Winter Isolation (?)

By Ann MInnett

We live in a snow belt, 21 miles from the nearest town. Our property butts up against the Flathead National Forest, so it seems as though we own thousands and thousands of acres. What I see from my office window this morning: three feet of snow, forest, and higher mountains to the west. And it’s snowing.Image

I thrive in the quiet, the isolation, and even the long dark nights of Montana’s winter—great ambiance for writing.

However, we are far from alone up here. An amazing community of like-minded folks has sprung up within a mile radius. Some of us are year-rounders, some not. We have neighborhood gatherings, and we leave each other alone. We are self-sufficient, and we help one another. We are retired seniors, and some are just starting families. Coming from the big city where I knew the couples who lived on either side of our house and no one else (until I had a garage sale before moving), our community both worries and delights me.

I find solitude and a close spiritual connection in this wilderness, but I was more isolated in the big city.

Winter doldrums

Two weeks ago, I was sitting in my favorite recliner, the one I am rooted to, depressed.  Too little physical activity was playing havoc with my mood.  I continued to dwell in my self-comforting for the rest of my lazy day, knowing full well nothing changes unless something changes.  Sounds easy, but how?

The next morning, a thought niggled into mind.  Go take an exercise class with the elderly ladies at the local athletic club in the warm therapy pool.  I dug out a swimming suit, lucky to have one that covers a lot and still fits.  Stretchy fabric is a marvelous thing.  Pumped up with my new positive attitude, I entered the pool, thinking this will be a piece of cake.

One hour later and after the in-pretty-good-shape elderly ladies climbed out of the pool, I struggled up the steps, hanging on tightly to the handrail – another marvelous invention.  I grabbed my terry robe and made it to the women’s locker room.  Donning under clothes over a damp body is no easy feat.

Later, I was dressed and walking out of the large cement building when a bubble of pleasure lifted and grew.  I stepped lighter, did chores after I arrived home, and played in the snow with canine Katy Lou.  I went back to the pool and will continue to do so until the tulips are blooming.

So why did I write this silly little blog posting?  Because it is nice to relearn positive thinking, and I also found renewed pleasure in reworking the Pinkum Creekers.

therapy pool stuff

I hung out all the stuff necessary to exercise in a hot pool, snapped a quick pic, so you can see it is not an easy job just getting ready on a snowy day.

This is my version of chicken pot pie.  Nice to eat after a morning spent in water.        Chicken pot pie

Book news.  Maternal Harbor will be offered free for Kindle download Dec. 31-Jan. 2  Harbored Secrets will be offered on Amazon’s countdown promotion Dec 26- 28.

Have a Merry Christmas.

Marie F Martin_edited-1 (2)Marie F Martin