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Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Stars are Shining Brightly!

                    The February evening was so clear and so vastly beautiful that it took my breath away so I stood a moment to look at it from the top of the mountain, I held still in my skis and stocking cap grasping in the colors of orange and purple my mind sparked by the feeling of wonder and of God's pure magic before my very eyes as I was 17 years old now, "It's dinner time!!! WoooooHooo! I can go see my mom now, she'll have a crock pot of yumminess and she won't think I am wasting time in the Lodge. Oh to be warm again too!" I push off the clear wide open mountain side and swung down into the ski trails on my way against the sunset and against the bitter cold flying in my face, everything I wore was miss matched and given to me for the protection against the white fluffy snow! I never cared about my clothes expect that they would keep me warm and I always packed a bag of replacements less I got wet or freezing cold in the whole day there from 10am to 10pm  for my mother believed "...In getting your money's worth." 

And I was made wiser for it too, example:
"Mom? Mom? I'm so hungry I could eat a whole cow! It takes tons of energy to ski and stay up right! I fell going down the bunny hill and knock over 3 kids...I felt so bad, I bet I looked just like a bowling ball knocking down human pins! I HATE skiing, I hate it....and I hurt all over from being cold."
My mother set out a sandwich for me as she frowned explaining "Well, give it should hurry and eat so that you don't miss your 1pm lesson. A ski teacher could help you learn how to stop." I shrugged back and eat as quickly as I could then burped really loud with a smile I know my mom would protest and not find it as funny as I did "Debby, ladies don't burp like that!" I replied "It's better then farting." I laugh and my mother shushes me looking around as if someone would over hear me. I explain in my know-it-all 14 year old way "IF I don't learn anything at this lesson then I am NOT skiing anymore! I am a danger to everyone out there!" My Mom put my hat on and said "You have to get your money's worth! Now go...don't waste any more time, your loosing time that you could be out skiing!"  I mumble back still giggling when I burped again that grape soda with lunch was not a good choice for hydration! My mother always stayed in the lodge from all those years with her long table setup in a home away from home feeling. She fed us kids as we all filtered in and out for the long cold day, always reminding us as we warmed up a bit that we still needed to get out on the slopes in order to get our money's worth.
Then there was the "Buddy system." as my siblings had lots of friends their own age to ski beside, I on the other hand was very limited in my choices and in a promise that I made my Grandpa "Don't be reckless or go to fast, promise me that you will be very careful." I said in alarming new awarenes that I promise him. I skied very very careful, no one liked waiting for me at the beginning. I was wobbly and easily uncertain as one ski got stuck up right and the other slide down creating a body wedge and me saying "oh dear, oh dear, oh dear...what to do? what to do?" I would hold very still yet my whole body would moved on it's own being pulled against the wide open mountain slope.
 "Have I said today that I HATE skiing yet?" My mother would chuckle and pour me soup as I updated her every time on the latest mistakes I had made on the ski runs. Sometimes she would laugh and sometimes she would worry warning me and trying to help me not hate it so much, I kept at from 14 to 19 but I never really found myself craving it. My mother's number one question every morning as I head out  "Whose your Buddy today Debby?" I would groan back "I don't want a buddy! can I just ski alone???" My mother's alarming face would burst out as she set up our corner table by the heat vent were she hung wet gloves and hats all the time "No, It's way to dangerous out there to ski alone! Come back in from your lesson and I'll find someone for you to ski with." I would leave her saying "Oh Great......everyone you pick looks at me like I'm the mentally challenged kid who needs a pat on the head. and then they talk slowly to me like I'm to stupid to understand how to ski!"  I sighed helplessly always struggling to keep up in class, always falling in oddly weird shaped ways and even once getting stuck in a tree trunk! 
The buddy system was the most annoying of all my mother's rules, and I learned to skirt around it carefully. I would usually bring a new friend from my training class to meet my mother with a big smile I would share "Here's my buddy for today!" She would nod proudly and I would pretend that person stayed with me when I saw her again. One time I came in for dinner and didn't want to leave this made my mother so upset that I was loosing hours of skiing I soon learned to leave out after dinner and try to ski in the cold wet dark only to check in my rentals and sit reading a magazine in other building away from my mom until a quarter to 10pm then popping in to help her clean up without her getting upset at me.
Don't get me wrong, skiing was fun under all the right conditions, I tried always to follow every rule my mother made too.....but sometimes I had to be alone, I had to get warm and stay away from everyone in order to have peace of mind.
The winter I had turned 17, I had all of this to ski by myself without worrying and alarming my mother. She knew I was sticking to the green slopes on the map, I very rarely branch out to a blue level snowy slope so she began to trust me on my own.
Then the night skiing was my favorite after a full tummy of warm foods, I would see the clear stars like magical sparks in the sky above me.
As I kissed my baby brother's cheek and put on my gloves I said to my mom "It's sooooooo PERFECT outside right now, clear warm sky, snow is all fluffy no ice and the stars are very very bright! It's like pure magic out there! I am going to try the Lu Lu again." My mother nodded while glancing down at her map and marking it.....this way if I never returned she would know where to send the rescuers.
It was a perfect night I always loved riding the ski lift up into the tree tops, dangling there by myself in my own thoughts and wonders.....I didn't wear a stocking cap that night because it was almost warm, this was the end of the season and I felt so comfortable in less clothing and my long hair flying wild and free.
It surprised me just how good I was gliding down the slope, in record time I made it back up the lift and in that perfect nice night I went over 12 times one right after another, 
"Talk about getting my money's worth!?!?!" I thought proudly.
It was the best skiing I had ever done in my life, I was so naturally relaxed and free to move about whenever I wanted, with no force "buddy" or no slushy rain on my head. I felt happy, I felt strong and most importantly I felt like I would never ski this good again.

With that dark sky above me bursting forth such big bright stars, I sat looking up at them in awe while I rode on the ski lift every time, then in wonder of my powerful self I hit the slope with my wide open arms and small little turns!
   This was a magical night to me! For I knew I would never ever forget it!  As I smoothly glided into place as if I intended to do so!
 I thought to myself "I have arrived! This is it! I can ski!?!?"

When I saw my mother again at closing time I was vibrantly excited about how many times I took on the Lu Lu and succeeded! 
She smiled proudly back at me saying "See, practice makes perfect!" I added with a knowing smile while helping her load up the car ".....AND I sure got my money's worth tonight!" 

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