February 22, 2009

Through the pine trees

Through the woods

Red-haired Sister was in town this week, with her two kids and a pack of crazy dogs, spending her time at my parents' house, Blonde Sister's house, and my house. She comes every winter during the week that With-a-Why has off from school. The cousins had fun together -- going to the science museum, doing craft projects, and playing games. And yesterday, a bunch of us went cross-country skiing. We'd had about a foot of snow the night before, so the conditions were perfect.

Well, maybe not perfect. On the sunny parts of the trail, the snow was sticky, and it felt more like walking than skiing. Dandelion Niece had trouble with a right ski that kept falling off. My youngest son forgot his mittens, but Suburban Nephew came to his rescue by producing an extra pair, cutting short my lecture about how a fourteen-year-old should be able to pack his own clothes. My father pointed out virtuously that the conditions would have been perfect a few hours before -- if only we all had gotten up early like he does.

We kept shedding layers of clothes because the sun was so warm. My parents, who ski or snowshoe every day in the winter, somehow got way ahead of us, and I didn't see them until we got back to the car. Yes, that's right. My parents who are in their late seventies were skiing faster than I was. That's the kind of thing that makes me wonder about my athletic prowess.

Despite the fact that the trails weren't very fast, it was a wonderful day to be outside. I could take my mittens off to help my niece with her ski without my fingers turning into an ice sculpture. Suburban Nephew had a camera in his pocket just like I did, and we took the time to take a few photos as we skied along. The pine trees were covered with fresh snow, and when I skied out from under them, I could feel the sun on my face. My sister pointed out that the sky was a deep blue, rather than white or grey: a sign of spring.


susan said...

Being out in the snowy woods this time of year feels miraculous to me--the signs of spring amid all the snow are just so cool. I keep wishing for more snow and looking for crocuses simultaneously. Actually, it's the birds that seem springiest to me so far.

Joy said...

The fact your parents are out each day is a key in their fitness and ability to ski faster. It proves it's important to keep moving!