Sorry to take so long to post about our recent adventures, but things have been in a state of change for about a month. Matt and I packed up and loaded our household goods into a storage container, and much too quickly we had to say our good-byes to one another. He’s now been deployed on his Navy ship for 3 weeks. The kids and I took off immediately on our road trip across the country, heading west toward Colorado. We drove 4 full days under difficult circumstances, as we all got fevers and chest colds. It was really very tough for me to stay awake to drive, and at one point I thought we were headed for the emergency room rather than the road. But we pulled through and made it to Colorado to spend several days with friends.
Our time in Colorado was a mixed bag, as we were all coughing like crazy and exhausted from our sickness and our travels. I so would have liked to have seen these old, dear friends of mine under better circumstances, but I still remember our visit with happy memories, fondness, and gratitude. And I hope to see them again on our return to Florida in the spring. In Colorado we went to a friend’s wedding, spent time camping with that friend’s family who were so supportive of me through my teen years, spent a night on a super awesome ranch that I really want to go back to, experienced crazy heat and saw the fires as we passed through Colorado Springs. It was really surreal to be in my old town again (went to high school and some college in Colorado Springs, ages 13-21), seeing fires with my own eyes as they burned down homes right where I used to live, homes of people I know. We made it through before the evacuations began, and spent 2 days with a high school friend outside Denver. We slept, napped, recovered, chatted, enjoyed reconnecting, and my kids had a blast playing with her kids.
Feeling refreshed we headed up north through Wyoming and into Montana, a drive that done while healthy seemed so easy and quick. And oh so beautiful. I don’t know if I forgot, or if I forgot to notice while I lived here… but Montana is incredible. Scattered small towns surrounded on all sides by vast wilderness and mountains, rivers and lakes, valleys and woods. After 2 weeks of being here I still can’t really believe what I am seeing. We spent another 2 days visiting with my sister-in-law and other friends in the really cool town of Bozeman, Montana (a hip college town right on the outskirts of Yellowstone National Park, Bozeman is just about perfect) before heading across the state to Kalispell.
And now the kids and I are settled in with family, living in our own little space and doing fine. We are enjoying being with family, the kids are playing like crazy with their cousins, I’ve kept busy with tending the garden my mother-in-law planted and taking my kids camping. Soon things will calm down quite a bit, we will begin a new daily routine, and I will continue to discover what I want to do while I’m here. At times I feel really sad, missing my mate, wishing he were here with us, but so far things have been good and we have fared just fine.
I didn’t take many photos during the adventure we just had, but here are several from our trip: the first four were taken on the ranch in Colorado, the next two with Christina (sister-in-law) in Bozeman, and the rest are from our recent camping trip in Montana. I wish, in retrospect, that I had taken more photos and better documented our travels and visits, but in truth it was about all I could do just to get here (my chest cough has only stopped in the last 2 days). I’m glad I can rest here now.