I didn't grow up on a ranch like what is fantastically dramatized on every episode of Yellowstone, but there's no doubt about it; I'm a Montanan through and through. I just happen to be more from the mining and smelting working-class persuasion of it all! But, hell yeah, a proud native Montanan, so much so that as I get older, I'm set in my ways of realizing there's no place I'd rather live, no matter how harsh "nine months" of winter can be in Big Sky Country! During a 4-year stint in my 20s, I lived in San Diego, and at the time, I thought I'd never, in a million years, move back home. As life changed, so did my priorities, and there I was, creating a family life and raising some awesome children "back" in Montana. (continued...)

Fast forward a couple of decades, and just like that, my children and step-children are in their 20s and 30s, and NOW some of them are trying to persuade me to get out of Montana "again"! My oldest son, in particular, who has lived off and on the Big Island of Hawaii since he was a teenager, believes life among the waves would be the best thing for me. Yeah, duh, it's a tropical island, right?...but then my doting "glass is half empty" personality goes into sensory overload, and I remember why I couldn't possibly make the island my permanent home. Basically, I would miss Montana, but it goes deeper than that. Reason number one is my commitment to my mother and the bond I have with my middle kiddo and also my step-daughter and grandkids in Missoula. They have their own lives, but it still would be hard not seeing them. (My youngest is in Boston, so that's an article for another time). As for my mom, she is in pretty good shape for her age but requires some help with errands and projects. Plus, because we're super tight, and since my dad passed away a few years ago, there's no way I could take off to the Big Island. Unless, of course, she moved there with me, but she would never agree to that. Stubborn Italian! (Hawaii continued...)

So, as much as I love my son, the other reason it would be hard for me to move to Hawaii involves the fear of insects larger than my hand. I'm talking about nightmarish sized spiders and cockroaches, mainly; plus, I also had some freaky run-ins with tree frogs and roosters in paradise the last time I was there. Remember, you're in "their habitat" and not the other way around. Yes, I'm talking about a more remote area of Hawaii minus fancy "haole" resorts and cabanas... but I admit, they do sound luxurious. Reasons number 3, 4, 5, and 6 for not being completely sold on moving to Hawaii? ...unacclamation to the hotter months on the island, concern for increased volcano activity, the extreme cost of living there, and homesickness for the lakes and mountains back home. However, If a family member were to win the lottery at some point, I would be forced to overcome my fear of bugs and everything else in between to make Hawaii my home for at least half of the cooler months each year. So, for now, an excursion to and from the tropics works fine for this Montana girl!

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