Friday, August 26, 2011

Big Sky Country

Last year something bad happened when Drew's best friend and one of my best friends, Jill moved away.  They traded their easy access to Costco and restaurants that stay open past 6pm for open skies, neighbors with goats, and an elementary school that raised their own chickens.  It wasn't an easy transition for any of us, so when Drew's birthday approached this year I decided that instead of throwing him a traditional birthday party where dozens of boys would come over and spray an inordinate amount of testosterone around my house, I would fly him to Montana to see Ben.  And since it would be incredibly irresponsible for me to send him alone, I would graciously accompany him.

When we landed in the Missoula airport we were greeted by many friends.  This group seemed particularly enthused:

This guy totally had a crush on me.  I haven't been pawed at like this since the Erasure concert in 1987.

Some even brought signs!

There's something you should know about Jill.  She is crazy, and we love her.  For her 30th birthday present she wanted ONE thing...a cotton candy machine.  She got her wish, and has made cotton candy for herself just about every day since.  Once when talking to a friend of mine she went on and on about how she doesn't like healthy food but it hadn't seemed to affect her that blood dripped from her gums.  True story.  The truth is, Jill doesn't just love cotton candy but ALL carnival food, and since moving to Montana she has sucked up to their local gas station owners and as such has additionally scored a nacho machine, pretzel warmer, popcorn machine, hot dog rotisserie, and milkshake blender.  Other than housing a pig with the largest gonads this side of the Mississippi her house is a regular state fair.  Which is why one day the boys got together, made a bunch of carnival food and sold it by the roadside.  The cotton candy, like a freshly coiffed up-do on my Grandma, was a big hit.  The boys made almost $30 which is saying something for setting up on a road where only 8 cars a day pass by!

As for the littlest dude on the far left, he gave me a hug every morning when he rolled out of bed as if it was something he did every day.  So cute.  It's true what they say, by the way, Montana is beautiful:

Some of my favorite quotes from the trip:
Ben:  "Mom!  Can you get Sarah out of here?  She's trying to infiltrate the force."
Jon:  "I love pizza.  It has all my favorite fruits."
Nate:  "I'm gonna make myself a ham sandwich."
Ben:  "You just ate."
Nate:  "So?  You know I eat 2nd lunches and 2nd dinners like a hobbit."
Jill, to her husband as he arrived home from work:  "There's a dead bird in the basement with a necklace on it."  (apparently discovered by 2-year-old Sarah, she saw the need for the bird to be gussied up a bit.)
Jill:  "Sarah, DO NOT put fruit loops on my hot dog roller."  (There's so much material to extract from this quote alone I wouldn't even know where to begin.)

And FINALLY, as I was sitting in church there was an announcement made from the podium about a memorial service being held for a woman's husband who had passed away months previous.  The details as to why they had waited so long to memorialize him are...quirky, and frankly none of my business, but I couldn't help but chuckle when I heard the woman behind me whisper to the woman next to her, "Who is John Doe?" and the other answered, "Oh, he died in the winter."

Oh, Montana.  You slay me.


just call me jo said...

I love those wide open spaces...Your friend sounds like a gem--and a periodontist's nightmare. Enjoy the north country.

Lisa said...

I can't help but notice that your friend and I were separated at birth. Just as I often feel you and I were...I'm an equal opportunity relative. :)

Vanessa said...

I just clicked on the imaginary "thumbs up" button.

violyngirl said...

Good stuff!

anitamombanita said...

cotton candy is a food group unto itself, no?

Garden of Egan said...

OH MY HECK!!!!! It sounds like a different planet the way you talk about it.
I can't even think about the pig gonads, much less the bird with the necklace.
What a riot!

If I had been in Montana and driven by the cotton candy machine I SOOOO would have bought some.

Glad you were able to go.
Now what are you going to do for his next birthday?

Jill said...

ahhhhhh, I think you should come back the goats and pigs miss you. I would like you all to know that I Haven't had a cavity in over a year.