I passed a car on the freeway the other day that had three snowboards attached to the rear of the vehicle.  I thought, “How nice to be going on a winter vacation to the snow!”  Yes it always sounds like fun.  But it doesn’t always turn out that way.

The first time I went sking was in January of 1982.  As young people who did not worry about paying the bills next month, we planned this trip on the spur of the moment.  As an after thought we decided to go the Justice of the Peace and get married before we left.  Lordy, if I could only go back in time and talk to that 19/20 year old girl.  But that’s a whole other story.  So off we went to Red River, New Mexico.  We had another couple on the trip with us and another couple met us there upon our arrival.  They had married while she was still in school and were living in Colorado.  She was at our 30 year class reunion and is still happily married.

I have never been a very athletic person.  So I was sort of leery of getting on that ski lift.  I wanted to stay closer to the bottom on the “bunny trails”.  But John wanted me to get on the ski lift, go to the top of the mountain, and he would “teach” me to ski.  So I was able to hop on the ski lift with no idea of how we were going to get off.  On the way up John tried to give me my first lesson on getting off he lift.  But all I could think was “Holy Crap”!  We spent several hours up on that mountain top, screaming at each other.  I finally told him to just leave me alone.  Finally the ski patrol came to see what the problem was.  The ski patrol read John the riot act for bringing be up to the top with no ski experience, onto black trails I found out then.  They actually stopped the lift and put me back on to go down and stopped again at the bottom to let me off.  It was really very embarrasing.  Every body who passed me on the lift down was asking “What happened to you?”, “Why are you riding the lift down?”, “Are you okay?”  That really should have been a wake up call for how our relationship was going to be, but it was another 3 or 4 years before I admitted defeat.

The second time I went sking was several years later.  I went with a singles group from Glenview Baptist and they were taking a group to Durango, Colorado.  I hadn’t been attending there very long and was talked into going.  This time I had the good sense to schedule lessons the first day I was there, or so I thought.  I think I was the only adult in the class.  The instructor ended up taking my poles aways because she said I was going to kill myself.  Finally she told me to go get a drink, rest, enjoy myself, and stay off the mountain.  So I took her advise and enjoyed the rest of my stay drinking hot chocolate, getting in the hot tub, and just visiting with the rest of the group.  Not everyone in that group skied, so I enjoyed myself.

The third and final time I went sking was with the Glenview Baptist group again.  This time I knew people a little better.  I trusted them a little more.  I don’t remember everyone that I went with on that ski lift, I can only remember Susie.  She was a real encourager.  It was scary, I still didn’t know what I was doing.  But she was a big help.  I did enjoy myself.  I actually skied and had a good time.  My only problem was stopping.  I can’t really get the snow plowing thing down.  I ended up just going around in circle, because my right leg is stronger than my left.  So I would get to going really good, I could make the curves, but then I got scared.  I would think I was going to fast and didn’t know how to slow myself down.  So I would just fall.  They would help me get back up and I would take off again.  I did feel a sense of accomplishment when I came down off that mountain like a normal person.

But I only went up that one time on that trip.  I didn’t want to press my luck.  I figured I had one good day of sking, I didn’t break anything, and I got off the mountain without the help of the ski patrol.  So I was happy shopping, sitting in the lodge and watching everybody else come down off the mountain.  So I’ve hung up my snow skis.  I still like being in the mountains in the snow.  But I have found I don’t need to be in the snow.  I’m very happy to sit in a cozy lodge, with big windows to watch the others doing their thing and drink a cup of hot chocolate.

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