December 8, 2009

Snow, snow and more snow!

When you live near a major ski resort in Colorado, you yearn for snow, snow and more snow. Wish granted - the snow storm started last night and has not stopped. As of this morning I see a foot of new snow - we say POWDER - outside. We are expecting another foot by tomorrow.

This is one of these cravings, I half heartedly hope to come true. I love the fresh snow, but is does present its own set of problems. School snow days are the biggest dilemma; Alex is at home by herself today with a full refrigerator. This is not a good thing in terms of the latest weight deal we struck.

There is also an affliction called powder disease that affects people who live in the mountains. The symptoms of this disease include; inability to work, intense craving to ski, and attack of the jitters when the words "fresh powder" are heard. During these outbreaks, we see signs on places of work that say "closed – powder day". Entertaining, but doesn’t help when I want coffee from the local coffee shop. It really is a very interesting phenomenon, with no known remedy.

We have all purchased our ski passes, and although the mountains opened on Thanksgiving, there was not much snow. Alex and I are official snow snobs, although we are alone in that dubious honor. We do not like to ski unless there is lots of snow, and prefer sunny skies. The rest of our family does not seem to mind so much, and will ski/snowboard at every opportunity.

We have new snow – so will ski this Sunday. We have arranged again - thanks to Challenge Aspen - for Alex to ski on Sundays with a "buddy". She will also ski on Saturdays with her Special Olympics team beginning in January. Lots of exercise is good for us!

Alex is a good skier, and can handle any intermediate runs, but prefers we are not around. I find this is the case in most things in Alex’s life, she prefers to be independent. Alex always behaves well with others, and is much more motivated to succeed. She is a bit of a celebrity on the mountain, and does not like to share the glory with me….the person who gave birth to her.

When we ski together she is the “master of the obvious”. Our one-sided conversation goes something like this:

“Look mom there’s a tree.”
“Look mom, there’s restaurant.”
“Look mom there’s a bathroom.”
"Look mom there’s a restaurant.”
“Look mom it’s lunch time.”

And so on. If the conditions are not good we hear the following:

“Mom, I’m cold.”
“Mom, it’s slippery.”
“Mom, my hands are frozen.”
“Mom, I’m tired.”

I do not believe any of these are true statements – but Alex lives in the moment and often we push her. She can not see beyond the now – to that perfect run, or cup of hot chocolate after a great day of skiing. Thanks to Challenge Aspen's buddy system she is distracted enough to get through the day. These buddies are young, fun, exuberant and know how to deal with children and adults with special needs. We have had three successful ski seasons so far and I am hoping for a fourth.

So as I sit here, the snow keeps falling, most schools are closed and we have officially entered the winter of 2009-2010. I wish for success on the mountain for Alex and good ski weather for me. As always, I hope for the best and adjust as needed. Just like everything else in our remarkable daughter's life.


  1. We are having the coldest temps in 11 years with a couple of inches of snow here in Nampa... nothing compared to Colorado. I'm not sure I could handle your weather!
    But, the conversations at my house are all about skiing. Becky is very excited to see white because it means it's almost time to hit the slopes!


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