Does your special someone like to do things with you? Mine does.
My guy’s love language is Quality Time. Gwynly wants to be with me, free of distractions. Knowing this to be the case, I dragged myself away from my computer this past weekend and headed up to enjoy the precious little snow we’ve had in the Sierras this year in what we’ve taken to calling, “The Winter That Wasn’t.”
Gwynly donned his cross-country skis, I strapped on my snowshoes, and we set off into the wilderness. No really! Check out the sign.
Despite the skimpy snow, we fully intended to make the most of our time together.
Gwynly got to do some of those fancy Telemark turns he’s so fond of while I watched in admiration. In spite of thinking he might find my impression goofy or girly, I told him that I love how graceful he looks when he’s coming down the hill. I’m glad I did. He said my comment made his day. Ah, the power of words!
Our destination was Winnemucca Lake, an alpine lake a little over two miles from the snow park where we started. Since I’ve been working out daily for over four months now, I felt confident I’d do just fine.
Reality set in rather quickly. The snow was icy on the way up, making the going tough.
Although the sun shone, the temperature reached a high of 55 degrees. That would have been OK, except for the fact that there were fifteen mph winds. Biting winds.
Oh, and did I mention that we were at 8,500 feet when we started, with a 600 foot climb ahead of us? Gwynly reminded me of that fact repeatedly, telling me not to expect to be able to keep up my usual pace at that elevation.
Did I listen? Nope. I set off with the goal of reaching the lake, and nothing short of that would satisfy me. Ignoring the boots that were rubbing my ankles, I forged ahead. Gwynly kept telling me to slow down, take it easy, and not feel like I had to complete the hike.
What I heard was, “You don’t have what it takes.” Yeah, classic male-to-female translation trouble that only served to make me more determined than ever to reach that lake.
I did. But the climb up the final hill wasn’t pretty. I was stooped over so far at times that I’m surprised I didn’t scrape my nose on the icy surface of the snow. Gwynly knew better than to snap a picture, but he did get the one of me at the top. Can you say wiped out?
I’m standing in the picture, but the big hole behind me was made when I fell on my backside while attempting to turn around and face the camera. Yes, I was that tired.
I dragged myself to the “secluded” spot Gwynly located for our lunch stop, one that was supposed to shield us from the howling winds that sent snow dancing over the sparkling surfaces. We soon learned that there was no escaping the buffeting.
I’ve been to the snow with my adventure-loving guy many times during our 24 years of marriage, but never have we wolfed down our meal as quickly. It was so cold I had to keep switching the hand holding my sandwich so I could warm up the other one.
Gwynly broke camp in record time, stuffed the trash in his pack, and pulled out his down vest. I didn’t want to take it, since I was in he-woman mode, but my numb lips and frozen fingers convinced me being warm was more important than making my point that I really am one tough little dudette.
We began the descent with me bundled up, only to discover that the sun had warmed the snow. No longer was I crunching over a crusty surface. Instead I was sinking ankle-deep in the mushy mess.
Had I remembered to take my snow pants and gaiters, I would have been OK, but since I’d expected a warm, sunny day and spring-like snow conditions, I’d left them home. In no time my jeans were soaked, making me cold, wet, and not a happy camper.
Once again Gwynly offered to help. This time, I was going downhill, but the situation was actually looking up. Each step was taking me closer to the warm car waiting for us. So, instead of insisting that I was “fine,” I decided to ask myself what the heroine in my story would do.
That did the trick. I realized she’d be wise and would graciously accept the help. Rather than ignore my sore ankles any longer, I sat on a rock and waited for my friendly knight in flannel to arrive. I admitted my malady and asked if he had anything to help. He beamed.
I peeled off my socks, revealing red but not blistered skin. He whipped out his moleskin, which I slapped on. What a difference it made in my comfort level–and my attitude.
The remaining mile and a half were actually fun. At my urging, Gwynly darted off to find hills with enough decent snow to try some more of those turns he enjoys, and I drank in the view of my guy having some serious fun.
I asked Gwynly if spending the day with me, despite all the challenges, was something he’d consider romantic. His “yes” came immediately. While I don’t rate slogging through slushy snow and battling bitterly cold breezes high on my scale, he gave the day an 8.5 out of 10.
I learned a lesson. Romance is love in action. My guy wanted me to be with him doing what he loves, true. But what was even more important to him was making sure I was taken care of. Next time I intend to remember that a heroine’s job is to let her hero be heroic and appreciate his efforts.
We made it back to the car and were soon laughing about our memorable adventure.
• • •
What types of outdoor adventures does your special someone enjoy? Do you share that interest, or do you, like me, set out with the laudable goal of being a good sport?
Do you have a hard time accepting help, even when it’s well-intentioned?
Have male-female translation troubles ever plagued you?