Monday, November 5, 2012


Dear Nancy (and Jeni and Deb),
I liked your post about the Halloween pumpkins.  I believe that last time I had the leisure to carve pumpkins was in Minneapolis.  In Missoula, we only had 2 trick-or-treaters on Halloween.  This is not a neighborhood full of families.  But as Elliot will tell you, there are a lot of dogs.  There are also at least 4 other cats we've noted, one of which is a smallish gray tabby who looks a lot like Elliot, and even wears a collar with a bell, just like Elliot, except it is blue while Elliot's is red.  They sound exactly alike with their little "jingle, jingle, jingle."

The last six weeks have been hectic.  First, applying for a new job.  That necessitated an in-person interview, thus: a 5 hour drive to Missoula, spending a night on Christy's couch, a 3-hour interview next day, and then the drive back to Billings before noon so I could go to work.  But I got the job!  That meant another drive to Missoula to find a place to live, 

                    Clark Fork River in Missoula from the California St. walking bridge - 4 blocks from my house.  I can walk over this bridge to get to Ben and Amanda's in about 20 minutes.
then back to Billings to pack, 

Billings garage during packing frenzy.
then back to Missoula with the truck, unpacking, trying to stuff everything into a different space, then starting my new position at Missoula Public Library with a nice, steep learning curve.  But we like challenges, don't we?

So here is where we live now.

I miss the trees we had in Billings and so does Elliot, but he is getting used to the neighborhood. 

Missoula is an exciting place to live.  It has tons of arts, small funky businesses (like Alpine Canine, that takes your dog on an "adventure hike" while you're at work), and creative non-profits; The Innocence Project, for example. That's where Ben Darrow just got a new position - he started last week.  And they love markets.  They have four open-air markets in the summer, and now they're having two in the winter months as well, at the fairgrounds and in an old barn on the edge of town.

The thrift stores can't compare with the Goodwill in Billings.  I guess that too many people are into recycling here and so the competition is fierce!  In my vast experience (Whitefish, Kalispell, Billings, Missoula, and any I happen to get to visit), the Billings Goodwill on King Street is the best in the state.  And I'm thinking of writing a book, necessitating my visits to every thrift store in the state, heh heh.  Don't you think people would buy a book like that?    Would you like to finance my project?

However, I really can't complain regarding thrift stores - there is a thrift store right around the corner from my house AND I went to find my polling place today, at the Sr. Citizens Center - and there is a thrift store in there too!  Look:

They sell quilt blocks!  And material!  And Yarn!
I found some 84% wool/14% alpaca there!

I finally got my bike out and went exploring along the Riverfront Trail.

Looking south across the Clark Fork at Kiwanis Park.

Clark Fork Natural Area along the Riverfront Trail.
Snowboarders working hard to build a ramp at Caras Park.

I found that it's only 10 minutes riding time to get to work using that trail.

And there's been some leisurely hiking taking place too, in the Blue Mountain Recreation Area that's on the edge of town: 

 This  might be happening quite a bit, because now Christy has a dog!  Her name is Scout.
Brian, Christy, and Scout walking in Blue Mountain Recreation Area.
Much love to all of you.


Nancy said...

Hi Mary, I was interested in your post and especially glad to see a picture of Christy's new puppy. He is rather large for a puppy. How much bigger is he going to get?

Scout. A good literary name. This one from To Kill A Mockingbird. One of my favorite books.

Mary Drew said...

Scout is a girl-dog, and she is about 1 year old. Christy got her at the Humane Society. The guess is that she's Lab and Whippet - or something!

dawson said...

Hey Mary,
Thanks for the news about Ben and the picture of long legged Scout. Hope you are settling in comfortably in your new house and have unpacked at least half of those boxes you moved.

Nancy said...

I wondered about her parentage. She certainly has a whippet shape to her.
A very pretty dog.

Amy Davis said...

Mary -love your post about your new home! Loved seeing the pictures and "hearing" your cheery voice narrate as I read thru. Miss you!