Well. There's nothing my kids (and I'm including Steve in that this time) love more than a ski day. And it seems, there's nothing that they'll let get in the WAY of a scheduled ski day. Including, say, a blizzard! And so we found ourselves early in the morning, some of the only people on the mountain. It was cold, and terribly windy, as evidenced by the red cheeks and frosty beards that were coming in for a quick warm up from time to time. But inevitably, they'd get only warm enough to tolerate a little more. "This is the best skiing day of my whole life!" I heard from more than one. And our exchange, from near the Alps, declared it pretty awesome too. Ani was in a bit more than I think she usually is, though she loved the skiing too, and we improvised some Blackout Poetry with some other littles with the copy of Taproot I happened to have in my purse (blackout poetry on a page of bread recipes is a funny thing).
We stayed late, the skiing so fabulous (or so they told me over and over again when I suggested we leave), until nearly the mountain closing time. Judging by the forecast Steve had diligently checked, we were timing it right to hit a pause in the storm. Ahem. Forecasts, we do know, lie. Lifelong Mainers, this we know! Quickly I realized that all that blackout poetry was a metaphor and prediction for exactly what would happen on the drive home, except in white. First, we couldn't see the mountain from the road (the last photo above), and then barely the car in front of us, and it wasn't long before, under our breaths in the front of the car full of kids and skis, Steve and I turned to each other and said, "what are we doing??" The final stretch of road home, we realized, would be impassable, and the main roads we were on, were roads we needed to get off and quickly - before we went off them without intending to. Our simple forty minute drive home from the mountain was not going to happen, and that was clear a mere five minutes in. A bit of a scramble, and logistics arranging and we were soon seeking refuge in a friends house nearby, which of course turned into a sleepover as the storm raged outside (yes, we showed up at a friend's house with eight hungry, stinky people! Oh what kind of a thank you hostess gift could possibly make up for that?). A neighbor checked on our house, where nothing was going on, all the animals tucked into their warm and cozy spot to ride out the storm. Which, hmnn...is perhaps what we should have done. And what I'm certain we'll do next time.
But then...as I say this safely from the warmth of home....to the kids it was nothing but a grand and wonderful adventure. Best ski day of their lives. And an impromptu sleepover with friends. I have no doubt, we'll be hearing this story of our foolish adult decision for years and years to come.