Here is our abode for the past two months
We are near Stevensville, Montana, about 20 minutes down the road from Hamilton.
What’s been happening? Well, the boys are keeping pretty busy with homework- getting ready for their high-school entrance exams in Japan. Owen’s soccer ended in late October. There was a players and parents party at a church meeting hall up in Corvallis. On the menu were sandwiches made fresh across the street at the local subway, by one of the girls on the team. The kids went out and played in the freezing cold under the security lights at the elementary school- one more kick around before we all said goodbye. Sad to have the season end. I remember soccer continuing into December in our youth league in Bellevue/Seattle, but that’s hard to arrange in Montana. I’ll miss taking Owen to practices in Corvallis; on Tuesday evenings I would wander over to the football field and watch the Corvallis High Blue Devils JV team take on whoever was in town. Felt good to sit in the stands and watch some football under the indian summer blue skies; we should have made the effort to come down on a Friday night and watch the big varsity boys play under the lights, for a slice of classic Americana; I’m glad my daughter got a chance to do that- as a member of the band no less- when she did her junior year abroad at my cousin’s place in California.
In other news, we’re doing some work up in Missoula. Conny has a big spread up in the surrounding hills and she hires a couple contractors to do odd construction, fencing and landscaping projects, and they hire us to do grunt work. One day it was about 39F and raining- we were soaked to the bone, hands freezing and miserable. We got inside the caboose, warmed up and had a good stew. Went back out and after ten minutes, Josh looked at us digging the trench for the creek, and said, “maybe you guys should go home.” More on that experience as I upload photos.
In other news, we like to go over to our friends the Hollingsworths about every two weeks, for food and cards.
Pick-up soccer continues at Hamilton high. If we’re on time Chuck puts us on the same team, which is great. But when Owen and I show up late- one of us will don a yellow jersey and we split up. The team that needs some help will choose Owen. Somehow we don’t like guarding each other much. I like passing to my son better than challenging him with a tackle.
I’m getting a little tired of cooking and am ready for Fumie’s familiar dishes. So are the boys.
The title says winter, but these photos were taken a week before Halloween! Since then we’ve had more snowfall, but nothing like this early-season storm that covered half the western US in a blanket of white. The temperature dropped down to the teens, if I recall correctly.
Owen isn’t bringing that wood up to the porch; rather he’s using it to fortify his defenses in this ad hoc snow war with Allen (doing the same in upper left). The trampoline doesn’t have any snow on it because I swept it off- always maintain a clean trampoline!
The next day there were a couple extra inches on the ground, and the skies cleared. The Bitterroot Range is perhaps most beautiful in winter. I see I’ll have to go sweep off the trampoline again. Speaking of which- contrary to what you might expect, Allen is the trampoline king. Owen is the spry lightweight with all the good soccer moves, handles a basketball pretty well, deftly wields the racket in badminton, but isn’t even close to A with the trampoline moves. Too careful? I’ll try to get Allen’s backflips up on the blog soon.
The snow abated, but not the cold. The pond had a layer of ice two inches thick- and I don’t think we’ve had an ice-free day since then. Cooooold at night here.
But warm inside: