Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A winter to remember

The Big Winter.

This is how our kids will remember the winter of '07-'08. (And as the year the Patriots almost had a perfect season ... but that's another story.) And as challenging as this winter is -- the endless shoveling, the four-wheel-driving around town, the gargantuan snowbanks, the car getting plowed in yet again, the worry over the glacial buildup on the roof of the house, the slipping and falling and trudging around our ice-encrusted town like Washington's army at Valley Forge -- I'm really quite excited that we're getting to experience this, a real mountain-town-quality winter, with our kids.

As I said before, I'm relieved and glad they finally at least had a snow day last week -- something every kid dreams about and deserves, and an event as rare in Durango as a big-name rap star making an appearance in our little rural town (oh, wait! that happened this year, too!). But this week they had another snow day from school -- following yet another epic snowfall -- and so the official Big Winter is on.

And challenges and all, I'm ecstatic, because we and the kids will always have this great memory to share -- of the yard rounded and bulbous under four feet of snow (is that lump our grill?), of moving the mailbox off the porch to the blue spruce in the front yard so the mailman won't break his neck on our sledding-hill steps, of Sarah cross country skiing to work, of our neighbors telemarking down the college mesa into town.

And of our epic ski days. Like yesterday: another two feet dumped on Purg, and so we all headed up -- our third day in a row, and our second week in row of scoring a hat-trick of powder days -- for another day of glory-skiing on hero-snow. As always, grinning, hooting locals everywhere. And what will sure embed itself in my brain as a favorite memory: watching Webb and Anna and their friends slicing through the powder below us as we ride the lift, and hearing their yells and cheers for us from the chair as we take face shots below them.

That's why, despite the hardships (is there enough firewood to get us into March? How far behind on work can I afford to get? Is my back going to recover from huffing this fluff over the banks again?), I'm deeply thankful that all this happened, again, finally, while our kids were still around, and we could get out -- two generations ski bums -- to suck up these rare good times together.

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