Tuesday, April 7, 2009

my reality

Today I had to go to town to buy tires. Well, actually I wanted to go last week, but this was the first day that my schedule and the weather meshed.

I stopped in to get gas at Fruits and asked about the condition of the road. You see, the road that I need to travel in order to get where I was going has about 13 miles of gravel. Pavement on two sides, gravel in the middle. The report to be had was that it was rough, very rough.

So, I did the sensible thing and went around. Which means in order to go south, I go north. And west. Then south. But hey, at least I got to be in three states!

(add the one other one I went through to get home and I hit a grand total of four states to go to a town two hours away)

Went to town, sat at the tire place, became the proud owner of four brand new tires, went to Maurices, tried on pretty much everything in their store, bought barely anything, went to Walmart, tried on nothing, bought lots of things and then it was time to head home.

With the mood I was in, I definitely definitely definitely was no the least bit excited to go around the way I came. It adds an extra hour to the trip and it is also in the middle of nowhere.

Yes, I am also from the middle of nowhere, so it is nothing new to me. But at least in my normal middle of nowhere I know people who live nearby who would gladly help me out.

Not that the SoDak and NoDak people wouldn't help me out too. It's just that I don't know them. And that makes it just a bit more creepy when you're a single girl, traveling a lonely road with no cell phone coverage in the dark.

I tried calling one of my sources to ask about the road conditions (I know it was rough this morning, but I figured with a full day of sun, the situation had to have gotten better). I couldn't get through to them, but I was willing to go for it.

Even the negative report from the convenience store lady couldn't discourage me (so what if yesterday all that could get through was 4 wheel drive pick-ups??) After all, I had brand new tires that were super-ply and picked especially because I drive the Alzada and Hammond roads (which means nothing to you non-Carter countians, but thats ok!). So, no problem right?

And, this time I was right. (there have been other times when I haven't been so right ... but that was when I was new here and not quite so Carter county savvy. all that has changed now) There were a couple of tricky spots and it was pretty rutted which swung my car around a bit, but nothing at all like camp where I drive everyday. So, no worries.

Of course, in addition to having to be careful not to get pushed around by the road, I had to keep the usual eye out for deer, cows and sheep. The rabbits ... well they're on their own. They don't damage the car as much and they are just plain suicidal.

However, the Lord placed a battallion of angels around my car and I made it home quite intact. The new tires are beauts and performed way above expectation. The animals all behaved and avoided my car like the plague (well, come to think of it, we did have one who thought its immunity was up to the challenge, but I was able to persuade it otherwise). Now I am home all safe and sound.

The whole way home I kept thinking about what was not normal and never thought of by me when I first moved here has now become commonplace to me. What do I mean by that? Well, since you asked, let me summarize:

Everytime I want to go to "town", I have to watch the weather like a hawk. Blizzards and snow storms and extended periods of rain are all bad. That makes the gravel gooey and ooey and generally undrivable. Once I have a good weather day, I have to plan to be gone for a whole day or at least a majority of it. With a minimum of four hours of travel, plus doing whatever needs doing, time flits quickly away! Which means Millie needs a babysitter and I need to take time off from work (unless the places I need to go are open on the weekends). When I do my shopping I have to keep in mind my niece's friend's sister's daughter's birthday coming up in two months so I will have a gift. I have to remember to get that toothpaste and shampoo, because there is no running out to the store to get it (well, I could, but I would pay about double of what WalMart charges). I have to keep my eyes peeled for deer and cows and sheep (yes, all of the above. yes, I know people who have hit any or all of the above list of animals, plus some others). All that and much more is part of my reality here in Montanaland.

So, what's your reality? Planning for rush hour and lack of downtown parking? Planning around the kids' soccer practice and when the busiest time at the grocery store is? Planning around work and church and small group and Bible study? What has become commonplace and not consciously thought of in your life?

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