The me of a decade ago would not easily recognize the me of today. Since arriving three weeks ago we’ve done a lot, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how interesting most of it has been. If I had the time I’d probably have a lot to say about how much and just why I missed children’s mental health in the past six months, but my team and I started cold at a new-to-us site, and it’s the end of the school year. My old job in the Flathead was such that I could never really write much about it without getting closer to a HIPAA than the half dozen steps I prefer, but I’m hoping this new one will be different. It promises to be a lot of fun, in the rote, occasionally mind numbing, but always in the abstract more than worthwhile way working with emotionally disturbed kids is.
We’ve also jumped right in to buying a house for the first time. Our first evening out looking at B-list houses got serious when we learned that an offer had come in on our A-list, which we had yet to see the inside of. Yet somehow 48 hours later we had a house under contract, a sprawling, odd, and quite ugly thing built during the first full year of the first Roosevelt administration, in an almost ideal location. It has many problems, some more pressing than others, and hopefully if everything goes well we’ll have a few decades to tackle them all.
The novelty is that all this is very appealing, just like our evening walks around town, for inspiration.
Helena was founded on gold mining, and became the territorial and then state capitol because of its convenient yet discrete proximity to the copper kings of Butte. For one brief period in the late 19th century Helena had more millionaires than any other city in America. And the Victorian architecture shows it.
Some of the true mansions are still around, as museums (old governors mansion), bed and breakfasts (top), and private residences. Plenty more normal (<3000 foot square) Victorians are kicking around, in almost all the materials and styles one could imagine. Our presumptive late-Victorian is hiding its age under pale puce metal siding and pigeon shit, so we need some inspiration to distract from negotiations over leaky pipes and vermiculite.
That we’re here, now, is a result of planning and work, but that we (read; I) are ready for the wholistic investment is the result of nothing more than time. There are too many interesting places and worthy choices out there, and we’ve seen enough to realize that six lifetimes wouldn’t be enough to know them all. Today is time to stop wandering and start a longer acquaintance.