The reason for the season.

My father has been walking around the Bitterroot and Missoula valleys with his Santa’s hat since November 4. He loves Christmastime. Our home during the holidays used to smell of egg nog and evergreen. There was never a fake tree in our house. Then we didn’t live in the same house, or even the same state or country for a…

A motive for hope.

A friend recently wrote to me, “It seems unreal,” referring to the announcement that peace in her country—Colombia—would, after more than 50 years, finally be a reality. “So many generations, including my own, were born and raised in a country with an armed conflict…and we don’t know how to live in a country without war but the fact that we…

God loves beer. And Missoulians.

“The First American,” a title Benjamin Franklin earned for his early campaigning for colonial unity, was also America’s first beer lover and is famously—albeit incorrectly—quoted as saying, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” What this means for Missoulians is that God loves us. A lot.

Running home.

For most of my adult life, I have been able to fit my belongings into two suitcases. What I couldn’t was left behind, and that sometimes included people. You can’t comfortably run from life if you’re bogged down with luggage. Maybe that’s why I was never much of a runner.

Play it again, John

The story of how my maternal grandparents met is legendary. Once upon a time, there was a handsome, reserved Cuban-Italian doctor and an Italian-American nurse with jet-black hair and alabaster-white skin. John and Agnes met under the operating room lights during surgery at the Mayo Clinic in the 1940s. He was an anesthesiologist (speculated by the family to have been…

Cheers to the 
Montana Summer

Apparently, there are four seasons. Montanans are familiar with each one, no doubt. Me? Not so much. I heard rumors about fall, winter and spring growing up in California and Texas. Don’t misunderstand me: I’ve been in colder climates. How else would I have learned to ski? The thing is that it was always a short-lived dip—one to two weeks,…

Two Is Better Than One

 “I’m in love,” my mother proclaimed.  “With whom?" I asked. (Even as a 15-year-old I was concerned with the correct use of who and whom.)  "Dan."