I found the perfect decoration to put on my door for the holidays this year and every year after! I was at my final craft fair of the year selling some of my crochet goods when I saw a booth by Wood and Glass Creations selling adorable skis from reclaimed wood. I had to have them! Not only were they absolutely adorable, but skis also have a significant meaning in my home. Let me tell you why with a wonderful winter story that actually happened.
Many years ago, when I was still in grade school, my family took a trip to Eaglecrest, a ski resort in Juneau, Alaska. It has different levels of difficulty from the bunny hill being one of the easiest to Ptarmigan being one of the hardest.
As a family we decided since no one had really ever been on skis that we would take lessons. My mom, who doesn’t even like to read instructions, found this idea tedious. I mean, how hard can it be to glide downhill? But since the whole family was together and enjoying the snow, she reluctantly took a lesson.
The first lesson was basically: this is how you put your skis on, this is how you stand, and this is how you stop. It was all pretty easy and mundane for a woman who balances like an Olympic gymnasts. But, since the lesson was paid for, she completed the pizza stop technique before bailing.
Now, my mom has never, and I mean never done anything the constitutes as “the safer route”. Her main goal has always been go big or go home. So after her first and might I add only lesson, she looked at the bunny hill and scoffed. With so many newbies and kids skiing on the bunny hill, my mom obviously found this hill thrill-less . Each level of difficulty looked unappealing and a waste of valuable ski time. And let’s face it, the adrenaline rush seemed non-existent. That is, until she hears just how amazing Ptarmigan is.
Before she can even second guess her decision, she hops on the ski lift and makes her way to the top of expert ridge. Through what I have heard and the legends that were shared after, her downhill mastery went something like this:
After leaving the ski lift and glancing around for only a second, my mom, never changed her decision to commence with her downward motion. If anything, the determination pulsing from her body made the mountain tremble. This was gonna be a good day to fly.
With her adrenaline pumping, my mom left the edge and began her amazing journey through the snow. With each second she rocketed down the mountain faster. The bodies of other skiers are left almost standing still. Their only mark in her path is the sound of a whoosh as she quickly passes by their stagnant bodies.
I should note that her one and only lesson never taught her how to move while on skis. She never learned the back and forth motion, to do a wave upon the snow. Instead, my mom had become one with her skis, gliding across a cloud as she raced to the bottom with ease. Her smile crossed the distance of the valley as she screamed to herself in excitement. That is, until a blip formed in her path. Ahead she spied a small dip in the snow like a tiny ditch. Realizing her lesson never taught her to turn, she crouched her body a bit more for better aerodynamics and figured she would fly over the tiny hole.
When I say mistakes were made, it is an understatement. My mom’s whole day had become a series of unfortunate events leading up to this one massive life changing occurrence.
My mom hit that hole at nearly the speed of sound and the sonic boom of her hit made the world pause. The whooshing sounds stopped, the air stood still, and for a brief moment,, all eyes were glued to her. At that pivotal moment when she expected to soar over the snow like an eagle in flight, her skis lodged into the snow drift and came to a dead stop. The most epic depiction of how a slingshot works then ensued as she was launched from her skis. Some might be thinking that this is an exaggeration to add a bit of intense drama to the scene, but let me assure you, I seriously mean she was launched like a rocket. The energy and forward motion of her nonstop downhill momentum had no where to go but into shooting her from her skis and launching her forward parallel to the snow covered ground. Friction became a theory as she literally broke all barriers of natural laws. I can only image her as a cartoon character as she flew head first downhill, her cheeks must have been peeling back to her skull.
I am not sure if she had the events unfold in slow motion,, while her adrenalin rush peaked to maximum, or if it happened so fast that all she remembers is the flight. I do know that she eventually sticks the landing and tumbles to a not so welcomed stop. And then all went black. Her body sprawled out in the classic accident pose and she can no longer recall about a minute of her life. It was left in the frozen water they call snow forever
Thankfully, rescuers were not far away. They must have seen her flying down the mountain and knew they were going to be needed. My mom awoke from her snow induced coma to find 3 men standing over her asking if she was OK, if she could move, and if she knew where she was. In the distance, another rescuer was in a tree shouting he had found a pole while another was far off up the mountain screaming he found her skis.
You would think at this moment, she would have accepted the assistance to make it down the mountain. But nooo, not my mom. Embarrassed and frustrated with the situation she grabs her equipment from the rescuers, puts them back on, and resumes her death defying run down. In the wind she hears one rescuer call out, “a woman after my own heart, she knows how to take a fall”.
Later the mistakes were felt as the injuries sustained reared their ugly head. A sprained neck, massive bruises, and a doctor insisting she remain in bed for 3 days. Normally, she would have defied the doctors orders but when one goes from having a beautifully long neck to no neck at all, listening to a doctor seems wise.
This event is now forever carved into the memories of every member of my family. So when I found these adorable skis, it seemed appropriate to display her iconic ski trip on the door for years to come. I love craft fairs!
Merry Christmas to all this holiday season!