By Alkali Springs Correspondent
We have never lived on or near the shore of anything except Bear Paw Lake. So living a few yards from Flathead Lake is quite an experience. We were told years ago that living on a coast changes a person. We didn't know what they were talking about until now. We feel changes already. For example we look at the water much more than the mountains that pop up east of the big water, as the littlest chickadee used to call Flathead. We have always thought that we were a person of the mountains, but a huge body of water gets our attention dozens of times a day every day. It is so big. Remember that prayer on John Kennedy's desk? "Lord, thy sea is so large and my boat is so small." When we see tiny boats out on the lake, we think about that often. The lake is teaming with life. For two weeks we had hundreds of coots in our bay, up on the shore in the middle of the day and out in the lake the rest of the time. They all swim in a group, sort of like a flock of geese. Neat. And we have a big goose that comes up on our lawn each day to say hello. And this weekend we were outside cooking a steak and a loon gave a loud and beautiful cry right out from where we were cooking. Wow! No wonder we look at the water.
Folks around here have a strange burning habit. When they rake their lawns and clear away winter trash they burn it all on the lakeshore. Then the lake rises and their mess is gone. We wonder about all that, but they have been doing it for years and years, so maybe they know what they are doing. Why we wonder is that we drink out of the lake. We have a filter system but if we start getting a charcoal taste as the lake rises, we are changing to bottle water.
From time to time, gentle readers, we get questions from other readers that we try to answer. For some reason some folks think that because we have written this column for 28 years, we are qualified to answer their personal questions. We got a question the other day that we have not been able to answer. Maybe if we share it with you, a beam of wisdom will come to us and we will be able to help this reader with his dilemma. Here is the question as it came in to us the other day.
"I have a problem. I have two brothers and two sisters. One brother is a Republican and the other has just been sentenced to death for murder. My mother died of insanity when I was young. My two sisters are prostitutes and my father uses their earnings to keep the family going. Recently I met a girl who was released from a reformatory where she served time for smothering her illegitimate child and I want very much to marry her.
"My problem is this. Should I tell her about my brother who is a Republican?"