Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Christmas in Montana Memory

I am very pleased to introduce the Win a Piece of Montana--November WINNER!  Actually, I've invited her to share a bit about herself.  I am so excited to share her with you.  

Website for Tara Chevrestt
When Ms. Morgan kindly offered me a spot on her blog, there really was no contest as to what I was going to talk about. It came to me almost immediately. Montana. More specifically, Christmas in Montana.

We all have that one Christmas that sticks in our memory as the best Christmas ever, the one we compare all Chrimstasses to and it seems they just don’t compare.

Mine was when I was eight or nine (sometime in the 90s. That’s all you’re getting from me on that.) and my parents saved and scraped and pinched and counted pennies so we could afford for my mother and I to make a trip to Montana to see her family. These trips are expensive as only one major airline *still, to this day* flies to that wonderous state. (That means they can literally get away with charging an arm, a leg, and whatever other body part they want.) We lived in Oklahoma, a long ways away.

This trip, due to airline hubs and flight plans, required us to fly from Oklahoma to Texas, Texas to Salt Lake City, and then Salt Lake City to Butte, MT, where my grandparents would meet us and drive half an hour to Deer Lodge. This was a whole day of traveling. But it was worth it just to see my wonderful family. We only made this trip once every...maybe four years.

And sometimes, there were delays, icy roads, etc. This is Montana we’re talking about, in December.

Well, the Christmas I was eight, we made this trip, and ALL my cousins were there! This was super unusual as they lived in Oregon at the time. This would be the last time all my cousins, all five of us, were together for Christmas. It hasn’t happened since.

My grandmother made fudge, cinnamon rolls, dinner was so full of people, it was like playing musical chairs! There was homemade bread, beef jerky and deer sausage. It was a time full of love and joy and fun. It was what Christmas should be about: NOT toys, not money. I was so content that holiday, I didn’t need much else.

And we went sledding!! My first and only time ever! And snowmobiling too!

And that was truly the holiday that no holiday since has been able to top. I remember sobbing my heart out as our plane went down the Butte runway for takeoff and I left those glorious snow-covered mountains behind to go back to flat, boring Oklahoma. But it wasn’t just a loss of scenery, but a loss of the loving family that surrounded me. It would be a while before I saw them again.

Well, ending this on a happier note, in honor of THIS Christmas, I’m giving away a kindle ebook of my Christmas story, Operation: Enduring Santa.

One lucky commenter will walk away with this book at the end of the day. Just share with me, please, what has been YOUR best Christmas ever and what made it so?

Thank you, Ms. Morgan, and Happy Holidays to all!


USAF fighter pilot Janet Kerrigan is not having a good Christmas. It's bad enough she is stationed in Balad Air Base, Iraq and away from her three-year-old son, but to make matters worse, she has to spend her Christmas day on Combat Air Patrol.

A friend and fellow pilot tells her to make new Christmas memories, and much to Janet's surprise, she does, though not the kind of memories she expects. While flying her F-16 Fighting Falcon in the Iraqi skies, Janet is faced with a difficult choice: follow orders and have the glory or ruin her Air Force career to save Christmas for boys and girls everywhere.

If you wish to know more about me, come check out my Facebook Page!


  1. You were 8 years old and it was the best time wasn't it? Everyone has grown up and they all have there own lives now and it is so hard to get everyone together. I am glad you have such fond memories.

  2. It was fantastic. Thanks, Rionna, for hosting me!

    1. Tara,

      You're so welcome! I am so happy to know you. We make a great team!!

      Hugs from Montana!


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