Black Ink – Sign reading

Sign reading by Nicole Lane Erceg The sign reads “Welcome to Grant County,” in simple white letters on a small, forest green backdrop. It sits near a creek more than an hour’s drive from where I grew up, but every time I see it, I already feel like I’m home. At this...
Black Ink: Uncomfortable change

Black Ink: Uncomfortable change

Uncomfortable change by Miranda Reiman WHAM! Tap-tap-tap. Some changes are noisy…like the current remodel and addition to our 115-year-old house. Anyone who has lived through construction dust knows the disruption. The crew knocked out the wall between the living room...
Black Ink: Unconventional risk management

Black Ink: Unconventional risk management

Unconventional risk management by Nicole Lane Erceg Sounds of thunder interrupted the radio blaring on our front porch. With binoculars we watched lightning strikes in the distance, waiting for a dispatcher’s voice to say the call number 9210. When those numerals rang...
Black Ink: Perspective and Context

Black Ink: Perspective and Context

Perspective and Context by Miranda Reiman “You know, a dredge ditch…” I was explaining the Minnesota farm I grew up on and I was met with blank stares from some of my South Dakota State University classmates. “…where you drain water off the field,” I continued. They...
Black Ink: Changing with the environment

Black Ink: Changing with the environment

Changing with the environment by Nicole Lane Erceg I have a teal dinosaur that sits on my desk. It’s an unusual office ornament, but he serves a valuable purpose. When plans change, when the unexpected pops up, when I’m tempted to say “we’ve always done it this way,”...
Black Ink: Time Tested

Black Ink: Time Tested

Time Tested by Miranda Reiman We’ve dubbed it the “smiling house.” On my family’s regular route through the Sandhills, there’s a lonely old place; rain and time have left the wood devoid of color. Yet, with its classic, square farmhouse design—and a little...