Friday, March 29, 2024

Old Endeavors

    Since my ski season got cut short for me this year, I have been pursuing new endeavors.   Just finished trying to revive what little piano playing ability I developed when I retired in 1996.  I took lessons for five years starting at age 61. I must report that my daughter  Victoria age 11 was taking lessons from the same teacher.   What took me a month to accomplish, she mastered in a week!  

    Here I am now, trying to recapture some of the ability I had so many years ago.  Unfortunately, I discover that the process of refreshing is going very slowly.    However, I can amuse myself with simple melodies, even if I can't fill in the base line.  Maybe this is all a metaphor for my skiing abilities in my more senior years.   Go for the simpler terrain and simply take pleasure in sweeping turns that can be considered as a simple ballet on snow.

    I  will continue to seek other old endeavors too.  If you have been a reader of my blog over some time, you will notice the frequency of posting new blogs has increased in the last few weeks.  Therefore I hope to come up for more tiny vignettes for my own entertainment, if not for my readers.

As we move into summer, I am looking forward to returning to the tennis court!  That is not an old endeavor for me, because I have been playing tennis every year after I started banging a ball against the barn on a the farm I grew up.  I was 12 when a neighbor gave me a beat up wooden racket.  I guess an activity that you have engaged in for over 76 years qualifies as an old endeavor in a different way.   Finally, my old endeavor of skiing started in my thirties.  Hats off to those who were able to start much earlier!

Friday, March 22, 2024

Skiing Egos

    Today's Senior Skiing newsletter had an article about ego related to skiing.   It seems that as we age into the 70's, 80's and even 90's, our ego can drive us to take chances on the slopes beyond our current conditioning and skill set.   We have imbedded in our psyche the belief we should be able to master bumps, sketchy conditions, trees, etc. like we could in our younger days.   Not so! To keep enjoying the sport we love, it is best that we know when to limit our adventures.  Really, we should not have to prove ourselves to others or ourself!

    In my 88th year, I have daily reminded myself about the above admonition.  I have learned to delight in just being on the slopes.  I have learned to enjoy what I can do, and not long for the more adventurous challenges of the steeps.   Skiing can be an enjoyable ballet on the gentler slopes.   Graceful complete turns can be most satisfying.  Also in the past, whatever the hill conditions might be, I have had pride in toughing it out at least for a few runs.  However, now is the time for me to tamp down that desire.  

    My geezer skier friends, I wish you many days of simply being out there and remind you to pause from time to time and view the scene, take a few pictures, have a coffee break with your buddies and perhaps reminisce a little about the good old day.  


Friday, March 15, 2024


     Recently I ran across a quote from Henrik Ibsen's play Ghosts that inspired my thinking about what holds us down in our pursuit of life.   You may think, how does this connect to senior level skiing?  Maybe that will develop as you read on. The quote is as follow.

"It is not only what we have inherited from our fathers and mothers that existsin us, but all sorts of old dead ideas and all kinds of old dead beliefs and things of that kind. They are not actually alive in us; but there they are dormant, all the same, and we can never be rid of them"
    Metaphorically the dead ideas and beliefs are anchors we keep dragging along with us and prevent us form moving forward.  It is always time to shed some anchors and move on to new ideas.  In the area of beliefs, it is a bit more complicated.  If we are on a faith journey we cannot necessarily shed all our beliefs, but we certainly can find new perspectives and insights.  
    So what kind of anchors do I have to shed as I adjust to my skiing activities in my more senior years?   A new reality is that in spite of my attention to conditioning and healthy living, I am not as expert on the slopes as I used to be.  Thus I will have to shed the idea I can shred the slopes as if I was a teenager.  I will learn to savor what I can do on the slopes and focus on what I can do rather than what I no longer can do.  Perhaps I will also have to shed the belief I can conquer challenging slope conditions is always the goal. Beyond my skiing obsession, I am thankful that I can look forward to other endeavors.
    In conclusion, to you readers, I hope I have given you some stimulus for reflection on any anchors you may be dragging along and figure out how to shed them.

Monday, March 11, 2024

Yo-Yo Season

    This morning I woke up to a rare March sight in Central New York this year.   A blanket of snow covering my lawn!  Enough snow to get the ski juices going, but meager in the sense that most of it has melted by this afternoon.   Thus, I would define this ski season as one of providing a yo-yo of emotions--hope for good conditions for a while followed by a crash of quality skiing.  No matter what we are up to, we don't like to be jerked around.

    Along with not skiing, I am also feeling jerked around by a change to daylight savings time.   Perhaps, this angst comes from being so wired into routines that we have comfort in.  Sleep is disrupted, meals are off schedule and biological rhythms are out of kilter.  The curmudgeon in me demands more stability. Staying with one or the other time pattern year round does have some issues.  Apparently we aren't going to get out of that dilemma soon.  

    On an end note, we don't always get stability.  That is a fact of existence.  Therefore we must develop coping skills for variations.  Thankfully, I have diversions beyond skiing!  Geezers with the right mindset will adapt. And that ability to adapt will serve well for an optimistic outlook.   My optimistic outlook for skiing to my 90th year is wrapped up in having purchased my season pass for 2024-2025!

Wednesday, March 6, 2024


     Sometimes unexpected events throw your life into chaos.  Post skiing on this past Saturday morning in the rain, I returned home to lunch and my usual afternoon geezer nap.  Unfortunately, I awoke from the nap in a totally confused and blanked out state that lasted for about a half hour.   Needless to say,  something happened and things began to roll that upset my life in a big way over the next several days.  The upshot was a hospital stay which confirmed I had a stroke.  Fortunately, there are no lasting effects.   We are not allowed to call it a mini-stroke.  A mini-stroke does not show up on the MRI, but the stroke does. Mine was visible on the MRI. The doctor called it a small stroke.

    Thankfully, I am home and perking along essentially normally.   Sadly my ski season is over for this year.  However, I don't expect to miss much, since the rain and warm weather had devastated conditions at my local ski area.  I will remain optimistic about next season and buy a season pass.  However, in my 89th year it is likely I will not pretend to engage in ski conditions that I endured in my more youthful years.

    Back to the matter of chaos.   Does going through chaos have something to teach you?   All of us at one time or another have experienced a myriad of chaotic experiences.   I think how well we handle them depends on our support community and whatever good character we have developed in  the past.  During my health issue, I was and am so blessed by my community in all forms that have been supportive and concerned.  That blessing has come from family, neighbors, church folks, ski buddies and professional associates.   I cannot say enough about the extraordinary love and support provided by my dear wife of almost 42 years, Nancy.  May I be as supportive to others as they have been to me.  

    Geezer skiers, in my opinion are a special breed.  We are essentially survivors!  Our love of skiing provides incentive to be healthy, be active and to live each day as a gift, whether on the slope of off.  May we avoid chaos in all forms, but if a bit of chaos enters our lives, may we be fortunate enough to have a dynamic support community.