05.24.16 It’s been biblical, for days and days and days. The nearby Big Mountain ski area has just doubled its snowpack. Now we have flood warnings. April was the warmest month on record, when we put our wicker furniture out on the porch, and spent sunsets on the dock. In truth, May is what we have hoped for, still reeling from last August when the skies were filled with forest fire smoke. This is how it’s supposed to be here in May and June–rain, rain, rain–even as we are impatient for Summer.
The wild rose surrounding our house has bloomed, nonetheless. I picked up the geranium pots from the nursery yesterday and they are huddled under the porch roof to keep dry so the slugs don’t invade before sunshine returns. The kitchen window box, which I planted with Martha Washington Geraniums and Yellowstone Falls/Foaming Bells, and some tiny Johnny-Jump-Ups (selected, perhaps, because of those cute names!) has survived week one of my non-green thumbing. UPS will soon call us and say we need to trim the trees and bushes, which are creating a tunnel down our road, and scratch their brown trucks. We had a toasty fire in the fireplace and a big pot of vegetable soup on the stove last night, and the pace of things has slowed down, as it always does, when you must come inside. But, we are poised and ready for this new season to begin.
In Helena this past week-end, for Anna’s soccer tournament, I was amazed at how the parents were so prepared for Montana’s Spring. Everyone had a sport tent, in which you could sit under cover in your folding chair, with an umbrella to cover your legs. They were dressed in rain pants and jackets, over parkas, with waterproof wellies, wool hats and gloves. Rather than complain, there was lots of talk about how great this was compared to the snow and wind of the previous tournament. And, lots of discussion about how far they had driven, across this huge state, to come to the Capital City for soccer week-end. There’s a hardy bravado, “only-in-Montana” camaraderie which unites them, as I’m sure there is in other states where the weather can so define an experience.
While sunshine is not in the forecast for the week to come, it’s brighter out there this morning and I can see the mountains across the lake, layered in white clouds. Who knows what surprises this day may bring. Waiting for my coffee at the kitchen window, I see glittering silver rhinestones ,sprinkled on spring green bushes which line the stone steps. On mornings like this, I’m channeling John Steinbeck:
“I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana it is love. And it’s difficult to analyze love when you’re in it.”