Chillin’ Out

by | Aug 21, 2023 | Cowboy Bob

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A Blog by Cowboy Bob 

Miss Gail is an experienced world traveler, been to over 20 countries and numerous cities. This cosmopolitan lady moved here to the wilds of Montana and has served up a few chuckles from this old cowboy. As we suffer through the four days of summer with temps around 100, longing for the cool days of fall, I thought of Miss Gail’s idea of Montana winters.

Miss Gail grew up in the hinterlands of Idaho, so I surmised life in the intermountain west in a companion state of Montana as not being substantially different from Idaho. She asked me on the first date “How cold does it get at your place?” 

I said, “Not cold, and for you it will be a piece of cake, just bring you down jacket, your pacs, and for sure your long johns (or jills?).” She paled at these words and for our courtship, which included three trips to Alaska, I thought she did pretty well in that cold. Maybe cold would not be a problem. After all, her son lives in Nome, above the artic circle and he wanders around in jeans and Carhartt’s most of the time.  

Montana is among the top states in the lower forty-eight for cold weather, although I must say that living in Alaska and North Dakota sure would require this old cowboy to look into several more layers. Someone once told me, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only insufficient clothing.”  

But I digress. In her first visit to Montana, in November, she shivered as she saw the snow blowing across the road at Monida Pass and perhaps I should not have said that I had snowshoes in the pickup in order to get to the house. On arrival, warm and toasty in my house, (not needing the snowshoes,} she relaxed over her cabernet and marveled at the views of the Beartooths and the Stillwater and Yellowstone Valley. I introduced her to the guest room, and she asked, “Why all the covers?” 

“Well,” I said, “it is winter and those are the needed covers, but if you want more they are right here in the closet.” As she settled in, she discovered I had real bathrooms, not an outdoor privy, and she took her shower and announced she was ready to go to bed. Being a gentleman, I walked her to her room and got a nice kiss, wahoo! I then slid the window all the way open and started to leave. It was just below zero you see, and I open the bedroom window all the way open until it is 10 below and then I close it to halfway. On those 40 below occasions, I leave it open just an inch or two. 

She shrieked as I started to leave, “Close that pneumonia hole, I am freezing to death, what is wrong with you?” 

“Oh, do you need more covers?” I asked, looking at this lump under a flannel sheet, a full winter down comforter about 6 inches thick, topped with a Hudson Bay blanket. I saw only two green eyes peeking out and when she raised her hand to point at the window, she quickly withdrew her cold appendage and the lump on the bed morphed into a fetal-like lump. “You will sleep like a baby; mountain air is good for you.”  

“Cowboy, close that window or we are done!” a muffled sound came from the covers. Well, I always listen, and because she was from the tropics of Idaho, I closed the window. 

Later that evening, before I went to bed around midnight, I checked in on her and to my surprise, she had kicked all the covers off. So, I gently covered her back up, and I opened the window to the 10-below setting and silently closed the door. 

In the morning, I brought her a cup of coffee and I closed the window. She awoke, sleep still in her eyes, and said, “That is the best night sleep I had in a long time, you must tell me what this mattress is.”

Well, boys, she stayed a couple of days and, every night, she kicked the covers off and I would I cover her up and opened that window, closing it before she awoke. “Cowboy, I might get used to this.” She said as she walked over and planted a nice warm kiss.  

“Well, if you like this, wait till December, we start getting some cold weather about then.”  

Her eyes opened wide, “You all must be crazy out here, but I guess I better buy some long jills.”  

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Gail Cushman:
Wrinkly Bits Author

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