So, as my last entry for 2009, I want to explain the picture I've chosen to put on my blog. Yes, that's me, and yes, I'm laying in the snow. This is AFTER turning over. I originally landed face down.
Peer pressure is a funny thing, especially when it comes from your 21 year old daughter. At the top of Motherlode, one of our favorite runs, I ask AnnMarie, "Okay, do we want to go left? Can we still get to the sign that says 'Motherlode Flats' to take a picture?"
She says, "Yeah, sure you can."
Mike, my escort for the day to keep me safe since Richard's back at the house sick, says, "Are you sure, AnnMarie? Sure we can get to the sign?"
"YEAH, JUST FOLLOW ME!!!" she says and off she goes.
Okay, my first hint should have been how fast she went down the run. This is our last run of not only the day, but the trip. We just about ran over a lady that fell getting off the lift in front of us to beat the guy taking the rope across to close the backside of the mountain. So, this is it for another year. The last run down the backside of our precious Ski Cooper, and our favorite run, Motherlode. Needless to say, I'm exhausted. There isn't a square inch of my body that doesn't hurt. My ankles are begging my mind to tell me to quit. The mind replies to the ankles, "Listen, guys, I'm sorry. I've been trying to talk sense into the old woman for 2 1/2 days now...she's just not hearing me."
So, here I go, after her. Mike is behind me. I think his thighs are talking to his brain, too, begging him to stop. I'm not sure just exactly what part of us old people it is that tells us to keep going. One more run, hurry, get there...make it happen!!! It's nothing with a muscle, that's for sure. By the third day, the muscles just give up and go with the flow. No, it's the competitive side, the side that refuses to admit age is limiting the body. It's the competitive side that says, "One more run, come on! The kids aren't quitting. You can't let them out do you, right? Come on, you're NOT old! You're in your prime.....GO!!! FASTER!!!! Push it with everything you've got left!"
The body gives up and just goes.......down and to the left.
As I get to the bottom, I look and she's turned right, sharply, but BACK THERE! "Ooops," the brain says, "Missed that turn. Well, maybe if you turn right here, you'll be okay....oh wait, NO I SAID WAIT FEET!!! DON'T TURN....NO DON'T!!!"
Too late. The feet have turned. And now, the eyes are involved. They scream!! "HOLY CRAP!!! HOLY CRAP, LORI!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? DO YOU SEE WHAT YOU'VE JUST TURNED IN TO? THIS POWDER HAS GOT TO BE AT LEAST....."
The eyes don't get to finish their sentence. Next, it's the back, inbetween the shoulder blades that speak up....."OUCH!!!! OH, I MEAN SERIOUSLY, OUCH, THAT HURT BIG TIME! I think a ski just whacked me, what did I ever do to that ski? OUCH, CHARLIE, THAT REALLY HURT!"
The eyes are active again. "HEAD....COME ON...Lift up! It's cold here....come on, lift up, move, get us OUT OF THE SNOW before it gets all behind the goggles!!! HURRY! UP!"
Now, the hands are involved. "Uh, excuse me, but I'm not really sure where we are. We managed to hold onto these stupid poles, but hmmm, the problem is we can't find the bottom. We are sorry, but we are going to be absolutely no help in getting you up."
At this point, I hear a real voice. "MMMMOOOOMMMM, ARE YOU OKAY?????"
How would you reply? I followed her and am face down in what might be 12 feet of powdered snow after getting whacked in the back by a ski.....now, I'm wondering how on earth I managed to hit myself in the back with a ski? I'm NOT that limber...did something maybe come disconnected down there? Oh, that wouldn't be good. So, I start trying to move different parts of the body....some refuse to reply..."This will teach her! We'll just pretend we aren't here!!!"
I can tell my skis are crossed behind me. As I lift up my head, I assume Mike is somewhere behind me coming to my rescue as any good escort would. So, I call out to him. "Mike.....are you where you can help me?"
