There are all kinds of ways to classify clients.
For today, I am offering two categories:
1) Lovers of snow and ski.
2) All others.
For one week a year, I belong to group No. 1.
Translation: I am
writing this column between sessions of cross-country skiing. It
also means I am writing with a brain addled (turned to slush?) by
the kind of single-minded, inane chat that overwhelms the Annual
My ski partner and I discuss yesterday's snow conditions,
today's snow conditions and tomorrow's likely snow conditions.
We use four-letter words a lot: They are "snow" (a good word)
and "rain" (on the foul side). The most profane word in our
vocabulary, although, is a pale little thing: "ice."
When there is ice on the trails, we go shopping. Otherwise, we
ski, and this week, the shopkeepers have not done well at all.
Indeed, in a winter with an inordinate amount of rain, it is
remarkable how quickly the cross-country trails recover with one
We have benefited from well-timed snowfalls.
We also have been able to ski nine days straight because we
don't count on only one ski facility. We have frequented two
resorts (Mount Prospect, east of Bennington, and Mountain Top,
north of Rutland, both in Vermont), and each day we go where the
snow is better.
In an iffy ski season, that flexibility would serve any client
well, I imagine.
The Annual Ski Week isn't just wrapped around skiing. For one
thing, we drive up and down Vermont, enjoying gorgeous scenery.
During one early evening, the Green Mountains seemed ill-named.
Those ridges looked as if someone had spilled barrels of
pink/purple paint on them.
On another late afternoon, the sun peeked around clouds to
produce bands of color that streamed up mountainsides like
We enjoy charming New England villages (one day we drove down
Mad Tom Road in East Dorset to take photographs), but we mourn the
fact that other little towns are not benefiting much from tourism
or any other source of prosperity.
Pre- and post-ski topics are compelling, too.
There is breakfast (make it hearty to carry us through three
hours of mountain climbing and, yes, some downhill rides, as well)
and dinner (we have earned that dessert, surely).
And there are heating pads and hot tubs (how could I have so
many sore places in my feet and ankles?).
In a way, the Ski Week is a like a Spa Week. Except, while my
cholesterol count may be down, I never lose an ounce of poundage.
Not everything works out.