snowed in

Snow has been falling here. More fell yesterday and then again last night. We have a blizzard storm warning for the first time in many years and are, quite literally, snowed in today with thick drifts blown tight to our doors.

I woke several times last night to the wind slapping snow against our bedroom window. More than once the growing, moving drifts sounded like a large animal slowly stomping across our deck. The wind is howling, shaking everything, reminding me just how much I love my flannel sheets.

Across the region, schools are closed today. This is rare but even towns with huge capacity to plow and plan can’t take on a storm like this. It wins and we enjoy the feet of snow dropped over our landscape.

I remember Missoula valley being super snowy when I was a kid. My dad tells stories of hiking Mount Sentinel to ski a few turns in the early mornings before high school. He talks about chaining up their ’50 Ford and barely making it up the road to the ski hill. That kind of snow is a story told. And, like good fish stories, the mid-century snow just keeps getting deeper. But this year. This year, the most wintery winter showed up.

Sledding to school, skiing to work. People collectively leaning on slippery feet, palms into bumpers of stuck cars on every corner.

I spent a few days shoveling snow into a big pile and carving out a slide for the kids. It’s a lot smaller after a few days of use. I better get back out there.

Clothes and gear drying over the fire, always. Someone searching for clean socks, always. Snow and then puddles everywhere, always.

Sledding until and then past bedtime, because daddy grabbed helmets and goggles and said let’s go to the very top and see how fast we can go.

Those days where the snow is achingly white and the sky is just so blue and the sun hits every little thing with shocking perfection.

My kids have been playing outside with our neighbors for a while now. I can see them out the window through the whirling, whipping snow in their head-to-toe bright gear. If I squint I can only see white and four dots of pink, blue, red and green. Every few minutes I hear a happy shriek that the wind carries away. Andy shoveled the car out this morning and took off to ski the 18 inches that feel up there last night. He rightly gave me the last of our coffee beans. I am doing a pretty great job ignoring my swollen, achy knee trusting it will snap out it soon. The snow just keeps coming, in thicker and thicker heaves, growing piles of pillows around our home. Kids coming in for hot cocoa now. Gotta go warm cheeks, stack boots and hang snow-soaked mittens.

ps I wrote an essay about play over at You Plus Two Parenting. Click to read I Want In On Their Fun

22 Responses to snowed in

  1. MinnesotaGal says:

    Beautiful! We too have had a shit ton of snow this year. (Affectionately quoting my favorite description I’ve run across of the massive quantity). The unfair bummer is that it’s also been so darn cold that we’ve had to risk frostbite to play in it. Last week we hit a glorious 10 above and just went nuts in the powder. Power powder play!!

  2. Gaëlle says:

    This is so cool! We haven’t had one day of snow here in Germany this year, and my kid asks everyday when it’s finally going to snow… Haven’t yet had the heart to tell him it’s probably not going to happen before next year, it’s already so mild and springlike.
    Love your blog, btw, have been following it for quite a while now…

  3. Julie says:

    Indianapolis has seen record snow this winter and as I type another watch has been issued for 8-12 inches this weekend. I love being snowed in and am tired of friends complaining. It is beautiful. The only downside is we don’t handle plowing well so have had too many school closings and delays. Sledding to school seems perfectly reasonable to me.

    • Denise says:

      Hey Julie, I’m just a tad south of Indy in Franklin and woke up to… NOTHING! Shocked! I also agree with sledding to school. I told my husband that we may need to get snowmobiles to make getting to school/work easier.

  4. Liz says:

    So lovely, as always. Out here in Northern California we are cheering and cherishing the scant amount of rain falling. The hills outside my house are just starting to turn from brown to green. The rain has us snuggled down inside as well; not quite as harsh or as beautiful as your snow, but we’ll take what we get.

  5. SmithShack71 says:

    So freaking awesome!
    But the chickens?!
    I love your winter wonder land.
    Hate the bum knee.


