January 04, 2006

Season begins

This week, we are trying on long underwear, searching for polypropylene socks, getting out helmets, and matching up gloves. We've attached the tags to our winter coats, and Boy in Black is getting his snowboard waxed. Every Sunday for the next couple of months, the kids and I will be heading to the ski slopes.

We are lucky to live within 25 miles of a good ski slope. Winters can be long here – it will be a months before I again feel sunshine against my bare legs – but spending at least one whole day outside in the fresh air every weekend does wonders for the winter blues. I am looking forward to all of it again – the crowded lodge filled with wet clothing, the bag lunches and french fries covered with hot sauce, the huddle of kids gathering for ski lessons near the bunny hill, the chairlift that lets me stare down at the half pipe to watch the coolest boarders do their stunts.

I love everything about skiing -- the speed, the movement, the way it feels to glide over the snow, the sensation of flying, the adrenaline in my blood making every moment on the slope exciting. Because I learned to downhill ski as an adult, I am terrified on the black diamond slopes – and I love that feeling. I still panic at the sound of ice rattling as a gang of teenage snowboarders – they travel in packs – races past me, carving their way down the slope, always at top speed, me staring at their coats to see if any of them are related to me. I look forward to the side trails that take me through the woods, narrow trails edged with pine trees, the snow fresh and white.

I'll be bringing my own four kids, as well as Blonde Niece and Skater Boy. Neighbor Guy will join us with Older Neighbor Boy, Philosophical Boy, and Neighbor Girl. Several of our other extras snowboard as well, getting rides with parents or friends. So every time I get going too fast and go flying head first into a foot of powder or slam my body down ungracefully on an icy slope, there is sure to be a teenage snowboarder nearby to cheer me on and tease me with sarcastic comments until I am forced to get back up again.

And of course, it always feels good to return home, soaked and chilled through, muscles aching from too many falls. On the ride home, I am always filled with relief that none of my kids got injured on a jump or rail. And by then, my whole self is anticipating a hot bath, dry clothes, and a crackling fire.

16 comments:

Pink Cupcake said...

This post just makes me want to ski, and I never have before. Enjoy your winter!

Yankee T said...

If I didn't hate being cold so much, I would consider trying this again one day. The fire part sounds delightful!

peripateticpolarbear said...

Ooh, I hate skiing but this post makes it sound fun. (Note to self: not that fun--no more broken bones)

jo(e) said...

Yankee Transplant: Skiing really isn't cold if you dress for it.

Autumn said...

you have, for the the first time in my life, made skiing sound appealing!!

KathyR said...

I cabin extremely well. The skiing not so much. The lift scares the crap out of me. I am also not fond of falling down.

But you, Jo(e), never cease to amaze me. You seem to have more energy in a day than I have in a month.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

Right on, jo(e).

I also learned to snowboard as an adult. Well, I was in my mid-20s. Six years ago I broke my arm on Mt. Hood -- slammed into a tree -- but even so I never was scared until I had kids. Now I'm just waiting for a bad fall to snap my head off.

My husband is going snow-cat skiing tomorrow. Lucky!!

Leslee said...

I've never been skiing. I too am not a creature of cold. But I guess you get to moving around enough to keep you warm after the first inital shock, right?

Rev Dr Mom said...

It's not the cold I mind...it's going downhill FAST. I've never liked that. Plus I'm a total klutz so me on skis would be a joke. But you do make it sound fun.

cheesehead said...

I'm a great lodge-sitter. Plus I'm a great cheerleader for my kids. That's my contribution to the cause.

Kathryn said...

Tell you what, Jo(e)...you can have all our allowances of skiing to enjoy too! The whole concept scares me silly,- though I could definitely take to the fire and hot chocolate part of the proceedings. But you go have fun...we'll have the bath run and full of bubbles when you get home :-)

Neal said...

I really miss the slopes. The worth thing about where I'm at is there is snow for miles, but not one hill. I need to pick up X-country skiing, but snowboarding is my passion.

Girl said...

Yay Jo(e)! I love skiing. The boy and I went over Christmas and we got really excited about bringing my nephew with us sometime. We may have to wait a bit. He turns 1 in a month. So...next year, then. ;)

--girl

anbruch said...

Gosh, it's been so long since I've been skiing—probably some time in college. And that predates the era of the snowboard. I don't even have a clue as to how hard boarding might be but it certainly looks fun!

anbruch

Seeking Solace said...

I love to ski too! But because of the RA and a knee blow out the last time I went, I have not gone. I should give it a try.

Have a blast!

zelda1 said...

Okay, now I know I want to move to your neck of the woods. I live in the NW corner of Arkansas and while we have some cold weather, a little ice and snow, we don't have enough to ski, not that I would want to ski. But, I do love the snow. This year, there is a shift in our weather and it has been in the high 60's and 70's. It makes me ill. No coat weather, not hot chocolate weather, nope, not at all. I travelled to Houston over the last couple of days and the low was inthe 80's. So, hearing about snow and cold and all of that makes me extremely jealous. Have fun on your days out on the slopes.