- Natalie. Period. She is the best everything in my life — a wonder to behold, a joy to know, and a dream to be loved by. And as I generally don’t pick favorites of anything, she is, in fact, the only person, place, or thing that I would call “the best”. And no one who knows her would argue with me.
- Our chickens. It’s weird to follow up the above with something so mundane, I know, but remember this is “in no particular order” and the truth is, those fluffy little fowl friends are a ceaseless boon to our family. I’m watching them right now out of the window and they are eating and turning our compost, fertilizing the half of our garden to which they have winter access, clucking around prettily, and leaving us delicious, nutritious food everyday. I wish our other pets (even the ones we love-on so much more than the chickens) were half as helpful!
- Our other pets. Yes, even though their poop is anything but ready fertilizer, and one of the cats is now randomly peeing inside, and the other one steals Polly Pocket outfits and teeny rubber babies to chew on, and our dog leaves pounds of fur on the floor every week (instead of eggs!), and the guinea pig pretty much only eats and “week-week-week”s all day long — there’s something about being pet-able and snuggly that goes a long, long way toward promoting general well being in the rest of us.
- Montana. You know, it’s just so unsullied here, it feels clean — physically, psychologically, and emotionally spotless. Yes, the state has been thoroughly misused in ages past, and she still has the scars to prove it, but she isn’t mired in development, she isn’t captured in concrete, and she isn’t tarnished by jaded inhabitants. She is still wild and free and welcoming to any soul who wants to love her. There’s lots of equally beautiful, climatically milder, and more verdant places in the world, and they are worth loving for what they are — I just happen to absolutely love the place where we are.
- Missoula in particular. What a town! I’ve never been anywhere else (though I am sure it exists) where you can be so much yourself, have access to so many fun happenings (from artistic and cultural events, down-home brewfests and eclectic rock shows, to family-freindly celebrations of all kinds), mix with such interesting and, yes, genuinely kind and kindly genuine people everyday, and still be able to make it to the absolute wilderness within half an hour from your doorstep. Now that’s what I call a decent place to live.
- My community. Ya’ll are some rad folks! Between the people I communicate with here and in other social networks, and the people I surround myself with in Missoula — I know and get to interact with some of the coolest people on the planet. I am so inspired by you all, so warmed by the bonds we share, and so glad to know that people like you exist. I love you, village!
- And some quickies like: Smoothies — we share one almost everyday for breakfast; Dogwalks — such a fun way to see what’s happening in the neighborhoods around us, have fun conversations, and feel good; The YMCA — where we have a family membership that suits each of us so well; the Valentine’s cards that our kids make; and words — what a nice thing it is to have them and be able to use them with each other, at least until we’re all telepathic…
That’s the list (and growing) at present. I hope you’re finding the things you love about where you are today, too.