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1. Some birthdays feel like milestones, others don’t.

My 25th birthday was in June. Although 25 is a nice round number and a quarter of a century, this birthday number wasn’t a big deal to me. Several of my high school friends commented that this particular birthday made them feel older. However, it had no great effect on me. For me, the “big birthdays” were 17 and 22. I remember feeling distinctly different on those years. The next birthday that sounds impossibly far away to me is 28. Am I the only one who picks random years to feel this way about? What years did you feel especially different on after the birthday came and went?

After I turn 28, I may pull a classic southern-woman card and stop sharing my age. Ha!

2. Onions and Failure

Every year I learn something spiritual from my garden. The dirt and the soul are intertwined. The poet, Wendell Berry, writes about this. This year, I am reminded that we rarely get things right the first time. This is my second year with a garden and my second failure at planting onions. Last year, I purchased the little bulbs and planted them upside down. I didn’t know that onions had a right or wrong way to be planted in the ground?! Whoops.

This year, I purchased onion sets, recalling my previous mistake. However, I must have done something wrong again, because I’ve got about 20% of a crop. Thank God for the grocery store, or our winter meals would be impossibly bland without onions to season the meat. We’re going to wind up with about a 2-week supply of onions from this garden.

Next year. Try again, next year.

3. Gardens and Grace

Last year I planted something like 10-12 tomato plants and I spent a ga-zillion hours canning tomatoes. I still have several dozen jars leftover. This year, I gave myself the grace-filled gift of only two tomato plants. Since we’ve got a new baby, I knew I wouldn’t be up for the task of canning. I can barely get the gardened watered. So we have an eating only garden this year. I’m very much enjoying it!

4. Hours, Hours, Hours

South Dakota is the land of odd hours. What I mean is, every business seems to have the strangest hours. It’s probably a lack-of-human resources and capital resources issue. There are less people and less dollars here, so that comes with consequences. Here’s what I mean…

Due to population and/or volume, the post offices in both small towns near my house are only open 30-hours per week.

(A political note on Obamacare: this 30-hour rule did not come into effect until Obamacare made it a regulation that any positions over 30-hours per week must have health care. Even the government couldn’t afford that ridicoulous standard, so to get around the rule, they USPS cut the hours back to something like 29.5 per week. So, we now have postal workers who make less total dollars each month and still have no insurance. Gah!)

Back to the hours thing…it is something like this:

  • 7:30 – 11 AM, 12:30 – 2 PM M-F, 8-9 AM Saturday (Or, is it 9-10?)

The local pools also have unique hours:

  • 1-4:45 and 7-8:45, M-F
  • something different on the weekend

The mid-afternoon break at the pool is for swim lessons. Where I grew up, swim lessons were in the morning or lunch time and the pool was open from 1-6. Since South Dakota is basically the north pole, it never gets dark in the summer and the pool can be open later. Seriously, people don’t go inside here in the summer until like 10 PM, when the sun is thinking about finally setting. It starts getting light again around 4:45 AM.

Even our church has a complex hours schedule:

  • We share a pastor with the town church so 4 (or is it 6?) times year we flip flop times. Sometimes we have church at 9 AM and other times it’s at 10:30 AM.

Hopefully, it doesn’t sound like I’m complaining about these hours. I’m just saying: for a person who struggles to recall the day of the week most of the time…these schedules are impossible!

What I learned this month is that I’m just going to have to make a list and keep it in my car or on my phone, because if I show up at the post office or the library or the pool at the wrong time even one more time…I’m gonna punch myself in the face! I still don’t know the Saturday hours for the Lake Preston post office compared to the De Smet. And, the libraries in both towns are different, too! I’m a mess. I’ve lived here for three years now, time to get it together.

Hope you had a great June! It’s my most favorite month of the year!






  1. Moneik Stephens

    Too funny about the hours. We had the same issues in Philip, SD. Last weekend we couldn’t find a place to eat in Custer, SD, because they close at 2 and reopen at 4:45.

    • Sierra Shea

      Yes, I’ve got to get organized :)

    • Sierra Shea

      Those are funny hours, too — 4:45! I am making a list on my phone now. Today, I called the De Smet library to confirm they were open before packing up the kiddos to head to town. :)


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Hey, I’m Sierra Shea! I am so glad you are here. 

Where do I start with writing to introduce this blog? At the beginning, I suppose: I’ve been writing on various platforms online since 2013. I started blogging shortly after moving to South Dakota.

I am a mother and a maker at heart. I’m so grateful to be married to John and mother of three: Joslyn, J.D. and Jesse.

I am a self-taught decorator and designer. I am a brand new shepherdess and a Spiritual Director.

I love living in South Dakota, even though the winters & the wind can be a near-daily struggle.

Blogging is a grounding force in my life and it helps get me out of my head, unstuck and moving in the directions I always hoped I’d be going!