Not Montana

I was in the kitchen at work the other day and one of the RMs walked in for a cup of coffee. “So, I hear you’re moving!” he said to me. “Montana, is it?”

I corrected him, but couldn’t help chuckling over it later. I get this all the time; people know I’m moving to the Midwest somewhere, but can’t quite put a finger on the proper state. They’ll guess all the states surrounding South Dakota, but never seem to land on that one. It’s like they’re throwing darts at a map of the northern U.S. and seeing where they land. I have heard that I’m moving to North Dakota, Wyoming, and Minnesota, too. Even my good friend Heidi mentioned how different Grand Rapids, Michigan, is going to be. More than once. But she later admitted to thinking of the Midwest as “one big glob” anyway.275_5564b464d3a0c7.40098105_mw-map-poster-white_1500x

And maybe it’s just my imagination (running away with me), but I’d swear there is often an underlying note of pity in their voices, as if I’m being forced into something I do not want. Like I’ve drawn a short straw and am being exiled to a far-off land where it snows a lot and there are more bison than people. When I tell them no, this is a good thing, I’m leaving on purpose and looking forward to the change in scenery, a glint of relief appears in their eyes, followed by the inevitable question, “Why there?”

It’s okay. Everybody is well-intentioned, and I understand their curiosity. People in the PNW tend to be snobs about where they live. I don’t begrudge them for this; the upper left corner of the U.S. is beautiful, the climate temperate. A lot of people want to move here, while those itching to leave are in the minority. This makes me the weird exception to the rule.

By now I can recite my stock answer in my sleep. It goes along the lines of, my dad was in the Air Force, I went to high school there, loved the area, I want a simpler and cheaper way of life. That does the trick nicely.


Tara is headed home today and should be back by early afternoon. I’ll be glad to see her. A friend asked me today how I enjoyed my bachelorhood, but really, it was uneventful. I mostly watched a bunch of documentaries and cooked foods she would not like. This is what a forty-something party animal looks like, I guess.

My Saturday hike was definitely the highlight. While my last post might give you the impression that the whole hike was one big winter wonderland, that’s not the case. The first couple of miles were green and damp. Here’s proof.

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Countdown: 87 Days

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14 thoughts on “Not Montana

  1. LOL, yes, I’ve seen all sorts of those funny maps. The best ones are where they divide up our state by corn, hillbillies, rollercoasters, ghetto, amish, party school, and mafia!!!! Ohio: We’ve Got You Covered!

    Welcome to the world of the Flyover States!

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  2. “but I’d swear there is often an underlying note of pity in their voices.”

    Mark, I can so relate to what you said because I too get, not so much a note of pitying about moving to NYC, but more of a note of doubt and fear, such as, “OMG…..I can’t believe you’re actually moving to NYC…it’s so expensive; it’s so chaotic; it’s so intense; the people are so rude; it’s going to be sooooo hard to live there, you’ll never survive!”

    And I always want to say to them….”OMG…shut the HELL help and mind your own business!”

    Which is one of the main reasons I’m leaving Philadelphia…the people in this city are ALWAYS in your business; flapping their lips.

    I think what’s awesome about you and I are is that we follow our hearts (and intuition) and are not afraid to make changes, when we know that it’s time to make those changes.

    Most people can’t do that.

    So BRAVO to you, my friend!

    And Happy Easter to you and Tara!

    P. S. Love the map 🙂

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    • Happy Easter to you too, Ron! I know they say Philadelphia is “the city of brotherly love,” but it’s been my experience that people there are pretty uptight. I’m not trying to make a blanket generalization or anything – just an observation from my many trips there. There are always exceptions to the rule, of course (you being a prime example).

      Good for you for following your heart!

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  3. Clearly you haven’t promoted your blog enough around your work circles 🙂 I can’t say I would have immediately thought of SD if I was considering moving, but I totally get the reasons behind it. Frankly, the fact that it isn’t the first place that pops into my mind is appealing, though I’m pretty sure it is still too cold for my blood.

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    • I’m not sure that I want to promote the blog at work, lol. I’m content with the ones from there who are reading.

      I also like the fact that SD isn’t the first place anybody thinks of. If that ever starts happening, it’ll be time to move on again!

      Liked by 1 person

      • 🙂 I was teasing about promoting the blog at work. It is bad/good enough my parents read my stuff. I don’t know how I’d feel if work did as well.

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  4. I’d like to think I could do a better job of that map than the given, but … geography has never been my strongest subject. Now … if you want to know about vampires or something like that – I’m your gal. 😀

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  5. Did you ever hear the story about the Washington Post reporter who moved to Minnesota? He’d done a story about how, statistically, Red Lake County was the worst place in the country to live, and the residents were so piqued they invited him to visit. He took them up on it, wound up falling in love with the community, and relocated the same year. His name was Christopher Ingraham and, so far as I know, he’s still there. Great story.

    What will you be doing in South Dakota? I’ve never been to the Midwest except to stop in the Minneapolis airport, but have always wanted to visit.

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    • That is an excellent story, ha! Somebody should make a movie out of it.

      I am hoping to work remotely for my present employer in SD. I’m a writer/editor, which of course is something that can be done from anywhere nowadays.

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