Two days ago I was on vacation.
Three days ago I was just limping out to the parking lot of a ski area.
Four days ago we were setting out for the mountains.
One day ago I was, sadly, back at work.
Methinks we’re doing this vacation thing wrong, as it went by much too quickly and seems already far in the past.
So, let's recap what happened during those couple of fun-filled days in that glorious land known as 'away.'
While we were on vacation we did many things, like hang out at Appalachian Ski Mountain. OK, we skii’ed too, which, when one hasn’t skii’ed for over 20 years is an activity that carries with it a fair amount of initial trepidation. Like, ‘oh my Lord how did I get suckered into this?’ trepidation. However, if one can have refreshable ski legs (much like their aqueous brother, ‘sea legs’), than by about hour 4 mine were coming back. Unfortch, Thing 2 never really GOT ski legs, quit afterr about 3 hours of good solid trying, and so didn’t enjoy as much time on the slopes and Thing 1, Biff and I.
Which is why Thing 2 isn’t sunburned. Perhaps he is the smartest of us all in this regard, and I forgot that hey! It can be sunny in winter, and there’s all that snow that acts as a dadgum reflector, and when you’re in the outdoors on a giant effing MIRROR for 6 hours you are, most likely, going to suffer some ill effects therefrom.
Like, sandpaper lips. And reverse raccoon eyes. We've raced far beyond attractive, and are currently veering straight into 'stunning,' I know.
Still, fun. And tiring. And, 3 days later, it might just be that my calves don’t hurt anymore.
As I expected, Thing 1 is a complete and total daredevil on the slopes. At 15 years old he is a the typical adolescent boy, barreling downhill as fast as possible and using the technique of ‘fall down’ to stop when things get going a touch too fast for comfort. It is fortunate that he is a bouncy limber thing.
After 15 years as his Mom, I’m finally learning how to simply not care about this need for speed and overall level of crazyheadedness, as the continuous state of terror I’d otherwise be in would have cause the ol’ ticker to stop in horror by now.
So, hooray for learning to let go.
We had lots of other cool experiences too, including hitting up a few tourist traps and historical sites, soaking in zee Tubo’ Hotness (awesome invention. Every home should have one), and lunching at a really cool place in Boone called Our Daily Bread that has apparently been around for 25 years but because this was our first time I’m going to pretend like we discovered it. I recommend the chili. The meat kind. They have vegetarian chili too, but that’s not what I had. I had the meat kind, and it was good.
Anyhow, one really really cool thing that happened is what I want to tell you about before I let you go, because it’s almost the end of the work day and I know you have other things to do, but this is cool so give me a minute.
The hot tub at the cabin faces Broadstone Road, which leads to Valle Crucis. The road twists around, following the path of a creek that is, as you might imagine, at the low point among folds of hills. On Sunday afternoon I was soaking in the hot tub by myself and watching the sunlight fade from a ridge opposite. It was peaceful, for sure, but the cool part was that from the west the valley was starting to fill with super low-hanging clouds. At first it seemed like they were only over the Watauga River, but slowly it because apparent that the fog was coming up our little valley along the creek path. If I shut my eyes for a count of 60 seconds, I could see just how far along the road the fog had come.
Eventually, the trees on the ridge opposite lost definition and the air got moist and very cool. The road below, normally very visible, disappeared. The ridge disappeared. The driveway disappeared. The world had, in the space of 10 minutes, shut itself out for me. For a period of time there was true and utter solitude. The air was blue in the twilight, shapes of near trees were muted, car headlights down below crept slowly along the fogged-in roadway, and I floated, alone, in a hot tub made for 4, with glorious steam rising gently into the cool evening.
I stared at it all, committing it to memory, so that someday I’ll have it to live all over again. The peace, the marvelous encroachment of low-slung clouds, the muffled sounds, all entered into a space in my brain I hope is one of the last to go, because it’s not every day we’re treated to such wonder, is it?
Seems I’ve used up all my words for today. If you have a moment of sublimity (word!), share in the comments, won’t you?