Wednesday, February 10

Seriously? Again?

I remember the first time I saw snow.
I was five years old and my family was moving from Southern California to New Mexico.

Along the route, my father stopped the car and headed down an embankment as the rest of us waited at the car. He came back with a large handful of snow. It was my introduction to a marvel of nature that would play an important role in my formative years.
My father was a biochemist working for the Atomic Energy Commission in Los Alamos.
At least during the week.
On weekends, he was a ski instructor at Pajarito Mountain.
He began teaching me to ski when I was five, but it took a couple of years before either of us was comfortable with the process.
I skied that mountain from the time it opened until closing every weekend all winter long for years.
I remember lacing my leather boots (inside and outside laces), whacking the snow from the bottom of my boots with my poles, snapping my feet into Cubco bindings, and using the rope tow gripper to get myself up the mountain (imagine a nut cracker that would attach to the moving rope).
Once I graduated to the bigger hills, I’d ride the T-bar and ski the longer slopes of Pajarito.
I skied in Lange boots that I’d inherited from my mom, and I thought that Jet Stix were going to help me ride the moguls like a pro.
I joined the ski team and started racing on the weekends when I was 12, with varied results. There used to be a few trophies around here from those years.
For many of my adult years, I spent six weeks each winter skiing in British Columbia at Whistler/Blackcomb. The Olympics are going to be held there this year.
I’ll be watching.
*photos from our most recent snow storm (16 inches)


  1. Oh how I love snow. We are missing out on this in Upstate NY.
    Loved your ski memories. All my children started skiing at three. If you live where it snows... skiing is the only way to survive the long winter:)

  2. Good morning! your snow photos are wonderful and the story is even better. living in Pa. is very different for you! I think we've been sharing the same storms I live in so. jersey near Atlantic City! will you please send the snow back west? Lyle.

  3. Great stories from your youth. Great photos as always. Los Alamos is an interesting place tucked up there
    at high altitude. Did we see pics of your dad in the museum?

  4. oh your pictures are just beautiful! We've had record setting snowfall here in the DC area....we are still housebound....but as much of a hassle this snow has been....I certainly want to remember it forever....
    Your baby is absolutely adorable licking that snow! He's a BIG BOY! (I have a female shepherd not nearly as big as him)

  5. even though we have had 13 snowfalls and I am sick of snow, even though the pasture will not thaw out til april, even though we are getting more tomorrow, I find your photos so magnificent, you really captured the silence of snow!

  6. LOVE the photos as always Leslie! Everything is beautiful covered in white, hope you're toasty warm inside with a blazing fire, and power!!

    While here in California it pours... not for the days and days as when you were here, but still the rain comes down!


  7. Great snow's pictures and amazing ski memories!
    Did you know that I never saw snow in person? I would love to see and feel in my face that marvel of nature.

  8. ohohooho...
    i have shown everyone
    that comes to house
    these snowy shots ♥♥♥

    !! EVERYONE !!

    these wonderful photos!
    they cannot believe it!


    first question from everyone:

    ~~Did they lose power?~~

    i say,
    she is still blogging.......

    {{ LOVE your narrative here,missy!
    i was 17 before i saw snow.
    i am such a florida girl }}

  9. Great pictures Stiffie. The guy driving the truck must have had a steady hand on the wheel. Nearly all of my current blog posts have something to say about the exquisite quality of your pictures.

  10. Boy did your blog bring back memories! I lived in Los Alamos for 33 years, worked at the Lab there, wandered in and out of AEC. My husband, three of my children, and three of my grandchildren have skied Pajarito (still do).
    I spent more of my time at Camp May in the summer and fall on horseback. Remember the changing of the aspens just before the snow started?
    Your pictures are great and I love that big dog. I also had one like that when I lived there. Her name was Holly.
    Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  11. Awesome!
    I am so moving to Philli for a while!

  12. Once again Leslie, such spectacular photos.

  13. I know it can be so harsh, but God it's beautiful, and you have captured it!

  14. Wonderful snow photos...are you ready for the storm that is on it's way?
    This has been a lovely winter...I complained the last few years about our lack of snow.
    I am going to another climate, 60+ degrees, in a few days.

  15. Your photos from this post and the previous and ALL your photos, for that matter, are dazzling. I love the one of Atticus in the doorway and the two of them playing.

  16. Leslie,
    your snow photos are spectacular and I love the racer!

    the doggies are digging the snow!

    happy V day!

  17. What a beautiful, snowy world you've photographed! We had snow in Dallas, too......was lovely but not like what you got. Does Aticus mind the cold? Love the photo of him licking the snow :D

  18. I should bring Harley over so the dogs can romp. Romp....yes, that's what Harley has been doing in the huge snow. Just loving it.

    Gorgeous photos. You captured the scene perfectly.

    Happy V day Leslie!!

    xo K

  19. Love your pictures Leslie of the snow. Loved about the skiing part of your life too. I did that too, up in Lake Tahoe for years in my youth. Never raced though :) You are a brave soul! It will be 65 degrees here and sunny. That makes me happy.
    xo joanna

  20. I'm in Toronto and we've barely had enough snow to sweep away, let alone shovel, this year. I've been watching the Olympics day and night. I'll be thinking of your when I watch it now :)

  21. You know I'm watching, baby!! Go... whoever wins!!!

    I love hearing about this. It's great to learn more about people I like. And these photos are so great. What a fabulous dog.

    I mean, the rest of them are great, too, but seriously. The dog!

  22. well...
    now I know where our snow is
    you got loads!
    so quiet under that white blanket
    such fun for dogs and photographers
    go out and pour some maple syrup on the snow - Kiran would love this...

    love to you all,
    xox - eb.

  23. Dear Leslie,
    This is a beautiful post about your life. Every part about it. How your dad showed you your first snow and gave you the gift of learning to ski.
    Skiing is a sport that tells much about a persons and their capacity to be focused,take risks and be courageous. It doesn't surprise me that you were a ski queen!! Not one bit.


  24. Dear Leslie, love your story here of your father and your adventures in the snow... beautiful winter scenes too. roxanne