Friday, December 11, 2009

and now.....Something Completely Different

When I am not thinking about landscape design my thoughts often drift off to skiing. I have been skiing for 30 years and have been on numerous trips to many different mountains. On these trips I have skied with my own family, my brothers and with friends. This has left me with many experiences and memories that I think about quite often. It was, and still is one of my favorite activities.

Through the years, I have owned many types of skis but have held on to only a couple of pairs because I have always donated my old ones to the Special Olympics to continue the life of the skis and help others become acquainted with the sport. My brothers and I nearly always skied the same boards and we were known as the "no turns brothers". My brothers fortunately kept some of the skis that I discarded. We were always attracted to long giant slalom skis that felt good at high speed. One winter, a good friend acquired a unique pair of skis known as RD Bad Dogs. These skis were fast but were actually better known for their lift line appeal and antics more than anything. My friend would routinely arrive at the bottom of the run and, in a large bellowing voice would announce that Bad Dog had arrived to the surprise, shock and astonishment of everyone standing in the lift line. The Bad Dogs were true crowd pleasers.

As with the attention-getting Bad Dogs, every pair of skis that I owned had their own personality and life. They all had many miles behind them and carried with them many hillside stories. And I have always found that each pair of old skis were very difficult to part with. Each pair of skis were a big part of the family fun, good friendships and awesome ski trips that have been my life for three decades. As a tribute to all of my old skis, I have finally managed to collect nearly all of the pairs that I have owned over the years. Some of them I had, some I received from my brothers and friends and others I found for sale on Craigslist. With all these boards that I have skied and now collected, I have made a ski bench to properly display them in their final resting place.

I enlisted the help of an extremely good contractor friend to help me meticulously craft the bench using his much-needed construction knowledge, technique and, of course, his tools. The ski bench was built for many reasons. It was built out of respect, love and compassion for all the friends that I have skied with. It was built with craftsmanship and detail for the wonderful outdoors. It was built with quality and integrity to last for decades and for the continuation of my beloved sport of skiing for many generations of skiers to come.

I have positioned the bench in the garage right in front of our cars. Every time that I pull into the garage I see all the familiar faces of my skis and my thoughts immediately go back to times of epic snows, blazing fireplaces, good times, apres ski sessions, lodges, Rumple Minze on the hill with my friends and my unbelievable family. But I guess that the real reason that I built the ski bench is because I am not ready to let the memories fade. I now have all of these old friends together again. Having them with me is a way for us to relive our trips together every time that I pull into my garage.

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