My husband and I got married in September and in December we headed to my folks in Virginia to celebrate our first Christmas together. We had a pretty uneventful trip up…except for the speeding ticket….but boy did things get exciting later that week!
A few days after Christmas we decided to head up to Wintergreen to do a little snow skiing. We love to ski and Ric is really good at it and we just couldn't wait to hit the slopes! It was freezing that night and they were blowing snow like crazy. I had gone out on the "bunny slope" to teach my sister in law Tanya…who had never been and I can guarantee will probably never go again! We had only been out there maybe 15 minutes when my brother in law skied up and said "Ric fell…bad….he has no clue where he is"! Ric then ski's up and I can see it in his eyes…you know the look of "I just whacked my head on the ice and have no clue where I am". He asked me "Did I fall?" I told him I didn't know but let's go get checked out……his response…..he took off across the mountain! I followed him and finally caught him in the ski lift.
The four minutes we spent on that lift were terrifying yet comical. He repeatedly asked me if he had fallen…and then questions like, "Where are we….Am I a youth pastor…..Did I plan the youth ski trip yet…Did I miss Thanksgiving…Did I fall" came. They were one after the other. I am answering them, but the whole time I am answering them I am thinking…how do I get him to Ski Patrol. We get close to the top and I tell him…."Whatever you do…don't you dare ski to the left and go back down this mountain..stay with me"! Well…he tried to ski to the left and I yelled at him…really loud to get his concussioned self back over here next to me or I was gonna beat him dead!
I got him to the Medic and they began to assess the situation. All the while I am thinking "where is my family?" This was before cell phones were big so there was no way for me to contact them. Ric is being questioned by the nice medic and Ric's answers were comical……He asked Ric to remember three things…apples, oranges, and bananas….and he was going to ask Ric about said three things shortly. After two minutes of Ric telling me he was fine, the medic came back and asked him what those three things were. The answer: "Buddy, I don't even know who you are"! Their response…."get this big guy on a back board and lets drag him off this mountain without his family and take him to the tiny little backwoods hospital 45 minutes away". Yeah, I know!
The ski patrol assured me that they would help in my venture of finding my family…if you call writing on a dirty chalkboard the size of a notebook at the ski lift helping. What's a girl to do but ski herself all over that bitter cold…icy mountain to find her family. I found my sister in law first…remember she was the one who was in the lodge drinking hot coco 'cause skiing was just not for her. It took a good hour to find the rest…..and the only reason I found my brother is because he is a redneck(he's ok with me calling him that) and wore blaze orange that day. I will forever be indebted to that lovely color. We later found my brother in law( he was really concerned about Ric as he was skiing on the Black Diamonds) and headed off the hospital to find Ric.
At the hospital…that he had been at for a few hours..they assured us that he was ok..just a concussion..no damage! We breathed a sigh of relief…..and then checked him out to head home. He still was out of it and continued to ask us "Did I fall?" for the next two hours. We got to the point where we were all exasperated by his questioning and seriously felt like saying "shut up already….yes you fell…yes you fell…yes you fell!!!" Oh wait…we did tell him that!
And the best thing about this whole trip.....Ric ended up in the hospital with his ski boots on and I believe he rode home with them on....and well, they sat in my Mom's closet for almost a year before Wintergreen saw the likes of them again. And no, we haven't gone back to Wintergreen...but we do ski in West Virginia. Needless to say....he hasn't fallen again!!!