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Bad Days

Know how yesterday I was writing about things not going as planned? Let me tell you a story about today. I woke up this morning, after about five hours of sleep, and was feeling a little out of sorts. Maybe leaving Montana had me down? Maybe the fact that I drove almost 1400 miles in three days, surviving mostly on water and caffeine had me feeling sluggish? Anyway, after loading the car I realized that I didn’t know where my debit card had gone. The last time I used it was outside Missoula at a gas station. Long story short, I ended up locking myself out of my running car, in the hotel parking lot. I went back inside and called a locksmith. He showed up about 30 minutes later, and then realized he didn’t have the right tools. ” I’ll be right back” he said. ” I only live right down the street ” he said. I went back inside again, to wait. After about 35 minutes the front desk informed me that the locksmith had called to tell me his truck had broken down on the way home and that he’d be back, but it wouldn’t be right away. At this point I starting thinking negatively about my morning, my day and even my whole trip to the point that I was ready to just head home. But then, the locksmith showed back up, got into my car while we had a funny conversation about what I had been doing in Montana and why I didn’t have a man with me. After giving me some good “fatherly ” man advice, he sent me on my way and only charged me 20 bucks! I ended up having a great afternoon and I am so glad I didn’t let that setback ruin my day. I am reminded how important it is to not let the bad mornings, the bad days, bad weeks, or bad events in our lives define us, but rather push us to be better, more creative, more loving and more joyful. We only have one life to live kids, let’s make this motherfucker count. Also, this place was a great ending to my trip.

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Elkhorn John

Sometimes our days don’t go as planned. Today was one of those days. I left Butte this morning with five places to visit on my list. Five. The first place on that list was Elkhorn. It was supposed to be a quick visit because, five places(!!) and I was on a mission. Then I met John. Elkhorn John, as he is known. He lives right across the street from the famous fraternity hall I had come to shoot (of course, as luck would have it my timing was off and the sun was right behind the building! boo!) I liked John instantly. He reminded me so much of my Dad, right down to the suspenders! Anyway, he told me all about the town, explained how he ended up being one of the eight full time residents in Elkhorn, introduced me to his dogs, showed me his giant rock collection that he proudly displays in his front yard and even taught me how to spot silver and gold in ordinary rocks (was he trying to teach me a deeper, more powerful lesson…?) Eventually we parted ways, John and I, but only after I had promised him I would check out the restored water tower at the top of the hill on the way out of town. By the time I got back down the mountain I realized my list was suddenly looking unrealistic and I’d be lucky to get two places in. Two! But then I looked over at the passenger seat where three rocks and one jar of freshly picked gooseberries sat and I smiled. I’d make that trade all over again, in a heartbeat. See you next Summer, John!

The Lake House

 

She stood abandoned, along the shore and across the lake from where we vacationed every summer. She had been sitting there, alone, for a very long time. No one seemed to know much about her but there were rumors of a murder and of ghosts. Urban legends spring easily from places such as this so I didn’t put much stock in any of those stories.  Over the years we tried to find a road leading to the house but it seemed to have vanished just like everything else in her life. I had to settle for simply seeing her across the lake. Years passed and we fell into an easy friendship. She was the first thing I said hello to when arriving each summer and the last goodbye before heading out of town. “See you next year” I’d shout in her direction. More than anything I wanted her to know that she wasn’t alone. That she was loved. Three years ago things started to change on that side of the lake. First, the land was cleared and then came the obnoxious mini mansions but, with those horrible blemishes came a road. And with that road access to my sad and lonely lake house. I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with her, but the time I had I will never forget. The following year she was torn down to make way for a boat ramp for the mansions on the hill.
I hate those goddamn houses.