Uphill Both Ways in Freezing Weather

I flew into Billings yesterday, leaving balmy Las Vegas behind for the frigid winter wind of Montana — of which Dad and I had ample time to appreciate, as we stood outside for a solid twenty minutes waiting for the taxi to arrive. Just goes to show how small my town is. We probably got one of only two taxis in service that day.

Side Note: Dad is sitting here and would like me to clarify that I was in Henderson, not Las Vegas. He says that Henderson is the second largest city in Nevada. However, since they bleed together and there is only a tiny sign to indicate the change from one city to the other, I will continue to call it Las Vegas. Sounds much more exotic that way.

The last two days have been filled with rearranging/cleaning/bleaching my dad’s apartment, seeing friends, experiencing my small hometown’s public transportation, and walking to the Dollar Tree to buy more utensils for my dad’s kitchen.

It’s actually quite fun to help buy stuff for someone else’s kitchen (using someone else’s money). I’ll probably be over the moon when it’s time to get stuff for my own kitchen (though I am much less enthusiastic about the spending my own money part). But seriously, setting up a house is so much fun. And the dollar store is actually the best thing that was ever created for said homemaking. For example, why would you go to a regular store (even Walmart, the cheapville of them all), when you can get that same vase/oil dispenser/wine glass/measuring cup set for a fraction of the cost at the dollar store? One buck for everything? Yes please.

Then, of course, came the adventure of walking home with my loot. See, Dad’s not-so-trusty, ancient-beyond-belief station wagon finally bit the dust not long ago, and as such, I am without a car. Which means walking long distances to get places (ten blocks to the grocery store — uphill both ways in snow and ice) or taking the bus.

Oh, the bus. See, in small-town Montana, not very many people take the bus. I haven’t been on a bus with more than four people at a time. The city is too spread out, and the public transportation too sparse, to make it very convenient to not have a car. So most people have cars. And no one rides the bus.

Except me.

Five quarters will take me anywhere I want to go — as long as there’s a bus station nearby, of course.

It’s very interesting to see your hometown, the place where you’ve grown up and spent 13+ years, from the back of a bus. Just sitting there, bumping along. It’s a different feeling, though it’s hard to describe. And I kinda enjoy it. I don’t particularly enjoy being limited in mobility or anything, but it’s a new adventure to attack Billings by bus. It gives me a new challenge during my week or so here.

That and keeping my balance on all this ice. I shall consider it an immense accomplishment if I manage to stay on my feet and off my butt while walking around out here.

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Filed under Family, Montana

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