The Awakening of Russell Henderson

This week’s installment of Russell and Hannas’ adventures. Read the whole book. Go to

Another beautiful Montana day, clear blue sky and an open road. After a quick stop at a grocery store, we headed north into the vastness of this beautiful northern state of rolling hills, mountain ranges, pine forests to I-15 by Helena and onto Highway 287. All was quiet, like last night had drained us of words and emotion and we had none left for the day. We came to a little wind-blown town of empty store fronts and grey deserted clapboard houses. Hanna spotted an ice cream parlor amongst the otherwise empty town and wanted to stop. 

An older woman in a floral print dress stood behind the counter wearing a big welcome smile. We gazed at her few selections she said it was all made right there on site. It appeared to be the only business left in town. The ice cream was rich and creamy and delicious. I asked her how she was able to manage. She answered that the few folks still around supported her and tourist traffic in the summer kept her almost busier than she cared to be. Winters were slow and she only was open on weekends then, but she made enough to get by.

She was wanting to retire and asked if we wanted to buy her business. For a moment, I actually considered it, thinking how great it would to live so far away from everything, all my family with all the problems and expectations, but graciously declined. I wondered what it would take to breath life back into this apparently once thriving town. But the life had faded too far and soon the harsh winds of winter and the heat of the summer sun would melt it back into the earth and only rubble stone foundations would still exist only to fade more slowly and be once again turned into the rolling grassy hills.