Family ski day number three got off to an inauspicious start. The grownups stayed up too late and drank too much wine the night before, so we were running late before we started. Because I’m not a morning person, I always tweet a picture of the sunrise on the way up the mountain – I want to document every one of those I see. Usually, I take that picture from inside the car soon after we pass Sultan. It’s about the last place that a tweet will go before I lose connectivity until we get to Stevens. This time we were in the parking lot of the coffee shop in Sultan. I fumbled my phone and it landed face down on the asphalt. I tried to brush it off. Material objects shouldn’t keep us from enjoying real life activities, even when it’s a two month old Samsung SIII that you got for your birthday.
We got to Stevens and the cold dry air made me cough. But why was the cough wet? The XX was nervous about her snowboard class, and dealing with it by behaving, as they used to say, like a pill. We dropped Little A at ski school and took two warm up runs on Daisy. The Daddy and I were trying to help XX with her toe side turn, and she was afraid to try it, so it took an hour to get those two runs in. We dropped her at ski school and moved over to Hogsback.
I wasn’t sure if I was hung over, just tired, or bummed about the phone, but I wasn’t feeling it. After one run on Hogsback that should have been great – soft groomed snow, not too crowded, sun peeking through the clouds – we cruised by the ski school to check on Little A. Her class was not using the magic carpet. She was hiking up the hill and having a hard time because her gloves were too big and she couldn’t hold onto her poles.
Another run on Hogsback. This time we went down the other side of the lift. This route was much better than the one I’m used to. Not quite as narrow in the narrow places, it was about the same steepness in the steep places, but in those steep places, the snow was not as choppy. It was perfect Gemma conditions. Until I fell face down and slammed my knee. Even with the fall, it was a good run. I should have been having fun.
By the time I got to the bottom, I was feeling achy and sick. It wasn’t hangover or sleep deprivation, it was virus. I headed inside and got a mocha, hoping a little extra caffeine would power me through two more runs so I could call the day a success. By the time I finished my coffee there was time for one run, but I still felt crappy and it was Superbowl Sunday, so I just went upstairs and put my name on the list for a table for lunch.
They were out of veggie burgers. Fine, I was kind of nauseated anyway. After lunch there were two hours to kill before XX got out of class. We checked the shop for gloves that would fit Little A but there was nothing small enough. The Daddy went out to get a few decent runs in while I put my head down on a picnic table and Little A climbed on me. Eventually I got too cold so we wandered over to the fire pit. Then back to the ski school. Then the fire pit. And so on until XX got out of class.
We watched her slide down to the lift without turning. She stepped out of her board and walked back to us. As soon as she got close enough, she started crying. The boys in her class were mean and her finger hurt. She took off her glove and showed us a puss-filled, swollen digit that could not have gotten that gross in the four hours since we’d seen her last. She had no memory of cutting or scratching her finger and thought she might have noticed swelling three or four days ago.
Tired and dejected, and trying not to snap at each other, we headed back to the car where everyone except the Daddy promptly fell asleep. You can’t win’em all.