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My Snow--2012

Story ID:8601
Written by:Kathe M. Campbell (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Broken Tree Montana USA
Year:2012
Person:Kathe
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My Snow--2012

My Snow--2012

My Snow--2012

My Snow--2012

My Snow--2012

My Snow 2012
by Kathe Campbell

Chore time at Broken Tree, and I look up to see my great mountain vanishing behind swirly, grayish clouds. The air is still and raw, each frozen vapor hanging on relentlessly until it lands upon warm earth. Like magic . . . poof, it's gone. Smoke floats sluggishly above the chimney as flakes tumble slowly and doggedly down. Silently they come, each crystal gem greater than the one before. Snow may not grab your fancy, but I've been intimate with it most of my life.

Breaking ground as an octogenarian, I still love catching that first flake on my tongue, rarely in September, but more often late October. Staring up at the sky, I wonder where snowflakes are born. I can do it for hours--well, minutes, but it's always the waiting that's most fun. The first serious snowfall is not just any event, it's spellbinding. I go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment, then where is it to be found?

Welcoming a friend's greeting, she scolds... "Oh my Gawd, Kath, you're down here doing groceries in this blizzard? I can't even imagine what it's like up on your mountain today. Hope you get home safely, kid." Ignoring her fuss, I can't help but think of the old days doing 180's around icy hairpins next to Blacktail Creek. But I like being called, kid. so don't knock the weather. Most of us probably can't start a conversation if it didn't change now and then.

With doctors and nurses my neighbors, a county outfit shows up before dawn to plow and throw sand. Trekking home from town with my truck in 4WD, I make tracks slow and steady, tipping over the crest on the last slick and curvy hill. It never scares me much, but anymore my crippling hands and feet tremble at the sight of my gate. So I sit a spell before opening my way to heaven, firing up courage that lost its roar before the dog realizes we made it by the hair of our chinny-chin-chins.

Mid winter storms occasionally leave us in a minus zero funk, but the Yuletide often showers us with such luminescence and joy. I awake squinting as the overnight chill leaves sunlit crystals dancing like glittering jewels over the pasture and pond, then go about my day in contentment of it all. Snowflakes may be one of nature's most fragile things, but what fun when they stick together. Sleigh rides, snowmen, and POW . . . gotcha!

Relishing frigid miracles is the perfect time to stroll in my woods, hit the slopes, or snowmobile into the pristine wilds of Montana. What is more mind-blowing than a forest clothed to its very hollows in virgin white? It's the ecstasy of nature wherein every spray, every blade of grass, every reed, fir needle and pinecone are clad with radiance. The perfectly shaped flakes seem so lonely, as if they know their life will be shortened by Mother Nature's whims, for she sometimes has no mercy.

Our TV weather guys are right too often to ignore, and wrong too often to even care. Cable TV might have 24 hours of weather, but up here on my 7,000 foot crest, I have something better . . . windows. Long ago, before outbuildings, there transpired neither sky, nor earth, nor ranch vehicles, just ghostly mounds waiting to be disentombed. Happily, those massive whiteouts are history. My window panes may reflect sheens of sugary frost, but lately there's barely enough deep stuff to snowmobile out the front gate.

After thirty-three years, I see the wild crocuses crowning earlier every spring, green months out-edging the white ones. Mountainous drifts vanish daily that hide my garage and fences during April blizzards. After a warm, muggy thaw, the grandkids and I miss the benumbing bites and find ourselves on our ATV's riding up to the 10,200 foot summit. What fun rolling and giggling amongst the shooting stars, doing our angel thing on final patches of dusty white.

But the snow Gods have been playing tricks on a fading Indian summer with fat rains and those cussed winds. Soggy snow doesn't give a wet, white damn when unassembled snowmen fall from heaven--weighty chunks clinging cumbrously neath boot and hoof. The earth groans and grunts at daybreak, wishing it could hibernate, and fir boughs are heavy-laden, drooping just short of the ground. The temps rise, and the melt is on--again.

Mother Earth has always decorated my lofty acres in winter's raiment by mid December, but the landscape is still a sorry looking greenish-brown. The morning news warns that we can expect up to sixteen inches in the mountains. It barely happened. So, while awaiting bona fide flurries I decide that when I die I want to be cremated, my ashes tossed to breezes atop our mountain near my beloved. I will rub shoulders with the trees and wildlife, pretending I'm snowflakes sticking on them like dandruff.

I awake to a lovely Noel watching the real stuff cascading onto my acres in the still of the morn. The trees are taking on the look of Christmas, and I wonder what tomorrow will tell me about my trek down one mountain and up another. The squirrels and woodpeckers are ravenous, attacking nuts and seeds voraciously. Tossing carrots to my old donkey, the crows and jays come caw-caw-cawing overhead looking for a handout. They will wait impatiently upon a bitter branch while I cater to flocks of puffy wee ones that dwell in Montana's splendid white of winter.

###

Kathe Campbell lives her dream on a Montana mountain with her mammoth donkeys, a Keeshond, and a few kitties. Three children, eleven grands and three greats round out her herd. She is a prolific writer on Alzheimer's, and her stories are found on many ezines. Kathe is a contributing author to the Chicken Soup For The Soul, Cup of Comfort, Not Your Mother's Book series, numerous anthologies, RX for Writers, magazines and medical journals. kathe@wildblue.net

First skiff
A taste of the real stuff
Wow, where are we?
Kath Plowing
Final resting spot