Tuesday, March 10, 2009

OK, Fine Universe. I Hear You Loud and Clear.

I went skiing today, possibly the only time I will get to go all year. I went once last year, March 5th, as it turned out when I pulled out my ski jacket this morning and looked at the ticket hanging on the pocket. Note—I felt very short of breath during that day, which I attributed to being out of shape. Sure, that was true, but my lungs were also filling with cancer.

I didn't sleep well last night, considering that I was due to have a pretty big day today. I shut off the light at midnight, and woke at 4:00am to piddle. After my piddle, I noticed that my throat was a bit scratchy, and that kept me awake until 6:00am. I hadn't had much water to drink throughout the day yesterday (until pretty much right before getting into bed) and I'd had a cold last week, and I thought perhaps the throat was my body telling me to drink more—it wasn't quite done flushing everything out.

As the minutes ticked by toward 7:00, my intended wake-up time, and the cough drops and extra water I was drinking did nothing to alleviate my scratchy throat, I began to think maybe I should call Mom and cancel. But I really didn't want to do that. I love skiing—the speed, the cold air, the riding over the treetops on the lifts, the inevitable chili in the lodge. I even like the long tired drive home (and I am usually the driver—and everyone else is asleep). Ian had already decided not to go with me. And I needed to get the dogs out to Mom's anyway, because they are staying there while we are in Austin (we leave on Thursday). And Mom had decided to be brave and go skiing herself, which she hasn't done in at least ten years (she was going to rent gear, which I completely supported). And so, I determined I would go.

I slept from 6ish until about 7:20, then got up, fed the dogs, made some coffee and a peanut butter, honey and banana sandwich, and collected all my gear. I got my boots and poles and skis (I'd put the rack on the car yesterday afternoon), my helmet, my ski pants, some extra thick socks for Mom (worried about the plate in her ankle from a fall several years ago poking into her tight ski boot), contact lenses, two choices of hat for under my helmet, mittens, goggles and sunglasses. I dressed, even remembering bandaids to cut down the rubbing on my inside ankle bones. I collected the dogs and their leashes, some books for Mom, and I got in the car and drove out to Maple Valley.

My throat continued to bother me throughout the drive, and I continued to ignore it, even knowing that I don't get to take any more immune-boosting Neupogen for the next two weeks. Even knowing that I'm getting on an airplane at 7:30 Thursday morning. Even knowing that I'm getting on another airplane Monday evening.

At Mom's, I let the dogs out, then let Loper out of the house, then went back to the car to get the thick socks for Mom. My duffel bag was not there. It was not in the front seat, nor was it in the back seat. Even though the dogs had been in the way back, I looked there. It was not there.

I had packed into the car my boots, poles, and skis, Mom's books, and the dogs' leashes, the turtleneck that I knitted last year specifically as a ski sweater, and my jacket, which I was wearing. Everything else was in the duffel bag sitting on the floor of our basement in Seattle, right by the door into the garage. There would be no trip to Crystal Mountain today.

I wasn't even that upset—a little upset, but not really. I mean, my throat is bothering me, still. It was SO OBVIOUS that I was not supposed to go skiing today.

But you know what? I WENT ANYWAY. Mom had about 3 inches of snow, and I took my skis off the car and strapped on my boots and grabbed my poles and I skied four runs in her back yard. Each run, granted, was between 50 and 100 meters.

And then I put on my dog park boots which, thankfully, I hadn't cleared out of the car to make room for anything, and we and the three dogs went on a lovely tramp through the snowy woods. And then we had lunch, and now I am back home, nursing my sore throat with some tea (well, I soon will be), and not taxing my already-strained system any more.

But next year, we will go on a ski trip again.

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