Category Archives: Kids – I really do love them

How did I get my skis in that position and I didn’t know my legs could do that

I’ve written before about my travel adventures and how, just maybe, I’m not the most fun travel companion you’ll ever come across. For example there’s Neckties, Nausea and Nudists and Karma’s a Bitch, Man.

Ski Bunny

Ski Bunny

Last week, Husband and I traveled to the mountains of Colorado for a free ski trip, provided by our daughter, Alison.  Although I’ve only taken one lesson and that was fifteen years ago, I had it it my head that I’d look something like this.

Okay, maybe I didn’t have a matching ski suit like the woman in this picture, but I did manage to pull together something.  A pair of  pants that my husband had outgrown and a jacket that was a hand-me-down from my friend, Mary.

So, instead of looking like a Ski Bunny, I ended up looking like a Ski Lump.

Ski Lump

Ski Lump

But, I was fairly warm and courageously optimistic that things were going to go as planned.

We took the gondola to the top of the mountain. Husband waited with five-year-old granddaughter to begin our swooshing down the slopes, as soon as I’d finished a few practice turns.

Because I’m not a complete idiot, I started out on the bunny slope, along with Alison and our three-year-old grandson. Four trips down the slight decline and up the magic carpet with the other toddlers, and I was ready for my first run.

Husband and five-year-old took off. I studied them as they glided gracefully one direction, then slid into a turn and coasted the other way.

I gave a push with my poles and, full-speed-ahead, skidded out of control — straight for a snow cliff. Everything I knew about stopping, flew right out of my head. I tried helicoptering my arms in backward circles but, oddly, that didn’t work. So, I did what I know best. I fell down.  Not in a graceful way, mind you. But, in a, “how did you get your skis in that position/I didn’t know your legs could do that” kind of way.  A nice snowboarder stopped and released the skis from my boots so I could untie my legs.

Not to worry. I’m a trooper. I got up and tried again.  And again. When I asked five-year-old how she thought her Mimi was doing, she only frowned and shook her head.

Somewhere along the way, as I crept down the slope in snowplow position, the world began to spin around me, my clothing felt too tight for me to breathe and I was pretty sure I was going to throw up.  I paused at a tiny flat area and told Husband I thought it was time for me to give up.

Here’s the thing about skiing. You can’t just quit in the middle. There’s no way to get off the mountain, except to ski down.

Talking with the ski patrol, we came up with a plan. I’d have to make one more short run toward a ski lift. The open air lift would take us up the mountain, so that we could catch the enclosed gondola, that would take us to the bottom of the mountain.

“Short run” was all I needed to hear. I bent my knees, tucked myself into race position and skied straight down the slope. I then stumbled onto the ski lift where five-year-old suggested to Husband that he  might want to put the safety bar down in case Mimi fell off.

The higher we went, the more the world spun around me and the harder it was to breathe.  I gritted my teeth and made it to the gondola, then managed to make it to ground level without spilling my guts. I struggled the hundred yards from the gondola to the condo and spread out on the bathroom floor.

Twenty minutes later, Husband came in and looked down at me. “Do you think I should take you to the emergency room?”

[Darth Vader Voice] – “Yeeessssss.”

I returned from the emergency room, not with a sexy issue, like a broken leg that would enable me to sit around the fire pit telling and retelling the story about my wild run down a black diamond slope…Ski broken leg

but, with Acute Altitude Sickness.

ski oxygen mask

It required that I walk around with a plastic tube stuck up my nose and toting around a green metal canister on wheels.

I couldn’t even approach the broken leg people to share my story at the fire pit, for fear I’d blow them all up.


I’b Been Sick Wid a Code

I feel really guilty for not posting to my blog for two weeks, but I’b been sick wid a code.

And since I’ve had nothing to do but lie around thinking about ways to make myself more miserable I’m going to share some of my worst thoughts.

When I was a kid, I remember Mom sitting beside me keeping a cool rag on my head as I moaned in pain from strep throat or holding my hair back as I threw up.  She was that kind of parent.

Unfortunately for my son, I was not that kind of parent.  As I’ve said here before, if you’re ever in need of medical care – don’t call me.  While Phineas leaned over the toilet spilling his tiny guts, I’d be in the hallway calling out “Poor baby!  I’m sorry! [gag] Let me know when you’re done.”

Which reminds me of another miserable memory of my first attempt at drinking. I consumed an entire pint of peppermint schnapps.  My boyfriend – later to be my husband and even later to be my ex-husband — was afraid to be caught by my parents so he pushed me through the front door, ran back to his car and drove home.  I’m told I spent the rest of the evening worshiping the porcelain throne (as my dad called it), but I can’t say I remember it.

The next day, Dad sat me down in the living room.  He’d set up a TV tray in front of him with a blue Tupperware tumbler and a glass.  Picking up the tumbler he said, “You know, Teresa, some people’s bodies are like this plastic cup.”  He threw the cup across the room where it bounced off the fireplace, sounding in my alcohol soaked brain like cannon fire. “They can do whatever they want to their bodies and they will be fine.”  Then he picked up the glass. “You? You’re more like this.  If I throw this glass, it’s going to shatter. Is that what you want to do with your life, Teresa? Shatter it?” I was so thankful for his great advice; I ran to the bathroom and threw up.

And here’s another story to prove my wretchedness.   When Phineas was in his first year of college he came home complaining of stomach pains.  Assuming he’d experienced an evening much like the one I described above, I put him in bed and left town.  He called several hours later to say the pain was worse. I called my good friend, Sharon, explaining that Phineas was probably just hung over, but could she go check on him.  A call from her confirmed that she believed he was very ill.  In fact, she was driving him to the emergency room.  When I arrived, the doctor took me into the hall to say that Phineas was suffering from appendicitis and that immediate surgery was required.

Here’s where I wish I could tell you my sweet mother inhabited my body and showed me what to do.  Instead, The World’s Worst Mother spent ten minutes trying to convince the doctor that Phineas had a really low tolerance for pain and he’d be fine.

Fortunately for me, the doctor ignored my motherly unconcern and took my son in to surgery, where they removed his appendix right before it ruptured.

Why am I sharing these horrible stories about myself? Because I feel guilty – REALLY GUILTY – for not writing my blog for two weeks and, as every good Catholic knows, penance is the only way to a guilt-free life. Besides, you wouldn’t have read this if I’d printed three Hail Mary’s and two Our Father’s, would you?