Getting Ready for Ski Season

[Cool people can name the movie this picture is from. Are you cool?]

Some people have yearly family traditions. Putting up decorations for holidays. Special foods they eat at a specific time of year. Ways they celebrate birthdays. But last night it occurred to me that there are other traditions that might not get as much attention, but which are just as valid and important. Getting school supplies for the new school year, for example. Not exactly a holiday, but certainly important if you have kids, and the longer you do it (and the more kids you have), the more like a tradition it becomes.

Last night’s tradition in Bryce-ville? Getting out the ski equipment and figuring out what new stuff we need for this year. Denisa’s been teaching each of our kids to ski once they’re two years old or so. (MC isn’t to that point yet, since she’s just 19 months old.) Normally, buying all the equipment would cost a small fortune, but our local ski club holds an annual ski swap where people put their equipment up for sale, and you can pick up skis for pretty darn cheap ($10 or so, often). Same for boots.

The ski sale is happening Saturday at the high school, so it was time to figure out where we stood.

There’s a lot of clothing and stuff that goes along with kids learning to ski. In our family, it means 2 pairs of snow pants, 2 pairs of gloves, a helmet, goggles, ski boots, winter boots, winter coat, neck warmer, face mask, skis, poles, fleece pants, winter hat–and I’m sure I’m forgetting some things. When you’ve got all that equipment, and it’s all thrown in together at the end of each year, and you add growing children and some wear and tear to everything . . .

Keeping track of it all can be a small nightmare.

So yesterday evening was filled with finding the right bins from the basement, bringing them up to the light of day, and then trying everything on to see what fits, what needs to be replaced, and what needs to be bought new. The verdict? DC needs skis and poles, TRC needs a second pair of snow pants, Denisa’s finally getting new skis and boots (hers are still from Communist Czechoslovakia, if that dates them at all. Maybe they were bought just after the regime fell . . . ) and DC needs ice skates. (TRC has officially given the sport up.)

I’ll be on baby-watching duty again this year, which is fine. Though it was fun to see how excited the kids were to be reunited with their equipment. We’ve had non-ski-aged kids for so long, it’ll be strange next year to be able to start all going as a family when we go. (And humbling, no doubt. TRC and DC can ski circles around me, and it’ll have been years since I went.) One of the things I like best about this area is that we live in a spot where a family can go skiing together for the season and not have to pay an arm and a leg to do so. No, it’s not the Rockies, but it’s more than enough for what we’re looking for, so yay for that–and yay for the volunteers who  keep Titcomb Mountain running each year.

In any case, the kids and Denisa are getting pretty excited for snow to come and the slopes to open. So all you winter-haters can go some place sunny and stop bringing the no-snow-mojo to Maine. Bring it, winter!

And in case you need a hint on the movie picture:

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