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What a Snow Day is Like for an Extrovert

snowday

This past weekend, our region got quite a bit of snow. Now I know it’s not a huge amount for you folks out in the north or Midwest. Yes I get that you’re used to TONS of feet of snow and we folks down in the South don’t know how to drive. Fine, you’re better than us and we suck at life. (We really don’t, but that’s what you want to hear isn’t it?)

But it snowed all day causing several good inches to fall and making the roads really bad so everyone pretty much stayed in on Saturday. Being as how I didn’t need to be anywhere, I stayed at home the whole day. These are the thoughts of someone who is extroverted being cooped up in their home all day.

9:00 am – Oh hey it’s starting to snow.

10:00 am – All I can think about are the lyrics to Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

(Christmas) Oh, the snow’s coming down

(Christmas) Now I’m watching it fall

12:30pm – Dang it. I should have ordered that pizza. I’m really hungry now.

1:30 pm – I am angry at myself because I didn’t stock up at the grocery store beforehand. Food supplies are limited.

2:00 pm – Well, I’ve already read 2 books today. What am I supposed to do now?

3:00 pm – There is no one on Facebook or Gchat to talk to. Also…if I died today would anyone know?

4:00 pm – I am really bored right now. There is nothing to do.

6:00 pm – Well that was a long nap I just took. BECAUSE I WAS BORED.

9:00 pm – The Musketeers are on and that means I can live tweet with strangers. HUMAN INTERACTION THROUGH THE INTERWEBS SAVES THE DAY?

11:00 pm – There is nothing left to do. I’m just going to bed. Because I’m bored.

7:00 am – Whaaaat? Church is cancelled? Now what?

12:30 pm – The walls are starting to close in. We are reaching full cabin fever mode. AHHHHH

4:00 pm – I AM SAVED. I GET TO SEE PEOPLE TONIGHT. ALL IS WELL.

I know. Not entirely exciting but it did make me realize that while I can go a full day without seeing or talking to anyone, I really do need to be around people at some point to recharge myself. I wish I could be an introvert because I was basically living the introvert’s dream this weekend. But there’s only so many books you can read, so many TV show and Netflix you can watch, and so many of not talking/seeing a single other person that I can take.

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My (non) adventures in skiing

Winter has arrived and with it come ski season.

You know that time of year when people get excited to go down a mountain with two planks strapped on their feet and two poles in their hand.

I’ve gone skiing once in my life. It might probably the only time in my life.

I’m a huge fan of watching skiing during the Olympics. I enjoy watching all the downhill events as well as the freestyle skiing events. I can give or take cross-country but that’s mainly because the US isn’t really good at it so I have no real incentive to watch.

Skiing was not something we did in my family growing up. Both my parent are from countries where snow just does not exist therefore they are not big fans of it. Snow was a hindrance that needed to be shoveled away immediately and not something to play in. Therefore they saw no reason as to why we should pay money to play in snow. Plus we lived at least 4 hours away from the nearest ski resort so it really was out of the question. My youth group never went on skiing trips and I was never invited by any of my friends to go with them so I went 29 years without ever seeing skiing in person.

Honestly it never really was that big of a deal to me missing out on it. Now snowboarding I would have loved to have done because that just seems really cool and the people who snowboard are even cooler.

Then I moved up to the Northern Virginia area and the group of friends I was in had nearly everyone being a hard core skier. Like these are folks that get season passes to the resorts around here, go on ski trips almost every weekend, all own their own skis, and go out for trips out west just to ski. Most of them either grew up in snowy areas where they had to ski (or die) or their families growing up placed skiing as a priority and so they learned at a young age. Clearly I was not in their league.

But as I was trying to do a bunch of stuff before turning 30, skiing once was on the list of things to do. I was invited with a group of friends to go out to western Maryland to a ski resort. Seeing as how I was the ONLY person in the entire group who didn’t know how to ski, I decided to sign up for lessons. First I went out and bought ski pants and ski socks (because normal socks won’t cut it). The lessons were kind of a joke. I barely learned how to do anything in that hour but what do you expect when you’re not paying for personal lessons. Two of my friends (who are rather good skiers) decided to accompany me on my first (and only) trip down the mountain on whatever the easiest slopes were.

I knew I was going to be in for a rough time when I fell down while we were STANDING in line. I then fell getting off the ski lift.

