This is Missoula

Monday, November 10, 2014

 Happy Monday! A few weeks ago, I flew back to Montana (Missoula, specifically... hence the blog title) to surprise my sister on her birthday. It had been about 3 and-a-half years since I'd been home and man, was I in for a surprise.

Missoula has always been a hippie town, but deep down it's always been a classic small American town. Until now... maybe? For most of my elementary school years, I lived in what is dubbed the "university neighborhood." The homes, in general, were built in the early 1900s, so they have incredible character and are all individualistic. Except that in the last four years there have been so many homes that have been renovated that the neighborhood, sadly, has lost it's charm. :-( I took pictures of some of the more extreme homes trying to show the changes. I know that they are taken out of context individually, but imagine these homes sitting next to 100+ year old homes.

This house is across the street from my childhood home and used to be yellow:

What sort of stucco house is this? It looks like a Hobbit house!

The columns on these next two houses, bug me. No character, no charm.

So look at this little green house... and check out the sliver of the house to the right...

Now look at the house to the right full-on! What sort of modern monstrosity is this... in the middle of classic homes!

The modern orange and purple house is on the back side of the alley that my childhood home is on. So I turned the corner to check out my house (it will always be my house). I wish I had pictures of what the house looked like when we sold it back in the late 90s... because it did not look like this:

Such a behemoth out-of-place home. The only home in the neighborhood with a fence. :-(

But there were a few places in town that were the same. This house (out of them all!) hasn't been touched:

And the 31 Flavors hasn't changed a bit either!

While I was home, I took the time to head up to another house I grew up in to check in on a tree we planted in my grandpa's memory after he passed away years ago (and I would like to note, that in order to get my childhood home bumped out and boxy, they ripped out my baby tree :-( ).

I'm happy to report, that the tree is still there and thriving!

The family who moved in after us, not only kept the tree, but utilized the garden space my grandma so-loving cultivated.

I was actually able to go inside the house and the homeowners are renovating the kitchen and living space to make it a bit larger. Very nice changes they are making, unlike in the university neighborhood.

They are also in the final stages of painting the outside, from light blue to a taupe color. As I was driving away, I remembered to snap a photo of the new color.

But the entire reason for going back home was to see my family and celebrate my sister's birthday. Huey and I bonded. He would sleep on me like a baby. So cute.

We went out for dinner for my sister's birthday and then she treated me to lunch at a local restaurant called The Mustard Seed in the mall. It lived up to all of my memories! We snapped a photo before we left.

Missoula will always be home.. even if one day I visit and don't recognize a single thing.

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