Tuesday, May 18, 2010
My Favorite Place to be....
My favorite place to be is in the beautiful state of Montana. Montana is where my parents met. He was a brakeman on the railroad, she a telegraph operator that used to wave at him as he rocked down the track to the neighboring towns. I and my sisters were all born in Bozeman, Montana and lived there until Mom and Dad made the move to California when I was four. Our family vacations were always to Montana every year, as so many family members still lived there. Many great childhood memories were made in Montana with all my Aunts and Uncles and too numerous to count..cousins.
Bob and I visit Montana nearly every summer ourselves. As I've gotten older, ever year we head along the Gallatin out of West Yellowstone and I start to feel like I'm home. Strange since I left there at the ripe old age of four, yet I do feel, home. Nothing compares to it's beautiful blue "Big Sky" and the quiet communities that dot the land here and there.
Greek Creek on the Gallatin River was the favorite fishing spot of my Uncle Jack who taught me to fish as a child. His family put his ashes there and the story has been told that upon the releasing of his ashes a big German Brown trout jumped up into the air!
I loved my Uncle Jack so much that Bob and I were married on the rivers edge of the Gallatin River at Greek Creek (famous for some of the filming of "A River Runs Though It").
The day of our I Do's we woke to the frequent summer surprise of rain. Not what I had ordered for our outdoor setting. By the time we arrived that afternoon at the rivers edge the rain had stopped, only remnants of white fluffy clouds against the bluest of skies remained. The smell was of wet pine and clean fresh air, perfect. On our arrival one of my cousins provided me with my bouquet. She surprised me and drove to Uncle Jack's old cabin and picked wild flowers for me to use as my bouquet that perfect day in July. After Bob and I exchanged our vows I tossed my bouquet into the river....to Uncle Jack.
Every summer on our way in to where family lives, we first stop at Greek Creek. We set up our beach chairs on the rivers edge, take off our shoes and stick our toes in the frigid water, open a bottle of wine and toast each other and Uncle Jack. On several occasions visitors from the neighboring camping spots would pass by and ask how long we would be staying to which Bob replies, "oh,we aren't staying, we just stopped by for a glass of wine with Uncle Jack....at which time they immediately scan the surrounding area for, Uncle Jack? Its just for grins, we eventually tell them :-)
Every year Bob humors me with the same route there that my Father always took. I'm very sentimental of the landmarks from my childhood trips. He also agrees to driving me by every house we ever lived in, and takes the same photos of those homes every year. I'm so, so happy I married a man that loves Montana as much as I do. He in fact would like to move there! I told him to be sure and write :-) Montana winters are not for me.
In 2008 we traveled to a rented cabin on the Gallatin were we met up with our bestest friends Tami and Scott from Colorado. This was less than two weeks after the loss of my Father. It was a difficult yet perfect trip. Difficult, because every summer I used to call Dad with my Montana report everyday, sharing with him most everything and everyone I saw. This particular trip the Gallatin River was fuller than I had ever seen it, I wanted to tell him. We spent the better part of a day with our friends atop a mountain in Big Sky that provided the most beautiful view I had ever seen in all my trips to Montana. I wanted so badly for Dad to see it with me.
Its that time of year, I begin thinking of Montana and all there is to explore that we have not yet seen, despite a lifetime of summer travels there. Big Sky Country, this is what echos form my heart today....