It’s official! Fall is now my favorite season. I admit, I’ve been a spring junkie for a good portion of my life but as I’ve aged and tucked a bit of wisdom under my belt, I’m discovering a bit of seasonal snobbery in my nature. I no longer refer to the season of colorful change as fall. It is now, “autumn”. It is clearly the most elegant word to describe a season of brilliant beauty. Not only is the temperature more to my liking, but autumn offers the opportunity to put the wisdom gained in previous months to good use. While schedules pick up pace, the calm, temperate weather brings balance and clarity to the chaos and offers a tranquil assurance. The earlier sunsets signal the need to get some much needed rest. But, autumn is by no means a season of laziness; I like to think of it more as a season of comfort. Like the comfort found in lingering a little longer over a pumpkin spiced chai tea, the welcoming aroma of a Crockpot at the end of the day or the delight I take in shuffling around in my slippers late into a Saturday morning. Autumn heralds the transition into a long and cold winter, so embrace it and make the most of all its bounty while it’s upon us.
Do you know someone who has had to start life over?
Connie Beal, the Preacher Lady, has to step out on her own at mid-life. Along with her faithful dog, Sam, she moves to her first solo assignment as a pastor. This account takes Connie through that first year at Old West where she beats down the antagonism of being a woman in what is considered by some as a man’s job while at the same time attempting to revitalize a traditional church.
1301 Central Ave. West
No, you aren’t trapped in a time machine. That’s a carhop, ready to take your order at Great Falls’ iconic Ford’s Drive In.
This local favorite garnered national attention in 2010, when Food Magazine awarded the Central Avenue West eatery the prize for Best Burger in Montana. Need more proof? Beloved western artist Brian Morger even painted the place, complete with vintage cars and, of course, carhops.
Ford’s uses only lean ground beef from nearby Vaughn, Montana, sometimes served with (no kidding) peanut butter. Add sour cream chili fries and a cinnamon Coke and your tummy may start humming the tune from “Happy Days.”
1220 Central Ave. West
Harvest season may be over, but if someone hollers “full haystack” into the kitchen at the Double Barrel, get ready for a big biscuit topped with hashbrowns, smothered in gravy. If you’re not in the mood for a Close Encounter of the Carb Kind, try a bowl of award-winning soup, the Friday fish special, or breakfast–anytime.
The Double Barrel closes every Thanksgiving to serve a meal to family and “regulars”, folks who stop in for a meal (or two…or three!) most days.
Steven Pearson, who’s been with the business 5 1/2 years, loves Great Falls. “If I’d have known how wonderful this place is, I’d have moved here years ago.”
1421 Central Ave. West
Whether you’re a weekend warrior, a chopper fan, or a farmer hankerin’ to check on the south forty, Savage Motosports is ready to rev you up and get you on your way. Bring the kids: this sports motor store has rides for them too.
Owner Rich Rossberg, who’s been on two wheels since he was six, is proud that his business has evolved to become one of the nation’s largest CF Moto retailers. Along with SSR and high-end dirt bike manufacturer GasGas, Savage sells quality parts and all kinds of accessories for off-roads, street cycles, and side-by-sides.
Some dealers turn away older cycles in need of repair, but Savage Motosports, open year ‘round, employs four full-time mechanics with wrenches ready and parts galore.
From the moment the first green shoots poke up until the last crackle underfoot, I vacillate between embarrassment and pride at the state of our yard.
My husband and I are cruel stewards: instead of letting our grass die, we make it suffer. Moments before the once-green swords buckle in defeat, we drag out a hose. We may not be “lawn people” but dammit, we have enough pride to prevent precious Montana topsoil from blowing to North Dakota.