A Montanan's Frustration with Hurricane Harvey

A Montanan's Frustration with Hurricane Harvey

Compassion Coming From a State That's Receiving No Compassion

I want to first offer my condolences to all affected by Hurricane Harvey, in Houston and around the country and the world. It has been a horrific tragedy in many ways, including the shock for those who have lost all their worldly possessions let alone those who have lost friends and family. And I encourage anyone and everyone who can afford to, to help with disaster relief through reliable resources. This article is in no way meant to minimize the tragedies and impact of Hurricane Harvey across the Southern United States.

That all being said, I would like to explain why the national media coverage has been unnervingly frustrating for me.

My beautiful home state, Montana, has been burning up for months with very little coverage or outrage of the lack of help we've gotten from our Federal Government. As of July 24, 2017, Montana has considered the numerous large wildfires a state emergency, with the executive order coming from Governor Bullock. After already leaving multiple fires to burn for months, this executive order finally allowed for Montana to utilize resources such as the National Guard and other state services to combat the destruction being caused by fires.

To put this in perspective, on August 29th, 2017 evacuation orders were given to more than 1,100 homes in the Seeley Lake area of Western Montana. Thousands more homes and families are being put in danger by various other fires throughout the state including those in Lolo, MT and throughout Ravalli County. There was no way of knowing that these fires would become such huge problems to these areas due to the fact that they were quick to ignite through lightening strikes. Because of this, there was very little warning for people to get their personal items or pets and livestock together before having to leave their homes. Thousands of people are being forced to find temporary housing situations and are scared of losing everything.

Firemen and women have been putting their lives in danger's way for months with very few chances to catch a couple hours of sleep and rest. Resources are scarce and with so many large fires on the doorstep of populated areas of the state, they seem to be outnumbered in many ways. Already two firefighters have lost their lives protecting their fellow statesmen. And without reasonable resources available, it's possible more casualties are to come.

While I am not one of those directly affected by the wildfires, as I haven't had a close friend or family member die and I haven't had to move my belongings out of harm's way, there is another issue affecting Western Montana.


For weeks the city of Missoula, MT has been blanketed in thick smoke, along with many other valleys in the area. The smoke has been so terrible that we are unable to see the usually prominent mountainous backdrop of the state we love so much. Almost everyone I know has had health concerns due to the smoke varying from headaches to vigorous bloody noses. For populations at risk to even more harm, such as the elderly and young children, the smoke has been even worse causing people to visit hospitals and clinics - looking for some kind of relief.

The reason all of this information is pertinent to Hurricane Harvey in any way whatsoever is the fact that our Federal Government has refused to come to the aid of the people of Montana for months. It is frustrating that the mainstream media has, if talked about it at all, kept the fires in Montana as fluff pieces. It is frustrating to wake up one day to Facebook suggesting I give aid to those in Houston when Montana has been left to fend for itself. It is frustrating to feel as though our lives and well being are seen as less important simply because we live in a less populated state, rarely thought of by our fellow countrymen.

So this is a hopeful call to action. My hope is that this can be an eye-opening moment for the country - to see that there are others in dire need of help. I hope that our Federal Government will see the need for more resources in Montana and declare a Federal state of emergency before fires begin to threaten larger cities. I am worried that Montana will fall farther to the bottom of concerns of the United States of America. But I am hopeful that the compassion of the American people can focus on two tragedies at once and come to the aid of Southern states as well as Montana.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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Sunset Skies And Salty Skin

These pictures will almooooost make you feel like you're on vacation.

Everyone has a happy place right? Mine is by a beach. Always has been, always will.

I think the beach has something magical about it and it always has a way of making any big problem seem small. My family goes to the beach be it rainy, sunny, cold or hot- Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter. I think that's why it's my go-to place.

But Chloe, please tell us why you're going on and on about the beach.

Well, I just spent a week of my Spring Break at the beach and turns out it wasn't enough time. I'm extremely nostalgic right about now.

Can you tell?

Considering I'm going through a very hard time and not dealing well with spring break withdrawal, I thought I would try a little experiment.

I'm gonna use Odyssey as my therapy.


Below is a compilation of pretty Sunset pictures that I've taken in the past. I'm hoping that by just viewing the image, it'll help me (and hopefully you as well) make it through the next couple of weeks (i.e. until Summer).

Now, excuse me while I play background music that sounds like I'm in the Caribbean and continue to stare at these pictures until I magically get transported back to a beach somewhere.

Palma de Mallorca, Spain: I would say the view isn't that shabby...

Cahors, France: Can you say Cotton candy skies?

Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina: My all time happy place.

Somewhere along the Camino de Santiago in Spain. But here's the catch: this is actually a sunrise picture — I just thought it was pretty.

Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina: Did I tell you guys that this is my happy place? No? Because it is.

Kennedy Center, Washington D.C.: Not minding these views at all.

Somewhere along the coast in Maryland: One of the top sunsets I've ever seen, the pictures don't do it justice.

Well, turns out the pictures weren't the 100% reality but they were close enough. I guess I'll just have to content myself with 1) staycation 2) Charlottesville sunsets. Which 1) can be a lot of fun, time to explore Charlottesville as much as I can until I graduate and 2) the sunsets here are also out of this world.

I guess it's time to stop thinking the grass is greener on the other side and appreciating what I have in front of me!

But hey, I'm human and I like tropical drinks on sandy beaches. Can ya blame me?

Cover Image Credit: Chloe Laird

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I've Held My Tongue Long Enough, It's Time To Address The Problem That Is Air Conditioning In The South

What’s the point of owning a fridge when your dorm room is a balmy 58 degrees?

I am always cold. Not just chilly, but actually freezing cold. You’d think that as a Wisconsinite I’d be able to handle a little bit of chilliness in Alabama, but sadly the south is even colder than Wisconsin. Ok— hear me out.

In Wisconsin, everyone dresses seasonally appropriate for the winter. No one thinks twice about wearing a parka when it’s 35 degrees or below (usually below). In Alabama, no one owns a coat, much less a parka. You can’t prepare for the cold in Alabama because it’s 85 degrees one week and 45 the next and trust me, 45 degrees is cold when you were lying out by the pool two days earlier.

Anyways, it’s not the weather I want to address with y’all... it’s your ridiculous air conditioning.

I've held my tongue for the past four years, but seriously, why is the air conditioning always the temperature of a refrigerator? What’s the point of owning a fridge when your dorm room is a balmy 58 degrees?

But really, let’s all just agree to keep the air conditioning at 70 or above. It doesn’t matter if it’s scorching outside, 70 is still a good air conditioning temperature.

If it’s 38 degrees outside, it’s ok to use heat. Turning the air on 72 won’t fix anything. Spoiler alert, putting your air on 72 when it’s 38 degrees will only make your house colder. Turn your heat on 72.

I’m sorry for the rant, but this is something that just needed to be said. I don’t think we should have to bring our winter coats to class when it’s hot outside just because the air conditioning is giving us hypothermia. Let’s just agree to set the air at a reasonable temperature.



Every Cold Natured Person Living In The South

Cover Image Credit: Madison Linnihan

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