2016 began with an inauspicious start. On January 1st I drove our family from Quebec City, where we had been vacationing, back to Dublin School. The drive was snowy, the border crossing tedious, and the unpacking of the car endless. While I was not at the level of feeling sorry for myself I was excited to sit on the couch with some hot cocoa and watch the NHL's Winter Classic outdoor hockey game. Once all my chores were completed, I did just that. Our small Maltese dog named May had other ideas. As I had kicked back on the couch with my flannel pajamas and slippers, May started barking to go outside to complete her nightly business. I was in the basement and called to our other, larger dog, Tele, to accompany May and protect her from any wild creatures that might be outside. Tele just looked at me with that "yeah right" look when I called to him and went back to sleep. Guess it was time for May and me to head outside together.
I let her out the basement door and shined the light from my smartphone on her as she went to work finding a place to do her business among the crusty ice in our back yard. Our house is on a hill that nearly turns into a cliff the further you head down from the house. After what seemed like ten minutes she returned to the door and I reached for the handle only to find that it was locked! We were stuck. I looked up at the warm lights above me and started walking in my slippers across the back lawn toward the hill that leads up to the front door. May just stared at me like I was crazy and waited by the basement door for calmer heads to prevail.
The yard was impressively slippery, but I live on snow and ice and was feeling confident. Three quarters of the way up the hill to the door I started slipping backwards uncontrollably. As I started to gather speed slipping down the hill backwards in my LL Bean slippers I pulled off an impressive move and turned 180 degrees and was now facing forwards as I gained more speed. I went from feeling pretty impressed with myself to cursing myself, "darn you and your skiing, Brad!" Why could I not have just fallen before gaining speed?
"This is how it ends" I thought as I neared the "cliff" in the backyard. I could feel May's confused eyes staring at me and I remember thinking that I really hoped she had a worthwhile potty experience on this little adventure in our backyard. Fearing the worst I jumped in the air and landed with my elbows and knees toward the ground, breaking through the crust and stopping me abruptly after my forty yard slide (my family did not believe my story, but were shocked when they saw my slipper marks and the four holes in the crust the next morning). Working my way back to the basement door and an impatient dog, I called my daughter Lilly who came down to unlock the door and let me in to the warm house. I was a sight to be seen.
Not sure what the moral of this story is but I enjoyed telling it to the students in our first Morning Meeting of 2016...
Happy New Year everyone!