The sun is shining and the Spring Breakers are beginning to retreat. Soon the changing of the guard will be finished and the Spring Breakers will be replaced by families building sand castles and friends baking to that perfect golden brown. I’m looking forward to many walks along the beach before it gets too hot.
I think my internal thermostat may have been reset on my recent trip back to Montana. Last week it got down to what Florida considers cold. I was driving to work wearing just a light sweater and I got quite the look from the guy in the next lane. He had on a huge coat, beanie, and gloves! I seriously burst out laughing! I wasn’t cold at all!
For years I tried to avoid the cold and snow. I thought this trip would remind me why I moved away from it, but it completely did the opposite. Now I truly am dreaming of a white Christmas. I just want to breathe in that clean, crisp air once again. I want to act like I’m 5 years old playing in the snow…making snow angels, building snowmen, sledding down the biggest hill. I want to bundle up in those cozy sweaters and drink hot cocoa in front of a fireplace. Christmas doesn’t feel the same when it’s nearly 80°F and the only white powdery stuff around is sand!
For more magical winter moments check out my Winter Wonderland series!
Oh how I love small town events! I was recently in Chinook, MT for their parade of lights. First thing in the morning I met some new friends at the old sugar beet factory to work on one of the floats. Christmas music was playing, people were giggling, and power tools were buzzing. The framework was completed earlier by the same guys who made the homestead float for the wild west parade. Three hours and two warm up in the car sessions later (I may be a Montana girl at heart, but my body quickly reminded me I live in Florida now), we stood back to admire the twinkling lights of the float.
Now that the float was done, it was time to wonder Main Street and mingle with all the wonderful vendors. They were selling everything from local food to handmade jewelry to Christmas wreaths. Of course there were several guns being raffled as well. It is Montana after all!
Waiting for the parade to start, I checked out the festival of trees. My mom and aunt donated a decorated “chicken” tree including several dozen fresh eggs from their chickens. All proceeds from the event went to the local volunteer fire department and PAWS.
The main event of the day was the parade. The floats included everything from local business promotions to teasing a local for turning 50. I patiently waited for the float I helped with to come by. It was almost the very last in the parade. The theme of the float was “join the church crowd” so it stopped at each corner where people would jump on the float or walk alongside it handing out glow bracelets to the kids. I loved that this church used the parade as an outreach opportunity!
The more I think about my upcoming Montana trip, the more it sounds like a made-for-TV Christmas movie come to life! The hard working young professional (√) with no appropriate winter clothing (√) goes to a small, snowy town (√) with no cell phone service (√) to work a local event (√). She falls in love and discovers the true meaning of Christmas. I’m already in love with Christmas, so I guess the only thing the trip is currently missing is the love story. We’ll see what happens when I get there. Maybe there will be a Christmas romance after all!
I got a call from my mom and my aunt and adventure is in the air! The three of us feed off each other and you never know what might happen (remember our silliness in Glacier Park this summer?). It started out a somewhat normal conversation…we’re listening to Christmas music on our road trip, so of course we thought of you. Somehow that turned into the three of us planning a flash mob during their small town parade of lights next month!
Let’s backup a minute and figure out how we got here. Last month they helped organize the Wild West Days in Chinook, MT. They helped with the stick horse parade, the can-can contest, and even got involved in the Miss Kitty look alike event. We are not sit on the sidelines kind of people!
In addition to running different events, they also entered the 1st place float! My uncle and family friend built the float to honor the centennial of our family homestead. My grandma played beauty queen and waved to crowd. A couple of the dogs and chickens even rode the float for authenticity!
Since they now have a reputation as master float builders, their church asked them to be in charge of the float for the annual parade of lights. I remember going to the parade as a little girl all bundled up, mesmerized by the lights. We talked about different ideas for the float including a surprise flash mob. I LOVE Christmas and music and lights and flash mobs, so I don’t think I’ll be able to sit this one out! I’m already listening to Christmas music looking at plane tickets! Hopefully I’ll be able to scratch off a few items on my Montana bucket list while I’m there!