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Remembrance

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Remembrance
A frosty chill ran down my body as I stepped out of the charter bus. The sky was sunny, despite the fact there was snow all over the ground. This was strange, because back home in Texas it doesn't snow very often, and when it does, it is not usually accompanied by so much sunlight. The air was thin and crisp, as cold as if I was standing inside of a freezer. With every breath I took I could feel the cool air rush down my lungs, with an icy chill moving through me as my goose bumps spread. As I exhaled, I could clearly see my breath floating away and slowly disappearing into the air, as if it was running away. Everything around me seemed to be stopped in motion—the beauty of the freshly fallen layers of snow lying on all of the skyscraping mountaintops, the forest green pine trees that permeated the air with the smells of its pine nettles. We had stopped for a break to stretch our legs on our way to Crested Butte, a ski resort in Colorado, which was the destination for my church youth group senior ski trip.

As we pulled into town everything around was so mystical. It was like we had just entered into the North Pole, and with the turn of my head I was going to see Santa and one of his elves walking down the street. All of the shops in town were so small and cute, just like if they were mini gingerbread houses that you decorate with icing and gumdrops, but instead they were covered with Christmas lights, snow and icicles. When we finally reached our cabins, where we would be staying, we all loaded out of the bus. Soon enough, bag after bag, we had the whole bus unloaded.
Wasting no time, we were off to get fitted for our ski suits, boots, and other ski accessories. It was such an exciting time; so many thoughts were running through my mind. Should I be nervous, excited, or both? Was I going to be good at skiing? What if I was terrible at it? I had never been skiing before, and the entire experience was brand new to me. Frankly, I could not imagine what it would be like.
I had always imagined myself going down the slopes with the wind blowing through my hair, laughing with friends as we raced down the mountain, and finally ending the long day with a big cup of steaming hot cocoa. This was going to be a trip to remember; it was just what I needed to take my mind off of the stress of school and then going off to college.
As we walked out of the store, my picture perfect week was soon put in to realistic expectations. Let’s just say putting on a pair of ski boots was a struggle for me, and it was going to be the least of my problems. I took a deep breath with a smile on my face not quite sure what this trip had in store for me anymore.
As my best friends, Autumn, Alex and I made our way over to the bunny slope (also known as the weenie slope), we could see all of the “pro” skiers (as we like to call them), shooting down the “real” mountain like lighting bolts. Snow was spraying up from under their skis, as they seemed to just float on by effortlessly. Once arriving at the bunny slope we saw many children and their parents skiing together, along with the group of kids form the ski school. I thought, “If these little kids can do this, so can I.” The excitement inside me began to grow. I was going to be great at skiing!
We jumped on the ski lift to take us up the slope. Such a beautiful view, everything I had seen before, but ten times more magnificent from above. The horizon seemed to be endless. The way the sunlight hit and reflected off of the top of the mountains, simply breathtaking! This peaceful moment soon came to an end, as it was time to get off the ski lift — for the record, getting off the ski lift is a lot harder than it looks. “Lean forward, and on the count of three we will go,” said my friend Alex. “One, two, three!” Whoosh, ahhhhhh! There we went down the "bunny slope." As Alex and I went down the slope we looked back to see where Autumn was. At that same time, we saw that she had fallen on her rear end. As Alex and I moved downhill our speed increased and we quickly lost control (on the "bunny" slope) —it was humiliating, but very funny. Little kids were passing and looking at us with a grin on their face. Although that seemed funny, I was terrified. Instead of experiencing the wind blowing through my hair and really enjoying the moment I had dreamed of. But we quickly realized that there was no turning back, so down the bunny slope we went, again. As I picked up speed, I found myself catching some serious air. It felt like I was flying across the sky, when suddenly I found myself nose-diving down the side of the mountain. This time I was literally flying across the sky like a bird. I did not spend much time "flying" since gravity brought me "down" to my senses. I hit face first into the snow. Laying there on my belly with my face planted into the snow, my whole body ached as I could still hear my friend Alex screaming the rest of the way down. It was a painful ride, but a very rewarding moment with my best friend. That was just the first day.
The next couple of days on the trip, I realized that skiing was not for me. We had told our traumatic experience on the bunny slope to the whole youth group a number of times. And every time it was told, the story began to grow on me; I began to realize the humor in the situation —which at the time of the accident was anything but funny. Regardless of the story and all of the encouragements to get back out there, I was not going to get back on the slopes. Not me no way. I had done enough skiing for a lifetime. Luckily Alex and Autumn had too.
For the rest of our trip, we spent a lot of time in town, going to all of the cute gingerbread like shops we had seen before, walking and talking, sharing heart to heart conversation and living in the moment—having fun with my girls. On the last day we even got to have our steaming hot coco with marshmallows that we had been longing for, which was like heaven in a mug.
As I entered our charter bus to head back home my mind went into flashback mode. I recalled every special and truly memorable moment I lived with my friends. The slopes of Colorado (not always so fun), and all that I experienced and had seen during my trip were more than impressive; however, the laughs, prayers, and heart-to-heart moments we shared were the real moments that made my heart warm and fuzzy. Those moments will never be forgotten and will be with me forever.





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