In the Pan


Bread baked in a pan is the most common form. It slices well, jumps out of a toaster with ease and absorbs local honey and butter’s dressing happily.
Luke and I will have been married for seven years this year, together twelve. It surprises me to say we are still learning things about each other. One new tidbit is his love of the true loaf form. I found out the other day. He figures that fresh bread four or five times a week (with a prenatal and postpartum hiatus, now returning) is nothing to complain about and it’s only accidentally that I found out.
My stone was dirty with caked-on cornmeal from prior night’s pizza, so I grabbed a few Pyrex and let the French Dill rise. I missed the shape it usually takes on, laying on the stone: giant hamburger bun, enormous Pirate’s Booty, field stone (all Betty’s descriptions). Once cooked, I had a hard time getting it out of the pan and an even harder time cleaning the pan. I missed the knock-on-wood solid top and side sound as much as I missed the foot long slice, toasted on broil. The loaf still tasted good, it just wasn’t what I was used to.
Skiing in the cool rain and fog is still fun, just not what we’re used to, either. I’m used to east coast’s ice and heavy dumps, while Luke remembers Montana’s ice blue sky and light, fluffy powder. Here, we own something called a Ski-Gee – a mini squeegee that fits on the thumb and un-slushes your goggles. Here, we ski Mt. Baker and her short lift lines, insane terrain and awesome sights. It isn’t always fog-rain-slush, just like it doesn’t always rain in The Pacific Northwest. But if you waited for the perfect day, you might not get outside.
You know you’re out of shape (or just had a baby or both) when the act of gearing up in the parking lot is exhausting, not to mention time consuming. Actually zipping up my ski pants was a feat, while dressing two ladies, breastfeeding another, assisting in potty breaks, and caring for truck-bound Tilly, our Great Dane/Lab traveler, was a full time job for Luke and me during the fifty minutes it took to get ready and walk to the slopes. It was sooooo worth it once we heard Lucy’s song:
Snow, snow, snow
I love snow
Snow angel, snow angel, snow angel
I love snow, I love snow, I love snow
[repeat for three hours to the tune of The Dead’s Shakedown Street]
I didn’t know what I was going to do with Olive, how she’d handle the cold and how I’d carry her.
Well, she slept slope side in The Moby and seemed unfazed in the chill. I walked along the run, camera in hand & stopped once and a while to build a tiny snowman with my little resting skiers.
Betty, true to her nature, was slow and steady and a bit methodical about the whole process. She kept saying the words, “So, I make a piece of pizza with my skis and I fall over if I go too fast and I keep my knees bent and my hands out in front like I’m steering a car…” She psyched herself out, almost, just like me. At first, it was between Luke’s legs, then with a harness. Many sites sell a ski-wee harness that you steer like a stunt kite or leashed puppy. Luke fashioned one out of climbing rope and it worked OK, but held her back. She had fun, but she wasn’t doing it on her own and she knew that she had before. I walked along side of her, letting go of her hand as she took off to Luke, and that produced a lot of happy giggles. But when she just started out the run along side Luke, she had it. Tiny steps to that point and, wow, was she proud.

And much to Lucy’s nature, she wanted to do it all by herself. “Do it self!” to be exact. She was having so much fun on the snow her happiness was uncontrollable and infectious.
She giggled until collapse between Luke’s legs and declared, “no pizza pie,” to our hollered coaching. She skipped that whole learning process and got right down to it.
Olive didn’t mind chillin’ slopeside, and inside, she seemed to like the lodge and proved herself to be an adaptable little bunny and future skier.
Luke and I swap lodge time now, but I look forward to when we all ski together and study the trail maps on the drives up. It seems like that time will be easy, more managable – more restful. But, that will only mean that these days have gone and these are the ones we’re used to. Each one is good, just different. For now, we’ll celebrate the present.
And here they are, smiling after a good day on the mountain.

Here, it’s a full on commitment to ski. An hour and then some red eye ferry ride, a two and a half hour car road from sea to ski, then a reverse with the milk run late night two and a half hour ferry ride home. Add some extra time for the unpopular traveler who forgot to get off at Orcas Island, making the ferry head back just a mile from our home’s port. Aghhhrrrrr. Sure makes us miss the eight mile drive to the mountain when we lived in Red Lodge as season pass holders.
This year I’ll have been skiing for twenty five years, Luke a tad shy of that. So, it’s no wonder we believe skiing is in their blood. Proudly, we can say this is Betty’s fourth year and Lucy’s second. Matt, Luke’s brother, no doubt wanted to break this record and took a bunny run with Wyatt. Big Sister Maddie was testing out mountain’s top while Mama Shannon looked on, smiling approvingly of her new ski rabbit.
Wyatt Luke Furber, 2 months, snow sleep-angel

Ahh, the skiing coastal cousins. The day we’re together skiing with Montana cousins Meritt & Piper will be a great one.
Wyatt, 2 months, sleep-skiing

I want our babes to be prepared. Here, I’ve learned the importance of outside time each day, what ever the weather. When it isn’t ideal outside, we prefer rain boots and these lyrics Betty made up one stormy day on Whidbey Island, a place with a lot more rain than here:
Rain, Rain
Come and Stay
Make the Flowers
Grow Today.

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