Hubby grew up in the small town of Pierre (pronounced peer), the state capital of South Dakota. The town of 14,000 (now) lies in the middle of the state along the Missouri River that marks the boundary between farm country and ranch country, East River and West River state politics, Central Time and Mountain Time zones, and Pierre and Fort Pierre city limits. It’s the second smallest state capital city in the country. Only Montpelier, Vermont is smaller.
Pierre is a wonderful small town, full of amazing places. The state historical museum is there, along with the state government offices. In the middle is a huge, beautiful capitol building where Hubby’s dad was once the electrician for the grounds crew. He helped with the rehabilitation of the capitol building in the 1980s, and we’re reminded of that when we go there. The light systems and fixtures were all his doing. It’s a special place to us.
We go to Pierre fairly often even though it’s a three-hour drive along four-lane roads. The journey takes us by Wall Drug where we can stop for breakfast and shop for Black Hills gold. This time of year, their jewelry and souvenirs are usually deeply discounted so it’s a great time to shop there. We can see the edge of the Badlands from the interstate. In Murdo, a nicely reconstructed frontier town is open in the summers. We haven’t stopped there yet but want to someday. Coming into Fort Pierre, home of the Casey Tibbs Museum, it must have been sale barn day because we had to hold our noses as we passed through. Crossing the Missouri River reminds us of the hours we spend boating with Hubby’s folks on the river. Such precious memories.
A bunch of Hubby’s high school classmates still live in or near Pierre. When we plan to be in town, he texts everyone and invites them to lunch. This particular day, nine showed up. While we may be old, we raise noise level wherever we eat. (We tip good, so they don’t mind.) The talk is getting less about what we’re doing and more about our latest health reports and what our grandkids are doing. We’re all retired so the lunches are long and full of fun.
Hubby and I visited the capitol building where a bunch of Christmas trees are set up. They do this every year, starting Thanksgiving weekend and ending the day after New Year’s Day. It’s free, except when I get to the gift shop part. I always find something to buy. The trees were gorgeous as usual. The inside of the building has a lot of white marble which reflects all the colored lights. The stained glass in the rotunda and along the corridors is lit up by the sunlight. It’s beautiful and well worth the drive over. A day well spent.
This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalms 118:24