YOU KNOW YOU ARE A TRUE MONTANAN WHEN:

1. "Vacation" means going east or west on I-90 or Highway 2 for the weekend.

He forgot about using I-15 to get between I-90 and Highway 2.

2. You measure distance in hours.

It's the only practical measure. Montana is the 4th largest state in the U.S. and has a population of less than 1 million.

3. You know several people who have hit a deer more than once.

Fortunately, it's neither Gary nor Pauline. (Yet.) Gary did almost hit an elk in front of the property, and we have found dead deer beside the highway in front of the property.

4. You often switch from "heat" to "A/C" and back again in the same day.

In the Main House, the switch over will be automatic; that is much more convenient. Actually, the south rooms could be on A/C while the north ones are on heat, so we could do both at once!

5. You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard, without flinching.

The speed limit is 75. Duh! Are you looking to get rear-ended?

6. You see people wearing camouflage at social events (including weddings).

Hmm, can't recall this.

7. You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked.

He forgot about leaving the truck parked outside with the keys in it in case someone needs to borrow it. We sometimes turn off the security lights when the animals keep triggering them.

8. You carry jumper cables in your car and your girl friend knows how to use them.

Jumper cables are on the shopping list for winter supplies. Pauline already knows how to use them.

9. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snow suit.

Arthur is too old to wear a Halloween costume and wouldn't be caught dead in a snow suit.

10. Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.

Yes. And the washboard that forms in the dirt roads in the summer smoothes out. The worst time is Spring (aka "Mud Season").

11. You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction.

Yes. Several of the main roads in Bozeman have been closed for construction all summer. Apparently, home construction happens in the winter.

12. Your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer next to your blue spruce.

Rusty car parts welded into statues of deer, elk and moose are common, as are broken down farm implements. We have already been shopping for some broken down farm implements to place around the property. Pauline suggested that we should get an elk statue. Gary prefers moose. We have heard that blue spruce is one of the few things that deer won't eat, so maybe we should get one of those as well.

13. You were unaware that there is a legal drinking age.

We do know. That was in the driver's manual we carefully studied. When we showed up at the DMV, they just handed us new licenses — no written or driving test required! Ergo, knowing the legal drinking age is not necessary.

14. Down South to you means Wyoming or Nebraska.

Wyoming is "Down South", Nebraska is "Back East".

15. A brat is something you eat.

We're not into brats (aka bratwurst). But the bison sausages are great.

16. Your neighbor throws a party to celebrate his new pole shed.

We're still waiting for the party.

17. You go out to a tail gate party every Friday.

No.

18. Your 4th of July picnic was moved indoors due to frost.

Yes, see the July progress report.

19. You have more miles on your snow blower than your car.

What do you expect? The driveway is 1 mile long and takes at least 4 passes to clear. Sometimes several times a day. We get at least 100" of snow per year at the lodge and, because it is a dry snow, it sometimes continues to drift across the road for days after a storm.

20. You find 0 degrees "a little chilly."

It's a dry cold....