Day One: The Killington Ski Family Reunited!

Opening Day means so many different things to so many different people.

For more than 95% of the world's population, it is a day that means absolutely nothing, just another day where they continue on with their lives in a kind of sad, lost in the doldrums of life kind of way.  A day just like any other, except they can groan about the coming winter season as they see clips on the news and images in their feeds that make them miserable.  A day that reminds them that the harshness of winter, a season that prohibits them from going outdoors and has them complaining about being late to work because they had to scrape snow off their car.  These are the people that get S.A.D. and end up binge watching way too many shows on Netflix to mask the miserableness of their life.

Honestly, I struggle to understand these anti-winter, anti-snow, anti-skiing people.
I have tried.

I spent many years in the real world, away from the joys of opening day, fighting to find people like me.  People who believed in skiing and snow and another way of life besides running from class to work and spending a few minutes on the treadmill, before I finally moved to a ski town where almost everyone celebrates the changing of the seasons and almost everyone embraces the cold & snow-y-ness of winter with open arms.  Amidst these cranky anti-snow people, I lost my grasp on what winter really could be like as I found myself repeatedly sitting on a couch with a book in my hands.  What would it be like, I would wonder, to be surrounded by people who wanted to not just explore the snowy outdoors, but to roll and laugh in it.

A ski sister that will stand in line for two hours just to be in the first gondola cabin.
A brother that is constantly trying to figure out a job that brings him closer to the mountains.
A friend that throws you yet another cider in the parking lot as you walk up to for first cabin.
A ski sister who is holding her breath after she skis for the first time post-reconstruction surgery.
A friend who is stoked to ski 40 more hours a week because he's officially retired.
A god-brother that misses opening day but texts about which bindings he should be getting.
A friend that, no matter what time of year or the season, it's a conversation about the mountain.
A mom that comes home late at night from work and demands you make snow angels with her.
A friend that will argue with you about tunnels & six packs & poma relocations for hours on end.
A boyfriend that begs you to take a few more runs & then sneaks a kiss on the lift.
A female ski bum who lets one tear slowly fall down her cheek as she returns to the snow ...

A community that welcomes winter and all the variability that comes with her.

This is Killington, my home and that of my ski family.  The people that make up our wonderful community here in the mountains, a group of people so in love with the snow that we have indeed become a family.  There is something amazing about how all these wonderful ski people have somehow all found their way to this one little town in the heart of the green mountains.  It's like we were all just drawn here, to these mountains, to ski together and support each other and to love each other.

Yes, the past few days have been an amazing return to the hills where have all found ourselves once again.  The slide of our skis and boards underneath our feet is like a baby rocking in a carriage. We are once again at peace and all seems right with the world.  That feeling of floating, something that you cannot find anywhere else but on the snow.  It's here, in Vermont.  Where a few hundred crazy people unite for one day to celebrate the greatest gifts the world has ever given us: the magic of Skiing.

And while skiing itself is a magical feeling, it is the joy of celebrating such a day with so many others who believe in winter the same way that you do.  That winter is a special time of year, where we celebrate life rather than hide the day away in front of a fire.  Over the years, I have met so many absolutely wonderful people who are now part of my family I never would have believed it all those many years ago when I lived in the real world.

My ski family.  I am so very grateful for each and every one of you.

Happy Winter, Everyone!

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