Monday, September 5, 2011

Big Sky Country.....Still !

Well, I have been home from Montana for sometime now, yet just getting to posting about my trip.

Prior to leaving home I did see my Physician who prescribed me with something to help the anxiety of my first plane trip in 20 plus years.  He prescribed  a low milligram Valium.  " Start with one and if after 45 min. or so if still anxious take another...and so on...."  Really....I would like to be able to walk off the plane on my own!

The morning of the flight I was experiencing no fear. Once we reached LAX I was sure it would happen then...I would panic and swiftly open " the Pills" and began to over medicate.  Again, I was very calm.  Once inside the terminal we proceeded to the line where I expect to be patted down and hoping for no "inappropriate touching " as the news media and some passengers have reported. I did tense up about that!  They scanned my belongings and stared at the screen observing the contents of my suitcase and purse, likely wondering how in the heck I managed to load so much into so little a suitcase...(a carry checking bags my sister insisted). So I successfully made it through the scan myself and nothing suspicious in my carry-on.  Then much to my surprise the rushed me on my merry way...not so much as a handshake during my "inspection".  Don't get me wrong , it's not like I was disappointed !

Sister Deanna fetched us a cup of Starbucks to enjoy while we waited for the boarding call. Still no sense of worry, fear, or anxiety.  We have priority boarding so we are in our seats in a jiff.  My only sense of panic was after sitting for what seemed like forever while the hundred or so others boarded. Then things started to change.  I was suddenly aware the air conditioning wasn't on, I was very aware that it suddenly was standing room only down the already too narrow isle.  People looked annoyed instantly that things weren't moving quickly enough.  I watched as some tried to fit very overstuffed bags in the over head.

Eventually the overheads were full up in the  front of the plane causing those who had seats in the front of the plane to now meander to the rear of the plane to find a home for their luggage.  The only inappropriate touching is now occurring...the isle at best can handle a  medium size individual to walk down without touching seats on either side of them.  Suddenly they began  squeezing past each other to accomplish  luggage storage.
Some toward the end of the boarding line are now getting annoyed that they (a party of 6) couldn't all sit together! didn't pay for the assigned seats so please just sit down so we can get some air in this place!!!!!  I'm thinking I was going to have to rush all these people in order to reach the door !!  I had visions of just sticking my head out of it like a dog out a car window, just to get some air.

Again I think if this plane doesn't get moving I will have to take a pill.  Eventually the teenage stewardesses (yikes they look young) show us how to use the oxygen mask if it is needed.  I'm thinking please just release mine NOW as I really need some air!!  So, now we know how to use the oxygen masks,  where the exits are and we're advised that our seat could be used as a flotation device....not real effective if something should happen other than the first couple minutes as we take off over the ocean.  After that there is no water to speak of......

When I saw this, I was really thankful  I had a small breakfast.....

In case I forget it's written on the seat in front of me :-(


Once we took off and leveled out I began to really relax.  Actually looking out the window most of the time, amazed by all the open space, landscapes from beautiful red rock over Utah/Arizona to lots of green everywhere I looked. I used to look down and think of the horror of...well possible grabbing hold of the "flotation device"  and oxygen mask while en route to my final landing.  This time I didn't think it once...I really just sat, silently fascinated by it all.

Before we knew it we are preparing for landing in Billings Montana.  I was a bit rattled when the pilot started "applying the brakes", suddenly, slowing down when we were nowhere near the airport let alone the ground! I was told, not the brakes but wing flaps.  Whatever, we were no where near the ground.

We then leave the plane and head for the car rental counter.  It takes awhile but we made good time of it taking photos in the airport ......nothing like our California airports.  For one its like Barbie size!!  The photos below say the rest.

This is my Mom at the baggage claim they want us to believe it comes in on horse back? 

Deanna and I very amused by the horse :-)

We hit the road in our, I believe it was a Hyundai...economy car, good on gas, air conditioned and a radio.  Our only requirements met.  We head out to Bozeman, oldies station playing enjoying the new view...I had never been that side of Bozeman before.  We traveled along the beautiful interstate singing along with the oldies (that didn't used to be oldies).

The sky was, well, it was as it always is, BIG and blue.

I was
thrilled to hear my sister say, " it really is a big sky".  I have always said that the sky really is bigger in Montana....nice to know I'm not alone in the thought.

