When I was a little girl in the 70s, I remember not having money or going shopping, though that doesn’t mean that we weren’t rich in other ways. Being raised on a self sustaining farm, our lives were made from the food we harvested and the animals we raised. There was always a pot of stew or beans on the stove that had more food added to it each day. Hitch hikers from out of country without a place to stay and town folks down on their luck would stop by… help with chores… play with us kids… camp in the pasture… We all ate out of that same pot. No concerns ever about there being enough, somehow always was. For not having much… We connected in a way that benefited many, no money required. We had everything we needed, we had EACH OTHER. Our disconnection from the modern conveniences, even back then, were what bound us together, family and strangers alike.
I used to work in guest services at local and world famous resort here in the valley we call home. It wasn’t uncommon for reservists to ask me what there was to do outside of what was available at the resort. “What do Montanans do for fun?”
“We go outside” I’d answer…
I’d told one gentleman while making a reservation that there was a section of the motel where sharing a bathroom down the hall was necessary, “You know, running water and electricity are a good thing,” he laughed.
Fast forward to now, at least once per year, my husband and I like to pack up a tent and escape to someplace where there is no electricity or running water… other people… We want/get the privilege to live in a manner that our homesteading great grandparents did (off the land) in this beautiful state we call home (SW Montana). Although we bring food we also catch and cook it. When we first get there we have one or two days of detoxing from our electronic device addictions. After a few days of this, we are a much happier and active couple. Another connect to appreciate each other and the earth for all God has created/provided.
We old locals don’t think twice about going outside and digging a hole to “use a a bathroom” if we need to… Again, disconnected from media, news, electronics. There are just too many productive things to do, though “simple”…
NO WONDER it seems many more folks this year, in spite of the cancellation of traditional events we used to entertain them, still come!! THE COVID GRINCH DOESN’T THRIVE HERE… Our summers are for getting outside and living. Though there are still many places where social media can get a choke hold on us, I feel blessed to witness our out of state guests putting those things away, much like my husband and I, and getting reconnected here!!
Those of us born and raised here in Montana are a different sort in the best of ways. We are laid back and deal with things as they come… Living in fear will sure get you to dying faster, so why worry? We know that getting dirty, working before the sun rises until after the sun sets, sharing food with strangers… are all blessings that didn’t come from likes, dislikes and “cares” online. We will love you to your face, covered in a bandana or not.