Emi at the river

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.

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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.

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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:

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Baby Muggins goes everywhere these days in the backpack!

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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…

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… she’s gorgeous.

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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

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