We went to Ruidoso, NM for a few days to let the kids try their hand at skiing. The trip was great in spite of horrific winds. Once as I was getting off a chair lift the wind was blowing so hard that it overcame the gravity that should have been pulling me down the slope. I got off the chair okay but was suspended half way down the "exit ramp" by the wind. I was afraid the next chair (though empty) would smack me in the back of the head but the gust finally subsided and gravity won. The kids ook to skiing quite well. Michal Kate was a surprising speed-demon and Connor was a natural.
That trip was great. First, I was reminded how I absolutely love the mountains. You can keep your beaches and oceans. Scuba diving and sun-worshipping just aren't my thing. Give me freash air any day even if it is a little thin. And I prefer furry wildlife to slimy any day. Not only that, there is always something to enjoy in the mountains. When it's cold you have Alpine sports. When it's warm you have hiking and exploring and just plain ol' sight-seeing. I could learn to love living that way.
Speaking of sight-seeing, one sight our kids witnessed was real, honest-to-goodness Native Americans. Their reaction was interesting, but I guess I understand it. When they study Indians in school it is always against the backdrop of history and not modern times. Consequently, they were amazed to see the modern incarnation of a people just like we are. One of our kids even asked us in amazement, "You mean they use, like, technology?"
Of course, this became a teaching moment and I think we made some progress. Then the next night I came across a guy who was down on his luck and needed a ride. I recognized him as a worker at the ski resort and thought it would be okay. However, when he got into the car we all realized (partly because he said so, partly because he smelled very strongly of alcohol and partly because he told us he had a black belt in Wang Chung) that he was completely drunk. Yes, I, doing my best to teach my kids a healthy regard for Native Americans had picked up a drunk Indian. Without going into that ugly stereotype we still took advantage of yet another teaching moment and prayed for the young man and talked about drinking and choices and how God wants us to help people whenever we can. Just the day before Connor and I had frozen our butts off changing a tire for an older lady and I really was thankful for both opportunities our kids had to be a part of willingly helping people we would never see again. I hope they will remember those moments of their Spring Break as much as any of the planned or fun stuff.
Getting back to Texas we spent a few days working in the real world. Monday when I went to the office I found a couple of college age girls sun-bathing by the pool. They ran (amazingly well) and I gave chase. Then I thought about how it might look for a guy in his mid 30's to be chasing two young girls and I figured nobody would believe that I was trying to catch trespassers. I stopped and they escaped my wrath. I am sure they are still quaking in their flip flops and bikinis.
Wednesday we went to the ranch for what turned out to be a rather abbreviated stay. Still, it was fun to watch the kids drive the go-karts for miles and miles and to pet baby goats and hold live rattlesnakes (I'll post pics on the other blog) and feed cows and watch deer and hike and just enjoy each other.
All in all, it has been a nice Spring Break. I find true joy in watching my kids experience joy. I hope they remember fun times of bonding like this and look back on their old man as being fun instead of just an old jerk. I think family time is so valuable; much more so than social time. Maybe that's why I am such a home body and don't care so much about impressing people socially or things of that sort. I have friends that try so desperately to pursue social interests and I fear it is a losing game. I really think that chasing that type of approval is just setting yourself up for disappointment.
Anyway, I hope you and yours had a good Spring Break as well. Now go back to school or work and finish your tax return. The world won't stop for you forever you know.I really hope this post did not appear to be insensitive toward any race or ethnic group. The fact is, I have some Indian (or Native-American) blood in me. I have heard that I may have been able to qualify for schooling or home-buying assistance. Still, I have not really done a great job talking to my kids about the plight of Native-Americans. We hear so much about black-white issues that the manner in which Indians uncerimoniously got the shaft gets largely ignored. But that's for another blog.