I am very thankful to be spending time with my sister and her family in the Denver area; because of the distances involved we do not see them often. They are gracious and wonderful hosts. Today we hiked in a state park in the foothills, stripping down to short sleeves in the unseasonably warm sunshine. Yesterday we enjoyed a skiing / shopping expedition in Keystone. The skiers reported that conditions were marvelous.
Dan hadn’t skiied in over 25 years and was a little nervous, but he got his ‘ski legs’ under him after a few trial runs down the bunny hill. Guzzy is a good skier; although she ended her day with a nasty spill on a Black Diamond run; her injuries were limited to a scraped finger, blisters on her feet and a slightly bruised ego. There is talk of sending her back out for a more extensive ski trip in the spring–we shall see.
For myself–I have tried skiing on two or three occasions–a very long time ago. I was never even marginally competent and would sort of creep along in a hunched over-fight against gravity. I gave it up for good after being bowled over by a 10 year old–sending my skis and poles skittering down the slope, and laying me out in stunned silence in the snow for 5-10 minutes, not sure if my limbs were all still functional. They were–but that was the last time I donned a pair of skis. Clearly, Guzzy is both more coordinated and brave than her mom.
It is cliche because it is true: the best part of the holidays is spending time with friends and family. We were able to catch up on each other’s lives over morning coffee; played hours of raucous card and board games, spent hours preparing food, eating and cleaning up the kitchen; we sampled generously from my brother-in-law’s wine collection and liquor cabinet; and my sister and I compared childhood memories of holidays past.
My sister and I do not resemble each other, until we speak. By the end of the visit I have adopted minor changes in inflection and our voices become almost indistinguishable from each other. I am also told that we issue the same ‘squawking’ noise when playing cards or when otherwise surprised by something. It can get a little loud.
Guzzy is enjoying time with her Colorado cousins, although her same-age cousin’s attention is now split between family and her college boyfriend, who is also in town for the weekend. It is a glimpse into the future–as teens morph into young adults and develop new relationships that may (eventually) lead them to define ‘family’ in new terms. We all have two types of family–biological and chosen. For those of us that are extremely fortunate, those two groups overlap.
As I finish this post, we have returned to the cold embrace of Wisconsin and are settling back into our normal Sunday morning routine. I bought a new scarf and hat in Dever, which will help keep my body warm and my spirits buoyed with memories of our Thanksgiving in the Rockies.