There is no other way to describe the past 4 weeks for me.
A whirlwind. A blur.
In 4 weeks I have spent close to 50 hours on my ass driving or passengering. I’ve gone to British Columbia and back. I’ve gone to Bismarck and back. I’ve done several drives to Missoula and back.
UB and Loki did the big trips with me, charming every soul they met along the way.
Well, maybe not the new neighbor dogs in Bismarck just yet but they seem like nice dogs themselves.
I spent days in 3 time zones, attended 2 days of the Montana veterinary medical conference, played in a fun golf tournament as a last-minute sub and didn’t totally embarrass myself, made a Canada Day video with 2 of our ferrets that is worth friending me on facebook just to see and I even made my first birdie playing with Alistair here in Seeley Lake.
We hosted friends from Australia on their own blirlwind vacation and did all-things-Montana in one day.
Tanya’s Big Breakfast
Exploring the back forest in Steve, our Ranger.
Canoeing on and swimming in Salmon Lake.
More pool. More wine. More vodka.
Steak supper at the coolest steakhouse around.
Maybe a bit more wine.
And a great bonfire with toasted marshmallows to cap off the busiest of days.
The very next day was the trek to Bismarck with UB and Loki. As we crossed the state line the smoke from fires up in Canada’s Northwest Territory filled the skies.
The fires in Canada are pretty bad this year, owing to some drought-like conditions in the northern regions.
We are faring a bit better in Montana thanks to the late heavy rains we had in the spring.
Nobody in Montana complains much about late snow and rain.
Or, they might, but they don’t mean it.
We lived through the nation’s worst fire the first summer we moved here.
Where highways had tanks and National Guardsmen letting people in to check their homes and then get back out of the evacuation zone.
Where the smell of smoke permeated our homes, our clothes, our pets, our cars.
Where everything important was packed in bags and cat and dog crates lined every hallway in case we had to leave in an instant… we take fire season and its rules pretty seriously.
Back in Bismarck I got to help tend our lovely little garden that my husband diligently plans each year.
The soil is amazing. Its rich and moist and almost black. It is life in a tangible form.
Something to be said about 10-year-old topsoil thanks to our beautiful herd there.
We dined at some of our favorite restaurants and once again marveled at the growth and vibrancy of the capital city of one of the busiest states in the nation.
A new supermarket and impressive-looking high school are going up close to our farm in addition to a Bed, Bath & Beyond and rumors of a Costco.
Loki was exhausted after a couple of days of remembering things with her nose and ears. She ran around with a confidence ill-suited to a blind dog but UB, Gampy and I made sure to keep her in check.
The first step in my need for dental crowns occurred.
I haven’t had dental work done since I was a kid so it was a bit strange but it went well. My rubber tongue and slippery cheeks went away in time for us to hit the East 40 steakhouse that night.
Its odd to think that I’m at an age now where I might have things in my body that are fake.
Like these 2 temporary crowns.
They are the only fake things about me.
The only things that my DNA didn’t code for- things I didn’t begin my journey with.
Granted, I’m missing my tonsils but its not like they put fake ones in their place.
When did the warranty on my body start running out?
I didn’t have much time to ponder this as we were busy attending a beautiful outdoor wedding on the 12th of July.
It was a pretty hip, relaxed ceremony. The pastor told the congregation we all sounded like a “bunch of white people”. He was right so we chimed in with musical quotes he threw at us and all cheered as if we were at a hockey game.
Rebecca was radiant.
I’ve known her since she was a little girl.
Her parents were part of the team that introduced Alistair and I back in 1994.
I coached young Rebecca and she was my Tinkerbell one season and we’ve watched her grow up into an outstanding young woman. She seems to have found an equally cool partner in Ben.
It all came full-circle because the 12th of July is the day that Alistair and I eloped 18 years ago in Watford City.
He was on call but they let him turn the pager off for 2 hours.
We got a couple of bouquets made for Whitney and I, arranged for our friend, Gretchen to take the kids for a couple of hours afterwards, called a friend in from the rodeo where her husband was the emcee and her daughter was barrel racing and we eloped.
18 years is something.
I can’t quite believe its been that long. Its been a crazy, fun, amazing, hilarious, love-filled journey.
I wasn’t a veterinarian then.
We didn’t play golf back then.
We had 2 cats, 1 dog and 1 ferret, as well as about 10 horses, not to mention 2 young kids.
It was wonderful to share our special, private day with Rebecca and Ben and their families.
Rebecca’s parents now have Star and Maggie and we quickly visited them, too. Star was Alistair’s Arabian stallion when I first met him. Maggie is Star’s Pinto grand-daughter.
Full circle, once again.
I’m not a nostalgic person by nature but having this time right now and the most amazing of house/pet sitters in Lynn and Jessi and Carson, I was able to reconnect with special people.
Connecting in ways that facebook doesn’t allow… like a real hug from a real friend.
Merielle, Anna, Susan, Uncle Pete, Aunty Wendy, Brad, Janet, Rebecca, Dallas, Anne, Luba, Mom, Dad and Nan…. special people who shared their parents, partners and pets with me…. Edna, Mike, Angel, Chelsea, Chelsea’s mom, Porter, Peaches, Michael, Donna, Calypso, Ben, Cal, Bax and Tabitha.
But I’m back home and back on the golf course and I’ve watched Alistair leave once more for Bismarck.
By plane this time.
Which is as unnerving as watching him drive down the driveway.
For 7 years I’ve watched him leave, knowing I’ll see him again in 2 weeks.
But you never really know, right?
A passenger plane is shot down over the Ukraine and nobody is talking about it.
You never know.
The fact we appreciate the fleetingness of time, particularly as medical doctors, is maybe why we put so much attention on living in the Now.
We go to Hawaii, we get golf memberships, we buy Steve and Norman to make our adventures that much more fun.
We enjoy big breakfasts and wonderful suppers and wine and scotch in the hot tub in the evening. We play with the animals and laugh and sing and make videos with them.
We get outside to ride, canoe, bonfire, hike or play golf as much as we can because you never really know.
Maybe that’s part of why we’re still able to laugh and love after 20 years together.
My marriage. My adventures. My life. My blirlwind.