An interesting item came up on the Keloland News website – apparently, consumers are getting tired of jumping directly from Halloween décor in stores in August to Christmas décor in stores in September.

One of the nation’s largest retailers, Target, says its customers “want it to pause the “Christmas creep.” It says it wants to be more in tune with customers’ mindset, so it plans to ease in holiday promotions this year while better recognizing Thanksgiving.”

You can read it here:

Thanksgiving.  I knew there was something in between Halloween and Christmas….but it goes by so fast that if you blink, you miss it.   The whole thing has become so blurred that I half expect to see skeletal Santas in the big box stores.  Kind of reminds me of the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Sometimes, slowing down is a good thing.  Obviously, this isn’t a great idea for an emergency room or trauma center, but you get the picture.  At South Dakota One Call, we want you to always slow down before you put a shovel or blade or bucket or auger in the ground.  In fact, we want you to slow down for up to 48 hours.  That’s the length of time utilities have to come out and mark or flag their underground lines and cables prior to any sort of excavation.

Of course, that’s only after you’ve made the free call to 811 to get this free service rolling.

“But I don’t have time to wait,” you say.

Yes. You. Do.

Call 811 at least two working days before planned work, or sooner if planning to work on a weekend or legal holiday, even on your own property. It’s a free service to you, and it’s the law.

Tilling soil for agricultural purposes to a depth of 18 inches is an exception to this requirement. Still, even with this exception, it’s a good idea to make the call, especially if you’re not sure what buried facilities are in the area or if you’re working new ground for the first time.

If you think you know where a telephone cable, rural water line or pipeline is buried, call 811 anyway. Many of these services have been damaged by individuals who thought they knew where the line was buried, but were wrong. If you hire someone to do the work, a representative of that company must make the call. Depth of buried lines can vary greatly and in some cases may be very shallow due to erosion or previous dirt work. Hitting a buried gas line or electrical line can be deadly, so make the call, wait for the locate and be safe.

And while you wait, maybe you can contemplate that idea you had for making a turkey jack-o’-lantern sitting on top of a red-nosed reindeer.

Until next week, safe digging.

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