Thursday, August 11, 2022

It Seems Like Only Yesterday....

I started dating my husband in August of 1973, shortly after we’d both turned 15. He was an amazingly good skier.  He had almost made the US National team for his age group a few years before I’d met him, and he could have pursued the Olympic competition route if he hadn’t been more interested in having a more normal high school experience, where he could play seasonal sports.  During our high school years, he excelled in football and basketball, enjoying recreational skiing whenever he had the opportunity.

My husband’s family skied regularly at Whiteface Mountain, where they got a family pass every year. (Whiteface is home to an Olympic training site and was a venue for alpine skiing competitions during the 1932 and 1980 Games; the mountain is known for having the greatest vertical drop East of the Rockies.)  I had been skiing for a number of years, too, when I met him; however, I’d never been on any trails even close to as challenging as the ones he routinely conquered with ease at Whiteface and other ski resorts like it.  But once we started going out, I often went to Whiteface, which was about a 45-minute drive from our hometown, to ski with him, his dad, and his siblings.

A born teacher and coach, my new boyfriend spent hours with me that first winter, patiently giving advice on how to improve my technique and picking me up whenever I fell down and sat in a snow-covered heap, convinced that I’d never “get” it.  I often begged him to just go and ski with his family, because I was holding him back; but he never gave up on me.  And before that ski season ended, he'd made me confident enough to ride the chairlift to the very top with him.  I might not look as pretty as he did doing it, but because of all his help and encouragement, I could now handle the black diamonds at Whiteface—and trust me, they are extremely steep and intimidating!

All of that seems like only yesterday...and yet, it happened many, MANY years ago.

Last week, we took a long Sunday drive.  It was a glorious, sunny day.  We visited my dad’s grave, about a half-hour away, and then drove on another half-hour or so to the town where my husband’s mom grew up.  On the way, we passed that ski mountain that had played such a big role in our early courtship 49 years ago.

No one took as many pictures back then as they do today, in the age of the iPhone camera, and I don’t think there’s more than one, or perhaps two, of us together at Whiteface when we were young. So we figured we should pull over and take a selfie in front of it, for old times’ sake.

The guy who never gave up on me, thank goodness.

We did ski as often as we could with our boys for a number of years, before they got too busy with other sports (and lift tickets became prohibitively expensive!). Unfortunately, however, it’s been more than 10 years since either one of us has been on skis.  I’ve got osteoporosis now, so I’ll probably never get back on them again.  (One bad fall, and I could break a hip.  No thanks!)  So I sure am glad that I got to enjoy this exhilarating winter sport so often and so much when I had better bones.  

Life is short, dear readers, isn’t it?  It passes in an instant.  And one day you find yourself older than you ever thought you’d be, like me, looking back at things you did half a century ago and saying, “It seems like only yesterday...”



9 comments:

  1. Life is short. And precious. I am glad you could pull over and take a selfie to reminisce together.

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  2. I was at a party this weekend for our dear family friends celebrating 50 years of marriage. I met the family when i was 8 and became fast friends with their daughter. I spent so much of the party marveling at how young i felt and how impossible it seemed that everyone was getting older! I joked to my friend that i had nothing but clichés to say to everyone. "how you've grown" to my 6ft 13year old godson. "I can't believe he's gone" to my piano teacher who recently lost her husband. And on and on. And I'm 40 with a baby! I don't feel old, but i was given a new sense of the passing of time and the nearness of eternity at that party. And it is a gift to live with Heaven in mind. Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts.

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    1. Oh my goodness, yes--isn't it amazing how you find yourself saying things you thought only "old" people say ("Look at how tall you've gotten!")? And then you realize it wasn't that long ago when you thought someone your age was old?!

      I could have fleshed this post out, but I always worry about going on too long...my husband was so patient teaching me to ski better, he told me, because he wanted us to be able to do it TOGETHER. Is it any wonder that I knew from the start that I wouldn't ever find another like him? Also, my sweet in-laws are gone now. Dad died in 2003 and Mom in 2009. The young girl whose son was her high school sweetheart couldn't imagine living in a world without them in it, yet here I am. Yes, eternity is much nearer than we think!

      Thank you so much for taking the the time to leave such a thoughtful comment. 💜

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    2. Oops...That one line should read "the young girl whose high school sweetheart was their son"!

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  3. I love this post! Yes, life is short and I'm glad you got the selfie together. Also, glad you've decided against skiing again. Definitely not worth a broken bone!

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    1. I don't feel as fragile as the bone scans say I am...but I figure I better believe them! It's definitely not worth the risk!

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  4. I miss skiing too, but I will not get back on either ... too dangerous for a person my age! Thank you for continuing this blog, I just love reading all of your posts!! 💖💖

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