Mounting Fear

So, I survived our family’s ski trip, and I can’t tell you how happy I am to be this much closer to sea level again. There are few activities in life that strike fear, anxiety, and panic into my heart quite like skiing does. Just the sight of the mountain alone, as we pull into the driveway of the resort, makes my hand reach into the candy bag for soothing sustenance. Where you see a white-lathered mountain of possibility, I see whitewashed terror. 

I don’t know who invented skiing, but I’d love to smack them with one of my poles if we’re ever introduced. My guess is that whoever it was picked up the mechanics immediately, because if they ever skied like I do, they’d be frozen at the side of the trail where they fell, and we’d never know about this method of getting down a mountain. And I would be okay with that. Alas, my whole family enjoys, ENJOYS!, the torturous sport and so we ski. 

Do you know what happens when you’ve got one ski on and you’re trying to fit your boot into the other ski? You do a split, that’s what happens. The biggest unwanted split you’ve ever done in your life, as the ski slowly slides your leg away from the rest of your body. Not only do you need to keep your body parts from slipping away, you have to become a contortionist so you can clean the bottom of your ski boot with your pole before clicking it into place on the other ski, all while balancing on one leg. To do this, you have to be a flamingo.

At one point, immediately after securing the boots into them, I totally forgot I had skis attached to my feet and couldn’t figure out why I was “walking” weirdly. I mean, I was walking weirdly and uphill too! Just to get up onto the trail that I was then supposed to ski down. All so that I could jump on a lift that would take me back up what I just skied down so that I could do it again. Do you know what it’s called when you do the same thing over and over, often expecting different results but not getting any? A learning disability. Why wasn’t I getting off this chairlift of insanity?!

They say there’s learning in falling, but I thought the whole point of skiing is to not fall, so I found it really difficult to know whether I was supposed to wipe out or stay on my feet, I mean, skis. It’s such a confusing sport. At one point you’re going so fast thanks to an icy patch, yet at another point, you’re getting passed by your seven year old son who has only skied three days before in his life. Three days. That’s all it took for him to be better than me and that was two years ago. 

When I was pretty sure I had put in enough time on the slopes, only an hour and a half had passed. Why does time go so, so slowly when you don’t want to do something?? Anyway, Danny kindly escorted me along the right trail that would lead to the bottom of the mountain where a shuttle would pick me up and bring me back to our condo. Because you can actually move your joints in snowboarding boots, he bounded down the set of steps in a flash. Do you think my husband was looking at me with unabashed tenderness or was I clomping down the stairs behind him like a bumbling, peg-legged pirate while he waited at the bottom?

In case you think I’m making all of this up or exaggerating my poor capabilities as a skier, I got my elbow stuck in the shuttle bus railing. It just so subtly slipped right in between the rail and the side I was sitting up against. Quietly, so no one had to know how clumsy I am, I maneuvered my elbow out of the space, closed my eyes, and dreamed of palm tree-studded beaches. 

From beginning to end, I am not good at any part of the skiing process. Just kidding, I’m terrific with the end; sitting in the lodge is a talent I have perfected. I can suit up a child, one-handed if need be, find the right equipment for the right kid, prepare the hot meal to be ready for their lunch time break, set out a plateful of goodies, and read tens of hundreds of pages of my book in front of the condo fireplace, all while they monotonously just go up, then down, a mountain, times too numerous to fathom. 

Despite my grumblings, I do love seeing my children ski, from the safety of the lodge, of course. I’m in awe of their excitement and abilities and opinion that it is a fun activity. But next time we go on vacation? I’m going to make sure we don’t miss the turn for the palm trees.

Hostile Takeover

Now that I’ve proven I can maintain a blog with somewhat regular updating, it’s time for the next phase in my plan to take over the site: making it pretty. As a military coup, beautification is pretty pointless, but as a cyber attack on Danny’s old blog, I believe there’s an art in asking Isaac, in just the right way, to help me. 

In the age of IG stories and YouTube shorts, blogs are nearly obsolete. They live in the murky, digital realm alongside flip phones and CDs and are now being defined as “words, because I don’t know how to make a reel.” Since I’ve decided to steal it, I really wanted to put the ‘own’ in ownership, so there have been a few minor changes. Thanks to the hours we’ve put into kicking Isaac off computers for the last several years, he was able to figure out how to implement many of the renovations I wanted. Hopefully there will be more to come, but when Danny isn’t looking.🙂

Speaking of hostile takeovers, did you know there is another person living in my house besides the eight of us? I discovered this a few years ago, but this seems like a good time and place to complain about it. This person is virtually invisible and therefore extremely elusive. The only way I know they’ve struck again is when the kids tell me. 

