#239 (skiing Ski Bowl)

6:15 AM and the alarm was blaring to force me awake and out of bed. Didn’t the alarm know that I was on vacation. I tapped the STOP button on my iPhone and turned off the annoying buzzing and laid my head back on the bed, closed my eyes, and tried to return to a deep REM cycle. 

Failure occurred as my body was conditioned to remain awake after seven hours of sleep. So try as I might, I couldn’t reach that sleep state. S and her kids were still sound asleep and since I couldn’t sleep any longer, I got up and made a big pot of coffee, poured me a cup and enjoyed the quietness of the moment alone. 

The solitude was broken…

My watch showed 7:45 AM and I heard S rustling around upstairs followed shortly thereafter with footsteps coming down the stairs. 

“Good morning honey,” she said as she kissed me good morning while I was still seated in one of the reclining chairs (and in the reclined position). I returned the reciprocal morning greeting. She walked to the kitchen counter where the carafe of coffee holding the hot morning brew was, prepared her a cup of Joe, and sat next to me in an adjacent rocking recliner that I repositioned to look out onto the Zigzag River, which flowed about 100 feet from the back deck of the rental house. 

It was a brief quiet time where we just sat watching the river flowing and sipping our coffee before her oldest child emerged out of the back room and began banging on the door his brother had chosen for his bedroom. 

“Bang! Bang! Bang!” Then silence. Then another three loud wraps on the same door. Still nothing.

“Mom! Can you get him up? We’re supposed to be at the ski rental place in an hour!” Her oldest said in a half requesting and half demanding tone. 

S responded, “we still have to make breakfast before we go.” To which the oldest abruptly went back into the room he slept in. 

Time out…

Growing up this behavior was never tolerated in my parents house. Even when my mom and dad divorced, it was still not a behavior we showed our elders or any of our family members. Don’t get me wrong, I and my siblings may have performed normal sibling infighting stuff but it was never done in disrespect. Even today, we are civil with each other. We were never rude to our parents – well maybe it occurred once in each of our lifetimes – but I assured you, we had our attitudes adjusted swiftly by either and/or  both our parents when we had. We just didn’t treat our parents, or anyone, with disrespect.  

I couldn’t believe S allowed this behavior as I’m sure this has been the norm since her children were little. Based on the tone and the execution of the statement indicated that this wasn’t the first siting of this behavior. Mind you this was the same son who got caught by the police while he was driving under the influence of marijuana a week ago. 

Coffee break over…

I took another sip of my coffee and made my way into the kitchen to begin breakfast. S followed me and asked where she could help. I asked her to cook the hash browns while I started the bacon and eggs. She said, “okay but I’m not good at cooking breakfast.”

I forgot S doesn’t cook breakfast and it showed as she struggled with the hash browns. I kept encouraging her that she was doing great as I continued with bacon and then the eggs. Now although she doesn’t cook breakfast she proceeds to instruct me on how I should drain some of the bacon grease before I cook the eggs. 

Those who don’t know, teach…

Hmmm. So the pan I used for cooking the bacon is a bit warped and the bacon fat accumulated on the edges and not in the middle of the pan. Clearly anyone who wasn’t blind could see this. Now I’m guessing either she just loves to tell folks how to do things even though she claims she doesn’t know how things are supposed to be, or she just likes to be bossy and micromanage everything. 

I responded, “no worries, I got this,” as I pushed some of the bacon fat back towards the center of the pan and let gravity work its magic and let the fat naturally retreat back to other fat molecules congregated along the pan’s edges. 

I cracked her eggs in the center and ensured the bacon fat collected on the edges were not soaking into her eggs. After a few minutes, I flipped them over (she likes her egggs like mine…over medium where the yolks were runny but the whites were solid). A few minutes later, I flipped her eggs into an awaiting plate. 

“Those look perfect,” she says shockingly. She later stated that she thought it’ll be too greasy but they’re just right. 

“Well of course! I’ve been cooking eggs for over 40 years.” I didn’t say this to her but I really wanted to. Instead, I nodded and smiled. 

Her hash browns were just okay. Truly it wasn’t her best item and also true to her word, she doesn’t cook breakfast items well.  

