Starting my Year off Right – On the Slopes Again

Windmill and Slopes at Jiminy Peak
Windmill and Slopes at Jiminy Peak
Windmill and Slopes at Jiminy Peak

According to my Ski Tracks app, January 16 marked my 13th day on the slopes this season. Thank you Jiminy Peak! Pretty good when you consider last year I went seven times before slipping a disc in my back. And half those times were icy days that made the slopes not-so-fun.

Now, as I approach the one-year-mark of my 2017/18 season’s demise, I’m finding myself extra thankful for slope time.

Last summer I wrote about our new place in Massachusetts. We had a feeling we wouldn’t regret getting a place at Jiminy Peak, but we also didn’t realize how great it would actually be. Before we got the place, we talked with friends and locals and heard about the great grooming there. Sure enough, thanks to a bit of cold, snow guns, and grooming, we were able to hit the slopes November 17, 2018.

Since Chris and I can work from anywhere with an Internet, it’s really easy to set up an office slope-side. Check out my view as I work 🙂

desk and snowy view

You can’t see it in the picture, but there are some trails we can see from our window so when I look up, I can see skiers and boarders coming down.

My job allows me to choose the hours I work so I’m trying a new schedule out. Generally I work four 10-hr days, but I’m testing a five-day week. I generally work ten hours on Saturdays and Sundays, which isn’t a problem since the slopes are busier on those days. Then I work for four hours in the morning, and three hours at night. In the morning time, you will often find me working in front of this fire:

Fireplace at Jiminy Peak
Fireplace at Jiminy Peak

In the early afternoon I hit the slopes with my favorite snowboard buddy.

Chris enjoying play time on the beautiful hills at Jiminy Peak.
Chris enjoying play time on the beautiful hills at Jiminy Peak

I work for a few more hours in the evening then either wind down in the hot tub or in front of the outdoor fire as I watch the skiers and boarders. Chris will sometimes grab extra runs then as well.

Happy Chris at slope base
Fire Pit at Jiminy
hot tub at Jiminy Peak

Of course, we aren’t always there. Often we are back in New York, enjoying the beauty of snow there as well.

Snow through Window

The east coast hasn’t had much snow this year, but the slopes have been fine. My last two days there were amazing. I didn’t want to stop. And now we have a load of fresh snow thanks to the latest storm. I can’t wait to get back out there…

Summer?

Goldenrod in the Berkshires
tiny school GIF
Back to School

Are you finding your social network feeds filled with kids going back to school and off to college? I am, and I’m loving it. Recently, a friend asked how my summer was wrapping up. Laughing, I responded that life is going so fast recently I hadn’t realized it was summer.  🙂

But I see it’s true. The leaves are changing color, and the Goldenrod heralds the incoming of autumn. 

Goldenrod in the Berkshires
Goldenrod in the Berkshires

It reminds me of a time when the kids were small (although that was my perception of summer in reverse), and we basically lived on the beach one summer while visiting with my in-laws. That year felt like an endless summer. I didn’t realize things were changing until they told me I had limited flavor selection at the commissary where I get ice cream.

Leaves changing color
Summer slips into Autumn in northern NY

Now that the kids are older, we don’t have to tuck our travels into certain months and weeks. Perhaps that’s how I missed summer this year (although I thoroughly enjoyed each day of it). And we had such a nice spring, beach time came in April/May so there were lots of opportunities to swim and enjoy the sand.

Yet now that the leaves are starting to change, and the calendar tells us it’s time to prepare for winter, we’re slogging around in 31-32 C/ 88-90 F temps.

No wonder I’m confused.

Museums

I think I might become a museum junkie. I’ve been researching the treasures of Massachusetts and have found some incredible deals. Back in my other post, I talked about the importance of being back in the art corridor for my artist husband, but the actual reality of it is pretty fantastic.

After spending a few decades in the boondocks, where large art museums were a long drive from me, the proximity is a treat. We had different, natural art in those years, and believe me I met many artists (musicians, performers, masters in kitchen arts, etc) who are amazing, but I did not have easy access large places one can stroll through on a rainy day.

For a few weeks, we researched — read tons of pamphlets, hit web sites and talked with locals and tourists. Then we took the plunge and purchased season passes for the Berkshire Museum and for Mass MoCA. This gives us all sorts of opportunities to see lots of exhibits and artistic styles as well as to attend performances and go to openings and other activities. My favorite part of our plan is that the Berkshire Museum membership came with reciprocal passes to over 1,000 institutions (art and science) across the US. Even Utah 😉 (that’s where the majority of my kids live).

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One of my favorite parts of the passes is that we can go back any time we want this year, so we don’t have to feel rushed. If we only want to pop in for an hour, that’s okay.

I love the inspiration one derives from a museum visit. And I also love the human connection — the vibe of appreciation from other gallery viewers. The paintings and educational tidbits on the plaques link me to the past and spark my imagination in a way I haven’t felt in a while. I mean, really, did you even know that some snakes change their sleep cycles from diurnal to nocturnal? I never knew this before. I’m certain there is a children’s story in there somewhere.

Imagination officially ignited. This is good stuff.