Blowing Christmas

Last Sunday the wind was so bad it blew my dog away. Yes, really. She was loping along minding her own business when she hit a patch of snowpack and the wind smacked her broadside and sent her skidding like a black and white hockey puck. Only a few feet, not to clear to Oz or anything, but still. It blew my dog down. That’s just wrong.

You may rest assured that I didn’t climb up on the house to string Christmas lights, although it wouldn’t be the dumbest thing I ever did. That would be the time the breeze was clocking out at about 80 miles per hour and I scaled my mother’s roof to take pictures of an owl in the pine tree in the back yard. But that’s different. That was important.

The weather has been on a mission to stop us from decorating for Christmas. Every weekend since the middle of November it’s been something. First it was snow. A couple feet, we guessed, at least in the low spots between the drifts. The next weekend we were, according to several national media outlets, colder than Antarctica. Which doesn’t seem like that big of a deal because isn’t it supposed to be summer down there? Or do they even have seasons in Antarctica? Either way, it was frigid enough to frostbite a penguin let alone some idiot out planting mechanical reindeer on the lawn, so we abstained.

Since then, it’s been the wind. At this rate, we’ll get the inflatable elf carousel assembled just in time to take it down in favor of Easter decorations. And there’s no sense trying to fight it. One of my friends decided if nothing else, she would at least get the down-wind side of the house decorated. Gotta admit, those giant glowing snowflakes do look nice fluttering along the eaves. Too bad they clatter against the windows so loud no one can stand to sit in the living room.

I suppose we could look on the bright side…except there isn’t one because we don’t have any twinkle lights strung yet. So I guess we’ll kick back on the couch and admire how the wind-induced vibration of the picture window makes the Christmas tree’s reflection flicker and sway, and imagine the constant roar is from a crackling fire in the hearth. Of course, we’ll also have to imagine that we have a hearth.

This morning we have high wind warnings for something like the 18th day in a row, but I do have the satisfaction of knowing that my empty stocking on Christmas morning was not because my behavior failed to meet some unrealistically high standard. Santa just got blown off course.

Kari Lynn Dell – Montana for Real