"Fly fishing is my passion, hunting is my weakness, and mules are a perplexing addiction."

Friday, May 13, 2011


         The other day I decided to drive into town to the post office. I drove the six miles out to the highway, pulled up to the stop sign and waited to make my left turn toward town. I had to wait nearly half-a-minute for a string of cars to pass. First one car traveling eastbound would zip by, then, taking their sweet time, I'd have to wait for another coming westbound to pass. Eastbound, then westbound, then eastbound; I felt like I was watching a tennis match. When I returned home I informed my bride to get things in order; we were moving. 
         "Move where," she said? "What happened now, you finally make the FBI's most wanted list?"

         "I dunno, I haven't checked yet" I replied, "but we're packin' up and gettin' outta this place anyway. Too many people to suit me!"

         "The neighbor across the road is too many people for you," she said, I think with a bit of attitude.

         "Lilburn Merriwether is a menace to society," I pointed out. "He's always callin' to complain about my mules. He fly casts like he's fighting off a swarm of killer bees, doesn't like to listen to music, and he's always over here goin' through our barn and takin' stuff. No wonder I can never get anything done around here; Lillybuns is always takin' my stuff!""

        "In all fairness, dear, sometimes the mules do sound off pretty early in the morning, not everyone has your appreciation for Ernest Tubb, and the things he takes from the barn are items that belong to him that you borrowed and didn't return."

        "I don't care, he's a menace, and we're movin'. How's Idaho sound? Let's go to Idaho; nobody lives there."

        "Well I'm staying put. By the way, Lilburn called while you were in town and wants his fly-tying vice back."

        Someone once said, "the grass is always greener…yada, yada, yazoo." I'm not sure what they meant by that statement and I don't know what it has to do with people moving, but I think most folks have it in the back of their minds that somewhere down the road is better than where they're presently living.

        Up in the canyon east of town, above the Electric Co-op, there is an old, vacant house. At one time, that old house was no doubt someone's utopia; someone's perfect little piece of paradise. Today, the old house is crumbling and beyond repair; a sad reminder of a better time for someone. What caused that family to move? What brought them to pack up all they owned and seek out greener pastures? Maybe they joined the herd of Californians that moved to Oregon. Then maybe they joined the throngs of Oregonians who fled to Colorado to get away from the Californians, or maybe they became snowbirds who flew to Arizona looking for something better there?

        At any rate, ever thumb through one of those magazines with the article in it, "Best Places in the U.S.to Live"? Pretty soon those places aren't anymore. Everyone seems to want to live where the sun is always shinning, everybody is smiling and friendly, there's no smog, and the fishing is terrific. The problem is; when they get here, these same folks want to bring along much of their old life with them. The no trespassing signs, paved roads, stop lights, and they gotta have a Wal-Mart. That life they were so desperately trying to escape somehow ended up following them. They just can't live without it.

        I suppose we're all looking for something; but what, exactly? As long as we keep looking for that perfect place that really doesn't exist, we'll all just keep on moving to a new home until even the family dog won't know where home is. There are more movie stars in Montana now than grizzly bears, and more celebrities with homes in Idaho than wolves. Even the Hollywood elite are attempting to escape that world they created. I think instead of moving and searching for that perfect place to live, possibly if folks really looked hard enough, maybe, just maybe we could find it right here where we're at. Maybe life really isn't so bad after all, living in a place where you can have a tab at the feed store, folks wave at you even if you don't know who they are, and where folks still gather to support the high school football team on Friday nights, even if they don't have any kids.

       Come to think of it, it's kinda nice to be able to go to the local cafe and say, "I'll have the usual", and I suppose the view of the mountains out my front door really is pretty special. I guess it's also kind of unique these days to have neighbors who keep an eye on your place when you're away, and reside in a place where the winters really aren't all that bad, and you don't need three forms of ID to cash a check. On second thought, maybe I'll tell Cathy to hold off on that packing, not that she listens to me anyway. Maybe I'll just stay put.

       I guess maybe I understand that greener pasture thing a little better now, and it's green enough for me right here where I'm at. But the traffic? Now that's another issue!