Sunday, May 23, 2010

17 things

So, the last two weeks have been filled with: boxes,

driving from Montana to Wyoming in excellent road conditions,

exploring, and absolutely loving that we are back.

When I crossed the border into Wyoming, I was driving the same road as when I moved to this state the first time, twelve years ago (and in approximately the same road conditions).  Twelve years ago I was fresh out of college, looking for adventure, and most of my personal belongings fit inside my white Geo Metro.  This time, I am seasoned, I know the road, my exhilaration at the landscape is coupled with familiarity, I am traveling behind my husband and dog, my household goods fit inside a semi-truck, and I am crossing the border--for the first time ever--with my daughter.

My sense of place, my home, is written in the landscape.  It is a particular combination of sagebrush and aspen, mixed pine & fir and mountain peaks, and large tracts of untrammeled public land.  We are in a slightly different place, just new enough to be exciting, but we are back.  I finally feel like I can breathe deeply again.

But with every place there is give and take, and no place has it all.

17 things I will miss about our area of Montana:

1. Missoula
2. Dixon melons
3. Our neighbors
4. Bitteroot apples
5. Flathead cherries
6. Paradise peaches
7. My good friend H
8. Wheat Montana flour
9. My man's good friend C
10. Lifeline Farm dairy products
11. The Good Food Store (in Missoula)
12. Missoula's Farmer's Market (in Missoula)
13. Nature Boy & Walking Stick Toys (in Missoula)
14. My midwife & her new Birth Center (in Missoula)
15. Costco (in Missoula--yeah, I had to throw in a box-store)
16. All the locally-owned shops on "the hip strip" (in Missoula)
17. The hundred-plus head of garlic we left in the ground, in the garden

So, yeah.  Pretty much everything I'm going to miss is related to food and friends and Missoula.  Although not a big fan of cities, if I was forced to live in one, I'd pick Missoula in a heartbeat.  It is a wonderful, community-oriented, family-friendly, down-to-earth (a.k.a not yuppie), rocky mountain, University town with some fantastic people-watching.  Wish we could replace our nearest city with good ol' Zoo Town.  I will miss that place, even though it was a damned long drive and I usually only had time to zip around and run errands and curse the traffic.  My daughter was born in Missoula; it will always hold a special place in my heart.

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:: In other, completely unrelated news, my new favorite hot peppers--Aurora.  They come on purple, turn various shades of cream, yellow and orange before finally turning red.  And I'm not sure, maybe they go black if you don't eat them, but mine are all devoured by the red stage.  It's a small plant with small peppers and does very well in pots so you can grow them even when the weather is doing this:

Which it was today.  And for some reason, instead of three days ago when we had highs in the 70's, I decided today was a great day to scratch-in a new garden.

Juniper was supervising, of course.
You see those jagged, pearly-whites?  That's right.  One week before they came, J bug started dropping her lower lip and showing off her gums (which she never did before--her tongue was always in the way)   

And then she was really cranky one day--which made me cranky--and then the next day (her 7 month birthday!) my man was all, Oh.  No wonder.  Juniper has teeth!  

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