Posted By Debra Shiveley Welch

Okay, I’m guilty as charged.  I must admit that I have this bad habit of getting into my writing, forgetting to eat, and remembering only when my stomach begins to collapse in on itself.

Driven by hunger pains, I begin a frantic search for a quick snack and, inevitably, fall upon my favorite: peanut butter stuffed celery.  However, there is one problem.  The name of the snack is backward.

Salivating and eager to appease my sustenance-starved body, I stuff the celery into the peanut butter.  Again and again, I plunge a crisp, green rib into the thick, savory, organic spread.  Slowly, my hunger abates and I am once again free to pursue my passion – writing.

My son enters the kitchen and reaches for the same treat.  I feel myself slowly shrink into my chair.  I know what is about to happen.

Hungry, his 16-year-old body craving protein, he grasps the jar and carries it to the counter.  Retrieving bread and raspberry jelly, he quickly constructs his peanut butter sandwich.

I have now become half my size as I await the inevitable.  Chris lifts the sandwich, raises it to his lips and takes a big bite.  It takes a few seconds as tongue and palate work together to extract the flavors from his concoction.  He pauses, turns to me and exclaims, “Mom!  The peanut butter tastes like celery!”

Caught again.


 
Posted By Debra Shiveley Welch

Shakespeare said, "The course of true love never did run smooth." I was about to find out just how true these words were.

My true love was a real "jock," the type that can excel in any sport. I'm the opposite: clumsy, off balance, awkward. I started ballet lessons when I was nine, but my teacher soon noted my clumsiness, and suggested that I take up tumbling instead. If I ignored her advice, she said, I'd never live to see twelve. Thankfully, I'd listened and had survived several tumbles down stairs, missteps off of curbs, and close-encounters with various hard surfaces. Surviving past the predicted time of my demise to my present age of 30, encouraged me to agree to an excursion, which I knew in my heart, was asking for trouble. My true love was taking me skiing. I took great care in what I selected for my new adventure. My theory was that if I looked good enough, no one would notice that I could not ski! I pictured myself on the slopes in my new scarlet and gray ski jacket, my pert little woolen hat, my blond hair streaming behind me as I performed a perfect downhill run.

The fateful day dawned clear and crisp with the smell of impending snow in the air. "Perfect skiing weather," Mark exclaimed, as he loaded our gear onto the top of his "Copper Kettle," the nickname he had fondly given his brown, 1979 Toyota Celica.

I knew I was in trouble when I saw that I had to use a towrope. Operated by a motorized winch, this contraption pulled people to the top of the hill. One would grab on with both hands, bend their knees, and "ski" to the top. I might have been okay had I not been behind an eight-year-old who decided to let go. Tumbling downhill, entangled with a pre-adolescent snowball, I was plopped into the center of the large, all-encompassing branches of a huge pine tree. Suddenly, I remembered that I was allergic to evergreens.

Sneezing my brains out, hair snarled by hundreds of sticky needles, and trying to extricate myself from a pine needle prison, I finally crawled free, skis dragging behind me, to the merriment of those who had watched my struggles. Mark, laughing with the others, informed me that I had to try the towrope again.

Taking a deep breath and grabbing hold a second time, I began my ascent to the top. Eyes darting wildly, so intent was I upon scouting for my eight-year-old nemesis, I forgot to release my hold. Someone was shouting "Let go! Let go!" It was Mark. I was coming perilously close to the top pulley through which the rope was threaded. I found myself suspended above the ground by God knows how many feet. I let go, landing, to my astonished relief, without injury. Straightening, I attempted a dignified waddle, skis still miraculously intact, to the top of what Mark called "the Bunny Hill"

Bunny Hill? Below me stretched an almost vertical slope of deep, glistening snow. Scattered about this dazzling visage of white, were pine trees, tall with dark trunks, their branches reaching out to entrap me once again. Frost-tipped air pinched my cheeks, causing my eyes to tear. I felt dizzy, and belatedly, remembered that I was also afraid of heights. I immediately had an asthma attack.

I had also forgotten to take into consideration that I suffer from four types of asthma: allergy, exertion, stress and temperature-induced. Mixed with my innate clumsiness, my tendency to fall over for no reason, and a general lack of balance, it became quite clear to me that my new outfit might not be enough to carry off the day.

Okay, Debra. You can do this, I whispered to myself. I made the sign of the cross, sent a plea to Jehovah, asked Allah to guide me, fingered my rabbit's foot and down I went.

This isn't bad, I thought, as I slowly worked my way downhill. I was feeling quite cocky until I heard Mark scream "Turn, turn!" Confused, I started to look back and then I heard someone else scream "Stump!" I felt a jolt and was airborne. My pert little woolen hat flew off and I landed with a thud. Years of tumbling saved me once again, as I landed in what to me, was a very comfortable position.

Now, I've sat in the W position all of my life. Turning my legs outward instead of inward, I can touch my heels to my hips when sitting or lying on the floor. I guess the skier who had just slammed into me didn't know this, because when he got up and saw my skis nestled against my ears, he threw up.

It certainly had not been a smooth run and at this point I was rather upset with my true love, but I think the final straw was when I saw a two-year-old on skis a foot long, skipping by me like she was strolling through the park. I decided immediately that the best part of skiing was the hot chocolate (with peppermint schnapps) and the cozy fireplace in the lodge. My cute little ski outfit would look great in the lodge ... if I could just manage to get there.


 

 

 
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2010