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Lindsey Jacobellis USA

Image by TylerIngram via Flickr

There is a bill that will be considered this year in the Vermont Legislature to declare snowboarding the official sport of the State of Vermont. Yes, in case you were wondering, Vermont evidently has no state sport. Other states do have official sports, both team and individual. For instance, were you aware that the official sport of the State of Alaska is mushing or Maryland’s official individual sport is jousting. Hawaii’s official sport, in the individual sport category is — no big surprise –surfing. So, why then, thought a group of children at Swanton Elementary School, does Vermont not have a state sport? The children gave it a great deal of thought and research and four years ago came up with the idea that snowboarding should be the official sport of the State of Vermont. They worked hard on promoting their concept and a Bill was even introduced into the Legislature. Unfortunately it didn’t clear both houses of the Vermont Legislature – since there were those that felt that skiing was being rebuffed by the bill.

The reasons why snowboarding should be Vermont’s official sport (in no particular order)

  • Jake Burton is considered the king of snowboarding and Burton Snowboards originated in Vermont.
  • Vermont was the first place in the country to host a snowboarding park
  • Stratton Mountain is considered the birthplace of snowboarding
  • Stratton Mountain also hosts the US  Open in snowboarding every year for the past 27 years and will again this year in a few weeks
  • In 1982 Vermont’s Suicide Six became the first ski resort to allow snowboarding
  • Kelly Clark, Ross Powers, Hannah Teeter (from the town next door) and Lindsey Jacobellis all hail from Vermont.

There is some concern that skiing is getting shortchanged if snowboarding is given this “official” designation. Folks, don’t be upset – New Hampshire’s official state sport is skiing, and we’re like brothers (or sisters) right?

Did you know that Mad River Glen is the only ski resort in the state of Vermont (and one of three in the country) that PROHIBIT snowboarding?

 

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Snowboarding is an American sport. As American as Apple pie, some would say. It was developed here in this country and the primary developers of snowboards came from here. One of the pioneer builders of snowboards Jake Burton moved to Londonderry, Vermont in 1977 to make what later became known as snowboards. And make them, he and his company did. They were at the forefront of snowboard development and Burton, a privately held company, still commandeers the market. Burton snowboards are used by the icons of the sport, Shaun White, Hannah Teeter. Burton snowboards, known the world-over were still produced primarily right here in Vermont. Sad isn’t it that yesterday Burton announced that it will be moving its main manufacturing facility not just out of Vermont, but out of the United States completely. To Austria, the newspapers say to be incorporated into the manufacturing facility that they have had there for 25 years. Oh, and to China, too. But we won’t mention that – at least the newspapers really didn’t and evidently Burton doesn’t really want to talk about that part either.

It’s a sad commentary on the way that our country and our state handles companies that are home-grown. The decision by Burton move its manufacturing facilities out of Vermont has, evidently, been a long time coming. It’s just really disturbing that it had to come at all.

Burton will still maintain its world headquarters in Burlington, Vermont and it is expanding a production facility that will produce the newest snowboards that are not  for sale but will be offered to snowboarding athletes for their use.

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After a day of writing donation request letters, we were surrounded last night by even more letters, except these were the varsity kind. It was the Winter Sports Awards Ceremony at the boys’ school. Our oldest, TJ was on the varsity snowboard team which is quite the honor being a freshman. Vermont is one of only two states in the country that even has varsity snowboarding as a sport. Since he was on the Varsity team he was of course entitled to receive his varsity letter. Big deal to a high school kid and of course bigger deal to the parents of a high school kid who were pretty darn proud. So where, you may ask, did this whole Varsity Letter thing come from?

The history of the Varsity letter supposedly began with (can you guess?) Harvard. In 1865 its baseball team started sewing an old English letter “H” onto grey flannel shirts. The team wore the shirts for games. and if a player was especially good at an important game or scored a significant amount of points, they were permitted to keep the shirt. About ten years later, the Harvard football team began incorporating the “H” letter on their uniforms.

