Friday, March 4, 2011

Perfect Ski Soundtrack

I bet you have songs that you associate with memories. I sure do, and the one song that has come up frequently while the boys and I visit my folks in the Colorado Rockies is What's Up? by 4 Non Blondes. It's a song that has always brought me back to really good times, and for some reason I associate it especially with skiing.

Growing up, skiing in my family was more than just a pastime - it was an instition. My parents' first date was skiing in rural Quebec, my brothers and I were skiiers before we were five, and we skiied every winter, often getting up before dawn and driving five hours to our favorite ski hills in Vermont and New Hampshire. It was the only thing that I would willingly get up before noon for on a weekend, and a big reason why winter is still my favorite season.

Naturally, when my folks retired from the rat race, they didn't head to Florida; they took a hard right turn, and have spent the last dozen years poo-pooing our Eastern icy skiing conditions and grabbing fresh powder by the fistful out here in the West. It really is a most remarkable place.

So, 4 Non Blondes! Maybe What's Up? gets a lot of play at ski hills, because I already associated it with skiing before yesterday, when I heard it twice, first sitting in a base lodge and feeling absolutely high on the best day of skiing I've had since before Luke and Owen came along. For the first time ever, I got above the timberline without being dragged and/or nervous, and just was loving everything about it: the steeps, the bumps, the view, the sun on my face, the wide-open feeling of being at the top of the world.

I almost got an all is right with the world feeling (want to know what that is? Click here), sitting in the base lodge and thinking back on an incredible day of skiing with my father. Almost, but not quite - that feeling came about half an hour later when, on the three-minute drive back up to my parents' home, What's Up? started in the parking lot and finished in their driveway.

It turns out, that's like my Dad's favorite song! So he cranked up the sound and we had all the windows down, singing our heads off heading up the mountain.

To me, just at that moment, all really was right with the world.


ENRICHri said...
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Melissa R said...

Oh Karen, I have tears for you! Happy ones, of course. When I read the first line, I went to youtube and got the song playing and read the rest of your post. I can imagine the "all is right" feeling with snow all around you, the song playing and your dad's companionship filling you up.

topsy-techie said...

I'm so glad you are having such a great time!! Being from the south, I spent my summers water-skiing, but have never been on snow skis in my life, so I am in awe of you right now. What's Up!!! :)

Sparklee said...

Oh my gosh! I wonder if you're in my neck-o-the woods! You should come see us (but you'd have to take a day off from skiing!)

That song reminds me of one of my first jobs, as a manager of a seafood restaurant down on the Gulf Coast. It seems like it was always on the radio while I was working. Isn't it funny how we associate songs with memories?

Seriously, if you are flying out of Denver, let me know and stop by! Here is our email: ventoux44 at aol dot com!

Susan said...

Wait a second, except for the What's Up, I could have written this post! We used to ski Killington and Stowe every winter, but it was an 11 hour drive for us from Maryland, and my folks retired to Lake Tahoe to ski, not to Colorado. We just spent a fantastic week skiing there in deep powder. Love that great moment you all had singing with music cranked up. Sounds perfect.

Karen said...

So, the whole trip was one big What's Up? moment, as it turns out! With the exception of missing Ben it was our best visit to the West yet.

Melissa, you are a sweetie, and now I am tearing up!

Topsy, as a pretty much failed water skier, I am in awe of you :-)

Sparklee, I am bummed that we missed you but will plan on meeting up when we are out there again!

Susan, I am getting the same feeling I had reading your Revolutionary Road Trip posts, that somehow our lives keep overlapping in cool, unexpected ways :-)