Peggy Sanders: Confluence Chronicles 12-24-12 |

Peggy Sanders: Confluence Chronicles 12-24-12

Leave it up to a farm and ranch store to sell something so practical as gunnysack gift wrap.

What we call the “Farmer’s K-Mart” in Rapid City, S.D., moved from a modest sized building to a former Sam’s Club this past year and the display space expanded many times over. I suppose the redneck gift wrapping isn’t new to others, but it was to me. I laughed right out loud and then took the photo. How refreshing to see something like this during the Christmas rush. The store has much more shelf space for the myriad animals and farm machinery. We found a nice tractor with a grader blade attached, for the grandson who spends hours in the shop mounding and moving Floor-Dri with his machinery.

It has been enjoyable picking things out this year as our extended family finally agreed to give gifts only to the children. We have two new ones this year and are now up to nine kiddos. That is enough to buy or prepare for yet it is sufficient to cause the gifters to come up with new ideas for each one. One stop was a hobby store that has been in business longer than I have been around. I had not been in there for years and it was so entertaining and fun that I know I will go back often. My list included supplies and instructions on how to make balloon sculpture animals and other creations and a Chinese jump rope. A rocket car propelled by vinegar and soda is the perfect gift for a young city boy with a fenced yard. It will give the thrill of a rocket but will stay on the ground. One daddy told me his 4-year-old likes things that “blow up,” and her package will also need a dose of soda and some vinegar for good, harmless and messy fun. One of the boys has been learning “magic” tricks, actually illusions, and he is getting good at it; he will receive a few more ideas and gadgets to increase his repertoire. The baby boy is now 1-year-old and he will get a soft tractor; he already knows the noise to make when he drives it around. The baby girl is too young to care so she will receive clothing. Next year, look out, she’ll be more aware and we will probably have to suspend the tree from the ceiling.

We put up a tree and a few baubles here and there, but it is low key. My aunt recently told me they are going to vastly pare down their decorations this year as they have no business being up on ladders and it took them an entire month to put it all away last year. She also decided what traditions they could do without and which ones they could not, and have toned the entire season down considerably. I laughed to myself when she gave me details as we did the same thing years ago. Christmas is a fun time when you don’t take all of the trappings so seriously.

Peggy writes from the family farm in southwestern South Dakota where moisture would be the best Christmas present. Her internet latchstring is out a ❖

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A real body of work


I’ve presided over a riot only once in my life. It was years ago at our annual branding which would eventually turn into an all out war.

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