It was quite the nice change from the letter writing I had been doing all day. Then I jetted out of there for the youngest one’s final rock climbing competition. His middle school team came in third place for the season.

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So far, it’s been a Saturday. We were up early since Tim had guitar lessons and I was bringing kids home from a sleepover/to the mountain to go snowboarding. As it turns out it was snowing like mad and Tim’s guitar teacher called to cancel his lesson. I had to take oldest son to the mountain anyway and we left. Then I had to unload the Suburban and make a couple trips back and forth to cart the Odyssey team’s props down to the elementary school so they can have a marathon practice today – one week to state finals. On the way back up Route 140 for the second load a deer jumped over the guardrail and directly into the passenger side of my truck. With little to no warning, I slammed on the brakes and swerved, causing the feet of snow and ice on the top of the truck to come cascading down onto the windshield and hood, effectively blinding us on a curve. No damage to the truck, no damage to the deer (it continued to run off although we definitely heard a “thud”). Tyler was on his way to snowboarding with his friend. The plan was friend’s dad would drop them off and I would pick them up this afternoon along with TJ and whoever else happened to need a ride back to Wallingford. We got word that those plans were scrapped however when middle son decided to throw up inside friend’s dad’s truck and himself and the dad evidently. So they were headed back, just as husband and I were about to head out to Manchester to the bookstore for a few hours of “couple” time. I don’t know what one does to apologize to a friend’s parent for your child vomiting in their truck and on them, so I am totally open to suggestions – but I am guessing that it’s going to take more than a simple “I’m sorry” which we already offered, along with the offer to clean his truck seat. This guy, btw, is a sweetheart since he evidently left Tom with the words “we’re going tomorrow if Tyler needs a ride” – wow, not every parent offers to take your child somewhere within minutes of him puking on himself, you and your truck.

So, that was my morning and it’s only noon. Wonder how the rest of the day is going to play out.  Guesses anyone?

This picture just about sums up the conclusion to this weekend. I put my camera on the table to download the pictures from the snowstorm that I took today and noticed that the viewfinder had the perfect shot – the trail map from Killington that the boys poured over like gold was hidden somewhere in there and the fire in the background, which kept us all warm and cozy through this week, with its wild windy lows and its crazy snows.

The New Year’s holiday has been a blur. A good blur, but still a blur. Lots of family, friends, food, laughter. We celebrated Christmas with my family when they all arrived which was very nice.

New Year’s Eve was celebrated with friends. A got a very nice visit that morning from Patty of Where Did the Time Go? blog which is always fun when she is in my neck of the woods (hopefully soon I’ll be able to stop in on her world) and then the snow which started that morning continued all of New Year’s Eve…. and continued all of New Year’s Day …. and continued on Saturday ….and continued on Sunday morning, when things looked like this:

And was still continuing when we sent our guests off with hugs, kisses and bellies full of pancakes with maple syrup and sausage and our neighbor’s bacon and our eggs…. and it continued while we disassembled Christmas from our house… and it continued while we ran to the store to get lunch stuff and dinner …. and it continued still into the evening hours when the boys were set off to bed with dreams of a delayed opening in their little heads.

Welcome to winter….. Vermont style.

Here is the snow that we missed last week when it seemed that the entire rest of the East Coast got dumped with snow. We had a nice snow day today. The boys headed out to go snowboarding and skiing at Pico and came home to homemade chili and homemade bread. Seems like I will have to ramp up bread production, which is nice since I like to bake and it seems that the gang likes to eat.

It has been windy all day today and therefore hard to tell exactly how much snow we did get. We were forecast to get about 6 inches but there are bare spots in the drive and snow drifts that cover your boots. Go figure, I guess that we will just have to get out and enjoy it.

