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This Place Called Montana

Updated: Mar 19, 2023

This Place Called Montana

Sponsor: CrisDental Family Dentistry & Denture Center

Kathy and I went to a Trivia Night Fundraiser for education last night.

We haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.

We’re meeting people in our new home and yes it takes time to find your way into a new community and a new culture.

Now that the sun stays out longer I’m taking breaks at work or walks afterwords to soak in the place we now call home.

It’s quiet here.

The sky is big.

The land around us vast and open empty.

You can go for a hike and never see another soul.

The town is tiny but filled with hardworking people living, learning and figuring out ways to get along and thrive.

No place is perfect but we weren’t looking for perfect.

You drive a lot here.

I laugh when I hear this country song that says something like “we live thirty minutes from any Walmart store” because that is so true.

You plan more.

Today we’ll go into Helena to the gym, that’s a 40 minute drive.

We’ll work out but I have a doctors appointment and a haircut so we’ll just hang out in Helena most of the day and do some grocery shopping while there.

We’re meeting some great people here.

Montana has its controversy but it’s less about claims of racism, homophobia and transgender issues and more about land use, government regulations and how to grow and not lose what you have in terms of community and culture.

Don’t get me wrong, those other topics are slipping in as new folks find the solitude of this place overwhelming and enticing.

But here, I find, the line between left and right less heavy and more crossable than what I experienced in Oregon.

In Montana common sense still has its place and bad ideas are bad ideas and that’s how it is.

We don’t run outside in the winter as much as we did in Oregon, I miss that.

There’s very little green in the Montana landscape this time of year. I miss that too.

But the mountains, big sunny skies and emptiness make up for that.

People are discovering Montana and places like it.

Hopefully as they search for their freedom they don’t bring their regulations and big city idea’s with them.

You leave those at the border as you cross into this state.

Yes, in Montana we still respect borders, honor the history of those who settled here and the way things are done.

Change is a nasty word and I get it.

Big companies are buying up land and creating “Yellowstone Resorts” that attract the rich and famous.

That concerns everyone, not because they’re wealthy but because often folks who want to dabble in Montana also think they know what’s best and bring unwanted change with them.

They think “This will make your state better” but no one here is looking for better because better often destroys what was.

Sitting in the Trivia Night event last night Kathy and I are reminded why we came here.

People ask “Why Townsend?” and we often say “we don’t know.”

But we are beginning to understand this is where we are supposed to be at this place in our lives.

A place where we truly are free to live as we choose and fight anyone who comes in and tries to take that away.

Ah, This place called Montana.

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In many respects, Montana sounds like Wallowa County. - M

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