So I remember being 9, or maybe 10, when I started paying attention to the hands on the men in my family. The bumps, the marks, the scars, the shape, the texture. Some members of my extended family had smooth hands with manicured nails, those always looked odd to me. Like a pair of shoes with no scuffs, or the jeans that still had the creases from the folds applied at the shopping store. The ones I always noticed where the ones that looked that they had a story, had been lived in... Used. Some of those types of hands still looked odd, like they didn't fit well. The proportions where off.
Then there were my Grandfathers. Huge hands, massive really, for a man even of his size. The knuckles were always scuffed, and raw, and raised, like he had just then gotten out of a bar brawl. I'm not sure the man was ever even in a fight. The nails where misshapen, some almost missing, others just acutely shaped due to the repetition of abuse. His skin was so rough, it was audible from across the room when he would rub his monstrous hands together. There was it seems always a relatively fresh wound, or scab, or scar just beginning to heal. His hands where his tools. He worked with them until the day he died. He cared for more people with them than can be counted, and that's just in our family, there were numerous others. He held my Grandmothers hand with them at church, and I have always respected that. I remember looking down at my hands, the comparatively small size, smoothness of my skin, lack of any sign of experience, adventure, or life.I was envious. I wanted the "battle" scars. I dreamed of some day looking down at my own hands and seeing a story of a life well lived. Honor. Hard work. Integrity. All the greatest things I saw in my Grandfather were outwardly evident in his hands. They told his life story.
Fast forward almost 20 years. My hands are finally starting to show signs of life. There are now scars that wont fade, from years of hard outdoor work in the brutal weather of Montana . Crooked bends that will forever be there due to the enthusiastic adventures of an active youth . The middle knuckle on both hands stand out like miniature impressions of Granite Peak, which if you ask my mother could only be attributed to cracking my knuckles early in life. Its also possible they have developed from delivering more than their share of immediate justice. Some warranted, even need, most because of my overactive sense of "right and wrong"... But here we are, I have earned the beginnings, of a story of a life well lived.
It is with this entry, my first ever in the blogosphere, that I begin the accounting of the what the future will hold for me, For Jamie and I.
The title is an honest assessment of my place in the world. I will forever be a Montanan. Its in my blood. In my brain. In my body. Most importantly in my heart. But as has been evident a few times in life, I will not always live within its physical borders. This is my story of always remembering the lessons Ive learned, not saying no just because it may fail, and trying my best to make a positive change in the world we see around us.
We live in Portland, Oregon now. And its beautiful here. I truly appreciate its difference, and wonder. We came here for specific reasons, and I feel like it was the right thing to do. We will create a small picture of the world we wish to see here, because the opportunity to do so is more available. But in the back of my mind will always be the question, "how do you we apply this, or bring this model, back to Montana?"
Here shortly I will ironically enough be traveling back and forth from North Dakota for work. In the oil fields. Not my first choice. Not the place I thought I would see myself applying my talents and work ethic. Yet, the possibilities of what this short sacrifice will afford us is too much to pass up. 24 months of 4 weeks on 2 weeks off is what we have set our sights on. Our goals. Our life.
This will be the place to get an update on how that is playing out.
I love you all.
Trevor aka TheLostMontanan