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So Long Winter, We’ll...

So Long Winter, We’ll Miss You

I miss my snow. Just a few days ago, it covered my backyard in a blanket of pure white, but now there’s nothing but dead grass and a muddy pit that eats children’s shoes. Ants have found their way into my house (and onto the wayward chips on my kitchen floor). And I’m sneezing. And sneezing. Worse, somehow I lost an hour.

Just a few days ago, I was on a ski slope but 20 miles from here swooshing down the trails with my boys. It had just snowed the day before, and we were trying to take in as much winter as we could before the spring-like temperatures would come along and ruin it all.

My boys and I had missed out on two ski seasons because of my health, and so we were trying to cram in as much winter as possible. We took quite a few runs until they finally picked up where we’d left off in 2006. I decided to pick up my speed and shoot down the trail, figuring I’d wait for them at the bottom of the run. But midway through my race down the hill, I turned around to find them both right behind me, keeping up just fine, with big smiles on their faces. I’d created skiers.

Two days later, we returned to the mountain with neighbors to ski some more. My dear friend had just lost her dad on Tuesday to cancer, and so we thought we’d keep our minds off things. Her father was kind enough to send us a perfect spring skiing day: warm and sunny.

We were skiing against time. The warm spring sun melted the snow so that it was icy in spots, slushy in others. The ski lift operators worked tireless to shovel snow under the lift so we wouldn’t have to ski on carpet. It was clear: Winter was coming to an abrupt end.

This time, we headed up to the top of the mountain where the boys took off. After a few spills, they got the hang of it, and we all had a great time. As we watched the sun set over the mountain, I couldn’t think of a better farewell to one of my favorite seasons.

Before we left, we stuffed ourselves with hot dogs and then headed home, singing out loud to ColdPlay’s “Viva la Vida,” the car smelling like a cross between a New York hot dog stand and a ski lodge. And now, this morning, the snow is all gone.

I’ll return my boys’ skis to the rental shop this week, until next year, when we’ll do it all again. Until then, I’ll keep an eye on that mud pit. I don’t want to lose a kid in it. We’ve got a lot of skiing to do next year.

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