Musings about music, writing, Portland, my new house, my travels, my family, politics, whatever.....

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sentimental fall road trip to Missoula

I had a really lovely trip to Missoula with Lisa, though way too short. I hadn't realized how good it would feel to be back there, how much I missed that landscape. I had spent so much time worrying about bad weather on the passes, black ice, cold, that it had not occured to me that we might be going on one of the most gorgeous weekends of the year. That it might be clear blue skies all the way, comfortable fall weather, bright yellow larches and aspens everywhere. It was actually warmer than Portland when we got back, warm enough to sit outside on Saturday night.

I don't know how to say this in a way that's not cheesy or sentimental (yup, that's me), but part of my heart is still back there. When we drove up Highway 93 through the Mission Valley to Polson to meet my friend Sarah (and her adorable baby Alden) on Friday, my heart felt ready to split wide open. I didn't expect that bright blue sky and those shiny white mountain peaks to make me want to cry. I wanted to go walk along the road on the northern side of Mission Reservoir or ride a horse through the hills east of the highway in Arlee. But there was no time for that, we were on a tight schedule.

One of the main highlights of this trip was getting to meet all the babies that my friends have had since I was last in town. That's three friends my age who had babies this year. Sarah (my former Missoula neighbor, now married and living in Kalispell) and Russ had a baby boy in July, Alden. We went up to Polson to have lunch with them. Nina and Alex had a beautiful boy in March, Marquez, who we got some quality time with. And David Max (who I actually met in India) and his new wife, Jill, had a little girl in February. Her name is Alcyone (Al-SAI-uh-nee), which is a star in the Pleiades. Oooh, it all made me think about babies.... But I have at least a few more years to go. I wish I could see these ones more often.

Me and Alden, the red-headed punker, at a cafe in Polson.

Alden and his momma, Sarah.

Nina with Marquez, at Caroline's house.

Lisa with Marquez. He liked her hat.

Alcyone, the amazing walking 9-month old.

Me with Nancy and Marmot and their daughter Zoe, who I took care of when she was a baby. She's got quite the personality now. She didn't remember me, but came right up and said, "Where do *you* live?" And then gave me the entire history of all her owies and which kinds of band-aids she had. And as you can see, she loves to jump on the bed.

Willa particularly loved seeing all the babies in these pictures, as usual (also stay tuned for a picture of her in her Halloween costume).

One of my projects for today is to finally set up my guest room for my grandmother, Happie, who is arriving on the train from Seattle tomorrow morning for a weekend visit. That'll be good to have done. And good to see her.


  • At November 2, 2006 at 4:52 PM, Blogger Prema said…

    Lovely way to spread the love, Jess. And nice to have you back. Here, that is. :)

  • At November 3, 2006 at 7:01 PM, Blogger Carrie Wilson Link said…

    Love all those great women/mothers/children in your life, Jess! REALLY love your grandmother's name! TOTALLY changing my name to Happie!

  • At November 4, 2006 at 3:45 AM, Blogger Jerri said…

    LOVE the pictures, Jess. And SO happy to see you back on the blog.

    What a woman your grandmother must be to have earned the name "Happy." Sure would like to hear her stories.

    Zoe's face while jumping on the bed is the definition of happy.

    More, please.


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