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.