Thursday, December 18, 2008

You know the nearer your destination the more you slip sliding away


{Video of Portland, OR via CNN, but this is not unlike what I am seeing and living this week. Feel sorry for me.}

I went skiing for the first time ever last year. I kind of stunk at it, but did make substantial improvements by the second time down the mountain. It was a little bit terrifying to go downhill which, duh, of course that's what you do when you ski, but conceptualizing it and doing it are two different things. I think I will continue to improve, and eventually get over the feeling that I am not in control and yet I'm gaining acceleration in a downward direction. Steve wants us to be a "ski family" so we'll see how that goes.

This week for the first time we've experienced some snowstorms while living in our new house which sits ever-so-nicely at the top of a hill. The whole road up to our house slopes a bit to the left, which is one thing, but the road is semi-steep when covered with treacherous ice, and the last little chug up to our house is the steepest, most treacherous part. On Tuesday and again today (big ol' snowstorms), I watched out the living room windows as cars came up the hill: they thought they could, they thought they could. They couldn't. Stalled at the top. Sliding backwards back down the street. Fishtailing around the corner. Abandoned by the side of the road. Of course it wasn't very nice of me to stand there and watch while these poor drivers sweated it out on the ice, but really, what was I going to do? There's no saving the day when Tires and Ice don't seem to want to work together with their old friend Traction. No, it's a lonely time for that driver who has lost all control.

I know. On Tuesday I tried to be tough and not so Arizona-wimpy so I got in the car to drive Isaac down the hill to preschool. It was crazy snowing. I knew I was in bad shape when I backed out of driveway, and then proceeded to roll forward while still in reverse. I slipped, I slid. I anticipated every scenario of what I would hit when I finally hit something. I maneuvered the van to the neighbor's curb just downhill from us. I hit his curb and his snowbank (very painless, whew) and parked that baby right there in front of his driveway until later that afternoon when my friend the sun came out and dried up the road. I walked Isaac to and from preschool that day. (In the snow. Uphill both ways. Barefoot, natch.)

ANYWAY, the point of all this is that tonight I made an important realization. Skiing fast downhill (before I've adequately learned how to stop and steer) evokes the same out-of-control going downhill nervousness in me as does skidding on icy roads. It all just makes me nervous. It's all Utah's fault.


UPDATE: Friends, please correct me when I misuse/misspell a word. I'm counting on you.

11 comments:

Courtney said...

i like skiing (although I've hardly done it in the last 15 years) but the driving that sounds scary.

Callie said...

I feel for you Emily. We have had our fair share of slipping and sliding this season, but I think skiing scares me more. When you are in your car, most of "you" is hidden from embarrassment when such things occur - when you are skiing, and you crash, the whole world seems to see you! I miss Arizona the most in the winter.
Good luck becoming the Ski family Steve always wanted...I hope you and snow become friends on facebook.

Anonymous said...

I understand every one of those feelings. I've lived them. Thank goodness for snowbanks. Was Norah with you? ag

AliceK[i]ND said...

That's why I live here. :)

Amy said...

Skiing is a great way to let go of your inhabitions and feel out of control! Plus it releases endorphins, is good excercise, and always provides a good laugh! Think of the enjoyment your kids are getting out of it :-)

Neil and Diana said...

I am very sympathetic. The way I figure, when you're in a vehicle and you lose control, it's scary and you could hurt yourself, others, your vehicle or another vehicle/structure. When you're on skis, you're finding coordination and balance. So if you lose control, it's par for the course and you just get up again. Therein, they are not alike. Secondly, Amy is right, skiing releases some reportedly amazing endorphins. Won't it be so fun!

pam said...

I guess we are all thankful for our guardian angels. I skidded through the red light at the bottom of the hill by Home Depot as I approached the freeway Thursday. Fortunately the cars on either side hadn't started up yet so no crashes.

lys said...

I'm so proud of you for putting up with all this, my little Arizona girl.

jennifer said...

I feel for Steve--I want to be a "ski" family too, but mostly for the image...I really hate being cold and spending that much money. Maybe I could just borrow another family's gear and takes some pics for the Christmas Card?

Speaking of...will you email me your address so I can send you a Christmas card? jensmith00@gmail.com. Thanks! Oh yeah, and can I get your parents' address too? (Since I'm sure your not busy w/anything else this week...)

Suzie Petunia said...

That looked like me trying to pull into my own driveway this week...

Jord said...

Snowy driving is the worst! I love that you watched the cars try and get up your road and I would have done the same thing. It's like reality TV through your front window.