Looking for ways to inspire me to move to her new city, Mom scheduled a ski day at Hurricane Ridge. By my standards, the Ridge offered sub-par skiing, and in my typical teen vernacular, I told her so.
Yet, when Saturday morning arrived, Mom had cooked a hearty breakfast and we were one of the first vehicles up the mountain.
I’d done my share of winter skiing in the cold, but the wind on the Ridge was biting. I pulled my scarf up to my goggles. When I came in a couple hours later, I couldn’t feel my fingers. I couldn’t wait to complain to Mom.
She opened a backpack with hot chocolate, sandwiches, and cookies. I ate without thanking her, while mocking the ski facilities and the cold. She listened without comment.
With my fingers back to normal, I latched my boots and told Mom I was heading out. She looked at the sky and seemed to hesitate. That’s all I needed to be determined to leave her standing there looking skyward. She yelled something, but I didn’t hear with the howling of the wind.
Brutal conditions met me at the top of the run. Skiing solo meant I could go as fast as I wanted, but I also was unfamiliar with the area. I pushed off, and headed down.
The wind whipped the powdered top layer of snow all around me. I came to the bottom and saw cars heading down the mountain. I turned and caught the lift back up. Sissies, I thought, leaving when it’s windy.
The next run was even worse. I came down and could count just a handful of vehicles next to mom’s truck.
She apparently was in it because I could see the exhaust coming from the tail pipe. I reluctantly popped off my skis and walked over.
It was then I noticed just how ominous the weather had become. Without a word, mom opened the tailgate and I put my gear inside.
Within five minutes, we couldn’t see but a few feet in front of us. Hurricane Ridge is well named. But we still had to navigate a narrow road back down with treacherous cliffs that had claimed lives in adverse conditions. What I hadn’t heard earlier was Mom’s warning that we needed to leave soon.
She had a fierce grip on the wheel as we crept slowly down the curvy road. I knew better than to smart mouth now. My defiance had come at a cost of safety.
Let’s just say that I learned some respect that afternoon. I hadn’t appreciated her efforts to show me a good time, nor did I ever imagine just how skilled she was behind the wheel. Safely at the bottom, I thanked her for a day I would never forget.
As I think of it now, I just wished I would have thanked her again (and again).
Those who are always respectful will be happy, but those who are stubborn will get into trouble. Proverbs 28:14
Photo Credits in order of use:
Tommy Farris, Carina Tysvaer, Ty Morrow, and Clement M.