Aphrodite’s Dye, by Isabella.

IMG_3394This is a story written by my 13 year old daughter as part of our daily discipline of journal writing.  We’ve been studying Greek mythology, and she has been inspired to come up with several of her own Greek myths.  This is one of them.

 A long, long time ago, when Zeus first began his rule, there was a cave filled with riches beyond imagination. Silk softer than down, pieces of solid sunlight, and beautiful dyes of all different colors. The cave was forbidden to everyone, including Zeus. He had told all the Gods and Goddesses never to go there because the world had nearly ended after a God had taken a crumb of the solid sunlight. Aphrodite was very vain and wanted all of the beautiful dye to herself.  Unlike every other God, she didn’t believe his stories and figured that even if the world did threaten to end, she could probably use her charms to get what she desired. So Aphrodite came up with a plan. The next day, she set off to the Underworld and using her charm, convinced Hates of giving her the sleep potion. Aphrodite went back to Olympus and served a grand feast. She dripped a drop of the potion into the food of each God putting them in a deep sleep. Taking her chance, Aphrodite made her way to the cave. When she entered the cave, she filled her arms with as many dyes as possible then the silk, then the sunlight, then the dye. With very full arms, Aphrodite began the journey back. Back in Olympus, the Gods were waking up. Noticing Aphrodite’s absence, they went to look for her. They found Aphrodite struggling to carry all of the treasures. Zeus was very angry with her and told her to take them back. As if that wasn’t hard enough, he tied Aphrodite’s feet together. As she neared the mouth of the cave, the ground began to rumble. Aphrodite panicked and tripped over a rock sending the treasures into the angry sky. The dyes stained the sky a light blue, and the silk floated in white fluffs just below the stains. The solid sunlight hovered over everyone, bathing the world in endless light. “Now no one can have the treasures and the world will be safe from the power of greed.” Said Zeus.

Ode to Spring, by Isabella.

IMG_2827Strawberries squishy and soft,

Squirrels leap in their leafy loft,

The mellow songs of morning time bird’s,

Chicka dee dee dee is heard,

The forest is most definitely alive,

Spring is the time to thrive,

Fluffy white clouds dance,

In a bright and unreal blue trance,

A writhing mass of light pink worms,

Surely affirms,

That Springtime is here to stay,

And to drive cruel Winter away,

March, April and May.



Skiing Park City.

Snow on the mountains of Salt Lake at sunset.

Well, I said we were going to do it, and we did.  Skipped out of Atlanta on a flight to Salt Lake, where we rented a car and headed up the mountains towards Park City.  And what a fabulous trip it was!  We stayed in a not-so-great hotel, which is normal for us- we go for travel in quantity, not quality, and so cheap is what we choose.  But who cares?  The bed was comfortable and clean, and what really matters is that the powder was fresh!

And that we ran into some friends that we hadn’t seen in 7 years.  As it turns out, they live there.  So, these two terrific people joined us on the slopes for our day of skiing.  But wait- it gets even better:  Mike, who is a pilot who flies at the same airline as my husband, is an expert skier as well as an instructor.  So he was the one to take on the teaching of our somewhat stubborn, always dramatic, 13 year old daughter.   I know without a doubt that she made the progress that she did because of him.  I know this because last year we went skiing at Lake Tahoe and my attempts to teach her ended with her lying on the snow, writhing about in a fit of insistence that she hates skiing, for about an hour.  At which we point I gave up and we went to the lodge to drink hot chocolate…

But this year, the whole family was able to ski together!  Hooray!  Our 10 year old son is already a good skier due to a lower level of resistance to the idea than his sister, and so there we were, all 4 of us plus our 2 friends, having a blast at Canyons Resort in Park City, Utah.  And if you are a skier and haven’t been here, I highly recommend that you give it a try.  I grew up skiing Colorado.  I am a Texan, and this is what Texans do:  Drive to Colorado for ski trips.  Often on church buses, which is a particular type of torture that I won’t go into here. I had never skied Utah because, well, it’s too far to drive to from Texas.  But now, living in Atlanta, Salt Lake is an easy 3.5 hour flight followed by a 30 minute drive to the slopes.  Of course, we can call it easy because of the Pilot’s job, for which I am extremely grateful.  But anyway, it’s a terrific place and is quickly becoming a favorite.

So, the skiing was wonderful on the day that my daughter and I skied, but the next day was snowy and cold and  I’m not tough enough for that, so instead my daughter and I headed for the food and shopping of Park City itself.  We had a lovely day doing that.  Park City was at one time a silver mining town, and all those patinaed historical buildings give Main Street so much character.  The shops range from interesting and quirky to ridiculously expensive and posh (this is where the Sundance Film Festival happens, after all, so there is serious money in this place), but all are fun to peruse.  We had lunch in a place that you pretty much have to be a local to know about, and since we were locals for a while this summer, we know how to find it.  The roast turkey sandwich?  They slice the turkey off the actual roasted bird as you watch.  This is fresh, homemade food- nothing fancy, but delicious nonetheless.  My favorite spots to visit, however, are the art galleries.  This little town has an amazing selection of art and artists, and wandering in and out of them feels a little like being in an open air museum of sorts.

It was especially interesting for us, having spent the entire summer out there last year, to see the town and the surrounding countryside in deep winter, contrasting to how it looked when we were there in summer.  Summer was beautiful, with the aspen trees fully decked out and the grass green and the wildflowers blooming. There were  horses in the fields, and nesting sandhill cranes in the fields and overhead, their bizarre calls filling the air.  Winter was equally beautiful with its deep blanket of snow and the stark white trunks of the Aspens fully visible.

I’m not sure which I liked best.  I think this may call for more research..