Easter. A sure sign of Spring. The boys’ school break falls during the second week in April. It’s the end of a very long, cold, snowy winter. We can see our grass. The driveway is safe again. Hockey is on a brief hiatus. Time to head to the lacrosse fields. It’ll be nice to sit in the sun, get some much-needed Vitamin D.
However, regardless of the calendar, there is still snow on the mountains. There is still skiing to be done. And Spring skiing is my favorite way to go. So, before we toss our ski apparel into storage, we make one last trek up to Mt. Snow, VT.
We arrive at the Grand Summit Resort on April 7th. West Dover is a ghost town. All but one restaurant is closed. Clearance sale signs adorn the shop windows. Do we care? No.
We unpack our gear and settle in for the night, looking forward to some warm, spring skiing: without heavy layers, neck mufflers, hand and toe warmers. It’s going to be awesome.
We’re dressed and on the lift by nine am the following morning. It’s a chilly 32 degrees and conditions on the runs are icy and granular. I have to sing myself down every run to keep my rhythm. The boys are thrilled. They have no fear. They’re stronger than I am. More capable. I’m proud to ski with them, even though it’s a struggle to keep up.
There are a dozen people on the mountain. We’re four of them. Lift lines? Ha! Not anymore. Much cooler than expected, but overall, a great day. Nothing broken, nothing bruised. Time spent uninterrupted with our children.
Day two. There’s a delay. The lifts aren’t running. We find out it’s because of the ice storm last night. Inches of hail fell while we slept. The cables need to be ‘de-iced’. On April 9th. Spring skiing?
The lifts start moving. With the memory of close calls still on my mind, I can’t sing anymore. We send the boys up on their own today. Their friends arrived last night – in the storm – and they’re happy. So, we drive to Wilmington while snow falls (no kidding), shop, have lunch, discover a bookstore, Bartleby’s – a gem. I touch and open book after book (pure heaven) and speak with the owner, who recommends one: A Man Called Ove. I buy it, of course. So happy.
On our ride back to the resort, we enjoy the quiet beauty of the Vermont mountains one last time, knowing the boys are in their glory.
Our final morning, we pack up and say goodbye to the snow, the mountains, the fireplaces, hot chocolate, cold air. The boys do this with regret in their hearts. I admit, so do I. We didn’t get the spring conditions we’d hoped for, but as long and harsh as it’s been, it’s been a great winter.