Sunday, January 16, 2011

Shastashland Mountain...

That's what Mt. Shasta looks like from Mt. Ashland when it's a foggy day down in the valley where I live...

Only I'm NOT IN the valley, I'm up on Mt. Ashland going skiing again...

With Momma doing very well for an old broad and a pocketful of fog creeping around every nook and cranny of my house, the best way to feel superior to the folks stuck down there in all that miserableness was to simply drive up to Mt. Ashland and strap on a pair of skis and spend the day in partly sunny skies flying down the mountain with a red scarf a-flappin'...

I'm a better skier now than I've ever been. It's foggy all the time this time of year around my place, so I depart with a frigid heart up to where the world makes me laugh and sing...

True story-- I got on the lift with an old guy wearing a ski helmet and goggles (meaning I never could tell how old he really was) and we began chatting about age and sports... I told him about my father still playing racquetball at 76 years of age against a pretty young gal (all of 46), and then recounted the one-liner that made me laugh months ago. "I knew I was going to outlive most of my friends, but I never thought I'd outlive my own prick!"

The old stranger in the chair next to me slapped me on my thighs as he laughed and laughed. "ME TOO!" he exclaimed with great joy or so it seemed to me.

As we both leaned forward to get off the chairlift and go on our merry skiing ways, he mentioned to me proudly-- "By the way, I got two years on yer dad!"

That meant he was 78 and still skiing. I had hope for my latter years and I felt hopeful then.

I skied really fast down the mountain thinking about that old guy. How cool was that? Still skiing at 78? Pretty gosh darn cool if you asked me.

Then I skidded to a stop at my "stopping rock" ( a large boulder with great views and a steep section following it. I am in the habit of skiing down the mountain at high speed on a groomed slope and then resting my legs to assault the bumps below the boulder).

Skidding up right behind me was the old feller, spraying me with a fine mist of snow-spray (he did it on purpose, the old duck!) and wearing a mischievous grin showing yellowing teeth.

"You're a bit hard to keep up with for an old feller!"

He winked at me through his amber goggle lenses and took off down the hill, attacking the steep bumps without having rested his legs at all...

So much hope indeed...

ADDENDUM- This was the same day I skied with my friend Jesus On A Piece Of Toast (so nicknamed by me because if you found an image of what you thought was Jesus on a piece of toast, it would actually look just like Robert (pronounced row-bear, I kid you not) who was complaining about the visibility right before we skied past a blind skier (he had a minder and a two-way radio) and then about his legs as we passed a one-legged skier. Just before he complained about his age I told him about the 78 year old skier and Robert (aka Jesus On A Piece Of Toast) simply sighed and declared "I'm gonna shut up now."

And snow it goes...

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