My study of the American Family on a ski trip continues into day four. To understand the findings, I’ll give a run down of the factors involved. The focus of the study is my own family from my dad’s side: Mark, my father who is in his late 50’s, Brenda, my step-mother, Mark Jr., my 24-year-old brother (the middle-child), Brendan my 16-year-old brother, and then Tyler and Amanda, my step-brother and step-sister who are each in their mid 20’s. Yep….that’s a lot of people. Seven of us total and typically there would be eight but my step-brother Justin is in law school in New England and could not make the trip.
Our adventure started this past Friday night, December 9th. It was also my brother Mark’s birthday and he turned 24, so it was a great time to be together with family and celebrate. Since the family is of a larger size, the vehicle of choice to rent was a large suburban that fits eight and all their gear. Since I’m local and live in Denver, I packed my own mini cooper full with my brother Mark and was able to contribute more space on wheels to the family trip.
After a night in downtown Denver, we arrived in Breckenridge the next day and it seemed apparent that our particular family was going to do pretty well getting along. I attribute this to the fact that we’re each pretty easy-going. We like to be active, while at the same time we enjoy our rest and relaxation. There’s an all-around appreciation for the beauty of the mountains, the snow, and learning to ski. You see, aside from my brother Mark and me, the others have not skied in about six years. A full day of lessons was set up the first day for my dad and my step-brother and sister. Brendan picked up snowboarding again pretty quick. He’s the one in the family that picks up any sport quickly. Tyler and Mark have already hit a tree, Amanda has laughed on some nice spills that she gracefully turned into butt slides down the slope, and my dad and step-mom have done their 180’s that are certainly by accident and leave them facing the wrong direction on the slope while on their hands and knees.
At this moment, I’m enjoying the mountain view from the overstuffed chair by the fireplace after our snow-shoe trek we went on today. Beside me is my spiked eggnog martini…my own version of apre snowshoe. Dad is snacking in the chair beside me and enjoying the view of the mountains as alpin glow fades with the setting sun.
Up to today, the quirk I’m noticing in our family ski trip has to do with time: everything seems to take longer than anticipated and you end up waiting for someone at each activity. This can certainly result in impatience and irritation on a variety of levels: someone taking more pictures, taking a detour into another store, taking too long in the grocery store, and my personal favorite from today, taking gear back to the vehicle a second time when you’re just 1 minute into the trail and still have to put your snowshoes on. Consider as well the elements that skiing brings into the picture. Cold weather, risk of bodily harm, coordinating meeting for lunch and meeting to ski runs together, getting on lifts together, getting all your gear on in the morning…I’m sure you have plenty of things coming to your mind if you’ve ever been skiing or on a family ski trip.
What it comes down to, is that we can each laugh about these time and people related incidents and I have to say, that our trip is full of laughter. It is probably what keeps us from letting the little things get to us. Cause when you have 7 people living together, family or not, you’re going to have plenty of opportunity to be irritated. But this trip reminds me that life is too short to let the little things get to you and it’s worth the effort to laugh and let things go so you can appreciate the people with you in the moment.
I know you have to be careful when your subjects read your blog, but I thought you did well writing about the family time. I enjoyed reading it, anything to keep the memories fresh. Dad.