Valentine’s Day, 1982.
I’d bought my soon-to-be fiancé cross country skis and we were headed to a little inn in New Hampshire for the weekend. He wanted to get engaged on Valentine’s Day because it was his parent’s wedding anniversary. He’d always skied downhill.
That morning, my mother called. My father’s mother, who we all called Rosie, had died. She was 82. Instead of skiing, we returned to Connecticut for her funeral.
I began skiing while in high school; my friends skied and I joined them. In New England, you ski. In college, I discovered cross country, and preferred gliding through the woods on a trail instead of speeding down mountains. I liked the equipment- thin, light weight skis and boots that are easy to put on and take off. And you don’t need to buy a lift ticket, you just need a trail, a lawn or even a snow-covered street.
As a family, we began taking ski trips, usually during February when we were off from school. We’d rent a condo, so cooked most meals and had enough space to spread out. It was a great way to have a family vacation—everyone was outside and active, we’d end the day tired and hungry, play games and watch a movie and do it all again for about five days. The children quickly surpassed me in skill; I plateaued as a lower intermediate. No moguls or black diamonds for me. I’m happy to ski wide, groomed trails, especially those marked “Easiest Way” down.
Now grown, the boys don’t ski and our daughter went with friends during her winter break.
Valentine’s Day 2013.
We’re in Utah for a few days, mixing up downhill, cross country, and snow- shoeing.
I admit I’ll never love downhill skiing. And aging doesn’t help. There’s that fear of falling and becoming injured. We haven’t been in three years because once I started biking I didn’t want to miss cycling season due to a ski injury.
Yet I love being outdoors and exercising. We’re staying in a hotel on the mountain so it’s easy ski-in, ski -out. There’s a pool and hot tub. The scenery is gorgeous. Pine trees cover the mountain. The snow is like soft billowy clouds. The crisp, cold air exhilarates.
Happy Valentine’s Day!