This is February school break week, and we are skiing at Smuggler’s Notch in Vermont. I booked the trip in early fall, superseding Bill’s trip to China this week. He will make that trip early March instead. Good material for writing, but everyone in my family is within ten feet of me this Tuesday afternoon, so I’m writing in sentences. Not stories. Not even paragraphs. Perhaps more fragments than sentences.
We skied in the northernmost part of winter storm Rex today. Rex sat on top of the highest mountain here for most of the morning, looking like a gray mountain on top of the mountain upon which he cast his shadow. That’s the mountain where Will and Bill skied.
I can be openly happy about snow here. It’s a ski resort. Happiness is snow.
There was no line at the entrance for the magic carpet (aka: conveyor belt up the bunny hill), so I skied the bunny hill after putting Liam in lessons. Lessons that would take him halfway up the mountain with Rex howling. I felt a little guilty about that.
I nearly fell over once, making my premiere entrance on the magic carpet.
After five or six times down the bunny hill, I nearly cleared out a class of 4-year-olds. I felt a little guilty about that. I crossed over to the chair lift.
New stress: Please, don’t let me wipe out my chair mate when I get off the chair. I didn’t. Manhattan and I rode up together twice. His wife was on the same big mountain as Bill, and their 8-year-old son was in lessons. We agreed skiing green runs is relaxing. And this green was lovely and gentle.
I fell over once, tripped up the steps going to the condo to get my phone. Ski boots work best in skis, not on narrow stairs.
Red-cheeked Liam was waiting with his instructor after my second and last run of the day. Gloves off, Liam was eating snow. This child has been eating snow since his first winter in the U.S., 2007. I joined him last snowfall; I had forgotten how a big mouthful of fresh, white snow makes a snowball in your mouth. Liam lies dazed on the ground sucking these as if they are the sweetest candy ever concocted. While asleep, his vision of sugar plums must be pure white.
More fragmented thoughts from now, Wednesday morning. At the dinner table last night, we shared highlights of our day. Liam only ate snow after ski lessons; his group of 13 worked on turns, particularly j-turns which bring you to a stop if you are going too fast. No, I did not make a special request to the instructor for Liam’s lesson.
Will skied through trees and needs poles. He skied through the “glades” where you aren’t allowed to go unless there are three of you. He knows triple-black diamonds are out of the question because there also need to be three people skiing together to go down those. I don’t think he’s worked out why “three” is the magic number. I just did. Ski math.
Tonight, Bill and I are taking a chairlift to the top of Sterling Mountain and having dinner in a cabin with no power – a candlelit dinner heated with propane burners. Then, we will snow shoe down the mountain. 40 minutes in the dark with floppy shoes. I will find time and place to write that story.