The last few days of February we had a blizzard. A real live one. I thought I had seen snow living in Montana for twelve years but this thing that blew in on us and hovered for three days was different, it was the real deal. We hunkered down, like most everyone we knew. Schools closed and I didn’t come out of my orange and purple stripped leggings for days.
The first night we drove to our neighbor’s house for dinner. They live three blocks away. It was treacherous. My southern soul was awash in white, tiny flakes as Seth powered our Subaru through the snowy streets.
“I think you should drive slower,” I said to him.
“We’ll get stuck if I slow down,” he said. He grew up in Oregon, a place that evidently gets more snow than my native Carolina. I held tightly to the door handle and we got there in one piece.
That night we ate with friends. None of us could leave our neighborhood. And that was okay.
The next morning we trudged the half block to another neighbor’s house for brunch. The wind was blowing so hard I had to carry Lucille because I was afraid she would topple over. But there were potatoes and warm eggs on the other end of our walk. And company we’d not seen in too long.
That night we braved the roads and drove a few miles to another friend’s house for homemade pizza. These friends, who turned into family sometime back, had been snowed in too and we ate and let the kids bounce all over each other on a cold, cold night.
The next day I made biscuits, calling my friend who’d given me the recipe to ask if, really, there was that much butter in these biscuits.
Yep, he said. It’s measured in pounds.
I added the butter and didn’t look back. I made soup. Lucille and I took a nap. That night I slipped my feet into my snow boots, zipped my coat and wandered to another friend’s house for an hour or so of the Oscars. Jared Letto was really all I needed and I walked home under the street lights.
Schools closed again the following day. I stayed another day in my orange and purple leggings. I could get used to this, I thought. Eliza and Lucille played outside for the first time in days. Missoula slowly began to awaken and I felt as rested as I had in months.
We went to dinner at the butter friend’s house. He made flank steak. We saw some of our old beloved neighbors and watched our kids play dress up.
Sometimes we are forced to slow to crawl. Sometimes, when we give in to it, it’s exactly what we need.