We proceeded to go down the mountain where I just kept falling over and over again. My problem was that it felt like I was going super fast (which I really wasn’t) and that I was going to either a) fall off the side of the mountain or b) keep running into people. Falling isn’t fun at all. You get snow down your pants and getting up is really hard when you’re not used to wearing ski boots. I honestly was afraid I was going to break my ankle again getting up. Plus the goggles I was wearing kept fogging up plus they were fogging up my glasses inside so I could barely see.

I was about 3/4 down the mountain and had fallen down yet again when I just was tired of it all and refused to get up. The following conversation may be more dramatic than what actually happened.

D: I can’t get up. Just leave me.
C. You have to get up. You can’t stay here.
D: Just leave me, I can’t do this anymore.
C: (getting frustrated) Just get up. You’re almost there.
D: No. I’m done. I hate this. *keeps sitting*
C: YOU GET UP RIGHT NOW. YOU GET UP OR YOU WON’T EAT. GET UP NOW!
D: (tries to get up but keeps falling so C has to help her) …..ok

And we eventually got down the mountain (I fell again) and I called it a day.

There’s no photographic evidence of me skiing (thank the Lord), at least not to my knowledge. And I’m perfectly fine with that. I was very sore afterwards.

I just don’t see myself doing it again. It’s an expensive sport and from where I live, you have to travel several hours to be able to do this. Plus it’s a time sensitive activity as it can only be done a few months of the year. I honestly just cannot justify the expenses for it. Do I feel a bit left out because it literally feels like 95% of my friends ski and I don’t? Yes. But then I’ve realized that I’ve tried it and I don’t like it so there’s no point in me wasting money in making myself miserable. I’m NEVER going to catch up with my friends unless I go and pay for high quality lessons and then spend pretty much every day skiing which is never going to happen.

So I’m perfectly content with going snow tubing (THAT’S fun) and/or staying in the cabin by the fireplace drinking my hot cocoa while everyone else goes to ski. Sure I wish I could join them but I’ve accepted this lot in my life. And I’m perfectly ok with it.

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The Slow and the Cautious

Driving-in-the-snow

As I sit here and write this, it’s snowing outside. Well, ok really at this point, it’s freezing rain coming down which is going to turn to ice in a bit. I currently don’t have the number to call to check into work tomorrow so I’m hoping I acquire that soon or will have to make an executive decision about whether or not I go in. So what’s today’s post going to be about? Driving in wintery weather. Ooooh thrilling, you’re thinking sarcastically. Actually it can be depending on what part of the country you live in.

Now I know all you folks that live in the Northeast or Midwest or Alaska, or any part of the world that gets tons of snow all the time, you’re used to it. You dig out of millions of feet of snow every year, drive through blizzards, and kids have no idea what a snow day is because that’s just every day life. But see here in Virginia, we freak out at rain. So when there’s even just a whisper of cold weather, all hell breaks loose down here. You always know when bad weather is about hit because at the grocery stores all the bottled water, bread, and milk have disappeared. I’ve always wondered this though, if the power goes out won’t your milk go bad? Parents and kids anxiously wait to see if schools will close while almost everyone around here continually checks the OPM website to see whether or not the government will close/delay.

So driving in wintery weather is not fun at all up here. Most people up here don’t do well to be honest. I’m not an expert at all. I grew up in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia which is just as bad. I don’t drive a car with snow tires or 4-wheel drive. I did have a minor accident last year when I was driving out of my neighborhood and hit a patch of ice which caused my car to spin and then slam into the curb, which then ruined a tire frame, under carriage and alignment. Therefore since then I am now a very cautious driver during winter weather. This does not mean I stay shut in during every winter storm. I just drive very cautiously.

As I was driving home today from church, it was a mix of snow/freezing rain/sleet/slush. While most of the roads had been treated, there was still a lot of mess on the roads. Therefore, I drove about 10 miles below the speed limit. And it got me home perfectly safe. I think though, I annoyed a lot of people doing that because even though I stayed on the right lane and even though every single traffic report said to be cautious and drive slower than normal, there were quite a number of people who would get behind me, pass me, and then get right back in front of me. All while going ABOVE the speed limit. Which that’s all fine and dandy if you are confident enough. But you know some of the rest of us aren’t. And as long as you’re ok with that, then I’m ok with that. I just think, since Northern Virginia drivers tend to be very aggressive, that a lot of them DON’T realize this.

I am just glad I wasn’t one of the many cars that had spun out onto the side of the road today. And going below the speed limit, gripping onto the steering wheel for dear life, and avoiding ramps helped to accomplish this. Now as for PLAYING in the snow, that’s a totally different story. One winter storm down, probably a lot more to come.