In some parts of the country, people drive for days to get out of the city. In Montana, we drive for hours to find one. Unless we’re driving at least 300 miles to do something, it’s probably just not that important!
It was Thanksgiving Day and Family was gathered 350 miles away. My first clue to a little excitement for that morning was at 3:30 AM, as I read the online Severe Weather Alert for blowing and drifting snow in an area known for high winds. The image that came to mind was of the log chain—that the community uses for a wind sock—popping links into snow drifts.
The reality was much different from the imagination. Before I even made it to the area of predicted severe weather, there was no hope in seeing anything on the side of the road. The road had disappeared into a white nothingness.
Blowing and drifting snow?! Who knew, or cared. The world had gone, white!
Visibility was zero. Now, wait. There was visibility. All white! White snow; white air; white road; and a few splotches of white lines were visible. We take them for granted most days: those solid white lines down the edge of a highway. That morning, they were the difference between moving forward and hibernation. A simple stripe of paint offered hope of progress.
It only took another 100 miles and 4 hours, until I drove into blue sky and sunshine.
Eventually, I drove right into the ranch yard and open arms of Family. A special Thanksgiving Day it was. In addition to the traditional fare of food and drink, this day included an opportunity to Meet the Parents. My daughter and her sweetie bravely hosted an event of Thanksgiving for their parents, who had yet to meet.
The meeting, and visiting, was made easier by George and Indie. You see, George is a big, old, grey cat; Indie is a small, young, red-heeler dog. Hence the expression, “Getting along like cats and dogs.” Oh, they get along just fine. Deep down, I do believe there is affection between the two. It’s the expression of the emotion that is comical.
Much more than the yelps and growls, it’s the PAWS which offer the love pats!
While we can learn much from two-legged folk, the lessons tutored by George and Indie made sense of my earlier morning experience of White.
Planning ~ You can see it in their eyes, as they think of the next episode of feline and canine adventure.
Action ~ They, literally, spring into it. Any doubts or reservations are pushed aside and they launch full-bore into the episode at hand.
Will ~ Fun will be obtained, by any means necessary to that end. Any resistance to great sport is overcome by sheer willpower.
Stories ~ We will remember, forever, the Day because it is wrapped in the ribbons and bows of the narrative.
My morning of Montana adventure contained all of the elements of PAWS. From the bag of winter survival gear to the full tank of fuel, planning and preparedness were the order of the day. Sitting beside the road in hopes of a kinder and gentler Mother Nature was forgone in exchange for moving forward, one mile at a time. Will-Power was my co-pilot, although, He was white-knuckled and wide-eyed, at times. Then, there are the tall tales—stories to tell the grandkids!
When given the opportunity of the impossible, let’s focus on the solutions available within our PAWS. By putting our hands to the task of finding joy by doing, and our feet to the path leading us to the discovery of an adventure, we find a priceless treasure that is ours, forever.