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.