It was our first Christmas without Mom, and my sister’s and nephew’s second holiday without husband and father. We agreed that spending Christmas in a “neutral” location was best and decided that an adventure in the mountains of North Carolina was in order. I, having torn a ligament in my knee some years past, am forbidden from donning skis. My sister felt that many months with her leg in a cast would not suit, and therefore declined to ski. So, tubing it was, and we were all excited about hurling ourselves down the side of a mountain on a giant inner tube.
There was just one teeny-tiny glitch. No snow.
Plans B and C quickly went into effect.
First, we went to the outdoor ice rink and laced on skates along with many other would-be tubers and skiers. After her tenth fall, my sister had had enough, and we wandered back to our cabin for coffee and hot chocolate. Given that one of us was decidedly worse-for-the-wear the next day, we three non-tubing vacationers eschewed additional ice-skating and took off for Grandfather Mountain. It was a glorious winter day, cold and clear with bright sunshine. We managed a short hike before walking across the Mile High Swinging Bridge, with a little browsing in the gift shop in between. All of us declared the day a success.
Although the absence of snow deterred us from our original plan, we had a great time just being together and enjoying the beauty of the mountains. And what of tubing?
We’re going again this year.