Retired after 40 years in telecommunications. I am a PROUD Grandmother of 7, GG to 1 and Mother of three GREAT sons. I love to read, listen to music and dance, work in the yard and play in the dirt. Since retirement I have had the opportunity to volunteer with the United Way - reading to children, conducting budgeting classes and being a VITA volunteer. I further serve my community through the Boys & Girls Club of Marion County. Retirement also provided the opportunity for me to do new things like RUN! I've completed a few 5 K's, 1/2 Marathon and 15K... I love the quiet zone that comes while running!

Cheyenne River Youth Project – completed

 Posted by kreed at 2:35 am  South Dakota  Comments Off on Cheyenne River Youth Project – completed
Jul 192013

Noah and Craig working the garden

My time with the kids in Eagle Butte have come to an end.  I never thought 8 weeks could go by so fast!  When your day starts at 7:00 AM and ends at 10:00 PM, time kind of sneaks by.  I have so many memorable moments from this trip, from Llanna calling me Grandma, then realizing she calls everyone either Grandma or Auntie to being invited to a game of 21 by a teen or being recognized by a women’s group that has started a new healthy walk.  I will add more at a later time; just a short update today and a few pictures.

2 weeks

 Posted by kreed at 5:18 pm  South Dakota  Comments Off on 2 weeks
Jun 272013

Time flies when you are having fun, working hard and meeting great people.  Since last I wrote I have met a great group of young people and teenagers from Chicago.  They traveled in a van to contribute a week of their time to service.  Then a group  from Colorado Springs with donations of time and gifts in support of the kids.  To top it off a new volunteer comes with her granddaughter and turns out she is from Utica, New York – my hometown.  I have made many new friends; and Mary and I can compare and share stories about Utica.  We have already identified people we both know.  New friends with new ideas to share are only a side benefit; the real thrill is the kids!  I will post pictures when I figure out how to!  In the mean time, I can say I have witnessed words and actions from amazing little people and “Real Cool” – at least in their own eyes , Teens.  The little ones pull your heart strings with each interaction.  The teens are Just Teens!

The little ones are touched by things as simple as a push on a swing, are captured by taking a trip to the past, future, another land etc through a book, to seeing their work of paint art posted on the wall, to digging in the garden.  I see why people become teachers.  They just show their gratitude all the time!

The name of the game with the teens is Basketball!  Boys and Girls are active participants.  I’ve been on the court with them, shooting MY game, but they are too cool to let me play.  I can’t tell if they are wondering why this old black lady is on their court or if they actually think I can play!  I asked if I could join with a few girls and one told me ” we have a game going on”. I took that as a thanks but no thanks! DUH! I catch on pretty quickly.  On another basketball adventure a teen asked if I had been in the NBA!  I took that as a polite put down and responded; yes National Business Association – we shared a good laugh, then I got the “is she crazy look”

Eagle Butte is a small town and I’m getting to see the kids and parents when I go out for a run.  A 5k let’s me cover the east and west side!  The kids waive when they see me now and they know we are from Main when we visit LTM!

Days slip by

 Posted by kreed at 3:43 pm  South Dakota  Comments Off on Days slip by
Jun 022013

Each morning I plan to journal and before know it the new day arrives, so I’ll cover the week!

WOW we worked in the garden, painted the Main, took a weekend Trek and enjoyed Hot Springs!  We cleaned the garden rows to prepare for planting; before planting a Lakota Elder performed the blessing ceremony.  We planted onions, jalapeño peppers, sweet peppers, carrots, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and spaghetti squash, I’m sure I forgot something!  Everyone just dug, slipped, slided, and enjoyed the MUD and planting.  I believe the kids had the most fun and are anxiously waiting for the time to pick all the goodies.

Since this was a planning week so we prepared for a fresh start with a paint party in the Main. Everything looks so bright and inviting…the kids will enjoy.  Big plans are in the works for the first days the kids return.  Exercise activities, reading fun, cooking and eating, and lots of arts and crafts.

The volunteer team was lucky enough to have Tara and her car!  We were able to travel to Rapid City to climb the face of the Crazy Horse monument.  This is only allowed twice a year. Talk about great planning.  We shared a quaint hotel, shopped, enjoyed a walking tour of downtown Rapid City and topped it off with a ride through the Badlands and a refreshing hot springs bath.  Weekend trekking done – getting ready to welcome smiling faces tomorrow.



 Posted by kreed at 2:19 am  South Dakota  Comments Off on Running
May 262013

I was able to get a pretty good run in yesterday early in the morning. When people start moving around so do their dogs.  There are a lot of dogs here and it is hard to tell which are gentle enough to be safe around. I decided to stay close and finish my run in the safety of the street in front of the center, and inside the gym.

I think I’ll try my hand at learning basketball since the teens are so into it.


 Posted by kreed at 2:08 am  South Dakota  Comments Off on Likes
May 262013

I’ve been told the expected number of kids in attendance has been down this week (10 youth and 30 teens)  normal attendance is more like 70-80 teens and 30 youth.  Reasons are, school just let out, families have a recent financial windfall so good time to take a short vacation trip.

In the week coming, the Main & Teen Center are closed.  Time for deep cleaning, planting the garden, and planning programs for the summer.  Kids will return on June 3rd.

The little kids are excited and want to do everything at the same time, while for the teens, basketball is the like!

First Day

 Posted by kreed at 2:58 pm  South Dakota  Comments Off on First Day
May 212013

Yesterday was a full travel day.  I left home about 3:30AM and reached The Cheyenne River Youth Project at 11:00PM.  Flight connection delays created this issue.

I met Mariel, Judith, and Petra; other volunteers. All are in College or University.

The team hosted a seminar today.  We cooked, served, cleaned and got to know each other.  The staff members are great and I can see dedicated. Julie is a take charge leader.  Tammy drove the ninety miles to pick us up, baby in tow!

No kids today due to special event.  Orientation and kids tomorrow, and with any luck the rain will end so I can squeeze in a good run.

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