Alice b Elrod
I moved here to work for the Forest Service 26 years ago with all of my worldly belongings jammed into my VW Bug. One of the first things I recall my supervisor asking me was “Do you have a rig?” A rig?” I said, “well, I have a car.” I soon learned that people here had their own language and culture, both of which I love and have predominantly adapted into my life. You bet. After 10 years of working in the woods I chose to go back to school to be a Doctor of Chiropractic and came back here to start my practice. Today I would need a much bigger rig to move me but it would take something a heck of a lot larger to get me to leave the Tobacco Valley. This is home!
There is nothing like walking out in the morning with a cup of the best coffee in the world, Montana Coffee Traders or Indian Creek Roasters, enjoying the sounds of the birds, my cats and dog playing, and just digging the fresh air, view of the Rockies and forest and deer eating the flowers. (Ok, maybe one does not ever enjoy watching the deer eat one's plants.) Unless it's sitting out on the porch at night with a glass of wine looking at more stars in the night sky than most city folk see in a lifetime and listening to the loon's mournful cry.
There is a feeling of independence and being able to breathe that comes with living in Montana. It's not just the open spaces and sparce population. It's also the sense of community. I have come to realize that as a community we are independent together. People in rural areas depend on their neighbors. We keep an eye on each other (sometimes too much, it's true!!) and help out when it is needed. When your pipes freeze, or you need something in the Flathead and know someone who is heading that way, or really could use help getting a load of firewood or manure, you know who you can call. And they know you'll be there for them. I never worry about my rig breaking down on the way to or from work....chances are I'll know those people in the first car that passes and they'll stop to help me out. (This, by the way, has happened.) And, of course there are the potlucks! They come following a day out canoeing the river or hiking in the mountains or just because it's about time we all got together. People are sure to have instruments or drums for music and we'll have some of that fine beer from our local HA) Brewery, great organic food, and let the good times roll. Truly, it can be a harsh environment here...but we love it...we live hard and we play hard. As my friend, Jeff, says, “We're living the life!!!” And so we are.
When I'm not playing “cub reporter” for visitNWmontana I can be found Mon-Fri daytime doing another thing I love passionately - my chiropractic practice at Elrod Chiropractic. If I'm not there, maybe I'm digging in my gardens in the summer, inside the house during the winter reading or doing some artizen project, or year round in the great (and I do mean Great!) outdoors with friends. Also, I love the time I spend volunteering for the Creative Arts Center in Eureka and for Recycle Eureka. Perhaps we'll just meet sometime when I'm walking around Eureka with my darling little dog, Saam.
See y'az! alice b