The Woman Behind The Camera

I live in northwest Montana, one of the most beautiful places on Earth. I happen to reside - what a coincidence! - north of town.

I'm not terribly sociable, outside my virtual life. I work at home (gotta love the Internet!) and usually don't drive into town but once a week. In the winter it would probably be even less, except that I need to pick up my mail at the post office regularly.

This is a better way of life, to my thinking. I like things quiet. When I open a window or step outside I want to hear birds singing and the wind in the trees, not cars, people or radios. I'm not quite as remote as I would like to be yet, but I'll get there.

How Did I Get Here From There?

I didn't always live in Montana. I was born and raised in south Florida near Fort Lauderdale. Now, I know that some people prefer the cities and suburbs, but I can't fathom it. Those places have always seemed so oppressive to me. Also, I can't stand the heat. I get cranky. If I'm in the sun, I scorch. Then I get nauseated. Then sometimes I pass out. Ironic that I was born in the Sunshine State, don't you think?

But live there I did, for 27 years plus a year spent living and working in Hawaii in my early 20s. It took me a lot longer than I would have liked to both overcome inertia and to accumulate the funds to move. It also took some personal tragedies, but nevertheless, I was finally in a position to move.

And move I did. After the truck carrying my possessions pulled away, I piled what was left in the back of my car, seatbelted the two carriers holding my two drugged cats, and off we went. It took me three and a half days to cross the country, driving about 12 hours a day fueled by coffee and Vivarin. I stopped every couple of hours to let the cats out of their carriers and set them in the litter box, but they never used it. Not once. They always waited until we found a motel for the night and I'd set up their facilities in the bathroom. I can't hold it that long, I don't know how they did it without exploding.

Anyway. It was an interesting drive, seeing all of the different scenery. I passed through a number of cities and will be just as happy never to go back to them. No offense meant to those of you who live in cities, but they surely are not my cup of tea.

So here I am. This region is home to me, much more so than my birthplace ever felt. Once I was settled here I felt like I could breathe properly for the first time in my life. Friends have asked me when I'm going back to Florida to visit; the answer is, never, if I can possibly help it. I'm already living in the best place I've ever known; why would I want to travel anywhere else?

That Was Then, This Is Now

I live quietly. I go for walks. I go for drives. I putter around the house and yard. I try to keep my day-to-day life as calm and peaceful as possible. I go for days at a time without ever turning on my television, and then it's usually just to get a weather report. I know people who would be bored to screaming madness by my life, but it suits me well.

I live with two cats - eccentric ladies can't live without cats, I think it's probably a law somewhere.

Charlotte and Emily are sisters who came to me as kittens. Charlotte is somewhat emotionally needy and very vocal. She constantly needs to be touched and talked to. Emily is more sporadic about seeking affection - she usually demands lap-sitting late at night, but for most of the day she tends to keep to herself. They do not sleep in my room at night. I'm a light sleeper and they keep me awake. I let them in sometimes, when I know I'm unlikely to get much sleep anyway. They like that. Otherwise, they sit patiently at my bedroom door until I open it and immediately begin talking loudly and rubbing at my ankles as I try to stumble down the hall into the bathroom. (I'm not very graceful pre-coffee.) More pictures of "the girls" are here.

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