Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.

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Welcome to the SideBar

Did you notice I swopped out the pictures in the sidebar? (On the right.) Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t. I had to go back and look for them myself, and I did the work! (Rolls eyes.)

With all the cold weather and snowy days we’ve had this year, I thought I’d add a little more to the flakiness. I love the memories the pictures bring back, so I kind of tried to tell a non-verbal story. See if you get it.

The first picture is Mom and Dad on one of our ski trips.


The ‘Rents had gone skiing with the church the year I had my first baby. (For some reason–either being extremely prego or having a new nursing baby–G-Man and I didn’t go.)

So when #1 son was almost a year old, they decided to take the entire fam on our first y’all come ski trip.

When they decided to take the trip, Mom called Gaye, a wonderful friend I’d grown up with, who lived at Crested Butte, Colorado. (And she skied every day! Lucky girl.)

Miracle of miracles, Gaye found us a place to stay. (Thanks, Gaye!) It was an entire house, and since we had a few extras (one husband-to-be and several friends) it was perfect.

Gaye even found us a sweet woman for #1 son to stay with while we were there. (Thanks, again, Gaye!)

Mom bought us some of our ski gear for Christmas. Silly me, I asked for gloves, not mittens. Wow! Big mistake.

Mittens might make you look like a little kid, but they keep your fingers much, much warmer! I bought down-filled mittens there on the slopes and I was WARM! Broke, but warm. (Anything you buy on the ski slopes is expensive.)

Dad decided we didn’t need to pay to take ski lessons. He taught us everything we needed to know the morning of the first day. How to stop (make a piece of pie with your skis and sit down on it!) How to turn (Bubbletail, cut some pie and lean into it.)

I was climbing on a very easy-to-navigate ski lift (and getting in better skiers’ way) that afternoon.

A more thoughtful person, G-Man found a hill and practiced all by himself.

ski-pair (2)

This is G-Man and me. I borrowed my ski suit from a friend, who told me to keep it. She had a new one. I loved it! (Thank you, Lana!!!)

Brother Jeffrey and his buddy didn’t bother to learn to traverse the slopes.  They just turned their tips downhill and flew! And they had a great time doing it.

I took some spectacular spills, even though Gary and I stayed on Green (Easy) slopes with an occasional Blue (Medium) thrown in.

The last day of the trip, Dad thought G-Man and I were good enough to go to the backside of the mountain . . . where we found there were only Black (double diamond-HARD!) trails.
Have you ever prayed for a helicopter to come and rescue you? I did that day. 🙂 I think I ended up just sliding down the slope on my backside–which I only thought was cold before I started the slide.
On the way home, we ran into a blizzard. We were in Oklahoma, and experiencing worse weather than Colorado had! The baby didn’t feel good, so it was a long, long trip.
How about that? I just realized this memory is another gift for my list.
I’m oh! So! Very! Grateful!


I’m Missing

I’ve noticed there’s something we’ve been missing this winter. Do you know what it is? I’ll bet you can guess.

So far, this winter we’ve been missing winter.

Remember in the past when snow used to fall out of the sky in big old flakes?

  When you looked out the window, everything was covered with the white stuff?And you felt as if you had to feed the birds? Even the ones who only eat on the ground?I miss that this year. I miss snowmen and snowball fights, too. And skiing! Not that we skied here in Okie-Land, but I thought I’d mention it. 🙂

Do you remember when your dad used to tie your sled to the back of the car and pull you around town?

I do.

Do you remember seeing sleds all tied together to make a train, being pulled by a pickup?

I do.

Do you remember when your husband used to pull your kids’ sled behind your brother’s motorcycle? Or drag them through the snow?

 I do.

And I remember snow days (no school) and coming in from playing in the snow, freezing, and warming up in front of the fireplace with your fingers burning and itching so you could barely stand it. And Mama never complained, even when we wanted to go right back out again as soon as we were warm.

I remember the joy of watching a child discover snow for the first time. And I remember Snow Ice Cream. Do you? I only remember Mama making it once. We still lived in The Ford back then. Mama took a huge bowl outside (I remember being sad because she left me inside 😦 with only Grandmother and Dad and Granddad) and filled it heaping full with sparkling clean snow.

I don’t have her exact recipe. When I asked her about it, she said, “You just add milk, sugar and vanilla and stir it all up. But we can’t make it anymore. Remember? . . . ”

Apparently, everyone decided we’d get radiation sickness from the fallout, left in the air by bomb testing back in the day. Since I haven’t heard of any of those ugly bombs being used or even tested lately, I think it might be safe to try it today.

So . . . somebody tell me how to make snow ice cream the way my mama did. Or even  the way your mama did. And if we ever get enough snow again, I’ll give it a shot. 🙂