Moving to Montrose has been interesting. I wasn’t sure I’d be staying for long, but after the Denali trip fell apart, it turns out I’ll stay for sure til next summer, when I hope to get back on the road for The SpokenCoast Project again.
Meanwhile, I’m adjusting to life in a small country town. In fact, at 16,000 people, Montrose is considered a big town compared to many in the area. It’s been more of an adjustment than I anticipated. I guess I figured because I visited Montrose so often to see my Dad, that it wouldn’t be a big deal to live here. That was a false assumption!
What I’m finally getting into, is the mellow Montrose life. At first I thought people were weird or lazy for not having the same drive for work and “success” here. But, now I know that it’s simply a slower lifestyle.
People like to be by themselves, and keep away from crowds. Traveling across town to go somewhere brings a host of complaints, even though it’s only a 15 minute journey! Another thing I noticed is instead of hustling for every dollar, people take the extra time to enjoy their lives in the outdoors. Lives are lead more simply, without a lot of wealthy possessions. It’s a different mentality than any I’ve been exposed to before.
Whether it’s age, or getting into the Montrose Mind, I’m becoming resistant to a hectic schedule also. It takes some effort to try & make enough money to pay my bills. So, when I don’t have enough time to rest, I feel frazzled. Living in a lovely country home makes it easy to “check out” from the rest of the world. I find I want to stay home a lot! But, then the rocks, rivers & trails start calling my name…
On the whole, living in Montrose means I’ve been able to relax & decompress. Every time I step out of my door, I see nature & greenery. Every time I drive to another town, I drive through farmland & ranches, and open nature. The jagged San Juan mountains are just 30 minutes away, and a lovely skyline while driving South. Seeing these lovely views has brought a deep relaxation. I feel more “myself” and more at peace than in a long time, despite struggling to not be broke. Because of cash-flow concerns, I’ve simplified my life, too. It feels great! Reducing attachments and staying more open to life’s experiences, instead of possessions, has brought tremendous serenity.
The flip side of country living is mice. Yup, mice, spiders, critters, and general invasion of nature into our house. So, we’re getting a cat. Actually, my housemate and I are getting a cat on loan, for about a month. I made sure this cat was a well-known mouser. Unless a kitten is taught to hunt mice by it’s mom, it won’t kill them. That’s what happens when humans interfere with an animal’s natural instinct.
That’s another neat thing about country life: people have pets to complete a job, not just for cuddles & laughs. Several of the ranches near my house have cattle dogs of various sorts to help round up the cows & manage the horses. They are also great at keeping coyotes out of the yards. And cats, can capture mice & keep other rodents at bay just by their smell being everywhere. That’s why it’s good to allow cats to keep their claws. When they rub their cheeks & scratch their claws on stuff, they leave a scent on the item.
I haven’t had a cat for a long time, and am looking forward to purring cuddles. But, more importantly, I’m looking forward to sweeping dead mice outside. Sounds harsh? You’d feel the same way, too, if mice in your house were so bold as to hang out on your desk while you’ve already sat down & started typing. These mice have no fear, and they’re going down!
Your friendly neighborhood country bumpkin…