Snowboarding on April Fool’s day…otherwise known (affectionately) as Gaper Day in Stowe. The resort was full of comedians this past Tuesday. I must say that I found it quite amusing…potentially intoxicated skiers in costume are way more fun than your average April fool’s gag. My cousin posted on the FB that she is going to jail for six months. Those kind of jokes’ll scare the crap out of ya.
Snow. Sun. Fun. More Goggle Tan.
I rounded up my 19-day snowboard season (an impressive number for someone that doesn’t live closer than a four hour drive to a ski resort) to a 20-day snowboard season with my sister in Stowe, Vermont. We were there celebrating, not only the end of this year’s winter, but our uncle who just recently passed away. If it wasn’t for Uncle Dan we would have grown up ignorant to important life skills such as storytelling on long drives, woodworking, wrestling, throwing food and catching it in your mouth, home inspection codes and procedures, and (of course) winter sports.
I don’t know how he did it, but Danny would manage to take us skiing (and later snowboarding) every season since I was 7 years old. This, of course, means that my sister and I honed our skills in the extremes of the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. We’d drive there in Danny’s construction van with our packed lunch of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches and half of a 2-liter bottle of Sprite that he grabbed from Grandma’s refrigerator before we left. We’d clip on our ski passes, which back then were large stickers folded over large paperclips attached to your zipper. If you were really cool you never took the stickers off and by the end of the year you had a few and you’d keep them on the coat as souvenier-tropheys that do the bragging for you.
Where was I?
Oh, right…we’d clip on our ski passes and have-at-it all day. We’d ride the 20-minute chair ride up, just to scrape and slide our way down icy hills for 2-minute runs. It was great. Eventually Danny worked his way up and got us into the big leagues. We took trips to places in Vermont and California. One year Danny planned a trip for us in Mammoth. It was my first time in California, and Danny had decided that I was going to switch from skiing to snowboarding. Looking back I can only imagine how much Danny practiced love and patience on that trip. I spent most of our days on the mountain in tears, laid out on the ground, convinced that my skull was cracked (this was before helmets) or my tailbone was broken. I got through it though, and Michelle did too. We continued to take ski trips with Uncle Dan, demonstrating the fruits of his labor.
Not another ski season is ever going to go by that doesn’t make me appreciate my uncle for this gift. Actually, screw that. I’m going to appreciate more than my uncle. I’m going to appreciate my whole family, and spending time with them, and nature, and physical fitness, and health, and free time, and modern technology…and probably the whole universe all together.