Thursday, February 19, 2009

The poor woman's ski holiday....

The three of us...self portrait on the snow with our skis. My husband is always a little skeptical about these shots I try with all of us at my arm's length (short arm)...but they usually turn our well enough. And I'm glad there's nothing in my teeth or boogies in my nose! Just our big rosy cheeks and happy smiles! OK...the dog doesn't get it...can you see how close my skis are to him? MOVE PEPE, I said you know why one reason I fell the other day was the dog's fault and not mine! It's fun to be on the ski adventure with him anyway...he loves it outside in the snow, I just need to keep him out of my way..especially on hills!
Maya is getting some ski coaching from Pappa...she's doing quite well although a bit on the lazy side. She was so proud of herself going down the little slopes without falling!

Now you wonder why I call this the "poor woman's ski holiday"'s a cheap ski vacation for us...see that yellow house in the background? That's ours! (along with a garden hut and separate garage- for those of you who've never seen it in person) This year we have been so lucky with just enough snow fall, perfect temperatures and nice days with some sun. Many of my colleagues, students and friends travel to Austria, Italy, France and northern Sweden to go skiing...but not us...we just go out our front door and through the gate! It's one of the reasons I am so grateful for living in the countryside of Sweden! I might not have all the restuarants or cultural activities right around the corner but we have nature all around us and after all those years of living in Los Angeles, I can REALLY appreciate the quiet peacefulness of the country!
Each day this week I've been trying to do at least a 30 minute run by myself on the course. My skiing experience is rather limited so I'm really only learning and much of it on my own. I'm not in the best of shape, so trying to avoid injuries as well. 30 minutes is perfect. After watching me the other day, Bo reminded me that I needed to keep my arms and feet moving in balance..right arm up, left leg forward/left arm up, right leg forward...seems so simple, it's the way I walk, right? For some reason I ski like a neanderthal moving my arms and legs of the same side together! So I've been concentrating on that and I fall less...imagine that! Today I learned another important lesson...only follow in others tracks! Seeing a nice flat area to practice on I decided to take a 'short cut' over a little cut-through path...wrong! too many small rocks and not enough snow...fell right on my knee..OUCH! With little licks on my cheeks, Pepe tried to console me...thanks ski partner!

Before moving to Sweden my only other skiing experiences took place when I was 12 years old in the Poconos Mountains of Pennsylvania. My parents thought it would be a great idea for me to learn to ski with my cousins one winter after we had spent the Christmas holidays in Pennsylvania and New York with my grandparents and my mother's family (after Grampy had died). It seemed like a good idea and a lot of fun, my cousins are older than I am so I thought it would be so cool to hang out with them and their cute guy friends in a forest cabin on Lake White Heron. These particular cousins, Wendy and Scott, were practically born with skis on their feet so they thought I'd be a natural too...wrong. I was a Floridian...I had webbed feet from swimming so much! The first night of the slopes was a total diaster! Clad only in blue jeans and long johns (NOT water proof) and a hand-me-down jacket, my cousins left me on the bunny slope without any instructions about what to do!!! And off they went...I spent the next eternity, it seemed, falling down, laying on my back, calling for help, sliding into small children, crashing into fences, praying I wouldn't break a leg or my back....I think I only managed to make 3 full runs (that's from the top to the bottom of the bunny hill) during the 2 hours they left me alone. Most of my time was spent on the ground trying to get up again. Wendy came back to check on me...she said "let's see how you're progressing". So we made one run together (on the bunny hill still) ...wouldn't you know it? That time I didn't fall once! And I even managed to stop at the end of the run ON MY FEET (prior to that I was just screaming for everyone to move out of my way as I purposefully crashed at the end because I didn't know how to stop with the skis on!) SOOOO....she thought I was ready for the BIG the HUGE MOUNTAIN where the adults go! I adored my cousin Wendy (still do!) if she said I was ready for the big hills, then I was ready, I never questioned my abilities if she had faith in them! As we went up, and up, and up...I got more and more nervous...but I thought the worse that would happen would be that I would have to just slide down on my butt the whole way back if I couldn't ski down. Well, I wasn't far from truth....I was on my back most of way down with Wendy sighing at my side as she loyally fetched my skis and brought them back to me each time I fell. Her cute boyfriend (?) at the time paused by us each time he passed by and said smart alect remarks which left the 12 year old me feeling like a clumsy baby. Somehow I remember Wendy trying to pass me off on to Scott so she could continue skiing but Scott refused by saying it was Wendy who had taken me off the bunny slope! (Another blow to my 12 year old ego!) By the time we got back to the bottom several hours later, I was soaked wet through...freezing cold and exhausted! Thankfully Wendy and Scott agreed that I had had enough for the first time out. The next day (wearing snow pants this time) they signed me up for the beginners ski class...which I learned a lot and still remember while I'm out on the snow now! But after those 2 days of skiiing, I never had the desire to do it again until I moved here and saw what a lovely opportunity I had to just literally ski out my front door on the the snow covered golf course! Even though I greatly admire those people that fly down the mountains on fast skis, or snow board into the air or swoop along the shaloms, I have seen too many of those "Wide World of Sports" shots of skiers totally losing it and whipping around with body parts twisting in all directions to really want to ski on anything steeper than golf course slopes! This is perfect for me! (and my kid, as far as I'm concerned at this point) I've decided it's like hiking...or scuba peaceful and quiet...let's me enjoy the surroundings!
And what a work out! Look at all that calorie burning SWEAT!
Feels so good! Thankfully, I've not been over doing it, which I usually no aches and pains of out-shapeness (except my knee today...but that will be ok!).
I keep promising....but I WILL post photos of my sewing projects soon...I'm almost done with the twins' quilts...agh...the binding part now. Gotta do that with a good movie on! And my little secret project is coming along...and picked out the project for the Easter Swap and another for my dear friend's 50th birthday! February Posty Pals cards were sent off today! (Our Fabric Post Card group has an official name now! We are the Posty Pals!)

Tomorrow the tile guy comes again for the putting a sealing on the floor and walls...he will start tiling on Monday! yeah! Wish some of my single women friends were near by...this man is very friendly, nice and goodlooking...I would invite them over for a "sponteanous" coffee break.


Kelly Sue said...

You are such an inspiration to me Carol, but I still just can get a move on yet. Maybe one day...... Love the snow pics. Have a great one.

holly said...

It looks like you had a great time. It looks like a lot of fun. We never get snow in Alabama.

Brenda has asked me to take over the postcard swap for her. She is having a hard time right now.

Anonymous said...

You will never know how many memories came flooding back to me while reading this post! I, too, learned to downhill ski "later" than most. I grew up in Quebec where skiing is plentiful and my BF's boyfriend and all his friends were avid skiiers - so at the ripe age of 19 we joined a 5 day ski trip after New Years to SugarLoaf, Maine. I had so many thoughts similar to yours as they bypassed the bunny hill that first morning and took me to the the intermediate run.... I was black and blue! But I certainly learned to ski and I loved it.

It is my goal to get back on the ski hills by next winter.

I just don't know how you get everything done!!!


chrisi said...

its so nice in front your homme you can go und make all this hugs chris, we have once more snow this morning,i wood like spring.......

Sandi said...

I do hope Pepe moved out of the way in time; (second photo)that ski looks rather pointy ^ ^. How wonderful to have your very own ski field in front of your house. I would like to try skiing one day - (on a very gentle slope, as I would probably be falling over a lot!)