Snowshoeing in Narnia

February 6th, 2020

This just in: snowshoeing is “boring,” according to my kids.

Snowshoeing is just my speed. Last weekend we journeyed north to a lovely spot in Stowe, Vermont, to have a much-needed dead-of-winter adventure. We stayed at a place renowned for its alpine trails and it’s snowshoe-portunities. I own snowshoes and brought them along, but had to rent for the girls. 


That entailed standing in line for a while at the very busy alpine center. Paying $40 for adorable little snowshoes. And then nearly having an aneurysm grappling with how to strap them onto my kids’ squirmy, unwilling feet. 

No sooner had we gone about five feet than the whining commenced.

“Do these things go any faster?” 

“I don’t want to do this!”

“This is boooooorrrrrrriiiing.”

[simply falls down and refuses to stand back up]

I forced them to snow-slog the rest of the way across the lawn to our hotel lobby, where I unstrapped all the snowshoes and carried them upstairs to our room. There they sat until I returned them the next morning. (The snowshoes, not my kids. They mostly jumped from bed to bed and fought over colored pencils.)

I did get to embark upon a solo snowshoe that afternoon when Jon came back from skiing. I trekked behind our hotel, up into the woods, and followed a trail that led to a stone chapel sitting modestly in the woods. 


It was a very Narnia-esque experience, and I knew I’d never be able to adequately describe the magic later on, so I had to soak it in myself, taking a moment to write my “prayer” on a sheet of memo paper and place it in the “mouse-proof box.”

I am not religious and do not remotely believe in prayer, but I do love an opportunity to write a twee little note and stick it in a box for no one to ever read.


On the way back to the lodge I had a moment of lost-ness. Getting lost in the woods is one of my favorite pastimes. The feeling of being off the radar, but also knowing that my own instincts will guide me back to safety, is both peaceful and powerful. Sure enough, instinct prevailed, and I made it back to the lodge, just in time to catch the latest base jump off the bed.


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

What I’m reading: 

Rounding the bend with the very long and very excellent Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver, as I side-eye the ominously mounting pile of subscription magazines on my bedside table. 

What I’m listening to:

Just subscribed to NPR’s Code Switch blog about race and identity.

What I’m watching:

“We have to do the hard work to truly understand systemic racism” says Joaquin Phoenix, the king of righteous, in his BAFTA awards speech.

Also, making sloooooow progress on Ken Burns’ Country Music documentary.

What I’m eating:

In an effort to diversify my kids’ lunches, I made meatballs the other day, but as usual they came out more like meatblobs. What’s the secret to round meatballs, people?

What I’m working on:

For Helpshift: How to Deal with the Retail Hangover of Endless Returns

For Peltarion, this email teaser:


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