Highways, Biways, & Driving in Montana

I used to drive the freeway every day. In much of Oregon, freeway driving is simply a way of life. My daughter’s school was a twenty minute drive southbound on I5, and I made that trek twice daily. If was going shopping, I’d always find the nearest freeway on-ramp to expedite the journey. Being a Realtor, I knew virtually every street in our city, and everywhere in town took approximately twenty minutes to get to. At the height of my career (pre-babies), when I worked upwards of 60 hours a week showing property nonstop, I often jokingly informed people that I drove for a living.

All that aside, since relocating to Montana a year and a half ago, I have driven on the freeway a total of THREE times: Once when I drove to a nearby town for a compost bin I found on Craigslist, again when I followed Handsome Husband home from purchasing his manly rig in Billings, and once more yesterday. It’s not that we don’t go anywhere,it’s just we’re always together on the weekends and Husband prefers to man the helm.

Husband’s elective-but-necessary eye surgery was successfully completed in Billings yesterday, and I drove the fam the 2+ hours home post-opp. Actually, I’m not sure how long it took me… Friends here tell me Billings is 2 hours away, but if you ever ask a native Montanan how far away something is, just go ahead and add another hour to the total drive time. For serious. They drive SO FAST! You recall that urban-myth we heard growing up about Montana not having a speed limit? It’s true, or at least it was. I’m not sure exactly when they did away with the “reasonable and prudent” law, but apparently none of the locals got the memo. When I drive on the freeway here I’m passed by EVERYONE: Old ladies in Buick’s, school buses full of unbuckled children, semi-trucks, you name it. I actually did pass one vehicle on the drive home yesterday. Since it was noteworthy, I stole a peek at their license plate: Washington. Figures.

Montanas are appalled that I was once (okay, more than once) issued a several hundred dollar speeding ticket for driving 77mph on the freeway back in Oregon. Let’s just say that it’s a good thing I didn’t learn to drive here. I inherited my grandmother’s 1976 Plymouth and a lead foot. The combination of a V8 engine and broken speedometer was a recipe for disaster. I never thought that I would one day be the slow, cautious driver.


first car, be jealous

Back to yesterday: Husband’s surgery was a success. He literally can’t believe his eyes. *snort* He awoke this morning and stated “I feel like Darth Vader when he took off his mask, ‘Let me look on you with my own eyes.”‘”

One side-effect I didn’t anticipate was that the color of his iris’ changed. They went from a ocean-y blue-green to a deeper blue with a very defined outline. (Still gorgeous.) Another surprise was that they aired the procedure live on a big screen in the doctor’s office. It was like a horrifying car accident– I didn’t want to but couldn’t stop watching.

Still, he has no complaints, the surgeon numbed him sufficiently and chatted him up while the nurses gushed about his long eyelashes. Why do men get the best lashes? It’s ridiculous. His are quite light so you don’t notice their length immediately, but they bother him when they rub against his sunglasses. Cry me a river. I’ve been trying to get him to let me apply mascara just once for seventeen years now, to no avail. By the way, he gets serious Husband points for handling the nurses’ attention like a champ: “My wife tells me that every day.” Boom.


on the drive home yesterday, probably for the best that he couldn’t see

I’m thankful that his vision will be especially sharp and clear when they first see our son in a few weeks, but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t wondered if this will have a reverse-beer-goggle effect on me, that he’ll now notice the wrinkles that have developed on my forehead. Que Sera!

Latest adoption news: Calling the national visa office daily to confirm receipt of our file at the US Consulate’s office in Guangzhou, then filing another important form and awaiting issue of our Article 5. Getting so close! 



One response to “Highways, Biways, & Driving in Montana”

  1. For the record everyone (including myself) drives 80+ mph on the freeway here. So you can make it the 140 miles from Bozeman to Billings in under 2 hours pretty easy. 🙂

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