That mountain life, though

Well, wouldn’t ya know half of my time here has already flown by like a stampede of bison (that should be an official Montana saying). Still observing new and quirky and wonderful things about Helena and this gigantic state with a not-so-gigantic population. The road signage here really has much to be desired as there are lots of one-way streets with no indication of being one-way streets and just some generally strange intersection situations.

Today starts transmittal break, which is the legislative equivalent of spring break (read: I don’t have to be back in the office until next Friday!). Seeing Helena in the daylight is still a bit strange as my committees have me working from dusk til dawn. My Floridian co-worker Jim decided not to finish out the session. So I bid him farewell today with a bottle of huckleberry syrup and got a glimpse of what it will be like at the end of session when I say goodbye to everyone and to Helena and Montana and…. It’s not that I’m particularly attached to this place. It’s just that I have this really weird thing about goodbyes and endings and transitions. Like, they make me super super sad and sentimental. And I’ve had to do a lot of them this year and they just never get any better.

Holden Caulfield says it best, “Certain things, they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone.” I guess that’s the bittersweet part of adventuring. You find parts of yourself in particular people and places and campfires and mountains and there’s just never any way to take them all with you, try as you might. Those who travel have much to lose from what they gain.

I went to the cleaners today and then to pay off a parking ticket and good lord, everything is just so easy and stress-free here. It’s out of a freakin’ movie. At the parking commission (where there were parking spots, aplenty), there was this older lady sitting at a table in the back counting coins by hand and putting them into rolls. Because, well, I guess that’s what there is to do. Montanans are really content with their lives and that contentment is a beautiful and contagious thing. I imagine, though, that I’ll always be a big city girl at heart. I like the push and pull of ideas—the power of possibility that constantly lingers and the energy of so many pushers and pullers in one place. I do miss that. And, let’s be serious—having a DSW down the street.


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