The other night was exactly one year in our new house on the mountain. This morning we woke to see a small herd of elk standing on the hill above the house. I don’t remember that ever happening in Monroe, NY. What else is different one year later?
A year ago, all our furniture, at least all that we took with us, was in a storage unit. The first few nights in the new house were spent on fold out chairs, the TV on a cardboard box and sleeping on the very slim mattress from the camper. Ahh, fond memories. They are even fonder now that I sleep in a real bed with a comfortable mattress.
The house may have been finished but much else needed to be done. The spring brought mud. Lots of mud. Think of sticky dough that gets on your hands and, no matter how you try, you just can’t get it off. Mud. Stomp your boots. Scrape them on rocks to budge it off. The mud was everywhere. What kind of grass grows in this kind of mud? Not the regular kind. We seeded with a couple hundred pounds of ‘forest mix.’ That’s the stringy stuff that grows under the pines in the forest. It now grows all around the house. Not exactly like the White House lawn but the deer love it. They munch on it regularly. It works out because I like watching the deer and I hate mowing a lawn.
The most notable acquisition, and probably the one that cost the least amount of money, was our Montana Mountain Dog. After finding mountain lion tracks on the property, we decided a good watch dog might be in order. The Flathead County Animal Shelter provided us with the first of this new breed: a Montana Mountain Dog. You’ve never heard of this dog? Well, if you mix together half of all canine breeds and then somehow inject human intelligence and emotions into a 100-pound dog you get Hercules. A Montana Mountain Dog. Hercules likes to play catch and go for hikes. Mostly though he likes to sit his one-hundred pounds on your lap. A good watchdog? Ehh. A great companion? Yea.
What really changed for us this year? Lifestyle. Our choice of retirement location isn’t for everyone. In fact, for two New York people, it is rather unusual. Do you know anyone who retired to Montana?
Some need the rush of people, the hum of the city or suburbs. I’m not one of them. Retirement has allowed me to get closer to the natural world I’ve always wanted to explore. What do you dream about while sitting in traffic or in that meeting that drags on much too long?
Making the move required that we leave some very good friends, and family, thousands of miles away. We were a spread-out family anyway but now we are spread out even more. The flip side is we have made a number of new friends here. We have gotten involved in local volunteer groups (Habitat for Humanity and Search and Rescue). Despite the COVID, life has been pretty full and the volunteer work rewarding.
The message here? Find your place, where ever that place is. If the beach and palm trees are your thing, go for it. But, if you like winter with 20 degrees and snow, I know a GREAT Realtor in Kalispell.