On our recent vacation to South Dakota, I discovered that I’m not as nice a person as I believed.
What happened on your trip that made you see that about yourself, Lori?
I have a few stories, so I’ll tell them in separate posts. I’ll start with a hike and then someone’s house I accidentally walked into.
Well, I’m still not clear if it was someone’s home or a store. It might’ve been both, so bear with me.
Have you ever heard of the town of Mayberry? If you’re anywhere in the vicinity of my age, or watch TVLand, you know what show I’m referring to. The rustic cabin where we stayed in South Dakota was in a small town much like Mayberry. We met locals similar to Andy, Aunt Bee and Opie.
Their main street not only had the town’s grade school and high school, but it was lined with quaint shops offering everything from clothing, to jewelry, artwork to wineries, restaurants to breweries.
The local merchants welcomed not only my husband and I into their establishments, but our dog Max, too. In fact, one of us would stand outside the door with Max, and as soon as they’d see the dog, they’d invite him inside. One lady even gave Max a free toy to take home, but not before using it to play with him for ten minutes.
At their cash registers, merchants never tired of asking tourists where they were from, showing genuine interest in what was shared. They also enjoyed telling stories about the Black Hills. One elderly gentleman told us about the old west, and how he knew someone at the poker table with Wild Bill Hickok when he was shot.
At first I thought that I could live in such a friendly, kind place, until I realized they probably wouldn’t want me there. I’m not nice enough.
My first sign was when the tourist I met in Custer State Park got on my nerves.
I found another clue they wouldn’t want me, when we hiked a trail outside of our rustic cabin. The owner told us the path led right to Main Street and was only a ten-minute walk. When we followed the trail into town, it actually took us forty-five minutes, for no particular reason other than we were misinformed.
Being an overly honest person, I wouldn’t be welcome in there town, because I might’ve warned the owner to be more clear for future customers about the trail. Some of us are out of shape.
You might think, if you’re out of shape, then maybe you were slow. Not really. We usually go at a decent pace to keep up with Max.
The good news is, the trek led us through a quaint neighborhood and offered scenic views.
Due to Montana wildfires, we came across patchy areas of haze.
However, thinking it would be a short walk, we didn’t bring water on that warm day. When we emerged onto the main street, all three of us were hot and thirsty.
The only place nearby was what looked like an old house converted into a store. The sign said, Smoothies and Coffee, Antiques for Sale.
I went in to order, while my husband waited on the front porch with the dog.
Inside, the wood floors creaked beneath my feet. A ticking clock came from somewhere I couldn’t see. Tables with knick-knacks sat near the front window. Several curios, both large and small, lined the walls. Were those items the antiques? Where could I find the smoothie bar, or better yet, an employee?
I made my way around a corner to see what appeared to be a kitchen counter, but there was no kitchen or any person to be found.
In front of me was a hall with a sofa on one side and shelves with more trinkets on the other side. Did I enter a wrong door? Have I invaded someone’s home?
I stood there stunned for a moment, when a tall, elderly gentleman emerged from a doorway down that hall. He held a trash can as if he were looking to empty it. He caught a glimpse of me and stopped cold. Both of us looked at each other like deers in headlights.
Since this post is already much longer than my usual, the second part of this story is told, here.
P.S. I don’t have a photo of the place I entered, but it’s behind these two buildings and down about three blocks (below).