Beam me up Scotty
Ever wished that you had a magic carpet?
Or better yet, a tele-transporter like the one
on Star Trek? There are times when I wish
I could instantly go to wherever I fancy.
And given I'm not Samantha on Bewitched,
nor a billionaire with a private jet, that's but
fantasy at best. Don't get me wrong. There's
nothing this sedentary soul appreciates more
than staying close to home. However living
in rural central Montana is quite different
than residing a block south of Central Park
in midtown Manhattan. Now popping over
to Barneys takes a full day and two flights!
Don't assume that I miss living in the big city.
To the contrary I rarely long for the hustle and
bustle and hassle of a metropolitan existence.
However I'd be remiss if I didn't admit that I
frequently long for a brief interlude in what is
better known as "civilization." As I've written
before, within our own home we live as we
always have. Thus we're more than comfortable
in our own sphere of influence. Our challenges
start once we leave said four walls and venture
out into the wild west. Once out and about one
realizes that our preconceived notions are far
from the interests of our friends and neighbors.
Part of my angst is that it's all too easy to feel
"out of it." Especially when one is far removed
from their former reality. Yesterday I happened
across a picture of the recently opened Louis
Vuitton store on the Place Vendome in Paris.
Designed by Peter Marino it features a massive
sculpture on it's facade - a modern homage to
France's sun king - Louis XIV. Incredibly chic,
all I wanted was to pop across the pond for a
weekend to see it. However nowadays, such
a journey requires more time, money and effort
than I can quickly summon. Hence for now my
quick fix is to bask out under the big sky sun.
It's not that we're snobs. But only that we come
from a very different place. However like most
anybody - the longer that one does without - the
sooner their standards devolve to the common
denominator. Last week we took a ride to Great
Falls. Once Montana's premiere metropolis, it's
now a somewhat downtrodden affair. Yet even
in it's compromised state it still offers creature
comforts we can't get locally. We had lunch at
Feather Your Nest - a new "bistro" in an antique
store. While the food was good, the exception
to the rule were their white table linens! They
alone made us feel we were suddenly HOME.
Being civilized is not rocket science. Yet few
if any locals see the need to make things nice.
Last Friday our family dined at the local Elk's
club. It's dining room looks out on one of the
loveliest views imaginable. Our meals were
delicious. The drinks divine. The company
great. However having it dished out on a bare
table and a paper placemat was unappetizing.
Our experience was akin to dining at a truck
stop. A sad fact that seems so unnecessary. Is
it too hard to dim the lights, set a proper table,
and ask that gentlemen take off their baseball
caps?! Maybe we should just stay home.
If I sound conflicted - you got the message.
Central Montana is a rough and tumble place.
But that doesn't mean you can't have it all.
Whenever I wonder what I'm doing here,
I take a trip to the Bair Family Museum in
Martinsdale, Montana. Situated in what is
truly the middle of nowhere is a world class
collection of paintings, fine furniture, english
silver, and the like. Amassed over fifty years
by the daughters of a self-made sheep rancher.
They lived elegantly in this wide open land.
Yet had no problem stopping their Cadillac,
shooting a deer, and throwing it in the trunk.
Slowly but surely I'm adjusting to life under the
big sky. However don't assume that I'm going to
forget where I came from. Nor compromise my
standards. Somehow such a dichotomy works in
my favor. If nothing else the dramatic differences
between here and there make the finer things in
life all the more enjoyable. And while I may not
share many things with my friends and neighbors,
most of us get a thrill looking out at the mountains
that surround us. You see, the finest thing here in
central Montana is the place itself. Which only
affirms that I'm right where I belong. So while at
times things may get rough, I'm more than ready!