This year we went with another family and shared a house with them. C- and B- are a year younger and a year older than me respectively. Our parents are old friends and over time I've come to think of C- and B- as extra brothers
as if I don't
already have enough Y chromosomes in my life with two biological brothers and a
On Monday morning, our families set out to that mountain in Quebec, luggage piled high in the trunks of our mini vans and SUVs. Seven hours in a confined space with my family? No problem, as long as I've got a couple hundred songs on my iPhone and a pair of working headphones.
The next morning, we all woke up early to go skiing. We ate a quick breakfast and loaded into the cars. As we drove along the snow-packed dirt road, I glanced outside at the bare tree branches which were coated in a thick layer of ice. Sitting in the passenger seat, I suddenly noticed that our car was veering off the road towards the right and into a ditch. "Dad...?" I said, panic rising in my chest. The ride was getting progressively bumpier and all I could think about was the fact that that car was our seven hour ticket home. There was a huge bump as our SUV ran over what I later discerned to be the only two-feet tall rock on the side of the road before finally coming to a stop.
I got out of the car immediately to survey the damage. The back and front bumper was missing plastic and the muffler had fallen off completely. All the other internal damage which wasn't visible was left to my imagination and I worried about how we'd get home if the car was broken.
C- and B-'s family, whom had been tailing us, pulled over and helped us push the car. After a couple minutes, a white sedan stopped and a French guy and his son offered to help us push the car. My faith in the world, which had been shattered by the cars that had passed us by, was restored. To my great relief, we finally got the car out of the ditch.
"Did you take pictures?" my dad asked half an hour later, when he'd ascertained that the car was okay to drive and we'd gotten it back on the road. I replied that I had snapped a few pictures for posterity's sake, but that I had stopped to help push the car afterwards. "You should have taken more photos. We need to remember this moment!" he responded.
Well, it's good to know that next time we run into a ditch and everyone is pushing the car, I should be on the other side of the road taking pictures. I think his wallet's definitely going to remember the gaping hole where $700 should have been had they not gone to car repairs.
That night, us kids discovered that there was a hot tub in the backyard. Epic win after our long whirldwind of a morning? I think so. Promptly after we ate dinner, we all ran tip-toed across the snowy pathway barefooted and jumped into hot tub.
The rest of the trip passed by in a blink of an eye. I went snowboarding; I went skiing. I felt my fingers and toes began to hurt from the cold in the minus thirty degrees Celsius air. I felt the condensation of my breath freeze on the ski mask I wore underneath my helmet until it became a sheet of ice on my face. But the snow, the sleet, the wind, the cold—none of it mattered because I was in my happy place.