This morning, while cleaning out the attic, I ran across a pair of ski boots I had picked up for a song years ago at a yard sale. I blew the dust from them and reminisced over the last time I had worn them.
It was on a clear bright winter morning, when my son and I headed up into the high country. I didn't have any skis, but I had just bought these boots from an old lady, that I'm sure she didn't know what she had; they were that cheap. After a two hour drive we reached the summit, and easily found a parking space. That's probably because there were no trees growing this high. A brisk mile walk brought us to the lift-ticket booth. Out of breath, I gave the girl two hundred dollar bills, and got enough change back to buy a medium cuppochino. My son said, "Thanks dad," and that was the last I saw of him for the rest of the day.
I located the ski rental building and, carrying my used boots, I got in line. My first inkling of trouble came when a young man tried to adjust my boots to my skis. He eventually called over a grizzled old timer who asked me if I was sure I wanted to wear these boots. I told him, of course I do, or I wouldn't have brought them with me. He shook his shaggy gray head, mumbling that seen 'em kind since the '40's.
From there things didn't improve. I joined a beginner group, and the instructor was about my granddaughters age, only taller. She demonstrated how to stop, how to go fast, turn, schuss, and how to slalom. (I always thought slalom was a Jewish greeting.)
We all had to climb the Ho-Hum mountain, we did this sideways. Then, down we came. The first hour I spent so much time on my butt I thought I'd get frost bite.
One lady came schussing downhill backward, and in a vain attempt to halt her backward progress, and save my ears from her screams, I reach out and grabbed her arm. Boy, was that a mistake. Had I been wearing anything but those antique boots she would have pulled me out of them. Instead I whipped around her in a crack-the-whip motion, lost my grip of her and passed her in a blur.
I yelled and screamed, my arms and legs flailing the air, as I b-lined down the mountain, picking up speed as I went. At the bottom of the run was a waist-high fence rushing up to meet me. I hit the fence, flipped over it in a perfect somersault, and landed on my now broken skis. I think that was when I decided that skiing was not the sport for me, even if it gives you rosy cheeks.
Next week my eldest daughter is having a yard sale, i wonder if...