Christmas Love in Montana

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Yep, I flew to Montana to see my kids in -30°F. I’m a California girl; I only visit the snow if I can go home the same day and … well before my hands get cold. I had to borrow a jacket and was afraid I’d break something slipping on the ice in my California shoes.

Love — yep, probably the only thing that can get me to do it willingly. I miss my kids.

The Anchorage, Alaska bound woman sitting next to me on the plane pointed out that Montana is colder than Alaska right now and that my nose hairs would probably freeze.

Montana from the air — it even looks scary from above. (Photo via Wikipedia)
Montana from the air — it even looks scary from above.
(Photo via Wikipedia)

My nose hairs? I think that was more information than I needed. Yikes. Scared me more than I am willing to admit.

How do normal people do it every day? I remember seeing a Facebook post from someone in Colorado saying -4°F hurt. Well, what does -30°F feel like?  It’s Montana, not the Arctic Circle!

It does hurt, I found out the next day while Christmas shopping. My face, sinuses, hands and even feet hurt in the cold. I had to walk carefully so I didn’t slip while keeping my warm gloved hand over my face and nose to breathe. Awkward. The kids laughed at me. I only slipped and fell four times in nine days. I just don’t have the shoes for snow and ice.

Thank goodness for a warm and snuggly home. Finally, warm and sitting in front of a roaring fireplace, I settled down to write you a Holiday Blog in the snow. I knew I could come up with some kind of story.

This is for all those Montana men. Let me see … they all have beards, drive 4-wheel-drive trucks and a few have tractors.

The car’s dashboard computer confirmed it was -30°F. (Photo by author)
The car’s dashboard computer confirmed it was -30°F.
(Photo by author)

Here’s the story about my Montana man.

I know how to put the truck in 4-wheel-drive from the trips to play in the sand in Glamis and Johnson Valley in California, so why couldn’t I figure this out? Darn it.

Okay, I lied when I said I could keep myself busy. Four days locked in the house alone while they were at work is boring, boring, boring. I just wanted to do a little shopping. I remember it’s a few miles down this road and then I’ll hit a plowed asphalt road. I decided to just try to go and see what happens. It did have a little lit up “HI” on the dash so I must be okay.

I made it out the long driveway and past the mailboxes. So far so good.  I knew I could do this. I drove slowly; if anyone wanted to go faster they could just pass me. It wasn’t long before I came to the plowed road. My confidence was at normal levels.

I found this little antique store with beautiful clothing from the twenties to the forties. They had little cloche hats, gloves, lacy hankies and jewelry. When I got back in the truck, I sat the bag of goodies on the back seat and put on my new pretty black gloves instead of the thick awkward ones. They were easier to drive with and easier to look at. I cranked up the heater and radio and I was on my way.

With country music blaring I headed back to my daughter’s house. I turned off the plowed road onto her road and made sure to slow on the curves, careful in the snow and feeling like a pro.

Today was the first time I’d seen the sun shining and it made everything look so glorious. The snow looked like it had diamonds scattered all over it. I even saw deer now and then; it was beautiful, like a postcard. I wondered about the deer’s feet walking in the snow and where they went to get out of the bad weather.

Around the curve came a tractor heading toward me and I remembered my daughter saying they try to give other cars the right of way.  I kind of turned the steering wheel slightly and the truck slid sideways.  Then I turned the wheels sharply and slipped right off the road. I tried to turn the wheels again and felt the whole truck turning on its side into the ditch.

Fortunately, I wore a seatbelt which left me hanging in my seat. It was embarrassing, knowing that tractor guy was going to be looking in my window any second now. Unfortunately, I unhooked the seatbelt which let me fall. The center console made me fall headfirst that foot or so onto the passenger door and window.

You need to be careful driving around in the snow. (Photo by author)
You need to be careful driving around in the snow.
(Photo by author)

Then I felt pain. Yikes, my head felt like I must have cracked it like a dropped watermelon. I reached up to feel my head and…

“Whoa there, honey.”

My eyes finally flew open to the man of my dreams crawling down from the driver’s door.  The sun angled right in behind him.

“Are you an angel?” I asked him.

First his boots and then his jeans came down next to me. The sun shone through his hair and he had a beard. He gently ran his fingers around my head while I smelled his aftershave.

“No blood, how do you feel,” he asked with concern.

“You mean I’m alive?” I groaned.  I tried to get out of the awkward position but it just put us closer together.

“I think you’re okay.” His soft green eyes looked into mine. He was one sexy-bearded Montana man.

“I think you’re okay too.”

I blame it on the bump to my head and the closeness of our bodies. Or maybe it was the cologne and the closeness of our bodies.

He chuckled but made no effort to move away. I liked his smile too. For some reason, my hands with the pretty black gloves reached up to feel that bearded face.  Yikes, he sure was cute.

“Hi.”  I smiled at him.

“Hi.” He smiled back, reaching up to turn the blaring country music down. Not off, just down.

He leaned in for a kiss and then we kissed some more. I liked the bearded kiss. I forgot about the bump moments later while we warmed each other up. It all happened so fast. He took the bottom since the passenger window lying in the snow was so cold. Ride a cowboy, save a tractor?  I think it was the bump to my head, so out of the ordinary for me, but oh so exciting.

He was pretty handy with the tractor too because later he pulled the truck back up saying he did it all the time out here.  I was a little worried about that answer but he assured me he only pulled vehicles out of ditches all the time, so we exchanged numbers.

Thank goodness for quiet back roads, country music, bearded Montana men and whoever’s idea it was to leave me, a California girl, keys to any vehicle when I don’t know how to drive on the snow and ice.


Merry Christmas!