Last week, my son, a new driver, had his first “ditch pitch” with his truck. I am forever grateful to the highway patrolman who stayed with my son until a parent arrived. My son’s experience brought to mind all of the things we need to prepare for in Montana as we head into winter. These thoughts culminated in a prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept that winter is here and a coat must replace the sweatshirt; please grant me the courage to implement the “no shorts, only pants” rule with my kids, and wisdom to know when my kids are violating the rule by hiding shorts under their pants and changing into shorts at school.
Please help me be better prepared for bad weather by keeping a scraper with a snow brush in the car rather than a credit card and shirt sleeve for snow and ice removal; and by packing the shovel and sandbags, and some cat litter for traction.
Please help me finally accept the fact that windshield wiper fluid is not an adequate de-icer and to just give my car sufficient time to defrost; to recognize the difference between wet roads and ice, but to treat both the same and proceed with caution; to have the wisdom to trade in heels for flats, foregoing vanity for safety; to use gloves versus sleeves for hand protection; to have the studded tires installed before first snow; and to be forever grateful to whoever invented the remote vehicle starter.
God, please keep our new drivers safe as they navigate their first winter driving experience; and please grant their parents the gift of composure when the first ditch pitch or deer encounter occurs.
Please grant all drivers the wisdom to drive through, rather than swerve around, deer; and please disable every cruise control mechanism in the state between the months of October and June.
God, please keep our first responders and law enforcement safe – as without fail and without regard to the weather – they show up and help us with every rollover, ditch pitch and icy road accident.
God, please let winter be long enough to fill our ski-tourism coffers to the brim, but warm enough for our livestock to endure without consequence.
May the snowpack provide enough water for a strong agricultural start, but not enough to cause a flood; Lord, please help us continue to appreciate that despite the cold, we live in your preferred state, accepting winter hardships as a limited consequence to living in the best state in the union; trusting that you will make all things right with an early spring.
P.S. Thank you Lord, for a Halloween where snowsuits weren’t necessary undergarments to costumes.
Tammi Fisher is an attorney and former mayor of Kalispell.