South Dakota?

How I Got Here

No, this is not the stork story. This is how I got to be living here in Rapid City, SD. Yup, my last entry has me in the jungles of Bolivia. This is very different:

Rapid City

downtown Rapid City

It started with Henry, my cousin’s husband, a man whose financial pronouncements are listened to, attentively.  As I was preparing for retirement, he mentioned once that I could always get some contract work if need be, to  supplement my income.

Henry speaks, I listen. Why? He has done extremely well, financially, in his own retirement, and continues to do well for himself and many family members, before, during, and after the collapse.

So, before I retired, I contacted a few agencies who contract with psychologists, just to put my name on their mailing list. You know, keep my toe in the money water. Never really believed there could be a real opportunity for a psychologist, these agencies focused on M.D.’s.

Asilomar Beach

West Coast Tour

Meanwhile, during my break between Africa and South America, I did about 10 days every 2 months of contract work for my former boss, doing lucrative evaluations in a prison in Connell, WA. Loved being in prison again, loved the money, and spending a few days’ writing was good for my brain.

But, when I returned from South America and the lengthy West Coast road trip I’d planned, the prison work was no longer there. Oh? What happened to my cash cow? The work part of my brain was primed and ready to go. My bank account wanted to be topped off. I had the time. Wasn’t yet ready for another big trip, but didn’t want to just be hanging around in Spokane even though it was winter, my favorite time, and there was snow and it was pretty.

Spokane in Wintermy neighborhood

Spokane is fabulous as a background, but I did not want new at-home routines as my foreground. I’d rented a perfect furnished studio apartment for $500 month-to-month, and I felt itchy. I wanted to be productive while I gave myself space to mull around my yearnings, mixing them unhurriedly in the giant container called my brain.

Enter StaffCare, a locum tenens agency through which I’d hired a contract psychiatrist while still working and doing my department chair thing. So, I knew they were legit. They had a 6 month contract position available with the VA in Ft Meade, SD. That’s right next to Sturgis, SD, home of the famous annual motorcycle rally.

I’d never been to SD, but I sure did have some stereotypes. I’d never worked for the VA, and I sure did have a lot of curiosity about it. Checking out stereotypes, satisfying curiosity, going to a novel place, and making a lot of money all at the same time? When I had absolutely nothing better to do than to wait for my brain to be done with “mulling”?

So, here I am.

My New Front Door

My New Front Door

My Lobby

My Lobby

Of course, I have a new live-in “home,” but this is my (temporary) dream-come-true:  I LIVE IN A HOTEL!

Welcome to my new (6 month) home: GrandStay Hotel & Suites in Rapid City, SD.

I’ve found I love living in a hotel. Especially because I know it’s not permanent. Without any extra cost, I get maid service twice a week – eat your heart out. So now you know why I’m here, living in Rapid City, South Dakota, until August 1, 2013. And then? Wow, you won’t believe what that mulling came up with.

But in the meantime, I’ll be filling you in on my current travels, here in South Dakota. More to come.


Slightly Un-Retired Nomad


2 thoughts on “South Dakota?

    • Last night as I was trying to watch a PBS Nature show on the Himalayas, weather advisories kept popping up on the TV screen. We were having rains like I’ve never seen in my life and flash flood warnings. I knew I was really in the heartland of America where the crazy weather is happening. However I’d rather be in the Himalayas watching a TV show on crazy weather in America then experiencing crazy weather in South Dakota and watching a TV show on the Himalayas.

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