  6. Liz says:

    Just lovely, as always. Here in Northern California we are cheering and cherishing the rain we are getting right now. The hills outside my house are finally turning from brown to green. We are snuggled up inside as well, though our conditions are not as exteme or beautiful as yours.

    • dig dig says:

      SO happy you all got some rain! Your weather sounds so eery and scary this year. Hoping for a wet spring for you!

      • Liz says:

        Thank you! Today we got up to 80 degrees. Perfect hiking weather, but eery is the perfect descriptor.

  7. Sarah says:

    Wow! I just can’t imagine…. Nothing on that scale ever over here

  8. Sarah says:

    … Don’t know what happened there. Wanted to say that your slide is just fabulous. What memories you are making. I am bookmarking that slide in my brain. But for when??! Hope your knee gets better soon x

  9. finny says:

    Damn. This makes me want to pack my Andy and the pooch back into the truck and come right on back to Montana for the snow. Tahoe is dreadfully, woefully, terribly barren and our poor skis and snowboards are lonely.

    The whole day looks and sounds incredible. HUG IT ALL FOR ME.


  10. Anne says:

    Oh you are living my dream!!! Seriously, I loved the movie Legends of the Fall, not because of Brad Pitt, but because of the idea of living out in Montana! I do love living in SWFL, but I oh so would love to set-up camp out there! BTW, See you at Doe Bay!

  11. SO fun that Missoula’s getting some snow this year (and so much of the rest of the country too!). We have a very similar slide every winter off our front porch (except I don’t have to shovel it). Snow in the yard is still about 3 feet deep, but our strange weather pattern this year is: rain! We have been so warm and so wet the last couple of weeks, very unusual. Had that rain come in snow, I think we’d have a standing 6 feet of snow in the yard. Here, in western Wyoming, if schools closed for weather, we’d never have school. Craziness, but fun. So glad y’all get to enjoy it. As it happens, this is my in-laws’ first winter in Missoula and I’m glad it’s a good one! (Good year to get a season hill pass too, eh?)

    • dig dig says:

      We had a rainy January. I feel for you! Our schools were closed for two days – Friday and Monday – and, other than that we have only had 2 other closures in 20 years! So, it doesn’t happen much here either. And, yes! Such a good year for a pass!

  12. I still get that childlike thrill as I strap on my snowshoes to walk the dog. Love it! And I actually had to scale a snowdrift to get into Sacajawea Park today. My pooch thought it was some exciting new game that we were playing as I scrabbled my way to the top then tumbled over the other side. She had me laughing so hard, I could barely get back on my feet. Such fun…at any age!

  13. Wesley says:

    I’m missing Montana and wishing we could have just one full day of deep, powdery snow out here in Washington.

    Hope your family is safe after the avalanche! I can only guess based off of pictures that you live up in the Rattlesnake area, but regardless — stay safe out there!

  14. Denise says:

    I like your optimism about snow. I think it is the deep rooted “montana” in your blood. We are sitting here waiting for yet another big winter snow, expected to start any minute. My daughter snuck out the door earlier, barefoot, she begged me to light an outdoor fire, and ate her veggie hotdog, barefoot on the outdoor table. It was 50 today and it will snow tonight. I make the best of the snow. We sled more, take more pictures, embrace all the snow… still, I am so ready for spring. I gain confidence by knowing we are all living in it together… even states apart. We are all part of something bigger,we are connected by snow, by the uncertainty, and we can all sit around and complain or we can consciously choose to play. So… if I wake to the expected foot of snow tomorrow, I will put on all my snow clothes and play with my children.

    • dig dig says:

      I applaud you! I agree – we don’t get to choose the weather but we do get to choose our attitude and approach. I am SUCH a four season girl. I love winter. And I am excited for spring. It’ll be here oh so soon!

  15. winter wonderland for sure! wish i could play in all that snow!