Living A Secret Life

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Every so often people I actually know in person will drop me an email just to update me on the happenings in their life. Normally I wouldn’t find the need to say anything here but I got one from a friend, my age, who I have known for some 20 odd years now. He told me he had a good story that would fit right in if posted in the Magic Weekend. I ended up calling Ron because his story was a bit disturbing and I needed to know more. So, since the email was brief, I am going to toss in a little background information first. Ron, 9 years ago walked away from a marriage that ceased to exist. He had known for a few months that his wife was cheating on him and one day he had enough, game over. They didn’t have any children so his choice, he says, was simple. One morning he woke up to go to work, leaving the signed divorce papers on the kitchen table, and when he left he never returned. After around 6 months he was notified by mail that his divorce was final. He didn’t seem real heartbroken about the news either. A few months went by and he dropped by the house with his girlfriend, Amy. She has to be 10 years or more younger than him but that didn’t seem to bother either of them at all.

Skip ahead a few years to the present day and they are still together. Neither wanted to ever get officially married so they never did. Since we keep tabs on one another I was glad he was back in the states again that way maybe we can get together. However, part of his email was to explain that he was moving from Houston and returning to Japan to take a permanent position there with his company. I am sure there is more than just reason he has made this choice, although, as you will read, it would seem he thinks his luck has run out with women. His relationship with Amy is really messed up now, she is not exactly being honest with Ron when he made some inquiries into what she has been up to while he was gone. He’s done with the lies now and decided to move on.

It seems when Ron in Japan for about 3 weeks three to four times a year, Amy is quite the party girl. Ron says he never had a clue and all she ever did when he was home most of the year was go to work and then be home with him. Enter the magic of Facebook networking amongst friends and people he barely new. Amy celebrated her 35th birthday while Ron was out of town, he knew she was going out with friends, but didn’t actually know any of them. Ron was forwarded the picture shown here from a friend of a friend of a friend when he saw that it was Amy. Ron went on to find out that Amy was a part of a paid escort party. Upon a little note digging, Ron found out she had been working as an escort for over 2 years. Needless to say, when he asks her about it she denies everything and blames it on mistaken identity. But he knew, he knew because he was there when she got the tattoo on her shoulder that he clearly sees in the picture. He never showed her the picture, he wanted to catch her in her own lie. After things settled down he decided to call the escort service and request Amy. He waited at the hotel and then when he answered the door he knew their relationship had just ended. No explanation needed, its over.

I am reminded by Ron’s story that just because we think we know what our significant other is up do all day and all night that we are probably only about 80% right about 80% of the time. I am not saying we shouldn’t trust one another, I am just saying to trust what you think first, then everyone else. We may not all be victims of a cheating spouse, but we all know that one doesn’t cheat only with another person. I will leave it there.

Spring Break In South Dakota

I was very excited when planning this particular spring break vacation since it would be the first time since all of my kids were very young that we would be all together for a vacation. Why pick South Dakota for spring break? Excellent question. The answer is actually pretty simple, my oldest daughter could not afford to go anywhere so we decided to go be tourists in South Dakota so we could all be together once again. I have deep roots in South Dakota to say the very least. We will get into that later and in other posts as well since that is very interlaced in our vacation because itnwasnt just a vacation it was also a trip down memory lane for me as well. First and foremost our trip was to see our one and only granddaughter. If it hadn’t been for Skype and cell phones I very well would have missed the first 2 1/2 years of her life since the last time I saw her in person was the day of her birth.

So, every vacation begins with the trip, and since I don’t fly, we drive, everywhere. Speaking of which, a brief note, the odometer in my 2005 Nissan Pathfinder flipped 100k on our drive back into town. Anyhow, we left late in the afternoon on Friday 07 March 2014 to begin our 1345 mile trek to our hotel in Deadwood South Dakota. With a gas stops, restroom breaks, and eating breakfast in York Nebraska, we made it in just shy of 24 hours. Yes we drove straight through and yes I drove most of it myself. Since I am not a great passenger I don’t sleep in a moving car. But, a rest from the wheel for 1-2 hours is just as recharching for me personally. Watching the weather the days prior we knew it was going to be a chilly drive as we were headed into a cold front. But, nothing prepares one for 7 degrees with 40 mph winds when getting gas at 3 in the morning. That shit will wake your ass up in a hurry. Surprisingly, the weather at our destination was quite nice and real similar to what we left behind in Texas, minus the 87% humidity. Although, in my opinion, the weather went down hill from that point forward. All and all it was a pleasant drive up there and luckily, we were very lucky, there were no incidents. I will get into it more but the wife and I thought we would have time to gamble a bit (something we rarely do) since the Fairfield Inn was connected to Cadillac Jack’s Casino. Little did we know until checking in that we would get $25.00 per adult per day in Cadillac Cash to spend at the casino. And the room, it was a steal for us, we got upgraded to a $729.99 per night suite and still only had to pay the obligatory contracted $9.00 per night. Yes, we have friends (family) in the Marriot hotel business so it makes traveling great for us. So, moving on…….

