Our Lady of the Blue Highways

Our Lady of the Blue Highways
Portrait in oils by Jackie Poutasse

Friday, November 9, 2012


Last week I spent a few days at my niece’s home.  While I was away, Diane heard a noise out
her front door.  Thinking it was her friends delivering the rest of her wood, she opened the door and was taken back by the sight of a half dozen cops running across her yard with rifles at the ready!!!!   Now, that could really curdle your morning coffee!    Along the county road were 7 police cars with red lights flashing.   

 A bit later, an officer came to tell her that they had caught the fugitive, but she needed to evacuate until the bomb squad cleared his vehicle.

Back Story:    The fugitive was the Virginian who, a couple days before, bestowed bombs on the home of an ex-girlfriend and some others who had offended him, then took off on a dead run for Montana.

A local observed,   “These people think they can come to Montana and disappear in the vast nothingness....”   (Personally, I would use the word Beauty in place of Nothingness!!!!)

Police had picked up his trail somewhere along the way, and decided Belt was a good place to finish the business.   They set up barricades at the Armington Junction – a mile down the road, and locked down the school and other businesses  (of which there are very few).  In any event, they captured the bomber in the woods below Diane’s house.

In the evening, Diane received a call saying they had called in another bomb squad – from Missoula 200 miles away and she would have to stay away over night.

The next day when we had both returned to Diane’s, we were discussing the coincidence of this fellow coming from Virginia and ending up at the very place I was staying.  Then I had a thought -   what if I had been there – parked in the drive with my Virginia plates!!!!!   How would I have explained that???!!!

The next morning, we headed for Bozeman to visit Diane’s daughter, Shelley and to pick up some deer hides a friend was giving Diane.  

Shelley lives out a bit from town – in fact, it is a 1 mile walk to her mailbox.   Shelley walks it every morning with her dog, Booger,  a big laborador who has become a best friend to Tucker.  Booger is  older, and more laid back than Tucker – they get along fine -  Tucker even gets along with Itty Bit – the cat   (Full name – Itty Bitty Stinky Kitty – she was found as a tiny kitten in a ditch, abandoned and smelly)

 Well, of course we had to join them on the daily walk -  Tucker was allowed off lease for this and he loved it.   The second day – I thought I’d not do the walk.   As soon as Booger and Shelley left the house,  Tucker planted himself at my feet and gave me “the Look” – you know the look – the one that says “get your fat ass off the chair and take me for a  walk!”   Well, who could refuse an invitation like that.

Anyway, our first day there, Shelley said we were having Pumpkin pie for dessert that night – then forgot to make it.   The next day we spent the majority of our time running errands in Bozeman and mostly grocery shopping – a store there is cheaper than any in Great Falls so Diane wanted to take advantage.   Lately, I’ve been thinking about coconut pie.   During the course of the day, Shelley mentioned she’d sure like to have a coconut pie!!!  So it was decided.

However, by the time we got home, it was time to put supper in the oven, and we had to wait til after we ate to start the pie – it took awhile, and by the time we got it out of the oven, it was bedtime – So--------- we had coconut pie for breakfast, and, it was delicious!!!!

 Then we packed up and headed back to Belt – winter was in the air, and a major storm was expected the next day, and I needed to get more stuff packed in the truck before the snow began flying.

It is now day 2 of the winter storm “Brutus”    It’s about 20 degrees out this morning – high tomorrow 17 and on Sunday – it’s expected to be a high of 11 -   (I’m leaving here in 2 weeks, hopefully before the really cold weather sets in)

 The major problem I have right now is Tucker.   While he has had just a bit of experience with snow from last month, he is not at all prepared for this!!!!   We haven’t gotten a great deal of snow yet – but still it’s enough to reach his belly,  and the wind is blowing and as I said, it’s Cold!!!     He just doesn’t know what to do when he gets outside – he can’t find his “bathroom” because it is buried in the snow so he wonders around in confusion for a very few minutes, “sprinkles” a bit and heads hell bent for Texas to the door.    I guess desperation will win out in the end – in the meantime, if there are accident – thank goodness Diane has concrete (heated) floors,  rather than white carpet!!!

 I’m still trying to finish a sewing project which is not cooperating, and today we are going to make fruitcake – well Diane is, I’m going to use the same basic recipe, but instead of fruit I’ll pack it full of toasted nuts!!!

Diane’s house is built so tight – the fire eventually went out last night, it’s now 8 a.m., and we haven’t started a fresh one yet – but the little bit of heat from the floor is enough to keep it warm enough to sit around – with a sweatshirt for a little extra warmth.

 While we are storm bound this weekend, I’ll also start making Christmas goodies so they are ready to mail the day after Thanksgiving.

Until next time
Bear Hugs
Luv ‘n Boots and Tucker, too
Don’t forget Little Bear, he’s still with me, also

She believed she could do it and so she did!







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