real gifts of real life...

I have been amidst a tailspin of the real gifts of real life in all of it's madness, sadness, and glory.  The Wasatch is still dry, I fought off a nasty illness, and my family and I mourned the loss of a patriarch.  Rita Formero was my grandmother, and the mother to my own.  I hurried back home to Wisconsin for the services just days after I had returned from there for the annual ski movie premiere party I throw at Wilmot Mountain.  Thankfully, I was able to sit and visit with grandma and grandpa while I was back for the party.  For that I will be forever grateful.  On that following Monday morning Christine and I received the tearful phone call from my mother.  I took a long hot shower, and then wrote down what was coming over me like the morning's steamy bath water.   

"My 30 years of memories and her influence now melts down into gold. However, it is not for a savings account. It is the kind of gold that diminishes in value if hoarded. It is the kind of gold that exponentially grows for eternity when shared. It is the kind of gold that brings true purpose. It thrives in the transaction of a caring embrace. It is 30 years with Grandma, and I will spend the rest of my life happily doing my part to share that kind of gold with everyone. I am rich with it."

I thought about trying to write more about her and everything she was to the line of people that filed out the front doors of the funeral home.  Instead, I will take my own advice, and just share some gold.

More then anything, I found my heart breaking for my grandpa, Don Formero.  By this time he has spent more of his life with her then he did without.  However, I take comfort in knowing that the pain that he and the rest of us feel is the love.  The love we have for her, and the love she has for us.  It only hurts so much because there is so much of it.  When thats had some time to settle in and realize it can then start to change back.  Back into that comfortably pleasant and warm feeling of all the very same love that gathers inside of Grandma's house each winter, on Christmas Eve.  Merry Christmas.    

homeward bound...

I am going home.  I am always excited to do so.  I miss my family, old friends, and the down to earth folks that call my little corner of the mid-west home.  This trip is a special one for me because I get to share a little bit of my crazy pro skiing lifestyle with my people at home in Wilmot, Wisconsin.  December 16th is a Friday night just around the corner.  The Telemark Skier Magazine van will be pulling into town, and throwing a movie premiere party at 8pm in the Iron Kettle Bar at Wilmot Mountain.  As a member of the TSM Crew, I have poured a lot of myself into this movie and the magazine.  Celebrating the culmination of all the hard work with my hometown is a blessing that does not fall short on me.  I am super pumped to be able to celebrate another winter with all of my people in Wilmot.  

^My roots run deep through the earth under this sign.  This place flows in my blood like the swift muddy waters of the Fox River.  Every time I drive past this sign the nostalgia overcomes me like the spring floods over the banks of the Fox.  Home is where the heart is, and there will always be a piece of mine pouring from the snow guns into the sky over the slopes of Wilmot Mountain.    

^The guns are blowing now with some cold temperatures settling into the Midwest.  The boys in the maintenance garage at Wilmot Mountain are bustling and hustling to get some coverage on the ground.  Snow making is an art here, and these guys are a pretty rough and tumble group of Picasso's.  I hope the weather comes in their favor.  I'd love to be able to make some turns with my old man when I get there.   

^The lights of Wilmot at dusk is a beautiful thing.  Winter is settling in, and the holidays are approaching fast.  Friday night, December 16th, is just around the corner, and I am wrapping up the finishing touches to get ready for the premiere party.  Everything is coming together, and I am getting super amped for the trip.  So here is to cold temperatures, blowing snow, a warm bar, a good ski movie, and a cold beer with some good folks in a great place for one hell of a good party.  Cheers.