Skiing With My Mother


Where did all these glorious, sun-filled days come from?  Day after day now we’ve been blessed with seriously cold, seriously lovely blemish free weather. The Mom skiing at Dutchman's Flatweightless snow hasn’t settled or grown heavy since the day time highs never climb out of the twenties. My mom has been anxious to go cross country skiing with me for weeks now. She hasn’t been out all year because she can’t go on her own and my dad no longer has the energy for such things during his radiation treatments. When Mom falls she can’t get herself up because of her bad knees and back and extra weight. It scares her to think she might fall into deep snow and not be able to extricate herself and I’d be scared too. She still snow shoes by herself on occasion but she rarely falls.


 Since I was pretty beat from yesterday’s five-hour trip into the high country, I offered to go skiing with her. I couldn’t go as fast or as far as I do when I’m on my own so I didn’t get much exercise but we had a good time and the views of the nearby mountains, backed by deep blue skies, made it worth the trip. I took bird seed in plastic baggies with me so I could replenish the feeders in the pine forest east of Wanoga snow-park. I figured Mom would enjoy knowing about these feeders and the trip out and back was the perfect distance for her. I’ve never met the fellow who put up the bird feeders but they’ve been in these woods for as long as I’ve been skiing in the area, which has been more ten years or more. I ran into a fellow on a snow mobile who grooms the dog park area at Wanoga and he said the bird man is getting pretty old so he tries to find time to take his snow mobile along the route to keep it packed for him. However, he hasn’t had the time lately so I’ve been taking up the slack by filling the feeders myself. Of course my mother was simply delighted to see the chickadees, jays, and juncos fluttering about in the woods, waiting impatiently for me to bring them supper. I’ve skied for miles and miles along the plateau, ridges, and valleys in the Wanoga area and nowhere else do you see or hear more than the occasional bird. What joy to watch them eating, scratching, and dancing about these three feeders, a real wonder in the wilderness.

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