Friday, October 28, 2011

The Reason I Don't Ski.

When I was in my youth my Aunt Candy and her family used to come every year for spring break and we would all go skiing. It was pretty much the only time I'd go so I never got very good at it.
Roughly 11 years ago it was that time again, and we decided to go to Snowbird. Typically we would go to Alta, but we had some snowboarders in our midst so we decided to go somewhere where they could join us. I was familiar with Alta... I knew the runs I liked and I knew what I could handle. Snowbird I didn't know.
My cousin Michelle is an avid snowboarder and she would go to snowbird all the time, so I stuck with her and she would tell me what runs she thought I could handle.
In the early afternoon, the sun was blazing there was a crisp chill in the air I was getting into my skiing groove. Michelle wanted to do this slightly more difficult run and she wanted me to go with her (along with everyone else) I was nervous because I had never done it, so I asked her how the hills were... if they were really steep. She assured me they weren't bad.
So there I am skiing along... bits of snowy mist attaching to my sunwarmed face. It was the perfect day.
Then I turn a corner and see... a drop off... you could hardly call it a hill for how long and steep it was. Fear filled me to my very core. Usually there are "options" another way to go to miss the danger of that hill. I looked around but much to my chagrin saw nothing. Michelle was already at the hill. I says to her I says, "Uh Michelle, I thought you said there weren't any steep hills." To which she replied, "Well I knew you wouldn't come otherwise." Oh... cool, yeah that's fair... thanks for that.
I was seriously terrified. I just looked down this hill thinking how I could possibly do this and come away unscathed. It looked bleak.
So as kind of a joke I was like, "Well I'll just sit on my butt and slide down..." So I sit down, but not on the snow... on my skis, fully intending on not actually sliding down on my butt, but then I started to slide. Because of how I was positioned I couldn't stand back up and stop myself. I started picking up speed rather rapidly, and panic set in. I had absolutely no control over my speed, my direction, and stopping was not an option at this point.
I continued to pick up speed and I knew if I didn't figure out a way to stop myself this could end very badly so I put my hand down on the right side to slow me down. Apparently my speed was too much for this and all it did was shoot my body from the sitting position to the rolling-down-the-hill-as-a-human-snowball position easily comparable to what we've all seen numerous times in cartoons.
So there I am tumbling down the hill with one thing on my mind "Please don't make me break Michelle's sunglasses." Apparently you don't think too clearly when you are near death.
I tumble and flip and flail for what seemed like forever, then finally I come to a stop. About an inch of snow on my face. Nary a ski, pole, beanie nor glove remaining near my body... it was a "garage sale" the likes of which no one had ever seen before, I'm sure. Again first thought, "the sunglasses are still in tact... thank heaven" I look up the hill to see where all of my ski-belongings ended up. When my glance made it to the top of the hill all I see is dear family, laughing to the point of no control. Some keeled over, some laying down, some pointing.
I haven't been skiing since.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Flashback Friday "Where's my arm?"

OK some of you may have heard this story before, but it's a classic so you're gonna have to deal with it. (Or just stop reading because I really have no control over that, but don't stop reading k?)
So a buncha years ago my parents, sister and I were all driving to Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. It was a LONG drive. We took the van and Jennie and I each had a bench to ourselves. We would pretty much eat, fall asleep until we ate again, and then sleep some more (Gross, no wonder I was a rolly poly).
At one point in the drive I was in the back seat and Jennie was in the middle seat. She had fallen asleep on her back with her right arm up behind her head (I hope you can get the imagery because that's essential) With her arm that way (you may need to do this yourself so you can see what she would have seen) she couldn't see it.
Anyway so there I am, watching her sleep like a creeper (I really don't know why I was watching her, but I was for some reason) and she starts to stir. She opens her eyes and I see her looking around for a second... then tired eyes turn to panic. She looks at me with fear (and a little bit of anger) and says, "Julia! WHERE IS MY ARM???" In her barely awake state of delirium she literally thought it was gone, and not only that, that I had done something with it.
I grabbed her arm from behind her head and lifted it in front of her face and let go... it was COMPLETELY DEAD and it just plopped down on top of her. To this day I don't think she and I have ever laughed that hard. Her arm had completely fallen asleep behind her head and when she woke up she couldn't feel it or see it, and actually thought it was gone.
This is one of my favorites stories. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I do, because if you didn't you need to work on your sense of humor, cuz it's funny crap!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Older Brothers

Who needs older brothers when you have MY older brothers for a father or an uncle?
I went to St George for Labor Day weekend this year. When I go there I stay with my brother Nolan his wife Treo and their two cute kids. Their house fits their family, but when I visit I sleep in the living room, which is fine I could sleep anywhere and not be bothered (even though this is an early to rise family, and I'm... not so much an early to rise...r).
During my last visit, my first night there Nolan grabbed a sleeping pad and was going to put the sheets on it, but Jaylee, his oldest daughter (3) was playing on the pad and didn't want to get off. So Nolan took the fitted sheet and put it over her and the sleeping pad. We sat back, smiled and watched the struggle as she tossed and turned under the sheet to try to free herself. She was having fun, but I turned to Nolan and said, "You see? These are the things she's going to remember when she's older and tells people why she's claustrophobic." and we laughed as Nolan said, "Seriously, I'd be FREAKING OUT if that were me."
I had realized this before, but I blame my claustrophobia, as well as my sister's on our brothers doing crap like that to us, and now they pass that on to their children. Being an "older brother" doesn't stop once the title changes to father. Maybe it's simply being a dude.
My next example comes from reading my sister's blog. She posted pictures from when my brother Justin went to visit and play with the kids. He had taken this headband or some sort of stretchy something. Took Leila's arms behind her back and put the stretchy something around them, so she couldn't bring them forward. Then sat back and laughed as she tried to free herself. She's ONE! Then Jace, her older brother, saw this and wanted to have his arms trapped. So Justin did the same thing to him. Jace is 6 now, and it didn't take long before he realized he was in fact trapped and just started crying to get free. Just as, I'm sure, his mother would have reacted if she realized her arms were trapped.
Seeing these things made me think back on all the times my brothers have done these things to me. Watching Justin sit over Jennie, with one hand hold both of her hands above her head, and with the other tickle her. This got so bad that if Justin would just approach her even pretending to do it, she would immediately burst into tears.
I also think of the times when they would take the bar from the bench press, they would put the BIGGEST weights on it, and as many as they could, then they would lay us down and put the bar over our necks. It was high enough that it wouldn't touch our necks, but low enough that we couldn't slide under it, and heavy enough that we couldn't lift it, and then they would turn the lights off and leave the room.
You may have laughed at that. It's funny, sure. BUT PEOPLE big brothers doing stuff like this causes SERIOUS issues later on. Claustrophobia is a real, terrifying thing. My aunt Robin has it thanks to her brothers (my dad included) I have it thanks to my brothers. My nieces and nephews will have it, even if they don't have older brothers because they have dads and uncles.
Boys are mean!