Yes, yes, I’m late again. But some of these things don’t strike me. I don’t have any idea how I should categorize 2009 in a word, although I think I’m beginning to get a feel for the word that would be most appropriate, given the fact that I have fifteen minutes to write this before my next meeting: hectic!

Anyway, more on that later.

My tea for the year is one that I drag out for all special occasions. It’s called Montana Gold, from the Montana Tea and Spice Company.

goldbagI first discovered it sometime in the mid- to late-90s, when I was pondering a move to Bozeman, Montana. Look! Isn’t it pretty?

mt_bozeman04I mean, I literally was going to up and move from my little apartment in Astoria, New York, to a beautiful little pad smack in the middle of town. I went to visit for a week, and loved it. It was where various writer friends from my tenure at Audubon magazine lived, and they were all awesome people and very good to me. I was about to cut ties. I was about to embark on an exciting career as a mountain girl, living in the shadow of the Bridger Mountains, skiing every day of the season and writing about outdoors stuff until it came out of my ears. Maybe I’d learn to telemark! Maybe I’d finally be cool!

Over my week or so in Bozeman, I got very, very drunk with some select people, had a blast, and, when I’d come back to New York after signing the lease for my new Bozeman apartment in the old post office, sat up bolt upright one night and knew that that was not the life for me, at least not yet.

Thing is, I wasn’t that good of a skier, and I was not so enamoured with writing for the outdoors world that I could–or knew how to–make it my career. And, I found myself saying, an awful lot, when interviewing awesome people doing awesome things, “Man, I’d like to try that, instead of writing about it.” Some people are awesome enough to do the double duty, but I was not capable.

But that doesn’t mean that some parts of Bozeman did not worm their ways into my heart. The mountains have imprinted themselves on me. I continue to find wilderness where I can. I aspire, at some point still, to lead the mountain lifestyle, in a little mountain town. And I continue to drink this tea, which I found at the Leaf and Bean in Bozeman, pictured here:

leafnbeanThe tea gets dragged out whenever I am feeling blue. It is a mix of rooibos, cinnamon bark, orange peel, and some other magical stuff, like hope, freedom, and spice. It comes out when a good friend is over and I can foresee a long afternoon chat. It comes out when someone is in need of comfort, or when someone looks particularly joyful and in a mood to celebrate, and usually when I care about someone enough to impress them with something wonderful.


I guess it’s not the best tea of 2009. It’s kind of the best tea I’ve ever had.

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