For example, one day I removed eleven bath towels from the hooks in the children’s bathroom. The number of towels was extremely disproportionate to the number of children who were taking regular showers at the time. When I asked each child who needed that many towels, easily giving up the culprit, they each replied, “Not Me.”

Another time, I walked past a bathroom and noticed there was no toilet paper on the roll. To be more specific, the brown cardboard roll was on the hardware with zero ply attached to it. Someone had to have used it up on their last go and didn’t bother to replace it. What a shock when I discovered, upon inquiry of all the children as to who the guilty party was, that “Not Me” had been using our bathrooms again. 

The blame gets placed squarely on the shoulders of “Not Me” for many other infractions outside of the bathroom too, lest you think we have a restroom ghost, but I think you get the picture. I’d really like to corner this “Not Me” though because he (she?) needs to account for his deeds. Instead of being a tactical troll, they need to become a contributing member of this family.Until then, I’ll have my children keep an eye out; they’re sure to catch him before I do. Assuming they’re on my side… 

But if Danny asks who took over his blog, I’m definitely going to tell him it’s Not Me.


Does anyone know how an introvert wants to let you know about something? Since we are generally the quiet ones in a conversation, it is immensely tough sometimes to casually bring up a topic we’d like to share or discuss. Rare would be a time when we’d initiate the conversation or blurt out anything of consequence, especially if it was a subject matter leaning towards self-promotion or a matter of concern. 

Often we are content to allow the conversation to flow around us, not needing to join in verbally ourselves. We come to terms with the fact that even if we had something to say, we may never end up saying it. At times, courage is required because we know that when we begin speaking, all eyes are on us and that feels like a solo performance on a stage in front of millions. 

When we do talk, we may even try to attach several caveats because we want our audience to fully understand what we are about to say or why we are about to say it. Most likely our words will be monosyllabic and we will lose the point we were going to make, especially if we make eye contact with those millions. It is possibly the reason why so many introverts end up as authors. Words on paper are so much more comfortable and easy than words out loud, in person.

Which leads me to this next bit. How does an introvert let others know they have a blog for public consumption (that they’ve been working on for a year), assuming the introvert wants the public to read their blog? I am completely aware of the irony here; I’m asking the public how I inform the public about my blog when the public doesn’t even know it exists. But still, what do you suggest?

As a person who generally likes to keep from interacting with anyone, I recognize the oddity in keeping up a blog that seems to be written for others. It’s a little scary, putting your life on display for others’ amusement, even through a screen. Finding a forum I feel comfortable using to share family news is not easy either. Facebook has so many ads that no one ever even knows about any updates on their “friend’s” walls. Instagram works well as long as you only want to share ten or less photos with no captions attached, or you are a famous person. I don’t have Twitter/X or any other social media, so my options are limited.

I think I do want people to read the blog, but the reasons are purely selfish. I write when I have the words and to share our ongoings, but I need constant affirmation that what I write is good, worthwhile even. However, I would rather keep our family life private even though I compose my entries as if they are for you. How do I reconcile this?! Now that you all know how weird I am, how do I let you know my blog exists so you can read about how weird I am? 

One method I try to employ is to convince, beg, or bribe my children to contribute their own musings or stories so I can get out of having to come up with something of my own. It’s good when they do because then you get something far more interesting to read and I get to whine about having nothing to say for another week. Remember, the challenge was to see if I could update regularly, and typically, I feel simultaneously obligated and nervously happy to do so. But you’d only know that if you read the blog.

And so the circle goes unbroken and I am no closer to knowing how to introduce the danberall blog to more than the seven people who are currently aware of it. Of those seven, two are James and Caleb, who haven’t read it, one is Jake, who only reads it when I remind him I’ve added a post, and the last four are tired of me forcing them to read each draft, each week, waiting for a critique before I click “publish”. If you are reading this, please let me know how you found out about the ‘rarely updated’ and totally unknown site in the comment section so I can put a stop to it! 🙂

The Introvert