Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Thrill is Still There

I woke up this morning, with Ethan curled up around me in bed, to grey light outside the window. It snowed. Correction, even better, its SNOWING!

It was a wonderful thrill, to look outside and see the ridiculous site of our green green grass, bushes and trees, many still with leaves, covered in a light dusting of snow.

After our traditional Snow Day breakfast (only a tradition in that mom gets pretty freakin' excited, hustles it out to the kitchen, puts on a little Billie Holiday and gets a cookin... today it was French toast)... I had to run outside to get Bodhi's backpack.

I had been thinking at breakfast that were this medieval times, I may have thought to myself that this was a sign from the universe. I've been stressed about getting on track so I can get to Colorado, but it still all seemed so ridiculously far away. None the less, in the last week, a bout of Swine Flu not withstanding (Really, btw, what's the big deal? Its the flu. Like any other flu.) I've started Getting Things Done. And last night, I passed a BIG hurdle, that of transferring my business, and therefore the lease and responsibility for the rent, to Aimee Higgins.

Leaving me free to go to Aspen.

So puttering around the kitchen, I felt in my little myopic world for a moment, that the snow was a blessing, that it was a sign that I was on the right track, it was the universe nodding to me and saying, yes, you see, you get things done, and we snow for you. (Don't ask me how weird the snow storm would have been had I transfered my business in August as I had planned...)

I think, normally, that would have been that, I would have smiled at myself for my silliness, and gotten on with getting the kids on the bus, and wandered back to bed for an hour or two before tackling the rest of the day.

But today, I wandered out to the car to fetch Bodhi his backpack. And as soon as I stepped outside, the snow blew into my hair, and onto my hands, and I reached for the car door, which had about two inches of snow piled on it, and put my bare hand into that soft, wet, white frosting, and I felt this flood of what felt like a thousand days (it couldn't be, this is only my fourth season!) of doing this, of the absolute bliss, no matter how tired I am, or how sick I felt, or how stressed I was or how tough its been, or how WHATEVER was also going on...

There was this, this familiar... happiness. Walking to my car, early in the morning, getting in, freezing cold, putting my big mug in the cupholder, praying the Bronco would start, stamping my feet till the heater kicked in, which doesn't happen till I get to Goldenstien at least, sometimes not till downtown if its -22 or so...

And then the drive in the canyon, the Elk herds crossing, sometimes I could time it just right, the blankets of snow on the farms and fields as I wended my way up to that absolute heaven, Bridger Bowl, and on my left, the Alpen Glo if it had stopped snowing, or if it was still snowing, the giddy bliss of wondering just HOW MUCH had accumulated, and how much more was to come...

And the thrill of pride, every morning, of turning into the employee lot, and stepping out and hiking through the shin deep snow (it always snows harder once you turn into the Bridger driveway, its a fact), and beginning the tromp up the hill to the ski school. Some mornings, the building wasn't open, and I have to wait for the snowcat operator to show up and let me in, some mornings I was still in my jeans with five minutes till line up.

But that walk, that amazing walk up past the liftie shack, snowmobiles running, laughter, and that sense of pride crunching up through the day use parking, seeing the Saddle Peak Lodge and the Jim Bridger Lodge come into view, and the Griz on my right, all silent and white and muted as the snow fell. And seeing my hands, wrapped in the warm red mittens that Liat made for me, every morning keeping me warm as I drink my tea and wonder at this amazing sight in front of me, this mountain, this joy, this is my office! And feeling this thrill fill me, how very very lucky I am that this is my life, that I get to have a job where I get to play outside, every day.

And walking up the stone steps, saying hello, hello to the mountain hosts if they are out, looking to see if I beat the bus there, looking up at the Playcare windows and wondering if I'd ever be able to get it worked out so that the kids could be up there and grow up on this mountain, skiing and playing every day... but unsure how to make it happen, a tinge of sadness, I want to share this with them so badly, and then in the doors and check to see if Jeff wants a run on the Ridge today or to play out in Slachman's if its open, and then stairs, two at a time...

and again, that dorky sense of pride as I punch in the code on the locker room door, because I work here, this is my job, and I belong in this room with all these amazing people, people who haven't given up and haven't died, but just want to ski. And inevitably, there is Rick Wollum, on the bench, tuning, and the dream is complete, I put my tea down and open my locker and begin the morning ritual, which basically consists of seeing what Rick and Mike Hickey are wearing, to see what I might want to wear, I'm always freezing on clinic mornings...

And I grabbed Bodhi's backpack and scooped a handful of snow off the hood of the car, this magic, and brought it inside because I couldn't bear not to touch it, and the boys licked it and poked it, and suddenly time started again, because they had to catch the bus, so into the sink it went and on with breakfast and life.

I can't help but think how strange it is how at home I feel walking through the snow falling all around me, how very much like peace it feels to me, how much sense it makes. This year will be a new locker room, a new set of stairs, someone else always on the tuning bench, red coats instead of blue.

The adventure continues!

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