Last fall we moved off pavement to a home much closer to the natural world. We left a busy street in Monroe, NY for a dirt road that leads to a gravel driveway which ends a half mile later on a mountain in Montana. The natural world literally surrounds us with its wonders, its beauty and, also, its no-holds-barred survival of the fittest. I hate to break it to you but nature is not a Disney movie.
Most of the products we use every day don’t last very long. I don’t know if its planned obsolescence or simply that they don’t built things like they used to. Most things we rely on seem to be here today and gone tomorrow. But I bet, if you look around the recesses of your home you might find an item that transcends time. Something that will always be there when you needed it.
Five miles from the nearest pavement, down a dirt road, make a right onto a grass covered forest access road. Walk a half mile down the access road and, maybe 100 yards off the road, in a hidden valley, there’s an old, going back to the earth, log cabin. I couldn’t help but wonder whose dreams, fears, aspirations were once housed there.
In the process of building our new home and putting in a driveway we had to cut down quite a few trees on the property. The builder limbed the trunks and then stacked most of them in piles. I stared at these piles for a long time trying to figure out how I could use them.
For most of my life a dog has been part of the family. What type of dogs you ask? I don’t know. They were mostly black dogs of dubious bloodline and parentage who came either from a shelter or were castaways from somebody else. When I retired, I decided I was getting the perfect, pure-blood hunting dog.
I’ve always wanted to live where the wild things are. No, not the Bronx, different wild things live there. I mean closer to nature, at the door to the wilderness. Growing up I was more interested in Daniel Boone than Buck Rogers.
I hadn’t moved in thirty-five years. That’s thirty-five years in the same house. So how many ‘essential’ items does a family collect in thirty-five years?
You might have heard the news, Kat and I made some major changes to our lives this year. I had worked at the same place for thirty-four years. Mostly good years, almost all good people. A few assholes, but to be expected.
In the summer of 2018 I drove cross-country, New York to Montana, alone. The plan was to stop in Colorado Springs to visit my Army son and then meet Kathleen in Kalispell where we would spend a week or so before heading back to New York. The pickup was loaded with tools and stuff so I could build a shed on the property we had purchased the year before.
Moving to Montana surprised a bunch of people back in the old country, New York. I mean everyone in NY goes south, Florida or the Carolina's. Who goes west to Montana?
A few observations of living in the Rockies to date: