They say you can't go home again. I hadn't been back to Montana in several years. So, when the occasion of my Aunt Wilma and Uncle Ray's 65th Anniversary celebration came up, I decided it was time. Time to return to my birthplace,to the place where my first memories were formed, to the house my mother was born and to the family still there. My first home. MONTANA.
I convinced both my mom and my sister, Debi, to join me and we set off on our summer adventure. What an adventure it was. There were so many wonderful moments contained in a few short days, too many to recount them all here, but, so worth the remembering and giving thanks for...
Time with my mom and my sister in the place where our first memories as a family were formed...here we are on the steps of the Sacajawea Hotel in Three Forks, the first town we lived in as a family. We stopped to visit with Cotton and Madeline Todd. I remember sleeping over at their house with their daughter Donna when I was a very small girl. For most of my life, I thought I had imagined that they'd had a horse sleeping behind the sofa. Turns out it was for reals. Gotta love 'em. Good people, life friends.
Staying in the warm and beautiful home of my cousin Linda and her husband Mike. They were so gracious and hospitable! Reconnecting with her was such a blessing and such fun!
Visiting with many cousins, aunts, uncles and life long friends we seldom get to see.
Hanging out at the Garden Cafe in Manhattan, and visiting my favorite little vintage shop on Main Street.
Sitting on Wilma and Ray's porch, eating steak from the Oasis and laughing with loved ones who came from near and far.
Hearing the distant train whistle blow and running across the road with my sister to feel the whoosh of the train passing by as we stood along the tracks.
Attending the anniversary celebration in the basement of their church and realizing the minute I got there, that this was the place where I had attended Vacation Bible School as a child. Vivid memories of this room washed all over me!
Sitting up late with my cousin, sister and mom, having a glass of wine, (okay, maybe two) and hearing stories out of my mother's mouth that left me laughing so hard I was gasping for breath!
The sky. Oh, the sky. It's hard to explain, but, it's really different there. Expansive. Vast. Majestic. Expressive. Enormous. Unobstructed. God's creation shouting!
It was only five days, but, it was a little slice of heaven, and--you know what's next--I'm grateful.