Thank you for that great small-town hospitality. Thank you for your smiles. And the waves from people I've never met driving by.
Thank you for the interviews, the quotes, the great sports, the breathtaking views, the big sky, the experience. Thank you for the opportunity to spend my first year with my wife, and in my first “big-boy” job in a wonderful community.
You’ve taught me what a winter really entails. It used to be 40-degree days with maybe a few inches of rain. Not anymore.
You’ve taught me what a five-point elk is. And that the same elk is a 10-point elk on the east coast. Can we get that straightened out by the way?
And I’ve learned that there’s a blue team that, like Voldemort, shall not be named.
You’ve shown me how to do a 100-meter sprint in a gymnasium because it’s snowing outside. In April.
That also goes for softball/baseball infield practice, golfing, high jumps, long jumps and any other outdoor activity that has to be moved inside because it’s snowing. In May.
I’ve seen the small-town passion that is so famous yet so hard to find. I’ve seen gut-wrenching defeat and heart-pounding victory.
I’ve seen mammoth fish proudly displayed for all to see and the tiniest fish sheepishly brought on stage to win an award. I’ve seen underdogs triumph and favorites fall.
I’ve seen it all in just over a year of working, living and participating in the great wilderness of northeast Montana.
I was hesitant, at first, to move here last year, having grown up in southern California, where my high school had 3,500 students. Not where my town had a population of 3,500.
I couldn’t believe my eyes traversing the Hi-Line for the first time. How is this possible? How can I live so far away from family. From friends. From the next town over. From a Target. From In N Out.
But it was made easy by those already here. My wife and I felt accepted by the community. We tried to immerse ourselves the best we could and we came out better for it.
As we move on closer to family and to a bigger town, I will, we will, always be thankful for this experience.
So thank you. Thank you for all of it.