By PD Martin
For today’s Wildcard Tuesday, I wanted to look at rediscovering old loves—not lovers (!), that’s an entirely different sort of blog 🙂
I’ve been thinking about this a lot in the past week, as I prepared to go skiing for the first time in over 12 years. Maybe longer, actually. I thought it had been 10-12 years but if I do the maths it’s probably more like 14 years. That’s a long time. Particularly given I used to LOVE skiing.
So, what stopped me from pursuing my love? I’m afraid it’s plain and simple – money. In fact, if I had money, I’d definitely ski every season, probably several times a season. I’m not sure what skiing is like in other parts of the world, but here in Australia it’s an extremely expensive pursuit. A day lift pass at Mt Buller is $108, then there’s ski rental, clothing, accommodation, etc. etc. Not really in the budget of most authors.
This trip was actually spurred on by my daughter and my dad. Grace has wanted to ski for a couple of years (since she was 3), and Dad was going up (also for the first time in 10+ years) with his new wife and step daughter. They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse; they’d pay for all of Grace’s expenses, including ski school. And so, we planned our two-night, three-day trip.
It was Grace’s second time ever seeing snow and her first time skiing. I hoped she would love it, but we took it easy, booking her in for the afternoon session on the first day. I warned her that falling was part of skiing and not to worry about it! But she’s not very fond of falling, so I was worried it would completely put her off.
It felt a little weird leaving her in the ski school. While Grace does go to school now, she’s never been to day care or a holiday program – the benefits of working from home. However, once she was settled I hit the slopes. I had two hours of skiing time to myself. After only two green (easy) runs, I felt ready and confident enough to hit the blue (intermediate) slopes. I should say, I was never an advanced skier, mostly because I would only get up for a couple of days a season. That money thing again. So I was always a blue run girl, rather than a black (advanced) skier.
Anyway, it was definitely a case of rediscovering an old love. We were blessed with the weather … blue skies and sunshine. I only had two hours that first day, but I made the most of it up on the top of the mountain before heading back to pick up Grace. Then Grace went on her first ever chairlift with me, and I took her down a long (easy) run. I was glad that the skiing process had come back to me enough that I felt confident taking her down with me. And she LOVED it. It also gave her the incentive to learn to ski, because she wants to go down the mountain fast like Mummy.
The next day she was keen for an all-day lesson (9-3.30). I dropped in on her a few times and got some great video of her learning to snow plough. In the afternoon it was up the chairlift with her again for a hot chocolate with my dad, then up a little higher on the mountain. This was when this pic was taken.
So, I’ve rediscovered an old love. I’m not sure when I’ll be up again (comes back to the lottery/best seller solution) but I hope it won’t take me another 14 years.
Are there any old loves you’ve re-discovered? Or perhaps something you want to re-discover?
God I miss skiing. I was an instructor in college and raced on the school team. I haven't been in 12-15 years either. I still have my Salomon racing skis and Raichle boots from back then, dinosaurs by today's standards! How awesome that you got to do it again, I hope it comes around more often for you PD!!
A word of caution – even if Grace falls in love with it, don't let her develop that part of her brain that says, "I want to be a mogul skier." I skied the bumps for years (probably using poor technique, but still), and now I'm 37 and have the knees of a 60+ yr old man. Keep her on the blue slopes like her Mum!
I've been skiing twice in my life. Then I got pregnant, few away, and the sheer cost was very daunting for a family. Then I got older, and I still love skiing-watching it, in the movies, and on TV. It just seems so clean and fresh. Grace is adorable 🙂
This is such a silly thing to admit, but I had a birthday recently and my girlfriend, Mette, asked what kind of cake I'd like. I don't normally go in too much for birthdays but I told her my mother and late wife used to make a very simple cake I loved, a basic yellow cake with frosting made from a melted chocolate bar — that's it. Stick it in the fridge, let the icing harden, voila. Mette managed to elaborate a little on it — two layers, and an icing that was slightly more involved but still a hard dark chocolate glaze. I felt like I was eight years old again.
Sweet picture of Grace, PD!
I skied in high school and always loved the trips to Vermont and New Hampshire with our faculty sponsor, an exchange teacher from Bergen. His great contribution to our education was when he taught us how to climb the slope in our skis and avoid most lift charges. I'm pretty sure he thinks it was european history, though.