We arrived at the old family home of my Grandmothers where she gave birth to eleven children. Three bedroom one bath....I might add.  My Aunt Wilma and Uncle Ray now own the home and it holds so many wonderful memories.  I always feel happy when I'm there.
Since I can remember my Aunt has had this at her door in the event they missed you when you stopped by :-)
My Aunt and Uncle's home....

Every so often a cargo train about a hundred yards away goes by and loudly blows it's horn.  I love it, even if its in the middle of the night!  The first time it goes by, we are sitting outside visiting with several relatives and in mid conversation Deanna and I jump up and run out to the yard to listen and watch...undisturbed by any conversation.  We take it all in.  I know for me, that train and its loud horn take me back to my childhood, long before wrinkles, cellulite, gray hair and gravity became real to me.

We had a great visit with all our family, repeated some old stories, that never get old.  Got caught up on each others lives.  The anniversary party for my Aunt and Uncle was so perfect.  Cake, punch and coffee in the basement of their church.  Many family members in from all over, lots of old friends and neighbors of theirs came to congratulate them.  It was very sweet to see how happy they were with the people that showed up to wish them the best.

After that we, all the family, about 40 of us went to dinner at the famous steak house, The Oasis.  A little bar and restaurant across the alley from the family home.  Manhattan is a small town but has this jewel of a restaurant!

We spent one day in Three Forks.  A very small town where my parents bought their first home and Deanna and I attended our first Sunday School.
Our first home....
This is myself and my first cowboy crush, Cotton Todd, a long time friend of my parents.  When I was little I was in love with him, he always wore a black cowboy hat, Levi's and black boots.....yep he was it!  I stop and see him every summer I go home...

We toured the beautiful Sacajawea Hotel.....

Girl trip participants !

We had many late night talks at my cousin Linda and hubby Mike's beautiful home.  Wish we weren't so far away from each other.
Cousin Linda has managed to make elegant/animal heads work!
I saw some incredible rainbows, our reminder of God's promise...we will never need an ark again!

Departure day just four short days after our arrival.  We said our good bye's and watched my sweet Aunt and Uncle watch us drive away , never fun to say good-bye to them.

...and we hit the road in the early A.M.  toward the airport.  The flight home was great....again just a little trouble with the hitting the brakes prior to being near the actual ground. :-)  Other than those couple moments I was thrilled to know that I had done it.  I had conquered my fear of flying, in order to not miss such a blessed celebration of 65 years of marriage for my sweet Aunt and Uncle.
I did it all without  the need to fight with the child proof cap on my vial of Valium.  Yep, drug free!!

It was great to be home as always.  Entertained by my great niece Ruby,
Ruby shared her Hello Kitty stickers with us all....

Read us a story and demanded quite while doing so....

Love this little photo with her Pappa Mike.  It's her Mary Poppins pose :-)
then home to see  our new baby Khloe whom I couldn't believe could change so much in a period of a week. 

I'm thankful I had this little trip with my Mom and sister....and even more thankful for my Hubby whom encouraged to go and welcomed me home .

Very thankful for those of you that really did pray for me as I  prepared to board an airplane after so many years of  saying I didn't think I could ever do it.

I told myself prior to flying, my two favorite things are, the State of Montana and my Dad.....I was either landing in Montana or I would be with my was a win win for me!

I told Bob that I was ready for a flight to Italy now.....he hasn't really responded, even still?
This is what echo's from my heart today......


  1. Congratulations you did it! I wish I could be that calm on a plane...sweaty palms all the way. Your trip sounds lovely and the pictures are great. Your Aunt and Uncle are darling, it sure was a good thing you could be a part of their celebration. Thanks for popping by my Blog thats funny how you have never seen the pastel bulbs, they really are fun to have a jar filled with them in my Studio year round. Welcome home and have a great week. Hugs, Diane

  2. Yeah!!!! You DID IT!!!! I'm happy for you and it looks like you had a great time!! I love those blue skies and all your fun photos!

  3. You did it...all right! And it sounds like a delightful time with family.

    Italy next? Why not?

  4. Thank you for sharing pictures from the beautiful state of Montana. A visit to that state is on my bucket list, so you can see why I appreciated the pictures. I am so thankful that you God helped you through your fear of flying. Fear is so real, and you shared it perfectly. As fun as it is to go away, coming home is even better. I am happy you had those who love you, there to meet you at home.