Gratitude Monday

Better late than never this week I guess.

I’ve been all over the place today with what I would post, but I just now revisited a link my kid sent me over the weekend. It’s the first demo he recorded with his band in their jam room. The band is called Swamp Ritual, and they are a Doom/Stoner Rock two-piece drums/bass outfit. I think they’re great, and I love this.

So what am I grateful for? As much as it worries me sometimes, I’m grateful the obnoxious mutant offspring has found something to be passionate about in his music. I hope it treats him well.


Gratitude Monday

I’m grateful for access to clean water where I live. This is something I think way too many people take for granted, and with all the talk about oil and access to it, I think water access is where the most desperate battles are going to be fought in our not-so-distant future. It is part of what is so horrible about what oil companies are trying to do in Canada, with plans to pipe and ship all that dirty tar sands oil through the Great Bear Wilderness. Similar are the debates and battles to stop those huge rigs moving up through Montana and Idaho on Highway 12, which runs parallel to the Lochsa River. Now, my Gratitude Monday posts aren’t intended to be political, which is why I’m not linking to any articles about these issues . . . maybe I will do that another day. All I know is I couldn’t help but think of these battles and the people fighting them as I was going face down in Rattlesnake Creek in the ninth mile of a long, hot, sweaty, smoky hike yesterday for a deep, cool drink. I know you aren’t supposed to drink from mountain streams like Rattlesnake, but I’ve done it dozens of times and I don’t care about that particular “risk.” It was cold and refreshing, and I loved it.

And I was extremely grateful. Many people aren’t so lucky.

This is what refreshing looks like

Gratitude Monday

Julia and I woke up Saturday morning knowing we were going to go fly fishing, we just didn’t know where. Up until recently, most of the rivers have been blown out due to run off, so the fishing hasn’t been very good, especially if you don’t have a boat and have to wade fish. We were reading the fishing reports, and couldn’t decide between going to the Blackfoot River or Rock Creek. Decisions, decisions!

Julia paused, and said, “You know, right now someone in France or somewhere is probably dreaming of how they can manage a vacation to get over here and fish either one of these places, and we can get to either one whenever we want.”

Which is true. These streams are world renowned. Years ago, when I left Montana to live in Ohio, I was angry for not having taken full advantage of where I was living. Now that I’ve been back, I’ve done all I can to make sure that doesn’t happen. I’ve said it before, but I continue to be very grateful to live here.

We went to Rock Creek. It was the best day fishing yet, even though I ended up breaking and losing my rod, not to mention my hat and sunglasses.

Rock Creek
Rock Creek


Gratitude Monday

I’m grateful I live in a place that (usually) experiences all four seasons. While I see a fair number of discussions that Memorial Day typically introduces us to summer, here in Montana we are still experiencing, at best, spring. We’ve had periods of warm, clear weather, so everything is green and growing. But spring to me isn’t about just the sunny days either; just yesterday I took a deep gulp of one of my favorite indicators of the season and there was no sunshine in sight.

I’ve been laid up a few days with a knee injury that has left me essentially immobile, gulping high speed anti-inflammaries, and pretty much feeling sorry for myself. I surrendered in the afternoon to the fact that the only way to be comfortable was to be prone, so, with a couple hours to myself, I crawled into the sack with a book (The Fly Fisherman’s Guide to the Meaning of Life by Peter Kaminsky, if you must know). It was one of those days where even in mid afternoon it is almost dark because of the looming clouds. I had the windows wide open, and from my burrow I could see the mists in the mountains that hug the Clark Fork river just a mile or so distant from the house. Thunder rumbled a couple times and a steady downpour began. I had the ceiling fan in the room on, and that, combined with the breeze from outside, filled the air with the damp smells of spring rain and growing things. Rain drummed on the roof, and the trees across the street whooshed in the wind. Sore knee or not, it was almost intoxicating.

I dozed off to that and woke an hour later with a much better attitude. I thought about retrieving my phone from the nightstand to snap a picture in anticipation of this post, but I was too damn comfortable to be bothered to do so.