We’ve been cleaning out my father’s house every time my sisters and I get together. It’s a massive undertaking that isn’t going quickly. We’re a sentimental lot and so we average about 5 things tossed and then we fall into conversation over pictures or a statue we don’t know the story of. It’s really my mother’s things we are cleaning out and since my father is still living we have the luxury of time. My father defends every dusty book and rusty nail he claims ownership of. Of course, it’s the books and nails we’d really like to get rid of.
During one of my last visits either putting up the tree or just preparing the house for guests, I took my cross-country skis from the basement. They are about 30 years old and in my heyday I would use them at the midnight hour during blizzards in the streets of New York. It was exhilarating. When snow falls heavily in New York, the streets become empty except for a lone cab or two. Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh I’d go down the Avenues. In the distance, I’d here the clanking of chains of the snow plows and knew enough to steer clear of them as they approached. Yes, it is dangerous and in hindsight a dumb thing to do but fun. Actually, Fun with a capital F. There really is nothing like the city when it is quiet and the streets are filled with snow.
I brought the skis back to my apartment to see if I would use them at all this winter. It’s been about 6 years and in that time I’ve developed a slight case of Lymphedema in my right arm. I take 3 classes a week specifically to keep my arm from getting any worse. It’s my constant travel for work that is aggravating it but not enough to make me want to quit. I’m not sure what skiing will do to it but I have a yearning and you know how that goes. I leaned them into the corner behind my bedroom door prepared for the snow I hoped would come.
Last Thursday night, a storm named Hercules dropped 9 inches of snow on Manhattan. I waited until morning to test them and my arm out. Over to the Hudson River Park I went and it was a swoosh, sputter, swoosh. After six years, my form needs work. I stayed out on the path for about an hour. I didn’t want to push it and stopped when my arm started to tingle. My heart beat like a crazy kid though and there was a smile on my face that seemed to have frozen into place. With a bit of practice and the right gloves I know I could stay longer.
Yes, 2014 really seems to be shaping up nicely.
Oh, my arm is just fine. I exercised it last night to keep the lymph flowing and it felt perfect.
I’m still smiling.