Well, as most of you may now know, my family and I have packed up our home in the mountains of western Montana, and moved just a little further east to the farmlands and prairies of the hi-line in Havre. You may scratch your heads and ask, “Why?” Trust me, I had the same thought, but one can’t spend too much time second guessing these sorts of decisions.
I have an adventurous side. I always have. It may be my own curiosity, dreams I felt were unfulfilled, wanderlust, or what have you, but I like to think that it’s maybe just touch of my grandparents’ pioneering spirit that sparked my interest when this opportunity arose. When my grandpa, a cattle rancher from the Billings area, decided to sell the family ranch in Dean, Montana and move his family to the snowbelt of the Swan Range, his family, too, thought he was crazy. He didn’t care. He relied on his knowledge, strength, and courage to do what he felt was right for his family. My grandmother, full of quiet grace and strength, humbly followed him in his vision for a different life. They were pioneers in their own right, building an outfitting business and guest ranch in a land they knew little about. They drew on each other’s faith, and that of the good Lord above. They raised five children without the help of family, or the assistance from government. They worked hard for every penny they had, the callouses on their hands, and the lines on their face.
They fell in love with the mountains, immersed themselves in hard work and building a community, fought through hard winters, and persevered through loss of money, family, and business. But, they never lost sight of their love and strength of and for their family. They instilled that in all of us.
So although this move and change may be difficult, I feel this is truly the beginning of a new chapter of my life, my adventure. It’s my chance to tap my pioneer spirit, draw on their strength and memories, and make memories of my own with my husband and children. My grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles gave me strong roots that run deep, but they also gave me the wings to fly. Life is truly what I choose to make it. With all the wrong turns I’ve made, I’m finally right where I should be, and it’s a new peace of mind.
In closing, don’t forget what you’re made of. Everyone has the equal opportunity in life to pull themselves up by their boot straps, no matter the situation, and make the most of this life given. Be grateful for the hard times that carve out your strengths, relish the good times, and most of all, just live.