The Second Time

Back in 1991 I went for a skiing lesson at the Mt. Rose resort. I ended up with my face in the snow crying hysterically promising myself not to do it ever again.

So today I broke my promise and took a private afternoon skiing lesson with my mother at The Canyons in Park City.

We drove to the resort around 1130am and took the outdoor cabriolet to Mid-Mountain. I tried to take pictures with my cell phone camera but didn’t get far since I apparently hit my limit. (400 I guess.) While frantically erasing useless pictures, I heard a ‘ting’ hit the metal grate floor. I looked down to see our car keys! And we were flying through the air about 40 feet up. I didn’t grab, I let Mom get them, I was afraid they would fall through if we both lunged so I let her do the honors.

The cabriolet finally reached the top the doors wouldn’t open and we were starting to turn.

“I can’t get it open!”


“What do I do!?”

I pulled as hard as I could to no avail…then they opened as they do on every turn….automatically. The guy in charge saw our frantic yelling match then says, ‘it opens by itself’ with a huge smile on his face.

“Oh, thank you.”    

After quickly scanning the crowd for any onlookers, we slide away to the Ski School hut-like building. Inside we meet a nice girl who helps us with our paperwork and other pertent information. It was then Mom realizes she doesn’t have her hat.

“Do you need it?”

“Well, yeah…..”

“Did you leave it in the car? Is it in your pocket?”

“You can go buy one next door if you need to,” the girl says.

She sighs then decides to give in. We walk across the way to the store there and start looking around at hats. I tell her I want her to get one of those colorful spiky ones little kids wear. “No.”

I start deleting more photos as she searches amongst several options that all basically look the same.

“How do I look?”


“Will you help me here?”

“I can delete and help at the same time.”

“What about this one?”


She ends buying a red, white, orange, brown striped concoction that somewhat matches her bright orange ‘rescuer’ jacket.

Next we walk over to the rental shop to get our skis and boots. I’m a 140 for skis. No idea what that means, but I am. As the guy there (who’s from Argentina) puts on my boots it hits, “where are my sunglasses?”

“I don’t know. Are they in your jacket?”

I pat myself all over in a useles search for them. “Oh my God.”

Mom starts laughing.

“They were really cool.” I repat myself in a ‘maybe they’re there now’ attempt. Nope. “We have to go see her again.”

Walk over the same store and look at various sunglasses which again all basically look the same. We pay for them and go back to the rental place.

After we get our boots on and poles in hand, Mom decides to rent a locker for our street boots and her new Coach purse. She puts her quarters in the slots and turns the tiny handle. It doesn’t lock. She does it again – nope. Now one of the workers comes over, reads the instructions aloud in a heavy Spanish accent and twists the handle – to no avail.

A concensus is made to put an ‘O’ in marker on the locker door to signify it’s occupied. And then I get an itch on my head. I scratch it to feel something particular and then realize it’s my ‘lost’ sunglasses. They were covered under my hat the entire time.

“I’m an idiot.”  

Immediately I notice a difference in my walking. Stairs aren’t so easy.

Due to a quirk, we have to go back at 12:25pm to buy our lift tickets (yes, in addition to our lesson tickets!) It’s 12:10pm.

“Well what should we do?”

“Um, try to sit down somewhere.”

We scan the area to see no benches. “Maybe just stand here.”

“It’s 12:11 now.”

“What are you a Rolex now?”

The girl who originally helped us pokes her head out the door to say we can now buy our tickets. “Sometimes the computer won’t let me, but it’s working.”

We slowly heel-toe it over and buy our tickets to the tune of $130. “I don’t have my card,” Mom says.

“You can go back over to the locker; it’s open.” 

She then compliments Mom on her hat and gives us our tickets. We heel-toe it out to the Flight of  The Canyons gondola lifts. Those doors also shut on their own.

We climb in and round the corner and go up. And up. And up. Fog hits us. We go down. Then up and up. The views are breathtaking, yet scary at the time if say it stops and worse, the wire snaps and we fall to our deaths. At least it’ll make for a nice cellphone picture.  

15 minutes later we hit our destination – amazingly, there is flat land there, it’s a mountain away, but it really exists. The doors open – on their own and we heel-toe it out to once again randomly stand in the snow. For about 10 minutes.

A guy there points us to a really hidden bench. So we sit for about ten minutes. Two people walk by with a bunch of very colorful balloons. Odd, but all right.

As I take pictures, I hear pop….pop. I turn around to see the girl corraling ballons inside the gondola.

“Well, should we go?”

“Got nothing else to do. Can’t ski yet so why not?”

We laboriously trudge up the hill to see a man maybe in his 50’s nearby. It’s Rick our instructor! Thank God he was halfway down the hill so I didn’t have to go all the way up.

“Hi, are you Ka-lean? And you must be Jolene. Hello. Where are you from?”


“Sparks,” he corrects her. (It was on the paper I filled out the day before.)

“Come on over and let’s start. Tell me about your skiing experiences.”

I start. “I learned with about 7 other people, fell in the snow, cried hysterically and promised myself I’d never do it again.”

“Ok….and you?”

“My husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, taught me. Around the ninth time I skiied over him and he never taught me again.”

“Ok then, well, so you both have skied before then. Let’s start from the beginning then.”

—- I’m getting tired, 1230am, going to bed now, I’ll finish this when I get home.


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