My plane leaves at 8 AM on Wednesday. Carol keeps warning me that it is cold there and I believe her. I look at my rather meager cold weather garments and wonder if they will do. I am looking forward to visiting with my sisters and making baked custard for Eunice and seeing Lyla and Marlyn and Anita and LaVerne. I hope that Lyla and I can play with her computer for a while and that she is getting used to using it again. I miss hearing from her. I thought I heard the phone ring this morning and remembered the morning calls that she used to make. I miss them and her.
Isnít it funny that no matter how old we get or how long we have lived somewhere else, home is where we grew up or where the family is? Montana will probably always seem like home. We Montanans have a fierce and protective attitude about our state. Have you noticed that when TV shows or movies want to send someone to the back of beyond, they go to Montana? Of course, we do have our share of kooks Ė as does every state. The Uni-Bomber chose to live in Montana and the men that kidnapped that young girl took her there, and various crackpots choose Montana probably because people tend to be accepting there. Montanans do have a certain frontier mindset. I remember coming back from Montana last fall and being amazed at the number of guns that were checked into the plane. Of course they were going to Montana to hunt. Terri and Nedís sons are hunters and Tyler, especially, sort of lives on the edge of extreme sports. Even though Daddy hunted a bit, he hunted for food, not sport, I think. I remember eating pheasant and prairie chicken that Mom fixed in a delicious cream sauce. You had to watch that you didnít break your teeth on the shot, though. Bob and Anita have an enormous mounted elk head in the entry of their house. Bob and Rob bagged it and it is beautiful, but I prefer animals alive.
Montana is big and beautiful and varied. The scenery is spectacular and there are all the things one expects in a rugged kind of place but in the cities there are museums and artists and music and all the things that one expects in a city as well. There are seven Indian reservations in Montana: Flathead, Blackfeet, Rocky Boy, Fort Belknap, Fort Peck, Northern Cheyenne and Crow. One can visit the site of the Battle of the Little Big Horn. It is always moving. Lewis and Clark traveled along the Yellowstone River in Montana. A short distance from Billings one can visit the site where Captain William Clark carved his name. It is the only site where one can view a visible trace of their trip. There have been significant dinosaur discoveries in Montana and there is a nice museum in Bozeman where one can see some of them.
But the best part of going home is being with the people that know you best and still love you (other than Mmmm and Kay). The best part is sitting and looking at pictures or remembering old times with sisters and laughing and talking and hearing about the move, from LaVerne and Bill, and looking at how beautiful Terra is in her senior picture and hearing about Janetís arm and seeing what a good job Ginni has done with Lylaís computer and watching Bob take such loving care of Anita and see how grown up Morgan has become. That is really going home.
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