"Yeah, as soon as I get the pictures!" is the reply!!!!!
Thus, where this picture came from. He took one of me face down, as you can see here. I rolled over right after this for the next picture. I might add that I didn't sink at all when I rolled over. I felt like I was floating on air....like nothing was under me.
He put his camera away, and came in to help me. I've clicked my skis off by now, and he's helping me get them set so I can get back in them. In the distance, we can hear the ski patrol yelling "CLOSING" trying to get the old fat women off the mountain.....you know the ones that followed their 21 year old daughter down the left into the nothingness of powder!
I seriously can't lift my legs up high enough to get into the skis again. I'm standing up straight, and am not feeling anything really solid under me. When I wiggle at all, the snow around me just gets deeper. I don't feel like I'm sinking, but I have to be. White quicksand! I quickly vision myself sinking so deep that all I can see all around me is white. "Would I suffocate?" I wonder to myself. The brain and wisdom kick in, "You're on a controlled ski slope, stupid, and they are yelling behind you. They'd dig you out just so they could go home!"
I click back into reality and realize what needs to be done. We, Mike and I both, have to try to get to more solid ground. There is a huge chance that Mike is going to get stuck too, so I'm telling him to be careful. That would be sight....two beached whales in the powder on the mountain for the ski patrol to dig out!
So, I trudge through the powder as Mike moves my skis to more solid ground. "CLOSING!!!!" we hear again.....
"YOU ARE MAKING ME NERVOUS!" I yell back as I fall deeper into the powder as I try to walk. It's like what I would imagine walking on the moon would be like....there's really nothing solid underneath you to affirm that you are making progress. I go forward, hoping that solid ground isn't much further. I've spent about all the energy storage I had left BEFORE I followed her and headed left, so there's not a large reserve here to get me out of this mess before I just pass out.
I finally get a foot hold on something solid, make it to the skis and get out. I yell over to AnnMarie, "NOT GETTING A PICTURE BY THAT SIGN THIS YEAR! GOING THIS WAY!"
When I caught up to her, what do you think she said? Do you think it was, "Are you okay, Mom?" OR "Did you hurt anything, Mom?" OR EVEN, "Wow, Mom, great fall, I'd give that one a ten!" NOPE, NONE OF THOSE!!!
Instead, she says, simply, "You didn't follow me!"
Uh, yes, I did follow her, but she zipped so quickly past me that I missed EXACTLY where she decided to turn right and cut across....so I just went having NO clue what was ahead of me.
Isn't life like that sometimes? You follow someone down a path and while the path works for them, you take a little bit of a different turn and end up down. You end up in a mess that's knee deep and difficult to get out of. You have to move, not knowing if you're making motion or not, but you move in the direction that you think will get you on solid ground.
My solid ground is Jesus Christ. He's the solid rock on which I stand for my life. He's not fluff and powder that will leave you not knowing what is under your feet and how you're going to make progress forward. He promises to guide you and protect you. He will help you know what path to take that will lead to Him. Finding Him means finding a lifetime of knowing that when life on this earth is done, that there's a wonderful mansion awaiting you that is on streets of gold - solid, bright, shiney gold. Not powder, not doubt, not fear, but solid knowledge of a love and joy that this life can't comprehend.
So, while I would still trust and follow my daughter, next time, I might try to ask her to slow down for her old tired mother, or I might just try to get in shape (standard New Year's resolution, right? After all, in just 20 minutes, it's going to be 2010), and keep up with her. I might try a little prayer next time, though, to ask for an extra angel to keep me on the solid path in the snow! Seriously, though, I know God protects me from more than I realize and I'm thankful for that. As I end this year and head into the new one, I know that 2010 is going to bring me closer to Him. 2009 has ended strong as He has put some wonderful people in my life and strengthened some relationships with people already in my life. He has great plans for me, this I know.
"On Christ, the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand"...(or snow!)