The snow has hit hard, ten days and counting. Piles left by ploughs and dumped off roofs are 10-20 feet. In some ways it's a blessing, as it's crunchy and easy to walk on. I've landed on my butt too many times slipping on ice. The ice will return, but the respite is very nice. Natives in the area say this is late for such an endless storm.
I have learned that the winter depression from lack of sun and vitamin D is very real. It has always seemed to me utter nonsense when I've read about it in the past. The answer is obvious. Get off your ass and do something useful and quit whining! Well, from the middle of last month the ice was everywhere and a menace. Even if the sun peeked out, one could not go for a walk. I woke up two mornings in a row crying for no reason.
Clearly, it was time to get outta here and go south to inflict myself on friends and relatives. The night before I left, I went a quarter mile down the highway, downed a double scotch and soda, came home and slept a rare uninterrupted eight hours. At my age, uninterrupted sleep is a wish, a fairy tale. Not reality. So the next morning, the eight hour drive to Vancouver, Washington was a piece of cake, not having to fight sleepiness on the road. I can't afford, financially or physically to take the double scotch cure every night, but the feeling of finally getting enough sleep was wonderful.
As I reached the Columbia gorge, I saw too much snow. This stuff was supposed to stay in Montana! There was more around Vancouver than I had ever seen. And more was coming down, lightly. We turned on the evening weather. CBS in Portland, Channel 6 down there, was on half an hour early. They stood around for half an hour telling their viewers that nothing was happening yet. Even on Sylvan Hill in Beaverton, the roads were clear. But the Portland reporters made up for the lack of snow by wearing tons of clothes and being really excited about the snow that wasn't there. Oregonians are strange. If they were in Montana, the level of hysteria would be monumental!
Each day of the week I was there, I looked out the window to see more and more snow. I came to escape this and find some sun. THIS ISN'T FAIR! I finally had to find a day when the snow was resting and run for home. It got dicey below Spokane, up into Idaho, and into NW Montana. Home at last, for more snow.
If you read the early chapters of this blog, you will recall that I said to be prepared for whining when winter comes. Well the whining is exponential now. I'm taking a lot of vitamin D and calcium. I guess it's working. I'm not crying any more, and I have KILLER fingernails. Love it!
Just before I left to go south, I found a tiny ad that someone way out in the hills of an area called Belknap does sewing machine repair. I called him, described my 50-year old machine. He knew it! He had worked on them! When I got back, he had completely rebuilt it. I didn't have to pay a fortune for a new piece of crap. I am thrilled beyond description, and working on a new wall hanging, of Arctic ice and polar bears. Once again, I have learned that there is amazing talent and skill in these mountains. You can find anything if you look hard enough. Northwest Montana is an incredible world, even when the sun is hiding. I'm so happy to be home.
Spring will come before long. Y'all hang in there now.