Earlier this week, I put my skis in the back of the car, planning that I would ski after work. Today I carried my ski clothes into the office, in preparation for going straight to the nature trail on my way home. Unlike our pre Christmas skiing, this evening was perfect - not too little snow, and not too much snow as was the case Sunday when I went out, but just right!
Several people before me had skied, and no one had come along with snow shoes to mess up the tracks. There was lots of nicely packed powder snow. I was all alone in the small woods, and there was just enough light in the sky to show the path. The wind blew fiercely as I crossed the open space alongside the middle school field - my face hurt from the cold! But as I went into the woods, it was sheltered, and was just about perfect.
I am reminded of being a kid and going sledding - dragging sleds from our house to Pierce's hill to play all afternoon before treading back home - feet numb, and mittens caked with snow. Or walking the block from home with the guards on my ice skates to Lincoln School, where the ball field was flooded to make an ice rink. Once, I skated with my hands in my pockets, tripped, and banged up my chin - it was sore and scabbed for days! I guess I'm glad my parents urged us outdoors even on wintery days.
I debated making a second loop around the nature trail and decided to just do it! Am I glad I did - as I rounded one corner on the far side, three deer stood alongside the path. I came within 20 feet of one of them before it took off into the woods. As I turned the next corner, I saw two more - they froze in place - did they really think I couldn't see them? I continued on, up a slight hill into the trees, and them down a nice incline - makes me feel like a real skier! The blessing of today was a ski trip that was just right!