Thursday, January 06, 2005

Iced Sugar Trees

A friend called to coax me into cross-country skiing around noon today. It had been snowing and snowing and snowing since last night, through morning, into "Schools Closed!" cheers at breakfast, past cinnamon toast, onward into morning cartoons, on and on and on it snowed and when my son and I got the car cleaned off enough to see a road out and all the equipment in the trunk, we headed over to a golf course in town to meet my friend and her daughter.

The two of us mothers were not sure if my boy kid and her girl kid would get along and go sledding while we skied, but we risked it. They hit it right off and headed with tubes and sleds down some nice greens which were anything but.

All white. In all directions. The golf course was a forested winter wonderland of white with iced sugar trees and woods on all sides. There was literally no one there but us. I looked down to see a black coffee colored stream, dotted with white furry rocks and ice shards, sewing up the perimeter of the property like a loosely sewn hem. The quiet, the white, the snow, delicious and awesome, was taking our breathe away ... or maybe it was the hard work of the skiing. I wanted to live under the snow pines, pulling the duvet of snow up around me, it looked so soft and it must be warm. I was.

Cross-country skiing is known to have an aerobic knock-out punch and it certainly did today. I was sweating as I crossed the wide white ways as if I were crossing desert sands dunes.

I got hot-dogging it down hills and fell on my face a few times, couldn't resist. We skied long expanses and had fun retracing our tracks up and down.

After a while the snow started turning into little ice pellets that bounced off our coats like tiny polite popcorn, but this was not a good sign. The ice balls got harder and stung our faces and our kids appeared red faced, tired, sleds dragging behind. They were ready to go. We gave in and gave up, after a wonderful trek and many heart-warming private snow moments out there.