What I need you to understand about our friend/hostess Gretchen, is that she is a full-blown, modern-day pioneer woman. When Jared and I sauntered in around 9:30 from the truck (where snow was falling all around us), there was coffee ready, vitamins for Jared to take, frittata in the oven warming, and a welcome love note. 

Please know that we don’t ever expect this kind of treatment, nor am I calling attention to it to suggest that Jared and I even DESERVE it. Rather, I want to illustrate the giant amount of gratitude we feel when people do ANYTHING for us. However, what you need to hear is that Gretchen (who put us to bed around 1:30am the previous night) was up by 6:00am to go tend to her chickens and goats (there are 5 new babies!!!!) as well as chain sawing a huge tree that had fallen down and was blocking the water supply to the animals. 

Gretchen walked into the kitchen in a full length canvas duster, hair slung to one side in a flaxen braid, bandana tied around her neck and mud on her boots, and with one visual, wrecked any inclination I will ever have again about labeling myself a “badass”. This woman is CRUSHING life. I said, “You’ve never looked more Montana in your life!!” To add insult to injury, as Jared and I were sitting at the table, apparently looking too exhausted to lift a finger, she said “Let me make you another pot of coffee.” while she drizzled homemade peach-rum sauce on the chocolate cake she just “whipped up” the night before while she was waiting for our arrival. I needed a nap just watching her. 

But, there had been talk of baby goats and the promise of up-close snuggle time with them, so we roused ourselves and rallied for the goats. I also thought it would be an amazing idea to take some video singing and playing in the goat house to be used in a little something we’re working on to wrap up tour. So, like true city folk, we put on our leather, pomped our mohawks up, gussied our beards and donned our platform boots, and we left to go show the world exactly what “Glam Folk” is. 

After the ridiculousness of performing in a goat house took place, we were off to our house concert gig in Corvallis. The sky was clear, blue, sunny and….then it was snowing, and freezing and grey. Go home, Montana. You’re drunk. 

The house concert made me think of a lot of things that have become too much of an idea for the tail end of this post, so I will make an addendum to “Day 12” and post it separately, so you can read it when you want a glimpse into my philosophical side. If not, just know that we now have more friends in Montana, and we are both grateful and humbled that our job allows us the opportunity to intimately share in moments with strangers that can shape us all for the better. 

Once the gig was over and we trudged out into the “teen” degree weather and joined Gretchen in a hot tub with some home made hootch and great conversation under the stars. There are no pictures of this happening because…well, we may run for office one day!😂😂😂😂😂 But, to quote our dear friend, Richard, we’re just a bunch of “Dirty, nudist, hippie, pagans”. ‘Bout sums it up! 

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