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Faces and Places

July 19, 2009 - Jennifer Brookens
I sit here bleary-eyed after doing the annual family road trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota this past week. Unlike what some may consider a vacation - going someplace new and exciting - our trek usually leads to my mother-in-law's doorstep in Sturgis, S.D. And because Black Hills State University is where my husband and I met, we usually end up back on campus as well.

The first few years, it seemed we always recognized people when we went back to the Hills. But lots of things have changed. Areas that were remote and secluded are now subdivisions. Our favorite lookout over Spearfish Canyon now has a "cabin" on it with a deck the size of a basketball court. And an impressive fence with "no trespassing" signs posted all around.

I still couldn't help but look at faces as we were out and see if there was someone I recognized. But every face that was familiar was reminding me of people in Minnesota or people I knew in other facets of my life. Even this evening, back at home and running to the grocery store, I was still trying to compare faces to those I recognized back in my college days.

Guess I gotta face it: the Hills I knew when I lived there have changed and will never be the same. Instead of finding the hot spots to party once the sun went down, I was driving a minivan around town trying to lull a crabby toddler to sleep. And most likely those familiar faces I was looking for were probably doing something along the same lines.

I'll try again at the reunion.


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