Almost to a “man”, my out-of-state clients always ask me why I live in Montana. Then they pause and look at me as if I, perhaps, have escaped and am seeking asylum. After all, they say, I could earn a LOT more money doing what I do in big cities.
My answer, invariably, is that in Montana stop signs are a suggestion.
I know that the Highway Patrol and Dept. of Tourism are cringing and may even be slamming their heads against walls at that answer. Deep breath…I am kidding…sort of…
There are many reasons I live in Montana. Most people think it’s because we have Glacier and Yellowstone Nat’l Parks. True, that’s a part. They certainly are beautiful and I visit both every opportunity I’m given.
Others wonder at those of us living here in light of the fact that we’ve nicknamed Missoula, “Zoo Town”, and Bozeman, “Bozo”. Just goes to prove Montanans can call it as they see it.
Since we have such an incredibly low population (which can be both an asset and a detriment), our crazy people (most transplants) are easily identified. Still, we have intellectuals, artists, writers, those who love the outdoors…in fact, we have a wide variety of great people living here. We are simply spread out.
I live in Montana for a plethora of reasons. Many of my clients have become fast friends, though living all around the state. Friends such as Beth, with whom I share B&B (Bitch & Booze) time — or we would, but we’ve both been so busy that our schedules have conflicted for way too long now. Still, we are friends and will find a way to rectify that.
Then there is Glee who never says “no” to putting me (and the dogs) up when I roll through the southern part of the state. Ann, whom we lost last year, but was a wonderful friend. Larry, whom I rarely see, but with whom I laugh over irreverent comments. Lisa and Connie who both make going to Havre an adventure (never thought THAT could be said, did you?) Ray and Diana whom I haven’t seen in a blue moon. Or Molly, who is a mint julep lover, too.
The list could go on and on. And please understand that there are so many of you OUTSIDE of Montana that have also become friends — Sue, Greg, Genevieve, Cindy….not enough room to list them all.
Anyway, back to the core of why I live in Montana. I know our winters, with “Saskatchewan Screamers”, as I call them, and a couple of weeks of sub-sub-sub-zero weather can be a tad rough for some people. But below are some of the reasons I chose to live in Montana. (BTW, you can click or double click on any of the pics and they’ll load in the large size on another pg, I think).
Our spring rains came a bit late this year, but they have made it a lush and beautiful spring. It makes one appreciate flowers even more.
I have two pair of nesting Western Bluebirds that are THE most curious birds around. If we are outside, they must observe. They are kind enough, however, to not comment when I’m dancing around the yard to the headphones. Though I’m certain their conversation about me is interesting.
The lilacs and other plants are going gangbusters and make the house a wonderful place, both inside and out.
Sitting on the patio, watching the geese and ducks on the river teach their younglings how to navigate the current is amusing. Or simply enjoying the fire pit, friends, or the peace and quiet is a joy and relaxing.
With this being the nearest neighbor, I don’t get comments from them, either, about dancing around the yard. Or holding BOSS Dog Clinics. Or listening to music a tad loudly. Or having people over. They are good neighbors, nice people.
The dogs have room to wander without anyone ‘camping’ on them or problems.
This is simply THE BEST lawn mower around. I don’t recommend it for the average lawn, but for mine it’s a perfect beast. It’s a joy to drive and ride. Cuts most anything and does it in record time. It actually makes one LIKE to mow the lawn.
The mower has a sheep shearing attachment which I adore! (Okay, okay…just kidding. But that IS the remnants of wool from a shearing).
THIS is why I love my mower. I have a fair amount of acreage, but this is between the house and the barn and it must be kept cut down. I use the area for dog work, too.
It is also why my grandsons can come and roam and enjoy being a kid. They carry sticks, discover bugs, chase sheep, throw rocks in the creek, explore, and yell. All without any adult “helicoptering” or micro-managing their “kid time”.
But, another very important reason I live in Montana is that when clients come and bring their dogs, whether for a few hours or staying with me for a few days, they relax. When the human relaxes the dog changes. The people can learn to trust their dogs. The dogs can be let off-leash. The clients learn more about their dogs, both as dogs and as individuals, than they could EVER learn in an obedience class. They get to experience a tiny part of what it really means to be a partner to a dog. Not an angst-ridden human ever watchful of their pet for fear something will happen. The dogs can relax and are mentally healthier for it, too. They relax and become the great dogs they would truly be, if only allowed.
I live in Montana, on this property, because it allows me to regenerate. I work with many stressed and worried people. I must deal as much with that issue of the human psyche as I do the dog and his problems. It can be mentally wearing, though I don’t regret it, nor would I change a thing. But coming home to this? It revives me. It keeps me grounded. It is important for what I do with dogs and people. I think too many people don’t have this kind of peace in their life, yet wish they did. I’m grateful for it—often.
It is the reason why I live in Montana.