The night has descended upon us.
The long, cold, dreary night of winter in Montana.
Which is not to say it is all bad. There is sweaters, and scarves, and more knitting than my wallet can afford, hot (white) chocolate, pumpkins and butternut squashes and sweet potatoes, cuddling on the couch, snowmen and snow angels, and best of all – skiing.
But these are only tiny gems hidden in the long cold months. The weight of the winter sky weighs heavily one me, more so than I like to admit. I am no stranger to snow. Even though I am from Virginia, I am from the mountains. Growing up we had storms that would close our school for sometimes upwards of 15 days a year. We had blizzards that would knock the power out for weeks on end. We sledded and built forts along with the best of them. But no matter how hard the snow fell, within a few weeks it would be gone. A brief respite before it came again.
I spent four years off in college near the coast where we would see 1-2 inches a year. Missing winter, I decided I would move out to Spokane, WA where we had 100 inches of snow. Worst winter on record. And that was the winter I decided to show up.
Like I said, there are pieces of winter I love and look forward to. But no matter how optimistically I begin the late-fall/winter season, by February my optimism has crumbled into despair. Complete hopelessness at ever seeing the sun or feeling its warmth on my skin again. Our town is situated in a bowl and despite its lovely springs and summers, the cloud inversion can let a month go by without letting the sun shine.
Maybe I am not cut out to be a Montanan.
But despite all past precedence that has suggested I will not make it more than 3 months without threatening to buy a one way ticket back to Virginia, I (yet again) remain hopeful. So I want to write a few posts on how to survive these non-daylight savings time month. One on staying warm and another on staying happy.
If you brave the short days and long winters of the north (or, if you are on the other half of the globe, the south, but there it’s summer, so hey), have survived trekking miles in the snow, have worn long underwear, or have ever wondered “is this what frostbite feels like?”
Then help. Let me know your suggestions. Together, we will prevail!