We finished eating and started our way to our first day of skiing. 

What? No money…

Now they say, the first day of any trip, you will encounter everything that would go wrong, does go wrong. Our experience wasn’t out of the norm. 

Before we left the house, S discovered she had left her wallet at home which meant she had no ID, no credit cards, and no cash on her person. Our arrangement was that I secured the house, which I did several months in advance and the food for our stay. In turn, she would be responsible for the ski lifts and any ski or snowboarding equipment needed. So now that she has no means to pay for equipment rentals and other things, I am fiscally responsible for the entire trip. 

Like our prior arrangements where she owed me money, I’m not expecting to get any of what I am now going to lay out on this trip back as she’ll find ways to pay for stuff we do that she would then use to chip away at the balance of what she owes me. I paid for two 2-day ski packages for me and her youngest, a new helmet for me, and two new goggles for S and her oldest son. 

I don’t have my jacket…

We left the rental equipment and drove up to our ski location (Ski Bowl West). It took a little longer to get there as weather conditions were changing and requiring folks to either chain up their tires or have traction tires. I had all weather tires on my truck so we were good, and switched over to four wheel drive for better handling. 

About 45 minutes later, we made it to our ski destination with no problems. Everyone piled out of my truck and started getting their ski clothing and equipment ready when her oldest discovered his jacket was not in the truck. It turned out, his jacket was still in the closet back in the rental house. 

He wanted to just use his brother’s outer shell. S was contemplating the idea and I stepped in and said, “No, he’ll freeze and would be miserable. We’ll all go back to get his  jacket.” I’m not letting that bad parenting decision happen under my watch especially when safety and/or health could be compromised. 

By the time we were back at the rental house, it was almost 2 PM and everyone was hungry and ready for lunch. On the way back, we stopped off at a Subway and ate our lunch before continuing up the mountain to our day of skiing and snowboarding. 

My bindings are broken…

Another hour later, and everyone were now in their clothing, with their gear, and headed towards the ski office to get our lift tickets. Fortunately, S purchased the lift tickets online a few days prior which saved my pocketbook from being deducted a large amount of funds. 

We were all set with our lift tickets attached on each of our jackets. Her boys took off and were headed onto the slopes while S, her daughter, and I were getting ready to head for the green area of the course. 

As we were clipping into our gear (S and I were skiing and her daughter snowboarding),her  daughter discovered one of her bindings were missing a strap and she couldn’t clip into her snowboard. What do you do? 

Minutes later, we were in line at the onsite snowboarding rental counter awaiting our turn to rent snowboarding equipment. I looked down at the counter and mentally noted the rates: “snowboard deposit – $300”. Great more cash out of my bank account. 

About an hour later, the three of us were on the green course of the slopes. 

I lost my wallet…

After the second trip down the mountain, we took a break to enjoy some hot cocoa and of course fries for her daughter. That’s her favorite food and I swear she would bleed French fries. 

We were seated just for a few minutes when her boys found and joined us. Her oldest sadly announced to his mother but loud enough for everyone at the table to hear, “I lost my wallet!”

S and her daughter gasped. S asked, “where did you have it?” To which he showed us by placing his hands in the muff located at the front of his hoodie. Of course the smart thing to do was to put your wallet into one of the zipped pockets of his jacket. I checked my pockets to be sure I didn’t make the same mistake. The truck keys were in my jacket pocket but weren’t zipped. I immediately zipped that pocket. 

“Whew!” I whispered to myself. “That could be really bad if I had lost those keys.” I did have several spills today as well as having to jump off the chair on the top of the mountain, and also being pushed to the ground by the chairlift on my second time up the mountain. So I had several opportunities of losing those keys, which fortunately did not happen. 

His sister asked, “Did you loose all the money dad gave you for Christmas?”  

He replied by shaking his head but his face showed he might have had some of that newly received cash in his now ‘lost somewhere on the mountain and never to be found’ wallet. 

Luckily no other mishaps occurred the rest of that night. The kids took another ride up the mountain and then decided to head back to the rental house for dinner and a soak in the hot tub. 

#skiing #snowboarding #mounthood #oregon #life


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