On Sunday morning after much planning and purchasing of the minimal snow gear, the entire Bliss clan (entire: my family, my sister's family and my brother's family) took a jaunt to Wrightwood, California, in order to tube down a slope. Yes, a very short slope with 8 different "slides." Hundreds of people lined up to buy tickets and then got in another line to slide down the slope on a plastic innertube. I'll give that the line moved fast, I'll give that as I slid down the slippery slope (yeah, I used that cliched phrase on purpose) I was slightly afraid that I'd fall off and when I went zooming up the up-slope, I shut my eyes out of slight fear. Run #2 was fast! The funny part (besides the ridiculously long line of snow bunnies waiting for the slide down the hill) was seeing everyone come up the slope via the conveyor belt. That, and the tow. People sitting on their innertubes being dragged up the slope via a tow rope. Or tow wire.
Clearly, I don't have the lingo down.
We had a fun in this radically different place, a place that hit 22 degrees near ten in the morning, especially when we pulled over and played in someone's private driveway (see picture) in order to make snow angels, yellow snow, snowballs, and collect snow for our cooler. Whoever you are, thank you for allowing us to indulge for about 15 minutes. You made the day for the little Blissians, three of whom never have been in snow, like ever.
Well, that's not true. One cold morning long ago, my mother and I took A and J, ages 3 and 5 respectively, up Mountain Avenue towards Mount Baldy, driving until we hit snow. We tumbled out of the car and joined several other families who found the same snow patch. The boys used an old cardboard box to slide down the small hill a couple of times, then they just played. After they were sufficiently wet, we got them out of their clothes and wrapped them in blankets and our jackets for the ride home. I guess we forgot how wet snow can be. My mother took pictures of the boys that day. Later, she cut the photos, cut around their angelic faces and placed them on "flowers," sticking the "flowers" in a narrow glass vase as a bouquet. The vase is still on my kitchen window sill, the photographs unfaded although they are a little water marked.
Then there is my own personal experience with snow - skiing. Yes, it's true, back in my college days I used to ski every season. Not a lot of skiing, just enough to take the intermediate runs at a good clip, without too much slowing down. I think I actually managed to swoop a little, you know, swoop, that rhythmic back and forth thing that looks so easy in the winter Olympics. I really enjoyed it - I'm thinking of taking the kids back to Wrightwood for snowboard lessons (the boys) and skiing lessons (M and myself). D says he'll wait in the lodge with hot chocolate and a book (he says when he was learning to ski, he knocked over enough people in his mad dashes down the bunny slope to last a lifetime). But...the money. Skiing is definitely a hobby for the wealthy.
And wealthy we are not.
Still...to escape into that cold. Might be worth a little debt.
The change of pace was a blessing. The icy ground, the tailgating sandwiches, getting a chance to feel cold that never hits the city during daylight hours...relieving.