Another Day to Hold Dear

My birthday is next week, a day I spent in the ICU four years ago. Over the course of that horrific year it increasingly looked like I’d spend the rest of my days sitting hooked to an oxygen tank.

This year, yet again, I’m given the gift of life.

In addition, Mother Nature arrived bearing gifts that left me breathless for only good reasons for a change. Sure, I didn’t venture far from the car and my one short jaunt to the water’s edge reminded me that I do have my limitations, but thankfulness held my hand and I was okay.

What a day!

Barely a cloud in the sky. The temperature a comfortable 70℉ (21℃). Barely a hint of a breeze. The deciduous trees gaining leaves. The air rich with pine, cedar, and who knows what other flora that was adding to that exquisite aroma.

Yes, I was breathless.

It was a day when I should have been working, of course, but this was what I moved to Montana for and finally my availability stumbled upon good weather on a day when my resistance to traveling was low. Over 35 years ago I first saw Flathead Lake and the Mission Mountains and seeing it again more than lived up to my memories.

I was a troubled, struggling teen then and though I returned this day a physically damaged adult, the heart, soul, and mind that stood on that shore have regained the best that youthfulness has to offer.

Over the course of many hours I circled the entire lake and at the point I turned south I was within sight of Glacier National Park and only about an hour’s drive from the Canadian border.

Western Montana. I call it home because it’s where I chose to make my home.

I’ll let the pictures say a few words now…

Mission Mountains.

My first glimpse of the Mission Mountains after five years. These were all taken with my iPhone.

Near Polson.

First glimpse of Flathead Lake’s southern end at Polson. This picture falls far short of doing the moment justice. In a moment that chilled my spine the first Polson street I passed upon entering town was called Memory Lane. I’ll concur.

Flathead Lake.

The lakeshore was rocky to say the least, so it wasn’t the easiest walk down, but worth it. The water was clear beyond imaging…and the Mission Mountains as a backdrop. Goose Island is appropriately named. I saw numerous geese during my visit.

Near Kalispell.

This was my most northerly point. I was just east of Kalispell and just north of Flathead Lake. Those big peaks in the distance are a part of Glacier/Waterton International Peace Park, so called because it spans the border with Canada.

Christina Anne Hawthorne

Here I was on the lake’s eastern side. The narrow road hugged the lake on one side and the mountains on the other. It was a joy to drive and a wonder to see. The big surprise were all the orchards. “Thankful” might be an insufficient word.


6 Replies to “Another Day to Hold Dear”

  1. I think it is wonderful that life turned out so good for you. I am so glad you didn’t have to stay on oxygen, and you are now home, in such a beautiful place with such wonderful views!
    It lifts my spirits just to see the pictures and to see your smile!
    I wish you many, many Blessings! 🙂

  2. Lovely! Wish I had known you were coming up this way, and I would have taken you to lunch. I’m glad you had such a wonderful time and that you’re enjoying Montana. May you have many good, long years up here.

  3. Beautiful beautiful place 🙂 happiest of birthdays for next week! Very glad you’re well and surrounded by such amazing scenery to enjoy the ones to come…

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