It has been requested that I start a series about a “Texan in Montana.” I had been considering doing this so this request was just what I needed to get it started. So to begin I thought I would share 10 things this Texan has learned in my first six weeks of living in Montana.
1. Everything everyone imagines Texas to be like is what Montana is.
People envision that everyone in Texas rides around on horses. Well in some small Texas towns they might, but in Houston it is bumper to bumper madness. In Montana people are outnumbered by cows 3 to 1, there are more 10 gallon hats and cowboy boots than I ever saw in Houston.
2. The entire state has the same area code.
Montana is growing though we just hit the 1,000,000 mark in population. I have now lived in areas with area codes 406, 407 and 409. Does anyone know where there area code 408 is located?
3. You are more likely to be stomped to death by a moose than you are to be attacked by a bear.
Who knew? I assumed most moose just minded their own business. I assumed they don’t have claws or sharp teeth I was good. Well apparently they are even more protective of their young than bears and if they feel threatened they will charge you. I hope I never have to feel threatened by either. Since moving here I have heard of five bison charges and one bear attack so I will just keep my distance.
4. The farmers markets are amazing!
I love Tuesday nights for the farmers market. The one on Saturday is even bigger. At the market they have veggies, art, baked goods, food trucks, musicians and so much more. Here are some pictures from the Tuesday night market.
This truck has a pizza oven in the back.
The kids play in the creek (aka crick) while parents shop.
5.DO NOT HONK!
No one honks here. I knew this was the case already but when I went to pick up donuts for the movers the man who owned the donut shop gave me a lesson in not honking. In his words, “Do NOT bring that Houston traffic here.”
6. People stop for pedestrians.
In Houston and Orlando both it was uncommon for a car to stop for a pedestrian even though it was the law in Florida. I am always shocked when all lanes stop for me to cross.
7. The sky is as amazing.
I can’t wait to share pictures of the night sky.
8. Bear spray is a must.
I did not even know bear spray existed before moving here. If you are going to be in the mountains you should carry your spray. I had to laugh when I went to the airport and there are signs at security that bear spray is not allowed in carry on. No where else would you see that sigh.
9. And no where else would you get stopped on the road by eight cows, two pheasant, one dog and a squirrel in a fifteen minute period.
10. The people are amazing.
I have lived several places and met wonderful people, but I have never lived in a city where the entire city is nice. I was out hiking Friday and I guy on an ATV stopped and asked if we had enough water. People take care of each other here.
Our first week here we went to the Christian bookstore to get a card for Sam for Father’s Day. When talking with the clerk he was asking about our move and then said in a proud voice, “If you walk into Wal-Mart and you say hi to someone and they talk to you for the next five minutes, now those people are from Bozeman.” Then quietly he said, “If you walk into Wal-Mart and you say hi to someone and they just keep walking those are the people from California.”
We have been so welcomed here not by just the church but by the community. The city is much smaller than where we have lived for the last ten years, but this city is not lacking. There are concerts, symphonies, broadway shows and a university. As Sam says it is a small town with a big attitude and we love it. God has allowed us to live in some wonderful places. I feel so blessed to have friends all around the country and I miss so many of you. I am so thankful God has made Bozeman a stop on our journey. Thank you to all of you that have made this city feel like home in such a short amount of time.