Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest Website Email Bookbub

How can it possibly be September?

I used to love this month. The weather was crazy and changeable, school started and I got to shop for “school clothes,” which always included new shoes because I’d been running barefoot all summer long.

I just heard the new back-to-school purchase is upgrades in technology and cute PJs. Life is so strange right now.

In my second week of teaching we’re still dealing with sketching WIFI and blotched Zoom meeting, but the girls and I both enjoy the art projects, reading books and dancing to my upgraded wireless speaker. 😉 I’ll spare you that video, but here’s one that might make you smile. It’s a re-telling of the Humpty-Dumpty story.


From the lush green of the Sandhills of northern Nebraska, we drove straight to Lake Poinsett where Paul’s brother, Tom, and sister-in-law, Lynn, live during the summer (we call them snowbirds for a reason—they migrate to warmer climes every winter).

Lake Poinsett State Park is lovely. I highly recommend the campgrounds. Walking trails are frequently mowed. The showers are pristine. Flowers abound. Sitting on the sand at dawn beside the still water was soul-quenching. I only wish we’d been able to stay longer.

During our stay we were treated with typical South Dakota hospitality: great meals, courtesy of Paul’s brother, Don, and a tour around the lake on Tom’s “yacht.”

The fishing was not happening—even the most experienced fishermen were getting “skunked” so we passed on the Out-of-State licenses and chased a skunk of our own that came for a visit one evening. He politely left without spraying anyone. Whew! And one afternoon, Colleen and I carved out time to do a jigsaw puzzle while the guys were talking boat motors, etc.

We were sad to leave but there was still so much to see. And our first stop was at Chamberlain to see a sculpture I’d read about. It’s called Dignity and it stands above the Missouri River where Lewis and Clark stopped. 

If you’ve never visited the Badlands of South Dakota, you must add this to your bucket list. Even though Paul and I grew up in South Dakota, we’d never ventured into the National Park. The formations are mesmerizing and change dramatically by the quality of the light and the time of day. The local residents: bison, big horn sheep, and prairie dogs were plentiful. I only wish my photos did justice to this amazing national park.

The Black Hills requires a week to go “full-on-tourist.” We buzzed through in a day and regretted not being able to stay longer. But we saw the “faces”—Rushmore and Crazy Horse. We drove through Custer State Park, strolled through the rustic streets of Deadwood, and avoided Sturgis altogether since the mammoth bike rally was just getting over. 

One thing we know for sure, we’ll be back…

And our trip continues next week. Thanks for your lovely words of support. I’m so glad you’re enjoying this look back at a very special part of the country.


PS: My release date for ALL THE STARS IN MONTANA is approaching fast.

You’ll be the first to get your copy if you PRE-ORDER.



Copyright © 2020 Debra Salonen