Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Snow Bunnies to Buddies

On the bunny slopes learning with a little girl!
Bryan in Big Bear
(sometime in the '80's by the looks of that spiky hair!)
Oh boy! Sorry I left that last post up for so many days! What a downer :0 But it was Valentine's Day, we enjoyed a three day weekend in our jammies, and "I can see clearly now the rain has gone". The sun is shining. And I am ready to post a more upbeat story today. Whew.
My mom and dad started renting/borrowing cabins in Big Bear when we were little. But as soon as we were teens, they had to up the ante. We learned to ski. After that, my parents were guilted into regular trips. They would rent all our ski equipment, buy us winter gear, borrow a cabin, buy us lift tickets, and drop us off at the lodge with fun money for an entire day of adventures. In the beginning, he and I were satisfied to be each other's partners. We were beginners and a bit self-conscious. Then Bryan discovered the Black Diamond runs and I was no longer a compatible ski buddy. I skied side to side in a safe and conscientious manner, avoiding fellow skiers and bumps. Bryan skied straight down, refusing to let men, women, children or moguls to deter him. He spent a large portion of his day waiting for me at the bottom of the run. The moment I made it down, he wanted to race back up for another run. He never let me pee or snack or flirt. We had come to an impasse.
Here is where my brother's future expertise made its beginning: Persuasive Bryan started in on my hapless parents. They didn't even see it coming. From this trip (the one in the photos) on, my little brother talked my parents into letting him bring friends with him on our skiing trips. Now, I would be lying if I said I wasn't a bit disappointed over the years that I did not get to bring a friend. But my brother was good, really good, at getting his way. And true confessions: I enjoyed having some those hunky boys along on our family trips. Isn't that naughty?
One time we had another family join us and they had two boys Bryan's age (which is very close to MY age, you remember!). They were a much more experienced skiing family than ours so theirs took Bryan and me skiing with them one day. We skied all day. And all night. This single day bumped our skiing up to the next level! The mom taught me how to ski faster and hit moguls and stop in a fancy way that sprayed up snow and drew attention to a teenage girl who like it. I am sure there is proper ski terminology for what that stop is called but it has been 20 years since I have been on the mountains in skiis. My brother has discovered all that on his own.
I learned many valuable lessons that day and night on the slopes: wearing two pair of wool socks would have been smart, letting your gloves get wet is a mistake, hot coco at a ski lodge is rarely hot, skiing off the lifts at the top of a Black Diamond run is only terrifying until you have done it 17 times, sitting on ski lift with a teenage boy other than your brother is exciting, my brother was a masterful manipulator whose skills benefited me MANY times :) in years to come. Bryan was soooo convincing. I learned all that on the side of a mountain in the snow. I am so glad we grew up together Bryan.

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WARNING! Tissues Required-Video Slideshow of Bryan's Life-Sorry the music was muted!