I haven’t written a blog since late May.
There was snow on the ground back then and the Montreal Canadiens were just starting the run that would take them to the Stanley Cup Final. I had also just listed a cute house a couple of blocks up from the office I’m in today.
Wow, have things have changed since then….
Montreal lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Final (oh, Canada… one day we will bring the Cup home again.)
There is no snow but the summer haze of forest fires has engulfed Seeley Lake once again.
And that cute house is happily under contract!
I’m also down to one layer of clothing most days and my wardrobe is suitable to pulling off the highway on my way home to hit a few golf balls.
With a membership I don’t necessarily feel like I have to play 18 or even 9 holes. Sometimes its just 1, 2, 3 and 9 or 10, 11 and 12. The course configuration is set up to allow for me to whack the heck out of a teed-up ball with Driver and even try to make par or birdie on one par 3 hole. Sometimes that’s all I need.
We’ll see how busy the course looks when I cruise past it later today.
Another completely different aspect of my life compared to May is that we are finally getting our deck built off of our master bedroom. This is the deck that collapsed during the massive snow load of winter, 2017-2018 (the blog posts and pictures are cray cray.)
A combination of unbelievable events led to this epic reconstruction of our beautiful home.
It has been farcical to say the least but right now we are just happy to think that someday we will be able to sit on the deck and listen to the breeze shift the cottonwood branches above the creek that’s bubbling away.
I also cruised back to Bismarck for a few days since I last blogged. It was a tune-up for Tanya with a visit to my dentist as well as my stylist, Tiffany #1. (There are two Tiffanies… and, yes, they know about each other. We’re actually at the point where they ask about each other’s lives when I’m in their chairs now.)
The weather was great for my ND journey although the sunny, blue skies and 100-plus degree weather didn’t combine well with our furnace/AC that died. Thankfully Alistair was on top of it and I got to write a check for 5-digits when a crew installed a brand spanking fancy new furnace for us. It will save us coin in the end because Alistair will be able to change settings the day he leaves Montana to get the house heated or cooled for his arrival 11 hours later.
I got to hang with my pretty ponies on the Bismarck farm and finally attend to the one full-bred Arabian left. It was time to give Jessi the freedom to run in pastures in the sky without pain in her forever-foundered hooves. Jessi was given to us by a veterinary client years ago and never had a person on her back. She lived a charmed life as a Fyfe horse, munching rich prairie grass and hanging with her buddies her whole life.
It was still sad to say goodbye because she really was a loving, gentle spirit who was the first to approach me in the fields.
It must have affected me more than I thought because I’m having to wipe away at some naughty tears I wasn’t expecting, all while hoping a billionaire doesn’t waltz into the office right now.
We played fun golf out at our ND course, Painted Woods, too.
It is a sprawling course that brings challenges in the form of elevation changes, a winding creek that comes into play on a bunch of holes, and the incessant wind. It, like our course in Montana, is also seeing a surge of new members who have discovered the joy of playing a game that allows for natural social distancing. While we’re happy to see both of our courses flourish, admittedly there is a selfish longing we both feel for having our courses almost completely to ourselves again.
Ah, but those are clearly first-world problems, aren’t they?
There are a lot of other changes in my life compared to back in May.
I’m working a lot of days as a veterinarian in Deer Lodge. I’m still loving it but I have had challenging moments that forced me to do unthinkable things. It can be hard to walk to the door knowing what the path is on the other side but with a solid team around me and the skill set to open the difficult door, it is easier to walk that pathway afterwards.
Its also easier when we choose to add some humor when appropriate and that solid team is always eager to laugh with me.
And real estate… wow… I can’t even begin to wrap my brain around the lack of inventory and the insanity of the market in Western Montana. Us agents are all hopping busy right now. I wish we had more homes to offer to the folks who dream of moving to this gorgeous part of the world.
I am happy for my friends who have trusted me to list their properties or find them their new homes. Most of my current buyers and sellers have come to our office through my veterinary world and it makes my heart happy to have them entrust me as their realtor, too.
And with all of the busy changes in my life these past weeks since May one of the most profound and poignant ones is the fact my busted engagement ring is happily seated back on my ring finger just in time for a special anniversary.
It broke weeks ago and it took awhile for me to get it to a jeweler’s in Missoula. Then it took awhile for them to get a whole new setting for the solitaire marquis-cut diamond and even longer for us to get back to Missoula to pick it up again.
But its here and its happily back on my hand in a thicker, skookum-looking setting ahead of tomorrow, which just happens to be our 25th wedding anniversary.
July 12th, 1996, Alistair was allowed to take his pager off for a couple of hours after Whitney and I picked up two pretty bouquets, and Gretchen poured me a stiff amaretto and OJ and Gareth put on his 10-gallon cowboy hat and Beth left the rodeo for a few quick minutes to witness for us while Alistair’s nurse, Deb married us in a church that I’m pretty sure is legit on a summer afternoon in then-sleepy Watford City.
We eloped to get the green card process going for me sooner than our planned on-ice wedding in Grand Forks, BC that fall but our lawyer informed us the next business day that they had revamped all of the rules for that sort of thing a few months prior.
I was 23, Alistair was 37… so long ago with so much in-between and I remember it as clearly as if it was yesterday.
We’ve loved, we’ve shared, we’ve moved, we’ve changed countries, we’ve flown, we’ve helicoptered, we’ve whale-watched, we’ve golfed, we’ve emceed, we’ve reunion-ated, we’ve raised kids, we’ve raised horses, we’ve raised pets, we’ve said tearful goodbyes, we’ve gardened, we’ve evacuated, we’ve played hockey together, we’ve poured each other drinks, we’ve shared knowing looks, we’ve cried, we’ve kissed, we’ve eaten many great meals, we’ve golfed, we’ve canoed, we’ve hiked, we’ve explored, we’ve bought a new furnace for 10 grand, we’ve shared music, we’ve done hospitals, we’ve been there “in sickness and in health”, we’ve skied, we’ve boated, we’ve weddinged, we’ve funeralled, we’ve celebrated, we’ve theme parked, we’ve hot tubbed, we’ve won and lost umpteen games of crib, we’ve rolled our eyes and, my goodness, we have laughed together.
We will be in different states tomorrow but that really doesn’t make the marking of 25 years of marriage any different for us. I’m glad I have my ring back.
So in the time since my last blog so very much has happened. My life is generally very busy but all aspects of my life seemed like they were in high gear for most of June. I think it should be a bit lighter once July starts to wind down but I’m going to make sure to enjoy the sunshine and the golf courses and the rush of veterinary medicine and the craziness of real estate while I can.
Thanks for reading and I hope you can find or make the time to enjoy the big and little things in your world, too.