Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. For years Tim and I talked about moving somewhere out of the way, I imagined a little farmhouse away from everything where the kids and the dogs could run and play and we weren’t bothered by neighbors who were too loud, sold drugs, partied, hated our dogs, etc. (We’ve had a string of bad neighbors, and only one or two really good ones) For some reason we had settled on Montana, and we had even tried to get a job in Montana before, when we were still in the culinary field. Fast forward several years, a career change and one excruciatingly long drive and here we are, Montana.
When I look out my windows, all I see is blue sky and rolling hills, sunlight glinting off the frosted grass. Windmills dot the horizon. The thermometer outside said 15 degrees this morning and it is only November. The air is so dry I am constantly putting on lotion and always feel thirsty. It is a far cry from the dense forests and mild dampness I grew up in.
The house is exactly like visiting your grandparent’s farmhouse, complete with 70’s décor and shag carpet. When they said it was fully furnished they weren’t kidding, the house is full of books, knick knacks, linens, and it is overwhelming. I have to pack up someone else’s belongings just to move mine in. Still, the kitchen is huge, with a beautiful old linoleum floor. Our landlord said we can use what we want and he’ll store the rest, we can paint if we want, he is just happy to have the company, I think. He is our only neighbor, an elderly farmer whose family worked this land for several generations. The road is named after his family. We like him and so does our dog Toby. Wherever we have lived, Toby has found an old man to befriend. Good thing Toby likes our neighbor; he is the only one for five miles.
There is so much to do. The amount of cleaning and packing and unpacking feels overwhelming. As I unloaded the car that first day I had a panicked litany running through my head, “what did we do, what did we do, oh gods all our friends and family are so far away, what did we do????” A few nights of sleep have helped erased the litany but doubt still remains. We are alone in another state, another world, really. Did we do the right thing? Suddenly there’s no back up, no safety net for those days when I just can’t take one more tantrum. Still, Montana is beautiful. The moon last night was almost otherworldly as it sailed, full and shining, over the plains, turning everything silver and lovely. If I look west I can see the Rockies, snow covered and brushing the sky. This is not just a move for a new job, it is a trial. A test to see if we can walk the walk, after years of nothing but talk. It is a trial we are undertaking with open eyes and open arms but only time will tell if getting what we wanted is a good thing.