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August 10, 2020

On a recent morning while I was washing dishes, Jacqueline walked in from outside wearing cool wrap-around sunglasses. “Are these the ski sunglasses you always laughed about?”

I immediately recognized my favorite Gargoyle sunglasses – that I bought in the 90s. Or was it the 80s? They were the rage. So much so, we will never forget a particular family ski trip at Mammoth Mountain.

We were standing in the middle of a crowded lift line. The camaraderie of fellow skiers chatting started to quiet down. Then we heard a woman’s voice shouting, “Are those your glasses?” I could hear her voice, but with so many people surrounding me, I couldn’t see her.

“Are those your glasses?!” she repeated a few more times. Suddenly, the crowd in front of me opened. I was face-to-face with this rude person demanding that I answer the question.

“Are you asking me? Of course, these are mine!” I replied, shocked that she had the gall to even ask.

Within seconds, the crowd – in my defense and to humiliate the poor woman – started asking each other: “Are those your glasses?

Then she walked away.

That’s how hot my Gargoyle ski glasses were. Now I don’t even know what’s trendy because I still wear them. They’re in great condition and still look good. I think.

That was just one of many unforgettable moments during family ski trips, including those with Louie’s Aunt Magdalena and his late Uncle Tom – when Jacqueline and her cousin Jeffrey honed their ski skills. Those week-long trips were bonding moments and times we will never forget. Skiing is an activity that the family could do together for many years.

We “set up camp” in a condo, took turns cooking meals, and rose early to put layers of clothing on before going up to the mountain. With Tom at the front of the line, we started by skiing behind him follow-the-leader style. An expert skier, he was a great teacher. By lunch time, we skied down to the lodge to refuel before getting back on the trails. By evening we were bushed with just enough energy to whip up dinner and share our proudest moments of the day not to mention who fell the most.

But now that we’re in Covid times, ski resorts, skiers, and snowboarders all wonder what will happen this coming winter season. Like every other industry, they are thinking with the glass half full in hopes that the necessity to wear masks and social distance can be weaved into a plan that will allow lovers of winter sports to get back on the mountain.

There was another item Jacqueline found while organizing the garage: A cherished mother-daughter moment on skis.

Athena and Jacqueline skiing

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