Well. It’s here. The Great Montana Adventure. Thus it’s time to start blogging again! We know there are many supporters out there who want to stay connected and hear how it’s all going. So I’ll try to keep you up-to-date on this blog. If you want to get regular news, just look us up right here, or call us, or write us a letter. We love snail mail! Please do send letters.
Pete and Becky Arnold
PO Box 261
East Glacier Park, MT 59434
This gorgeous lodge is in large part the reason this small community has survived. In the summer months, it’s bustling with tourists visiting the lodge and the nearby Two Medicine entrance to Glacier National Park. Restaurants thrive, hostels and hotels book up, and people populate the streets, with its one-square-mile walking-friendly radius.
But that is summer.
Winter is an altogether different story. The people leave, the shops close, and the locals delight in “getting back their town,” as we heard from a gal today. As quaint and cozy it sounds, it also sounds miserable. Frigid temps, crazy winds. Snow drifts higher than a house. And the winter population? About 300.
People here think we’re crazy for moving here in the winter. They wonder if we’ll stay, like so few do. But they resolve to conclude we won’t, like the many who have come and gone before us.
We’ve been walking the streets everyday, catching up with folks I met when I last lived here in 2006. It’s been very fruitful! We have heard of countless job opportunities. A cup of coffee and a piece of pie here, a plate of nachos there. It seems we’re on vacation, in a way. And yet, these are choice opportunities to chat with the locals and let ourselves be known.
We long for community here. So far, we feel welcomed, and have rubbed shoulders with most in the five days we’ve been here. We’ve come to acknowledge certain regular social opportunities: poker at Billy-Bob’s, coffee at The Diner, and a run to the library on Wednesdays, the only day of the week it’s open… for only two hours.
Pete is exploring work opportunities and is hoping to get random work chopping wood and shoveling snow. We’ve both applied at the local schoolhouse as substitutes. I’ve also gotten a few shifts at a restaurant I used to work at – a total blessing! But that restaurant closes in two weeks, with the rest of the town. And then we’re left with a diner, small market, post office, bar, and gas station.
Our nearest neighboring town, 12 miles east, is Browning, the heart of the Indian Reservation. Even though I’ve lived here before, it is still somewhat shocking to be a minority. The looks we get, the insecurity we feel. It’s uncomfortable and good for us. I’m grateful for the chance to grow in this area.
I took a bunch of photos of our house, a tiny little space that fits us perfectly.
So that’s it! My first post about the new adventure. I know it was long… they won’t always be so long! Thanks for your prayers for jobs and friends and peace and joy. We heart you! xoxo