Be careful what you wish for…..

Hey – long time no see.

What have you been up to?  It’s been quite the journey since November 2010.  I stopped writing, got a government job. I commuted back and forth between Brookings and Pierre.  Over. And over.  And over…. (repeat ad nauseum). Finally sold SDWC after several months of negotiations. Ended up quitting my job. Moved home.

…and now I’m back writing at SDWC again.  How does that work?

Well, In an odd twist, every time I tried to turn and move towards Pierre, it kept turning me around and shoving me towards home.

My better half, who I would argue is one of the smartest people in education in South Dakota (despite her modesty), had few job prospects in Pierre, and frankly likes her current position. A lot.

My dad is potentially looking at being in an apartment by the end of the year…  so, goodbye family homestead, hello paying more for rent.

Having 2 kids with me in Pierre, and 4 more in Brookings wasn’t working. So, everyone was looking at attending the Brookings School District this fall.  And for those of you who didn’t remember, my youngest daughter (who starts first grade this year) is a child with special needs. And while she’s a delight, there are times when I was 200 miles away this past year when mom could have used a hand. And being 200 miles away in such situations basically renders you useless.

I think the clincher was when, in the midst of all the political nonsense that cropped up recently, I took the first husband-wife vacation with my wife that I’d taken in over 20 years of marriage.  And I found that I had far less interest in returning to my work in Pierre than I did in being in the same town as my wife and family.

Over the course of the preceding 18 months, on average, I would spend roughly 36 hours at a time – every week or two – with my wife and the 6 kids remaining at home, including sleeping hours, as time was marked from my Friday arrivals to my Sunday departures.

I did the commuting thing before for 3 years or so when I worked in special projects under Governor Rounds. There were family trials and tribulations then, some particularly not very fun. But we managed all crises as they came.  Fast forward about 4-5 years, I guess I found myself far less tolerant of splitting my life and doing things on a long distance basis.

Now, I find the oldest of my daughters are starting to leave the nest, others are in or preparing for high school, and the older of my sons is growing into a young man.

If a person is going to talk the talk about families, I’ve always been of the mind that it behooves them to walk the walk as well. So, sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.  Maybe not as exciting as some of the ridiculous chatter on the internet (or sensationalized stories in some of South Dakota’s papers) would have you believe.  But it is what it is.

Whether you want to call it a leap of faith or jumped off a cliff, I took a leap. And at least for the moment, I get to do a few things because I want to do them, not because I have to. And the best part? I don’t have to commute 400 miles to do them.

What am I up to at the moment?  You can find me writing here at South Dakota War College for the new owners, and you’ll also find me writing over at the South Dakota Rushmore PAC blog.  I’m also debating as to whether to do writing for another couple of websites, but that’s currently a “we’ll see” thing at the moment.  I’m also looking at going back to doing design work, as well as exploring whatever other opportunities crop up.

But the important thing is that I’ll be doing them from the same town that I live in with my family. Because at the end of the day, that’s the important thing.

Otherwise, be careful what you wish for… because I am back.

23 Replies to “Be careful what you wish for…..”

  1. PP at the SDWC Post author

    Bill Clay (and no, I’m not Bill Clay) needs to be thanked for the yeoman’s work he’s done, as I think he’s added a lot of value to the website, and I hope he continues to do posts.

    But otherwise, as I sit in my den, watching my 7 year old and freshly 5 year old fight over the xbox controller, playing the Toy Story game, I know I made the right decision.

  2. mhs

    He’s Baaacckkk . . .

    I’d start my own blog, but, in this looney state, their idea of spirited discourse is to track you down and shoot you.

  3. Anonymous

    Although I’m happy you are back, I cannot believe how pissed off I am about our RINO friend, Stan’s, completly false and irresponsbile statements! Public service should not difficult–false attacks with no repercussions for those irresponsible statements. Stan and the GOP should be ashamed because they have made public service even harder in this episode. I am happy you are back again, as I can now actually get some news somewhere and don’t have to be disappointed by the east river and west river Pravda!

  4. PP at the SDWC

    The GOP had nothing to do with any questionable statements, So I’m not sure where that’s coming from.

    Otherwise, I haven’t wasted a moment’s thought on a certain someone in nearly 2 years. I’m not sure why I should start now.

    But hey – thanks for the props!

  5. Rattler

    Now I can read the war college more than once a week… I can’t wait to start reading on a regular basis again.

  6. duggersd

    I have always enjoyed your thought-provoking prose and look forward to reading your columns again. Welcome back. BTW, I don’t know if you heard about it, but there is an election coming up. Your thoughts will be interesting.

  7. PP at the SDWC Post author

    Yes, I knew that…. and apparently the memory is the first thing to go. It was planned to be a move, but sometimes things don’t go the way you hope they would.

  8. Heath Tople


    It is GREAT to have you back on SDWC. I VERY CLEARLY understand the media and others demonizing and mischaracterizing a person or alleged conduct. You KNOW, I’ve been there. It’s a bell that cannot be un-rung. I miss my involvement with the SD GOP, and I’m glad to see you back working for the Elephant. Now that you are closer, give me a shout.

  9. Doug Wiken

    Welcome back, Pat. You are a worthy target.

    Maybe with your Pierre experience, you can explain why a hearing concerning removing a stoplight on the highway in Winner is being held in the evening at Pierre.

  10. Charlie Hoffman

    Caveman should still be a valid undercover source of information but a lesson was learned in who one can trust, and those whom burn bridges. Burn anyone in Pierre and it follows you the rest of your life.

    Thanks for keeping a few details priveledged Powers. Some of us remember well the good old days.

    1. Stace Nelson

      Charlie, Charlie, Charlie… Ask yourself, what legislators in Pierre give you their word, then swing 180, 360, 520, 1040? You confuse honesty and refusal to be some dishonest hack, with burning bridges.

      For the record, according to SCOTUS, you were wrong. SD did not need to enact Obamacare as what has already occurred.


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