Moved in – Sort of

The last 3-4 weeks have been a little crazy in our family.  This is the first chance I have had to sit down and collect some thoughts.  We left Utah on December 3rd in a caravan consisting of a small U-haul, our minivan and my truck and headed north.  My brother Scott was good enough to come up with us and help us offload some things from the U-haul and then fly back the next day.  We are temporarily renting a duplex in Frenchtown, Montana while we figure out our more permanent living conditions.

The biggest thing so far about Montana has been the absolutely brutal cold and snow that has hit us over the past two weeks or so.  It started on the Sunday after we arrived and hasn’t really let up since.  We’ve had about 18″of snow and then just downright frigid temps with daytime highs well below zero with wind chill  All the locals keep telling us this is abnormal weather, but so far I just think everyone is lying.

Piles of snow on the road in Missoula.  We got slammed!


It didn’t take us long to get settled in the duplex.  We didn’t really bring a lot of stuff and the rest of our stuff is in a storage shed right now in Missoula.  It has been amazing how little we’ve missed all that stuff.  We’ve hardly thought about it.  It is a good lesson that sometimes we get attached to our “stuff”and we don’t really need it.

Madison and Q have settled in to school quite well.  Madison was particularly brave to face the big change head on.  I was really proud of her and has already found a few friends to hang with.  Her only complaints are that school starts too early (same time as in Utah) and that she actually has to do strenuous physical activity during P.E.  Apparently, they don’t mess around here in P.E. and its killing her because she is not used to that level of activity.  I find it kind of amusing, really.  Quincy is in a great little special needs program and has a full time aide with him, something he didn’t have in Utah.  I’m very impressed with the Frenchtown schools and the level of funding and resources generally in Montana schools.

Probably the best piece of news is that we closed our our property this last Friday.  It is now ours.  I had to borrow a portion from the bank to buy it and the process of borrowing money for a land purchase is a gigantic pain int he butt, compounded by the fact that we were out of state while getting the process going.  Finally, it is now complete.  Heidi was as giddy as a school girl the day we signed.  She is super happy to have the land.

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This is a shot of the lower portion of the “farm”.  We will build the house on top of the hill to the right of this picture.  Sure was pretty with a fresh blanket of snow.  

I’m happy to be here and excited about the change.  I’m seeing some huge blessings and benefits already from doing this move, namely the schools for our kids.  This alone may make the whole thing worth it.  I love the fact that they are getting more one-on-one attention.

We visited the property yesterday.  I am now calling it a “farm,” even though it is nothing more than a piece of land at the moment.  Perhaps it is the romantic in me that likes the idea of having a farm.  I sort of feel like I’ve reconnected to my family’s past to the days when my Grandfather was a cowpuncher and dairy farmer.  I feel a need to have that sort of thing in my life.  I feel really comfortable in the rural setting.  The quiet rural life really appeals to me.  So, maybe soon, I can acquire the necessary animals and implements to justify calling the property a farm.

The farm was beautiful yesterday.  All the pines covered in a nice blanket of snow.  The view as the sun finally peeked through the clouds and bathed the surrounding mountains in light was amazing.  The shop needs  a lot more work than I had initially thought to get it ready to live in.  The shop has an area that was made into a couple of rooms, but it is going to have to be gutted.  The plan is to get the shop ready to live in and that we will do until the house is built.  One idea we’ve had is to put a kitchenette and a bathroom in the shop then sleep in a travel trailer that we would pull into the shop.  We’ll see.  There are a lot of options.  There is enough room to maybe even live in there and avoid the travel trailer.

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The Clark Fork River at sunset as you leave Ninemile Canyon.  The bridge you see is Interstate 90.

I’m having  a hard time enjoying things too much right now. I feel stress over all the money its gonna take to get the shop ready and I do not like feeling of being unsettled.  I get cranky when I’m not settled, so this whole thing has me well out of my comfort zone.  But, I have found that being out of your comfort zone is a growth opportunity.  So, we’ll see what lessons there are to learn!  I’m really excited about the opportunity.

Now, if it will just warm up a bit!