ski trip

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: dirt.

What worries a skier about the opening photograph?

Yesterday the introverted thinker and I went water skiing. On Mount Baker. It rained the whole time. Cold! And the introverted thinker’s knee hurt. We bagged it once I had ice puddles in my ski boots and could squeeze a stream out of my ski gloves.

On the very first lift ride, I realized that my wrist pocket was unzipped. Cash was still in there but the car key wasn’t. We skied down and I checked each place I’d been. No key. We got back on the lift and watched. There were a lot of small black specks. We discussed how much fun it would be to wait for AAA on the top of the mountain.

We skied down, going very slowly right under the lift.

FOUND IT!

Whew. After that neither of us whined. We skied until we were soaked. Her knee was being uncooperative and she was skiing warily. I couldn’t wear goggles because then my glasses fogged too much. Neither of us could see much through the rain. We went up a higher lift and then it was heavy wet slushy snowing. Then we really couldn’t see. Both nearly crashed skiing by proprioception, when a dip was invisible. I stopped at a sign and then fell backwards, visual cues just weren’t working for balance. Unhurt.

And what does this have to do with dirt? I started skiing at age 9 on the east coast, in upstate New York. We would go from Johnson City and meet my uncle and cousins at the small Labrador Mountain ski area. It was a family area. The snow was often awful. We skiied on ice, slush and dirt. Patches of dirt would show through and we learned to avoid them and avoid the rocks. The first time I skiied powder in Colorado I was mystified: I didn’t know how to ski it. But slush on top of hardpacked moguls? No problem.

So skiing Baker put me back to my tweens. The conditions were so familiar. My body was so comfortable with really crappy snow. The ungroomed parts had so much water on top that skis practically stopped. If I had been dressed in foul weather gear I could have skied most of the day.

But soaking wet is another matter. We turned in the skis and ate a late lunch. Happily used the car key to get dry clothes. Changed and drove back to Bellingham. We had a fabulous dinner looking out over the bay with a wonderful sunset.

Bellingham Bay with yellow, orange, pink and blue sunset over islands.
dinner and a sunset

Blessings all.

grateful

With both my parents dead, I am so grateful to my aunts and uncle for stepping in. My aunts told me “We are your mothers now.” With my son and his girlfriend living in Maryland, both aunts and my uncle are in Virginia.

The beautiful gifts are from my uncle. He makes them in the shop at the retirement community. We got a tour. He’s currently making a cherry headboard for them.

When I took his picture he said, “Watch out, you’ll break your camera!” But I don’t think so. Thank you, uncle.

The Extroverted Feeler and the Terminator

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: grateful. I have a series of stories about my son and daughter. My son is the extroverted feeler….

 

The Extroverted Feeler and the Terminator

From the time the extroverted feeler is 3.5 until he turns 7, we live in Colorado, in Alamosa.

Alamosa is isolated high desert, in the San Luis Valley, at 7500 feet. We are surrounded by mountain passes, the lowest over 9000 feet, to the south. The San Luis Valley is named “Land of Cool Sunshine”. We have over 300 days of sun a year, but the temperature drops in this high desert valley every night, about 30 degrees. One day a fellow doctor announces that we’ve had a record high at night in the summer: 56 degrees. The locals complain about a heat wave when the day time temperature gets to 80.

My husband will talk to anyone, anyone and is interested in everyone. We get to know a German man, younger than us, I think through the gym.

He flies back to Germany to see family. Alamosa has a one gate airport and is really expensive to fly out of. He drives 250 miles, to Denver, to save money. Over a pass that is 10,000 feet plus.

He returns and is driving home.

He wakes up in a hospital. When the ventilator tube is removed.

We are visiting and he tells us about it. “When I woke up, they asked me what my insurance was.”

I said, “It’s in my wallet.”

“Where is your wallet?”

“In the glovebox. My truck.”

And then they show him a photograph of his truck.

He fell asleep and rolled his truck. Multiple times. There was no glovebox. Really there was not much left except bits of frame and wheels. And he’d rolled it about 17 miles from home. He almost made it the 250 miles. It was awful. Horrifying.

We are talking to him at his house a couple of months after the accident, when he is finally home. He was lifeflighted back to Denver after the accident. He’d broken an arm and his leg in multiple places and rib fractures and at home still has metal rods going into his arm. External fixation, holding bits of bone together.

My son is six. He keeps looking at our German friend and looking up above him.

Our friend notices. He is sitting in an armchair. Right behind him on the wall is a poster of the Terminator. Our friend is big and blond and has a Terminator build.

Our friend grins at my son when he realizes what the extroverted feeler is looking at. “Yes, that’s me. I am the Terminator. Part metal and part human.”

We laugh with him, glad that his sense of humor has survived….

…and had my son seen the Terminator? I suspect that he had, when I was off at work. His main sitter was a family across the street from us, a couple with teenagers. He loved hanging out with the teens. I think he got to watch a lot of movies that I didn’t know about….Our friend still had a bit of a German accent which would make it all the more compelling….

The photograph is my sister dancing with the invisible spirits… no, really we are on a road trip in the 1980s and stop for a hackysak break. She is gone from cancer.