That was a wicked hit, Tom. Let's hope it's not his knee.

It's been a couple years since Mrs. A and I have been skiing. We decided since she was getting ready to go back to work it might be best if we went earlier instead of waiting. So we packed up the kids and the bags and flew up to Colorado.

Colorado isn't gripped with the bitter cold and heavy snow the folks back east received over the past couple weeks, but it's still cold and it still has snow. You can't just go up into the mountains in January and expect a lot of butterflies and sunny meadows. Colorado is actually one of the sunniest places in the US. Doesn't mean it's warmer, just sunnier. Weird lil' fact, I know.

So we stayed with my Dad and Stepmom for the duration and put in a few visits to my Mom and Stepdad as well as some other relatives. Living in Colorado all my life then moving to Texas really drove home the fact that an hour drive somewhere is nothing. From Denver, you can be out of the state in about three hours. From Austin it'd take you five if you just went straight south. From Austin to Amarillo is almost 10 hours. Texas is big, ya'll.

Up the hills we go. Leaving the kids with granpa for the day, Mrs. Austin and I head to loveland to do a little shushing on the baby slopes (we're not great skiiers) and possibly staying the night close by. After about 10 runs, one on a nearby killer death hill we came to find out is no harder than the baby slopes, Mrs. Austin wiped out. Now, when I say wiped out, I don't mean spun out a little and fell on her ass, I mean she crashed like star in the death throws of going super nova. Accompanying this abatement was a cry the likes of which I've never heard. It was a primal, gut wrenching scream that immediately spoke of the pain that lay hidden.

By the time I was able to stop and get my skiis off and waddle back up the mountain, she was already prone and clawing at the snow begging me to get her boot off. After several calls from the lift overhead NOT to take it off, I instead took a picture while we waited for the Ski Patrol to arrive.

The picture was her idea, really. Don't anyone get on my case for being an asshat for not helping. Injury on a slope? What would you do? Exactly.

They snowmobiled her down to the little first aid center and put some snow on it. It was already starting to swell. We called the rest of the trip off and headed home, stopping at a drug store to pick up some scripts and a brace. This whole time I'm coming down with the flu. So when she bought it my third or forth thought was, "Sweet, we can go home now."

The rest of the weekend was spent taking it easy. A drive down to see my mom in Colorado Springs, watched some movies, had some folks over for dinner, pretty laid back. Mrs. A was in a lot of pain and I was sick as a dog, but for some reason, this time more than any since I've moved down here, we had a good time in Colorado. We didn't fight, we didn't go to sleep angry, we didn't pass days in the cold silence that comes from being away from home and pissed at the other person. It was definitely one of the most memorably trips we've had.

Lil Miss Austin loved the snow. She'd only seen it maybe twice in her life and when she was very small, so this will hopefully be a fond memory for her. Mrs. A recalled a time when her family would go to Cloudcroft, NM and go sledding. She said she couldn't have been more than 3 at the time, so this was something we had to do, get the kids to play in the snow.

While we were up there, Mrs. A got her new camera delivered. Her photography is going gang busters and honestly, with her level of customer service and friendliness and at the rates she charges, I don't see it being long before she won't have to go back to Swell Computers to help support the family. This new camera takes some mighty nice shots.

Coming home, Mrs. A visits a specialist and gets an MRI done. We now know that she has a torn ACL and MCL and brused bones and other ligaments. The MCL will heal on its own, but the ACL will need replacement. She goes in for surgery this coming Friday. They're going to use a cadaver replacement instead of taking a bit from her hip. That's less recovery time, but they're accelerating the surgery date because she has to be off crutches by her first wedding in March, so that will take more rehab time. All in all she's looking at 6 months of recovery and then about 2 years before she can ski again. All activities from now on will require a brace.

I don't know if she takes heart in it, but I tried to tell her she has one of the most famous sporting injuries ever, the dreaded ACL. She's in good spirits about it, but I know it's a crushing blow to have something like this happen. She could use some support, so give her a shout and let her know she's still a cool kid and not a broken doll.

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