One of Cee’s Share Your World questions this week asked if I would choose to relax at a ski resort. HA! Years ago, my dearest teaching widower and I agreed to chaperone a church youth group to a “mountain” resort in North Carolina. As a California mountain snob, I have always regarded the worn-out hills around here as “less than.”
With that attitude in mind, we boarded a bus full of kiddos bragging about skiing down diamond level slopes. I kept asking, “When is it going to snow?” The youth group leader told me that some snow had fallen and the resort would make the rest. Huh?
I was impressed with the snowy white “mountain” but before we could chaperone, my husband, son, and I were required to take skiing lessons. Seriously? How hard could this be? We clambered to a narrow, icy plateau, where multiple lines of about 30 people each waited patiently for their turn with the youthful instructors. By that time, I had discovered that my boots were too small to wiggle my frozen toes. I asked an instructor about taking off my boots since we had a looong wait, and she was horrified. Of course, I ignored her and massaged my toes back to life.
Our turn finally came. Easy, right? My husband was trying hard but moving nowhere fast, so the teenaged girl grabbed his arms and pulled him forward. He fell on top of her, also knocking down a few folks who were waiting in an adjacent line. I stifled hysterical laughter as my sweetheart was sent away to practice on his own. Then our son was up. This time, the instructor thought better of grabbing the arms of a 6 foot+ guy, so she pulled on his skis. He also fell down, flattening her and 30 people lined up behind her! Human dominoes! I was laughing so hard that we were dismissed.
Our son and I took then tackled the bunny trail, where I learned that man-made ice is a great substitute for ball bearings. My recess voice screeched at all the kids who came swooping down behind me, “Don’t you get near me!” As I rounded the last corner, I discovered that our son had fallen about 15 feet into the base of the ski lift. The rescue team arrived promptly.
In the meantime, all the kids from the youth group were gone, except for one unfortunate guy who had fallen into the trees. I managed to grapple my way back to the icy training plateau, where I saw this little man, gnome-like in his pointed cap, hunched over and obviously trapped in a cycle of tight circles. I nearly wet my pants when I realized it was my husband! To spare him further humiliation, I laughed my way to a flat stretch of “snow” alongside the resort. I quickly lost control and barely managed to scream, “Look out!” before taking down a fifth grader. Bless his heart, an old woman had knocked him off his skis and was draped across his back. I helped him stand and cried, “I am SO sorry! Are you OK?” He was speechless and escaped with amazing speed.
As we sat in the resort, drinking hot chocolate (sans boots), my dearest widower said that next year, we would watch skiing episodes from James Bond movies. “Don’t ever volunteer us for this again,” he warned. Amen to that.