Monday, March 06, 2006

First hand Dixie skiing report


Brother-in-law Jon Kessler writes:











I know I don't contribute much to this forum
(something about sharing your private thoughts with
any stranger who happens on the site is a little
unsettling) but a recent occurance has prompted this
shout out. A few hours before our plane was to take
off for our recent family trip to Aspen, Laura hung up
the phone with Dixie Doc and announced that there was
a caper being hatched in Pittsburgh. Sure enough,
after a quick return call by Sarah we received
confirmation that Dixie, just two days after his 4th
and last course of chemotherapy, was buying full fare
plane tickets to Aspen Colorado.

At 12,510 feet and with a hemoglobin count of 10
(that's 30% less than normal I'm told) Dixie was not
just skiing, he was terrorizing Smowmass Mountain with
the abandon of a 17 year old after a pint of Southern
Comfort. He shredded up the old favorites like
Powerline and The Edge and only took it easy when
forced to entertain a few cruisers with Suzie (in
between the plethora of boot adjustments and pee
breaks the ladies required - we actually lost Laura
for a whole morning to SureFoot).

After a day of hard skiing, evenings were spent as
always, 5:30pm dinner at Litle Annies (Shrimp Cocktail
and Fudge Brownie Sunday still seemed to taste OK to
the Doc even though the taste buds have been
compromised by the chemo poison). And, also as usual,
by 8:30pm I found myself watching tv (Olympic ice
dancing this time) surrounded by Laura and Suzie with
their eyes closed ("I can't go to bed at 8:30, I'll be
up at 5am" says Suzie..."zzzz") and Dixie already in
bed (nothing to do with the Chemo, this is Standard
Operating Procedure).

Other than a few extra rest stops along Powerline
Glades and the near fainting incident in the Smowmass
Pavillion (caused, I think, more by an overwhelming
sense of anxiety from digging through the lost glove
box for Suzy's missing mitten than true fatigue) Dixie
was in tip-top form (although I think the lecture on
the risks of altitude sickness and importance of
staying hydrated from the Octagenarian Snowmass "Host"
got to him a little PO'd).

Dixie, you have once again outdone yourself and are a
true role model to all of us. When any one of you is
thinking you know how to enjoy life, just step back a
second and observe the Master.