Learning our fall lines

You know when you get a Slurpee from 7-Eleven and it’s a little too much for the regular straw? That’s my snow report for today. Dirt Slurpee.

There were people snowboarding in t-shirts with their jackets tied around their waists just so they still had their lift tickets that were attached.

We went down “the long slope” to the bigger chair lift once. That was all I needed as the conditions were pretty awful. It felt like a slog for me, though Ian never fell on that section today. We shared a chair ride with one of the snow patrol dudes. He asked how we liked the snow and I politely said, “It’s ok. We’re having fun.”

Ian said, “Well ... yesterday was a lot better but today it looks more like salt than snow and I don’t think that’s as good.” I pointed out that this was his second day on skis ever and we come from tidal Virginia so we’re not snow connoisseurs.

Patrol dude said, “I’ll be honest with ya, this isn’t very good snow. So if you can ski in this, you can ski in anything.”

We went down “the short slope” next, my taking the lead so Ian could follow me. After a bit, I realized he’d fallen. I stopped. I tried to side step up the hill. I took one ski off and tried to side step that way. Nope. My skis sank into at least 6” of Slurpee. I was nearly that horse stuck in the mud from Neverending Story.

So I just stood and waited. Ian tried to push himself up but ... Slurpee. So he took off both his skis, got to his feet, repositioned his skis, clipped back in and rejoined me. We continued to the small chair lift.

He looked a little sullen so I asked about it. “I can’t believe you didn’t realize I had fallen!”

“Dude! I’m a novice skier too. I’m doing my own ski. I can’t look back for you every two feet. When I realized you were gone, I stopped. I tried to get to you but it was really hard. And you weren’t in distress. So I just stood witness. You didn’t cry for help. You figured it all out and made great decisions. I’m proud of you. Do you want me to follow you next time?”

He nodded.

So we took turns that way. When I fell on the long slope he stopped and waited for me. He said, “Good job!” when I was able to stand back up in Slurpee. And I said, “Yes! Go you!” when he made a great recovery.

That’s how grief is for us. We have to take turns. We have to wait for each other. And if we can make it through this dirt Slurpee, we can make it through anything.