Travel back with me now to Sunday. We left Circle Lake Retreat Center, dripping sweat (maybe that was just me), and after two flights we landed in Rapid City, South Dakota. Neil may have had a moment of “What the hell am I doing here?” as we were landing and he looked out into the broad landscape, unable to see enough buildings to even constitute a solid town. And this is the “big city.” Welcome to SD.
We met our “support people,” two Jesuits who will be showing us the ropes, but also taking care of not only our house, but our mental and spiritual health as well. Br. Pat and Fr. Steve are hysterical. We had dinner at Chili’s (probably won’t see one of those for several months), and then a three hour car ride to St. Francis. When the four JV’s became a little too excited about finally making a turn after about an hour of driving straight, I think they realized that simple living was not going to be an issue.
We rolled up to our lovely little house at about 11: 50pm. Remember that we had left the retreat center at about 9:30 am, so it was a long day of traveling. Our house used to be the Rectory for the church (the house where the Priests live, for all my non-Catholic readers. If I start to use too much jargon, I apologize and please ask for clarification). We were originally going to be living in a double-wide mobile home, but a tornado ripped off the roof of the recovery center, so they moved that to the double-wide and started prepping the rectory for us. Which means the rectory had been vacant for a year or two. Which ultimately means we didn’t have running water our first night. We took it in good stride, of course. Hey, it sure does make simple living easy.
Since it was late and we were exhausted and smelly and had no way of rectifying the latter, we decided to skip picking rooms. Instead, we dragged all the mattresses into the biggest bedroom and had a slumber party. This included Neil breaking down into a fit of giggles because of exhaustion and staying up late talking. Yup, we are that adorable.
The next day, we still didn’t have running water, so we had to skip on the bacon and eggs that the Jesuits had stocked in our fridge (actually, we just realized our stove doesn’t work, so who knows when we’ll get to eat that). But we had some cereal, and then went to the double-wide to shower. Then we took a tour of the town, then a tour of the reservation, then a trip to Valentine, Nebraska, which has the closest library. (Are we all super pumped to get library cards for Valentine, Nebraska? You bet your booty we are!) It’s also about 45 min away from St. Francis. Can I just say what an adventure this is going to be?