Montana is one of the most beautiful places I have been. Donald's parents live in the Flathead Valley, not far from Flathead Lake, the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi. The valley and lake are named for the Flathead Indians who once called this area home. Being a valley, the Rocky Mountains surround us and from our RV we can see the Big Mountain in Whitefish, a world class ski resort where our boys are itching to try snowboarding. In the summer those mountains are visible long into the fading twilight, resplendently purple and blue. In the winter they look just like Christmas should look, evergreen and covered with snow.
The boys had a blast playing with the inch or so of ground cover when we arrived in Bozeman on Saturday. We left Bozeman on Sunday morning in a light snow. We traveled through several mountain passes and encountered light snow most of the way, nothing hazardous, just pure magic. If you have never seen snow falling in the Rocky Mountains you are missing something something almost indescribable. As we were driving along on Sunday the boys and I took turns breaking into the song from White Christmas: "Snow, snow, snow, snow!" Donald spent a lot of time rolling his eyes but he is still twitching from having to listen to the State Fair soundtrack at 6 am when we drove across Iowa. We just ignore him!
Upon arrival we settled the RV and headed over to my in-laws. Again, there is just something slightly magical about arriving at grandma and grandpa's house near the holiday season when there is snow in the mountains. We were greeted with the particular Twist family scent of something delicious in the oven and the tang of Grandpa's leather shop. Mmmmmm. Home.
Yesterday saw us moving our household goods for the third time in six months. We have got to be crazy people! This time the grandparents helped us and, despite general complaints about working conditions and a really late lunch at Charlie Wong's, we emptied our truck in about three hours. There were a few casualties to our furniture but mostly just some friction burns on some of the antique pieces. I can rub them out and refinish them. The saddest casualty was a broken leg on an antique barley twist legged buffet. When it is time to settle down and unpack I am confident it can be mended.
We finished the unpacking just in time for some really nasty weather to set in. We only saw the mountains yesterday for a little bit because heavy, gray clouds covered the valley. While there is beauty in living in the Valley it is a bit unnerving for those gigantic mountains to completely disappear in clouds. My mind knows I am surrounded by mountains and covered by clouds and I feel just a tad bit claustrophobic. Especially so by the extreme quiet that accompanies the clouds. We went to bed, exhausted and listening to cold rain.
This morning I write this in the pitch dark, listening to sleet and howling wind. It is 33 degrees. The RV is rocking slightly. This will be our first bit of truly inclement weather in an RV. I've had my oatmeal and a half pot of tea and I feel snug because I don't have to drive my house anywhere today. Bring it on!