MY PARENTS FELL IN LOVE WITH SKIING IN THE 1970S, AND THAT LED TO ME HITTING THE SLOPES AT AGE 7. WE REGULARLY JOURNEYED NORTH FROM NEW JERSEY TO SKI AREAS IN VERMONT AND NEW HAMPSHIRE – AN EXCITING ADVENTURE FOR A YOUNG JERSEY GIRL IN AWE OF THE MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN WITH ITS PLENTIFUL SNOW.
With a set of snow tires on the rear of our large family station wagon and ski equipment in the cargo area, we were good to go. My brother, sister, and I thought it was fun slipping around in the snow to get into the driveways of our rented ski houses in New England. I'm sure it wasn't much fun for our parents after five hours of driving.
What made it worthwhile was their new love of skiing, along with friends, wine, crisp cold air, the smell of pine mixed with a wood-burning fire, and ski chalets to explore.
In 1980, my father, a builder by trade, constructed a family ski house in Killington, Vermont. He did it single-handedly, using recycled materials from old jobs.
I was a freshman in high school. I felt athletic but had no outlet. I didn't play traditional sports, so I founded our high school ski racing team.
Our family vehicle became an SUV, and my parents tried to head up to the Vermont ski house every weekend. We'd drive four-and-a-half hours on a Friday night, ski the weekend, then return Sunday for school and work.
In the early 1980s, the family car became a Subaru station wagon. My parents knew the value of getting more miles to a dollar. Plus, we no longer had to get out of the vehicle to change the hubcaps to engage four-wheel drive.
I graduated from high school in 1983 and decided to attend an art school in New Jersey. I needed wheels for my commute. My parents, by now Subaru lovers for so many reasons, bought a used Subaru hatchback for me, and I learned how to drive a stick shift. I drove to school and, when the weekends came around, to Vermont.
I had my own Subaru. I loved it.