After checking in we went to visit my daughter so we could all get something hot to eat for a late dinner. Have I ever mentioned that I was looking forward to my first hello hug from my granddaughter? It was way better than I could have ever imagined it to be. It was wonderful and I really didn’t want to let her go. But I did, I shared, didn’t want to, but I did it anyway. We ate, we colored, we talked, we planned,new reminissed, and the we said goodbyenfornthe night. I personally didn’t want it to end but when the baby says its time then its time. Since my daughter was working Sunday most of the day we decided to make it a “rest day”, stay close to the hotel, and just do a little sight seeing in Deadwood. See, one of the pitfalls of this room was that I this 45 minutes from my daughters house. We woke up late, around 9 or so, got showered, and grabbed the local map to do a little sight seeing. First stop was Mt. Moriah Cematary where Wild Bill and Calamatty Jane are buried. After which I showed everyone where Wild Bill was killed. I know the history of this area real well so I got to play tour guide most of the trip. Now, I don’t want to sound like I am complaining, because we did come to a touristy spot in the “off season”, but the amount of things and places that were “closed for the season to reopen mid-May” became a personal joke for our family on this vacation.

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So, let me give y’all a rundown of what we did or attempted to do each day. Now, for me the closures were no big deal since I have seen all of these things many times before. Deadwood was just that, dead. The casinos were open, some gift shops were open, but things like the Adam’s House, the wineries, and the majority of the tourist like gift shops were closed. We went to Mt. Rushmore, a national landmark, and 90% of the trail was closed. One could walk down under the noses but no further and had to turn around the way we came. We also drove through Keystone, figuring Mt. Rushmore was a bust, and all but one store was closed, not even a restaurant of any kind was open. No, there was not a contingent back up plan, who expects a national landmark and park to be closed. We also attempted to visit Custer State Park, the main route (the paved road) was closed off, diverting drivers off onto the back maintenance roads. On top of that, the buffalo we did see were mere specs when viewed through high powered binoculars. Now, that was disappointing. Then, we went to the biggest tourist trap in South Dakota, Wall Drug. Of course, the “Backyard” where all the really cool stuff hides, was closed.

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There was excitement however, one night we were at my daughter’s house where I cooked them a nice meal, well all of us, and when we left to go to the hotel it was only raining, but in the mountains it was snowing like a sonofabith,nso much that overnight we got over 8″, which is allot for this Texas boy. But, that is where experience pays off for me so it wasn’t as hairy as one might be thinking. The way luck was having it we decided to go for a drive to see ifnincould find the house in Black hawk that my parents finished building the summer of 1968 and where I lived until I was 6 when we moved to Texas. The answer is yes, I did find it, but that is a post in itself. On the way out of town, to return to Houston, we had plans to spend the night in Sioux Falls, my oldest daughter joined us because vacation wasn’t over quite yet. For the first time ever, all of my kids will see where my dad is buried, none of them have ever been there, and my son has always wanted to see his namesake. This will be a post of its own as well, just know it was the highlight of the entire trip. Since we had to leave via Mitchell South Dakota and my daughter had to drive through it to get back to Rapid City, we decided to visit the world’s only Corn Palace, surprise, open for business as well as everything else in the little town. We also took a short side drive to see the house my grandparents built in the 40’s and it is also where both of them are buried.

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Then that was it, the hardest part came, saying goodbye to everyone. That part sucked worse than I could have possibly ever imagined, to put it mildly. Afterwords we did indeed begin the trek home, a long quiet trip that consisted of me driving while drowning out my sorrows with music playing to the max in my headphones. The snow, wind, ice, and rain made sure I stayed awake for the entire trip. Other than that, it too was uneventful. So, there is my spring break vacation to South Dakota in a nutshell. Stick around in the very near future because I have many expanded stories to tell that were merely mentioned today.