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Friday, March 25, 2016



     We finally had our first major snowfall of the year, and we weren't even sure we were going to get that. The weatherman keeps you on pins and needles the whole time so that you will keep tuning in. He pointed to a chart that might as well have said, "You're on your own." The HRRR forecasting system called for 1.4 inches. The GFS said 24 inches. The WRF said 12 inches. The European model said, "Zees is BOR-ing!" Weatherpeople want you to believe that the weather is unpredictable, and they did a great job of unpredicting it well in advance.

     But the snow eventually did arrive, and so we decided to go skiing in the lovely Poconos. I made sure to put a lot of layers on; I had long underwear, short underwear and medium underwear. In case I got too hot I wore a bathing suit underneath. I had one of those ski masks that people only use when they are robbing a bank. My scarf, it was apricot. And vice-versa.

     We secured our tickets and waited on the lift line. Per the sign, I made sure I was not wearing any loose clothing. If any of my long underwear got loose, I was sure I could catch it before it got into any trouble. Another sign said "Keep Your Tips Up," and I didn't know what that meant, but just to be on the safe side I handed a guy with a shovel two bucks.

     As I ascend the mountain snug in my ski-lift chair, I evaluate the runs with my wife. "That's Soaring Eagle right there, isn't it? I think I'll try that one. Hold on a sec- has it been groomed? It looks a little like an unkempt poodle. What about Bounding Gazelle over there- that's a black diamond? Forget it- I think I see a leaf on it. What about Brazen Bear? That's a blue slope right? Wouldn't you say that's a darker blue though? Like a navy blue? Almost black with just a little bit of blue pigment in it, don't you think? Still pretty tough. Does that look like a mogul on there?" I wouldn't mind skiing over a mogul if it was Donald Trump or Bernie Madoff or something, but in this case it doesn't look too safe.

     The ski lift is taking forever. We pass a tree with about three hundred bras hanging from it. I'm not sure if this is a naturally occurring phenomenon or not. Yet I couldn't think of a reason why anyone would go tree-climbing on a ski mountain carrying three hundred bras. It could be a case of someone ignoring the "No Loose Clothing" warning.

     As we near the top of the hill, feats of gallant heroism have disintegrated into an episode of "Gilligan's Island," where Gilligan tries to avoid more knee surgery.

"Is there a pink slope? Like a double pink diamond? I feel like challenging myself a little bit." I settle on Napping Kitten, but this run looks a lot steeper from the top than it did from the bottom. Did you ever poke a kitten while it was sleeping? It's more dangerous than you might think.

     Small babies barely past the fetus stage are passing me going about a hundred miles an hour. Another guy is skiing backwards. I think I spot a grizzly bear in the distance, but it turns out to be somebody's hat. People are laughing and carrying on, not realizing the perilous situation I've found myself in. About halfway down I remember that I only know how to turn in one direction, but I forget which one. I keep making left-hand turns and end up back at the top near the ski lift. My wife is making pretty good progress doing the snowplow, and by that I mean that she has removed most of the snow from the mountain. I make a mental note to try her out on the driveway when we get home. Maybe I can hook up some sort of a sander, too.

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