Making Room in a Gated Community


Liz Marchi - Making Room in a Gated Community

My sisters and me.

I was driving to the Polson Golf Course Club House after golf on Sunday and remarked to a friend how lucky I feel to live in a unique and different place and on a ranch.  No “gated communities for me”, I remarked.

My wise 80 year old friend looked at me and said, “If the ranch isn’t a gated community, I don’t know what is?” He is right; the ranch has a lot of gates to keep cows in but not people out.  Lesson: it’s mostly a matter of perspective.

It’s good to stop and get a perspective on what really matters to you.  Age robs us of energy and stamina but rewards us with perspective.  What matters to me is having more room in my life for what matters.  It is taking me some time to get out of my own tornado of activity.

Liz Marchi - Making Room in a Gated Community

Daddy riding horses (2003). 10 years later his is wheelchair bound from spinal stenosis.

It’s like a startup really defining who your customer is and what it is you do or make.  Putting aside all that activity and getting better at focusing on what matters doesn’t mean less work but it’s less frantic work.  I know very clearly what my work objective is.  More importantly, work isn’t defining me in ways it once did.
I have baked three strawberry rhubarb pies in the last 10 days.  This makes Jon very happy.  We have a beautiful rhubarb plant in the yard and, like a teachable moment with a child, you have to use it when it’s ready.

We also had a beautiful new grandchild born this week.  Love this notion of fractional ownership of a precious little being.  Being Nanna Liz is definitely something I want to be much better at.

Liz Marchi - Making Room in a Gated Community

New baby Landon Fisher with Nanna Liz Great Grandmother Joan and Geandpa Jon.

Being a grandmother is much undefined for me. I could never have the patience of my own loving Mother or be as wonderful and disorganized as my own grandmother.

Then I think about how young I lost my other grandmother, at 67.  Just a few years from my age.  She was very young, I have that perspective now. Making room for grandmothing means less activity, cleaning out spaces and being present.

Every day I get new perspective on my own parents now in their 80’s.  What I learn is that love and family matter very, very much.  Treasure each and every day.


Liz Marchi


Liz Marchi lives on a ranch in Polson, Montana  with her husband Jon. She is the Fund Coordinator for the Frontier Angel Fund and spends a lot of time thinking and learning about entrepreneurs, the economy and Montana’s unique place in the world. She has three daughters and a stepson and daughter and a grandchild.  She graduated from Hollins College and is entering the final quarter of life…unless we go into overtime.