Tales & Tidings

Books, thoughts, news, recipes, and more from the northern Rocky Mountains.

A Letter of Flowers and Smoke


Flowers and smoke . . . I have both in abundance these days. I spent the last week moving into a new house and the two weeks prior packing and finishing the last chapters of a Grey-Archard book. The smoke has made even my quiet daily walks difficult as the air has been most unpleasant to breathe. I ache for those who have it far worse than we do up here in the Flathead Valley. We have been fortunate, despite everything, and there is no excuse for complaints when blessings, however often overlooked, are bountiful.


On a normal day, the Swan Range can be seen for miles and miles until it fades into the sky.


I have these daily quote books I like to read each morning, and one of my favorites is First Things First Every Day by Stephen R. Covey. Today's quote was, "The balance of nature itself teaches us the principle of times and seasons. There are times in our lives when imbalance is balance." How appropriate, and a good reminder to be grateful rather than fret over what cannot be controlled. With more evacuation warnings and a pending storm, all we can do is wait and hope that everyone will be okay.


A singular comfort have been my thriving flowers. Lovingly tended over the summer, knowing they would have a new home in September, the whiskey barrels and pots have found solace in the hot and smoky summer, where as I feel wilted and exhausted. I've created a nice reading and pondering spot on the front porch, which looks up at the mountains. The flowers will last a few more weeks before autumn begins to make its presence felt.


The geraniums don't seem too bothered by the smoke.


The first of the mums. I have a flat of smaller mums that are waiting to be potted and arranged for autumn. I still have the window planters to hang this weekend, and though they won't last much longer, I always fill them with seasonal foliage.


This move is not a permanent one—I've never been very good at making permanent decisions—but it's a beautiful place where I can continue to gaze at the mountains whilst I figure out where I want to plant my own roots for the long term.

While unpacking some boxes, I happened upon a dozen copies of the Gallagher books. I had searched and searched and now have realized they've been in storage for two years! I also found a binder of old poems I wrote back in high school, and art supplies that inspired me to setup a corner of my new office for drawing.

The Gallaghers, I'm quite sure, feel neglected, and I do miss them. We won't be parted for too much longer.

I recently watched the last twenty minutes or so of the new Beauty and the Beast. I haven't been a fan of the new remakes of the Disney classics—I'm too old school—but I was most impressed by Dan Stevens' singing of "Evermore." He charmed as Matthew Crawley and now with his wonderful voice. Give it a listen if you haven't already.

There is rain in the forecast and I feel the need to spend some time with my flowers this evening. As I feel autumn's gentle approach, I spend a lot of time listening to videos like this:


Do you have a favorite season? Mine is and has always been autumn, though winter is a very close second. It's in part why I created the Seasons Journal collection—I simply couldn't decide.

Be well, dear readers, and stay bookish!

~ MK


Meet the Author

MK McClintock writes stories for those who enjoy escaping to another time and place, where their imaginations are free and open to simple pleasures and stories with plenty of happy-ever-afters—at least for the good guys. Villains get a different kind of ending.

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