Ski Report Finale


If you missed the first ski installment, check out part one.

Otherwise, let’s wrap up this chapter.

The highlights — or low-lights of the trip? They can be summed up in photos.

Here’s day one, on the Deer Valley slopes:




Here’s Martin, approximately 30 minutes later:



This, my friends, is not a broken collarbone.

It’s a separated shoulder.

I know this because the Park City Clinic provided the diagnosis.

And I farmed out the radiograph to virtually every veterinarian in my personal network.

Horse vets are like regular MDs — they just have furrier patients.

My friend Sarah has a son who is a real doctor — he actually treats people — and he summed up the diagnosis succinctly:

“It’s not a broken bone; it’s torn ligaments. The gap you see is between the acromion and the clavicle, which are two different bones. Recovery varies; when you’re no longer in pain, you can take off the sling.”

He was right.

In Sundance Film Festival fashion, I’m giving out awards.

Martin earns the “down but not out” award.

Despite his separated shoulder, four days later, he was back on skis.

Behold, evidence of his recovery:



Understandably, Martin was a wee-bit tentative.

I tried to bolster his confidence by leading him through “the enchanted forest” — a narrow, mogul-ridden trail squeezed between a narrow stand of trees.

What can I say?

It is a path preferred by little kids, parked on short, stout skis.

My cousin and I navigated the challenges and emerged. We awaited Martin.

Eventually, he appeared.

That was NOT F-ing Enchanting!” he shouted, skis tossed over his good shoulder, as he trudged down a nearby logging road.

Martin: I offer you both the “down but not out” award and the “good sport” award.


Brynn receives the “most improved” award. Zilla set out as a newbie, edging along the bunny slope bottom, at a glacial pace. But she wrapped the week rocketing down the green runs, from the top of the mountain.

Her story isn’t remarkable. Often children adapt to skiing, thanks to fearlessness and close proximity to the ground.

Still, it’s a marvel to watch.


Zilla and her miscreant crew…




Ski Report


“Funny Farm” has been on hiatus while several cast members were partaking in a Utah ski vacation, along with my cousins, Marianne and Mike.

In 2013 we shared a similar ski trip to Park City. This year we were bumped to nearby Deer Valley, since our holiday plans coincided with Sundance Film Festival, which is firmly rooted in downtown PC. The upside of this event conflict? The ski slopes were empty (Deer Valley, conveniently quiet… the Park City Resort, eerily abandoned). Sundance prep and the actual event meant no lift lines and a mountain full of open runs, sparsely dotted with a thin smattering of skiers. 


The mobs at Park City Resort


While the ski resort was a ghost down, downtown Park City was quite the opposite: practically impenetrable thanks to traffic and parking congestion.


We ventured into town a few times for cocktails or food, but the main street was clogged with vendor kiosks, cordoned-off media enclosures, and enormous, glowing sponsorship tents which sprouted in every available square and courtyard. The slopes proved far more alluring than Park City’s trumped-up crowd of glam Hollywood stars and wannabes.

Not to say that, deep down, I’m not a “wannabe.”

After swishing down the ski runs near the swanky St. Regis of Deer Valley, we scheduled an afternoon break on the patio. The hotel boasts an impressive entrance: guests glide up the mountain aboard a glitzy funicular, which deposits patrons in a top notch, wine bottle-clad bar and restaurant.

The ski-in entrance is equally bewitching, marked with a handcrafted ice castle:



The room rate at this hotel was more impressive than the lobby: in the high season (ie, now) a base room, with a queen-sized bed and mountain view — will set you back $2,500 a night.

Twenty-five hundred. A night.

Ouch! (The funicular rides are free. Hey, thanks.)

So we snubbed Sundance, but I gawked at the glam hotel crowd, while sipping an over-priced drink.

However, that accounted for just an hour of vacation. More than anything else, we skied.  A lot.

But not without drama.

Details, in the next Funny Farm post.


Dumpster Love


The dumpster was Martin’s idea, a few years ago. He was sick of lugging the trio of trash cans down our long, rutted drive. Or hoisting them into the pickup and chauffeuring them roadside each week. The solution? A big, green commercial receptacle, emptied bimonthly. It squats beside the barn, not far from the abandoned trash cans.

At the time, I didn’t care about disposal options. I was fine either way.

Since then, however, I’ve developed an affection for the dumpster. I like the dumpster, especially when it’s filled to the gills. Likewise, its emptiness is enticing — I feel a gravitational pull to fill the void. To toss in trash, junk, broken toys.

And other things.

“Gimmie a hand, will ya?” I asked, gesturing at the feed bin. While cleaning the barn, I’d discovered that the horse grain was moldy — unfit for consumption — and trash-worthy. I dragged the bin outside but it was too heavy and unwieldy to shoulder alone.

Martin flipped open the lid and together, we lifted the feed bin and positioned it at the edge of the dumpster. A moment before the spoiled grain spilled over mounds of kitchen trash and garbage, Martin glanced into the dumpster’s depths.

I never thought he’d look inside.

“Hey!” he shouted indignantly. “Hey! Are those my good hiking socks in there?”

I tipped the grain bin just enough to send its contents downward. An avalanche of oats, cracked corn and barley spilled out, pounding plastic bags and clattering against the dumpster’s innards. But there wasn’t enough to bury the evidence. One of the socks poked conspicuously from a mound of grain.

What are MY good hiking socks doing in the dumpster?” he asked.

“I threw them in there,” I replied.


“Because they were dirty and I didn’t want to deal with them.”

“So you threw them out instead of washing them?”

“Pretty much, yea,” I said. “When I get annoyed with you people, I throw your stuff in the dumpster. Sometimes it’s toys, camping equipment, that stupid whiffle ball set that the kids left out. It’s very cathartic. A huge stress reliever. You should try it sometime.”

Martin did not want to try it. Nor did he see the therapeutic value of a purge. My confession simply confirmed his suspicion that I’m nuts. And, he was ticked off about his socks. (Frankly, he was lucky that his filthy shoes didn’t meet a similar end.)

But I learned a lesson: Always cover your tracks. I’m not going to bag the evidence, since my throw-out therapy is spontaneous, never premeditated. But I can conceal my actions with strategically-placed garbage or empty feed bags. I can mask the contents until Thursday, when a trash truck upends the dumpster and spirits away the contents.

And leaves that big, green monster yawning and empty.

Ready to gulp down more garbage.

Or someone’s discarded clothing, wadded up on the floor. Or seldom-used art supplies. Or outgrown toys, stuffed animals, a travel mug with a missing lid, a flashlight too small to be helpful, those sunglasses of yours that I’ve never liked, that shirt — you have too many shirts anyway….

The dumpster’s hungry.

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