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Winter time fun by Leah Jean
It has been a wonderfully not so cold winter so far and we've only had a few very light snows. After last year that is a great relief. But then we aren't quite thru January and we still have February and March to look forward to. Ack.

Well, no snow has been wonderful for us drivers. But for those who rely on snow for a living, such as ski resorts, they aren't doing so ... uh ... hot. For instance, my crazy fun loving friends want to go snow tubing. [Sigh] Okay I will entertain the idea of it. The only problem is that the ski/snowboarding/tubing resorts haven't had any significant snow this year. And they can't make snow unless they have a base of snow already. Otherwise it is too expensive. But since I've already made it thru white water rafting, zip lining, kayaking, etc., I'd imagine it shouldn't be too much further of a jump to do snow tubing ... if it does finally snow significantly. At least the gang has assured me that the courses are relatively safe. Of course, there is always the drive up there to consider. But we will cross that snow or sand covered slipper nasty bridge when we come to it. ;)

Oh ... but let me tell you about their other latest wild hair. They want to go dog sledding up in Maine! Okay, I've got to admit that the idea does have its appeal. The only problem is that package includes some cross country skiing and snow-shoe trekking all in 3 days time! Are they crazy??? The web site even mentioned that you have to start training about a month before participating in such events. I would imagine that just doing the dog sledding alone would tax my physical capabilities to the brink. Fortunately I don't have to worry about this for another year though because it is too late to get registered this year. Oh, rats. ;)

And if you want to get an example of how well we handle ice, 3 of us went to a local ice skating rink as a challenge. None of us had been on the ice in yeeeeeeears. Also I'd forgotten how cold it is in an ice rink! Brrrrrr. But the worst part at this rink though was when we first tried on the skates. They were pretty new with very stiff, thick, and straight leather. The sides rubbed rather harshly against our ankle bones. So after just trying to walk in the painful skates, I took my gloves off, undid the strings of the boots, wrapped my gloves around my ankles, and tied them back up. Eureka! That helped quite a bit! Unfortunately my hands kind of froze until I moved around enough to warm up.

Then we got out on the ice. Andy was a little better than us so he got right out and started skating around the rink. I took me about 1/2 hour staying near the wall until I got my balance enough to skate out into the rink. Poor Kelly never got out very far from the wall the whole time. But we did pretty good because only Kelly fell down once. I was VERY wobbly but managed to skate tolerably. But I never picked up any speed because I couldn't balance well enough to stop sharply. That was one lesson I'd previously learned that has never been forgotten. Andy, the big show-off though, came by a few times and tried to talk to me while skating. Ya know, when you are really really trying to balance on very slippery ice, the slightest turn of your head can throw you off balance. So I was muttering under my breath for him to go away and stop breaking my concentration. I think he finally took the hint and stopped bothering me after not getting great conversation a few times.

There were so many little moving hazards all over the place! Andy, a.k.a. Mr. Smarty-pants, said, "Well just go around the kids if they get in your way!" Uh ... I was hard pressed enough to just circle very slowly around the corners of the rink! The rest of the time I just tried to keep my skates going straight and under me! Men.

Some of the kids were disgustingly good for their age. Especially all of the little hockey players in training. And being little obnoxiously agressive monsters, they chased each other all over the rink and did all kinds of stupid things like zoom around in front, beside, behind, and generally around you. For instance, one hockey-wannabe was apparently practising banging into the walls of the rink because he'd go rather full-tilt and smack into them! Either that or he'd hit one too many already and had permanent brain damage. He may have been having fun but it was a little disconcerting to someone like me who was creeping along the wall at the speed of a sloth with broken toes. Andy said that he almost ran into this one little girl once because she kept doing those sudden little reverses of direction that kids just love to do. He said that her eyes got really big though when she looked up to see him bearing down on her! [He is 6 foot and a bit hefty.] Then later the same little girl got in front of him again! Fortunately he managed to avoid running over her both times.

So now I'm kind of rooting for warmer weather. But then that will probably start talk of zip lines or who knows whatever else. One woman in our group is from Puerto Rico and she said that there is a nice long zip line that crosses a body of water down there. They were bugging one other woman at work to join us in that adventure. She said that she would rather lounge on the beach with a drink in her hand and watch us crazy idiots go sliding by ... and hopefully see one end up in the water.

She ain't so stupid. :)



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