“Mom!!! Take a picture of me with this straw wrapper on my lip!” 

A prime example that not all days are full of excitement. 

Jared needed the public library again, so Rudy and I were left to our own devices so Jared could work uninterrupted. After this epic moment with the straw wrapper, I knew the library couldn’t possibly get more fun than that, so, I left Rudy to look up books and read while I walked around downtown. To be fair, I didn’t just abandon him. I gave him the option to come with me, but he didn’t want to walk in 1000° heat with 50% smoke inhalation. But why?!? 

Anyway, I did however feel up for the exercise and needed to move anyway. I thought I would do a little on-foot exploring of Downtown Missoula. 

They’ve completed a new bridge since we were here last which allows for more foot and bike traffic to cross the Clark Fork River and get to more shops and such. It’s a college town, and there’s an airport nearby, so there are all kinds of people to be around and things to do. I stopped on the middle of the bridge to get a pic. 

I look like I’m scowling, but actually the giant smoke-sun was piercing my eyes. I continued on to an eclectic clothing store that’s pretty popular called Betty’s Divine. Unfortunately, I didn’t find anything to bring home, but there was a TON of cool stuff. 

A music store, flower shop, art gallery, and a gas station for water, then I headed back to the library to grab the boys and head to our friend’s house to get ready for the gig. If you followed our blog in 2019, you’ll remember the “Montana Brothers” who became instant cousins for Rudy! Now, 10(Jace), 12(Kian), and 14(Dayton), were thrilled to see Rudy, and they picked up like no time had passed. 

Imagine Nation Brewing has had a facelift since we were there last, so it was exciting to roll in and find a huge concrete slab for a stage, big enough to put our whole setup and our merch too. So nice to stretch out and play a place actually set up for music and not have to be squished in a corner somewhere. 

Rudy was with the brothers, so we didn’t ask him to join us on stage because we didn’t want to pull him away. But, apparently as drawn to the stage as we are, as soon as we launched into “Dressed Up”, he came up and sang even without a microphone. “Don’t forget me again, mom and dad.” We never will…

The show was great and we had several repeat fans who waited 2 years to come see us again. The bar had offered to pay us a certain amount for the gig, and almost doubled it based on the evening’s sales! We sold a ton of merch and really had an amazing time. 

Afterwards, Brooke (the “Brothers’” mom) took the boys to all see their dad, Joe, a firefighter for the Missoula fire department, at his station. They got to play in the truck, get shot by the hose, learned about tools and such. 

By the time we had packed up, settled up, and headed home, it was later and Brooke was home with the boys cooking us burgers with cold beers at the ready. 

There is really no way to express the kindness that keeps flowing our way. Jared and I curled up in bed, Rudy camped out with the Brothers, and all of us fed and content to the max. We have a few days off before our next gig, so we’re so glad to be among such incredible people who feel like home to us. 

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