Yesterday, my boyfriend and I found ourselves – and our neighbors – stuck in a typically Montana predicament. Overnight the driveway into our apartment complex had transformed from an easily accessible, albeit fairly narrow and steep, entryway to our home to a winter version of the Slip N’ Slide.
I remember trying to run up the Slip N’ Slide with my little brother as a kid, only to make it halfway up our front yard before our feet shot out from underneath us, slamming us onto the ground and shooting us back toward the street. Yesterday’s scene wasn’t too far off.
Snow tires securely stored in the garage (Why put them on until you absolutely need them, right?), we finally achieved the summit of the now treacherous, 50-foot slope on our fourth attempt. No real shocker considering we were in a small Volkswagen. But, after spending the morning and early afternoon watching neighbor after neighbor make multiple attempts – even one driving an F-150 – and a failed shoveling venture, we gave up and decided to call the nearest hardware store, an ACE in Lakeside.
And that’s where our typical Montana predicament found a uniquely Montana solution. We called at 3:03 p.m. to inquire about sand or deicer. The ACE closed at 3 p.m. But, a friendly employee (or the owner?) answered the phone, asked us what we needed and offered to stay open if we wanted to run down to the store. Ten minutes later we arrived to a man holding the door open for us, staying late to accommodate our measly $8.99 purchase.
And, at that moment, I was reminded that while living in this state comes with its own unique and often frustrating pains, it also, thankfully, still comes with the small-town attitude of helping someone else out. Even if they’re too dumb to put on their snow tires before it snows.
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