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ALISHA NELSON: Respect the Snow! 

The only time I ever had any experience with snow growing up in Houston, Texas were the few weird winters that we had light dustings of the white stuff, where everyone went berserk and the whole city completely shut down. Oh and the one time I went skiing in Colorado. Since that trip earned me the oh-so-complimentary title of ‘The Turtle’, I decided that snow and I were unfortunately not going to be friends and I would from thence forward take my vacations at the beach where sand and I were on intimate terms indeed.

After being on a Montana mountaintop for one whole, lonnnnng winter, my attitude toward snow was less than amiable. Not only did snow turn out to be a ton of back-breaking work, but it was surprisingly complicated and dangerous, sort of like shopping on Black Friday.


Case in point: my youngest Golden Retriever is named Honey. (I’m from the South where life revolves around food, sweets in particular so my dog names tend to run in lines like Sugar, Honey, Sweetie Pie, Honey Bun and the like. It’s a thing.) And Honey was my youngest Golden and you mommas out there know how we feels about our youngest babies. They ALWAYS the babies, no matter how old they get.

It was the middle of winter and we’d had twenty feet of snow already. Ok, not really, but it felt like it. Let’s just say it was deep, as heck.

Honey ran down a steep hill, into some trees, where I couldn’t see her. While waiting on her to come back up, I heard her yelp and cry, loudly, like something was hurting her.

Well now. She’s the Baby, so the momma in me immediately hurled myself into the snow whereby I sunk, right up to my chest.

Undaunted, calling her name, I valiantly plowed through the snow heading down that hill to get my Baby and realized after a couple minutes that maybe what I was doing wasn’t very smart. Hmmm…. maybe I should turn around and go get a rope or something?

I turned around and tried to head back up the hill and to my surprise, I couldn’t get back up. Every step I took just ended up in making the hole I was in deeper and making no progress at all. There were no trees to grab. Nothing.

Uh oh.

So …. I panicked of course. I tried everything to get back up that hill and wondered how long it would be before I froze to death. I prayed, “Oh Lord, PLEASE don’t let me die doing something this stupid! I really don’t want my epitaph to read, ‘If you can’t be a good example then at least be a warning to others not to die in snow 50 feet from your house. Duh!'”

I guess God took pity on my very pitiful plea and gave me the idea to sort of lay on top of the snow and somehow swim up it. It was a “turtle slog” to be sure, but it worked. I finally got to the road, sweaty, smelling like fear and felt such great relief that I cried. Wow. Dear Lord. Note to self: Snow is NOT to be messed with. Yikes.

And then, here came Honey, ears flapping, tongue lolling, happily running down the road as if nothing had happened, asking, “Hey Mom! Why are you laying facedown on the road?”

Later I was telling hubby Butch about our horrifying adventure of the day, with all the drama and terror I went through, exclaiming that I had almost DIED and his irritatingly calm response was, “You do remember there was another road right below you, right? You could have just headed down the hill . . .”

When I just looked at him with my mouth hanging open, he said, ” You were just going to stand there and freeze to death weren’t you?” And then off he went on his usual tirade of not being able to leave me alone, not for one minute, blah, blah, blah.

Please. I would have figured it out.

I think.

Hey, I’m still alive aren’t I?

I mean, it’s only by God’s grace and several exhausted guardian angels, but that counts, right? 😉

– Alisha B. Nelson is a city girl learning to live off grid on a mountain in Montana with a country boy. She says it makes for an endless supply of funny stories, even if they weren’t always funny at the time. You can follow her on the Roanoke Star as well as her blog:

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