Friday, February 08, 2008

veni. vedi. vici.

We came. We saw. We conquered.

Ever since we got married, I knew that Earl enjoyed skiiing. He has mentioned often that he would love to take me and the children some day. Now, you must know that I've NEVER been snow skiing in the 41 years I've lived on this earth and with the cost of lift passes and rentals, I was pretty sure I was safe of never having to learn the insane sport. I don't enjoy the cold. I am not addicted to speed. I have an utter disdain of falling in public places. None of those very good reasons seemed to sway the Lord away from providentially arranging a "ski trip" to Snow Valley yesterday for Earl, Emily, David . . . and Moi!

Earl was invited to go skiing with his friend, Dan Rupprecht. I encouraged him to go (would take the pressure off of ME having to go with him!). He wanted to take some of the children. Then he wanted all of us to go. (Uhh Ohh!) But two of our children were suffering from colds. I reasoned with him that it wouldn't be wise for all of us to go. He agreed. Then he suggested I ask my mom to babysit the three younger children for the whole day so I could go to take pictures and videos and sit in the lodge drinking warm stuff. Ok. I agreed to ask her . . . half of me wanting to go and half of me wanting to stay home at this point. Miracles of miracles . . . (sarcastic tone) . . . she could change an appointment and would "be delighted to watch the children" all day. In fact, she would even come stay the night so we could leave the house at 5:30 in the morning. Thanks, Mom!

So, Earl, Emily and David and I were heading to the mountains to ski. "Wait a minute. You said all I had to do was take pictures and videos and then sit in the lodge drinking warm stuff!" Yeah. He decided that since I was going up, I might as well learn to ski while I was there. Sneaky guy. So . . . the next hurdle was rounding up enough warm clothes for us all. It was forcasted to be in the 30's. (Wow! Sounds fun! . . . yes, sarcastic tone again.) Hmmm . . . this might not work out after all. How in the world would we be able to find clothes for all four of us? We needed everything! Again, the Lord in His mercy (mercy for whom, may I ask??), provided EVERYTHING we needed in a matter of hours (Thanks, Rebecca and Jaycei!). So we were set to go. Perfect.

At 5:40 am the next morning, the four of us drove in the freezing darkness to our rendeavous point - Dan Rupprecht's house. While we quietly stole into the house to use the restroom before embarking on the two hour drive up the mountain, we tipped-toed past the bedroom where his wife was cozily sleeping (What is wrong with this picture???!). The drive up was fun and pleasant. The calm before the storm. It was decided that the kids and I would take lessons in the morning and then have the rest of the day to enjoy just whizzing down the mountain to our heart's content, enjoying our new found skills. Hmmmm. We arrived with just enough time to get our rentals, stuff our feet into boots that would not bend in any direction and hobble over to our lesson areas, clumsily carrying our skiis (I felt completely out of my comfort zone and actually had to do some biblical battle with my feelings of resentment which were arising due to my intense fear of what was to come. Yes. I was terrified!).

I must say, that David was all gung-ho still at this point and looking forward to the day. Earl was obviously excited. Emily was sharing my fear too though. Earl stayed with the kids and got them all set and to their class. He stayed with them for awhile. Emily wasn't sure she wanted to take the class, but hung in there like a true soldier . . . doing the hard thing and trusting God for the good thing like her daddy is teaching her to do. (Miles actually means "soldier".)

Fast forward to lunch. We're done with our classes. We're anxious to get out there and show our stuff! Actually, I must admit at this point that I really did enjoy my class! I had a great instructor who was firm but patient. There was only one other gal in the class with me and she was a novice too. Competition works well for me. He ended up giving us two lessons because we made good progress. By the end of the class, I was skiing down the mountain (bunny slope), turning, stopping . . . and every time amazed that I was actually doing this.
(Here I am turning myself around after coming down a ways and getting ready to go back up and do it again during my lesson.)
It was even more fun to see how well the children did. They were taking the chair lift up with us and going down the mountain all on their own. Amazing. Oh yeah . . . and the weather was PERFECTLY BEAUTIFUL! We all shed our jackets and turtlenecks and skied in thermals and a short-sleeved shirt.

So . . . long story long . . . I denied myself, took up my skiis and followed my husband . . . and I had a wonderful day!! The Lord in His goodness and mercy (to all of us!) arranged a day that I never dreamed would actually happen and provided wonderful memories that the kids and us will share for years to come. (I did fall a few times, twice getting off the chair lift, and once while I was delighting in how well I was doing coming down the mountain while Earl was videoing! It was another biblically accurate day in the life of Jan Miles . . . pride goeth before the fall . . .sigh . . .)

Now to go take some more Advil and soak again in the tub!!
Postscript: Let there be no misunderstanding. I participated in the day willingly. Earl had no idea the degree of my "fear". I did not want to influence the children's experience in any way, so kept my thoughts/fears to myself. I wanted this to be a wonderful day for Earl and the kids and it turned out to be a wonderful day for ALL of us. And it was so fun to see my Honey all decked out in his ski gear, whizzing around all of us taking pictures and offering words of encouragement, so comfortable on his skiis. I was glad that he had the chance to take one last run down one of the more difficult trails. I have married an amazing man. He lays down his life for the kids and I EVERYDAY seemingly so easily. Sigh . . . be still my heart!
Thanks, Hon, for a thrilling day of memories.

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