This Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, my family and I are holed up in a very scenic mountain lodge for a few days. I really like getting away on this weekend. The weeks after the beginning of the new year can be very dreary, with dark gray skies, the coldest weather of the year, and little to look forward to. Some years I have arranged it so poorly that I didn’t have a day off between Christmas and Memorial Day. But with a long, fun weekend in the snow planned mid January, it helps.
Last year, Adam took the boys skiing and snow-boarding. But we had this run where both kids ended up in the ER in a couple week period from snow sports. Thane broke his wrist, which really bummed out the rest of the winter and halted his nascent basketball career. This year, we planned to arrive right before a major winter storm broke (and leave after it does). So while we toyed with snow sports, we didn’t actually buy any lift tickets.
Yesterday, we lounged around the hotel, swam in the heated outdoor pool, and played lots of role-playing games. We took a midday trip on still clear roads to North Conway, where Adam and I enjoyed some time in some art galleries looking for pieces for our attic, while Grey enjoyed the practical joke section of the Five and Dime store there. He fell in love with a coffee shop that specialized in coffee, art, sarcastic sayings and jazz.
Today, after the epic brunch the hotel is famous for, the boys played their role playing game for several hours. They’re deep into an adventure. With all this unexpected time on my hands, I started live-tweeting my reading of Steven’s “A History of Stoneham, Mass” from a beautiful copy given to me by a friend. I also – and this is epic – finished my draft of the book I’ve been working on for over three years. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the finished draft is about 44k words. Apparently that’s not really novel length. So either I’ve written a novelette (no market) a teen novel (not really) or I need to find more story to tell. Or it’s just unpublishable, which is the most likely outcome, but one likes to pretend there’s hope.
In the bright light of afternoon, with 17 degree weather, we all put on our warmest layers and buckled on our snowshoes (thanks mom!) for a walking adventure. Although I’ve seen Echo Lake many times and know exactly where it is and it’s very near this resort I’ve stayed in often… I’ve never been. There’s a trail down from the resort, and we broke new snow. It felt like a foot of new powder, although it had switched over to ice pellets by that time. The lake itself was frozen hard – hard enough even for the most cautious of parents to be unafraid of their beloved children walking on it. And from the lake, perhaps no surprise, there is a remarkable echo.
Snow shoeing is quite a tiring activity. Right now Adam’s asleep, Thane is bopping around and Grey is working on a school project (theoretically). The snow continues to fall outside, and we have nowhere we need to be and nothing we need to do. Bliss indeed!