This Moment:::Cayuse Pass


Friday ritual. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

~joining Soule Mama

{weekending, a few days late}
after a freeway clogged with sunny day rush hour

or, as the husband says eleven lanes too many
the Seattle-Obama-Clooney traffic jam,
an orthodontist appointment for the biggest girl,
in an office with bottomless pinball and a talking parrot
we drove toward a national forest of evergreens
high, white snow pack, solid glacier views
12-foot walls, high altitude sledding
cayuse pass
happy forest memories
time spent here began to fill space
empty of mountains, crisp blue skies,
carved from The Beartooth Mountains
reminiscent of Montana days
oh, this weekend there was an hour poolside while my family slept
(soon, I’ll tell you all about where we stayed)
sunshine creeping towards 80 degrees
a pacific northwest rarity
I read chapters (chapters!) of a memoir named Bloom
took a snoozeafter dinner watched a movie that made us want to buy a zoo
Saturday was spent skiing at Crystal
sweating off sunscreen in 75 degrees
slowly growing more and more sunburn
charring the temporary tatoos of spring skiing: halmet lines, goggle tans
Olive rode the chairlift, didn’t cry during bunny slope runs:
a true success<
felt when Betty rode the chairlift by herself, navigated the trail
down to adirondak chairs tilted sunways
mama pals sipping cocktails, babes snacking in snow, playing games with ski poles
yes, this is my thing, our thing and absolutely the thing.
Mother’s Day begins as the littiest one, naked
slips into bed, whispers,
Happy Mama Day, Mama.  Want to share my pillow?  Here, feel it.
When a two-year-old  shares a lovie, it’s easy to feel how easy love is
Luke flips pancakes, piles bacon
girls with their sweet cards, fingers wrap around my neck with smiles,
press against my cheek.
Soon after, the minivan dropped me off at Crystal Mountain’s gondola
I have never before skied in 80 degree weather, where the base drops hourly by feet,
where an unload from a chairlift requires a leap forward, down a bit to snowpack
I skied in a tank top, ski pants flapping unzipped to reveal board shorts 
and I was still too hot
It is 80s day at the mountain, so lots of neon bikinis and jazzercise legwarmers
my metallic tank top fits right in
I put my new skies to the test,


along with my confidence
when it gets too steep, I pretended the person in front of me zipping around slushy moguls is my brother-in-law
someone who remains the only one to consistently get me to test myself on black diamonds
with the perfect playlist, tropical conditions
turns where I work for it or get stuck in the 7-11 Slushie of it all
I feel like I am in a music video,
not a Brandi Carlile video
but a Warren Miller flick,
Social Distortian soundtrack
or even Jurrasic 5
passing tree wells
minus the gold bikini
I have no idea if I looked like a tree frog in a puddle,
but when this song came on
I sure felt like an Olympic athlete
I hope the sparce audience
from the chairlift above felt the same
still, a small part of me feels guilty about spending so much of Mother’s Day
apart from the ones who made me a mama
still, there’s patience and joy gained in hours, alone, on a sunny ski slope
still, there’s energy and eagerness restored from time spent doing what I love
where I love it
there’s an eagerness in fingertips from a long, long weekend in the woods
away from Wi-Fi and cell reception
Thank you, Mt.Rainier, three little blonde ladies,

and the guy who has my heart: 
the one and only, the one they call Daddy. 

Sunday’s dinner was at the home of dear friends,
where our children step comfortably into where we left off months earlier
and play like cousins, like neighbors
and I stand in the kitchen of the friend 
who first taught me how to be a mama
who became a mama eleven months before me
and in this kitchen
conversations pick up like it often does with folks known before marriage, before babes.
We spend the better part of the next morning at our pediatrician’s office,
a dr who helped us navigate the beginnings of parenthood with humor and research
in a Hawaiian shirt, always
it’s a level of care such as this that makes a five hour roundtrip off-island appointment
totally more than worth it.
As I type this, now 5:22 pm on Monday
it’s 80 degrees out
I’m like completely exhausted.  Entirely exhausted.
ferry slowly passing islands, eagles and still,
chilly seas, harbor seals and bull kelp
I feel full with the best of both worlds:
a trip to the mountains, a journey home to our house by the sea.
& wait
it’s a weekend already
I’ve barely caught my breath
so much lovely in our days
so full, so lucky
how was your weekend, and what do you have planned?
joining Amanda


  • Tracey says:

    I love the photo of your babies and your weekending words bring the whole trip to life in my head. Your new skies are so pretty and sking in 80 degree temps in a tank top must have awesome!
    I hope you get some rest this weekend.

  • Swanski says:

    What a fun weekend and I like your skis too :)I bet they make you smile on the inside. You sure are adventurous….more than me 🙂 Great photo of the girls and that massive wall!

  • Kim says:

    I like it “temporary tattoos of spring skiing”. I know just what you mean. Sounds like it was a great time, had by all!

  • Katie says:

    I can't get enough of the first photo. Priceless!

    Loved everything about this post. Inspired to take some time for myself this weekend. xo

  • you referenced social d. mad girl crush right now.

  • no way! I thought the pacific northwest got not snow this past winter. That is some wall-o-snow.
    Aren't you glad you're living so fat in your girls' formative years? Yeah!

  • PKJ says:

    Wow, that's a lot of excitment and love right there.

    Love your three ducks in a row picture.

    And I have never been skiing. I'm scared of the learning curve. But when I talk to people who love it, it makes me want to try.

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