Sunday, January 5, 2014

Ski Days

I grew up in Utah, even lived pretty close to a few ski resorts, but I didn't grow up skiing.  Skiing was something that never interested me, it seemed strange, cold, and expensive.  Sure I gave it a try, went a couple of times, found that I had no natural ability, and really it was strange, cold, and expensive.  However I guess all that's needed to find a love for a new hobby is the right company.

Skiing is Monte's passion, a passion somewhat forced on me in the beginning, but I too have grown to love it.  My Mother gave me some good advice, sensing my annoyance at my second placement come ski season, she told me "Syrina you can make a choice, you can spend you winter days pretty lonely, or you can learn to love what he does and go with him."  Well, it seemed like good advice and I don't like being alone, so I picked up a new cold weather hobby.  I have to admit even after several ski seasons I still wasn't totally sold, really it wasn't until we made one spur of the moment move that things changed for me.

We've all fantasized about leaving everything behind to go somewhere warm and tropical and live on a beach, well one December night while in bed, I said it out loud, and I was serious.  Something in my tone told Monte that what I'd said was genuine, because he promptly responded with "Fine, let's do it....."  then as some realization set in, "ohhhhh, but I'll miss the ski season."  I'd just given not only full permission but complete encouragement, to walk away from jobs, responsibilities, and worries, to live life in bathing suits on a beach with your early 20's wife, and you're worried about the ski season!  I felt like I'd been punched in the gut, but not willing to totally give up my fantasy just yet, I quickly blurted out the only place I could think  of where a ski resort overlooked something that resembled the ocean, "Alright, how about.......Lake Tahoe?"  We had a winner, he left to scope things out, gave me a call "I think we could live here.", we packed up my tiny Jeep and we were off, all within a week.

We lived in a very small studio apartment that we paid way too much for, found a couple of Jobs, made some great friends, and skied.  Monte's job at the resort earned us each a free pass, so we lived the life of ski bums, and that is how I finally found the love.  It was a hard decisions to come back to Utah, we'd fallen in love with our new home, but it was time, and we both knew it.  That was over a decade ago, and even though so much has changed during that time, one thing has remained the same, we still love to ski.

Things these days take a little more preparing then they used to, we can't just grab our skis and go.  It's quite the production to get everyone ready, even with our rehearsed system.  My pockets are filled with extra hats, juice boxes, one random glove, popcorn, oranges, tissues, fruit snacks, hand warmers, even was a time when I had diapers and wipes (thank goodness those days are over).  My goal is just to keep everyone happy, right now most my focus is on Abe.  "You are doing so great, so strong like a super hero, that's right make a pizza, now french fries, you are so amazing, try and catch your brothers, oh man you're beating me how do you go so fast, flap your wings, look it's just like you're flying, this is so fun, are you having fun, Mom's having fun......", don't know if you've heard of toddler talk, not quite as bad as baby talk, but has that same loud somewhat annoying sing song sound to it, I've perfected it and use it as encouragement all the way down each run.    

I love that skiing is something that we can all do together.  Pretty sure I've got a couple that are totally hooked.  We spent three days this week on the mountain, each day ended with the same question, "When can we go back?"  I get to see a different side of my oldest two boys when we go skiing (Abe, like always, is just happy to be with his mom, I wonder how long my infatuation will last, probably not long enough).  Jonas, always the one we're continually reminding to "settle down" or "quit being so goofy", is so cautious and controlled, listening to every bit of advice he's given.  While Sol on the other hand my quiet, subdued, rule following child (even gets upset if I go in the exit at the store) is OUT OF CONTROL!  He flies by us going way too fast, never stays on the same run as the rest of the family, feels the need hit every jump, ramp, or rail, all far above his skill level.  I can't begin to tell you how many times I've lost him on a mountain top (a truly frightening feeling), had to take off my skis for some search and rescue hiking, only to find him somewhere in the trees stuck in powder up to his waist.  I guess the trees speak to him and whatever they're saying he can't help but listen.

I'm glad I took my Mother's advice, it's brought our family a passion that we all share.  I'm grateful for spur of the moment ideas, and even their revisions, I mean really whats so great about turquoise waters, warm sand, cool breezes, no shoes, the sound of crashing waves, tropical fruit, tan lines, long walks on the beach, sunsets over the ocean........

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