19 January 2013

Roofline Arc, Bozeman, Montana

I will forever be amazed by the quality of materials and attention to detail exhibited in what are now historic buildings - well, at least historic in reference to the relatively young age of the United States. Compared to other regions of the world, our western-region building is still classed as new construction. Click here to see a 1932 photo of the Romney Gym, still on the Bozeman, Montana, campus of Montana State University.

18 January 2013

Night Lights, Butte, Montana

“Looking down from the mountain, it’s like
someone threw diamonds all over the floor.
But coming into the valley, the lights illumine
what is true, and real.

That‘s what the city‘s like - surreal & dazzling from afar.
But when you get down to touchstone reality,
It‘s pretty much the same as right here…

Because you can‘t leave yourself behind.”

- from Cubic Zirconia by (ahem) Cyndy Hull

I know, I know - what has it come to that I’m quoting my unpublished journals? But descending into the night lights of Butte, America, will forever remind me of reading words fresh from my pen and realizing, “I think I just wrote a country song…”
Not that I have anything against country music; I just never aspired to write a song in that category. For the record, that’s my listening genre of choice on Montana road trips - it just seems right. Hit the radio’s Seek button to find a clear country station, then sing along once you catch the tune. Absorb a little down-home flavour via local news and commercials. Smile at the live and unfettered elation of caller number four when the DJ announces yes! they’re the winner of county fair concert tickets. And on rolling stretches bereft of any station at all, open your eyes wider, take it all in, and let your soul feed on the quiet.

17 January 2013

Descending Fog, I-90 Roadside, Montana

THE fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
To top off the snow and cold, we've had fog the past couple days.
Arriving at work, I stepped out of my car and felt unseen sparkle on my face, an almost-nothing awakening touch, like that of a baby's fingers exploring a trusted face.

16 January 2013

Subtle Shift, Somewhere Along I-90, Montana

"...they touch heaven, tabour on it; how their talons sweep
The smouldering enormous winter welkin!..."
- from Ash-boughs by Gerard Manley Hopkins

On another winter note, if you haven't yet Googled today, you should - right now! be spontaneous! I'll make it easy - click here. In honour of inventor Frank Zamboni's 112th birthday, today's Google doodle is an interactive Zamboni game. Finally, you can drive the Zamboni, just like you always wanted to when you were a kid at the skating rink, watching, mesmerized, as the driver made his rounds - or, rather, ovals - to create a new smooth surface for everyone waiting to rush back on to the ice. Once you've conquered the ice rink, treat yourself to a nostalgic round of Pacman.

15 January 2013

Dusted Hills, Missoula, Montana

There's a selection of left-over Christmas fudge on the counter in our office breakroom - original fudge, huckleberry, and a creamy-coloured concoction. When I was a kid, my oldest sisters owned a health food store - Happy House, still a viable business, last we heard - so we enjoyed alternatives to common junk food. Instead of cocktail peanuts, roasted soy nuts were on our snack menu. Instead of fudge, we savoured a Middle-Eastern sweet called halvah, which is good in its own right, but cannot be confused with fudge. (If you squint, these snow-dusted hills look kinda like a variety of halvah. That's my tie-in, like it or lump it.) And I had no idea we consumed above-average food until we moved to the USA when I was in grade seven, and a new friend offered me a Twinkie. I think that's the last Twinkie I ever ate. No loss there.

14 January 2013

Baby It's Cold Outside, Drummond, Montana

The weather is still holding at cold - single-digit and low teens - with a hope to warm up enough for more snow later this week. Thankfully, Interstate 90 was mostly clear on our drive to and from Bozeman this past weekend. And, also thankfully, my husband was driving, which meant I didn't have to embrace my fear of random icy spots.
On our travels, I like to take photos out the window. I know I'll sacrifice clarity, and might not get any keeper pictures, but it's a habit-stretching experiment (no correlation to nuns and lycra). When you snap shots from a moving vehicle, you give away control and embrace serendipity. And very often are surprised by captured beauty you never could have planned. And that kind of surprise is always a good thing.

13 January 2013

Blue Jean Love, Montana

Getting dressed yesterday to leave for our weekend trip, I remarked to my husband that I've had these blue jeans longer than we've been married. And I know this because I'm wearing this same pair in a picture with my sisters taken on a get-together in the year before we married. This realization was a bit amazing, served up with a side of trepidation. Amazement because they've held together for seven years; trepidation because, as with bathing suits and bras, it's a sad, sad, day when the perfect garment finally blows out - because it's torture to find a replacement that fits as well! So, I'll take care of these, and hope they don't expire in a publicly humiliating manner. Like at today's cheer meet,. When I'm cheering loudly (yes, cheering for the cheer leaders).  Here's hoping these last a long time.