Home Isn’t Always Where Your Heart Is

flashback friday


I had the privilege of growing up in Montana, a state of rugged land and rugged people. 

It’s a state where you watch for rattlesnakes and prickly pear cactus, neither bother you and you know both are edible.

The average person never dresses completely in style or completely out of style, and cowboy is always an accepted style.

A four-wheel drive pickup has always been the vehicle of choice, and not because of the flashy commercials and current buying trends,  but because you can help your friends move, transport your building materials, and haul home the gutted deer that’s food for the winter.

Montanans have been slow to adapt drinking good coffee, but are quick to offer you a cup if you stop by.

When I visit Montana my soul is invigorated.  I am alive and feel  home.  I write and photograph like a mad woman, knowing the visit will soon be a vaporous memory.

In 2005 I received my first digital camera and immediately forged the  habit of shooting pictures through the car windows.  We had driven to Montana for Thanksgiving with the relatives, and I was reluctant to leave.

Montana Shack
On my way home, I shot frantically out the water-spotted windows, capturing those last fleeting images that would be my final souvenirs of a too-short visit.

Picture 382
I wondered if these ranchers were content with their simple lives and their land, or if they dreamed about the city lights and all that existed beyond their mountains.

Hearty sagebrush kissed by early winter’s frost, brought a lacy, softening touch to the landscape.

Picture 393
A peak into a valley I imagined Lewis and Clark traveling.  I can almost see Native Americans on their horses watching the process below. Shadows of past buffalo herds highlight the base of the mountains.  I long for the rocks to speak, to tell me the stories I have missed.

Picture 403
The winter beauty of Montana isn’t the flashy floral beauty and white sandy beaches of warmer climates. But, if you look closely, you will see so many shades of brown, gray, and green, your heart marvel at the Creator’s palette.

The foothills of the Rockies aren’t the towering peaks that demand to be scaled, they’re the mountains of quiet strength and constant presence.


Picture 438
Even the rocks cry out majestically in their diluvian formations. There is gold in those hills, and silver, sapphires, copper…it’s the Treasure State, but the treasure it gave me  wasn’t monetary.

Picture 417

I shot through the valley and into the mountains.  I shot horses, trees, and the Yellowstone River that  kept us company for part of the trip.

And then, I put my camera down.  There was no prolonging it any more.  I had to go home, and my home isn’t in Montana.

But my heart is.


Making your home sing Mondays

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18 Responses to Home Isn’t Always Where Your Heart Is

  1. Cheryl Smith November 15, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    Oh, wow! LOVED this post! The pictures just really draw you in. It is hard to imagine not loving a place like this. I’ve dreamed of going to Montana for years. You are so blessed to be able to at least visit there. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the lovely pictures and giving us a peek into your heart. Love, Cheryl

    • Mindy November 16, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

      Cheryl, your kind comments are always a blessing. It’s like having a friend come alongside me and give me a hug. Thanks for visiting and encouraging.

  2. aheartofadventure November 15, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    I’m the same way when I go home to Montana! I’m taking photos out of the car window like crazy & each time I go it’s harder to leave! I’m so excited to be going for Thanksgiving this year!

    • Mindy November 16, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

      I’m kinda’ jealous, have to admit! Enjoy your time there. If you blog Montana pics, come back and post a link under your comment, k? That would be cool. Thanks for visiting my blog today, it was great to see your work when I visited your blog.

      • aheartofadventure November 16, 2013 at 6:26 pm #

        I will definitely send you a link. I try to post every day when I travel & once a week when I’m home. I say try only because as you know when you’re in Montana cell service and/or wifi aren’t always available and I’ve actually come to love that. 🙂

  3. Lydia Caudill November 15, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

    I LOVE Montana! It’s one of my many dreams to take Doug there someday. When Jubilee was an infant we went to visit my parents in ND and that was the farthest West Doug had ever been!

    • Mindy November 16, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

      We’ve been trying to figure how to have a family reunion there someday, but nothing is working so far. We have to keep trying!

  4. Kendra November 15, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

    My problem…I don’t really know where “home” is since I have always been a military dependent.

    • Mindy November 16, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

      I know! I haven’t moved as much as you have, Kendra, but we’ve lived in ND, MN, KS and WA since we got married. When people ask me where I’m from, I never know what to say. That’s why I say Montana, because it was the favorite place I’ve ever lived. But, you and I have had some amazing life adventures! 🙂

  5. Tandis November 15, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

    Now and then Shawn and I dream about living in Montana. Simple. Quiet. Rustic. A few beefies, chickens and dogs. Let the kids roam free. Explore. Yes. We’d need a fireplace for stormy days. Your pictures made me dreamy too. Maybe someday you’ll move back to rest, write and feel at home. 🙂 ….and we’ll come visit since we’re probably never going to actually make the dream a reality. =/

    • Mindy November 16, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

      Tandis, we would love to be your next door neighbors in Montana. We always were sure our life plan was to buy a farmstead and raise a garden and animals. The Lord’s plan was to move us to the biggest city in the PNW where we could fight traffic instead of weeds. Wait, I have tons of weeds, and slugs and moles and rats…But, yes, our hearts are so longing for a slower pace.

      • Tandis November 27, 2015 at 2:31 pm #

        I’m still dreaming about it too. I love The West. Especially MT.

  6. jaimn November 16, 2013 at 5:18 am #

    Oh I LOVE the pictures – thank you for the tour!

  7. Peekiequeen November 16, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

    Loved your post! So beautifully written with such heart. It made me smile. And I gotta say not only are you photos evocative and serene to look at, I love the name of your Blog. Nice work. Cheers!

  8. Homeschool on the Croft November 16, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

    For some inexplicable reason (just ask our kids!), Montana has always done *something* to my heart. I’ve been to the US twice, but never further west than Michigan, but one day …. one day 😉 . Absolutely loved the photos … post them as often as you can – here’s one heart that’ll shout for joy!

  9. Claudya November 18, 2013 at 1:14 am #

    Beautiful images. The tip of my nose got cold just looking at the chilly views.

  10. Mitzi Curi November 18, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    I’ve been to many states in the US, but not Montana. Looking at your gorgeous images makes me move it to the top of my bucket list!

    • Mindy November 19, 2013 at 5:56 am #

      Thanks, Mitzi! I would love to show you my favorite thrift and antique stores in Helena! 🙂 But, then, again, we might be wanting to buy the same things…

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