Monday, February 8, 2010

Lemonade Stand

I’m updating this blog from the Lazy-Boy in my living room with a cup of coffee in hand. Although that doesn’t seem odd, I’m supposed to be eating breakfast in the Lodge at Breckenridge this morning getting ready to hit the slopes. But as anyone within 500 miles of the east coast knows, we’ve been dealing with a little weather incident. So my early morning flight on Saturday has turned into an evening flight on Monday.

I’ve been planning this trip since August. At least that’s when I sent in my first payment. I began getting nervous midweek when the news started talking about a storm. But let’s face it we have all been conditioned by the weatherman who cried wolf too many times now. In an impromptu survey, no one I asked could remember the last time the forecasters underestimated the snowfall totals. They say 6-8 which always means 2-4 inches. Why would this time be any different?

Well it was. To make a long story short, 2’ plus of snow closed the airport and put my ski trip on hold. I was pretty bummed to say the least. Now I realize that is pretty self-absorbed to be whining about delaying a ski vacation and I’m sure there aren’t a lot of violins playing for me. There might be people reading this who are sick, have lost their job, have family issues or worse. Hell there is a lot of pain and sorrow out there.

Although it’s nice to vent, I didn’t write this just to bitch. But rather share a sliver of enlightenment that hit somewhere in the middle of my 6th hour shoveling on Saturday. I had already dug out a big chunk of our driveway before a friend came over and plowed us out. (that was nice) and had headed over to our neighbors next door. Dave had made it about 1/5 of the way down his 300’ driveway before his shovel gave up the ghost. I had brought my spare over and together we did the remainder over the next couple hours.

So my first epiphany came as we finished Dave’s drive. Damn, how long would it have taken Dave if my flight went thru. Glad I was here to help. Then Sunday morning I went skiing at our local hill with a group of good friends and had one of the best days ever skiing in Western PA. Came home to my wife and girls who were very excited that I was home for my birthday. Then off to a friends to watch the super bowl with the family. All in all what had started as a self perceived “disaster” turned out to be an almost perfect 24 hours.

I know its cliché to talk about making lemonade out of lemons, but there is really something to it. Every hardship, setback, struggle changes you somehow. Back when my father was getting older and later diagnosed with cancer, he had moved into our home where we could best care for him. What I didn’t realize at the time was not what we were doing for him but the gift he was giving me and my family. The time spent caring for him was repaid 10 fold by the bond grown between him and my wife and children and cemented with me. The strength of these bonds could never have fully matured, had that course not been forced upon us. Sometimes, in the thick of things, it’s hard to focus on how anything as diabolical as cancer can yield some thing so powerful.

Does a delayed ski trip compare with the loss of a loved one or some personal struggle in your life. NO. But maybe this blog can help. Not by turning lemons into lemonade, but rather by setting up a lemonade stand so I can share a little bit with you.


  1. Sorry to hear about your trip delay. Glad to hear that you are enjoying life !
    Have fun on the slopes ...

  2. Mike,
    I'm impressed. Never saw this side of you. You are right. Life does offer us many oppportunities. Enjoy the trip.