OK, People, so whoever said that wisdom comes with age?
I never did, that’s for damn sure!
Life in draught-stricken Northern CA., lately, has been “drier than popcorn farts and warmer than 2 rabbits screwin’ in a wool sock”, as my Uncle Tony likes to say.
So, the Princess and I decided that a trip to see family in the flyover state of fry sauce and minivans (a.k.a. Utah) was in order and stupidly decide that snowshoeing and skiing is a perfect choice for two, menopausal women sportin’ fluffy midriffs.
After all, we haven’t snowshoed in a month of Sundays and I haven’t skied in forever and a day, but far be it for me to stop the infamous “Lucy and Ethel twosome” from pursuing outside activities to keep them fit and feeling alive.
So, the Princess, my brothers, their wives and my sister all joined me and a family friend on the beautiful slopes of Brighton Ski Resort for a day of outdoor fun and family bonding.
Yep. That’s how it started out, anyhow.
Had I known that this “bonding” would have involved a ski trip down “Hell’s Alley” and some serious negotiations with The Man, himself, I would have opted for another way to “bond”.
Far be it for me, though, to be labeled a “poor sport” or worse yet, a “candy ass”.
We get to the resort bright and early in the morning with the Princess in tow, so she can hang out at the lodge and play “ski bunny” for the day, and four of the seven of us head out to hit the slopes and start some kick-ass skiing for the day.
The last thing I remember telling my brother, sister-in-law and sister before sliding off the intermediate chair lift was,
“Don’t lose me. This is my first run of the day and I don’t know where the hell I’m going!”
(My fat, dimpled knees and Buddha belly are shaking like a teenager after a six-pack of Red Bull, as I’m eye-balling the ginormous slope that lay in front of me, and I begin to wonder if this is gonna be the LAST of my bucket list items that gets checked off, and not my FIRST!)
Guess my belly and knees took too long to look at the slope, because the next thing I know, my brother and sister-in-law are swooshing their way out of sight and I never see them again until lunchtime.
My sister, Carmela (who also hasn’t skied in a month of Sundays) and I, cautiously start our way down the mountain and somehow end up on a slope that has one too many moguls on it to be an intermediate trail.
Being the older (and, of course, wiser!) sister that I am, I suggest we stop and look at our map to see if there’s a “trail for old ladies”.
The Last Exit for Paradise and Senior Citizens was about 50 yards behind us, and unless we wanted to be doing some heavy duty mountain climbing with our skis on, we’d best “put on our big boy pants”, ‘cuz we had some serious moguls to “whup”.
I look at the map one more time, while trying to stop my knees from wobbling so violently, and yell to my sister (who’s behind me) that we’re on a trail called, “Oh My, Oh My,” and I’m aptly thinking, “Oh Sh-T! Oh Sh-T!”
If I’m reading the slope correctly (and map!), I do believe we’re on a black diamond (expert) trail.
Carmela, being one of my Mother’s brighter children, looks down the mountain and astutely replies, “No sh-t, Sherlock! Ya think maybe the name of the trail would have given you the FIRST clue?!”
Have I told you that my family (and in-laws) all has a keen sense of humor like mine?
Most of us have been to therapy for such humor and paid handsomely for it, but far be it for us not to relapse, on occasion, during certain stressful situations.
I continue looking down the mountain and quickly conclude that this is one of those “each man for himself” kind of moments and decide my Buddha butt and I are taking the “coward’s way down”.
So, I point my skis down the slope, take off down the side of the moguls and end up on my butt in a cloud of snow that frightens the bejeebers outta my sister and sends me into 3 quick “Hail Mary’s” and an “Our Father” praying that Jesus sends us help in the form of a ski angel.
Thankfully, my sister didn’t arrive at the same (each man for himself) conclusion and comes to assist my snow-entombed, Buddha butt.
We miraculously get off the diamond trail and are skiing on an intermediate one, when I stop for a minute to catch my breath, and happen to look up just in time to see that my sister has inadvertently stopped at the bottom of a snow boarder’s jump.
Before I can mutter a word of warning to her, I see a snow boarder come flying like a bat outta hell (over her head) from behind her!
Suddenly, as I’m witnessing what I think is my sister’s last stand, everything goes into slow motion and I think: “Oh my God! My sister just got stamped “Return to Sender” and is headed for the infamous “Pine Condo Estates”!
Thankfully, she doesn’t have time to react, and the guy hits the jump and goes whizzing past her, missing her by inches.
We’re not even down the mountain on our first run of the day and both of us almost go home feet first.
At this point, I’m thinkin’, “Screw the 100 bucks it cost me today to check off this bucket list item! I’m finding the Princess and sucking down some hot toddies for the rest of the morning, until my family catches up with me for lunch!”
Playing ski bunny with the Princess and sipping hot cocoa (laced with Bailey’s Irish Cream) sounds good to me and my banged-up, bruised, Buddha butt.
Try not to do anything stupid today, People, and God willing, I’ll catch ya next week for another adventure looking at life from my shoes!