Montana, you’ve never gifted me with a lovelier summer.   Thank you.  But could we talk about fall?  As in, are we going to have one, or just go straight from hot to freezing?

The mountains are already wearing their sleek white coats, and they gleam in the late afternoon light, which is fading faster each day.  I went out to grab a load of wood last night, just after 8pm, and was astounded to realize I would need a flashlight for my task.


I dropped our kids off in Helena for a weekend with Grandma Sarah and Grandpa Walt, while Honeydew and I reconnected with hunting camp, and drove right into a full on snowstorm on McDonald Pass.


At camp, we celebrated a 40th birthday and made many new friends.   Making friends never gets old.  One of them noticed a 3′ rattlesnake slugglishly slithering along the dirt road leading to the cabin, stepped on his brakes, backed up, rummaged around his sedan, and promptly decapitated the rattler with his … ice scraper.  Yes, y’all.  I wouldn’t go so far to say it was tasty, but I would say that the texture had that same rubbery-ness that Chicken McNuggets have.  But I’m a snob, I know.


He’ll get a pretty belt out of it, regardless.


On the way to hunting camp, although it was not at all on the way, I drove the Going-to-the-Sun Road for the last time this year.  It was scheduled to close for construction, and would have closed regardless due to the government shutdown, but I like that Mother Nature took over the show and closed it herself, with 8″ of snow at Logan Pass over the weekend.


Baby Howard continues to smile and I swear nothing has ever made me smile so insanely in return.  I am obsessed with that smile of his.  On the other hand, at 5am Howard tends to prove the “everything in nature has an equal and opposite reaction” maxim: no baby has ever put more tortured angst into the howls he lets out upon waking and immediately deciding that he is starving.  It’s disturbing, buddy!


Maggie Rose continues to be a very sweet Big Sister, unless the attention of her Nat Nat, and occasionally her Nan, is at stake.  But otherwise, she’s actually more helpful than I could have dreamed when Howard first came home from the hospital and I felt like I spent all day protecting him from her forceful affections.

Maggie, it looks like we’re in for a long winter.  Daddy and I sure are lucky to have you to help!  How are you with a snow shovel?  I think we’ll be finding out.

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