Montana author William Kittredge was the first to call it the last best place. John Steinbeck wrote, “I am in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection, but with Montana it is love, and it’s difficult to analyze love when you’re in it.” For my part, I’d like … More Montana: The Ron Swanson of States
On my last day in Montana, I reached a sheep ranch outside the town of Roundup. A friend–a Wisconsin native, Montana transplant like me–had been working and living there for the season. I played with Akbash puppies and entered the pen of orphan lambs, called bums. They suckled my fingers and chewed the belt loops … More On My Last Day in Montana
Isn’t it a good little mental shake-up to notice unexpected things in surprising contexts? I remember the first time this happened to me: I was at a friend’s house in elementary school. Her family had the same set of dishes as my grandma. Grandma’s dishes! In Colleen’s house? Whoah! Yesterday was one of those days … More Chicken Feet, Cheesehead, Sage
Today’s the day that a piece of my manuscript about my time in Yellowstone appears in High Country News. The full essay appears online here: http://www.hcn.org/issues/44.16/storm-on-lava-creek-a-season-in-yellowstone.
Why wait to reacquaint those arms with the resistance band? Smoked gouda. Try it already!
It’s my last morning in Missoula for a while. Recently I went for a walk in the North Hills, my favorite hiking area in town, and took a journal with me. Looking down on Missoula, I thought, “thank you.” For all the experiences I had here–as a young woman, a student, a teacher, a friend. … More Thank You, Missoula
Big Hole National Battlefield is ten miles from Wisdom, Montana. On this site on August 9, 1877, gunshots at dawn woke a camp of Nez Perce. Many died here: 31 soldiers and volunteers and nearly 90 Nez Perce—the majority women, children, and elderly. They say you can still hear their cries. The place warrants many … More Blood and Wisdom
It’s the 140th birthday of the world’s first national park! Yellowstone was created on March 1, 1872. In honor of the birthday today, my time working in the Park, and the thesis I’m writing about the Park, I’ll share something playful that I recently wrote to have a little fun in my current writing class…10 … More 10 Ways to Have a Miserable Yellowstone Vacation (Happy 140th, YNP!)
Pop quiz about 1990s sit coms! Who was the prime time uncle known for his signature expression “Have mercy!”? If you said Uncle Jesse Katsopolis, you were right. Thanks to Uncle Jesse’s role on Full House, many of us became used to the expression “Have mercy!” Among friends and colleagues here in Missoula, a new … More Taste that Wild Mercy
On the first day of a writing seminar I’m taking this semester, we were asked to introduce ourselves by sharing a six-word memoir (or at least a six-word statement about the self). The idea, popularized by Smith Magazine, makes a fun exercise to try again and again. How much can we express in six words? … More Wrote Packers Essay. Goal? Meet Aaron.