Alas, we have arrived at our final destination and the true adventure has begun. Ironically my sense of adventure differs from that of most people. When I say that I am moving from Phoenix, Arizona to a small town in Montana I am first greeted with a moment of silence as though I have agreed to a slow and painful death. Then they realize that their silence has not adequately communicated the obvious and say something about the drastic temperature difference like “It is really cold in Montana.” Or they say something like, “Haven’t you lived in Arizona, where it is warm all your life?” I know Arizona is a great place to live, but come on now, those 115 degree summer months are as equally hostile. For over 20 plus years I have not been able to use my oven for the months of July, August and September. It is nice, but it is not utopia.
I also began wondering if they really, really knew me because when I say I’m moving to Montana, this is what I see. The population of Maricopa County is 3.9 million people. That translates to malls-lots of malls. Restaurants galore. And, I can walk to the store to get my gallon of milk. And the piece de resistance is I am withing 15 miles of 7 microbreweries. On the other hand, the county where we are moving has a population of 5,220 people. Goodbye malls, goodbye microbrew beer, goodbye Mexican food.
From the beginning I knew weather adaptation wouldn’t be my problem. Adapting to a different culture would be difficult. Now there And truth be told, it is hard. Thus far I have learned:
- -Having a cell phone does not guarantee you will receive a call.
- -If I want beer it is out of a bottle that can not be recycled.
- -It is a 150 mile drive to recycle plastic water bottles.
- -It is a 150 mile drive for Tex-Mex which can only be described as Mexican food with barbecue sauce. Ewww!
- -Friday night from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. are the only times to get fresh pizza.
- -All of my friends happen to have the same last name as me or are related to me in one way or another.
- -Everybody talks to everybody. When your nearest neighbor is a mile away social interaction is an intentional thing.
- -Everybody is nice. When there are less people around, the ones available to you are not taken for granted.
- -Everybody can fix something or make ingenious creations.
- -If you look like you need help, someone is there before you have a chance to ask.
From what I can tell thus far, we sacrificed convenience to be a part of a community where you are valued immediately. It isn’t that people in the city are careless. After being away from the activity of the city the distractions that would pull our attention away from the people around us is blaring.Traffic, people talking on their cell phones in the store, detours due to construction and the list goes on. When we lived in Arizona, it took me five years to make they types of friendships that I knew would be enduring. One week in Montana, I know these people are going to be in my life forever. It turns out, those conveniences I cherish and miss– weren’t so convenient after all.