Friday, December 16, 2005


I'm feeling like a kid again. I've a neighbor new to the area who feels as displaced as I do. We share a midwestern background, we've both lived all over the country - and we both landed with a thump on the prairie. The more we talk the more common interests we find.

So. We decided to quit wallowing in our mutual complaints and get out and live a little. She wants to explore, I love to play tour guide. I love her attitude. I get an idea and call and she asks how soon should she be ready. Such was last Friday when I had reason to travel to Harrison. Off we went, she oooing and awing over the winterscape while I navigated remarkably good roads. Arriving ahead of who I was to see, we sought warmth in One Shot Charlie's and had the most wonderful Chie Tea - hers straight, mine with egg nog. We'll go to Harrison again just for that.

Not wanting to retrace our steps we decided to return via 93 and take in the Coeur d' Alene Casino. She left a nickel ahead and I with a whopping $10.00. It's better than I usually do in Vegas, that's for sure. Of course having an employee tell us which machines were about to pay off was a tremendous help. We laughed a lot about our great fortune, philosophy being if you merely break even at a casino you're a winner.

Knowing how much I love Montana, my guy being a native, she indicated a tremendous desire to explore. I told her if she was going to be seen with me she'd have to dress the part - boots, jeans, hat, the whole bit. Taking me seriously she visited the local outlets but couldn't find anything that suited her. Of course not - this isn't cowboy country. We needed to go to Murdochs in Kalispell; not Spokane - Kalispell.

"Great, when can we go?" That was yesterday's play day. At 6:45 a.m. off we went. Her guy had gassed the car, stowed emergency supplies and made her promise not to scare the living daylights out of me. My contribution was a firm knowledge of the roads and rest stops (we're not kids anymore you know), camera and binoculars. Our first mutual moment came as we were leaving a rest stop and a young man in overcoat, white shirt and tie tried to foist his religious literature on us - for a donation of course. Airports, yes, we are both used to that but a rest stop in the middle of winter in Montana???

Her oooing and awing was a bit tempered by low clouds and the fact she was driving but she continually spotted post card views. I loved her enthusiasm. We spent maybe an hour at Murdochs trying on boots. No, you don't really want suede, too hard to waterproof. You don't want ropers unless you're going to work in them. Those boots are really for line dancing - not for blue jeans. With the help of an absolutely delightful young lady who understood "boots" a selection was made. No hats to be found. That will be another day.

Off to Big Fork to pick up some Lillet - my favorite aperitif and the only place I've been able to find it. And lunch - not at the local hamburger joint but at Le Provencal where we could peruse the dinner menu and wine list in anticipation of another visit. We laughed at ourselves as we exited the car taking time for our noon medications! Poked in a few of the galleries since the town was quiet and the keepers had time to talk with her about the art and artists - something else she wants to learn about.

The visit was shorter than we would have liked but we wanted to be back to I-90 before dark. The moon was just rising and the sun still setting as we coasted off the hill into Wallace. A Moose Drool at the 1313 Club? Absolutely. Broke up the drive but wasn't so much as to make us a menace.

Been thinking about it - and maybe no one is interested, but I thought a chronicle of some of these adventures might be kind of fun for those who relate. Hence GOLLY - Grand Old Ladies Living Young. Stay tuned...


Word Tosser said...

Thelma and Your new friend sounds like a hoot and a good match for you too.

Anonymous said...

Charlotte in Dullsville, U.S.A.