Tuesday, February 25, 2014

old habits

It was crowded in bed last night: there were the two of us, then the new bed for Isis (to get him used to it), then quite separately -- Isis (who refused to even step into his new quarters). I felt like we were on a vessel in the middle of a vast sea and no one wanted to abandon ship. We all clung to our old spots and the night hobbled along and eventually it was morning.

This was the day to finish house cleaning. Okay. Done.  So breakfast is late. (It's impossible to imagine doing something so unpleasant as house cleaning after breakfast. Our habit is always to do it before.)

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And since I'm leaving tomorrow, I have a list of things to do, of course, that's always the way it is. But I do none of it. Instead, Ed and I go skiing.

Not our usual cross country skiing. Not that. The trail snow is unpleasant right now -- solid ice in places. And, too, it is the beginning of the next vortex. The high today is only 12 around these parts. And falling.

And yet, despite the frigid air we decide to head out to Tyrol Basin (a 35 minute drive from the farmette) for a downhill skiing experience. The snow base there is solid and on Tuesdays they have a super special -- a mere $12 for all day skiing and as much for rentals.

There was a time (around age 18) that I wanted to be a racer. I loved the thrill of downhill! Loved it! Until one day, the weather was awful, and I was cold all day on the slopes, and I understood that I was, in fact, only a fair weather skier. Not committed enough to ski on days that were in anyway suboptimal.

And then I didn't ski at all. I went back to it once, seven years ago, for old times sake, but it was expensive and I got banged up by someone running into me and I thought -- enough. I'm too old for this.

Until today. Ed's been itching to try it and even though we have this polar thing sweeping down upon us, the sun is out and I am up for it.

And I have this to say: I am so proud of us!

I'm proud of myself because I calmed down on the slopes. I did not speed down at a hellish pace. I took it easy. I was, at all times, in control.

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I'm proud of both of us because (and this is a first for me) we wore helmets.

But I am especially proud of my guy up there on the slope because, well, he is 63 and not many that age would take on downhill skiing. Especially on a polar vortex day, especially on icy snow, especially when the GF is shouting instructions left and right.

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He improved so phenomenally that strangers came up to him to give him a pat on the back.

Of course, it is a regular school day and a cold one at that, so the slopes are empty. Empty lifts, empty runs and sunshine in our faces. I have to say, I remembered why there was a time that I loved skiing so much!

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On the way home, we make a few stops. Wonderful pauses -- first at a local chocolatier and then, finally, we come back to Paul's Cafe, where we have pickles and snacks and it is indeed like old times --  when we used to stop by daily, when we felt that this was nearly our second home.

And now we're home. I look out the kitchen window and I see that the deer herd has come back. They didn't even wait until dusk! They're so used to raiding my flower bed -- this is their fast food place now.

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This time I don't hesitate. Scoot, you guys! 

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Evening. A lovely time at the farmhouse. We talk about planting the spring garden. Ed will be starting his seed bed soon. I look over catalogs in search of new ideas for existing flower beds.

I know Ed is keen to remind me of all the wonderful things that he and I do at home. It's as if he is saying -- see, this is why I don't want to travel! This is what we do and it's grand, isn't it?  Yes. Absolutely. I don't need reminders. I know I love home.

Even as I am heading out again tomorrow.