Recently tried to rediscover skiing for my less-abled self in the form of sit skiing, but the only programs close enough to home were for disabled vets. There are great accessible facilities at Steamboat in Colorado, so maybe one of these days I will make it up there. I would love that… really, even just to watch would be fun!
Aw, great pic of Grace!
I LOVED skiing as a kid and in college, but when I got seriously into dance I thought – this knee risk just ISN'T WORTH IT. Plus the ankle thing!
Seeing Jake's post right under yours reminded me exactly why I made the decision to stop, and I'm glad I did. But I can still miss it.
Old loves? I've been mostly traveling domestically because of the book thing, but OH, do I love international travel, and next month I'm going to Australia, which I have always dreamed of doing. I hope that's just the start of much more renewed jet lag.
This is kind of weird, but I used to make cloth dolls and stuffed animals–mostly bears and bunnies, but also a camel and a llama, once, and some miniatures for a friend's Wind in the Willows diorama. It wasn't art, exactly, but you could hug most of it.
I don't have the room or the time now, but I'd love to get back to it someday.
Jake I was worried about my knees this time around because I don't have the best knees either. But they were fine! Phew! But maybe you're right… the key is to stay on the blue runs.
Sounds like you were VERY good!
Lil, at least you've tried it twice! And yes, it's very expensive, especially as a family.
David, loved your birthday cake story and it's not silly at all 🙂 Coincidentally, I just made my hubby a sponge cake with jam and cream in the middle… using his mum's recipe! And a belated happy birthday to you!
Thanks, Reine (and Lil and Alex) re Grace. We think she's adorable too!
I hope you get a chance to try skiing again, Reine. Obviously it will be a very different experience for you now but one of the things I loved about the trip was the sheer beauty up there. We were lucky with the weather but it's such a peaceful feeling being up on the mountain. I'm sure you'd enjoy that aspect of it too.
Being on the mountain, PD, is definitely the very best of it! I get see our local mountains every day, and that is pretty nice, too.
Hi Alex. Totally understand the knee thing. Dancers need to be as injury-free as possible. And it's great that you're kicking off your international travel bug in Oz. Hope you like it here and that we somehow get to meet up!
Sarah, I loved soft toys as a kid and the homemade ones are always so special. Hope you get a chance to return to this love!
I read this post and thought, nope, there's really nothing. But then I remembered that I used to love to shoot pool. And I was pretty damn good at it. I played a lot of pool growing up because my parents had a nine-foot pool table in the basement that my dad got free when a pool hall in Minneapolis went out of business. And also because, you know, it was something to do during Minnesota winters other than accumulate frostbitten extremities. All he had to do was arrange to move it, which was no small feat. Four-inch slate top, real ivory inlaid decorative trim, huge square solid wood legs, real leather woven pockets. It came with a set of pool balls which were old even then and are now probably considered antique and too fragile for hard use, including a solid ivory cue ball.
And I have no excuse whatsoever for this lack. Because I have a pool table. Best purchase we ever made in terms of giving our teenaged kids something to do and a reason to hang out here at the house. It's only an eight-foot table and there isn't any real ivory trim, but it also doesn't have any suspicious accumulation of what might be pool hall spit and blood and spilled beer stuck to its frame. And it just sits up there in the bonus room, neglected. Sigh. I have to admit, it's a lot more fun to play when you walk into a room full of (mostly) guys who take one look at you and totally underestimate you and grudgingly agree to let you play one game — and then watch their reaction as you clear the table. But maybe I could get used to shooting pool again just for the pure joy of it.
Glad you had fun skiing, Phillipa! It's a rare thing to find an activity for which your kids share enthusiasm. Hope it becomes a more regular thing for all of you.
KD-What a wonderful story. That old pool table sounds like a beauty.
Mountains every day sounds great. Though I'd find it a tough call…mountains versus seaside!
And that pool table does sound good. Especially clearing the table, KD. And you've reminded me that playing pool is another old love of mine, too.
Steve and I have a goal to move back home to Salem, Massachusetts where I was born and our ancestors knew each other, at least a few of them. The mountains are a wonderful place, but living on the New England coast is home. Call me silly, but I miss the snow. xo