Snapshot of Vail life..

By : Heather Hower

I am a hard person to buy gifts for. I know this. It’s not because I am particularly
picky, it’s just that I think I want something, then get it and find I don’t really need it.
I like returning as much as I like buying and receiving. It makes me feel light to get
rid of something. Conversely, when I find something I really want and love, I feel a
sense of smugness almost. Like I discovered whatever it is.

This Christmas my husband got me two ski jackets (both returned. I have unusually
long arms and when anything is too short or reminiscent of high waters it brings
me back to the 7th grade and it won’t do.), a lovely huge bright green pot and a set of
knives. I kept the latter two.

We are infamous amongst our group of friends for having bad knives. So bad that
some friends would bring their own knives over when they brought apps or meat
to grill. I figured, sure good knives would be nice to have, but really, how important
are they? It turns our immensely important. I like to cook. I cook a lot of vegetables
and items that need prep. These knives are like, well, cutting butter. I sliced leeks,
onions, garlic, cauliflower and carrots. I feel like I could be an infomercial. Now look,
I am cutting a tin can. (Not with my lovely new German knives.)

My older daughter had Devo today… a full-day ski lesson in Vail. We want to be able
to ski as a family. And not snowplow and be out of control, we want to ski. Younger
daughter had her first lessons yesterday. Both love it, so we are well on our way (I
hope) of being that postcard-looking family, laughing and chasing each other down
Pepi’s Face.

My younger daughter and I hung at home today, did an hour of yoga then piled
our sled, two pairs of skates, helmet, snacks, water and sunscreen in the Chariot
and walked to our favorite little sledding hill, the local skating rink, then treated
ourselves to a hot cocoa with whipped cream and sprinkles. Well, one of us got the
treat. My treat comes during dinner prep (with the knives and fancy green pot)
when I get to sip a lovely Montepulciano that reminds me of a time when I went to
that region in Italy for a friend’s wedding.


I ran into a few friends at the skating rink with kids my kids’ ages. We were laughing
how we get nervous and twitchy if our kids are seemingly behind a ski levels. As
locals, I think we all want our kids to love the mountain and skiing as much as
possible. I mean look where we live! We all want to be outside as much as possible.
While we were getting our hot drink at Yeti’s, we ran into another friend. On the
walk home I saw a dad walking with his two daughters and an older woman walking
her dog. All were beaming and friendly. This, I know, is just one of the reasons why I
love living here, in a small town. People are out and about and happy. Instead of the
world shutting down due to a few inches of snow, we run out to ski or snowboard or
sled or make snow angels.

I am off to finish my cauliflower soup. Happy skiing, eating and merry making!