My theme this year is Places in my Heart, all about the places I've been and loved and that have mattered to me in a lasting sense.
For my regular readers, you'll see more than the usual once-a-week posts from me this month. I'm having a great time writing them, so I hope you enjoy reading them, too.
G is for Going-to-the-Sun Road
When I was 24 years old, my grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer. It took him a year later.
All my life, he'd told me stories about Montana. As a young man, he'd been sent to Montana as part of the Civilian Conservation Corps, and it was the adventure of his lifetime. My favorite story was a tall tale (I think) about getting chased up a tree by a bear, and throwing down a peanut butter sandwich to appease the creature.
He always wanted to go back and see Montana again.
And my parents made that happen for him.
They bought a van and took my grandfather, my grandmother, my cousin who was basically being raised by my grandparents, and themselves across the country, picking me up in Billings, Montana. I'm so grateful to have been there when Grandpa Ray got to revisit his youth and show it to all of us.
Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park was one of the highlights. It's dramatic vista after dramatic vista. Terrifying to drive, especially since your jaw is hanging open half the time from the beauty.
I love the place three times. For the amazing place itself, for my grandfather's memories of it, and for my last adventure with him.