February 29, 2008

Kay Dee: Guest

My friend Kay Dee sent me the following narrative in response to "In Love," which you can read after you read this (or before--just toodle on down to the next posting).

Kay Dee's snort-through-your-nose and split-your-gut narrative of her own skiing experience is so funny I just had to ask if others could read it. You can't help but enjoy my friend.

My Skiing Career
by Kay Dee Powell

Before we married, Bud used to drive ski buses in Colorado, so he skied every winter. We didn’t have a flake of snow in south Texas, but I used to be fairly proficient at water skiing as a kid, so I figured snow skiing would be rather similar. Our first opportunity to go skiing was about a year after we were married.

Bud had all the equipment, but I had to rent skis, boots, and poles. I didn’t have ski pants, so I scotch guarded some red knit pants to wear. My only real investment was a pair of thick red wool socks. I hate to have cold feet, so I splurged. I don’t remember the cost of the lift tickets or baby sitting. We didn’t have much extra money, so our ski trip was quite an extravagance for us.

We headed for Dodge Ridge in the Sierras. I was plenty nervous, but Bud assured me it was easy and fun. He said it was important to get my boots tight, so he laced mine so tight I could hardly walk. That was supposed to be good for my ankles. He then got me on my skis, pointed me toward the bunny slope, and that’s the last I saw of him.

I didn’t have the vaguest idea what to do, so I watched the other beginners. They got their skis uncrossed and grabbed the rope tow. I fell a few times trying to get to it, but I finally managed to hang on. Up, up we went to the top of the bunny hill. Then what? I hadn’t figured out how to walk in those darned long skis yet. I released the rope tow and took about two steps. Then down I went, backwards, ending in a pile of snow. Eventually I tumbled, fell, and skied backwards down the slope. The next trip had the same results. Every time I tried to “walk” my skis around, I only got half-way, and down I went. The third time I managed to fall on the other side of the rope tow, so I tried to step over the rope to get back. Straddling the rope, I saw a bunch of skiers holding the rope, heading toward me. “Get her out of here!” I heard one say, just before they all plowed into me like dominoes.

I actually got my skis pointed in the right direction once or twice and went like a bat out of hell for a short time before I fell on my fanny and slid the rest of the way in that position. After several other equally unsuccessful attempts at skiing down the beginner’s hill I was soaking wet, frozen, and my ankles were killing me. I thought to myself, “Who said skiing was fun?”

I took off my skis and limped toward the lodge where I sat shivering and alone at a table, sipping hot chocolate. I overheard some ski bums talking at the next table. “Hey did you see that girl in the red pants who kept skiing down the hill backwards?” They had a good laugh while I slunk lower in my chair and decided the torture wasn’t worth it; I was through for the day. I loosened the shoestrings on my boots and took them off. Bud had laced them so tightly that they actually wore a hole through the tops of my thick red socks. And you should have seen my ankles. They were swollen and already starting to bruise!

Bud eventually returned after a fabulous day of skiing. When I told him my tale of woe, he said the best thing for me was to come again the next week. Get back on that horse, you know. Oh joy…it was like looking forward to my own hanging.

I hobbled around on my swollen ankles all week, dreading the next weekend. More money, more pain and misery…when would the sport and enjoyment begin? We drove back to the same spot the next weekend, and wonder of wonders, there were no skis left to rent! I took this as a definite sign from God and thanked Him from my heart. I retired from skiing that day, and I never looked back. Thus endeth my skiing career.


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