The Ekalaka Eagle - Your Community Builder

Bright Ideas

I’m back


February 2, 2018

I took off the month of January to deal with health issues, but they weren’t touched in January! On the scheduled date to aim radiation at the nerve in my right jaw, there was horizontal snow and ice to fight through. The bad roads extended all the way to Billings! We stayed home.

My jaw pain made a return attack, but medication seemed the only solution. Now I’m scheduled for next Friday and we are scheduled for Arctic cold. Of course.

Early settlers were smart enough to stay tucked inside during the winter, only venturing out to feed livestock. Sometimes that meant running a line from barn to house when snow was so thick they couldn’t see one building from the other.

Great grandparents made annual trips to larger cities to collect large quantities of staples for people and animals. And those trips were probably in autumn. It would take two days to get anywhere. Were there lodgings along the way, with stables for their animals?

Is ours the first generation with vehicles warm enough to permit them to travel in winter cold? Are some people unaware of distances between Ekalaka and Baker, Baker and Miles City, Miles City and Billings? Who would rescue us, and would we have cell service?

Our vehicle is a long van, usually serving two people. On medical trips our daughter has accompanied us. We still have lots of room. But it doesn’t have 4 wheel drive, and it doesn’t travel well in snow or on ice. It’s uncontrollable.

We’ll see what February brings. Back when Camp Needmore was being built, February was the coldest month, requiring a fire to run 24 hrs. to keep their bulldozer operational, which also ran 24 hrs.

When will Spring come; not just on the calendar but in the ground? What did the Groundhog say? I am not local, so I can be excused, but I’ve experienced 33 Ekalaka winters, and before the paper traveled to Miles City wirelessly, drove those pasteups to and from Miles City every Wednesday in all seasons.

I can still manage a trip to Miles City, not gracefully, but it’s doable. The trip to Billings is horrible. Five hours in my chair, no nap or straightening my body, head and neck. Treatment starting at 6 am, the next morning, with no food and little water with pain pills and muscle relaxant. At least this takes four hours, on my back! Then to the Cancer Center for radiation. I will be behind any cancer patients.

After I get zapped I can take pills, drink, eat and head for home. Ekalaka is always a sweet sight, sweeter this time than usual.


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