I’ve been contemplating marriage. Not getting married. I took care of that task years ago. I’ve been contemplating marriage as in the concept of. My daughter recently tied the knot and I’ve been reminiscing about my own newlywed days – and some of the lessons learned since way back then.
The first day I met Amiel Redfish, a physician assistant, we discussed the overuse and overreliance on medicine in modern society, how great changes in longevity, through the years, came instead with proper sanitation, clean water, and the discovery of antibiotics. Although there have been great strides in health care throughout the years, none have resulted in such significant drops in the overall death rate as those. Redfish also expressed the value of the vigorous lifestyle of traditional American Indians and a diet closer to what was found in a hunter/gatherer’s world like roots, vegetables, berries and fruit, eggs, and wild game.
My colleague is a true Sioux Indian medicine man, a class act, and a dear friend. But despite the sagacity, insight, and traditional perspective he represents, I dare say there are those who, not knowing him, would look at his original American Indian features and prejudge him.
Never underestimate the power of a single piece of paper – especially if the paper in question is a (genuine and authentic) Certificate.
My first grader came home with such a document this week. He brings papers from school just about every day. They are crunched and bent to fit inside his backpack. His Certificate was neither creased nor folded. It was held, with great care and attentiveness, in his little hands, where he could keep it safe from the crowding and crinkling hazards lurking inside his backpack.
“It’s a Certificate! I got a Certificate at school today!” he practically shouted on his way in from the bus stop.
An elderly late-80s gentleman came into the emergency room unconscious with the diagnosis of a new stroke. The CT of the head indicated there was no bleeding into or around the brain, indicating he had a blood clot, not a bleed that caused the acute brain injury.
Symptoms had begun six hours earlier, but the patient and his family just didn’t get to the emergency room in time to try a clot-busting medication that can sometimes save the brain. The family and I had a long talk. I discovered that the patient had been living alone in his home of 50 years, still visiting a nursing home every day to see his wife who had severe Alzheimer’s Disease.
How does it compare? Locally, there’s been a lot of talk comparing this winter to the winter of 1996-97, when roads were clogged, power lines were toppled, and sub-zero temperatures and persistent winds resulted in significant damage and livestock losses.
While it’s too early to tell what things will look like by March or April, 2017, the snowfall so far this year is far behind January 1 of 20 years ago.
In 1996, there was 35.8 inches of snow by Dec. 16 and 44.1 inches by Dec. 31. There had been saturating rains in October and 12 inches of snow in November.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard presented a lean budget proposal to legislators on December 6, holding the line on spending due to sales tax collections that are projected to be lower than expected. The $1.62 billion general fund budget for fiscal year 2018 includes one percent increases for education, health care providers and state employees. The budget includes about $20 million in general fund spending increases.
The week of the annual Budget Address is always a busy time in the Capitol Building, and this year is no exception. The halls are filled with Christmas trees and with hundreds of visitors who come to see them. We also welcome newly-elected legislators, incumbents, and those whose legislative service is ending, to discuss the state budget for the upcoming year. After the address, I travel to different parts of the state for my budget tour where I lay out the good news and the bad news of South Dakota’s economy. The news came as no surprise to those who attended Tuesday’s Budget Address. Our state’s revenue for the first several months of the current fiscal year has fallen short of projections, in large part because of lower sales tax collections. Recent revenue weakness is a problem many other states share.
Ok America. Our next president has been elected and not everyone is happy about it. I’m not exactly thrilled; the lesser of two evils in my mind. But can we all try to be civil about this? Ours is a country divided at the moment, polarized by the extreme campaigning tactics of both major political parties. The days following the Nov. 8 General Election have made the dissension of our country clearer than ever. But you know who can fix it? You and me.
I am reminded that anticipation in all its forms can be both beautiful and cruel as I glance out the window yet again to see the storm still waiting on the horizon. I think this anxiousness, this build-up, is from of old; an artifact from a time when we gathered and hunted, now firmly encapsulated into our DNA, when the cycles of nature were very much players, antagonists, in our daily struggle to survive. Now we check the window dozens of times, check Facebook, check live web cameras, and check television news to see exactly when what we could never have predicted accurately in our long and storm-filled history