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By beanerywriters(11,675)

Posted Friday, September 21, 2007
View All Blog Posts submitted by beanerywriters


Sally Martin 


        We did that a year ago. Moved to the mountains.  So here we are.   We drive into the driveway and sit for a moment, overwhelmed by the beauty of the sunlight filtering through the hemlocks and the roar of Pike Run as it tumbles down the mountain.  We have learned to say Don-e-GAL is where you get off the turnpike. We can now refer to LAY-trobe as the home of Rolling Rock beer. We lived near Wexford at that time, in charming Bradfordwoods, but would rush to the mountains to hike, bike, or ski.  We had been hanging out here since the 1980's when we bought a trailer near Indian Head. The trailer looked as if it were being eaten by a house, with additions that looked about as graceful as a baby goat being swallowed by a crocodile. An architect friend thought he was being funny when he said that more than just cozy, it was like being inside a submarine. After a couple of years, when we got on staff at the Seven Springs Resort as part-timers. instructing in the ski school,  we decided that a condo at the Springs would be more suitable for our needs.

The spouse had figured out how to work seven and one half days a week---five days as a photographer and arriving at the Springs in time to teach Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday. Add it up: seven and one half days. That was pushing it, even for a workaholic.

But, of course, it was all fun. Fun has always been a major goal. He wouldn 't have done it otherwise. After only three years at the ski school, they had figured out that I was terrified of all but the bunny slopes and so I, sort of, retired. I went back to Cross-Country ski competition, which was also lots of fun.  I started going to Lake Placid, New York; Craftsbury, Vermont; Zolfingen, Germany; Canmore, Canada. Wonderful snowy places. By this time we had sold the trailer/add-on to a covetous neighbor.  We moved up a bit, buying a condo at Seven Springs. Sadly for M'lov's pro ski career, skiing on one leg in icy conditions at an instructors' clinic finished destroying a knee that had suffered much. Now he too retired from instructing and returned to Cross-Country skiing, with a new, titanium knee.

In the five years that we owned the condo, it had suffered two serious plumbing accidents requiring lawsuits and  total rehabilitation: carpets, ceilings, counters.   It was bad, so, as much as we loved, still love, the Springs and being right on the golf course, the condo was sold.

Then I decided to take a year-and-a-half bicycle tour around the world. Eighteen months later I had returned from my expedition and we started looking for a new weekend place. By now we were both pretty much retired and the condo fees seemed like, gee, travelling as we do, it was either condo fees or a trip to Europe.

The first place that the real estate agent showed us was a little wood cottage with a stone fireplace, on a tumbling creek with hemlocks, rhododendrons and a dead flying squirrel in the toilet. We pretended to look around but knew that the little cabin in the midst of native evergreens, with a bridge copied from a Monet painting, was the one for us. This was love at first sight. When we returned to check it out again, there was another dead squirrel in the toilet. We made a ridiculously low offer and it was instantly accepted.  Imagine that!

So we still had enough cash to replace the aging roof and we contracted with Henry to fix it.  June 3, 1997, was such a memorable date. A beloved friend had died and we were at a funeral home in Dormont when there was such a horrendous noise that we rushed outside to see what it could be. It was scary outside, black and noisy, so we rushed back in again. Lying in bed later, in Bradfordwoods, we watched the eleven o'clock TV news that showed terrible tornado damage on the hill above the Dormont funeral home. The phone rang and our new neighbor at the mountain, Rock, said,

"You have been hit."

To view photos of the Laurel Mountains click on http://www.flickr.com/photos/beaneryonlineliterarymagazine

This Blog Post has been read 49 times.
Posted to ProBlogs.com on Friday, September 21, 2007
View other posts by beanerywriters

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