P1100483My trip up to Killington this morning saved me about $2,500. Not bad for a 40 minute drive, don’t you think? Killington offers this program, called the Academic Excellence Program to Vermont school children through 12th grade. If a student receives honors for at least 2 of the 4 marking periods for the previous school year, they are entitled to a free unlimited Pico Pass. For $99 more, they are entitled to upgrade to an unlimited Killington/Pico pass. That pass, which contains no blackout dates whatsoever, is valued for their age group at $949 plus tax. Figure that times three and that’s how the roughly $2,500 savings is calculated. Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t ready to run out and buy our boys Killington passes, but they did have unlimited Pico passes for this year which we purchased at the end of last year for a great deal. The folks at Killington refunded the difference between that pass cost and the $99 upgrade fee, making a deal almost too good to resist. The boys will be thrilled, considering that it is something that they would not have been able to have if they didn’t earn it. Kudos to Killington to reward academic achievement and provide incentive to kids to do well. It is a great idea and a great incentive. My boys are already hard at work in school to make sure that they secure their passes for next winter as well. Killington, which is marketing itself as The Beast of the East this year, is certainly showing that Honors gets the Beast.

We trooped off to soccer practice tonight in Manchester. Tyler appeared to enjoy himself which is good. We were concerned that he might be out of sorts since he hasn’t played on a team since he was 5 or 6. TJ is much more comfortable playing this time around which is good. Tim didn’t play tonight but was happy to offer commentary and refereeing opinions. The boys have come a long way…..

We then hit Bob’s Diner down that way for what we hoped was a quick dinner. Evidently, the staff (all 3 of them) were a bit overwhelmed by the early onslaught of U.S. Open Snowboarders who took up half the diner. Dinner was slower than we anticipated but still a nice treat.

Tomorrow, is TJ’s oral surgery and I must admit that I am a bit nervous. I am sure that I am the only one, since he doesn’t seem the least bit affected by any of it (other than the fact that he cannot eat after midnight tonight). I guess that it part of being a mom -being the chief worrier for the family.   Hopefully everything will go smoothly and my baby (who is presently taller than I) will be A-Okay and not in a lot of discomfort.

Good advice, even if you’re not Julius Caesar. Today was a day. I really just didn’t want to get out of bed this morning. It has just been too many days of early days and late nights or maybe it’s just the time of the year….either way – next time I should listen.

We were off to skiing but disorganized since I woke up late and that set the tone for the day. Got season passes for next year at a great deal at Pico (hooray!) and then was out for a walk in the beautiful sunshine around the base of the mountain. As we rounded the lodge by First Aid – spotted my son’s friend (who had come with us and for whom I was responsible) being sledded in by Ski Patrol with a suspected broken wrist. Thank goodness, Tom was close by and he was able to wisk him off to the ER and get in touch with his parents, while I rounded up the troops (who didn’t even know what happened). Now we are home, exhausted with a pile of laundry and dinner to cook. Tomorrow, we get to get up and do it all  (minus the broken bones) again. BTW, turns out he broke his arm, not his wrist. Lovely — all the same — poor kid.

Wow. It is hard to believe that 2 weeks have flown by. Tomorrow everyone is back to school and work and normal schedules. It will be hard since it was such a long break. Lots to catch up on….

New Year’s Eve we had the party that wasn’t really a party. The boys evidently were planning on our traditional New Year’s Eve party which neither Tom nor I were counting on doing until literally about 6:30 on New Year’s Eve when it became apparent that we were having company and a party despite what we thought. Thank goodness for my sister, the “party in a heartbeat” diva, who put together a spread complete with decorations in less than an hour and 1/2. We had about 20 people including us so it was a nice night with family and some friends. 

In true Vermont fashion, just when we thought the party was over and we were going to bed, the doorbell rang with a New Year reveler who wanted to stop by for some New Year well wishes.

The weather was COLD. The boys were snowboarding at Okemo and had a blast. 

Today started our Pico ski/snowboard lessons. It has been a LONG day, but happy to say that in the hours between when we left our house this morning and when we returned this afternoon we had three really happy kids who between them accomplished intermediate and black diamond skiing and snowboarding respectively and overall had a really nice day.

Tomorrow will be a long day. First day back to school for all of us.

Evilwife on the move

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