Monday, December 6, 2010

TheThanksgiving Blizzard of 2010

Well, if you haven't heard me excitedly babble about our Thanksgiving adventures yet, well, I'm doing it again.   It was crazy.  It was fun.  And it was a bit stressful (at least for the manly men of our homes who had to drive the vehicles and shovel cars out of ditches and driveways). For the folks who sat watching all the car sticking, snow tromping fun from the warm house, it was fun.

Most of my non-Montana living friends think that we live in 5 feet of snow all the time, ride our horses to work everyday, and bathe in our long-johns.   Not true.  While there is an occassional storm that has us cancelling plans or calling in "sick" to work, or a horse here and there on our main streets for no reason, we have had fairly mild winters for the last couple of DECADES and big snow storms have not been the norm this early in the year.   I am borrowing some fun facts of our Thanksgiving storm from Melynda, who already did the research and seems to be a pretty reliable source.

According to the Livingston Enterprise, this is the first time in 24 years that 12-below temperatures were recorded before Thanksgiving. Temps dropped from 56 degrees on November 17th to 12-below Sunday and Tuesday nights.  Reminder:  we are all meeting on Wednesday in Paradise Valley to start our Thanksgiving week-o-fun.

During that week of Thanksgiving there were 600 accidents on Montana roads. There were 60 accidents in Park County (that's where we live) between Friday and Tuesday, according to the Montana Highway Patrol.

So, we know it was cold... but this storm also graced us with -18 inches of fluffy white snow in Livingston!

Now, reminder, we are in LIVINGSTON - the real windy City (Chicago has nothing on us), so the snow blew... and it blew and it blew.   Folks, when snow (which is actually really heavy) starts to blow around here, it means there are WALLS of snow that are completely impassible.  Many folks couldn't get in or out of driveways, the roads all were shut down because of white-out conditions and random drifts in the middle of the roads .... Crazy I was telling you!

Either by a stroke of luck or insanity, our super troopers still made the trek on Wednesday nights and Thursday morning to join us at our Home Away from Home.  They ALL made it (save the Rogers family who decided to not risk getting stranded with THREE children on a 18-below Thanksgiving Day (wise decision). 

The view you see above is of Emigrant Peak from the windows and porch of a house that we caretake in Paradise Valley.  It's a beautiful home and it was graciously loaned to us for a couple of days so that we could spread out and enjoy the Holiday with our huge crowd of friends and family.   What a treat to stay in a fancy, beautiful home for a few days.  If we were going to be stranded with 20 people, this was the place to be stranded.  3 levels, huge kitchen, basement with pool table and tvs, kids could go crazy, and we all had our own bathrooms and bedrooms.   I don't even want to think about what would have happened had we been stuck with 20 people in our house!  Someone would have died.

So, 5 kids, 15 adults, and a few hairy friends here and there... What did we do for 3 days?

We ate lots of food and did lots of visiting.

We brought out the 2010 Holiday Family Pajamas and enjoyed time as a family.  Matine of course, ate lots of toast (with "butter").  She must be drunk off her toast here... Cut her off!

We laughed and drank in equally large amounts.   It was a treat to see Loni and Marni and their sweet men.

Apparenlty there were moments of stir-craziness and Matine just played in a box.  She's kind of a wierd kid.  Marni thinks she's going to be an eclectic artist like her. 

Sally got to kick up her feet and do some reading, while her darling kiddos played.  It was great as a parent because there were 15 other people to keep an eye on your child!  We had no injuries, fights or children falling down stairs!  Success!

Sweet Audrey looking like the angel that she was.  Audrey is 2 weeks older than Matine.  And she is literally a doll.  That could be a hair model.

Occasionally, Matine would share Baby Jhett with me and I got to hold her and see her darling smile that seems to be permanently affixed to her face.  This is one happy baby!

Pete, Jim and Brian (and apparently Annie the dog) spent lots of time playing pool, drinking whiskey, and doing manly things like assessing snow conditions and even some hunting (yes, they managed to get their trucks out on highways that were closed to go hunting in Gardiner on Friday).

Big tub = LOTS of bathing kids.  They LOVED the jacuzzi tub and the ability to all be in there at the same time.   "Sit still Cash, I am just going to pour this on your head."

Did I mention we ate?   That's a pretzel in case you were concerned.

Amy and her boy - they sure look alike here.

Amy and her gal - she looks like her dad.

Nona and JimPa didn't have trouble relaxing and enjoying the chaos.

That huge mound of snow is not usually there.  This is a flat driveway with no "hills" in it.  This is after the cars were removed and we called in a snow plow to plow the roads so we could get out!

I just love this picture of my mom here... so beautiful.

Snuggle bugs!  Loni has her hands full with Camille and her little shadow, Matine.

It was pretty great, on Turkey Day, the meal is served and without prompting, all the super-dads were down at the kids table, making sure the kiddos were all fed and doing well.  They fixed their plates and sat and monitored it all.  The moms were quite impressed with their men at this moment.  And actually got to eat an entire meal without a kid on a lap!

more bathtime... hey, it was fun and the kids couldn't go outside. It looks like poor Audrey is drowning here.... oops.

Everyone did their part in keeping everyone fed and happy.  Wednesday night was elk popper night!

Here's our plow to the rescue!  Finally after making about a dozen calls to everyone within 100 miles.  Hank arrives!
Holy Thanksgiving snow!

It was a blast. I was so very thankful for my family, my friends and the ability to be together. We were so sad to not have Micca and Josh joining us. They were supposed to be there, but fate had other plans. We love you Micca and Josh and are so thankful for YOU and your family this holiday.


taylor said...

what a fun thanksgiving! i love the cabin, where is it again? fun trip & great pictures!

Meggan Carrigg Davidson said...

what a sweet adventure!! I also LOVE the picture of your mom :) very beautiful she is!!

sarah said...

so funny!

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