Friday, January 3, 2014

Snow Day and the Black Diamond Triumph

It's a snowy day here and I'm cozied up inside with some work and a book. The children who live downstairs are off and yelling from the stoop to the sidewalk and in the stairwell and I hear all the excitement from up here while under strict orders from, well, everyone, not to step foot in cold and ice and snow while in my 'delicate' (arguably more like elephant) condition.

And even though I want to go outside and play more than anything, I'm begrudgingly following the rules. I've got the camera lens and from the third floor window the wind blows around the already fallen snow and it looks a lot like glitter.

Today I am thinking of my Uncle John who I always called Uncle because I knew him from the time I was born. He liked to tell a story of how I once ate chocolate and ran around and around and around the coffee table thinking no one could catch me. He took me skiing every year at Mt. Snow in Vermont until I shipped off to college.

I remember holding the paper ski map, always sticking to the blue squares and green circles, the easy and intermediate trails, until Uncle John took me up on the lift and told me we'd do a black diamond trail next. Nuh uh, no way, I shook my head and insisted I wasn't ready, those were too hard and the map I clutched said there were moguls and I didn't know how to do those but we got to the top and he laughed and, quite literally, pushed me down.

I was terrified and forgot how to do any turns, basically flew down the hill in one straight line, avoiding the mogul section entirely, my heart pounding in my chest until I reached the bottom of the hill, stunned.

We did the run a few more times after that and I was so thrilled that I had 'conquered' (if you could call practically squeezing your eyes shut and praying you reach the bottom without hitting a tree, 'conquering') that I babbled about my black diamond triumph all the way back to the lodge.

I laugh today, remembering Uncle John's words before we met up with Aunt Ginny and my Mom at the lodge, his super tall frame knocking around in his boots, nose and cheeks red, hat crumpled, and a happy smirk, Just don't tell your mother. 


  1. My husband took me skiing twice when we were dating, and I loved it--I miss it now, but I think it'll be a few years until the girls are bigger and we can all go together, if I'm not too old and flabby then. :) But I was so determined to show Mark how daring and athletic I was that I went on a black diamond hill the first day. And promptly panicked, decided going straight was less dangerous than trying to slow down, and plowed right into our unsuspecting friend. :) Still, it was incredibly thrilling...and the friend forgave me eventually for the bruises he ended up with...

  2. Ha! I do black diamonds in the Poconos (sometimes) but NOT in Vermont. My family tackled one or two without me at Killington last year. I went back to the hotel and had a massage and some wine.

  3. Love, love your skiing story (and photos). I was actually just talking about going skiing with friends who are huge fans, but I'm incredibly not athletic and uncoordinated in . . . well, just about every aspect of my life, and I worry I'd legitimately have to fear for my life if attempting it!

  4. When I was a kid, snow days were the best! And I didn't know you ski!! I LOVE skiing. And I think my first black diamond was pretty similar to yours. Only it was my kamikaze brother who took off, and I had no choice but to follow. I may have rolled through the moguls instead of gracefully gliding past them like you, though. Maybe. I cannot confirm nor deny it, though. ;)

  5. Phew, I almost thought you were going to write you went down a black diamond slope today! Glad you are reading...and getting ready for the next big adventure. Which can seem like a black diamond course at times :) Totally worth it, of course. Sorry you had to say good-bye to your writer's desk. I don't worry though because you are a writer through and through. You will find a way. Great pictures by the way!

  6. beautiful pics!!!

    i just got back from a colorado "ski" trip-- but for the first time ever in my life, i went to colorado during ski season and DID NOT ski. the day we planned to do it, it was snowing like crazy and i just couldn't bring myself to go thru it. great trip anyway. no black diamonds, or even blues or greens! :)