Lucy Jensen
Lucy Jensen

“We’ll be moving to Montana,” she said matter of fact. “How exciting, darling!” I expressed and, yes, it would be exciting for them. For me too, as I would have a new place to visit.

I recall so clearly, when I moved to the Central Coast, that my folks were delighted. They would have a new part of the world to explore; and they certainly took full advantage of that. Wherever I was living at the time — and it mostly certainly was never Carmel Village — that is where they would stay, even down to the same Inn and sometimes room. They would eat at the same places and enjoy the same walks. Though they were really coming to visit me, they made the very best of their time and adored their holidays here on this beautiful coast.

At the end of her life, my mother told me that if she could go back to one more place in the world, it would be to Monterey. (Another reason I transported her ashes — First Class, no less — back to the Monterey Bay.) Even now that my dad can’t travel, he loves to hear about the places we go on the Central Coast, being able to pinpoint them on a map and in his memory. Eventually his ashes will join my mother’s and I will join them in due course.

I digress. Apparently, my daughter and her boyfriend will be moving to Montana where he’s from. Just not this week. Ever since they rented their home, which they call the Hacienda, they have been gathering family members like there’s no tomorrow. As of today, they have 2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 pigs and, I think, 6 goats.

“How are you going to transport all your menagerie to Montana?” I ask of her with some validation. “Oh, you know, a trailer or two, dad…” her voice drifts off. As it stands right now, whenever she needs a dog sitter for her enormous Great Pyrenees pony Moose, she calls on her dad. When she needs to pick up pallets or whatever she needs really, she calls on her dad. I joked with the husband that he will need to figure out the best way to get to Montana in the quickest possible time, because our daughter is not known for her patience and need him she will, wherever she ends up laying her head!

“How are you going to manage in Montana without your dad being at your beck and call?” I ask cautiously. “Oh, you guys will be coming too!” Ha, I nearly choked on my coffee at that point. I like to visit different spots on the planet; it doesn’t mean I’d want to live there! I think I would adore Montana in the spring and fall. The summers and winters don’t look like they are quite up my alley and especially not the long, white winters. A little dusting on the Santa Lucias is quite enough snow for me.

But you raise your children so that they can successfully live without you and maybe raise their own; so, I would never honestly challenge her wish to move to Montana. We must all experience the world for ourselves just like I did. My parents never once questioned my move to America or how much I might need them when I got there.

On the latest adventure to the pallet shed with the truck and trailer, she announces that they are going to be building chicken pens. Ah, the menagerie is growing! I chuckle at her ever-increasing farm (the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree) and her equally similar lust for adventure. “Another tow trailer to add to the three you will already need for the trip, plus dad?” I jest.

“You do know that Montana has really long, cold winters, right?” I enquire. “Oh, I know. We may just make some trips there instead,” she responded, smiling.

“Well, if you want a large ranch, that would be the place,” I put another possible dreamscape into her brain and she just smiled. Nice to be young and free and able to ponder the next move, maybe, perhaps, just around the corner, perhaps later, perhaps never.

In the meantime, she lives only 30 minutes away from Solace and she and her boyfriend love their Hacienda with all their critters. They have good jobs, lovely plans and a nice life. Your quest in life is for your children to be happy and I do believe she is. That makes Mama Bear very happy in her turn and optimistic that the future will be fine, whether it happens here or there or somewhere in between.   

Moving to Montana? May happen, may never. That’s one of the joys of life. The best-made plans seldom go in the originally planned direction.

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Soledad columnist Lucy Jensen may be reached at [email protected].


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