On Labor Day, as the sun was starting to set, our family took a short walk on a piece of Fish & Game that’s not too far from our house. Fish & Game means it’s public land, and a long sidewalk winds through the tall cottonwoods that grow there along the Yellowstone River.
This piece of land is unusual for our area not only because it’s been set aside specifically for public enjoyment, but also because of its park-like aesthetic qualities. The grass there is brilliant green and shaggy, dappled with sunshine streaming down through cottonwood leaves. The trees are big and stately, not a weedy Russian olive in sight. This little preserved acreage always makes me think that this must be what the riverbanks here looked like when Lewis and Clark came through.
The Fish & Game is also unique to this area because, by and large, we’re a little short on trees here in Eastern Montana. So for Beau and his childhood buddy Jim (who has been visiting from their home state), this old-growth stand of cottonwoods is about as close as Montana gets to feeling like Alabama:
Baby Muggins goes everywhere these days in the backpack!
I wanted to take a couple minutes to say something about our 5-year-old, Emilyn. Emi is wonderfully… weird. Perhaps it’s suitable to describe her as a hippie. She’s a thoroughly happy little soul, to the point of not really being aware of the common everyday worries of life, like whether or not it will hurt if she jumps from a tall precipice. Emi just jumps, her blond hair streaming behind. She seems to have a very high tolerance of pain. She tells weird jokes and she wears weird outfits and…
… she’s gorgeous.
She is a different animal than I am. Mostly I just try not to get in the way of the whole peace-and-love thing she has going on. And though she baffles me, I am oh-so-glad to be her mama.
© Tam Blake