Merry Christmas, everybody!

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Montana Life

ELIZABETH

It’s been about two weeks since we finally settled into our little home in Hamilton, Montana, and I can’t count how many times I’ve blurted, “THIS is what we yearned for in India!  Making THIS meal is what we dreamt about in Nepal.  Strolling to the river with homemade paninis?!  We would have killed for this in Antarctica!!!”  True, we’ve given up some truly incredible things that come with a life on the road, but for now, I am soaking in the bliss of cooking in my own kitchen, getting to know our naughty little kitten, going for leisurely bike rides (on our own bikes!) with Kevin.  We’re settling into this little community, have a frequent-fillers card at the local brewery, and are getting involved in the farmers market.  We have all we need.  Life is good.

Our new kitty, Cornelia, leaps through the air in pursuit of a butterfly.

Cooking for ourselves is one of the greatest joys after our years of kitchen-less life.

Kevin surveys the beauty of the Bitterroot Valley.

KEVIN

Things are finally starting to settle down a bit here in Montana. We have pretty well moved in, and have had lots of visits from wonderful friends. Our days have been filled with household chores and yard work, two things that one misses dearly after several years on the road. Elizabeth works on paintings and jewelry inside while I cut and sand wood in the garage. Some days we fill up a growler of IPA at the local brewery, and spend the hottest hours of the day floating down the river on tubes. Our new cat, Cornelia, learns about bugs and gravity as she begins to age out of her kitten body. She pounces on moths like a trained killer, but when she has them at her mercy she suddenly realizes that she doesn’t know what to do next and looks glazed as the moths flap away to safety. Sometimes she will get excited and start galloping around like a mad man. She will leap and bound like an acrobat, until she finds her ambition greater than her haunches and falls several inches short of her intended landing. I won’t say that she falls gracefully, but she is a fighter and always stands right back up, ready to try again tomorrow. Watching her learn about the world around her has been a delight, and the furry little creature has stolen my heart out from under me. At night, the three of us meet up for glorious meals, mostly sourced from Elizabeth’s mom’s wonderful garden. We eat under candle light on our porch, watching geese fly west in the twilight above us. Staying in one place, having a house and a cat, is a new chapter for us, but so far I love how it starts.

The full moon rises over the mountains in the Bitterroot Valley.

A Great Horned Owl contemplates trying to eat my new kitty. He’s dreamin’.

Cornelia relaxing in her onion basket.