Actual snow this winter has brought happy skiers swarming to area slopes and chalets. These enthusiasts do not include me.
Frankly, I still experience flashbacks of my one and only attempt at skiing. I was told it would be memorable. It was.
Our destination was the TNT Lodge in Michigan (motto: Explode on to the Slopes! In my case, an unfortunate bit of foreshadowing).
Already a little edgy in my rented skis, boots and poles, I came out on the main hill, crisp and snowy, fringed at the bottom with scrub trees and bush. I looked at this winter vista and made my first important discovery: I hate heights.
My next determination: no way am I going down this precipice strapped to two flimsy boards.
But the other girls had already headed out. And they’d left me with the rather cryptic comment, “You’ll be fine. Just watch out for the moguls.”
There I was, pondering why a group of business tycoons out for an afternoon ski should be of concern to me, when I spotted it: The Bunny Hill.
Very low incline, very short distance, tow rope at knee level. I struggled over, and got into the line. Eventually it occurred to me that my fellow Bunny Hill skiers were looking at me oddly. Their average age appeared to be seven. And it didn’t help my credibility that I fell several times. Unfortunately, my red mittens even came off and travelled up the tow rope alone, giving the impression that a pint sized invisible man was enjoying a day on the slopes.
My friends found me on the BH several hours later and insisted that I try one run on the ‘real’ hill before we left. I knew it was a mistake the instant I pushed off. I hit light speed.
The world became a blur. All I could do was scream “Look out! Look out!” as I caught fleeting glimpses of people in my path leaping like fleas madly in all directions.
At one point, I realized that many of them were shouting the words “Snow plow! Snow plow!” Under the circumstances, however, I failed to understand why they would be warning me to watch for a large slow moving vehicle with flashing blue lights.
One man in bright orange was, I recall, a tad slow getting out of my way. I ran over his skis.
Ahead, at the base of the hill was the packed line up for the T-Bar. People were standing stock still, simply staring as the Gibb train wreck hurtled toward them.
Then at the last minute, the line miraculously parted like the Red Sea, and I shot through and into the bush.
I can to rest over a small frozen creek. It was really quite peaceful. I thought I’d just stay there.
I heard the swish of skis. The man in orange came up beside me. Now that I was no longer moving at Mach 3, I could read the large badge fastened to his jacket: Ski Patrol. Sigh.
Have fun on the slopes, folks. I won’t be joining you.