When the temperature crept into the twenties, then the thirties this weekend, I was ready to take advantage. I needed to run. My magical number is fifteen. If it's at least fifteen degrees out, then I can be pretty confident that I will make it back from my run without any frozen body parts. This rule has kept me from running (at all) the last few weeks.
But yesterday afternoon the thermometer miraculously rose to 35, and the planets aligned while my children went down for naps simultaneously, and the sun came out for the first time all day. So I grabbed my ipod and my dog and took off. I ran through the scrubby, rock-and-sagebrush-strewn hills north of my house- actaully feeling the sun warm my shoulders through my fleece vest. It was so so needed, and so very good.
In the lull after the holidays, I find myself feeling a bit manic. I feel utterly determined to wring every bit of winter goodness out of the next few months.
The longer we live in southwest Montana, the more blown away I am by this place. Gorgeous wildness can be found in every direction. The last few weeks we've spent a lot of time up in the Grasshopper, and I actually feel a bit overwhelmed by the place. I catch myself humming Winter Wonderland, and grinning ridiculously as the bright winter sun floods my brain. Blue skies, white mountains, hot springs, potty-trained kids...oh, life is good.
Amelia has mastered the rope-tow and the bunny hill ALL BY HERSELF!
Serene natural hot springs all to ourselves...but of course!
Days end with sleeping, long-underwear-clad children in the backseat, an me happily switching the car's cd player from Bill Harley (the girls' favorite) to something that mirrors the way I feel after a day of plunging through sugar-like snow and warm water; mellow and dreamy.
I drive home slowly on the mostly-empty highway, watching color drain from the hills as the sun creeps down. Smoke rises from the chimneys of the few houses I pass. My car's heater hums. In the fields closer to Dillon, antelope stand in groups, heads low, casting long leggy shadows. In these minutes of my day, there is no other word than contentment.