My brother and his wife came to visit last week to meet their new niece and chase their 4-year-old nephew around on skis. Luckily for me, not only did their visit entail wonderful family time but my brother is a chef so I enjoyed his cooking while I juggled a newborn in one arm and wrangled at toddler in the other. I didn’t make my brother cook every meal since it was his vacation and we ventured out to eat in downtown Kalispell when my wild child son was at preschool and my daughter snoozed in her stroller.
Going out to lunch with my husband, brother, and sister-in-law felt like a vacation for me, too, as dining out is a difficult event with two kids. The baby slept until the food arrived, and for those minutes before I held her and tried not to drop sushi rolls on her sweet head, I felt like I was an almost normal human being and not an exhausted and sleep-deprived mom. My brother and his wife try to visit us each year and every time that they do, they remark as do most people, about how incredible Kalispell is. They love the mountains, they love the skiing, and they love our small town.
I try not to drop hints that perhaps they should move here, because it’s largely for selfish means. I miss my brother, and would love to have him closer. His nephew adores him, and the feeling is mutual. I would also love to experience my brother’s fine cooking more often, but I don’t tell him that unless I want to witness his trademark eye roll. When he visits, I show him houses for sale, drop hints about the need for more restaurants in town, and he just ignores me. However, it was on this trip when his wife made more pointed comments about how friendly people are, how she likes our downtown, and the historic neighborhoods. My new approach is to convince Marion, who is the recipient of unbridled adoration from my son, that she and my brother should move here. It certainly can’t hurt to try.
Besides, with how fast my young son has taken to skiing, my husband and I need someone like Uncle JD to help us chase him down on the slopes.
Maggie Doherty is the owner of Kalispell Brewing Company on Main Street.