the middle of February to the middle of April without completing a single book, the fact I have listened to five since then makes me happy. This one was called ‘Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch’ by William Knoedelseder. I’m not really much of a beer drinker and when I do I prefer Blue Moon to Budweiser every time but I love reading books about companies and their histories.
So I really enjoyed listening to this one as the Busch family has lead some interesting lives. I think the part I found most enlughtening was the years when the company had to try and survive during Prohibition. Next up on my plan to listen list is a biography of the recently passed away baseball player, Tom Seaver. Whether I start that book later tonight or wait a bit is yet to be decided. But I always feel good when I can pick out my next listen before I have finished my current one.


As I mentioned in my last post, I just got a new computer and because it is a Laptop, I needed to buy an External DVD Drive. I did that last weekend and it arrived on Saturday. I had some Target gift cards sitting in my account so I purchased ‘The Cosby Show: the Complete Series’ which will arrive later this week. I also picked up the first season of United States of Al on iTunes because it went on sale this last Friday for $9.99. I am a big fan of series star Adhir Kalyan from his role as Timmy on ‘Rules of Engagement’ which is a show that I found to be under appreciated. I also added ‘The Middle’ to my digital collection recently and have been watching episodes from the 1967 version of ‘Dragnet’ which is a show I enjoy both on TV and Radio.


I was in such good spirits this morning that I decided to splurge on something on Amazon. I bought a 5 lb bag of Haribo Happy Cola gummi candy. I have enjoyed Haribo gummis since I was in High School and spent about a billion dollars on candy (rough estimate) in German class. I haven’t had the cola bottles in years, probably 6 or 7. I used to be able to get them at our local KMart but that closed in 2016. I didn’t need a 5 LB bag but I figure they will last a good while and when they’re gone I might not want any for another few years. I can also share them but we’ll see if that happens.


The bike riding hasn’t gone so great recently. I had a spot of ill health in April and that got me out of the habit. I haven’t gotten the routine all the way back yet, either. But the nicer weather has meant more walking. Also, my friend and I ate our dinner in the park last night for the first time in 2021. It just felt so good to actually enjoy the weather and also for me to listen to other people enjoy the weather. I like having my window open and listening to kids playing outside and I love to listen to the birds chirping. Not something you hear in a South Dakota winter.


I started writing this post because I was feeling a bit bored. I had just finished my book and didn’t really feel like watching TV. So I decided to write. I don’t know that I had anything worth writing about but if you’ve gotten this far it couldn’t have been all bad. Until next time, stay well, everyone.

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